Tuesday, November 13, 2007

[Chamellows|Rat Hearts]時光匣子

Album:Rat Hearts
Release Date:2006
Label:Fonal Records
Genre: Rock
Style: Folk Rock, Experimental


Universal Goodwill (2:21)
Siggur (3:02)
End Of All Fear (1:27)
San Diego Rat Heart (2:07)
Satunkaari-James (0:52)
Horsepuke Carpark Snow-White (2:28)
Summerfun (3:26)
Week End (2:36)
Nepalm (3:02)
Backyard Stardust (2:27)
Rooftops (1:50)
Flash Light Beat Heart (1:52)
Snaks Whistle Boat (3:19)
I´m Talking (2:59)
Idiot Light (0:19)
New Age Manifest (1:54)

Chamellows (which means ‘Sleeping Bags’ in case you were wondering…) is the collaborative project of Laura Naukkarinen (better known as Lau Nau) and the visual artist Mikko Kuorinki. Those of you who know Naukkarinen’s work for American label Locust will no doubt already be fidgeting with anticipation, ‘Kuutarha’ her debut album, is widely accepted as being the holy grail of Finnish folk music (Sami Sanpakkila of Fonal referenced it as one of his top Finnish records of all time!). This anthology of songs is something of an ‘early works’ collection, with some tracks dating back ten years, grabbing odd tunes from limited 7”s and long forgotten gems which were no doubt gathering dust and mould on an old 4-track tape. At no point however do I get the feeling when listening to ‘Rat Hearts’ that the material has dated, maybe that’s because it possesses that creepy Finish charm we’ve all fallen in love with in the last couple of years, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this had been recorded ten days ago, let alone ten years. Of course as we’ve heard with so many Fonal releases now, the duo manage somehow to combine styles as if they are totally unaware of current musical practices, blending elements of punk and new wave with the overriding sound of freak-folk you might associate with Fonal’s poster-girl Islaja. It’s not for the faint hearted of course – but tracks like ‘Siggur’ sounds like it could almost be a pop song playing on a broken transistor radio piped into 1974 and ‘Summerfun’ sounds like it really should have been a kids TV theme in the mid 1980s. All this pop excess is as always interspersed with improvised insanity; the Kemialliset Ystävät -lite synth/guitar schizophrenia of ‘Horsepuke Carpark Snow-white’ or ‘Flash Light Beat Heart’ but that’s what makes Fonal so damned attractive isn’t it? The uncompromising attitude, the ability to make pop records sound so peculiar and the fact they don’t seem to mind babbling away in that beautiful alien language, unaware that most of their listeners can’t understand a word. ‘Rat Hearts’ is a rewarding and challenging experience and that’s the only way I can explain it – long live Fonal!

Chamellows("睡袋"的意思)是Lau Nau和視覺藝術傢Mikko Kuorinki共同的組合。我 想喜歡Kuutarha的人一定會毫不猶豫地找來Rat Hearts聼一聼。但是,如果與Kuutarha相比較的話,我會說我更喜歡那張在美國厰牌Locust發行的CD,而不是這張發行于芬蘭著名厰牌 Fonal的專輯。我覺得有點諷刺的是出色的芬蘭民謠竟然出產于美國厰牌,而這張出自正宗芬蘭音樂厰牌的專輯竟然是用英語演唱,而且風格完全脫離了芬蘭的 清冷氣質,有一些英倫、一些嬉皮、一些爵士,總之顯得有些不倫不類。

Kuutarha是芬蘭民謠中的優秀作品,連Sami Sanpakkila(ES)也把它視作非常重要的芬蘭音樂CD。這張Rat Hearts是一些早期作品的合集,有幾個track的歷史甚至能追溯到十年前,我們可以想象出曾經使用的老錄音帶,然而Rat Hearts曲風卻不Lo-fi。也許由於這個時間原因,我們似乎能夠理解,也不會感到非常驚訝了。Siggur一副流行歌曲的調調,或者還是叫它流行民 謠好了。像一個破舊的電晶體radio發出的聲音,倒是頗有點上世紀七十年代的味道。更令我冒汗的是Summerfun,簡直像80年代的兒童電視節目, 開頭一個美國人的説唱,甚至讓我懷疑是不是自己下載錯了。

Rat Hearts還是好聽的,如果你僅僅把它當作懷舊版獨立女聲的話。Fonal貌似完全不在乎音樂的時代演變,喜歡以有些怪異的民謠作爲主綫,混入punk、new wave等等其他一些元素,讓人聯想起Fonal的招牌女歌手Islaja。Rat Hearts中所 有流行元素的運用散步著即興演奏的瘋狂,Lau Nau似乎在展示著對流行音樂、肥皂文化不妥協的態度,甚至是反諷的初衷,不知道Kemialliset Ystävät(芬蘭一個著名的另類民謠團體)在Horsepuke Carpark Snow-white和Flash Light Beat Heart中有點好似精神分裂一樣的助陣演奏是否能證明這點。

對於Rat Hearts的過於苛刻,大概全是由於對Kuutarha的摯愛。但也因爲對Fonal的喜愛,我願意將Rat Hearts解釋為充滿著向經驗主義挑戰的勇氣。專輯的封面封底很可愛,80年代的影像,似乎讓我們又看到了逐漸遠去的童年。

No comments: