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What Is It Like to Be a Bat?

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Album Review

While not knowing what it's like to be a bat, it should become fairly obvious within a few minutes what it's like to listen to a recording so unbelievably complex, organized, and chaotically funny that one can forget all one knows about contemporary music and its various genres. This is punk rock without punk rock and free jazz transformed by a reliance on found sounds; stop-on-a-dime arrangement; insane, seedy Lower East Side production; and absolutely no songs. The no songs part isn't a detriment, as Brazelton and partner in disorder and mania Dafna Naphtali wreak havoc with great glee upon notions of song, electronic production, improvisation, and avant-garde music as well. Using all manners of guitars, samplers, drums, and machines, this duo (with the help of a couple of friends) rips the entire postscript that is postmodern rock to the ground. And they laugh their asses off while doing it. It will not do to pretend and classify this kind of "fun" as the same kind offered by Los Lobos, Jad Fair, Yuka Honda, and Captain Beefheart, but it is safe to say that there is nothing whatsoever safe or reassuring on this recording. Brilliant and dangerous.

What Is It Like to Be a Bat?, Naphtali Brazelton
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