Blog Roddus

Blog Roddus
My Favorite Place

Friday, May 25, 2012

Igor Wakhevitch - Docteur Faust (France 1971)

An Uncle Roddus Album review

1. Aimantation
2. Materia Prima
3. Eau Ardente
4. Tenebres (Walpurgis)
5. Licornes
6. Sang Pourpe

This incredible recording comes to me via the very first post on the mighty "Mutant Sounds" Blog and it may well be the best and most fantastic thing in the whole 3000 odd posts of weird and obscure music they have there. Anyhow this second album from this French avant-garde composer comes from the six CD set"Donc...", which has almost all that this obscure fella released.

I had this on the hard drive for quite a while and had sampled some of the music from the above set briefly some time ago and had got a good sense from that short exposure of the quality of Wakhevitch's music. After reading an interesting description the other day of "Docteur Faust", I was looking forward the the opportunity of giving it a real blast through the big speakers on the Cyrus. Tonight that opportunity presented itself as Mrs. Roddus was in the city for the evening. I duly positioned my listening chair in front of the speakers, turned up the volume and set the thing playing on the laptop. No doubt the neighbours are now looking through the phone book for a real-estate agent to sell their house and get as far away from the loud strangeness emanating from next door. What an incredible mind-fuck of an album this is, even 40 years later. The breadth of musical styles mixed into this wonderful cacophony makes John Zorn look musically narrow minded. Running the gauntlet from psychedelic rock to electronic weirdness to Musique concrète, this short set never lets up in its mind-blowing soundscapes. A quite unique listening experience and one of the most powerful and impressive pieces of avant-garde music I have ever heard.5/5

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Castle Hill Limestone Formations 20th May 2012

Another stunning autumn day and I decided to head up to Castle Hill Station as I had some small repair jobs to do there and was going to struggle to get up there next week with the work load I have. I knew the work was only going to take about an hour and thought it would be a good opportunity to visit the vastly popular limestone formations behind the station as after all the times I had been up there and all the times I had passed through, I actually had never been in to explore this area. So I bundled Mrs. Roddus into the work van ad off we went for a very enjoyable trip into the high country. Not much else to say so I'll let the photos paint the picture.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Torche - Harmonicraft (USA 2012)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

This very heavy outing has been labelled heavy metal of a sort and although it certainly is heavy I think it is more on the grungy side or Alt Rock if you like. Think Godsmack, Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stoneage... there is a pleasant familiarity about this melodic noise and this set has become very recognisable very quickly. A very good album and a rating of 4/5.

High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis (USA 2012)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

01. Serums Of Liao
02. Bloody Knuckles
03. Fertile Green
04. Madness Of An Architect
05. Samsara
06. Spiritual Rights
07. King of Days
08. De Vermis Mysteriis
09. Romulus and Remus
10. Warhorn
Here is another album I stumbled across and remembered that I had reviewed their last release and had enjoyed it to some degree and remembered that there was also one classic excellent track that stood out above the rest. I was hoping for something of the same or better from this album, but after several listens in the iPod nothing really stood out from this average set of super heavy metal noise and I found myself loosing interest pretty quick. Fans of the band will no doubt be mostly pleased with this competent album, but for the casual listener(if this music could have such a thing) there is not much here to really excite. Rating 2.5/5.

Public Image Ltd - This Is PIL (USA 2012)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

1. “This Is PiL”
2. “One Drop”
3. “Deeper Water”
4. “Terra-Gate”
5. “Human”
6. “I Must Be Dreaming”
7. “It Said That”
8. “The Room I Am In”
9. “Lollipop Opera”
10. “Fool”
11. “Reggie Song”
12. “Out Of The Woods”

So I have been checking out some latest releases that were reviewed in my latest issue of Uncut Magazine for my review purposes and seeing what might be my next CD purchases, during which I stumbled upon this new set from our old mate John Lydon. Not actually released yet but I was very interested to see what P.I.L were up to in the 21st Century and what Johnny Rotten had to say after 20 years since their last proper album, but when this started playing on the Ipod at work I was quickly disappointed with what I was hearing. Musically the set was OK, the usual P.I.L Stuff, nothing revelatory or overly exciting but it appears John doesn't have much to say these days except blowing his own trumpet on the title track over and over again and getting pretty annoying on the likes of “Lollipop Opera” and some other tracks. John has also lost most of that Johnny Rotten sneer and high pitched whine that made hime so distinctive in the past and sounds like some normal old bloke now. Overall this set sounds like the old codger is just putting out some product to help the cashflow. Rating 2/5.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Alu - Licht (Germany 1982)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

1. rattay (6:27)
2. jetzt oder nie (5:29)
3. scheiss ddr (5:18)
4. jede minute - allein (5:22)
5. wir gehen hinaus - copyright (5:23)
6. potz blitz (1:44)
7. ach lass das doch-du hast es gesagt (6:08)
8. my way (1:32)
9. ensetzlich (1:06)
10. schlag mich (4:39)

Another very obscure album found on the Mutant Sounds Blog, this is a live recording of this synth driven post punk music with a big nod to the earlier "krautrock" of the 70s. Also another set that doesn't quite inspire on casual listening while working but doesn't sound too bad on the headphones with closer inspection. An interesting cover version of "My Way" and some other quite interesting electronic sounds through out make for a eclectic sound. The singer sounds like a German version of Genesis P-Orridge from Throbbing Gristle. Rating 2.5/5.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fred Frith - Accidental (USA 2002)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

Just a bit of a detour from all the Uncut related music and film I have been exploring lately with this piece of  avant garde weirdness from Fred Frith that I found on the Mutant Sounds Blog a while back. This sort of stuff doesn't come across too well on the Ipod while working, although one or two things caught my attention but on closer inspection, especially on the headphones this collection of pieces commissioned for a dance troupe is quite interesting and I am actually quite enjoying the soundscapes created for this project. A lot of strange guitar improvisation and effects mixed with other electronics and even weird vocal noises make this strange music quite compelling and has a real late night vibe. A couple of pieces don't quite impress and the vocal noises on "Absinthe Memories (For Phil Minton)" are quite annoying but overall I am enjoying this set and can rate it 3/5.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jack White - Blunderbuss (USA 2012)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

I was just wondering what Jack White was up to lately after recently listening to some White Stripes and so checked out his Web Site and was surprised to be able to view some excellent videos of some of his new music which he plays mostly with an all woman backing band and I also learned that He has a new album out, "Blunderbuss", which I was glad to hear went to number one in the US, UK and Canada.
Anyhow A copy of this was going to be compulsory and it duly arrived tonight with Mrs. Roddus when she returned from the City. After a couple of listens this evening I can so far report that this is a very good solo album from our man Jack, with plenty of familiar Jackisms but also lots of additional material here including Jack incorporating  more Americana sounding arrangements. The mostly women backing musicians he used for these sessions are incredibly tight and handle these complex rock tunes effortlessly. This is looking to be the best thing Jack has put out since the last really good thing he put out. Rating 5/5.

Monday, May 7, 2012

(Almost)Koropuku(Big Tops) Hut - 5-6th May 2012

Uncle Roddus tramping Diary:Tramo No 120
(Almost)Koropuku(Big Tops) Hut - 5-6th May 2012

Uncle Alan suggested doing this trip on this weekend as the weather forecast was looking pretty good. A magnificent High had parked itself right smack over the Island and the conditions were absolutely perfect in the mountains. I hadn't yet been to Koropuku Hut and was excited to get in there, Frank and Honora had also been doing some track maintenance on this route now abandoned by DOC.
 I left home at 6:00am to meet Alan at Aickens Corner and we left the cars around 8:15am on the aforementioned perfect day. After crossing the Otira River we picked up the marked route heading up the Taramakau River, weaving in and out of the bush and following a farm track up to Pfeifer Creek where we head into the bush completely, following Pfeifer Creek. This track, being the route to Lake Kaurapataka and the Otehake hot springs, is well maintained and is a great little walk through some magnificent forest peppered with enormous Red Beech and Miro and the occasional Rimu. We stopped at the lake around 11:00am where there is an excellent camp site overlooking a beautiful lake and enjoyed the warm sun for a few minutes before heading off again to the Otehake River where we had lunch.
After lunch it was time for the big slog up the track onto the tops and looking at the two tracks heading off from the orange triangle marker we erroneously decided that the track to the left was a flood route heading back down to the Taramakau and that the track we wanted must start near the old bridge. So we took the right track heading up stream to where we found the remaining bridge anchors still in the rock and then started looking for the track. But the time we had climbed through the bush for several minutes we knew then that we were not on a track but decided to continue climbing as we figured we would come across it soon enough. After about 20 minutes of crashing through reasonably easy bush we finally found the track and proceeded to follow a pretty well marked track up through the bush, the plentiful permolat markers allowing for easy route finding around the several windfalls.
The climb to the bush line is about 750M and seemed to go on forever but I finally broke through after about 2.25 hours and had to settle down in the glorious sunshine in a lovely clearing and wait for Uncle Alan, who was a bit slower due to his dodgy leg. Unfortunately it took him an additional 45 minutes to reach me and by the time he rested and refueled, we had lost over an hour. By this time we were starting to think about a high camp instead of continuing down to the hut. We continued heading up through the scrub, aided by some cairns and a patchy track before reaching the benched area where we followed the occasional cairns and climbed up to the group of tarns east of point 1259. We lost the route a couple of times but eventually got to where we needed to be. It was clear by now that we weren't going to make it down to the hut before dark and Alan was feeling it a bit as well so we set up camp by the tarns and enjoyed a very calm and clear evening supplemented by a very impressive full moon.
Sunday continued with the exceptional weather and after breakfast we clambered up onto the tops beside us and got some great views down into the Karapuku and Otehake valleys. I seriously considered shooting up to point 1656 but after consideration decided it might take too much time and I wanted not to get out too late. We left camp at about 9:00am and headed back out the way we came. After stopping at the clearing just above the bushline to enjoy the awesome views of the lake below, Mt Pfeifer and Mt Alexander etc... we set off down the track back to the Otehake. I got down in about 1 hour and 10 minutes but had to wait over an hour for Alan as his leg gives him more trouble going down. We stopped again at the lake before the final push to get back to the cars.

Early morning in the Tareamakau.

Following the farm track in the Taramakau.
looking up Pfeifer Creek with Mt Pfeifer in the background.

The Track to lake Kaurapataka.

"The Larch"

Uncle Roddus at lake Kaurapataka

One of the lakes inhabitants.

"The Larch"

"The Lake"

"The Track"

A moss poodle

Just above the bush line waiting for Alan.

The Lake from above.

Mt Pfeifer.
Traveling along the tops, where we're going.

Where we've been.
A Nice spot for a night out on the tops.

Exploring on Sunday Morning

Point 1656.

Looking into the upper Otehake.
Plenty of camping spots up here.

More tarns

The drop off point down to Koropuku

Mt McRae.


The Koropuku Hut, at least we hot to see it.
This little guy followed me for a bit.