DANNY SAUL: Kinison – Goldthwait (Hibernate Recordings)


Posted on Jan 11th 2011 01:27 am

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Danny Saul: Kinison - Goldthwait

Kinison – Goldthwait
Hibernate Recordings 2010
06 Tracks. 43mins43secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

On his debut album, released over a year ago on his own imprint, White Box Recordings, Danny Saul wove a strangely ethereal blend of experimental folk songs and heavily processed textured instrumentals, and the latter also informs his second solo album, released on the consistently excellent Hibernate imprint.

‘This album is not intended to be puzzled over – although on playback I find myself doing so’. This reflection from Saul, printed on the inside cover, shows just how complex this record is, and not solely on its musical aspect. The project, from its overall title to individual track names, is based around a feud between American stand-up comedians Sam Kinison and Bobcat Goldthwait (best known, at least outside of the US, as Zed in the Police Academy franchise) about who had stollen whose material. The dispute culminated in a heated exchange live on air during a radio show in 1988. Yet, this has actually nothing to do with the music itself. In fact, while the cover shows two faceless characters sparring, the music is often sparse, atmospheric and entirely devoid of aggression.

The album is articulated around three sections of pretty much equal length, with an additional shorter piece to bring it to a close. Kinison Parts 1-3 open the proceedings with rather gentle processed guitar and piano sequences. On Part 1, the sonic structure grows from heavily distorted textures into something much more ethereal and beautiful, leading into the rather wonderfully warm and fluid second part, served by a piano dipped in dense layers of reverb, and into the equally peaceful and dreamy third part, where the piano is replaced by a acoustic and electric guitars, once again extensively delayed. This triptych brings a false sense of peace and serenity to the record.

Robert Francis (Bobcat Goldthwait) is a slightly more tormented and dark affair, which opens with sombre clusters of rumbling electronics which develop over the first half of the piece before progressively giving way to lighter melodic motifs, which, while in no way as blissful as on Kinison, still manage to create a deeply emotional second half. Howard Stern is altogether more ambitious. A slow building piece, it gains momentum throughout it all course as Saul adds layers of processed instruments and distortion. The piece reaches its climax  almost ten minutes in with storm of noise which wouldn’t have been out of place on a My Bloody Valentine record, before progressively returning to much softer and muffled sound forms in its last few minutes.

Exquisite piano and organ motifs, slightly tainted to give them a lo-fi feel, push On U.S. Route 95 April 10, 1992 in a different direction, placing the emphasis primarily on the melodic aspect of the piece rather than on its noise structure, to bring this album to a rather less sombre close than previous tracks may have suggested.

On this album, Danny Saul has refined the textural aspect of his debut and develop it to incorporate distortion and decay with much more assurance. This more mature approach gives Kinison – Goldthwait a level in intensity with was only hinted at on its predecessor.


Danny Saul | Danny Saul (MySpace) | Hibernate Recordings
Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

Danny Saul: Kinison – Goldthwait

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (4)

4 Responses to “DANNY SAUL: Kinison – Goldthwait (Hibernate Recordings)”

  1. amidaon 12 Jan 2011 at 5:47 am

    Sam Kinison died in 1992. Who was fighting on the radio in 2010?

  2. themilkmanon 12 Jan 2011 at 9:03 am

    You’re right, I was a bit eager there… it all happened back in 1988. I stand corrected.

  3. amidaon 13 Jan 2011 at 2:34 am

    The fact it’s about an incident from 1988 makes it all the more intriguing….

  4. themilkmanon 13 Jan 2011 at 8:04 am

    I must admit that I’d never heard of this before. It doesn’t actually inspire the record as such from what Danny says, just that he was thinking about quite a lot at the time he was recording.

    Some people have found similarities between the incident and the music, which, not being aware of it before I heard the record, I can’t really comment on. Regardless, it is a very interesting album.