From Budapest comes Gosheven (Bálint Szabó) and his second full release, Bivaq (Opal Tapes; CD/DL). In these dozen tracks the Hungarian sound bender brings a fresh perspective to electronic music. Do You Think We Can Escape starts with a breathy spoken word, a man talking aloud about the possibilities of escaping over a light drone and other noises. With a pipe organ a forsaken tone plumes with a ticking percussion which dissipates into pixels in the end, leading into Finger To The Moon. In yet another quasi dirge, the wind instruments sulk and retreat. The next track sounds like the overture of a song by The Who, the title escapes me, but it’s one of those golden oldies. It doesn’t really matter though it has a layer like one of those lengthy 70’s rock opus’, maybe it’s Baba O’Riley? It’s cooly detached from anything really rock n’ roll yet brings aural knowledge to the fore.
Elsewhere there are essences of sci-fi b-movie themes, a hint of prog/folk rock and a post-post hippy dippy coating that’s kind of irresistible. There’s a hope in his harmonies, it’s heartfelt and raw, heard most definitively on I Cried In My Mask. There is a lot of similarity in chord structure on the three middle tracks here, which makes them more like a melange of emotions. It’s like trying to redefine the whole sound of shoegaze, with technology, shaping edges rather than leaving the blur and mystery. Say It Six Times is like a jazz quintet tuning up, suddenly taking on a new psychedelic split personality. The title track Bivaq is off-key, worbly and otherwise an oddball. It’s partly a Doors bootleg until all disparate elements find a formulation, thanks to the much needed percussion. Once de-tangled, it’s an arrangement in the truest sense.
Gazing At The Fire opens like something reminiscent of an old school campfire song, again, taking its sweet time to open to a man stating “the world doesn’t end in turmoil, but silently without a sound“. That’s truly a deep thought right there. A male voice trills like a howling wolf, as the speaker talks about revolution. The heart of this track is forseeing a future of change. The Casiotone stylings of It’s Hard To Keep Up With My Soul is as cute as it is frustrating, the pitchy tone and other effects become more and more blurry and nonsensical until a cyclical sound leads to the finale, Out Of This World. The obsidian track oddly reminds me of the late 80’s Swiss studio darlings Army of Lovers for some odd reason. It’s unexpected, but the vocal has a certain glint in its eye, along with the off and on rock tropes kit-bashed with broken electronica. It also, somehow even more oddly recalls the vaudevillian drama of one of the final tracks on the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, Super Heroes (I kid you not – play these side by side). Another race has taken over in this strangely attractive final three minutes. This record is an odd entry to our diverse world of sights and sounds, a fascinating intersection of genres for our modern times. So kids, “don’t dream it, be it!”
PS: Oh, and that coverart by Gergely Ofner, wow, a perfect marriage of with the sound at hand. If Evel Knievel had a baby with Anime – there it is! It’s like a candyland dream.