Thursday, August 26, 2004

down to the gristle

ain't no reason to stop
'cause we can take it back to the beatbox

I wanna be a part of it… New Bjork, New Bjork! Her new ‘vocals only’ album, ‘Medulla’ (which means ‘marrow’ apparently) prompted yesterday’s screening of The Inner or Deep Part of an Animal or Plant Structure, the Making of Medúlla (breathe). Bjork peeps packed Pianos and unfortunately I didn’t have this on hand cause it would have been his name-o in an NY-minuto. Hipster-heads blocked the subtitles but I did catch this tidbit: Bjork didn’t know who Rahzel was before recording this album! And neither did a lot of her fans! Rahzel’s rhythms drew gasps of “Is he doing ALL the sounds?” Before I ‘dis’-continue I better admit that I never heard of this dude, Dokaka. “What’s his style?” you ask…Muppets Jamming!

The last beatbox featured in the film is Shlomo, a very talented dude you’ve seen on a commercial... but isn’t his style too close to Rahzel’s? As much as Rahzel learned from Doug E. Fresh, Rah has developed his own sounds and style… Shlomo has to do more than speed it up for a d&b sound (although I do like his imitation of ‘rave speaker effects’). I’ll let these cats argue over the finer points.
Although not featured in the film, Kelis and e.e. cummings are listed as contributors to “Medulla.” Only Bjork can put together those combos and have it not seem forced. The film documents how committed she is to pure musical ideas and how focused she is when conducting her many collaborators. In one moment of the film she mentions listening to Swans when she was in her ‘heavy’ mood and I didn’t hear anybody in the audience chuckle…as they shouldn’t.