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23 Skidoo


Urban Gamelan


Ronin Records


23 Skidoo CD coverRerelease of the second album by 23 Skidoo which came out in 1984. 'Urban Gamelan' is divided into 2 parts. Where the first LP ' Seven Songs' reminded be of The Pop Group or Pink Floyd (in their 'Umaguma' period), Part 1 of this LP seems to forecast the existence of contemporary acts like Holland's The Ex, Austria's Sofa Surfers, or even Eno's "R.A.F." (the B-side to his 1977 "King's Lead Hat" 7").

Part 1 starts off with "F.U.G.I.", based on a sample from Apocalypse Now. 23 Skidoo chose very well with the sample. You will instantly recall the amazing scene it is taken from (ice cool mortar soldier taking out lone Vietnamese heckler that panicked bunker soldiers cannot locate). "F.U.G.I." really starts off this record well.

The second track "Fire" (featuring vocalist Schizzo-P) is a dub piece that makes use of the space between sounds and staccato percussion. 23 Skidoo (Fritz Catlin, Alex Turnbull, and Johnny Turnbull) start to really strike out into new territory after the first two tracks. "Misr Wakening" and "Jalan Jalan" are instrumental pieces that have a heavy emphasis on percussion and an air of mystery. "Jalan Jalan" uses a trumpet which sounds like a car horn in the distance.

Part 2 contains seven songs performed with a whole new set of instruments, the 'gamelan' that 'Urban Gamelan' is named for. Instruments used on these tracks are kendang, water jug, conga, bamboo xylophone, metal percussion, and tapes. These tracks are very unique sounding (nothing I can think of outside of actual gamelan records sounds like them) and maintain the very exotic, mysterious, and slightly dangerous feel that the whole record holds.

Faves: 1,9

---Carl, November 27, 2001