Saturday, 1 November 2014

Review: Black Strobe - Godforsaken Roads

Black Strobe's Godforsaken Roads sees Arnaud Rebotini move from the field of EBM to a territory
more associated with the likes of Nick Cave, albeit with a mostly electro backdrop.

The album follows his 2007 Burn Your Own Church album, itself a fine piece of dark electronics, but this collection is more song-based, and all the better for it.

It takes much of its inspiration from the blues, and the primitive rock 'n' roll style fits like a well-cut suit of the blackest cloth.

But it's not an attempt at re-creating music of the past with modern tech, Robotini doesn't shy away from  the 21st century with tracks like Blues Fight showing that the sounds of today's dance floors are not as far away from the haunted swamp blues of Robert Johnston that they would perhaps care to admit.

His version of Folsom Prison Blues as I noted a few months ago, successfully maintains the menace of Cash's original.

Meanwhile, if ever there was a song title that Nick Cave should have written it is For those who came on earth thru the Devil's Assshole.

The blues has proved to be a durable musical meme, re-invented in the 60s by electric R&B acts, 70s rock acts and 90s indie bands. By the sound of things its future in the 21st century is in safe hands.

Godforsaken Roads is re-interpretation of an American music tradition from the early 20th century from the viewpoint of a 21st century European artist, and it works perfectly.

Rebotini has experimented widely with music over the years, but this is probably his finest work yet.

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