If there were any hipster band with actual musical education, better drugs, good taste and, well, a mind of their own, they just might sound a little bit like Ginferno.
"Experimental". "Arty". "Eclectic". "Danceable". Adjectives, innit? Boring clich's, and they've all been used at some point to describe the sound of Ginferno. But what can you do?
Ginferno's sound is ginfernal. It's an assault, it's The Ex with Gettatchew Mekurya, combined with the dirty rhythms of Johnny Burnette, the martial rawness of Einst_rzende Neubauten, the free-funk of James Chance and other no-wave heroes, the accessible atonality of The Residents, the enchanting mystery of Mulatu, the barrel-tasting energy of Man... Or Astroman?, the soft sonic tissue of Martin Denny and the indescribable impact of all those Cambodian rock, Turkish funk, African garage and Samoan psychedelia compilations. So yes, the aforementioned adjectives apply. Sorry.
"Erta Ale" is as ambitious as they come. The band hooked up with Madrid's brass quartet par excellence, Los Saxos Del Averno, with whom they had already released a 7" single on Lovemonk, to bring together musical extremes and make it seem effortless. And they pulled it off, too. Funk, mambo and rock on "Mambo Rabbits"; Mardi Gras-like euphoria, voodoo drums and waltzing surf on "TransAntilles"; sinuous rockabilly and tribal punk on "San Vicente Rambla"; classic rhythm & blues played with the energy of today on "Your Face"; spastic swing on "Ahriman's Dance"; spoken word over groovy echoes of Ethiopia on the title track; conflictive tribal waltz with nervous horns on "Creepy Cloud"; jazzy post-punk on "Allt Zr V"l"; laid-back French pop vibes on "Roadside Picnic"...
You get the idea, right? No you don't.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.