Monday, December 29, 2014
mouth music # 46
". on the solo voice "Starsailor", the singer multiplied himself into an astral choir. Sixteen strands of Buckley's eeriest vocal goo--overdubbed, but amazingly not treated with effects in any way--ooze and extrude, striate and shiver, forming a multi-octave meshwork of rippling filaments and quivering tentacles. It's like you're somehow inside Buckley's body--exploring its labyrinthine architecture of erotic energies and pre-verbal intensities, an inner-spatial honeycomb of bliss and dread,attraction and repulsion. The only parallels for what he was doing on "Starsailor"--and the most gravity-defying and ectoplasmic vocal manoevures on "Jungle Fire" and "Healing Festival"--are Gyorgi Ligeti's hair-raising choral music on the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Diamanda Galas's Litanies of Satan.... In rock, only Iggy Pop (the un-human snarls and expectorations on "TV Eye") and Robert Wyatt (the muezzin-wail-meets-scat falsetto altitudes scaled in the final minutes of "Sea Song") have taken the human voice as far as Buckley did on Starsailor. Weirdly, given that the album seemed to represent Buckley's final push to break free of being "a slave to the lyrics," the words were among his best ever--a sort of erotic-mystic Fauvist beat poetry, all "baited moans" and "I love you like a jungle fire". Larry Beckett... came up with some triptastic imagery, like the title track's "Though I memorized the slope of water/Oblivion carries me on his shoulder/Beyond the suns I speak and circuits shiver." The song,Buckley explained later, was "a view of the universe through the eye of a bee. It's a great cartoon"-- possibly a wind-up, given his reported penchant
for embroidering the truth and sometimes straight-up fibbing...."
He could do it live ' all
And then this one: all awesome, but mouth-music worthy from 4.54....
Similarly this too from about 3.40...
.... "Get On Top" really takes off in its second half, Buckley leaving behind fixed libretto for freeform libido and mad-scatting a zoo-music of gasps and grunts and Mexican whoops, as lust battles with exhaustion (that's why he's suggesting a change of position). In "Devil Eyes"--the song with the line about licking between his older lover's stretch marks--Buckley beseeches his partner to do the "monkey rub". And in the song's final feverish minutes, he gibbers like a funky gibbon, at one point emitting this vocal wobble like the "ooo-er!" of an orang-utang slipping on a banana peel--a polyrhythmically perverse pratfall that's simultaneously slapstick funny and teasingly erotic.
Of Greetings from LA's horny-as-hell bubbling babble and orgiastic onomotopeia, Buckley said " I brought in the technique of talking in tongues, which is very religious, out of the Holy Roller thing and very much American, a part of the country. Words lose their meanings after awhile and in a lot of ways, word are just preliminaries to the real thing in music."
full paean here