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I H8 CAMERA Volume 1 Jezus Factory (2009)

The artists featured on 'I H8 Camera - Volume 1' are as follows, Rudy Trouvé, Elko Blijweert, Mark Meyers, Craig Ward, Jeroen Stevens, Aarich Jespers, Pascal Deweze, Mauro Pawlowski, Bert Lenaerts, Teuk Henri, Heyme Langbroek, Miguel Sosa, Ephraim Cielen, Adrian van Aken, Yuri van Uffelen, Thomas Noppe, Michiel Thijs, and Frans van Isacker.

Of course I only know this courtesy of the Free From collective's My Space site and in truth given the gorgeous cacophony of much of the music here, you'd be hard pushed to identify who did what anyway.

Aside from some feasible high brow references to the likes of Webbern, Stravinsky, Varese and Stockhausen etc., this 2009 Belgian release sounds a lot like The Mothers of Invention's 'Help I'm A Rock' from the 'Freak Out' album. And while Zappa concocted a heady gumbo of percussion based cacophony with reprised themes and stop-start passages with voice collages, I H8 Camera take this a step further by all but working their way though a three part suite of just under an hour's duration.

And the result is like the curate's egg, good in parts. There's an undoubted creative undertow and plenty of musical percussion underpinning the dissonant horns, the angular guitar parts and keyboards stabs that form part of a complex but accessible opening section. What is impressive is the notion of an elongated jam that given the spontaneous nature of its making, magically transforms a slowly changing landscape of bluesy grooves and vibes through clever use of layered instrumentalism and some rapped out 'stream of consciousness' vocal screams.

Ultimately, the whole relentless jamming juggernaut is brought to attention by the occasional 1-2-3-4 intro shout. The whole glorious 59 minutes caboodle shifts from a combustible Free From feel via nuanced Jazz rock and even a bluesy vibe to an edgy instrumental feel of Arcade Fire.

All the time there's room for some wild percussion - all manner of pots and pans - distorted guitar tones, strangled sax, and 'out there' keyboards parts. And overall there's enough adventure and organic spirit about the whole thing to keep our interest and follow the snake like fractured melody lines.

In fact only the last quarter becomes a little wearing as the ensemble trade expansive jamming for a more claustrophobic Eno/Fripp ( circa 'No Pussyfooting') approach with linear synth lines over some crashing cymbals. The result is a compromise as what promised to be a bombastic explosion of spontaneity actually ends up limping over the line.

Put simply, the project goes on too long, but for the most part there are enough spontaneous grooves, oblique solo's and all manner of atonal exploration to satisfy the adventurous rock fans palate.


Review by Pete Feenstra

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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