Me, Claudius | Good Diz, Bad Bird
In an edition of forty tapes a new UK label offers its interesting wares in the form of abstract piano and other non-confirmative sound effects. The tape opens with the title track, Good Diz, Bad Bird. Opening with false start piano chords I realize this with not be a typical melody from the jump. What sound like glitchy digital interruptions is likely an editing process of quick cuts of an otherwise harmonic work, broken. Fueled then by funky percussive contortions that tie the ends like a game of ping pong (or in this case, perhaps ‘Pong’). And the intermittent silences are effective, pausing everything in its tracks, offering only glimpses of the whole. Tape reels are rewound, slowed, in a drunken set of alter(c)ations. It’s almost a minimal cross section of Christian Marclay and DJ Donna Summer in one super-crunchy bite, fighting away anything normative.
When you flip the tape you have Lifestyle 1 and 2. The setting becomes a bit more low key and mysterious, almost cloaked in terms of timbre. Me, Claudius (“an experimental musician living in a village in Southern England“) offers repetitive hip-hop adjacent beats that are succinct, mechanical, almost happenstance, with watery effects in the chasms. The experiments with rough textures are intact, though it somehow remains warm, yet awkward and knowingly repetitive – a fusion of well hidden jazz and industrial flair. Overall this has a youthful spirit with a sense of reserved angst, of lust, of wonder, of wanderlust. The breaks are raw, cyclically tripping over themselves – the atmosphere is thick with an air of impending defenestration. Good Diz, Bad Bird is one of those curious records that embraces the complex relationship between harshness and beauty in a fresh way.