BILLY BAO 'Urban Disease' LP
PAN 11

'Urban Disease' is the new radical work by Billy Bao, Mattin, Taku Unami, Tim Barnes, Barry Weisblat and Margarida Garcia.

It's important to remember that before Mattin and anarchism ruined his life, Billy Bao was a bit of a troubadour who accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and warbled wild songs of protest in his native Nigerian patois. This new album, his third on vinyl, finds Billy in a transitional phase toward the end of 2006, before the gaztetxes of Bilbao burrowed into his marrow, before Mattin became the Merle to his G.G., before Billy turned into herpes sore in the mouth of global capitalism.

"Billy doesn't believe in hypnagogia," we're told, "because he always sleeps with one eye open, and when he dreams, all he sees is AIDS denialists, German shepherds, and soldiers disguised as UN peacekeepers." Before Taku Unami fucked it up, this session found Bao relaxed and in high spirits as he conducted a pickup band of itinerant improvisers through a song-by-song cover of Amon Düül's Psychedelic Underground. Margarida Garcia lent her astounding skill and highly personal idiom on the electric double-bass, in her hands an instrument with the tension of string on wood and the disruptive potential of a crackle box. Barry Weisblat, meanwhile, teased out a century of drone from a Cornell lunchbox of filament and circuitry. Who better to play drums and percussion than the sainted Tim Barnes? Mattin, thumb and forefinger compulsively pinching or stroking his Hitler mustache after every take, funneled Billy's malaise through laptop, percussion, and folk instrumentation. There was even, astonishingly, a women's choir on hand, eerily filling out the atmosphere with wordless vocals and incantations. But this is after, and the result is a fragmentary, extremely loud hippie jam session punctuated by stretches of uneasy silence and scrape.

The Lp is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, in a limited edition of 500 copies, pressed on 140g vinyl and comes in a poly-lined inner sleeve. It is packaged in a pro-press jacket which itself is housed in a silk screened pvc sleeve with original artwork by New York artist HENRY FLYNT.


The Guardian (U.K. 26th June 2013)

The 101 strangest records on Spotify: Billy Bao – Urban Disease

So freeform it makes the phrase 'freeform' sound constrictive, this spellbinding band construct a maze of false starts, clicks, overdriven digital screams, furious silences and extreme noise

This track by the Nigerian band Billy Bao is not really one track at all: it's many tracks run into one sequence. That deep-reverb womb ambience at 14:00 deconstructs itself completely, beckons in a long period of silence, before making you jump out of your skin with a catastrophically damaged blast of a painfully ruined snippet of what might, once, have been Afrobeat at 16:19. Then again, perhaps they're not "tracks", and perhaps there's no "sequence". Who of us can really say?

My favourite Billy Bao "song" is the one that starts with an echoing handclap at 24:02 in. The track before is so deliberately aggravating it makes the Cardiacs sound like JLS, while this one – as ever with Billy Bao, no names, no pack-drill – has a fantastically relaxed air. Or rather, it does until 25:25 when a brutal, demonic howl slowly fades in, only to suddenly disappear, leaving just that lone clap, before, at 27:57, it all explodes into a gleefully violent carnival of shattering noise. It is the most breathtaking, invigorating thing I can remember hearing for some time.

The band's "vocalist" – a fairly loose definition – is a Nigerian chap called William who left Lagos and arrived in Bilbao in 1986. He fell in with the local punk scene, and the band was formed. "We do not write songs," William said recently. "We do not rehearse. We either are recording or we are playing live." He also described an earlier release of theirs as "35 minutes [of] incandescent poison made out of misery and deception", but, hey, there are upsides, too. Urban Disease is a largely electronic maze of false starts, clicks, overdriven digital screams, furious silences and extreme noise. Very little is certain, except that your journey through this spellbindingly odd album will grip you from beginning to end. Just don't put it on at bedtime.

The Wire
(U.K. June 2010)
by Nick Richardson

Sollid Little Rock Jams

Beyond having heard this album, I ceased trying to stay up to date on Billy Bao two years ago when I dismissively threw Dialectics of Shit into a pile with Rusted Shut, i.e. like Brainbombs but not as funny and without the killer riffs. Just pounding headache inducing garbage that I don't particularly enjoy listening to. The 7" and 10" that came before weren't all that different but they were certainly shorter, which is always a good thing. There's a story behind this band but I don't know which parts are true, if the singer is some Nigerian guy howling at oppression or when Mattin joined or if he just fabricated that entire backstory as part of his "conceptual art" schtick that he has going on. All I have is the internet to inform me about these things. There's only so much vague bullshit that I'm willing to wade through.

Let me try, though. This two sided vinyl adventure contains the earliest Billy Bao recordings? Maybe? They're from almost a whole half decade ago, perhaps? The press release said something about Mr. Bao inviting people over to perform Psychedelic Underground in its entirety. Maybe that happened. Maybe the music on here is something else that isn't that. And maybe Mattin fucked with it a considerable amount and that's why there are long stretches of silence jarringly ripped open by primal noisemaking with even more noisemaking smeared over it.

The only thing that puts this within the previously established Billy Bao aesthetic is that it's so listener unfriendly. The music itself has little to do with the sort of punishing downtuned racket that is normally found on the records released under the Billy Bao name. And perhaps this is where the Amon Düül fascination comes in, considering that it begins with a brief passage of inane yelping drum circle freakout bullshit. After all, isn't Psychedelic Underground about as fuzzed to shit as the stuff happening within the grooves of Urban Disease? "Ein wunderhubsches Madchen traumt von Sandosa" began with a stream of white noise blasting its wad out of the mix and it was almost as painful as any of the torturously blunt editing choices that Mattin (???) makes on here.

I'm not sure if this album proves that Billy Bao's roots lie in freeform psych or what amount of influence Mattin has over the group's recordings or anything at all. The sawing power electronics brutality at the beginning of side B certainly reminds me of side B of List of Profound Insecurities, his recorded collaboration with Drunkdriver. But then I hear that followed by two minutes of retarded ELP style prog jazz wankoff and I have no clue what to think. And then ending it all with a synth/drum machine dirge that sounds like Supersilent finally laying down a rough demo for their early Cure recalling goth pop crossover smash... fuck. Urban Disease suggests that there is a hell of a lot more to Billy Bao than "noise rock." There are plenty of moments identifiable as being grounded in some kind of junky but highly dynamic approach to improv but then there's the matter of Mattin, and if he really is responsible for arranging such a bizarre assortment of sounds into a two sided Long Player format... well, kudos to him. Whenever he did this. If he did this. I've never heard an album quite like Urban Disease and it's easily 2010's most confounding releases, but also one of the best.

Rating: Excellent.

Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage

Si han visto películas de Michael Haneke, un reconocido director de cine austriaco, entenderán un poco a lo que me refiero, y es que el cine y la música van muy de la mano y ambos tratan de alguna manera de llegar a el estatus que la literatura ha alcanzado como arte, y es que el cine y la música aún siguen siendo artes muy populares, difícil de aceptar aún para muchos las películas de David Lynch, o los discos de Sunn O))) por ejemplo, mientras que en lo referente a la literatura, libros como Cien Años de Soledad, Rayuela, El Desayuno Desnudo, La Metamorfosis o El Lobo Estepario son consideradas obras maestras sin mucho lugar a discusión, pero bueno para el público que gusta de leer las revistas de espectáculos y escuchar el top 10, es un hecho que le sean igual de indiferentes los libros antes mencionados y seguramente preferirá su dosis de melatonina escrita proporcionado por los libros de motivación y auto ayuda (los más vendidos sin duda).

En particular tengo gratos recuerdos de Haneke en su película Funny Games, aquella de los chicos que aterrorizan a una familia, hay escenas muy particulares en que Haneke juega con su cinta y literalmente la hace “su” cinta, en ella los villanos rompen aquella “legendaria” cuarta pared y voltean a la cámara de manera deliberada y le hacen guiños, haciéndonos saber cómo público que estamos ahí, y que estamos ante una película y que los personajes, por lo menos ese, lo sabe, igualmente cuando las víctimas están por repeler el ataque de sus agresores, uno de estos usa un control remoto y regresa la acción hasta antes de efectuarse, nulificando la defensa de las víctimas.

Pues bien, ya habíamos hablado de Billy Bao, grupo Vasco de ruido anárquico, que nos trajo clásicos como el Dialectics of Shit y el May 08, lidereados por el controversial Mattin, artista sonora apegado a la estética noise y a la improvisación, el otro líder de Billy Bao, es precisamente el legendario Billy Bao, que no sabemos en realidad si exista, o sea una creación de Mattin, pero que grita en los discos y que supuestamente es un refugiado de Nigeria viviendo en España.

En sus anteriores discos, Billy Bao incluso nos incluye fragmentos de su “padre” musical, el legendario músico Nigeriano, Fela Kuti, ahora bien, porque oso comparar a Billy Bao con el cine de Haneke, por esta sencilla razón, Billy Bao o Mattin, saben que esto es una grabación y se saben dueños de ella y hacen lo que quieren con ella, en ocasiones hacen reventar el control del volumen, en otras lo enmudecen con igual descaro, el “feedback” es el rey en ocasiones, y la estética del noise reina en todo momento, lo curioso del arte sonoro de Billy Bao es que no concede nada a nadie, se sabe dueño de si mismo, e impone sus propias reglas, algo que muchos acusarían de “imperdonable” Billy Bao lo hace suyo por completo, el sonido aparece y desaparece de manera completamente “anormal”, si es que aquí existiese la normalidad? Decía un amigo mío, lo normal en un manicomio es ser anormal, y si, lo normal en una cinta de Billy Bao es la anormalidad, el saber que no somos dueños de lo que escuchamos, que esto no es música, es ruido, es arte y está en total control del grupo.

Si bien con sus anteriores discos, Billy Bao nos dio una sobre dosis de algo que pudiese describirse como una versión brutal (si aún más) y bizarra de los Stooges, ahora Billy Bao nos da su muy particular versión de los AMM, Stockhausen o Sun Ra, si todo ello enrollado y listo para fumarse, curioso que el trabajo de gente como Keith Rowe o Eddie Prevost (los legendarios AMM, quienes dieran una que otra lección en los 60s a gente como los Beatles, los Pink Floyd y los Henry Cow, entre otros) en el área de la libre improvisación, haga eco ahora en un grupo de noise punk de España, para ser más específicos del gran País Vasco, si bien muchos pensaban que Billy Bao, no era más que un punk sin mucho sentido y ejecutado torpemente e incluso mal grabado, ahora Mattin y compañía nos deja bien en claro que Billy Bao es un artista noise y de improvisación que no pide nada a nadie y que su arte está en completo control de ellos y de nadie más y que su música, está hecha según sus propios deseos y únicamente para complacer sus propios gustos, material suficiente para poner a cualquier amante del top 10 a llorar o a cualquier adorador de los libros de motivación o auto ayuda al borde del suicidio, finalmente la obra de los legendarios AMM, ha hecho eco en un representante digno de su improvisado, libre y disonante legado.

Tal vez la parte más irónica y más interesante de todo esto es que sus anteriores trabajos fueron regalados prácticamente y este su disco más abstracto y disonante sea editado por una disquera, surrealismo puro, el Michael Haneke de la música?

Aquarious Records (U.S.A)

ll right, a new Billy bao, a crazy expensive fancy pants lp, sorry about that, not sure why it's so expensive, it's super limited, imported from overseas, original artwork by HENRY FLYNT!, cool silkscreened plastic sleeves, all that stuff probably contributed to the crazy price, but for the noise obsessed, and specifically BB obsessed among you, it'll take more than $36 to keep you away from another slab of damaged, caustic noise punk weirdness from this demented noisenik.
And demented this stuff is, beginning with a loooooong stretch of barely there hushed crawl, voices, drones, all way down in the mix, played in the store it almost sounds silent, but don't crank the volume, cuz soon from the silence explodes a monstrous chunk of downtuned dirgery, wrapped in swirls of warped buzz and woozy layered crunch, a simple caveman beat pounding away, weirdly hypnotic, like some sort of kraut-noise-rock, which gives way to stuttery staticky stop and start rhythmic hiss, spitting out an almost martial sounding rhythm, underpinned by strange mumbled vox and peppered with shards of feedback and deep tectonic rumbles.
After still more near silence, BB and co. spew some seriously Merzbowian thud rock, all wrapped in jagged squalls of white noise and grinding feedback, stumbling rhythms, that sound like they were made out of distorted voices. Soon after comes maybe the coolest part of the record, a twisted bit of skipping stuttering skittery free jazz, almost like some drunk turntablist spinning dusty old Coltrane records, at the wrong speed, while some nervous footed punter continually kicks the plug out of the wall only to plug it right back in again, dizzying and almost carnivalesque.
After still more whispered drift, another bout of pounding feedback drenched noiserock, culminating in a final stretch of near silence, punctuated by sharp bursts of caustic blown out crunch and fucked up grinding howl, rhythmic and dementedly mesmerizing. Woah. Some serious outsider noiserock damage for sure. Definitely headphone listening, but headphones WITH earplugs!
As mentioned above, super swank packaging, pressed on 140 gram vinyl, housed in a jacket with original artwork by Henry Flynt, in a cool hand screened sleeve, imported and limited, and thus the hefty price tag...

Volcanic Tongue (Glasgow)
by David Keenan

Third album from this avant/anarcho garage punk project, here looking and sounding more like improvising conceptualists than hardcore minimalists. Mattin has talked of this album as the one that will alienate all previous Billy Bao fans (way to go!) and while the blueprint is essentially the same – challenging sonics given a radical political context and then edited to the point of Hyper – the line-up and the thrust of ideas is almost entirely upended. For Urban Disease Mattin and Bao are joined by Taku Unami, Tim Barnes, Margarida Garcia and Barry Weisblat and the sound is more attuned to the whole Industrial/communal improvisation style, albeit cut up with long silences, bowed strings and serrated drones.

Weirdo Records (U.S.A)

People who've spent too much time writing theses / listening to Dylan / reading MRR sometimes assert that (a) records can't be political, or instead that (b) all records are political. Wrong on both counts, friends. Records are very, very, very, very rarely political, and when they are they usually scare the fat living shit right out of you. Tense contemporary improv, often with tight rhythmic percussion, jump cut amidst low booming tones, large chunks of silence, hellacious feedback, a person clapping in an empty room, and even a moment of chopped/screwed RIO prog. Mattin, Tim Barnes, Taku Unami, Margarida Garcia, Barry Weisblat.

Cows are just for food

mmm how odd. a noise record that’s all about the silence. dominated, as it is, by long uncomfortable tense creeps of it. like the dialogue at the start of lost highway. as much as what’s not said (or heard) as is. juxtaposed of course with clusterbombs of interference and harsh audio hallucinations.

s’pose on the surface you could consider silence the antithesis of noise. and strange then that while noise is considered (relatively) open and free and expressive, silence often comes with negative connotations; the tyranny of silence, the fascism of shutting up, making quiet, silencing. strange, given in music it’s an inherently antagonising quality. but yeah consider yves klein’s monotone-silence; consider john cage’s 4’33. think of these as the forerunners to noise as a musical concept. if you want to call it music. not silence as such, but where harmonic blanks are filled by the listener, by traffic noise, heartbeats, breathing, uncomfortable shuffling, the creak and rattle of performer. the question noise asks is, where do you draw the lines between music and ambience and sound and silence anyway?

urban disease sometimes isn’t there if you know what i mean. sometimes, reductively, there’s little to it. maybe there’s less/more substance here (depending on yr viewpoint) than the visceral sloganeering i know and love. compared to may08 this is a very different beast, aurally, aesthetically, personnel-y. there’s no sonic overload, much more sense of space. there’s no screed, just a note that’s as much about fashion (hey hipster, your hips is gone) as capital. i dig that fact it’s been built purposefully to annoy the noise rawk billy baoists. and i deliberately use the word built as i suspect this has been utterly tinkered with from top to toe.

this time round mattin and bao are joined by taku unami’s electronickerry and margarida garcia and barry weisblat’s string and electrick improv. the fact there’s an electric double bass on here should tell you something about the angle this shit’s being approached from. poking hardcore away with an abstract bargepole. a flicker of a smirk at the po-faced angry noisers. yes indeed there are moments of subtlety, of humour, of ambiguity at work here. it’s a violence that’s in flux betwixt cartoon misanthropy and political/art conceptualising.

the promo blurb makes reference to amon düül’s psychedelic underground. if it’s a joke, it’s a good ‘un. coz at times urban disease plays like a harsh cut-up version of that records peyote drum and chant jams, studio jiggerypokery and general psych-wonkiness. it’s a record that offers tiny bits of many things. from a two chord acoustic stumble and mumble flickering in and out of the foreground, disappearing and reappearing to hypnoretardo thumps edited into stuttering kraut crunch and grind. it’s a jarring, jagged meta-narrative offered up by industrial pointillists;

s’all good but the best of it resides on side b. twenty minutes sliced open with the kindof machine snarl found on the drunkdriver / mattin lp and bleeding into a jazz rock fusion that is so fucking not billy bao (grinned a huge damned grin on first hearing that) and bowing out with a sneering jackboot beat and grey martial synth. it’s got everything, like a communist-era soviet él-g, drunk on tribal drums, industrio hiss and screech, water and waves, bowed tones, lonely spastic handclaps; peppered with tiny slivered shards of audio shrapnel, incoherent, inchoate shrieks and feedback.

the thuggish cut-ups and unarticulated silences are disorientating; a collision of stuff that leads to occasional chuckles (it has been said that billy bao doesn’t believe in hypnagogia because he always sleeps with one eye open…) but mainly to dizziness and dislocation. a continual forty minute rewiring of the minds perception. maybe it’s a play on debords society of spectacle. or maybe it’s just a raped jazz fusion record. where’s those pesky lines again?

lovely piece of art & design by henry flynt and bill kouligas to boot.

Yellow Green Red (USA)

Remember all those YouTube videos showing peoples’ reactions to the 2 Girls 1 Cup video? I’d imagine the people who paid the $35+ to own Urban Disease would provide a similar reaction upon listening to it: brief confusion, followed by stupefying fear and disgust. Billy Bao has had some great moments, like all of the Fuck Separation 10″ and most of Dialectics of Shit, but with that last stinker of an album, and this pretentious turd, I may have to stop following along. Across these two untitled sides of vinyl, spanning forty minutes, there are probably about five total minutes of actual sound - the majority of this record is silent. Interspersed randomly are slow claps, noisy outbursts, feedback, and for one brief section on the second side, a weirdly-chopped kaleidoscope of synthy sound, possibly the only enjoyable moment on here (and a brief one at that). So essentially, you sit there, waiting around for someone to turn on an amp or to hear Mattin turn the page of the newspaper he’s reading. I will give Billy Bao credit for legitimately bothering me with Urban Disease, there’s something to be said for that, but if pranking is the name of the game, I’d much rather just take a pie to the face and move on with my life than waste another forty minutes of my life with this total bore.

Music Velocity (Greece)

Billy Bao-Urban Disease (Pan 2010)

Το "Urban Disease" είναι η ολοκαίνουρια (με όλη τη σημασία της λέξεως) δουλειά των Billy Bao, Mattin, Taku Unami, Tim Barnes, Barry Weisblat και Margarida Garcia.

Αυτό που κάνει την συγκεκριμένη κυκλοφορία ολοκαίνουρια,δεν είναι αποκλειστικά και μόνο ο χρόνος κυκλοφορίας της,αλλά η ολοκληρωτική στροφή του συγκροτήματος τόσο στο στιλιστικό όσο και στο συνθετικό κομμάτι!

Το μοναδικό ίσως πράγμα που κάνει αυτό το πόνημα συναφές με τις προηγούμενες δουλειές του Bao είναι το γεγονός ότι ακούγεται εξίσου παράξενο και ενοχλητικό στον ακροατή.

Ο συνδυασμός της ψυχεδέλειας,των ηλεκτρονικών ήχων και του σκληρού noise μοιάζει αταίριαστος δημιουργεί όμως ένα αποτέλεσμα κυριολεκτικά ιδιοφυές. Και αυτό το λαμπρό αποτέλεσμα οφείλεται σε μεγάλο βαθμό στους συντελεστές του άλμπουμ οι οποίοι μοιάζουν να είναι τα κατάλληλα πρόσωπα στις κατάλληλες θέσεις για να δημιουργήσουν αυτό το "υπέρλαμπρο χάος"!

Το "Urban Disease" είναι ένα εκπληκτικό άλμπουμ! Γραμμένο από διεστραμμένα μυαλά και με ξεκάθαρο σκοπό να ιντριγκάρει τον ακροατή στα άκρα. Όποιοι το δουν σαν έναν άναρχο θόρυβο χάνουν την ουσία του. Όσοι το χρησιμοποιήσουν σαν όχημα προς τον κόσμο του υπερβατικού θα νιώσουν το μεγαλείο του και θα καταλάβουν πως ο δίσκος αυτός δεν είναι απλά ένα ξεκαύλωμα,αλλά μια ξεκάθαρη καλλιτεχνική θέση. Βέβαια θα υπάρξουν και αυτοί που θα επιθυμούσαν λόγω της αναρχικής personas του Bao,να ακούσουν ένα άλμπουμ που θα ήταν γεμάτο με ευθεία αντι-καπιταλιστική ρητορική. Δυστυχώς γι' αυτούς δεν μπορούμε να κάνουμε τίποτα,ευτυχώς για εμάς μπορούμε να απολαύσουμε ξανά και ξανά την ακρόαση αυτού του μεγαλουργήματος!
Αναρτήθηκε από Music Velocity στις 12:27 π.μ.

Tranzistor (Greece)

Κείμενο: Φώτης Νικολακόπουλος


Έχεις πολλούς λόγους να αγοράσεις αυτό το βινύλιο. Για αρχή, πρόκειται για άλλη μια καταπληκτική έκδοση της PAN του δικού μας (αν και μόνιμου κατοίκου Βερολίνου) Βασίλη Κουλιγκά, το ανθρώπου πίσω από το όνομα Family Battle Snake.

Φοβερό artwork, καλός ήχος, περιορισμένη έκδοση που αξίζει τα λεφτά της, όπως και όλες οι κυκλοφορίες, 13 τον αριθμό ως τώρα, της ΡΑΝ.

Επιπρόσθετα, πίσω από το όνομα Billy Bao κρύβεται ο προβοκάτορας του σύγχρονου ακραίου ήχου, ο βάσκος Μattin, σε ένα από τα πολλά καλλιτεχνικά προσωπεία του. Ο ίδιος ισχυρίζεται ότι οι  Billy Bao είναι ένα κανονικό γκρουπ που έχουν πάρει το όνομα τους από τον τραγουδιστή τους αλλά πολλοί δεν τον πιστεύουν, μια και, μαζί με την αντικαπιταλιστική ρητορική του, τα «παιχνίδια» με κάθε είδους ταυτότητες είναι από τα αγαπημένα του Μattin.

Μέσα σε αυτό τον αέναο κύκλο πρόκλησης που έχει ξεκινήσει ο ίδιος, οι Billy Bao είναι άλλο ένα όχημα για να ενοχλεί τα αυτιά των καθησυχασμένων εναλλακτικών της ροκ κουλτούρας και αυτό δεν με χαλάει καθόλου. Είναι, βέβαια, αυτονόητο ότι όταν επιλέγεις να προκαλείς εν γνώση σου, πολλές φορές τα αποτελέσματα, με το καθαρά υποκειμενικό καλλιτεχνικό μου κριτήριο, δεν θα είναι πάντοτε καλά.

Πολλές από τις ηχογραφήσεις του βάσκου, και είναι και πολυγραφότατος, ξεπερνούν τα όρια της υπερβολής και χάνουν το στόχο τους, όχι εδώ όμως.

Το Urban Disease αποτελεί το τρίτο «κανονικό» άλμπουμ κάτω από αυτό το όνομα Billy Bao  και προχωρεί τα πράγματα παραπέρα. Από τον, λίγο έως πολύ, hardcore punk ήχο των προηγουμένων δυο(εξαιρετικά και τα δυο, όχι μόνο για τους φαν του θορύβου) εδώ προσθέτει και άλλα στοιχεία από το σύγχρονο πειραματισμό: σιωπές, ηλεκτρονικά περάσματα, εναλλαγές στις εντάσεις. Ταυτόχρονα, μοιάζει το Urban Disease πιο στοχευμένο και λιγότερο πληθωρικό αλλά εν τέλει πιο αιχμηρό ακόμα και από το προηγουμενο, το May08, και το αναρχικό μανιφέστο του.

Επιτέλους, να μια κυκλοφορία(για να μην τον αδικώ μαζί με δυο-τρεις δικες του ακομα) που αποτελεί ένα μεγάλο άντε γαμήσου στη σύγχρονη κοινωνία, από ένα άνθρωπο, βέβαια, με λυμένα τα οικονομικά του προβλήματα. Το μόνο, ίσως, πισωγύρισμα σε σχέση με τα προηγούμενα είναι ότι η μείωση του hardcore στοιχείου, κάνει το Urban Disease κάπως λιγότερο άμεσο και εύφλεκτο.

Αν, όμως διαπεράσεις τη επιφάνεια θα βρεις από κάτω μια διαλεκτική ενός ανθρώπου που το μάτι του γυαλίζει ακόμα. Τέτοιους χρειαζόμαστε να φτιάχνουν γαμάτα άλμπουμ.

Onda Rock (Italy)

Le urla che aprono lato A di questo terzo vinile dell’anarchico collettivo spagnolo rappresentano una falsa partenza. E’, infatti, nel rincorrersi sparso di vuoti e pieni, di sibili e rintocchi, di lunghi silenzi e colate imperiose di rumor bianco che sta tutta l’essenza di questo “Urban Disease”, alla ricerca del sacro fuoco (?) che animava le session degli Amon Düül epoca “Psychedelic Underground”.
Siamo lontani dai momenti migliori dei lavori precedenti, in una dimensione assolutamente caotica ed estemporanea. Tutto è frammentario, disorganico, volutamente rocambolesco. Quando, poi, nel secondo lato il suono diventa più potente, i vari pannelli che si susseguono sembrerebbero voler adombrare un’unità di fondo, ma ci vuole poco per capire che si tratta solo di un’impressione. Un passo falso, insomma. Magari anche voluto, data la natura terroristica di questi pazzi scatenati.


Mimaroglu (U.S.A.)

march 2010 release ; as-ever a confounding set from mattin’s billy bao, heard here in a fleshed-outorchestral” variant with taku unami, tim barnes, barry weisblat & margarida garcia all contributing in some fashion ...

the whole “song-by-song cover of amon düül's psychedelic undergroundconceit isn’t really that far off (even if it was intended as a smoke-screen) ; when you can decipher the band through mattin’s layer of gain-destroyed post-processing there’s a certainjammy” feel that belies most players’ roots as “serious improvisers” ...

great, if bewilderingly odd music, cut with long snatches of silence (silent grooves actually ; the inclusion of which pushes the total run time to something like 50 minutes) ...

Comment from coachella message board

I wanna talk about Billy Bao's Urban Disease some more. As I was putting together my year end list the last couple of days this kept bugging me. If my list was based on emotional or raw impact, it would be in my top 10 for sure... But I feel like I should be able to have a handle on what an album is about before tossing it onto a list... After half a dozen very, very intent listens, I'm still struggling with it. I feel like in six months or so with another half dozen listens I'll finally start to get a grasp on it. Either way, it's definitely captivating, but one of the most frustrating albums I've ever encountered.

xuptosamsneckx at the dwarf message board (Australia)

Billy Bao-Urban Disease LP
Billy Bao have constantly challenged and pushed the boundaries of both the listener and themselves, with their forays into punk, angular HC, noise, Powerelectronics and fucking world music these guys have no qualms about consistency as long as the overriding rule of fucking with your mind is adherred to. This record while not as instantly gratifying, actually leaves more to the imagination and begs to be pulled out from the pile time and time again. Repeat listens always open up new chapters and pathways to explore. This time round i hear some Bob Dylan (maybe) Highly rewarding.

Feast of Hate and Fear

BILLY BAO - Urban Disease LP (Pan) Are you familiar with the Billy Bao story? It is supposed that Billy Bao is an actual person, who in the early 80s formed a forgotten punk band in his native Nigeria, though now he lives in Spain. Enter the anarchic musician Mattin, and BB becomes a new band (this time around with Taku Unami, Tim Barnes, Barry Weisblat and Margarida Garcia). Their previous efforts were 2008's Dialectics of Shit, and the following year's May08, both of which perked some ears - not to mention pens - in the music theory / criticism world. Now, the way this newest album opened was odd for me, but the Billy Bao collective may have wanted it like that. A blasting cacophony hits the listener right off the bat, but quickly disappears. It may irk and upset the listener, even if you - like me - equally love free jazz, power electronics and black metal. But, like I said, it may have been done to set the tone. What follows must be heard. A mix of experimental jazz, electro-glitch, industrial, music concrete, thrash, and throw in some ideas from a few modern Japanese composers (read: dealing in lots of silence). Though it's not to compare the music, the feeling is still the same, but if Merzbow makes you want to die, I'd stay away. Oh, a cool side note is that the 500 copies pressed on wax are gone, but the good BB folks are anti-copyright, so you can find this thrown about the blogosphere pretty well. The actual wax is housed in a silk-screen plastic sleeve, with artwork by Henry Flynt, so happy hunting.

Piero Scaroffi

contains two simpler jams that hark back to space-rock of the 1970s.
contiene due jam più semplici, che riportano indietro allo space-rock degli Anni Settanta.