Archive for January, 2011

Nature: go out and see it… while you still can…

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10, 2011 by Bruno

Thomas Feiner and Anywhen – The Opiates

Posted in Album reviews on January 9, 2011 by Bruno

I know, I know. I promised you a top ten of albums I discovered in 2010. Well, the best album of 2010 was Jamie Lidells Compass, with instant classics as ‘Your sweet boom‘, ‘Gipsy blood’ and ‘Coma Cameleon‘. But since all that is very last year, lets not spend money on old rope. Well, actually lets. Best discovery during these Christmas holidays was Thomas Feiners exquisite The Opiates. Let this be the first of a regular stream of album reviews.

The Opiates by Anywhen was first released in 2001. It started as a band effort, but during the recording process, the band fell apart. Thomas Feiner finished it, giving it the richly produced sound that we will try and sell to you in the minutes to come. Strangely, the album wasn’t picked up by the public. Until one David Sylvian lay his hands on it and re-released the album on his Samadhisound label.

The album opens with a comforting canapé of strings, dragging you into what is an absolute gem of a love song: The Siren Songs. What if love is the greatest damn liar of all, would you trust me with your life?

This is classical pop. This is a love song, so dark, so sad, so intoxicating, so bewildering, so enwrapping, so disarming. This is Scott Walker, this is David Sylvian who grew some hair on his balls. I want to drown in her precious arms, I want to listen to the siren songs.

The whole album is drenched in classical orchestration, although this ship is just the vehicle for the absolute star: Feiners voice. Be it the haunting crooning on Dinah and the beautiful blue – originaly released in a far more rockier version on Anywhens sophomore album, or the gentle pleading on Scars and glasses, where the orchestra takes five and yields the spotlight to piano and guitar.

Postcard is Portishead as Portishead should sound, the pizzicato crepuscule only hunted away by the woodwinds halfway the song. All this tripedy hopedy clinky clanky magic opens up to a choir and a distorted guitar battling it out with a muted trumpet and the Warsaw Radio Symphony Orchestra at full strenght. The winding paths of this musical Oz will blow the wind right out of your lungs and I must confess it’s been a while since I’ve been left so bemused by a song. Just a postcard from ground level and below.

Next up Yonderhead slows things right down and hypnotizes you with an intro carpeted with piano, strings and woodwinds. Until Feiner deep baritone breaks the enchantment. Pick me up, animate me. Hook me up, and ignite me.

Mesmerene is a jumpy, nervy demonic incantation, vaguely reminiscent of Crime and the city solutions The Adversary. If I could do more than hold you, If I could do more than watch your tears. I wish we could name this place: ‘Oblivion’ and then be on our way.

Toy starts of with another neo-classical intro, with hobo and clarinet taking the spotlight, while For Now, a Feiner solo effort included on this re-issue, is a piano lament on par with Jacques Brels ‘Voir un ami pleurer’. The album closes with All that numbs you, a quintessential Feiner flagship, hovering above the common ground where Scott Walker, Nick Cave, classical music and jazz meet. I cannot praise this album enough. Get it!