Wednesday, March 25, 2009

lablaza by dieter schöön

Dieter Schöön freaks me out -- not necessarily a bad thing. There's so much going on in his newest offering Lablaza (available in Europe and iTunes), at first listen it's a bit overwhelming and decidedly weird. My synapses just don't fire that quickly, I guess.

I realize that I'm pretty much screwed when it comes to a proper review. There are so many influences that without some sort of touchstone, describing Schöön's music and genre is like playing Scrabble with no vowels. Would you call me on it if I said his genre was "xzcwqpr?1"

Fine then. For the record, that's the last time I play Scrabble with you. How about influences? Paris-based Swede Schöön has all the charm of fellow country-man Jens Lekman -- should he have been trapped in a blender with Mugison and a scratched-up copy of Mellow Gold. There's a lot of almosts: The almost folk "Jethead," the almost chant-like "Lots of Free Shoes but Nowhere to Run" the almost techno "I'll Go There." But there is one absolute: sifting though the hip-hop beats, tweaked-slacker vocals, and aggressive genre shifts, these songs are, without a doubt, the singular cracked-vision world view of one artist. Absolutely.

Let's get the dirty word out of the way, shall we? This is an experimental album. Yeah, I know, I don't like experimental music either. It makes me crave aspirin and a strong cup of coffee. Or better yet, earplugs. It's a term that gets a lot of bad press, and most of the time, rightly so.

But now, the tides are changing. Schöön has created an experimental project that's almost as much fun to listen to as it must be to play. Freaky.

1. Triple word score!

mp3: "I'll Go There" by Dieter Schöön

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