ALVARIUS B. - Alvarius B vs Abdel Baqy Byro in Cairo
Seemingly tossed-off spontaneity is the intoxicant with which Alvarius B vs Abdel Baqy Byro in Cairo is heavily laced. This 39-minute lenticular collage recalls Tangier-era Burroughs in its concealment of structure behind a veneer of arbitrary free association, with Alvarius B. delivering his take on contemporary behavioral dementia in a style that veers from the nocturnal yammer of legendary somniloquist Dion McGregor to salty neo-Yossarian ravings to the casual vitriol of a misanthrope who knows hes entertaining. Its the kind of trip a modern-day Slothrup might take after smoking polyester shrubbery and over-indulging in candiru sushi served by an erotic topiary gardener in exile for masturbating on the wall outside a 19th Century French orphanage - overseen by The Sinister Extemporizer himself, Alan Bishop. It was recorded live all over Cairo (in cars, trains, apartments, garages, cafes, bars, on rooftops, on the street) with a backline that includes little else beyond an acoustic guitar and a radio. Field recordings, glitchy wheeze underpinnings, and snippets of space murble garnish the album, but site-specific stuffing is what gives this kataif its particular flavor: a rapped tribute to the murdered members of a hardcore soccer fan-club; a pas de deux for laptop keyboard and BBCs coverage of Gaza bombings; public demonstrations against the Muslim-Brotherhood-authored Constitution; Monte Carlo Arabic Services mention of the 70th anniversary of El Alamein battle. Bishops quilt of screenshots depicts a consciousness informed by an increasingly universal presumption that everything public should be interactive, if only to act as a vessel for contempt. An urbane cannibal fills the twilight bazaar with bacterial karaoke and falsetto bleating slicker than a goats uterus before disappearing into the crowd at Snottys Chill-Out Pentagram. Turn a corner and its an improv duet for acoustic guitar and the pachyderm grind of dirty delivery trucks. All around is mysteriously auto-tuned, proto-mahragan RnB crooning right out of a Saharan cellphone rave. A blue-blood places a call to an amplified insect tantrum, and is eavesdropped upon by a seductress loop. Delusional arms suppliers mansplain, as is their wont, and a beautifully dismissive monologue reduces music writers to literary dumbwaiters. The Invisible Hands take a moment to get in touch with their inner Sex Pistol. Prerecorded announcements are abused, quite comedically - the implication being that the only qualifications needed to engage in public discourse (telegenics and a piehole) are grossly insufficient. Alan Bishop stands before you not to praise anything (especially not the pathetic aesthetic championed by pork brosnans and Illuminati blood-drinkers stumbling from one end of their bleachy little swamp to the other, where mediocre meets bland and no amount of chlamydia-flavored tofutti with ground up glass in it will protect them from the constant tularemia rain), but to bury it, deep on the shoreline of Dunning-Kruger, a parting gift from The Sibling Unmoored as he withdraws in disgust. Maybe hell return after Ramadan, if only to crack open whats left of their skulls like cr_ɬ®me brul_ɬ©e, harvest the enlarged amygdala, and render tiny portraits of Pepe The Frog onto their lacerated morgellons. Maybe not. -Seymour Glass California, USA September 2016.
- Regular price $24.00