Growing Up Walls
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Usman Achmad - "Stambul Naturil"

A long-unfolding, classical-sounding lead and a short, looping series of treble chords make up this acoustic guitar duet, which is unlike any I have heard before. It took only five seconds for this song to literally charm the pants off me: when the chordal part clumsily appeared, presenting a baffling counterpoint to the already established lead line, I laughed, but then, deadly serious, removed my pants. I was humiliated, but also excited, because, in truth, I search day and night for something so sublime as this - a song in 4/4, which seems also to contain all other time signatures within it. And that's just the guitars.

Do as I say = as I do = Put this song on repeat, lie back pantless and wait for a voice like a wicker chair and a linen suit and a gin and tonic and bask in the light of this singer of profound soulfulness and in his lyrics (Indonesian), which, though I don't understand a word of them, must deal with the dual themes of nature and mortality in much the same way as the early-medieval Japanese poet Kakinomoto Hitomaro - "Away I have come, parting from her/Even as the creeping vines do part" - or perhaps of the ideal and the abstract, of whether the number three is Julius Caesar, of infinite sets of varying sizes, and in precisely the same natural style, because the number three and infinite sets are just two more things in this man's world.


Posted by Jordan at August 21, 2007 11:14 PM

Sublime, though I have a question: do you mean: 'this-man's world' or 'this man's-world', the latter being concomitant with a certain James Brown ditty, the former being, well, solipsistic? Okay, just kidding. No, the question still stands.

Posted by Joel Taylor at August 22, 2007 1:18 PM

my drink of choice as I sit pantless and enjoy this amazing ditty is a white russian, with skim milk instead of cream... coen brothers-esqe big lebowski style, yet with a flair of wes anderson's latest accomplishment which delves into eastern philosophy, but not the cliche pitfalls that many fall into.

just raw, naked goodness of melody and harmony.

there is no you and i, there just is.

Posted by the constant skeptic at August 25, 2007 5:54 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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