released on November 2005
w.m.o/r 23

Billy Bao 
(with Alan Courtis, Pablo Reche, Xabier Erkizia, Alberto Lopez & Mattin)

Rock 'n'Roll Granulator

1 Dame Kritmo
2 Evapogoration
3 El grado zero del pulso
4 Para ahuyentar ratas, humanos y otros insectos

Recorded by Maikel at MIK studio in Bera
on the 25th of October of 2005

Thanks to Inigo Telletxea, Ertz, Mem

Alan Courtis 27 diciembre 2005


Rock de Lux
( Barcelona, n. 239 abril 2006)

Billy Bao son de Bilbao y, pese al juego de palabras y al título de su EP, el único rockabilly or rock n roll que hay aquí es mutante- a lo Jon Spencer- e instrumental:
entrecortado, ruidoso y deconstruido hasta el glitch n roll de "Evapogoration" y la minimal " El grado zero del pulso": golpe de caja cada cinco segundos.

Paris Transatlantic (Paris, February 2006)
You never quite know what you're in for when you pop a Mattin disc into the machine (though, admittedly, if he's sharing the bill with Taku Unami or Radu Malfatti you can probably have an educated guess), and that applies to quality as much as content. Having found his Song Book singularly awful – and I can't help wondering if he didn't intend it to be, though perhaps the fact that I don't speak the language he's singing in means I'm missing out on something dreadfully important – I'll admit I was a bit alarmed at the prospect of a Mattin punk album called Rock'n'Roll Granulator. That said, the last album with the word rock'n'roll in the title, Norman D. Mayer and Hugo Roussel's Rock'n'Roll Motherfucker on the Priscilia label (RIP?) was what it said it was: a motherfucker. And so's this, even if it isn't really a punk album. Or rather it's a post-punk album. No, not even that – Simon Reynolds will write in and complain – erm, a post-post-punk album? Whatever it is it's terrific stuff. Mattin is joined by Alan Courtis, Xabier Erkizia, Alberto Lopez and Pablo Reche – and Billy Bao himself, who appears to be a Nigerian refugee stranded in Bilbao. A likely story, that – until presented with photographic evidence to the contrary, I'm more inclined to think he's another creation of the ever fertile mind of Mattin himself. Well maybe he'll write in and tell us one day. Three of the four tracks start out pretty rocky (post-rocky? aagh, don't start that again), all binary thrust and skronking clangy guitars, but they don't stay that way for long. Well, "Dame Kritmo" more or less does: it could just about be an Ex outtake (ca. Instants). "Evapogoration" is trucking along just fine until Mattin's laptop starts mashing it to shit at 0'38", the track literally splintering apart into shards of vicious glitch before emerging phoenix-like by 1'17" only to fuck up again just before the end. "El grado zero del pulso" (which my pidgin Spanish seems to indicate means "the degree zero of pulse".. that figures) doesn't get anywhere near punk. Though then again I suppose you could argue that it does, since it's all about mindlessly regular rhythmic drumming. It lasts 18'41" and consists of 193 repeated drum strokes roughly five seconds apart. After a couple of minutes wisps of other sounds drift in. There's a little guitar squeal at 4'45" and the texture thickens by the 12-minute mark, but the drums thud inexorably on. I wonder if Mattin know's Mathias Spahlinger's Ephémère, the central section of which calls for a percussionist to play sixty-five slow rimshots "as regularly as possible". The difference is that while Spahlinger's attempts at sameness result in difference – the performer can try to repeat exactly the same sound but s/he's doomed to fail, as the exposed nature of the sound makes clear to the attentive listener – Mattin's thuds sound maddeningly identical (sampled?), if very slightly irregular in their spacing. It's an extraordinary listening experience. So is the closing "Para ahuyentar ratas, humanos y ortos insectos", which starts out chirpy enough but soon descends into a cavern of sub bass rumble and never manages to climb out. It all certainly challenges our notions of what "rock" is – or even "music" itself – is, and if that isn't what punk's all about I don't know what is.–DW

WFMU (New York, February 2006)

An appropriate name I suppose for a guy who resides in Bilbao, Spain, and between this new EP and the "Bilbo's Incinerator" 7" two years back I am certain to gobble up any crust this Stooges-worshipping Nigerian ex-pat throws down. Mattin offers up an Mp3 of the 7" on their home page , and as a connoisseur of damaged, destructo-garbage psychedelic punk this slab ranks up there with any hate-fueled insanity committed to wax by the Brainbombs, Sightings, Liquorball, or Jim Steinman. You get piles and piles of brutal, mindless guitar ripping layer after layer into the proceedings, just getting worse as it goes along, but on the new EP, the heavy-handedness instead gets replaced with total confusion and deliberate mind-fuckery with your brain and speakers (note "Evaporogoration", (real audio) which caused several listeners and the Station Manager to call the studio when I played it, asking what was going on with the air signal). As punk rock as it all sounds, the modus operandi of Mattin seems very much to be computer music, and to some extent (my pal T. Hunger has accurately called it "rock concrete") Billy Bao falls under that category. I dunno, then you get "El Grado Zero del Pulso" which is a drum equivalent to Chinese Water Torture, you never know when the minimalism and silent passages are going to erupt into a pure shitstorm, and sometimes it does, sometimes it does not. Brian Turner

Diskunion (Japan)

おなじみ、WHITEHOUSE(ホワイトハウス)とRADU MALFATTI(ラドゥ・マルファッティ)の遺伝子を持つスペインのコンピューター・フィードバック奏者MATTIN(マッティン)による、腐敗したパ ンク・バンドBILLY BAO(ビリー・バオ)が、アルゼンチンの白痴的サイケデリック・ノイズ・バンドREYNOLS(レイノルズ)のALAN COURTISとコラボレーションした驚愕のファーストCD作品。まったく投げやりな楽曲と、LO-FI極まりないエディットでパンクとノイズ、物音、轟 音サイケデリック・インプロヴィゼーションをこねくり回した、意味不明感タップリの一枚。

Autsaider Magazine (Ukraine)

R’n’r Granulator
CD, w.m.o/r, 2005

Біллі Бао – нігерієць, який кілька років тому переселився з Лаґосу до Більбао (Країна басків). Там він зібрав панк-гурт, до якого ввійшли кілька аргентинських та іспанських музикантів. Зокрема на “R’n’r Granulator” грали: Біллі Бао (гітара, вокал, комп’ютер), Анла Куртіс (гітара, електроніка), Пабло Реше (електроніка), Хав’єр Еркізіа (гітара, електроніка), Альберт Лопес (барабани) і відомий Маттін (гітара, комп’ютер).

Назва альбому сама собою налаштовує на пошук у музиці цього самого „гранулятора рок-н-ролу”, на вслуховування в намаганні розчути нотки демонтажу рок-н-ролу, його викриття, розвінчування, подрібнення, розпилення. Вже не підлітки віддають данину музиці свого отроцтва, музиці, якою захоплюються, і щодо якої розуміють, яка вона до відрази дурна. І перші дві композиції ніби відповідають очікуванням почути „переоцінку цінностей”. В “Dame Kritmo” рок трансформовано в загальмований ноу-вейв гітаристів-кубістів. Шумна, безшабашно-невимушена музика потроху уповільнюється, щоб у “Evapogoration” вибухнути драйвовим панком. В цьому треку справа й доходить власне до гранулювання. Давши музиці трохи подригатись, її ріжуть на маленькі шматочки, які, відокремлені один від одного паузами, спочатку зависають як водяні кульки у невагомості, а потім жмакаються як пластикові стаканчики. Звук проривається ніби через несправні динаміки. Хрум-хрум.

Ось, здавалося б, все і стало з цією музикою зрозуміло. Рок-н-рол – такий любий і такий ненависний – деконструйовано і знешкоджено. З цирком дрібних підліткових пристрастей покінчено. Так. Так і не так. Музиканти не дають слухачеві насолодитися цією швидкою розгадкою, не полишають його в оточенні комфортних змістів. Після двох заводних номерів гурт виштовхує слухача в порожнечу третього “El grado zero del pulso”. Тобто в майже порожнечу: у повній тиші неспішний ритм відбивається одним-єдиним барабаном. Бум. Пауза. Бум. Пауза. Бум. Пауза. І нічого. Бум. І нічого. Нічого не відбувається. Аж згодом розсіяна монотонним стуком увага переноситься на задній план, на якому барабан віддається дивною луною. Ніби якась тінь мерехтить на театральних декораціях. А десь вже взагалі за лаштунками луна утворює в повітрі фідбек-фігуру. На якусь хвилину повертаються і знову зникають гітари. Їх місце займає високочастотний писк. Потім знову на сцену виходить гітара. Наче картину, музику повернуто до нас іншим боком. На звороті залишились композиція, кольори, пропорції, перспектива, форма. Перед нами чиста динаміка полотна. Ми вдивляємось і не бачимо нічого суттєвого – це просто полотно. Нічого особливого. Фон. Але на ньому, схоже, все і відбувається.

А чи може фон вийти на передній план? Чи може фон подолати передній план, перетворитися на нього, зайняти його місце? В останньому треку, “Para ahuyentar ratas, humanos y otros insectos”, міститься натяк на відповідь на це питання. В ньому фон – це взагалі все, що в ньому є. Він не має переднього краю – тільки фон. Шумовий фон. Тобто передній план – у вигляді гаражного бенду – грає тільки на початку. Грає приблизно хвилину й зникає назавжди. А за ним вступає фон. З його тихого високочастотного писку, ще тихішого поскрипування, відлуння народженого у фідбеку звуку, що нагадує акордеон, завивання, приглушених пострілів народжується щільне відлуння вибуху, якого не було. Музика не вибухнула. Вона так і не наважилася нав’язати себе слухачеві, не зробила крок назустріч. Тим не менше все відбулося. Ми думали, що головне відбувалося перед нашим носом. Воно залазило нам у вуха, і ми охоче його туди впускали. А головне-то виявилося зовсім не там! Слід було не дозволяти передньому плану захопити себе, а навести фокус на задній план. Вся драма відбувалась там. На фоні.

Роман Піщалов

R’n’r Granulator
CD, w.m.o/r, 2005

Billy Bao is a Nigerian who moved from Lagos to Bilbao (the Basque country)
some years ago. It was there that he gathered a punk group which comprised
of Argentinean and Spanish musicians. The line-up for “R’n’r Granulator”
included Billy Bao (guitar, vocals, computer), Anla Courtis (guitar,
electronics), Pablo Reche (electronics), Xabier Erkizia (guitar,
electronics, harmonium), Alberto Lopez (drums), and Mattin (guitar,

The album title somehow makes one look for the mentioned “rock’n’roll
granulator” in music, to deep-listen to music in a attempt to catch the
notes of rock’n’roll deconstruction, denunciation, dethronement,
disintegration, atomization. Here the artists, who are no longer teenagers,
pay homage to the music of their adolescence, which, and they understand it
now, is distastefully stupid. And the first two tracks seem to meet one’s
expectations of hearing a sort of “reappraisal of values.” In “Dame Kritmo”
rock music is transformed into off-speed no wave played by cubist
guitarists. This noisy, daft and easy music gradually slows down to explode
with neck-breaking punk rock of “Evapogoration.” The music, allowed to shake
a bit, is subsequently cut into small pieces, which, separated by pauses,
first hang like water bubbles in weightlessness and then are crushed like
plastic cups. Everything sounds as if it was coming from defective dynamics.

So, it seems as though everything is clear in this music. Rock’n’roll, so
adored and so hated, has been deconstructed and destroyed. The circus of
teen kicks is done away with. Right. Right, and not quite right. The
musicians do not allow the listener to enjoy this early answer, do not let
him rest in a comfortable environment of clear meanings. After two cheerful
numbers, the listener is pushed into the emptiness of the third one, “El
grado zero del pulso.” To be more exact, the emptiness is not absolute:
there is still one drum that produces a simple beat in complete silence.
Bounce. Pause. Bounce. Pause. Bounce. Pause. Nothing. Bounce. Nothing.
Nothing happens. The listener’s attention is unfocused by the monotonous
drum and it takes some him time to recognize an echo caused by the drum,
flying on the background. It looks like a shadow flickering in theatrical
scenery. The echo makes a feedback figure somewhere beyond the curtains. The
guitars come for a moment and go. They are replaced by a high-frequency
peek. Then the guitars hit the stage again. As if it was a painting, the
music is turned to show us its reverse. The front-side is where composition,
colours, proportions, perspective, form stay. We’re facing the pure dynamics
of an unpainted canvas. We peer into it and we can’t see anything material:
it’s only canvas. Nothing special. But apparently it’s where everything’s

Can the background come to the forefront? Can the background overcome the
forefront, turn into it, edge it out? The album closer, “Para ahuyentar
ratas, humanos y otros insectos,” offers a half-answer to this question. The
background is all it has. There’s no forefront in it. There’s only hum. To
be more precise, the forefront takes a shape of a garage band and plays at
the very beginning. It plays for about one minute and fades away to never
come back. It is followed by the background. Its high-frequency peep,
hardly-heard scraping, echoing sound that is produced by feedback and
resembles an accordion, fluttering, half-silenced shots give birth to a
dense after-sound of an explosion that never took place. The music didn’t
explode. It was too shy to foist itself on the listener, it never stepped
up. Nonetheless, everything did take place. We thought the main thing was in
front of us. It was crawling into our ears, and we happily let it in. But
the main thing turned out to be in a different place! We shouldn’t have
allowed the forefront captivate us and should have concentrated on the
background instead. The main drama was taking place there, on the

Roman Pishchalov

The Broken Face

Billy Bao is a free rock combo consisting of Xabier Erkizia, Alberto Lopez, Pablo Reche, Mattin and Alan Courtis. The latter is known from his work with Reynols and those digging the raw rhythmic collisions, the cluttering percussion and heavy distortion of that group won’t be disappointed with how Rock 'n'Roll Granulator (w.m.o/r) kicks off. That sort of clangy guitars and outsider punk rock vibe dominates the two opening tracks while “El Grado Zero Del Pulso” besides a little bit of processing and laptop hiss is just about nothing but regular drum sounds; seemingly endless repeated drum strokes a few seconds apart. Call it avantgarde if you will, or maybe rock concrete, and if you urge for comparisons think of a marriage between Reynols and Italian Starfuckers/Sinistri and you’re in the right ballpark. Mats

Touching Extremes (Rome, February 2006)

Billy Bao's noisy supergroup comprises Xabier Erkizia, Alberto Lopez, Pablo Reche, Mattin and Alan Courtis. Four truly sick tracks find the comrades playing ultra-distorted, angular guitar lines which get annihilated and/or chomped and spit out by various kinds of computer treatment, while the longest piece "El grado zero del pulso" is an extremely minimal percussive beat, echoed by modified ghosts of frequency as the time goes by. The record ends with a wonderful low rumble that extends its duration for long minutes, like a never ending thunder capable to lull us to sleep instead of scarying us. As usual with everything coming from Mattin's label, there is no compromise to any aesthetic law: the music is harshly sincere and direct to the bone; take it or leave it, this is as essential and brutally honest as you can get. Massimo Ricci

The Wire (London, February 2006)

Billy Bao, a bludgeoning free rock combo which at times recalls the thrashier moments of Reynols (whose Anla Courtis guest here). Both "Evapogoration" and "Para ahuyyentar Ratas, Humanos y Otros Insectos" gradually distil the noise and instrument feeedback, into laptop static and then out again, while "El Grado Zero Del Pulso" is an 18 minute kick drum mantra subtly coloured by processing. It's one of the most entertaining albums Mattin has been involved in. Keith Moliné

The Zap Gun  Outside & underground. (USA October 2006)

Billy Bao   R'n'R Granulator CD  
     Nigerian musician Billy Bao moved to the San Francisco which is in Spain, discovered punk rock and a guy named Mattin, and turned out a punishing 7" entitled Bilbo's Incinerator. BI is a Brainbombsesque gut fuck which melts the piffle that is cookie cutter punk. So it shouldn't be a surprise that this 30+ minute four song CD isn't going to play by the rules or even expectations that Billy Bao is gonna do more of the same. If punk rock means making up your own rules and challenging assumptions than Billy Bao is on to something. Here he explores primitive punk chordage, silence, noise, monotony, minimalism, mumbling, space, and patience. Taken song by song this thing makes absolutely no sense, but listen to it as a whole and something starts to gel. Just what that something is I am still trying to figure out. If I like it or not, I still don't know. But I am sure that I just listened to something which made me think about what I heard. This would not be out of place on Load. -SS

Mondo Sonoro  (Barcelona, enero 2006)

Me gusta su punk-rock ruidista (tope agresivo y con toques muy experimentales). Son Mattin y Alberto Lopez (ex Atom Rhumba entre otros grupos), aunque en este disco han colaborado también Xabier Erkizia y los argentinos Alan Courtis y Pablo Reche. Son especiales y tienen una actitud especial. Creo que es perfecta la conjunción porque son muy diferentes entre sí y aportan cada uno algo muy personal, con su experiecia particular, a la música que hacen. Me gusta especialmente la canción "Para ahuyentar ratas, humanos y otros insectos" con su largo parón. Son atrevidos y no les importa lo que piense la gente... porque creen en lo que hacen. Sus directos no te dejan indiferente, son sorprendentes - aunque confieso que siempre voy a sus conciertos con tapones para los oídos pues creo que me quedaría sorda si me atreviera a ir sin ellos.  Pilar Baizan

KFJC (San Francisco, January 2006)

Perhaps another form of “rock concrete” (see also Starfuckers
aka Sinestri out of Italy). “Evapogoration” is the standout
here, featuring a driving rock und roll slinger that gets
strained through a choke filter, it basically dies but is
revived like a cracklin’ Lazarus. Love the geiger heart
monitor and the three seconds of silence before tick-tick
and it’s back. The lead off track never dies on us, but does
sputter and lurch towards its finale. It is rock, but only
just. “El Grado Zero del Pulso” could be a slow motion
performance art drum solo. Every five or so seconds you get
one drum beat, think taiko for dummies, but as slow as
a stoned snail, other sounds crawl in after 6 or so minutes.
Or you may hallucinate your own additions before that. Call
it an ode to instant gratification? Call it a test? Heck I
found myself wondering if the drum was being hit by a mic
at times, since we’d get little feed squeals on the much
anticipated drum strike. About 14 minutes in, we move into
a nanodub space of sorts. You want isolationism, you got it!
If you’re looking for a theme song to your radio show, look
no further then this 18+ minute national anthem? Lastly
“Para Ahuyentar ratas, humanos y otros insectos” tips off
the nihilistas, with squelched rock for 1.5 minutes then
someone sets off the galactic tinkle alarm. Don’t pretend
you saw it coming, from then on out your on limited guitar
life-support with a monolith of a drone at the edge of
this sonic universe. Not for everybody, but not for nobody
either…must locate an earlier 7″ from these folks that
I heard once in an internet dream. Info on band members
withheld until they show up to do a live set and prove that
they’re not really the kids from Fame or soemthing. -Hunger


Billy Bao: R’n’R Granulator. Bilbo Rock- 2005 (CD)
Una colaboración fugaz entre argentinos y españoles grabada en una peculiar reunión el 25 de Octubre de 2005. Participan Xabier Erkizia, Alberto López, Pablo Reche, Mattin y Alan Courtis.
Disco de ideas heterodoxas, arropadas en dosis considerables de sentido del humor. Una guitarra eléctrica desestructurada sobre una base rítmica agonizante da la pauta de la placa. Le sigue un punk breve y frenético que desaparece en una maraña de ruidos digitales, posible atención de Pablo Reche, Xabi Erkizia o Mattin o todos a la vez. “El grado zero (sic) del pulso” consiste en un golpe de bombo (drum bass) que se repite cada cinco segundos y se sostiene durante 18 minutos, al que se le intercalan muy gradualmente otros sonidos en una suerte de contrapunto que nunca llega a plasmarse como tal. Un hilarante manifiesto sobre la materialidad misma de la música. El punk primitivo regresa en el cuarto y último tema para derivar rápidamente en un delgadísimo noise de laptop que, acto seguido, se mimetiza con los sonidos que produce la guitarra de Courtis, síntesis acabada del cruce entre electrónica y electricidad, entre experimentación digital y rock’n’roll que caracteriza a este álbum.


Brutus Zine (Bilbo Dec. 2005)

"Cedé" de únicamente 4 canciones de menos de 40 minutos en total que constituye el debut en "largo" oficial de este trío bilbaíno formado por Mattín (guitarra y voz), Xabier Erkizia (bajo, guitarra y sintetizadores) y Alberto Martín (batería) hace sólo un par de años. Grabado en la mañana del 25 de Octubre del año pasado en los estudios MIK de Bera (Guipuzkoa) por Maikel y producido por el propio grupo. 4 cortes ("Dame Kritmo", "Evapogoration", "El Grado Zero del Pulso" y "Para Auyentar Ratas, Humanos y Otros Insectos". Estos 2 últimos de generoso minutaje) experimentales, crudos y sin lugar al acomodo y a la escucha asequible, y en los que han contado con la colaboración de los músicos argentinos Pablo Reche y Alan Courtis.

1000+1tilt (Athens)

4 songs by x. ekizia, billy bao, mattin, a.lopez, pablo reche and alan courtis.1st song is a r'n'r mayhem, where everything is going faster and nastiest. 2nd is along the same line only that at points the whole sound is heavily granulated sounding liek your cd has problems. these were the two shortest tracks, mind you. third one starts with a sole bass kick which is repeated every 2-3 seconds and gradually sounds are filling the space in between. frequencies, mic sounds, feedbacks and the build up comes abruptly again in the form of fast garage, rock and roll. which dies after one minute leaving behind a nice frequency drone which is actually the 4th track. more sounds come, a guitar is tormented, mechanical sounds come and go, resulting in a nice and rich music environment. sure, a strange mix but i feel it will start growing on me. besides, uneasy sounds are always good

Vital Weekly (Netherlands, Decemeber 2005)

The first release by Billy Bao, a 7" on Mattin's w.m.o/r label (see Vital Weekly 466) didn't do much for me. Apparently this Billy Bao moved from Lagos to Bilbao, and recorded the 7" with Mattin on guitar and Alberto Lopez on drums. Here, on a new CD with four tracks, the line up is extended with Xabier Erkizia, Pablo Reche and Alan Courtis, so a six piece altogether, although the cover doesn't make clear what they are playing. I assume laptops and guitars. Three of the four tracks are a bit punk like of guitars dueling, pounding drums but also with the static hiss of the laptops. In the opening 'Dame Kritmo' the playing is rather free and improvised. The third piece, 'El Grado Zero Del Pulso' is something entirely different: a slow, repeating drum sound, with a far away hiss sound coming the speakers and laptop hum. Probably it wants to be menacing, but it takes way too much time. The best piece however is the lengthy 'Para Ahuyentar Ratas, Humanos Y Otros Insectos', which combines the punk attitude with drones played on guitars and laptops. A bit of postrock for the postpunk and the postdrones. As a whole much better than the previous 7", except for that third piece, which didn't grab me very much. FdW

Just Groove It (Argentina)

BILLY BAO // Rock´n´Roll Granulator (2005)

El EP de 4 tracks de esta banda hispano-argentina denota una incuestionable falta de ideas. Las pistas se basan en experimentaciones e improvisaciones sin contenido artístico ni aporte de ninguna clase. Los integrantes argentinos son Pablo Reche y Alan Courtis (ex Reynols) y los españoles Xabier Erkizia y Alberto Lopez. Es un disco que recomendamos pasar por alto.

Frecuencia Rock
(Puerto Rico)

Billy Bao
“R ‘n R Granulator”
Por: Jorge Castro

Billy Bao es un de los aliases del músico vasco Mattin, quien también ha creado una extensa obra de experimentación sonora bajo su propio nombre. En “R ‘n R Granulator” se une a los argentinos Pablo Reche y Alan Courtis y sus amigos vascos Xabi Erkizia y Alberto López para crear un disco con la energía del punk rock procesado a través de su computadora. Algunos temas desaparecen completamente dentro de una nube de síntesis granular y ruido digital. Recomendado si buscas escuchar algo completamente nuevo.

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