Fuck Buttons


(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Street Horrrsing (2008), 7.5/10
Tarot Sport (2009), 7/10
Slow Focus (2013), 6.5/10
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Bristol's duo Fuck Buttons (Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power) debuted as the English equivalent of Black Dice, purveyors of the combination of electronic noise and arcane melody. While the idea was not terribly original, the implementation on Street Horrrsing (ATP, 2008) was flawless. Bright Tomorrow was the revelation single, but its disco beat and its humble church-like organ melody were misleading. Their aesthetic manifesto, the ten-minute Sweet Love For Planet Earth, is different things at different layers: ambient piano music, crackling guitar drone, pulsing industrial reverb. The latter evolves into a sort of heavy-metal riff before a distorted abominable voice starts vomiting (not quite singing). The rest is a well-groomed hell. The ten-minute Okay Let's Talk About Magic is little more than a jetstream of distorted electronics that mutates slowly, occasionally colliding with a wind of desperate voices. The same kind of abrasive drone constitutes the backbone for the nine-minute threnody Race You To My Bedroom/Spirit Rise, that resurrects Suicide's sinister/anthemic rituals minus the neurotic beat. A frenzied but irregular rhythm mauls the piercing drone of the nine-minute Colours Move while the organ intones a macabre hymn in preparation for the delirious shrieks that emerge from the darkness. The shortest piece, Ribs Out, is a surreal novelty with tribal drums and a monkey-like scream that bounces back and forth: the court jester entertaining the king while the guests of the orgy are being slaughtered. (Translation by/ Tradotto da Antonio Buono)

Il duo di Bristol Fuck Buttons (Andrew Hung e Benjamin John Power) si presenta come l’equivalente inglese dei <A HREF= http://www.scaruffi.com/vol7/blackdic.html >Black Dice</A>, fornitori di una combinazione di rumore elettronico e melodia arcana. Per quanto l’idea non sia terribilmente originale, l’esecuzione su <B>Street Horrrsing</B> (ATP, 2008) è impeccabile.

<I>Bright Tomorrow</I> è il singolo rivelazione, ma il suo battito disco e la sua umile melodia di organo quasi da chiesa sono ingannevoli. Il loro manifesto estetico, <I>Sweet Love For Planet Earth</I>, di dieci minuti, è un insieme di cose diverse a livelli diversi: musica ambient per piano, un drone scricchiolante di chitarra, un pulsante riverbero industrial. Quest’ultimo evolve in una sorta di riff di heavy metal prima che un abominevole voce distorta inizi a vomitare (piuttosto che cantare). Il resto è un inferno ben architettato.

<I>Okay Let's Talk About Magic</I>, sempre di dieci minuti, è poco più che un unico flusso di elettronica contorta che muta lentamente, di quando in quando entrando in collisione con un vento di voci disperate. Lo stesso genere di drone abrasivo costituisce la colonna vertebrale per la trenodia di novi minuti <I>Race You To My Bedroom/Spirit Rise</I> che riesuma i rituali sinistri/anthemici dei <A HREF= http://www.scaruffi.com/vol4/suicide.html >Suicide</A> privi della pulsazione nevrotica. Un ritmo convulso ma irregolare bistratta il lacerante drone di <I>Colours Move</I>, di nove minuti, mentre l’organo intona un inno macabro prima degli urli che sorgono dall’oscurità. Il pezzo più breve, <I>Ribs Out</I>, è una novelty surreale con percussioni tribali scossa da versi di scimmia: il giullare di corte che intrattiene il re mentre gli ospiti dell’orgia vengono trucidati.

Tarot Sport (ATP, 2009) is a spectacular compromise between atmospheric soundpainting and rhythmic expressionism. Olympians melds a relentless techno locomotive and a majestic organ melody. The gallopping Flight Of The Feathered Serpent, enveloped in a melodic distortion, represents perhaps the best fusion of techno and shoegazing. The Lisbon Maru is a simple rhythmic progression protracted long enough to be swallowed into a glacial distortion. The more sophisticated Surf Solar blends a galactic drone, a fibrillating polyrhythm and processed voices in a seamless disco orgy.
The shorter pieces tend to be even more inventive. The fractured android melody of Rough Steez is laid bare over a trotting syncopated beat. The android noise and samba-like syncopation of Phantom Limb decay into a disorienting helicopter-like beat from which Space Mountain emerges: it's another shamelessly propulsive bullet train. The dazzling elaboration of elementary ideas and the never self-indulgent rhythmic verve keep the Fuck Buttons racing against reason, even though this album is less cryptic and awe-inspiring than the debut.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Emanuele Marinacci )

Tarot Sport (ATP, 2009) Š uno spettacolare compromesso tra il soundpainting d'atmosfera e l'espressionismo ritmico. Olympians fonde insieme un'inarrestabile locomotiva techno e una maestosa melodia d'organo. La sfrenata Flight Of The Feathered Serpent, avvolta in una distorsione melodica, Š forse il pi— riuscito esperimento di fusione di techno e shoegaze. The Lisbon Maru Š una semplice progressione ritmica protratta fino al punto di essere inghiottita in una distorsione glaciale. La pi— sofisticata Surf Solar fa confluire un drone galattico, un fibrillante poliritmo e voci processate elettronicamente in un'omogenea orgia disco.
I brani pi— brevi riescono ad essere persino pi— creativi. La melodia androide spezzata di Rough Steez viene giustapposta a un beat veloce e sincopato. Il noise androide e il sincopato quasi-samba di Phantom Limb si spengono in un ritmo spiazzante che rimanda al rumore di un elicottero, da cui emerge Space Mountain, un'altro treno ad alta velocit… lanciato a passo parossistico. L'elaborazione sorprendente di idee elementari e la mai autoindulgente verve ritmica sostengono i Fuck Buttons nella corsa contro la ragione, per quanto questo album sia meno criptico e intimorente del debutto.

Slow Focus (ATP, 2013) opens with the thundering, torrential drumming of the eight-minute Brainfreeze in the manner of orgiastic noise that, after taking a breath, resumes with even more terrifying force, finally ending into distorted electronic drones when the word "percussive" has lost any meaning. That unfortunately is the peak of the album. There are countless ideas that pop up through out the other pieces, from the dissonant chamber music with sped-up techno arpeggios and a monks choir of Year Of The Dog to the bouncing videogame noise and skittering hip-hop beats of Prince's Prize; but several of the longer compositions are based on repeating the same pattern over and over again. The eight-minute The Red Wing loops a hip-hop breakbeat over an abrasive electric discharge (like a digital-hardcore remix of Suicide), an idea that could work if it weren't hijacked by a tedious new-age melody. Something similar happens in the ten-minute closer Hidden Xs, whose carillon melody is repeated endlessly even though eventually doubled by a distorted keyboard. Sentients introduces the gothic them by matching a heavy industrial march with ominous organ lines worthy of a horror film of a century earlier. Even more sci-fi and horror overtones pervade the ten-minute Stalker thanks to a martial android rhythm and a soaring electronic melody. Benjamin Power and Andrew Hung have become specialists in machine music that is very corporal, although not quite danceable, but sometimes technical skills end up draining the creative energy. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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