Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Bernays Propaganda - Zabraneta Planeta

I assume Bernays Propaganda take their name from Edward Bernays, often viewed as the father of public relations, and his 1928 book, within which he argued that human beings are by nature irrational and, if democracy is to work, must be controlled by careful manipulation of information.

I don't know where this Macedonian band stand on this particular issue, but it strikes me that, should Bernay himself be alive to hear them, he may believe he'd found in their music adequate evidence for his thesis - the band have an unremitting tightness to what they do which suggests an impeccable selection and honing process behind what they do.   He'd be wrong, though, because the band who he presumably lent his name to are about as close to you can get to an organised frenzy of anarchic elements as you can get in music.

And while I might argue elsewhere - in my earlier review of the Nac/Hut Report album for instance - that the anarchic results of letting your music just run wild can be very pleasing, Bernays Propaganda show that the reverse can be extremely pleasant too.  Zabraneta Planeta, the most recent result of their creative process, is a masterpiece of tightly controlled yet appealingly raucous guitar riffs, reminiscent of early Gang of Four or Au Pairs, driving percussion and vocalist Kristina Gorovska's vocals, which exhibit the force and unfussy dynamism of, perhaps, both the Au Pairs' Lesley Woods or Pauline Murray at her best.

I received this fascinating album via Moonlee Records, by whose offices I also learned that the band are also responsible for Xaxaxa, a more directly punk offshoot whose work you can check out here.  I was already familiar with the latter band and what they do appeals very much, but Bernays Propaganda have a wider musical palette and I like them even more for it.  The band are not afraid to veer off into varied yet fascinating musical territories within their sound world, as where the short, spiky 'Makedonski son' is followed by the sparse brilliance of 'A Bone to the Dog'.   Or where the fuzzy charms of 'Bar kultura' rub up against the tight spasms of the album's title track.

From within this veritable selection box of musical delights, I've opted for album opener 'Pogresno Zname' to play in my April Dandelion Radio show, currently streaming at various times throughout the month.   Perhaps it's because it's the band at their most Gang Of Four like, and also Kristina at her most Lesley Woods-like in her tight, didactic pronunciation of syllables from a language, I must confess, I don't understand.   Or perhaps it's because they take all of these elements familiar to a child of punk like me and put them all together in a mix that manages to sound in no way retrospective or jaded.  

There's a freshness about Bernays Propaganda that almost seems like it's defying logic to be there, something unfathomable and which, when you find it in music, has an appeal you can't explain or define.  I wonder what a reductionist like Bernay would have made of that?

Bernays Propaganda are playing gigs across Europe at the moment.  You should go and see them if you get the chance, and also grab a copy of their album as CD, LP or name your own price download from here.

The remaining European tour dates are as follows:

03.04.2013    wed       @ Toulose/ Fra
04.04.2013    thu         @ Blokes Fantasma, Barcelona/Esp
05.04.2013     fri          @ Cure, Alicante/Esp
06.04.2013     sat         @ La Casika, Madrid/Esp
07.04.2013    sun      @ Lisboa/ Por
08.04.2013    mon   @ Casa Viva,Porto/ Por 
09.04.2013    tue    @ Damm, Gijon /Esp
10.04.2013    wed  @ Antiguos Almacenes,Cantabria / Esp
11.04.2013    thu     @ Putzuzulo gaztetxea, Zarautz, Bascia
12.04.2013    fri     @ L'Athenee Libertaire, Bordeaux/ Fra 
13.04.2013    sat     @ Le Buffet De La Gare ,Marmande /Fra
14.04.2013    sun   @ Le Chinois, Paris/Fra
16.04.2013    tue     @ Le Batiment,Deux-Acren /Bel
17.04.2013    wed @ Kinky Star,Gent/ Bel
18.04.2013    thu    @ La Compilothèque,Brussels /Bel
19.04.2013     fri     @ Vrankrijk, Amsterdam/ Hol 
20.04.2013    sat     @ Deonderbroek, Nijmegen/ Hol
21.04.2013    sun     @ JUZ, Manheim/Ger 
23.04.2013    tue    @ Ak 44, Giessen/Ger
24.04.2013    wed  @ Sielwallhaus, Bremen/Ger
25.04.2013    thu   @ Hamburg/ Ger
26.04.2013    fri      @ Gießer, Leipzig/Ger
27.04.2013    sat     @ Backstage, Aarhus/Den 
28.04.2013   sun     @ 1000Fryd, Aalborg/Den              
30.04.2013  tue   @ Blitz,Oslo/Nor
01.05.2013  wed  @  Bergen/Nor
02.05.2013   thu    @ Endless Tinnitus Studios, Oslo/Nor (* just XAXAXA)
03.05.2013    fri      @ A-Villan, Stockholm/Swe 
04.05.2013    sat    @   Verket,Umea/ Swe
05.05.2013    sun     @  FG7, Lulea/Swe 
06.05.2013    mon    @ Kulttuuribingo, Oulu/Fin
07.05.2013    tue       @ Vastavirta,Tampere/Fin 
08.05.2013    wed     @ Lepakkomies, Helsinki/Fin
 09.05.2013    thu     @  Ylase 12, Tallin/ Est 
10.05.2013    fri       @  Nabaklav, Riga/Lat
11.05.2013     sat      @ Vilnius/Lit 
12.05.2013     sun     @ Przychodnia, Warsawa/Pol 
13.05.2013     mon   @ Tectura, Lublin/Pol
14.05.2013     tue     @ Kawarnia Naukova,Krakow/Pol
15.05.2013     wed  @  Boro, Brno/Cz 
16.05.2013      thu    @ Obluda, Bratislava/Sk
17.05.2013      fri      @ AU, Viena/ Aut
18.05.2013      sat    @ Mochvara,Zagreb@ /Cro  
19.05.2013      sun   @ KC, Zrenjanin/Srb

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