Fragmented Frequencies – 1st April 09

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Possibly the greatest thing Fragmented Frequencies has ever heard ever, in the history of ever, is track five of the new Syringe Stick Up Mamma (Who Says Records/ Dual Plover) album. Whilst the rest of the album is an erratic blast of unhinged politically incorrect at times verbally abusive socially conscious hip hop, with breathless and stupidly fast rhymes over inventive, dense at times break-core beats, I Shit On Ya! takes everything to an entirely new level. It’s a level so dangerous and inventive that the air up there is so thin that few ever get there, and those that do can’t remain there for too long. It starts normal enough (or at least normal in the context of this album which anywhere else would be very very weird), with a bit of Eastern European accented ranting over industrial 4/4 beats, yet then the real ranting begins, the music stops, almost like it gives up, knowing that it can’t even begin to compete with the genius that is about to follow. Or flow. It’s a torrent of abuse for the next eight and a half minutes, a’ cappella ranting as the MC lets all those pent up grudges out, and it’s like opening the floodgates as we get swamped until we can barely breathe. ‘Cunts who are too weak to burn bridges, I shit on ya,’ ‘anyone who’s name starts with the letter a I shit on ya,’ he rails. Yet this is a far reaching totally insane and unfocussed rant so everything is fair game. You dobbed on him in kindergarten? Guess what? He remembers and shits on ya. No one is spared, even the ‘sissy’ who turned off the sound on the mic because he was spitting at the Empress the other week, or a pizza place who doesn’t put enough spinach on his pizzas. That’s right, he shits on ya. By about five minutes his flow gets scattered, he loses track, tangents away and any semblance that this was ever music, and not just a random potty mouthed unhinged lunatic is gone. What makes it so great is of course that it’s hilarious and wrong, but mostly because there’s no censorship or polish. This is not studio trickery or even rehearsal. This is straight up pure improvisation. This music is blood pouring from a wound and no one’s bothering with band aids.

Speaking of wounds, ACMI seem intent on picking the scab and reminding us of the demise of Melbourne’ s best record store a few years back. Synesthesia is a periodic experimental music and audio visual night held in Studio One up until the 18th of May. Over the coming months artists like Qua, Jean Poole and Ang Fang Quartet will be featured, though the series kicks off with colourful electro pop of Mink Engine on the 9th of April whilst the 23rd sees local AV laptop collective Outpost team up with digital messiah Robin Fox who will dust off his oscilloscope for the performance. The best thing about all these performances is that they’re free.

After being subjected to the traversty of Queens of the Stone Age you may be surprised to learn that desert rock is alive and well. The desert of course being the Sahara. Tinariwen are one of the most soulful and inspiring bands around, melding an incredible back-story with some of the most distinctive and evocative blues tinged music you will ever hear. Fragmented Frequencies can’t hear their music without being transported back to the Sahara. They’re in town playing at Hamer Hall tonight.

Of course the Melbourne International Jazz Festival is in town from the 26th of April and this year there’s some interesting internationals. Highlights include improv legend Cecil Taylor, guitarist Bill Frisell, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline (who’s doing a free improv show with Oren Ambarchi and will be interviewed in these very pages) and Ornette’s old bass player Charlie Haden. ACMI are coming to the party with a Jazz on Screen season that includes Sun Ra’s Space is the Place, the making of Charlie Haden’s recent country foray Rambling Boy, the portrait of iconic trumpeter Chet Baker in Let’s Get Lost, Jazz on A Summers Day and the excellent Mancini scored seedy noir masterpiece A Touch Of Evil, from that great man Orson Welles.

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