Ne Zhdali

Whatever Happens, Twist!

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Ne Zhdali's first two albums rank among the best discs of avant-garde rock recorded in the early '90s, but they pale in comparison to Whatever Happens, Twist! This album takes the group's music a huge step forward, marking its mature phase. The songs have grown both more energetic (think avant punk) and freer in some passages. The horns blow wildly, resolutely moving away from the lick format they were sticking to on Rhinoceroses and Other Forms of Life -- trumpeter Vadim Veeremaa has transformed into an incredibly wild player. Leonid Soybelman's guitar playing, obviously influenced by Andy Ex and Jacques Palinckx, is taking a less frequented path that will soon lead him to Kletka Red and a solo career. But most importantly, this album reflects the group's in-your-face live sound. The opener, "Twist," will rip off wallpaper in five seconds. "Air-Ground" begins in a medium-tempo mood with a touch of accordion and subdued vocals, but in the course of four minutes it blows out of proportion, reaching a noisy punk climax and shifting to a reggae coda -- only Ne Zhdali could pull off something like that without sounding gratuitous. Those two tracks and the manic "Spill a Noch a Moll" stand out, but one must not forget "Rhino 6" and "Bossa 2000 Turbo," two action-packed pieces that add a final, superior movement to the two instrumental suites found on the group's first LP. There is not a single dull second on this CD. Even softer tracks like "Ma Vie" and the waltz "Wake Up, Mumu" feature intelligent quirks. A must-have for any fan of Soybelman or avant-garde rock in general, Whatever Happens, Twist! is a classic, worth all the efforts required to locate a copy of this deleted item.

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