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Charlemagne Palestine + Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra – ggrrreeebbbaaammmnnnuuuccckkkaaallloooww!!!

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Charlemagne Palestine + Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra - ggrrreeebbbaaammmnnnuuuccckkkaaallloooww!!!Boasting one of the more amusingly unpronounceable album titles of recent years, ggrrreeebbbaaammmnnnuuuccckkkaaallloooww!!! puts on record the performance of Charlemagne Palestine, Alexander Tucker and Daniel O’Sullivan (of Guapo, Ulver and Æthenor) at Café Oto in London during Palestine’s two-night residency there in June 2013.

As it turns out, the title is an onomatopoeic rendition (see also Palestine’s equally evocative and slightly silly Ssingggg Sschlllingg Sshpppingg on Idiosyncratic) of some of the sounds that the trio emit across two sides of vinyl, which are also graced by the presence of a virtual orchestra of farmyard animals mooing and baaing their accompaniment to rollicking piano rounds and an accreting, droning hum of electronics. While such sound samples could be considered either arch or trite (perhaps both at the same time), Palestine and The Time Machine Orchestra (as O’Sullivan and Tucker dubbed this particular iteration of Grumbling Fur for this gig) pull of the difficult trick of making them sound almost… natural; or if not that, then at least in the right place at the right time.

There’s some orgasmic moaning going on among the thunderous string thumps and rattling percussive throb which develops across the bulk of the second side; the ambiance in the hallowed halls of Oto must have got pretty steamy by this point as it was filled with the sounds of a Japanese orgy in full swing (as it were), and when it comes — ahem — halfway through the track, the collective explosion of sound is suitably ejaculatory. Their energies expended quite breathlessly, the trio’s slow slide down into reverberant shimmer and the hushed breathing of the crowd make for an atmospheric conclusion as the occasional cough and scrap blends seamlessly with the final dying sing-a-ma-jig embers of the set.

ggrrreeebbbaaammmnnnuuuccckkkaaallloooww!!! is one of those live albums which make it a real shame not to have been at the gig it sets in vinyl forever (or until the scratches mount up), conjuring a piquant sense of time, place and the musicians involved.

-Richard Fontenoy-

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