Simon Crab. Live, Barceló Theater, Madrid. October 11th 2017
Live review. Sebensuí A. Sánchez. Madafackismo Underground, Spain 2017
El siguiente concierto al que asistimos fue el del músico inglés Simon Crab, ex componente de la banda punk experimental Bourbonese Qualk de 1979, su puesta en escena hacía que le acompañase una batería, a la vez que él trataba una guitarra y manipulaba la electrónica, este concierto también fue en formato A.V. y se podían ver unas imágenes de la bandera de Inglaterra distorsionada, llevando una camisa de Antifaschistische Aktion, muy acorde a los tiempos que corren en España. La músico que le acompañaba también se levantó a recitar en algún extraño idioma del Este con voz como de megafonía que cambiaba de real a irreal, la música como pequeños collages diminutos era inclasificable, en los espejos laterales del Teatro Barceló se podía ver reflejado el humo de la sala, lo que le daba un aspecto aún más misterioso a la música, habían partes más accesibles en la música de Crab, incluso llegando al dance, en un concierto que tuvo 3 o 4 bloques de diferentes estilos de música con un trasfondo siempre percusivo gracias a la batería y a los beats electrónicos mas unas guitarras landscape frippertrónicas.
The next concert we attended was that of the English musician Simon Crab, former member of the experimental punk band Bourbonese Qualk of 1979, he was accompanied onstage by a drummer (Diana Combo) while he played treated guitar and manipulated electronics. This show was also in Audio Visual format some of which used a distorted images of the English flag – this combined with Simon's Antifaschistische Aktion T-Shirt was very in keeping with the current situation in Spain. At one point the drummer stood up to recite lyrics in a strange Eastern language in a megaphone-like voice, the music, impossible to classify became a collection of small, microscopic collages shifting from real to unreal, the mysterious atmosphere amplified by smoke reflected in the mirrors of the Barceló Theater. Overall there were 3 or 4 types of different musical styles, sometime approachable and even danceable, sometimes 'frippertronic' guitar landscapes but always with electronic and percussive rhythms.
Simon Crab. After America LP
Periodic Sound Journal. USA 2016
Simon Crab has been making music since the late seventies and he is the founder of the experimental band Bourbonese Qualk, which was dismantle in 2002 when the band's guitarist died. Crab is now a member of Sunseastar, a musique concrete band, as well as the London's Gamelan orchestra. The music he creates is the outcome of his experience: After America is dense, rich in tones and superbly produced. The album is reminiscent of Bourbonese Qualk discography, being eclectic and mastered at the same time, something not a lot of people can accomplish. Simon Crab learned traditional African and Middle Eastern music and it shows: you can clearly hear that he's a knowledgeable musician, the rhythms on the album are skillfully carried out, be it live played or electronic. Crab also has the ability to fuse the acoustic with the electronic in a very natural way. Everything fits very well together
On this first solo effort, Crab mixes traditional tribal percussion with deep electronic tones (using SuperCollider among other tools) and sound collage with thick layers of acoustic and electronic rhythms. The result is exciting to say the least, and the sonic landscapes on the album have a truly immersive effect because of the quality of the recording. Some of the tracks are definitely beat oriented while others are ambient and sometimes even melodic! My favorite track being a melodic almost idm affair: “For Jian-an” could have been written by Aphex Twin or Multiplex (Christian Dormon and Roland Dormon). While he juggles with multiple genre of music of various origins (occidental electronic music, traditional African rhythms, Indonesian gamelan ensemble music), every track is well executed. Various genre also means various instruments, mixed with electronic music, we can hear guitar, clarinet, acoustic drums, synthesizers, congas, bongos, accordion, flute and more.
While I've never heard of Simon Crab before, I was pleasantly surprise by the quality of this album. Overall, this is an excellent release beautifully produced by Simon Crab himself.
Standout tracks: For Jian-an, Kropotkin, Cobra Mist