Mensch Music Fizzé/Dizzi : Kulu / Manoeuvres (CH/..,1980-1985/1987;comp.1996)****'
I’m glad I received the opportunity to hear this compilation of earlier work of the musicians involved with previous group/project, Peeni Waali. This is a compilation of two LP’s. The first album, “Kulu Hathan Mannua” (1980-1985) is published under the name of Fizzé, the second album is called “Manoeuvres d’automne” (=French for “harvest movements”) is by Gilles-V.”Dizzi” Rieder, while most tracks are listed as being composed by Fizzé.
The first project is pretty close to the best potential I noticed with Peeni Waali, namely a great ability to make an original form of jazzy World fusion. I already mentioned there the great German progressive jazzrock group Embryo who often dealt with world fusion mixes. This was less often with African influences, compared to the first album in this compilation. This jazzy world fusion album sounds injected with African & North-African jazzy elements but without really belonging to any area, with improvisations that are clearly led by a clever percussionist, who skilfully played very colourful rhythms with ever changing material, which often sounds as if played by African instruments, but which is not always the case. Also kitchen material is used for instance, like a milkpot, and even when with more than once with a more experimental approach; also this is played with the energy of an “African” percussionist (: very colourful). Just here and there, voices are mixed in, like on “Animist” which uses a voice of a strange throat singer with personal qualities, which in combination with bass and sounds, percussion makes its own expressive experimental darkness. Besides that, lots of other exotic instruments appear. Some tracks therefore seem to be real perfect examples of what I called the all-world music approach. “Melody Mensch” for instance, sounds like a Chinese Orchestra, the medieval folk instrument, hurdy-gurdies, thumbpiano, and the Persian santur and a lot more, mix lots of worlds really perfectly.
The two projects melt in each other perfectly. The second project fits best with the experimental side of the front cover (the African mask refers to the first part). This project, partly percussion based, but also with colourful keyboards and world music instruments, sampled or not ? are also mixed with much more experimental sounds, and nature (animals, water sound rituals,..) sounds. The result is like one big soundtrack presenting a mind-state stage and theatre, brooding, relaxing, fusing, .. It has moments of a ritual with immediate result (pow-wow, ..). “La Mirte Guette” is a bit different but still very good track, with spoken word (in French), darker, and more progressive, and also aggressive, in a very constructive way, followed by quality jazz sax bringing the listener back into the fusing world. Most last few tracks have more direct Afro elements, have voices of Taj Mahal, Linto Kwesi Johnson, and Lee “Scratch” Perry, with the jazz element never too far. One of these tracks was the already mentioned brilliant bonus track on the CD “the eve” (see above review), “colorrace”, a splendid powerful statement with simple words. A highly recommended, limited edition release which I hope will be re-released elsewhere.