Rasp / Hasp - "Mix Your Languages", Ramboy

Voice is a wondrous thing. It can lift you up, put you down, or create any specific mood that the listener allows it to. Dutch vocalist Jodi Gilbert has chosen a path similar to this. Coming a few after the release of "Voice is the Matter" [which was a more minimal affair], "Mix Your Languages" is a mixed-bag of vocal stylings. Her voice is expressive, and haunting, while creating a mood all of its own. Recorded on two separate occasions in 2002 and 2003, "Mix Your Languages" is a compilation of two distinct ensembles that Jodi leads: RASP and HASP. RASP features Jodi on vocal, Wilbert de Joode on bass, percussionist Paul Lovens, and laptop innovators Richard Barrett and Anne La Berge [Anne also plays some flutes]. The other trio is HASP, which doesn't have the "live" element of Paul Lovens and the electronic element of Richard Barrett. Both trios sound other worldly [and this has nothing to do with the fact that Jodi attempts some Tuvan throat-singing at different points on the record.] On top of yelling, shouting and goggling, Jodi also tells stories. An especially hilarious one is "How to spot a tourist", where she recalls a non-sensical story - something about tickets is shouted. [I think she was trying to dump her frustrations of giving directions to a tourist?] Does the record gel as a whole? I'm not quite sure. I think it would have worked better as two separate section, where the RASP and HASP ensembles were divided. This would have allowed the listener a more in-depth analysis of both. In the liner notes, Jodi says "I find this music especially good to wash dishes to. It is probably not dinner music." She's right on both accounts. Disturbing improvisations for the adventurous mind.

Tom Sekowski

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