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  1. Standard member Ragnorak
    For RHP addons...
    25 Mar '08 11:54
    Gulag Orkestar by Beirut aka Zach Condon.

    Despite what sounds like an entire orchestra, Condon recorded the album largely on his own, playing accordion, keyboards, saxophone, clarinet, mandolin, ukulele, horns, glockenspiel, and percussion,a nd obviously vocals.

    The album is a superb fusion of folk and Eastern European gypsy music, opening the Balkan style to the masses.

    Here's a sample...
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=JyKpHiLTLbw

    Not music for everybody, but I think everybody will have to accept that Condon is a musical genius. What other albums are as good examples of this genius of musical ability?

    D
  2. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    25 Mar '08 12:22 / 1 edit
    Well, certainly more on the mainstream, but I think Dark Side of the Moon and Ziggy Stardust are breaking points of modern rock music, mainly due to their great deal of creativity music-wise, theater-wise, and story telling-wise.
  3. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    25 Mar '08 12:36
    Originally posted by Ragnorak
    opening the Balkan style to the masses. [...] Not music for everybody
    😵
  4. Standard member c99ux
    'Sir' to you
    25 Mar '08 14:10 / 2 edits
    Considering he did it all (largely, whatever that means) by himself, which means he had to do all the recording and get the timing right, the end result isn't so bad when it's put together.

    Kind of reminds me of Jean Michel Jarre, a single artist who can produce music more intricate than a complete orchestra.

    EDIT: Forgot to name an album... Oxygene or Equinox.

    This is the original Oxygene hit single:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=N4oSXmnkPUU

    And Equinox Part IV:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pddS0wGjKH8
  5. Standard member Ragnorak
    For RHP addons...
    25 Mar '08 14:23
    Originally posted by c99ux
    Considering he did it all (largely, whatever that means) by himself, which means he had to do all the recording and get the timing right, the end result isn't so bad when it's put together.

    Kind of reminds me of Jean Michel Jarre, a single artist who can produce music more intricate than a complete orchestra.

    EDIT: Forgot to name an album... Oxygene or E ...[text shortened]... e.com/watch?v=N4oSXmnkPUU

    And Equinox Part IV:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pddS0wGjKH8
    I know that Oxygene song well, but didn't know the artist. I think using a computer, it must be easier to sound orchestral than actually knowing how to play all the different instruments?

    D
  6. Standard member c99ux
    'Sir' to you
    25 Mar '08 14:26
    Originally posted by Ragnorak
    I know that Oxygene song well, but didn't know the artist. I think using a computer, it must be easier to sound orchestral than actually knowing how to play all the different instruments?

    D
    I guess you're right there. Most 10-year-old kids I know can now knock out a decent tune on a computer or synth, but can't get their lips round a euphonium or E-flat base, let alone hug a harp...
  7. 25 Mar '08 14:42
    Oxygene---wow that one brings back memories. I didn't know it spawned a single, though.
    Most incredible album...hmmm--Nack in Black deserves a nod. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but the fact that an album of essentially the same songs, about the same subjects, could sell enough units to put it in the top 10 selling albums EVER, that's pretty incredible.
  8. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    25 Mar '08 16:29 / 1 edit
    'Postcards from Italy' is the best thing on The Gulag Orkestrar - a simply amazing song, and the whole album is pretty accomplished (the Long Island EP, recorded around the same time has a similar feel).

    Their second album, The Flying Club Cup, is also pretty good - it's lost a bit of the Balkan feel, and feels perhaps a bit more Mittel European, but it's still worth a listen.

    Slightly less easy on the ear, but following a similar path, are A Hawk and a Hacksaw. (I'm at work at the moment, so I don't have the sleeve to hand, but I seem to recall Zach Condon played on A Hawk and a Hacksaw album, can't remember which one...)

    I saw them on Jules Holland last year, and as the man says, you don't hear enough waltzes these days...
  9. Standard member rbmorris
    Vampyroteuthis
    25 Mar '08 16:50
    Originally posted by Ragnorak
    Gulag Orkestar by Beirut aka Zach Condon.

    Despite what sounds like an entire orchestra, Condon recorded the album largely on his own, playing accordion, keyboards, saxophone, clarinet, mandolin, ukulele, horns, glockenspiel, and percussion,a nd obviously vocals.

    The album is a superb fusion of folk and Eastern European gypsy music, opening the Balkan ...[text shortened]... musical genius. What other albums are as good examples of this genius of musical ability?

    D
    Agreed. Really a brilliant effort. I enjoyed it right away, but I remember later, you told me it was all done by one person. Pretty amazing.
  10. Standard member Ragnorak
    For RHP addons...
    25 Mar '08 17:32
    Originally posted by DrKF
    'Postcards from Italy' is the best thing on The Gulag Orkestrar - a simply amazing song, and the whole album is pretty accomplished (the Long Island EP, recorded around the same time has a similar feel).

    Their second album, The Flying Club Cup, is also pretty good - it's lost a bit of the Balkan feel, and feels perhaps a bit more Mittel European, but it's s ...[text shortened]... ules Holland last year, and as the man says, you don't hear enough waltzes these days...
    At first I thought that Flying Club Cup wasn't anywhere as good as Gulag Orkestar, but the more I listened, the more I realised that Condon had achieved what many, many artists don't: A follow on second album which is just as brilliant as the first. Even superb debutants like Arcade Fire failed here.

    Here's Beirut and A Hawk and a Hacksaw collaborating on Postcards from Italy live. I believe that while Condon did most of the musical work on the album, achieving the same thing live is just a tad more difficult. There is some more info in the video desc.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1ggSvm64xEs

    Amazing stuff from a 19 year old kid who left school at 16 to travel.

    D
  11. 25 Mar '08 17:43
    Originally posted by Ragnorak
    Gulag Orkestar by Beirut aka Zach Condon.
    What other albums are as good examples of this genius of musical ability?

    D
    Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield?

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=enuPkr1VxJw
  12. Standard member DrKF
    incipit parodia
    25 Mar '08 18:05
    Originally posted by Ragnorak
    At first I thought that Flying Club Cup wasn't anywhere as good as Gulag Orkestar, but the more I listened, the more I realised that Condon had achieved what many, many artists don't: A follow on second album which is just as brilliant as the first. Even superb debutants like Arcade Fire failed here.

    Here's Beirut and A Hawk and a Hacksaw collaborating ...[text shortened]... h?v=1ggSvm64xEs

    Amazing stuff from a 19 year old kid who left school at 16 to travel.

    D
    Agreed - he also managed to take the music in another, but similar, direction - another feat most bands fail in attempting (the easy seduction of 'more of the same'😉. Although I'm not sure I'd dismiss Neon Bible, as I really quite liked it.

    Back home now, and leafing through an old magazine - I seemed to recall that Condon has a deformity of one hand, so he finds playing instruments with thick necks difficult. So he plays the trumpet, the keyboards and the smaller guitar-like instruments.

    So he's not only a self-taught 19 year old, but he's done it all with a bad hand, too...

    My thanks for the video - doesn't start out fantastic, but it's a lovely version by about 30 seconds in.
  13. Standard member Ragnorak
    For RHP addons...
    25 Mar '08 18:49
    Originally posted by DrKF
    Although I'm not sure I'd dismiss Neon Bible, as I really quite liked it.
    I also enjoyed Neon Bible, but not to the same degree as Funeral. I pretty much rarely listened to Neon Bible after a few weeks, whereas Funeral kept me happy for months.

    It is good, just not at the same level as Funeral.

    D
  14. 25 Mar '08 21:19
    Not the best album EVER, but I've listened to this CD so many times I had to buy two extra copies. HUM: You'd Prefer An Astronaut.
  15. Standard member DoctorScribbles
    BWA Soldier
    26 Mar '08 00:17
    Originally posted by Ragnorak
    What other albums are as good examples of this genius of musical ability?
    As Nasty As They Wanna Be