Sometimes you never know what will hit you before you listen to a new acquired peace of music. We’re all quite familiar with the music coming from Europe or America, but what about Asia?! Pakistan, particularly, has a small but quite a strong scene which started blooming in the mid nineties after Dusk was formed. One of the most interesting animals from this scene is actually Burzukh, a one man band active since 2001, led by Suleiman Ali.
“Orion” is Burzukh’s fifth full-length effort, released only through internet (for now). It’s not a long output, but people say that poison is kept in small bottles. From the first listening I knew the whole thing’s going to be pretty weird. The album starts out with a crazy electronic beat, something mr. Zweizz himself would do. Later it’s covered by a quite gloomy guitar sound and vocals which could not be described as screams but rather as some kind of grim high pitched moaning and grunts, very interesting any way. The greatest surprise is the variety of stiles found on this album: it ranges from some weird black metal outputs to very dreamlike, cleanly sung miniatures. One can feel old prog rock influences, especially in the simple, yet mooving psyhadelic atmosphere of some songs, most notably “Goth Machi”. This combination of influences gives the album an interesting variable structure one could compare with a chess board: constant shifting of two main influences forming a visually (in this case audibly) dynamic and recognizable pattern. The overall atmosphere is somehow dreamlike, moody and in some points quite disturbing. The track “Lying” is a mindgame for itself: filled with electronics and dominated by screams and those long clean moans it pushes you into a room full of hyperactive thoughts jumping around the whole place, bouncing of the walls and hitting your ears……
The instrumentation is very good: simple but expressive. The use of keyboards is very insane on some parts because of the weird, almost irritating sounds that were chosen. It all blends with the sometimes quite dissonant (great!) riffing and the very dim bass sound. Tremolo pickings like found on “Awaken Orion” combined with all the crazy sounds is…well one cannot describe that feeling they produce without using the sintagma astral-industrial, it works for me at least. The only thing I regret is the lack of a drummer…why? Well the fact is that the drums are great, just that they can’t cope with the loose, psychedelic atmosphere of the whole album, or maybe they lack some expression, I am not sure, but the fact is that it’s not easy to programme drums and do all the things by yourself, so it seems Suleiman did a good job here.
When it comes to efforts like “Orion” one should remember that you never know what is going to hit you next: whether it is going to be a boot in the face or a pleasant surprise depends on your attitude and the will to consume great music made with a different view on the world. Just keep in mind that “Orion” was recorded in a home studio. Don’t expect a Dream theater production with mr. Portnoy holding your hand while listening…..this is real fresh and raw sound. It’s not my problem if you miss things like this….one can always give it a chance! Soon, it seems, we will have another notable name hailing from Pakistan. Until then enjoy the soundscape of the astral underground!
(I would like to dedicate a few nice words to the victims of the terrorist attack in Karachi….but alas none can describe those people’s pain…silence becomes gold)
Avantgenre: Astral Retro Groove Psychotic Machine
Duration: 22 Minutes
Official site: http://www.geocities.com/MuslimPunk/Burzukh.html
Review online since: 20.10.2007 / 16:14:00
01 – Awaken Orion