Eugene Chadbourne

Biker Music from SE Cambodia

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This is one of Eugene Chadbourne's tape collages/mixed bags from the mid-'80s (Fuck the Audio Evolution Network, Wombat on the Way, and Dinosaur on the Way are other examples). Country & western songs touch elbows with sound collages, basement experiments, radio broadcasts, and freeform improvisation. As it is often the case with the Doctor's home releases, the track list provided in the packaging does not completely correspond to the material on the CD. The album opens with three avant-garde compositions performed by Chadbourne, Joee Conroy (on harp, psaltery, and koto), David Silley (reeds), and Robin James (turntables, tapes). These place the album in a mood more serious than usual and seem to make up the suite "Cambodian Biker/Conway Twitty." A country & western medley of "I Can't Be Satisfied/Isolation" follows. Afterwards, the recording dives into true weirdness, including sped-up voices. "The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me/Train" (the tenth track, not the ninth as the booklet states) comes back to country & western, this time with a backup band of Jeff Weichinger (double bass), Gilfred Lee Fray (keyboards), and David Nikias (jars and barrels). The album ends with a suite of improvisations on a Casio keyboard, over the cheap rhythm presets -- is the Doctor trying to make the best out of this horrible machine? There is no essential recording on Biker Music From SE Cambodia. This one is for the completist.

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