Samuel Uffus & Cage Cabarrett "Shambala Shambala" / TBC017
This electroacoustic improvisational jam session features two Portuguese experimental musicians and is dedicated to the Macaense people and their culture, being a mix of Chinese and Portuguese cultures.
Release Date: October 6th, 2011
01. Sketches of Agharta
02. Título Indefinido
03. Acorde de um Ião
04. Título Indefinido Dois
06. A Tontura do Covil
Total Playtime: 0:52:22
Samuel Uffus & Cage Cabarrett – Shambala Shambala (2011)
Two guys from Portugal play music that is dedicated to the Macanese people, whose culture is a mix between Portuguese and Chinese, while the actual booklet of the CD looks like parts of it have been burned intentionally and printed words in Cyrillic have remained. Confused? Well … do not get me started on the music.
First, thanks to the Ukrainian label 'Turbinicarpus' for providing some insights into the instruments used for this recording:
Samuel Uffus – altered bass guitar, diatonic accordion, Roland Juno-60, Roland SH-201, analog effects;
Cage Cabarrett – Korg MS-20, Moog Little Phatty II, Roland Juno-60, Yamaha CS-5, ARP Axxe, Roland SH-101, analog
And how does this play out? Well, ordinary melodies and rhythm models are most certainly not something this band strives for and presents on this recording. At times it all seems so wonderful and harmonic, while at others fluidity and chaos tend to haunt the space. Despite the label of an ' improvisational jam', according to their label, the music does not always feel as such. Moments of control are able to shine through the cloudy mist of endless variations. The listener has moments to breathe and to focus the thoughts a bit, because these two artists have not overdone it in their performance.
The shifts may create a sense of confusion but it feels controlled and in some respect even limited, because the band does not attempt to either reach for extremes or to weave something together that would create too much of a contrast. Aspec(t) had been much more intense and violent in this respect. Compared with the Danish one, the Portuguese are rather melodic and playful; have attempted to maintain everything in a such a way as to leave a pleasant surprise now and then. It gives rather the impression of a mocking of some melody or concept that is presented on this recording. Normal elements receive a contradiction or are accompanied by strange arrangements. This would be especially true for the third composition 'Acorde de um Iao', which comes with a strange and catchy accordion melody. Maybe this is kind of a vague shot, but in style it reminds a bit on East-European folk music … at least when I recall it right. Sadly, the concreteness of this kind of exploration of ideas is not always shown and the band feels rather at home in an endless meandering around various types of approaches.
Is this good or is this bad? These two artists seem to press it too much at times, with the result that some concept become a bit too tiring at some point. Maybe this is due to the accessibility of the music and how easy it is to get immersed in it. Maybe it is also because it is a bit too nice and charming. How cultural aspects of the 'Macanese people' come into play here and can be discovered throughout the release is an open question. Google does not offer much information on this subject, so it all comes down to a lot of guesswork.
In some respect the design tells a lot about this release. Parts of the music had been scorched and vanished from the entire body, while fragments are still attached to the outer shell. What these are and what their role in terms of the music is depends on the composition and how ideas are explored there. Now interesting, then confusing. Now easy digestible, then something that can turn people off.
Review taken from 'a dead spot of light (Number 19)', written by oneyoudontknow.
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