Czech Republic - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 25 - 11/04/98
Chronologically, Drevo (Wood) came before the highly successful,
critically and popularly acclaimed Rastakayakwanna.
While it is stylistically a simpler, quieter and more introverted album,
it doesn't mean there is no good music here.
From the opening Az ten vlácek zapíská (When the Train's
Whistle Blows) (with the lyrics "Little Joey, in the sun/Opera glasses
poking out his shorts") to the closing Dva kropící vozy
(Two Watering Machines) ("Sunshine's ahead of us/Water's
behind..."), Radek Pastrnák & Co. deliver an inventive and
The cuts I especially liked were the laid back Demácek (Demi),
the non-rhyming Tlustá paní (Fat Lady) which tells a story of a
woman bringing home groceries that she lovingly surveys before devouring them,
and especially Nemuzem usnout (We Can't Fall Asleep). It features a
tired soprano sax and a Rhodes-like synth patch over brushes and lyrics that
speak of a hot, empty room that's overflowing with frustration and anger.
Also notable was the instrumental Dedecek vzpomíná (Grandpa
Recalls). Its intricate, shifting rhythm-loops, a country guitar and a
synthesized trombone are set off by a creaking rocking chair. The complete
lyrics to Pusinka (A Little Kiss) are "Hey, gimme a little
kiss!" but the inventive arrangement also undoubtedly served as an
Zluty Pes' US Open. Finally there is Andrei Toader's
Beskydy, which encompasses a mini clarinet-cum-piano two part
invention, before it turns ominous on "the misfortune attacks"
Buty's strength has always been in capturing the moment; their songs
are seldom complete stories. Rather, they present impressions, microcosms of
feelings and observations, where what's implied often becomes as important as
what is actually stated. On the surface this idea of a fleeing moment seems
rather simplistic. But the richess of sounds and textures, and the musical and
verbal puns all bring each composition to its fullest potential. In hindsight,
one can easily see how naturally things got condensed between Drevo and
the following album. The question now of course is, where do Buty go
from here? Wherever it is, I'm sure to follow.
Copyright © 1998 Ivan Sever