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Friday, 9 December 2016
PAWLOWSKI, TROUVE & WARD - PAWLOWSKI, TROUVE & WARD VOLUME 2 (Jezus Factory Records LP + CD, CD, D/L).
There is niche, like our Greek friends Melotron records who release small, limited edition runs of records, tapes and CDs of Electronica, lo-fi Indie, outsider music and other weirdness from artists all around Europe………….then there is really niche, like Jezus Factory Records who release small, limited edition runs of records, tapes and CDs of Electronica, lo-fi Indie, outsider music and other weirdness from artists all around Belgium!!! Now celebrating its 10th Anniversary, London based Jezus Factory digs deep into the Belgian underground for releases by artists/bands that usually you may only heard of if you are a) immersed in the Belgian underground scene, b) from Belgium or c) related to one of the band members. Just the kind of record label Thee Psychedelicatessen like to support!!!! Out deep in one of the furthest corners of our Psychedelic Universe lies the second album of solo experimental guitar improvisations, twisted Alt-Rock and leftfield Pop/Rock from Pawlowski, Trouvé & Ward due for release early January by the good folk at Jezus Factory, ten years after the first collection of solo works by the trio surfaced on the label. The link between Mauro Pawlowski, Rudy Trouvé and Craig Ward is that at some point in the 25 year history of possibly the best known band from Belgium, dEUS, they were all in the band as guitarist/singer…………although not at the same time. Volume 2 of Pawlowski, Trouvé & Ward is a mix of Ward’s ambient transmissions from deep space, Pawlowski’s Psych tinged Indie/Alt-Rock/Prog/AOR Pop strangeness which is what we imagine Faust would sound like if they made pop singles with Frank Zappa and Trouvé’s gentle Psych Folk acoustic improvisations which come from the same warped space as the likes of Sproatly Smith and United Bible Studies………on the surface a collection of styles and genres that really should not fit together without jarring, but surprisingly the record flows beautifully albeit it’s not quite easy listening music.
Scottish guitarist Craig Ward was a member of dEUS between 1995 - 2004 and played on the In A Bar, Under The Sea and The Ideal Crash albums. In the last decade Craig has been recording almost exclusively for Jezus Factory. Amongst other projects, he formed Jazz/Noise Rock band A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen releasing two full length albums and a split 10” with Silent Front, with a debut solo album of guitar improvisations, New Third Lanark, landing in 2014. This was followed a year later his most accomplished and ambitious solo work to date Leave Everything Move Out. Continuing the themes of his two solo albums, his contribution to Pawlowski, Trouvé & Ward is four tracks of excellent treated electric guitar improvisations which all have the feel of Eno’s late 70s/early 80s ambient period mixed with the more kosmische sounds of Cluster and Popol Vuh…………….wonderfully atmospheric and hypnotic, imagine if Shoegaze bands were influenced more by, say, Sun Ra than MBV then you may get close to the crystalline beauty of these tracks. Mauro Pawlowski first rose to fame as singer of the legendary Evil Superstars. Joining dEUS in 2004 and due to leave the band following one final concert next February, Pawlowski, like Craig Ward, has been involved with various other projects including solo albums, a Dutch language folk album, a classic AOR Pop band, noisy Jesus Lizard style rock recorded by Steve Albini, a collaboration with Flat Earth Society of interpretations of Frank Zappa songs and of course a day job with dEUS and a very successful partial Evil Superstars reunion. Mauro’s contribution to Pawlowski, Trouvé & Ward is described as “a failed and lost 80’s blockbuster movie soundtrack with commercials in between”. From a improbable parallel universe this sounds like Faust and Frank Zappa combining talents and making 1980s AOR, and it’s weirder than it sounds……………..acid laced daytime pop radio meets the the more “out there” sounds of the underground. It’s very wrong……………but in a good way.The closest comparison we can think of to anyway describe the ten tracks that Mauro Pawlowski contributes to this record would be the early 70s Todd Rundgren A Wizard A True Star period, but a lot stranger……….’In Starlight (We Must Be Alive)’ is a dead ringer for that era with chugging guitars, synth washes and a spiraling guitar solo…….somewhat tongue in cheek and totally berserk. Rudy Trouvé was a founding member of dEUS adding his distinctive songwriting, voice and guitar playing to their classic Island Records debut album Worst Case Scenario and also the ground breaking follow up My Sister=My Clock. Quickly tiring of major label life and an extremely heavy touring schedule he left dEUS, quitting the band in favour of focusing on his own solo career, exploring obscure music groups and temporary collaborations. He formed Heavenhotel Presents records……. a label created to release his own and friend’s bands music that last year celebrated its 20th Anniversary with the double LP God Owes Us A Swimming Pool. Contributing eleven tracks to the album that are mainly very short acoustic improvisations that mix in found sounds and dialogue that could be described as experimental Psych Folk. There are two songs that stand out amongst the more abstract, experimental stuff……………’Torch’ sounds like something that would have turned up on Sonic Youth’s The Whitey Album, a side project they recorded as Ciccone Youth, while ‘Thin Can’ is a fantastic twisted classic singer/songwriter ballad with the air of Yo La Tengo’s quieter, reflective moments. Not having heard any of Rudy Trouvé’s previous records we are not sure if this is any way reflective of his solo work, however it’s cool stuff and really interesting music all the same. Pawlowski, Trouvé & Ward Volume 2 is no doubt going to weird out the less adventurous music fan but for the hardcore dEUS fans and the more curious listener there are some really great moments on this record.
Due for release on CD and vinyl (which also includes a copy of the CD) on 20/01/2017 by Jezus Factory records Pawlowski, Trouvé & Ward Volume 2 is available to pre-order now from the label’s web shop with a digital download from their Bandcamp page here……………..