Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Spin: The Dragons "BFI"

After a year and a half of playing catch up I’ve finally read the back issues of Wax Poetics and gotten to new issues I missed out on. And leave it to the first new issue I read to throw an excellent surprise my may – welcome to The Dragons.

A trio of brothers (their last name is Dragon) who were living it up in the late sixties in LA found themselves with some instruments and studio time concocting their own tunes, inspired by the sounds of the times and their own youthful innocence and lack of experience.
Amplified Emotion

BFI was the result, which only saw it’s release recently thanks to Ninja Tune. Inside you will find an amalgam of sounds bordering on a little bit of all that was going on musically at the time of it’s conception.

You hear hints of The Beatles pop formulas, although nothing quite as straight forward as what the fab four were known for. You hear some Doors influence and a lot of soulfulness combined with distortion and fuzz. Organs are layered into the tracks and vocals are ran through any number of effects processors. BFI is an experiment in sound that demonstrates great creativity – even if a little unguided.

“Big Mike Requiem” finds them opening the track with some heavy organs that could have been pulled right out of a church sermon before seeing it transform into and fast jam. But it’s “fast” nature comes from a sped up pitch rather than from the actual playing, adding chipmunk like sound to the vocals – well before Kanye.
Big Mike Requim

Throughout the album you hear great grooves laid down and an assortment of vocals. While no label reps saw a hit within these tracks, rightfully so as I’m not certain even the sixties and seventies acceptance of experimental tunes would have been ready for these, you can hear the raw talent from three brothers who grew up around music and all continued on play as session musicians and make careers within the ever growing and changing music industry. Luckily for us, today the industry has room for old ideas and an open ear for something we might have missed out on forever.
Are You There

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