Tsigoti – Read Between the Lines… Think Outside Them (Post Consumer)
CD / LP / DL
Tsigoti are “an international band combining revolutionary politics and intelligent semi-acoustic avant-punk fervor”. They recently released their fourth album, “Read Between the Lines… Think Outside Them” & we’re stoked to be able to premiere the most recent video for a track off said album, Tomorrow You’ll Visit Why. Scroll down to the foot of the page to play it & read on for an introduction to the band & their most recent album.
You’ll remember last year we ran an interview with members of a new group The Hand To Man Band, a sort of Supergroup featuring, amongst others, Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose, Stooges) & John Dieterich (Deerhoof, Natural Dreamers). The album ultimately ended up as a wonderfully diverse & skittish beast, a collection of wholly unique soundscapes & one that deserved much more press attention than it actually garnered. Excitingly Mike Watt let slip a few days ago that a follow up to that debut album is set to be recorded later this year & although it didn’t feature in our top 50 albums to look forward to in 2012 it’s definitely a release I’m looking forward to a lot.
Anyway, cutting to the Tsigoti chase, the man at the centre of The Hand To Man Band was one Thollem, an American described (by myself) as a “serial collaborator” and whose main squeeze music wise (by which I mean his primary band) is Tsigoti. Tsigoti are now three albums into their career & that they’ve escaped world domination is a bit perplexing because, frankly, they’re very very good. Towards the end of last year they released their third album and although very different to THTMB one can certainly discern similarities in that this too is a skittish beast. Another thing that struck me as soon as I began listening to Tsigoti was quite why Thollem’s hooking up with Mike Watt made such perfect sense – there are strong similarities perceptible in Tsigoti’s sound to a lesser & greater extent to former Watt projects (bands) such as the mighty Minutemen (that’ll be the ‘lesser’ extent) and Firehose (therein the ‘greater’ extent).
Having said that though Tsigoti have their very own sound, mainly due to the fact that at the heart of the band is Thollem’s playing of what is described in the sleeve notes as a “Beat-up Piano” – and lets face it, how many post punk / tricky hardcore bands can boast that? Yeah, very few, but judging on the basis of this album I’d say very much too few as the music of the piano drives the overall sound forward at quite a clip in the main & sounds so “in place” that even just a couple of songs in one’s forgotten you’re listening to an avant punk band with a piano front and centre.
It’s albums like this that make you realise how far ‘punk’ has come. The genre is heavily referenced in all their promotion material & although it may be far from what you might originally think of as a “punk” record the spirit of that scene is scattered throughout, despite ones initial assumption (due to the piano) that Tsigoti would fit more naturally under the banner of “free jazz” say. It’s as angsty & spirited & as driving as you’d expect from the best punk records & is pretty fast & confrontational too boot. The band use the soapbox ‘music’ to lecture about matters close to their hearts, chiefly the injustuces of war, with their latest release continuing “…to intone their unabashed frustrations with the shortcomings of our human experiment with war”. It’s definitely worth spending some time familiarising yourself with the lyrics on this &, indeed, all their records.
One gets the impression that every time the band get together they must have a whale of a time. Talented musicians all I find it hard to imagine that they’d ever feel content just to run through a cosy set list, the music all feels fluid & as though it could jump off in any direction at any time. I can imagine they had a bugger of a time recording this as I can imagine every track devolving quite easily into a 30 minute wig out. Tsigoti are a band who, one feels, like to explore music & by doing so they’re discovering new frontiers with their semi acoustic but urgent sound. This is a fun band & you’d do well to familiarise yourselves with them.
As mentioned above we’re lucky enough to be able to premiere the second video off the album, for the track Tomorrow You’ll Visit Why. The first video was for the track Chronicles of Thought Rearranged and can be watched on Youtube here.