Bosch’s With You – Defamiliarisation (2006)
RAIG (Russia) R018
From Aural Innovations #36 (May 2007)
This band with the funny, inexplicable name Bosch's With You hails from Moscow, Russia and started as a side project of Dima T. Pilot, who had earlier gained some notice with his band Pilots Up in Smoke. I don't know what these Pilots were all about, but BWY is all about texture and ambience, in a way that is now so very familiar via many other 21st century instrumental acts (to date). Before 'Defamiliarisation,' the band also released CDs in both 2004 and 2005, the latter a double-disc package, which shows that you can get new material together quicker when the music is not so "composed" as is traditional rock/pop. Pilot is joined by fellow guitarist A.B., bassist Bubble, and drummer Bad C. The hour-long album emerged out of what was originally a continuous improvisational suite, now broken up into individual tracks.
The sprawling 21-minute plus opener, titled “#1 – As it is Bird,” takes its sweet time building slowly from just a simple short musical motif, performed solely on a pair of guitars with echo effects switched on. Sleep-inducing, yet inspirational in its own soul-soothing way. Halfway in, a new, still simple, musical motif is ordered up, this time with countering bassline and light, deliberate percussion. Following an interlude of buzzing e-bow guitar drone, a more kinetic version of the same kind of melodic statements rounds out the piece. Pretty much a microcosm of “post-rock” as we know it, all condensed into one single work. Nicely done.
“Penetrating in/outside Point of View III” is less effective, plodding along in somewhat tedious fashion for more than seven minutes, until a short sonic guitar burst interrupts things near the end. “HCTD do the D.O.W. Another Way” is darker, moodier, and eventually grows into an intense cacophony of sound not unlike gybe!, with the rhythm section beginning to actually fulfill its “proper” role in the latter half. I loved this one - a very foreboding slab of dark psychedelia. The ten-minute finale “The Last Image Attenuation” provides yet more highlights, from the lazy, dreamy opening (much like 7% Solution here) to the slowly syncopated rhythmic section later on.
Being a Russian band, Bosch’s With You demonstrates that any new movement in rock music will quickly become a worldwide phenomenon given the power of the internet. Since this is all instrumental music, there’s no way to know that this isn’t another band from Montreal or the Great Lakes area (Chicago, Detroit). BWY is a really good band though, so it doesn’t much matter where they come from. The sum total effect of “Defamiliarisation” is akin to ambient-drone music, though there’s “motion” most of the way through here, while not exactly kinetic. More like “slow motion.” It’s not going to make you jump up and down, but it will inspire you if you are in the right, contemplative mood. Check it out.
Visit the RAIG records web site at: http://www.raig.ru
Reviewed by Keith Hendeson