A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen
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A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen

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Album i grupa zanimljivog naslova, dolaze iz Belgije, a cine je trio Craig Ward, Bootsie Butsenzeller i Paul Lamont. I to Vam vjerojatno ne bi ništa ni znacilo, da uz Craig Ward nije napomena da je isti svirao u internacionalno poznatom belgijskom bendu dEUS, a Paul Lamont u belgijskim noizerima HITCH, koji su cak objavili album za naš Moonlee Records. Bootsie s druge strane, nije baš imao previše internacionalnog uspjeha sa svojim bivšim bendom DAAU.

Sažetak njihovog debi albuma koji je stao u cetrdesetak minuta onog što bi se moglo nazvati muzika bilo bi experimental-progresiv-math-noise-jazz. Siguran sam da slušatelj ovakve muzike mora imati specifican želudac, jer povremeno kopanje basa po utrobi ili pak ubitacno lupanje po bubnjevima mogu dovesti do jacih oštecenja (ne fizickih, vec psihickih) kod slušatelja, a zbrkane gitare dovode do glavobolje. Jedino vokal, ovako narativan, može poslužiti kao mali odmor od buke koju ACKIAHK proizvode.

No ako je baš to ono što ocekujete od muzike, ovo je definitivno album za vas. Ako ne, možete ga barem upotrebiti kako bi dobro nasekirali susjede! - Terapija


Nestled somewhere near the centre of the math/noise/post-rock venn diagram, A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen is the self-titled debut from this Antwerp-based outfit, centred round guitarist Craig Ward (formerly of dEUS, amongst others) and drummer Butsenzeller (a.k.a. Geert ‘Bootsie’ Budts of DAAU, etc.). Between them they grind out a brash and exuberant brand of proggy skronk; full of wailing sax, primitive electronics, scruffy, angular guitar and tight-as-a-gnat’s-chuff rhythms. There’s an obvious (but thankfully not overbearing) Trout Mask/Decals-era Beefheart influence at play here, especially in Ward’s guitar (this is a Good Thing).

Whilst the guitar is a dominant force throughout this record, coating everything in a thick layer of noisy grime and vicious atonal stabs, it’s Butsenzeller’s drumming which ultimately holds the whole thing together. Whether supplying gratuitously complex math-rock patterns, letting it all hang out in loose, jazzy improv passages or hammering out a ballsy rock backbone, his drumming is exemplary.

As with a lot of the best noise-related music, after a couple of songs A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen operates on a more-or-less ambient level. The music is so far removed from tangible melodies that your ears quickly become adjusted to the noise and start to subconsciously register the subtle shifts in sound rather than searching for hooks to latch on to.

Ward’s vocals are a largely unintelligible Patton-esque affair, buried deep in the mix; mumbling, groaning and bellowing under layer upon layer of screeching guitar, meaty bass and pounding drums. This approach effectively strips the words away from the vocals, leaving them as a disconcerting conduit for raw tension and angst. It adds a welcome humanity to proceedings and keeps things from spilling over into the usual “emotionless avant-rock automatons” territory.

It’s hard to pinpoint to certain tracks as stand-outs as the whole album is remarkably consistent in both tone and quality, but “Safety Shot” probably deserves a special mention for its remarkable intro alone, in which shrieking pure electronic tones are deployed in devastating unison with Ward’s unhinged guitar – it might not sound like much written down, but the first time I heard it it made me grin like a fucking loon, so there. Also worthy of note is “Priss”. At just shy of ten minutes, it’s the longest track on the album and arguably the most distinctive of the bunch as well. It’s a comparatively slow-tempo affair, with bouts of loose free improv shifting into heavier arranged passages. Personally, I think the album might have benefited from a few more moments like this.

Overall, this is as assured and confident a debut as any avant-rock band could wish for, but given Ward and Butzenseller’s considerable experience this hardly comes as a surprise. A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen might not be pushing avant-rock into uncharted waters as such, but by deftly consolidating all the best elements of math, noise and post-rock into one convenient package, it’s never been easier to annoy your friends, relatives and neighbours alike! - Hemulism


A Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen is a relatively young band from Belgium, which has recently released their self-titled debut album. Under the guise of a long band name and very intriguing song titles hides a band with mostly improvisational tendencies, which show a great deal of promise, but a lack of restraint as well.

If we were looking for an easy way out, a simplistic label for them, their music could be described as belonging to avant-garde rock. While the music on this album certainly bears some resemblance to the likes of King Crimson (Red, Larks' Tongues) and Captain Beefheart, there's a bit more brewing in their music. Their music generally gives an impression of overall chaos, noise and madness, but definitely one which has some method. Their bass lines, drums and riffs have a very solid vibe and drive to them and this lends a solid basis to build the rest of the song on. You add to that some screeching woodwinds, half-screamed vocals, more distorted guitars and you get a general feel for this band. Their basic riffs are generally developped into prolonged jams that sometimes lead to interesting developments and sometimes unfortunately have no clear destination at all. I suppose this is the curse of more improvisational units. Maybe some more thought about the direction of the jams and some actual composition wouldn't hurt.

These guys have a very solid foundation from which to build on, but they definitely need to hone their skills, in particularly their compositional weaknesses, for lack of a better word. I really enjoyed the feel of this album. It has a raw and punkish energy and a terrific dark, almost demonic mood. If they condensed their songs a bit more and tone down on the noise and distortion, this could be some terrific moody and atmospheric music, somewhere in the realms of King Crimson (Red) or even Guapo (Five Suns, Black Oni). As it stands, this shows a great deal of potential, but it's now up to them to decide whether they actually want to do something with their talent or not.

6 out of 10. - The Rocktologist


A Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen – A Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen

With their eponymous album debut, A Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen look to confuse and bewilder. Their aim to challenge your whole concept of music with typical song structures ignored and melodies designated to tiny snatches amid a cacophony of noise. The only real musical description springing to mind, prog rock played by The Gang of Four in a free form jazz style.

A friend once depicted jazz as wrong notes played with confidence, which just about covers this album. To add to the confusion, there are little if any breaks between the songs, only visual aids informing “Farmers with Televisions” has ended and “ Event Horizon” begun. Improvisation appears the key, all eight compositions based around a series of jams, even to the point of “Priss” sounding as though the band has only reached the tuning up stage, never mind ready to actually push the record button.

There are vocals, although once again, not in the normal sense of the word. Designated to a position deep in the mix, heavily distorted, almost incomprehensible, included as an additional sound rather than a focus or a medium for narrative lyrical themes.

Obviously an album to be discarded never to be listened to again you may imagine.......... for some outlandish reason however, I keep returning to “A Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen” for the following rationale. While songs generally become familiar, a melody becoming ensconced in your brain or a particular line always on the edge of your tongue, every listen to this assortment reveals something completely new. Was that a rhythm, perhaps even a hint of melody, did I pick out a lyrical theme or not, almost as though a subliminally re-recorded version has been provided for each occasion.

I can’t ever remember playing pieces of music so often, virtually nothing held in my memory, each occurrence sounding totally fresh and new. On those grounds, if you feel you can handle “A Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen” it comes very highly recommended. - Mudkiss Fanzine


Discography

A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen (Jezus Factory, vinyl, 2011)

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Bio

A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen began life as a recording project - a collaboration between guitarist, Craig Ward and drummer, Boots. Sporadic recording sessions between 2007 and 2009 resulted in their eponymously titled debut LP, released in 2011, by Jezus Factory Records.

On completion of the album they expanded to a 3 piece, bringing in Paul Lamont on bass.

ACKIAHK play a kind of progressive jazz punk. Guitars are trebly and face-shredding, the bass is heavy and hypnotic, the drums are wild and liberated and the vocals distorted and incomprehensible. Occasional saxophone and synthesizer interventions punctuate the musical landscape.

It is dark, but it grooves, lurching between free, jazzy passages and tightly arranged math-rock sections. The extreme frequencies of the guitar and bass leave plenty of room in the middle for Boots to flex his magic drumming muscle.