Monday, March 27, 2006

Villalobos = ?

There is lots of good discussion about Ricardo Villalobos here, in which he's compared to Autechre, free jazz, and a host of other people and things. I'm not feeling the Autechre comparisons at all, admittedly because at first thought, I tend to think of Ae as sparse and lush ("Amber") more than a succession of random tics ("Confield"). I can ease into the comparison if one considers the rarer occasions when they lay down a more conventional beat (by Ae standard), and slowly pile more and more shit onto it (the "Basscadet" single, and more appropriately, "Chiastic Slide". So I guess it's strange that I can't get on board with the Autechre -> Villalobos line of thinking, since "Chiastic Slide" is their most minimal, danceable record, oh, and it's my favourite too).

I hear a great deal of jazz in Villalobos' work -- the vast sprawl, the laid back groove (yes, I'm massively generalizing here). More specifically, "Achso" brilliantly combines stripped, simple rhythms with improvised, almost random cracks of percussion. The sum of these parts reminds of John Coltrane's "India" with it's droning oud and locked-groove first bass (the "simple") with the second, spidery, improvised bass (the "complex"). I hear a lot more of breakbeat rave (e.g. Messiah, "Temple of Dreams" among billions of circa 1992 examples) than Autechre in Villalobos' schizo rhythms. If I think about this stuff too hard I start convincing myself that bits of everything sound like bits of everything else ... drowning under the weight of the topic, I guess. Anyway, Autechre -> Villalobos doesn't click for me.


Unrelated: everything I've heard by Lindstrom and Prins Thomas has rocked my world. If LCD Soundsystem were as good as their reviews claim they are, they would sound somewhat like Lindstrom and Prins Thomas. Never mind a bunch of slack motherfucker disco rock with the occasional squonk tossed in when shit is meant to get "wild". I'm talking about blissed out psychedelic funk epics.

No comments: