This week in reviews: Liliput. This Swiss band started out being called “Kleenex” before they were threatened by the tissue company to change their name. Their music is unique, dynamic, and simply inspiring. Everything they made is interesting, and this record epitomizes what makes this band so special. The vocals are layered in a mix of low end narration, high pitched screaming, howls, throaty whispers, and at times combine much like witches chanting over a pot of boiling brew.
The percussion ranges from heavy low toms beating in trance-like rhythms to dancey, staccato rhythms. Many additional instruments are included in the percussion which trill like snake tails and loose wolf tongues.
The guitar and bass work beautifully within the song structures- sometimes working as a beautiful narrative to carry us along the story, or at other times creating dissonance and chaos which breaks tradition and plunges us into a chasm filled with arms swirling around us- similar to the tunnel Sarah plunges down in the movie Labyrinth.
It’s hard to pick favorites on this record, because there is a whole story which is evident when the record is listened to in it’s entirety. It’s an epic, incredible beast of a record. Overall, this is definitely my favorite compilation of songs which Liliput released. The amount of layering on this record is simply incredible. I’m not sure if the three of them could replicate this record live without the assistance of extra people- if they did, it really is miraculous and I wish I had been able to see it!
Kill Rock Stars released a compilation double cd of Liliput’s catalog, but listening to this record on it’s own, on vinyl, is undeniably a totally different experience.
The first song on the record, “Do you mind my dream” eloquently opens the narrative of this record. The lyrics are,
“get used to in an undertone
walks on stilts
build up with imperfections
and clutch at a straw
in any case a vacant look
do you mind my dream?”
The record is nicely designed with a simple sleeve with lyrics on one side and a picture of the three musicians on the other. The cover is full color with an eerie animation scene which looks like people and animals communing in the desert. I can imagine these characters interacting in a short claymation film with this music in the background.
This record is on Rough Trade and was recorded in 1982. Rough Trade was putting out really spectacular records in the late 70’s and early 80’s and continues to be a megalith in interesting recordings.