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Watersports

Mi Ami

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Mi Ami's debut for Touch and Go's partner label Quarterstick Records, Watersports is an unfathomable blend of free jazz, dub, Krautrock, minimal trance, and no wave punk. Essentially, it's an equal pouring of five music styles that have no business being in the same glass, but somehow make a good flavor together. At the heart of the concoction is a circular tension built on tribal rhythms, accented by slicing razor guitar, muddy flanged bass, and the nervous, disconnected squeals of guitarist/vocalist Daniel Martin-McCormick. Those familiar with McCormick's prior undertakings in Black Eyes will find some similarities, specifically in the hyper-percussiveness of both groups, but this time out, the beats don't revolve around the disco hi-hat, but instead, they focus on the motorik beat of the tom-toms. Further straying from the Black Eyes structure, the vocals on Watersports aren't gruff and punky — at all. Instead, they're delivered like rally cries, in a flurry of animalistic squeeks, ca-caws, barks, and coos. With a shared high-pitched vocal timbre as the Make-Up's Ian Svenonius and Can's Damo Suzuki (whose band was a definite influence for Mi Ami's direction), McCormick's boyish inflections tread the line between amusing and frightening. It's the type of caterwauling that's apt to turn people off, but those who aren't easily alienated just might find his howled mantras endurable, and even enduring, especially if they're able to translate words out of the monosyllabic yelps. The basic sentiment of Harry Nillson's "Everybody's Talkin'" is intensified to a much more fearful level when paired with the adrenaline charged "New Guitar." As the nervous energy builds, McCormick repeatedly wails, "People, they keep talking with me/All I hear is just words!/Only the echo, echo of my mind!" A full album at this crazed pace could easily wear thin quickly, but fortunately, the nine-minute "White Wife" acts as an anchor, bringing everything down to a slow delayed, hypnotic lull. Best summed up as a deranged Mardi Gras (the cover art is perfect), it's a strange little album, and surprising that something so alienating and overwhelming could also be so utterly listenable.

Biographies

Formé(s) : San Francisco, CA

Genre : Alternative

Années d’activité : '00s, '10s

San Francisco's "drum punk" trio Mi Ami feature guitarist/vocalist Daniel Martin-McCormick, bassist Jacob Long, and drummer Damon Palermo. Martin-McCormick and Long came from Dischord's kinetic, percussive group Black Eyes, who disbanded in 2004; the two wanted to take their music in a freer direction, and played together briefly as the free jazz-inspired duo White Flight. Long moved to California and Martin-McCormick followed, studying classical guitar at San Francisco State University. They connected...
Biographie complète
Watersports, Mi Ami
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