Review: Various Artists : Bearsuit Records – Captain Woof Woofs’ Guitar

There are quirky international albums and then there are albums like ‘Captain Woof Woofs’ Guitar’ which sees talent from across the globe join together to make some very odd music. Although it’s a compilation of artists from the Bearsuit Records label, it sounds more like a world showcase for experimentalism.

From the off, we are given some extremely uncompromising tracks. Port Mone are a three-piece from Belarus consisting of a percussionist, bassist and accordionist and their breathless instrumental ‘River’ is a startling introduction. Meanwhile, the Japanese collective Kirameki’s tribute to gangsters is a sound clash of narrative, 23 Skidoo-style spindly funk and various other unidentifiable noises. Then there’s Swedish musician Per Olund Band who enlists an opera singer to give voice to his avant garde compositions. The mixture is not as consistently bizarre after this opening trio but there are certainly more moments which prick up the ears.

The Artificial Sea’s ‘Gloryhole’ makes a bid for a low budget Portishead and Whizz Kid’s ‘Summer Bubbles’ revolves around a hypnotic piano melody which shoots off into delightful directions in the manner of Cornelius. Amongst further highlights, The Temple Cloud Country Club provide a relatively safe but delightful folk/strings concoction whilst Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai (“you are completely tired” in their native language), Alone Together and Lettelete Aka Eneme all offer the most curious and childlike of Japanese music.

‘Captain Woof Woofs’ Guitar’ must be one of the most eclectic Various Artists records to have ever been released. Yet it’s not all about shocks and surprises; within this compilation are artists who share a common goal for creating music which is intelligent, fascinating and unique.

Web Sites:
Bearsuit Records MySpace

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