VARIOUS ARTISTS - Captain Woof Woofs’ Guitar

Various Artists - Captain Woof Woofs’ Guitar

14 songs
65:43 minutes

Different record labels have different strategies. Some want to sell as many albums as possible, others are into a specific genre they want to make popular, and then there are those like Scottish indie company Bearsuit who are specialised in experimental music from all over the world that no other label would want to touch. Captain Woof Woofs’ Guitar is consequently a compilation of such a wide eclectic range that hardly anyone will come to like everything, but no one can state afterwards that they haven’t discovered some styles they didn’t even know existed.

The CD start with Port Mone, a trio consisting of musicians from Russia, Turkey and Belarus, who plays some kind of instrumental prog rock, although the guitar is substituted by an accordion. Fierce entry indeed! Japanese Kirameki continue with an experimental collage that can’t deny its undeniable fun factor. The Per Olund Band from Sweden on the contrary sounds much more serious with their unusual operatic music. Taub is a duo consiting of Harold Nono from Scotland and Me Raabenstein from Germany. Their track offers ambient post rock with subtle rhythms, jazzy bass guitar and harmonica that turns later on more experimental. Still a rewarding listen! The Artifical Sea is an American band whose female fronted wave pop comes with a cold edge and nearly sounds already quite normal in the context of this sampler. Belgian/Scottish duo Whizz Kid offer the opener of their EP which has been reviewed on this homepage. Next up are Milenko from France whose experimental indie pop is sweetened by childlike female vocals, creating a blissful fairytale atmosphere. Sado Mundo from Italy play slow core with lots of guitar reverb and a haunting melody. British indie folk pop band The Temple Cloud Country Club nearly sounds too conventional for this CD. This is contrasted by the very strange collage of Japanese/British band Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai. More weirdness comes from Japanese artist Lettelete aka Ememe whose track features avant-garde piano ad musical box, although eventually feels too repetitive for my taste. The contribution by Mr. Fritz (from Scotland) and Magnitophone (from Greece) starts with low droning synths. The second half of their piece adds beats, melody and subdued vocals which make it all the more interesting. Alone Together from Japan offer a dreamy piano melody with mellow, shuffling beats. The compilation ends with duet by the aforementioned Harold Nono and Japanese artist Hidekazu Wakabayashi that starts as a classical piano piece that merges into dreamy post rock. Nice, although the track ends after five minutes, is followed by three minutes of blankness, before random piano playing makes for four further, but admittedly boring minutes.

Captain Woof Woofs’ Guitar is a compilation full of musical surprises that should enchant every explorer of hitherto unknown music styles. Not everything might be suitable for you, but the craziness of genre hopping should be incentive enough. The fact that the featured acts originate from many different countries and cultures, and that there are many transnational collaborations is another asset of a small yet fine indie label that does its best to present original music to the world. Experimentalists will have a field day!

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