Friday, July 13, 2012

Batu Kan Pesti Rokona-Mezofoldi Kosmosz EP (2012)

Being that this is a solo project of the guitarist for Hungarian noise boys Opus Null , I was expecting raucous cacophony from "Mezofoldi Kosmosz." There's a bit of that, especially on the first track, but mostly the album features daring, varied improvised guitar that mostly succeeds.

"Az Apeh Gyermeke" is the closest song, musically, to Opus Null's work, although a bit less raucous than most of their stuff. Trashy guitar fuzz, rambam Ramones-style drumming, and heavy bass; along with "Araben," it marks a transition from the contorted thrash of Bencze's band. "Panelhazi Ugros," however, marks the real departure point: song structure is replaced by meditative, brooding guitar sketches that sound like distant thunder peaking over a mountainous landscape.
   The main strike against the album is the track arrangement: it jerks back and forth between the ambient stuff and more traditional psych rock. Whatever, "Felrehangolt Letelem" is truly idiosyncratic: as far as I can tell, it's just an extended bass solo with interspersed guitar: sort of like listening to a song on the radio, then changing the station and getting a completely different song.

"Zenit" and "Mezofoldi Kosmosz" are the heart of the album, and the most interesting songs. These are searing, minimalist pieces of guitar improvisation. It's only the guitar, scratching out patterns against an utterly empty, expansive mix. The closest parallel I can think of is Neil Young's majestic score to "Dead Man": raw, haunting noise that meanders in and out of focus. Whereas most rock music tells a story, music like this sets a scene, or paints a landscape. This is lonely, barren music that reminds me of driving through Wyoming: nothing but open country, malevolent skies, and yourself.

"Mezofoldi Kosmosz" surprised me, and all to the good. It's not as good as the "Dead Man" soundtrack, of course, but given that this is a first solo effort, I can't wait to hear what this guy does next.
Check it out HERE.

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