Alma MusicQuetev Meriri (IS,2008)***°/****
Quetev Mereri has a rather unusual musical approach for an Israeli band, and has a special form of a style of their own. I will try to describe what happens on the album...
Already on the first track, “Walter Benjamin”, an electrified guitar improvises calmly in Middle Eastern scale with some small outsider-avant garde-melodic contraventions (or deviations), losing its usual ‘traditional approach’ to become something different and partly like free music, while droning sound explorations based upon guitar drones participate along. This partial free music mode keeps a recognisable moody improvisation within reach of the normal and recognisable with some patterns.
On the second track, “Jacob’s Frank”, an accordion improvises, with additional guitar, and with one voice hummingly improvising, and another, semi-Demetrio Stratos vocal experiment, with higher tones, nose-screaming along (anaoidedly). A guitar rhythm, with bass qualities, in the meanwhile, takes care of a one note rhythm. Then, the lead voice, after its introduction, begins to sing for real (with lyrics) (with some touches of a subtle ghostly background sound and the breathing of a voice), before evolving with emotional strength and with increasing tension, along with the oscillating string in the background, building up the tension. Other distorted guitars thoroughly increase with it this tension, forming through it a rather ‘psychedelic’ mood, with electrified and distorted guitars vibrating rhythmically, on the endless focus of the song. The electric guitars (with one odd keyboard chord) hum and improvise further on the created mood to an instrumental conclusion for this 15 minute track (which was called “Seeds”). Also this track unfolds to the next one, “Franz Rosenzweig”, (on bass electric guitars, found percussion on something close to cymbals, and on thin metal objects), another improvisation between the recognisable, in Middle Eastern scale and with psychedelic effect, and with the same free avant-garde touches of anormalities, while keeping the middle eastern improvisation leading. A few odd keyboard chords improvisations to it seem vaguely to refer to a different area, while once more moody guitar droning chords and bells-like percussion are also added into the background. Also “Emanuel Levin” after that is a Middle Eastern improvisation, a rather independently working duet of electric oud and guitar (into more bass sounds and with some reverb). On top of that there’s a fitting vocal improvisation, cut in and out.
Last track, “Dispersed City”, is a sad song, like a Middle Eastern cry (or complaint), with a second background voice like a more abstract cry, while guitars accompany slowly, with an hypnotically calm improvisation, ending with an instrumental part, this became pretty comparable to how the album started.