one faint deluded smile

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Repeat and Sing

At first glance there's very few similarities between Robert Wyatt and Juana Molina (except, ofcourse, for the glorious fecundity of hair). One the one hand you have a 60 something paraplegic ex-jazz-rock drummer whilst on the other you have a 30 something Argentinian ex-commedienne. But all you have to do is listen to the some of their songs and the differences don't seem so great.

Wyatt's life changed when he drunkenly fell out of a 2nd floor window and broke his back. He then released his finest solo album - "Rock Bottom" - and, even though he continues to state that the songs bear no relation to the accident, the record sounds imbued with sorrow and pain and love and a little bit of anger. His many, many releases since then have always contained some of these raw elements.

Molina's life changed when she made a conscious decision to stop being one of the most popular stars on Argentinian TV and return to her first love - music. She'd released a cd of quite lovely alterna-pop before becoming South America's answer to Jennifer Saunders (or so I've read) but the 2 releases since that time - "Segundo" and "Tres Cosas" have a desire to confound commercial expectations.

Apart from this link (yes, I know, it's tenuous, grasping at straws and a poor attempt at erudition), it's obvious that they do share a love for repeating chord patterns and drones. And, most importantly, the addition of melodies above these that shift and shiver unexpectedly. I think their work methods may enforce this too. They both experiment / record at home and maybe it's the luxury of having time that allows them to explore the nooks and crannies of a few lovely chords.

This Wyatt track comes from his most home recorded product "Old Rottenhat" which I disliked at the time of it's release, mainly because I'd grown tired of his style. But, in many ways, it matches the quality of his earlier Virgin recordings:

mp3: Robert Wyatt - Gharbzadegi

This Molina track comes from "Segundo" and starts with some gorgeous bass rumblings. Yes, it's about a barking dog:

mp3: Juana Molina - El Perro

[please note that both of these tracks are longish so may take some time to download]

All of Robert Wyatt's records are currently available and have been lovingly remastered. My favourites are still "Rock Bottom" and his collection of 80s Rough Trade singles "Nothing Can Stop Us". Juana Molina's records have been released worldwide now, probably by her US label - Domino.


  • Kudos to your persona... Juana rocks, sir!!

    As argentinian, I am very proud of her!!

    thanks again...

    By Blogger darío, at 9:40 am  

  • I don`t what kind of criteria you have based yourself on to make such comparisons,so i just can beleave by now. But all I have to say is there´s one album i like from robert wyatt (couse i don`t know much about him) "solar flares burn you" ... it could be there some kind of conexion with Juana Molina`s music, who, by the way, i`m very fond of in such a way i wish I WAS ARGENTINIAN SOMETIMES...even i`m not too far....


    from Chile

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:43 am  

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