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Behind the Barber
CD Album 2004 | Silber 033
11 tracks, 52 minutes
$12 ($18 international, $5 download (256 kbps, ~94 megs))
: Listen to the track Chi Town Cub
: More info
Track Listing:
Do the Slim Jim, Slits Arandas, Autotelic, Quiela (OVO Sub), Starling (Aleph Dub), The Guarantee, Burning Light (Nudge Rub), Chi Town Cub, King Ben D, Chicalote, Fake Tan

Bubble-wrapped in dub textures, a dense sound that seems to exhale and inhale in a variety of ways. In through the sitar, out through the accordion…in through the electronic iron lung, out through the trumpet. Time spent in mixing and maximimizing the inputs of the 16 listed contributors has muddied the tracks somewhat to a sonic equivalent of brown, but brownian music may just be this year’s techno black. I actually dug the spikes and clashes of Real Hair more, but this is a murky, surprisingly beaty album at times with a lot of hues to it. At its best it approaches a sort of Art Ensemble of Electronica. The abundance of synthesizers here is never smart-bomb precise, never cold and calculated, but warm and more arbitrary. The vocals are more confident and torchy when they appear, which is not often enough! “Slits Arandas” is one hell of a journey with prominent hornplay.  “Autotelic” ends just as its seems ready to launch into an interesting guitar-led phase. I’m unsure how many of the sweet 16 still live in the same house in Portland, OR but it must be a comfy place. The more you listen to this, the more you will feel at home with it.
~ Thurston Hunger, KFJC

Playing avant-garde music is a tough gig: the fanbase is limited, radio play is doubtful and you're almost certainly going to need a full-time job to make ends meet. Experimental music isn't created with rock stardom in mind. Chicks don't fling themselves on you when you mention that you're a composer. Kids don't line up for your autograph. Arenas don't sell out for one of your live performances. Experimental music is made by individuals who love music, or more often simply love sound, and have a need to explore its limitless potential in the most unusual of ways.
With Behind the Barber, Rollerball explores the unusual but fitting relationship between skronky jazz and droning experimentation. They toy with dub and funk along the way, as well as occasional nods to melodic pop, demonstrating their impressive musicianship and versatility.
The wonderful thing about Behind the Barber is its cohesiveness and consistency. Whether you're spacing out to droning opener "Do the Slim Jim" or bobbing your head to the percussion-heavy electro-pop of "Burning Light (Nudge Rub)", the listening experience makes sense. This isn't one of those far-flung albums that desperately strains to string together a series of divergent genres. Barber is much more involved, twisting genres inside-out as it makes unexpected partners out of differing styles.
"The Guarantee" blasts off into outer-space, recalling Flying Saucer Attack without all the excessively noisy baggage that regularly plagued that band's recordings. Unidentifiable metallic monsters peer from between the towering drones, and occasional electronic howls pierce the murky atmosphere. I'm usually miffed by sprawling, monotonal compositions, but Rollerball keeps things engaging here without resorting to mind-boggling complexities or impossible-to-count tempos.
The mysterious Portland-based outfit make it sound effortless as they tiptoes between genres. On "Starling (Aleph Dub)", Rollerball employ a bit of old-fashioned knob twiddling, and Mae Starr's voice reverberates like many of your favorite dub masters; a gaggle of horns can be heard in the distance as sparse drumming lays out a classic dub beat. "Quiela (Ovo Sub)" features Italian electro-maestros Ovo, who also split a disc with Rollerball in 2002. "Quiela" sounds like an '80s video game console gone haywire, with blips, bleeps and electro-arpeggios creating an extraordinary cacophony. It's probably the furthest-reaching cut of the batch, demonstrating that Rollerball's aural potential hath no boundaries.
The band is at its most bizarre on "Chi toWN Cub". This cut crinkles and cracks through an arrhythmic mixture of backmasked recordings and sloping synthesizers, eventually settling on a drone that slowly spirals into a wall of sound. It's demanding, but doesn't ruthlessly exploit your senses.
The standout piece here is the 16 minute "Slits Arandas". Amanda Mason Wiles and S DeLeon S show off an expressive arsenal of brass chops that dance between free jazz and momentous sheets of sound. Glorious female vocals give the horn players a brief interlude, then explode into a wailing skronk-fest -- a wild departure from the brooding experimental drones. Could this really be the same Rollerball, or has Archie Shepp decided to make a guest sax appearance? It's an intense and magical experience; you'll want to shove life's everyday trials aside and enjoy its all-too-brief out-of-body rollercoaster ride again and again.
When was the last time you listened to something experimental, enjoyed it and understood it? I'm usually left to contemplate what just abused my eardrums, with little consideration for whether the music actually meant something. Unlike many other experimental albums, Behind the Barber won't bore you with too much drone or leave you cringing in anticipation of your next aural flogging; Rollerball has decisive control over its music and presents it in an interesting way. They'll lull you into a state of relaxation, but inject appropriate doses of musical excitement along the way. It's good to hear them returning to form after almost dropping off the map.
~ Andrew Magilow, Splendid

Rollerball is an unusual band with a unique sound that's hard to pin down. Blending elements of free-jazz, funk, trip-hop, ambient, and Latin music wrapped in a heavily layered and experimental package, Behind the Barber, Rollerball's tenth album, is an intriguing listen. Actually, it's hard not to be intrigued by an album where the instrument credits range from horns to sitar to sharp metal. Often melodic and dissonant at the same time, Behind the Barber is a psychedelic blend of the coherent and the abstract, a meeting point between organic and electronic where little is predictable.
I think it's fairly obvious from my description of the album's sound that the 11 tracks found here have a fairly large stylistic range. While the band is obviously rooted in experimentation and improvisation, the album finds cohesion in more straightforward, concrete offerings like the reverb drenched dub jam and smooth female vocals of "Starling (Aleph Dub)" and the almost erotic, somewhat PJ Harvey-esque female vocals and repetitive droning accordion of "Chi Town Club". Other tracks like "Do the Slim Jim" and the ambient processed sounds and sparse melodic content of "Autotelic" counter the album's more mainstream offerings by diving headfirst into more abstract experimental jam territory. Most of the disc's other tracks fall somewhere in between or bounce back and forth. For instance, "Slits Arandas" is a 16 minute piece with sporadic improvised jams held together by a recurring Latin-infused smoky late night club core. The album's more mainstream (and more easily digestible) tracks prove to be the most memorable at first for obvious reasons. However, repeated listening will allow the listener to absorb the album's more abstract side, proving the album to be a very solid as a whole.
While Behind the Barber is probably not for those that like their music straightforward and simple, listeners that like challenging albums and the subsequent rewards that come with such works will find this to be a release that's both unique and consistently excellent. It's a sometimes odd but always interesting slice of experimental/free-jazz/ambient/dub psychedelia that will likely make a big impression on those adventurous enough to give it a listen.
~ Joshua Heinrich, Grave Concerns

I once said that Portland’s Rollerball is all about organics, texture and surprisingly sonic gestures. Add to all this the occasional drone, samples, funky beats and deep audio experimentation and you know we’re in for an adventurous jazz listen. This is jazz for the ones who enjoy starting at the sky, exploring the space from a comfortable distance. That’s still very much the case on Behind the Barber (their tenth album and second for Silber), which somehow manages to bind together the chilly jazz and fragile folk/chamber explorations of Trail of the Butter Yeti (Road Cone) with the more poppy and cabaret theatric side of their Silber debut. The combination of the band’s most recent characteristics is simply superb and one can’t help but to be stunned by how something so genuinely experimental and genre-bending also can be so spacious and packed with grooves. The thing I enjoy the most is possibly when the band takes a right down free jazz street. But don’t let this fool you to believe that you’re in for some extreme manifestations along the lines of Ayler or Brötzmann, no this is fluid free-jazz spaciousness that is much more about textures and fragmentized world views than walls of noise. Not that we don’t get the occasional wailing horn but they’re just there to color the ornamental whole with yet another beautiful nuance. This criminally overlooked combo deserves a seat right next to Jackie-O Motherfucker on the bus to the psych/free jazz heavens.
~ Mats Gustafson, The Broken Face

The tenth album from this Portland, Oregon outfit is one of their finest moments.  Every track has been recorded/mixed, and edited by different parties, and features guests like; Italian noise exporters OVO, electronics whizz Nudge, and Jef Brown of Jackie-O Motherfucker, among others. The first track sounds like a very bizarre orchestra tuning up for almost five minutes. The second track is sixteen minutes of free floating jazz atmospherics that wanders through a cluster of tiny Albert Aylers all asking questions, while ultimately sounding more like Sun Ra and Arkestra in a mellow groove with cool minimal female vocals. The third track is a quiet shifting drone with blurred spoken samples and uneasy footing. The fourth is a surreal combination of shifting tempos, cetacean languages, drooling electronic fringe, and thrumming bass. The fifth is a deeply dubwise remix of "Starling" and it's spooky female vocal. There are places where this could slip easily into any open minded jazz format, and others where it sounds like John Cage scratching himself with a rake underwater. Wildly diverse sounds; but it's all a consistently listenable and highly transportational experience.
~ George Parsons, Dream Magazine

Rollerball’s excellent Trail of the Butter Yeti, from 2001, was an odd and spiky mix of ornate pop and experimental textures, sounding like a jazzier Nurse With Wound. Unfortunately, the record never really caught on and the group seemed to vanish once the Portland-based Road Cone Records closed up shop. Now after a few years of inactivity, Rollerball have found a new home on Silber Media, and Behind the Barber is their second release within the space of a few months. Their first album on Silber, Real Hair, found the group in unexpectedly accessible form, but despite a few strong tunes it was a somewhat unexciting return. Thankfully, Behind the Barber is more than enough excuse to trumpet Rollerball’s re-emergence, as they’ve come back with a record that is their most experimental yet, without completely sacrificing the gorgeous melodies that have always tempered their spacier ventures.
Behind the Barber captures the full range of possibilities laid out in Bathing Music and Butter Yeti, jumping without fear from the free jazz skronk of fellow Portlanders Jackie-O Mofo to dub pop to stately gothic melodrama. Early on, the group delivers their most comprehensive mission statement to date, the 16-minute “Slits Arandas,” with Jackie-O’s Jef Brown on a wailing sax. The track starts as a slow burn, with tumbling, smoldering drums joined by light piano accents and extended horn notes. By the time the simmering female vocals join in, the track has acquired a driving forward rhythm that suddenly downshifts into a horn interlude. The next few minutes are dedicated to a loose free jazz stew of soloing horns, but it isn’t long before the momentum is regained with some more gorgeous late-night atmosphere. By the time the song proper kicks back in towards the end, everyone has melted so thoroughly that those upbeat horns and charging drums are actually a shock.
This is Rollerball at their absolute best, deftly incorporating odd experimental touches with gorgeous pop songs as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Elsewhere, they take one of Real Hair’s high points, “Starling,” and remix it as a dub pop tune that’s even better than the original. The echoey production is perfectly suited to drummer Gilles’ disaffected vocals and the spurts of melancholic horns that explode between the verses. It’s all coated in a bass-heavy throb, and the coda—with Gilles moaning “I forgot the taste of cold, sanitized steel”, only to be answered by an echoed chorus of overdubs—is stunningly sad. The instrumental “Autotelic” is similarly lovely, building from a slow-motion conversation between violin, horns, and piano into a dense and claustrophobic climax.
Elsewhere, the group is aided by electronic producer Nudge (who also created the amorphous ambient blot “Analogue Skillet” that opened Jackie-O’s Fig. 5) and Italian improv outfit Ovo, who shared a split release with Rollerball back in 2002. Nudge’s “Burning Light” is a surprising standout here, both in quality and style; it’s a dark techno rocker that submerges Rollerball’s late-night mood music in a techno pulse and heavy bass. The vocals sound like they’re floating across the dancefloor from a distance (when they’re not being chopped up and skipped across the surface of the beat), and the occasional organic outburst, bright and emotional, of the band’s horn section sounds especially striking in the context of Nudge’s low-key production. Ovo joins Rollerball for some overdubs on “Quiela,” which is a quirky but not too distinguished instrumental featuring some vocal chirps and squeals from Ovo’s Stefania Pedretti to accompany Rollerball’s own shrieking horns and arrhythmic percussion.
The album’s last few songs are more blatantly experimental and less melodic. Of these, the closer, “Fake Tan” works best. The song builds out of an undercurrent of sizzling electronics, gathering into a tense, molasses-slow rhythm that has the incantatory power of witchcraft—an impression immensely aided by the ghostly vocals that sweep up out of the mix. It’s a chilling and mysterious way to end an album. And completely in tune with what Rollerball is about.
As a whole, Behind the Barber is a fine return to form for this unfairly overlooked band. In the few years of their absence, they’ve apparently honed their songwriting chops while stretching out into increasingly eclectic territory. The melodies here could hardly be called hooky or blatantly poppy, but they have a mantra-like quality that’s infectious and slightly eerie. This is moon music, dark and moody, the sound of witches gathered around a blazing fire shouting spells at the devil. It’s quite possibly their best LP yet.
~ Ed Howard, Stylus

Freeform spontaneous knockaround sound experiments. Behind the Barber is the tenth album from Rollerball. The band's penchant for the peculiar and the unexpected has earned them a solid reputation among fans of underground free-form jazz. Because of the nature of this band's music, it takes several spins for the music to sink in. After giving considerable attention to this disc, we found that for our own tastes the music works best as background music...played at low volume to create an atmosphere. While the band's music certainly does not make for easy listening...when played as background music, it most definitely creates distinct moods. This unusual album features eleven oddball creations including "Do The Slim Jim," "Autotelic," "The Guarantee," and "Fake Tan."
~ Babysue

Over the past decade, Portland's Rollerball has built a reputation as one of the Northwest's most creative bands. Last year's Real Hair found the band experimenting with the eclectic ingredients that have become their calling card: free jazz horns, moody rock atmospherics and subtle dub textures. But where that album occasionally veered into the slightly embarrassing and overindulgent, Rollerball's latest, Behind the Barber, presents the band's most crafted and cohesive musical statement to date. The album comprises mostly new tracks interspersed with a few remixes. Of the new tracks here, "Slits Arandas" is the clear standout. In it Rollerball distills its twin poles of eclectic song-oriented work and difficult, at times atonal, improvisation into one spellbinding 15-minute composition. Murky bossa-nova funk dissolves into bleating free-jazz horns, then slowly resurfaces. It's fascinating listening that shows the well-honed aesthetic of a veteran band mapping out its own unique terrain.
~ Matt Wright, Williamette Week

And chalk it one in the weird experimentation category for Silber Records.  Rollerball, whose new album "Behind the Barber" is as strange as it is compelling. Musically, the album runs the gamut between atmospheric trip-hop inflected tracks ("Do the Slim Jim," "Starling") to more Eno-influenced ambient fare ("Autotelic") to drones mixed with any number of found sounds on "Qujela (Ovo Sub)," to ear-splintering dissonance, to weirdly jazz-influenced tracks that sound like Amon Tobin, if he slowed down the relentless beat programming and went for something a little more laid back. A puzzling, if intriguing, listen.
~ Rick Arnow, 1340 Mag

This is an "outside the box" release form Silber Media who released the last Lycia project. Behind the Barber is a highly experimental album that will appeal only to fans of cacophonous music that incorporates jazz undertones throughout the recording resulting in a minimalistic approach. This album contains 11 tracks that mix dissonance with parts jazz and, at other times, parts Eastern influence. There are a few well-done songs on this issue; just not enough to keep it floating in the outer atmosphere. However, the album is a departure from the norm and as such becomes an acquired taste.
~ Matt Rowe, Music Tap

Last year's excellent Real Hair went for more pop-oriented song-structures (while still keeping all the innate strangeness intact, of course), but the gloomy Portland collective's latest mixes things up again more like Trail of the Butter Yeti, with even more avant-jazz and electronic noise-fests, no really straight songs, only scattered vocals. "Surfactant Bleed" and "Muddmkr" are responsible for mixing the bulk of the tracks, not sure if they're regular members or associates. The packaging is typically ambiguous, a digi-pack with unconventional artwork... let it surprise you.
"Do the Slim Jim" is a noisy hypnotic groove with everything in the kitchen sink: besides the drums, bass and guitar, also synth, a number of horns and a hazy electronic effect, which reminds me somewhat of the whoozy abrasive assaultiveness of Helios Creed's "Tele-vision". "Slits Arandas" is the featured long piece, starting out as a swinging island-jazz tune, with a smooth vocal from one of the group's ladies. After a few minutes, though, we find the group in all-out '60s avant/free-jazz land in the form of a chaotic swarm of frenetic horns: Pharoah Sanders, Albert Ayler or Ornette Coleman should be suitable references. From this the tune's final third is more for the percussionists and organ, the two rolling along together in alien time-signatures.
"Autotelic" is more abstract psychedelic meandering, with a doomy drum and pest-effects. "Quiela" is rather free stuff again where the bass really gets to rumble. The last album's "Starling" gets a dubbed-out reworking by Aleph here, the original bass-line pumped up with extra bulbousness, along with the usual minced-up echo-effects, though I don't hear much that really warrants the re-make. "The Guarantee" is some of the most purely spaced-out stuff I've heard on any of their albums, far-out blowy synth and tronics and distant diabolical underwater percussive strangeness. Quite a nice little bit of headness here. "Burning Light" strains the vocal part of "Slits" through the dub process courtesy of one Nudge, the bass booming in an almost danceable way. Another very strange effect, and it certainly doesn't hurt to hear that strange lyric again, which is as well put through some strange effects. "Chi Town Cub" begins with pure avant-spasmic tape-work with horns, whistles, loops and what-all before mellowing into a slow accordian dirge, a mood they evoked particularly well on the last album. "Chicalote" is great freaked-out sci-fi processing or effects among some more grounded acoustic instruments, again making for a novel effect. "Fake Tan" is more of the same, another nightmarish barrage of effects and rhythms, electronic and acoustic.
I haven't enjoyed this one as much so far, maybe because it is less accessible, or perhaps it sounds less "fresh". It's definitely one of those albums that takes for fucking ever to sink in, and it IS Rollerball, so I'm sticking with it. Besides, my own head's upside-down now, so what do I know about an experimental urban post-rock band from Oregon (it says on the disc "if you lived here you'd be high now"). Definitely another solid outting for the group, and leagues beyond the majority in terms of creativity.
~ Chuck Rosenberg, Aural Innovations

Rollerball return to their regular psych-jazz selves following last year’s Real Hair, the musical collective’s surprising detour into relatively conventional songwriting. Behind the Barber drops most of the pop structures that made that album so instantly likeable, a seemingly devastating prospect for those of us who find Rollerball’s early recordings to be admirably sonically adventurous but rather lacking in the songwriting department. Fortunately, though, the band has clearly learned a lesson or two from Real Hair, and this time around, the guys inject their madmen selves with a most welcome touch of approachability. Basically, then, what elevates Behind the Barber above those earlier experimental releases is the ability (and, perhaps, the sheer will) to communcate their ideas to the audience, making this a far more gratifying listen, devoid of the art-for-art’s-sake nonsense that rendered those initial works remote. For all that, the band remain as enigmatic and devilishly exploratory as ever. Check, for example, the album’s obvious centrepiece, “Slits Arandas,” a stupendous free-jazz exorcism that starts off with some blue Miles-lines from the ‘50s, then steps into drone territory, before breaking apart beautifully with a spazzed-out sax solo from Jackie O Motherfuckers’ Jef Brown. It’s wildly over the top and certainly not for the faint at heart, but fascinating and somehow beautiful nonetheless. Elsewhere, sinister post-everything drones and creepy weird-jazz dominate, unsettling music for smoke-filled rooms in the late hours. “Chi Town Cub” drawls and glides faintly along, “Do The Slim Jim” murmurs with despair, and the new mix of Real Hair track “Starling” nicely underlines the fact that, while the band’s two last records may sound weirdly at odds with each other, they are in essence merely different parts of the same twisted puzzle. Real Hair was a great album, for sure, but Behind the Barber drives home the message that the true nature of Rollerball rests not in off-kilter pop music, but in free-jazz, psych-drones and late-night weirdness, all played with a rock ‘n’ roll heart.
~ Stein Haukland, Comes with a Smile

Having once called the now defunct (and entirely great) label, Road Cone, their home, Rollerball's ex-labelmates Jackie-O Motherfucker and Hochenkeit are well-suited peers who also mix a massive array of influences and dilute them down to a shimmering and multi-hued shot. Electronics (damaged and otherwise), drone, free-jazz, Fela-esque grooves, Sun Ra-esque journeys, and minimalism are all there. Basically Rollerball will incorporate anything they can into their music. The result is so heavily textured and deeply detailed that it's sometimes hard to make complete sense of it.
The record more or less centers around the 2nd track, "Slits Arandas." Clocking in almost three times longer than any other track, it takes its 16 minutes and doesn't waste a second in dabbling with a good deal of the sonic palette, moving from jazz to ethno-soul to free jazz to clattering percussion with electronic swells to clattering percussion with free skronk before finally ending with a slow burn of a horn-driven section. The prominence of Rollerball's use of horns is exaggerated (to great effect) by the inclusion of Jackie-O Motherfucker's Jef Brown's saxophone on this track.
The length and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink vibe of "Slits Arandas" sets it apart from the rest of the album. The other tracks are all much shorter and tend to focus on digging deep into a different headspace. "Chi Town Cub" is a slow, uneasy song built around bowed loops and augmented by female vocals. "Do the Slim Jim" is a horn-propelled jam buoyed by dense drones. "Chicalote" is sultry, fogged, and foreign.
There are three remixes interspersed throughout the album, which serve to make it seem even more diverse. The first, "Quiela," is remixed by Ovo, and it seems to be more of a fracturing than a re-mixing: very nice. Next is "Starling," which is a remix done by the man who recorded their last album, Real Hair. This is far less successful and is actually the only weak spot on the album. The female singing feels faux-soul and hollow. Nudge's remix, "Burning Light," on the other hand, tosses in some nice click and cut beats and does a tasteful remix (which is surprising, since, of the bunch, it's most like a standard remix, which are generally terrible) and casts very similar faux-soul vocals in a very different light... still a little awkward, but far from offensive.
Hopefully, Behind the Barber will get these acid soaked and patchouli drenched jazzheads the attention they've deserved for so long.
~ Sean Hammond

When "sharp metal" is credited as an instrument along with sitar, melodica, accordion and a slide whistle, you know you're headed somewhere interesting. The Portland-based art-jazz, freak-out pop collective/commune Rollerball inhabits a spooky yet exciting world - especially on their latest release Behind the Barber, which is a particularly dynamic, eccentric and mind-sparking journey. Rollerball kick off the CD with a hazy slice of psychedelic meandering that rotates into something sharp and spiny (yet trippy as they come), before launching into a 16-minute free-jazz blowout featuring Jef Brown of Jackie-O Motherfucker. It starts out slow and slinky but soon rolls into a no-holds-barred throwdown, with the musicians coming off like they just woke up from a long nap with an extra feeling of vitality, ready to rock all barriers away (yet still dreaming). From there Behind the Barber traverses all sorts of unusual territories. In general the vibe is exploratory and filled with sexed-up jazz horns, yet (as is characteristic of Rollerball) there's plenty of exotic side-steps, with whiffs of Brazillian pop, Argentian tangos, dub reggae, experimental electronics and the ghosts of avant garde happenings past all appearing, often within the same song. Rollerball has been pushing along like this for a while, but I first made their acquaintance with 2003's Real Hair. That album had my interest piqued, but with Behind the Barber they've steamrolled their way past me and taken me wholly along for their bizarre ride.
~ Dave Heaton, Erasing Clouds

Behind the Barber is ondertussen reeds het tiende album van Rollerball. Toch ben je waarschijnlijk niet de enige die nog nooit van deze band gehoord heeft. De bekendste naam die je op de hoes tegenkomt is die van Jef Brown, de maniacale tenorsaxophonist van Jackie-O-Motherfucker, en ook muzikaal doet het daar enigszins aan denken. Je kan je dus verwachten aan een zeer avontuurlijk geluid dat mooi balanceert tussen het experimentele en het conventionele, tussen het abstracte en het concrete. Maar in tegenstelling met Jackie-O-Motherfucker haalt Rollerball de mosterd niet bij de rock maar voornamelijk bij de free-jazz zoals we kennen van Sun Ra, of Miles Davis, in zijn Bitches Brew periode, aangevuld met drones, samples, hiphop beats en Cageiaanse geluidsexperimenten. Dit zonder te zwaar op de maag te gaan liggen of te vergezocht te klinken. Het geluid van Rollerball klinkt friss en avontuurlijk. Klaar om eindelijk door U ontdekt te worden.
~ Tom Wilms, Gonzo

Dopo aver amato alla follia l’ultimo CD dei grandiosi Lycia, la statunitense Silber Records si riaffaccia sul mercato discografico con una nuova release decisamente affascinante. La mia illusione era quella di potermi imbattere in una band che assomigliasse, per quanto concerne attitudine e sonorità, a quella di Mike e Tara, invece mi sono trovato innanzi ad un progetto che fa della follia, della creatività e dell’originalità il proprio trademark.
Mi piacerebbe fare il “figo” e raccontarvi di conoscere dettagliatamente la discografia dei Rollerball, invece sino a quando non mi è stato recapitato ‘Behind The Barber’ mai avevo sentito parlare di questa straordinaria band.
Innanzitutto, i Rollerball non sono dei pivellini tant’è che questa loro ultima fatica costituisce il loro decimo album. La proposta musicale dei Rollerball è una miscela sonora di difficile comprensione, ma che nasconde una miriade di lati oscuri nonché spunti di riflessione. E’ veramente un compito arduo poter definire il loro sound. Behind The Barber è tutto e niente, in quanto viene pervaso da una geniale vena sperimentale che rende il loro suono ricco di influenze. L’aspetto principale del disco è costituito da un’intrigante componente psichedelica che regala ai pezzi un tocco di follia che spesso sconfina in visioni oniriche “macchiate” da destabilizzanti atmosfere deviate e/o notturne.
Chiamatelo come vi pare: free-jazz oppure electro-noise-jazz. Tanto la sostanza non cambia, poiché una “stupida” etichetta non farebbe altro che imprigionare una creatività che, oltre ai succitati generi musicali, fa incetta di divagazioni hip-hop, dark, funk ed electro minimalista. Infine, la varietà di strumenti utilizzati per la realizzazione del disco (violino, bango, sitar, sax, tromba, clarinetto…) nonché le collaborazioni di Nudge, OVO, Bill Hurs, etc. costituiscono una prova inconfutabile della loro attitudine sperimentale. Se amate la musica senza confini ‘Behind The Barber’ deve essere vostro.
~ Lucentini Alessandro, Kronic