Friday, April 21, 2006

Balanescu Quartet - "Possesed" [1992] @ 256 (Great string quartet Kraftwerk Tribute... and something else)

Maybe you don't like Kraftwerk, but you'll like this album. Maybe you don't like classical music, but you'll like this album. Maybe you like few things in this life, but you'll still like this album. Why am I so sure? Because the performance is impecable and because the original music was trully catchy although a bit too primitive for our contemporary, sample drenched ears. But this album..... ahh..... this album is techno pop gone the weird way.
Kraftwerk were indeed pioneers of robotic music, although I have always believed that the robot attitude was a disguise to tell us exactly the oposite. The man machine is a warning, so humankind awakes and stop acting as a collective blind automat. But that's sociology and music is what concern us here so...

I know that in the last 20 years an epidemics of string quartets and even more strange pseudo classical contraptions have invaded the planet. We have the Tool String Quartet Tribute, We have Apocaliptyca playing Metallica, We have (thanks God) Soldier String Quartet playing Elliot Sharp, we have Quintorigo in Italy doing a kind of Pop no one else dares to do, we have the omnipresence of Kronos... yes, we have all kind of classical hybrids trying to merge one and for all the Classical and the New. I am a fusion freak (all kind of fusion, not only jazz-rock) so I believe they all have succeded in one way or the other.

What makes this Balanescu Quartet album so special though is that no one in his right mind would think about a re-interpreting a Techno-Pop band with a classical string quartet. Only Alexander balanescu is crazy enough or bold ennough.

The result is superb. It makes us think about what makes a song become a Good Song.
It is good when it sounds great played by a full orchestra, or played at your aunt's piano, or by yourself half drunk at the beach, or by the local band at the next corner's bar. If it sounds good in all those ocassions, then it is good.

That's the lesson Balanescu and his friends taught us.

What an idea.

Keep Listening!!!


Anonymous said...

H: this is fantastic. when i went to my favorite coffee shop in SF,
i'd see david harrington walking to his studio near GG Park.
spoke a few times and heard some practicing. turned my head around
for this kind of music. With that, Thanks & Cheers!

Drunk Santa said...

Hello Herbalist,

Hope you don't mind, but you might like to listen to Terre Thaemlitz and the album Die Roboter Rubato. Kraftwerk tunes played in a classical piano style. This was a big hit in Germany. Apparently.
I don't remember where i found the link, but it's still working at the time of this post.

Drunk Santa

bongolong said...

This is very cool! Very nice settings for these pieces. When "rock" music is approached by "classical" music it takes a very clever arranger; a great example is Frank Zappa's "Yellow Shark", his music is brought stunningly to life by "Ensemble Modern". And here too, this music cleverly and intelligently arranged.

Nice post and nice blog!!

ElectroBlog Ro said...

excelent album, the model is absolutely superb :)

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