Album review: Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld, Still Smiling (Specula)

 

Blixa Bargeld's collaboration with Italian composer Teho Teardo finds him in fine fettle on a group of typically sardonic songs set to unusual string and electronic arrangements performed with The Balanescu Quartet.

The rasping cello strokes of opener “Mi Scusi” form a brusque accompaniment to Teardo's Italian apologia, while the huge, lugubrious lowing of bowed bass roots Bargeld's depiction of the “Axolotl” firmly in primeval ooze. “Bundtmetalldiebe” offers a sombre realignment of the relationship between string quartet and harpsichord, with Blixa musing drily about “whatever there's plenty of, it will be sparse tomorrow”. His bleakest lyric, though, is reserved for “Still Smiling” (“...from the bottom of my shapeless soul”).

Download: Come Up And See Me; Still Smiling; What If...?; Mi Scusi

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