GABOR CSUPO Liquid Fire (Tone Casualties)
Gabor Csupo - Hungarian, and friend of the late Frank Zappa - has a day job that, as co-owner of an animation studio, has involved him with such pinnacles of the modern comedy experience as "Duckman", "The Simpsons" and "Stressed Eric". In his spare time he makes leftfield experimental electronic music, released through his own Tone Casualties label. "Liquid Fire" is a sprawling double CD that clocks in at over two hours, spiced with such delights as samples from Japanese porn videos, choirs, poetry and recitations from the works of one of my favourite authors, cranky old Charles Bukowski. There's also a suggested listening list of artists Csupo has found inspirational, which demonstrates a pleasingly high correlation with what's on my record shelves, for example Aphex Twin, Miles Davis, Captain Beefheart, Talk Talk and Roxy Music.
Which is all good stuff. But despite these tantalising ingredients "Liquid Fire" just doesn't add up to ice cream. For all its experimental freestyle burbling, its sheer restlessness counts against it. With 35 tracks present, ideas are presented and swiftly discarded, without being given time to grow and develop, or even lodge in the listener's consciousness. Added to which much of Csupo's supposed innovation has been road-tested more rigorously elsewhere. The three "Hungarian Dances" assault and batter 18th and 19th century compositions by Nagyszombat and Pozsony with modern technology: a fine idea, but one already exercised by Aphex Twin, Clubbed To Death and William Orbit. The Bukowski recitations that prop up "Swallowing Flowers" and "Chromo - Zone" are fine as far as they go, although Bruce Wagner's voice seems a little too smooth for the raw material, but that's nowhere near as far as William Burroughs cackling his way corrosively through Material's "Words Of Advice". Ultimately, "Liquid Fire" is a calling-card catalogue of bright ideas looking for a home, which scarcely makes for a coherent long-playing listening experience.