Various – Musica Discordia (Gi’iwa)

Posted in Reviews 2006 by - November 08, 2006


 

Crikey.

Okay, let’s recap: Gi’iwa made a huge impact with their debut compilation Schizm, al album voted best of 2004 by isratrance users. Admittedly most of those isra bods were probably trying to look different and underground and cool, but that’s not quite the whole story.

Looking back, 2004 was the year that Infected Mushroom really started to lose it; the year Skazi began to grow into what he is now; of Party Pooper getting played left right and centre, and more dodgy UNR remixes than you could shake a glowstick at. Gi’iwa offered something different: genuinely psychedelic, ruthlessly underground, flamboyantly funny and more to the point, we needed it. We lapped it up like starved dogs, sending the album itself off into the realms of the long-deleted far before it deserved.

Musica Discordia comes in at a point where the scene has, again, changed. The whole Suomi/freestyle thing is more commonplace these days, and broadly speaking we’re doing what we do this year in front of a backdrop that’s decidedly oldskool. It may be partially down to these two facts that Discordia occasionally sounds postmodern; a tricky term, but one that we’ll use here to mean ‘weird for the sake of being weird’ – which is what has a tendency to happen here.

Hired Goonz do incredible stuff with their two offerings, Sebastian’s Dildo being my new favourite track of all time ever ever, and Seatangle having some of the most fun, intelligently dancefloor-oriented moments of the year. In other places, the album wavers: Spiritus’ Billy’s Bootcamp loses its way too many times, and Sattel Battle’s contributions would do better with less movement: it’s as though he’s trying to alienate you with his check-how-opaque-these-sounds-are inflexibility.

This may, of course, be the point – but it’s firmly in the territory of the postmodern, and an example of how a multitude of ideas can slide gracefully into a fluid, atmospheric track is exemplified far better in Neuron Compost’s La Forest Femme. Alrune & Baest’s McGuyver is another highpoint, littered with samples from a certain TV series, heaps of changes, and a squelchy underfoot vibe.

It all gets topped off with ECT’s Jolly’s Return, a stunning piece of music that builds effortlessly up to a sample that shouts “I am jolly”, after which it’s into a musical melange that’s best described as the bastard son of Rick James and The Aphex Twin.

Musica Discordia is unlikely to cause the storm that Schizm did: as I said, the world is different now, and the fact that most of us are now, to one extent or another, more familiar with freestyle sounds means you’re unlikely to have your brain sliced in two by what’s on offer. But if we’re looking at what this album is, rather than what it isn’t (which I read somewhere is what a review is supposed to do), then it’s still a belting purchase.

Gi’iwa are true to their roots here, with more restrained tracks leading the way in the evolution of the freestyle sound. Top marks, and apologies for using the word “freestyle” so much.

 

 

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