George Korein and the Spleen - No Content Required

10 songs
29:32 minutes
***** ***


A short half year after his last release, George Korein is back with a new output. This time he didnít feel like playing the music himself. Instead he decided to use Appleís loop library to concoct new songs. With every other musician, this would have risked becoming a boring endeavour, but those familiar with George Koreinís music know that he will go the extra mile to come up with something really special.

The ten tracks make it to nearly half an hour of music, which is rather long, considering that his releases usually make it only to twenty minutes. To prevent repetition and monotony, every song explores different genres. The opener A Little Stock come with lyrics borrowed from a conversation between Metallicaís Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, but itís not a metal song. It rather feels like a hyperactive kid whoís forgotten to take his Ritalin before being turned loose in the loop shop. The track jumps every few seconds to something completely different, making it something like a nightmare of stock music samples, but in a deviously pleasant way. Vaccine Queen has a more straightforward song feeling and is a tribute to a woman who got vaccines for her whole entourage. Apart from the positive message, this is also a fairly great rock song with a Butthole Surfers-like ending. Granola Blitz Bar is quite a silly piece with outdated Eighties disco samples. Real Men Die once again has a more rock atmosphere, and is a satiric exploration of how men can die in tough ways. Very Merry Steenburgen, a tribute to the great comedian Mary Steenburgen, is an upbeat song with a cheerful melody.

The second half of the new album feels darker. 20 Years Of 1993 is a strange oppressive track with Indian percussion and African folk music. Speak Truth To Willpower has a certain modern classical flair, whereas the title track could be the soundtrack of an Eighties horror B-movie. The Parable Of The Rave is playing around with techno elements, yet its atmosphere is dense and claustrophobic, and then the album ends with an acoustic cover version of Patrick Hernandezís disco classic Born To Be Alive, which in this instance has an Americana coat of paint.

Itís impressive what you can do with a whole bunch of loops, and it shows that playing real instruments is not required if you want to create entertaining songs. Fans of plunderphonics, as they have been introduced by Negativland nearly half a century ago, should be intrigued, although George Korein has a lighter approach to the subject matter.

Back to Reviews