MAY 08

you can download it from this russian blog Sickness Abounds

The Nigerian monstrosity that is Billy Bao returns in agony. Bleeding. Pointing a colossal black finger at global capitalism, regular music, non-music and anti-music, at the food crisis of 2008, the moribund spirit of 1968, and especially at you, the record buyer, who maybe "really dug" his first LP, Dialectics of Shit, and will come back for more, or perhaps "heard a lot about him" and his bandmate Mattin in the "blogosphere" or even in print media (ooh!) (whatever that is), and are "curious to finally hear his music" because you find the stories "interesting" and this is even heavier and more fucked up than The Brainbombs at their heaviest and most fuckeduppednest, and you "get it," right? Yeah!
Or wait, let me guess, you got the record for free along with this press release because you're an influential but too-modest-to-admit-it journalist or music critic or program director and so far you've had something to say about Billy, or not, and this is a wonderful opportunity for you to comment upon the work of someone whose primary subject is his own work, so that you can enter into a "dialogue" with "him," or maybe "introduce new audiences" -- maybe even some "kids"! Hooray for the kids! -- to some "awesome" new sounds that "engage the listener in a perceptual tug of war, a struggle to make sense of the unnatural experience of playing audience member to someone else's performer" -- or even better, outsmart Billy, outsmart this record, and call it out as bullshit or play along and pretend that you're in on some "joke" that, let's be honest, you sometimes suspect you don't really get yourself.
It don't matter! We're all human beings here, except for those of us who aren't, and none of us is more human than Billy.
What matters is the way Alberto Lopez pounds the drums, the way Xabier Erkizia rips up the guitar, Mattin and Xabi's computer dicking, and Billy right in the middle of it, channeling a desperation so total it's embarrassing.
This LP is so angry the songs don't even have titles. Some of 'em are really long, some are really short, but they're all pretty goddamn infuriating, as they oughta be.
The Dialectics of Shit LP and the Accumulation 7" didn't go out of print as quickly as any of us would have hoped, but at least the 10" on SS and the seminal and almost-legendary Bilbo's Incinerator EP that started everyone puckering their cornholes are now almost impossible to get.
May '08 is actually surprising, which is pretty goddamn surprising, because where do you go after those first four platters, honestly? Well, fuck, you make a record that's somehow noisier than all of those, more tweaked and fucked-with and digitally distorted than anything before it, crammed with grotesque and sublime samples from the noise of yesteryear: Nono, Kuti, Whitehouse, Brainbombs, and Billy, Billy Bao.
What? What do you want?

Look at the kindsa shit people said about Bilbo's Incinerator:
"Nigeria’s answer to Stickmen With Rayguns-era Bobby Soxx -- abhorrent pummeling scuzzrock that is [...]extremely harrowing." -Art for Spastics
"He might not wallow in the same cesspool as Bobby Soxx, but Billy Bao has the shine." -Siltblog
"Billy Bao is identical to Bobby Soxx of Stickmen With Rayguns in every conceivable way." - Acapulco Dance Party
"Punishingly prescient. Vocals sound like the second coming of Kickboy Face, and this as a whole comes off as a terrifyingly real example of what human beings are capable of if pushed far enough. The real world equivalent to the Pissed Jeans 7”. An important record." - Dusted Magazine

Wow!!! Punishingly prescient!!! Important!!!

And whattabout Dialectics of Shit? That one came out on Parts Unkown too!

"One heckuva magnificent achievement. " -The Wire
"Difficult and entertaining, there is nothing here that would ever be mistaken for easy listening. Punk +
experimental + challenging what you think an album should sound like." - Scott Soriano's Webtoons
"When Billy Bao isn’t making me blow nonexistent fluff off my needle, they’re swamping my stereo with a sickly twenty-generations-removed blues vomit. It’s violently dissociative in the most life-affirming way." - Z-Gun

It should be pretty goddamn clear to you why you want and need to purchase this record. If you don't care about "enjoying" May '08 the way the artists "intended," go download the music for free and completely miss out on the experience of listening to this record on your turntable in "glorious" analogue sound while fixing your gaze on the epic violence of Billy's 12 x 12 cover artwork. Don't play this record if you don't want to.


Floccinaucinihilipilification (UK/Australia)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Billy Bao MAY08

Well that's it folks. All bets are off, the bookies have gone home and any further punting on your behalf will be considered null and void. May 08 is the second full length release from Basque noise/punk/rock band Billy Bao this year and certifies their position as the most significant, rewarding and exciting musical act this year. I ranted on about Dialectics of Shit when it came out earlier this year and was kindly sent an advance of this release which will see the light of day on cd and wax before the year is through.

Parts Unknown will do the honours.

Many listening hours this year has been spent devouring music with a political leaning. This can be edgy territory, often with results that are naive, didactic or simply ridiculous! On the final menu we have the likes of Nina Simone, The Pop Group, This Heat, Robert Wyatt, Fela Kuti, The Art Bears, DG307, NWA and Ice Cube. These humans made works that are a by product of the social circumstance, they are made out of necessity. What Nina Simone was seeing around her and in her own country (black neglect and mistreatment) was the key component to how her 'art' developed in the 50's and 60's, DG307 and the Plastic People of the Universe were appalled at the Russian invasion and loss of individual freedom and their music seethes with anger directed at the forces governing these decisions. NWA is the perfect sound of nihilistic urban frustration which lead to reckless confrontation (not to mention considerable sonic innovation).

All of these artists exist beyond mere entertainment with an agenda attached to the art that is so 'real' that it makes for something suitably uncomfortable.

With this in mind, along with the current state of mass confusion via power, corruption, lies and greed i have often thought "where are the artists with something to say today?" The cult of the individual has become so commonplace that most artistic wares are a mere reflection of a spoilt, narrow mindset. To think of the external and to comment on injustice seems redundant in most quarters, unfashionable at best.

You, who so loudly proclaims being an 'artist' at first meeting. You, artist, please attempt to think beyond your marshmallow existence. I am sorry dear artist but if you are making music, if you have the ability to record and by chance you are lucky enough to have it released or whatnot then you must realise this is a luxury. A total luxury. The time and money required for such 'luxury' does not enter into the lives of many people on this globe. I am so fucking bored of artists complaining about recognition, why this went wrong, why do have i not this, i deserve this if such and such has that etc etc.... Excuse me mofo - please pipe down. The majority of music today is the sound of big mac's. The independent scene is nothing but a micro copy of the big wig formula - cheeseburgers if you will. Self centered plastic drivel born into a system, gently shuffled along the standard mechanisms and spat out the other end.

Where is the subversion, where is the commentary, where is the ability to articulate a relationship between oneself and one's environment?

Originality in music - wah? Progression - forget about it! Reference, cite, copy, paste, release, gloat, strut - GLUT!

I work at a large independent music distributor here and i swear the bulk of titles we get in wear the influences so loudly . When digesting 1 song it takes aprox 1 minute to spot the reference. Popular bands cited in these pitiful works include, Suicide, Modern Lovers, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Fucking Valentine, Black Flag etc This is fine if you like these bands - do your thing, but why the overt reference? Why not add something - ANYTHING to the brew!

I am perplexed that these folks are putting energy into making their 'own' releases only to make a weak copy of a romanticized past. I am sick of it. Zero tolerance. All 'pieces' of musical ideas may be out there but at least put some effort into organising them with some degree of originality. Retro reference has been the vogue for a few years hand in hand with 3 drops of irony and 6 drops of vacancy - an escape from the unpleasant external environment.

Surely it can't all be as bad as this?

MAY08. I must say I was surprised to learn that B.B were releasing another record this year, i thought if it's good they are set to clean up the year it was. It is good, very good. They win. Competition was not so fierce.

If enjoy your house, car and family - if you are happy to isolate yourself from how the majority of the folks in the world really live then do not get this record. Go buy the new Sub Pop, Matador alterna-subversion and creep back into the mind that feed you in the first place.

May 08 is no 'ordinary' record and this is a different machine to the one that gave us Dialetics. Familiar elements remain: tunes, noise, fuckery, politics and bile. On 08 the bar is raised, the notch is loosened and the ride is thrilling . Side A has 4 tracks - each referencing and sampling 4 artists that one can assume has had an influence on the band. Luigi Nono, Fela Kuti, Whitehouse and Brainbombs each have a soundbite stolen and a pint raised. Each of the samples are taken from a politically loaded release corresponding to the year it was released - 1968,78, 88, 98... The use of sampling is blatent, mostly underlining the chaos of Bao's tunes - It is possible to cite influences without making a copy of a copy of a copy. Large chunks of Fela Kuti's 'Zombie' provided off kilter percussion and horns to a pummeling machine snare, Whitehouse's 'Just like a cunt' is the plank on to which Bao launches into his own attack.

Side 2 is a single long track - The aftermath of the sonic carpet bomb that is side A.

The overall sound of this record is a big, dense gnarled mess in which lyrics are spat at the edge of tolerance. This is no Wacom tablet approach to 'evil' - this is a sincere effort to inform and adjust various ailments within the world in which we all exist.

The cover is an intergral part of May 08 with a diatribe/rant by bao highlighting various examples of greed, corruption and destruction. There are references to the Basque region and the ETA - Fela Kuti's mother being thrown out of a window by police, commerce as financial godzilla etc ... It looks beautiful and reads like wake up call to the living dead. This essay makes up all lyrics 'sung' on this record.

For us Billy Bao is THE most vital musical entity on globe earth today. The essence of my enthusiasm lies in the fact that within the current cultural void of historical reference, irony and pastische it is truly rewarding to have a record which is intrinsically tied to the time and place, which is sonically challenging and one that deals with 'real' issues in a manner that is not forced or cliched.

A glorious warning to you all.

The Wire (UK, November)
Selected as one of the 50 records of the year 2009

At its most exaggerated, which is to say exhilarating, there was always an element of parody to punk rock. It was a hyper-vision of rock music, with everything necessarily inflated, debased, turned up to ten. Billy Bao, a phantom punk rock group that may or may not exist outside of the fevered brain of Basque avant provocateur Mattin, take five decades of insurrectionary music and push it so hard that they manage to rebirth the genre by the force of their critical vision.

Mattin is a musician who regularly takes a scalpel to the social, cultural and musical presuppositions of underground music. With Billy Bao he presents a group supposedly fronted by Bao himself, a politically radical ex-pat Nigerian who’s “so fucking depressed that he could die.” The group play ludicrously overdriven two chord fuck-up rock ’n’ roll while Billy explodes over the top like a politico Darby Crash, ranting about environmental pollution in Africa, Spanish bombs, food scarcity in the Third World and violent insurrection. The music uses snippets from a series of key sub-cultural flashpoints as fuel for the fire: Luigi Nono’s Non Consumiamo Marx, made with recordings from the riots of Paris 1968, Fela Kuti’s Zombie, which caused riots in Accraa in 1978, Brainbombs’ 1988 LP Second Coming, a major influence on the Billy Bao sound, and Whitehouse’s 1998 track “Just Like A Cunt”, which Mattin says “calls us all stereotypes. And we’re trying to do something about that.”

Indeed, the arc of the album works to reconnect Noise and experimental music with African-American traditions, starting off with primitive two chord blues married to the feral saxophone style of John Coltrane as retranslated by The Stooges, until by the second half of the LP, where Billy starts to echo the Whitehouse track with lyrics like “you fucking cunt... you fucking stereotype”, it feels as if they have accelerated rock ’n’ roll to the point of noise noise noise.

The cover art presents the full text of the tracks, in Anarchist red and black, and it reads like an over the top parody as much as a call to arms, just as the sonics combine a withering critique of noise rock with a bolstering of its most outrageous modes. Punk rock has always relied on parodying what came before in order to internalise and move beyond it. Like The Germs on Lexicon Devil, a group that Billy Bao have much in common with, May 08 bolsters the tradition by demolishing it completely, by pushing revolt to the point of camp so that it becomes even more revolting. That Billy Bao manage to does this with a virtual, computer-edited version of rock ’n’ roll, a precisely cut-up, digital-sharp take on crude destructo rock, suggests that the future of rock, the future of culture, lies in its continual explosion. Vive la revolution? Ha ha ha.

David Keenan

Permanent Records Staff Best of 2009 Lists!

Permanent Releases Disclaimer: Obviously, we love the records we released on our own label this year, but you won't find many of them included here. It goes without saying that they are definitely favs for us.

Lance's Favorite New Records from 2009 (in alphabetical order)

Billy Bao May '08 LP
Noise rock brutality with a lot of repetition. There were a bunch of records similar to this that came out this year that I could've included on this list, but I chose to limit myself to just this one. Fans of this sort of stuff should definitely take note of the Rusted Shut, Twin Stumps, and Homostupids LPs that came out this year as well. Intense.

Rock De Lux (Barcelona)

Cows are just food

not enough ugly in yr life?  hankering for some misanthropic abuse?  well be prepared to wipe the foamflecked bile from yr diseased faces coz there’s a double dose of mattin heading your way like derby crash’s gnarled death dick.

billy bao is not real.  doesn’t matter.  provocative or provocateur?  doesn’t matter.  it’s conceptual see.  a dissection of what it means to be political, to be underground, to make noise, to sell shit, to ignore, to take part.  hardcore taken to it’s near-ridiculous but logical conclusion.

may 08 came out not long ago, cocking a vicious snook at everything and nothing.  an off-kilter howl of stupid/clever rage and empty despair.  it’s noisy.  see how ridiculously reductional i can be.  but it is.  fucked distortion. grotesque bloozerry.  blownout electroniks.  managing to be both difficult and almost moronically monosyllabic at the same time.  everything drips with bilious skuzz.

it’s as crude sounding a record as it is intellectually exhilarating.  as much a pastiche of itself, and the culture that surrounds it, surrounds us, as it is a complete debasement of everything good and decent with life in the noughties.

consists of five tracks.  the four on side a (it’s vinyl…) reference four other subversives from year eights past (hence the may 08 title).  so 68 is luigi nono.  78 fela kuti.  88 brainbombs.  98 whitehouse.  08 (side b for the logically incoherent) is billy bao.  it’s a reference as much in attitude as samples.  unpicking the dense mess is a challenge in itself but the theft is obvious and precise, politically as well as aurally.

but if it says anything (and it says many things) may 08 says that forty years can pass and people are still fucking shit up musically and socially.  flipside, it says forty years and the more things change the more they stay the same.  hoom…

parts unknown / billy bao

Volcanic Tongue (Glasgow, by David Keenan)

Brand new album from this ferocious avant-hardcore group featuring Mattin on guitar, Xabier Erkizia, Alberto Lopez on drums and Inigo Telletxea on bass. This is cruder and more flat-out destroyed than even Dialectics Of Shit, with gnarled hardcore riffing that combines the accelerated style of Black Flag’s Greg Ginn with the mono braincell violence of The Stooges Ron Asheton.  But it’s still The Germs that seems like the presiding influence, the primitive military drum tattoos, the leery out of control vocals of ‘frontman’ ‘Billy Bao’. And the production is just as primitive/sophisticated as previous releases, beautifully confusing avant and dumbo styles with sudden scalpels of computer feedback bisecting the track or the whole thing fading up and out into a murk of digital overload. Gloriously out of control hardcore freedom from one of the best ‘rock’ bands on the planet. Highly recommended.

Permanent Records (Chicago)

Our favorite record this week is the new Billy Bao LP. Billy Bao is a Spanish group of nihilistic mofos. May 08 is probably our favorite record from them to date. Imagine Brainbombs, Whitehouse, Shit & Shine, and Fela Kuti(?) getting together and destroying everything in their collective paths. We're including Fela Kuti only because there's some Fela samples being playing in the background on a the A-side and because the Bilbao thank him, Brainbombs, and Whitehouse on the cover. This is the kind of record where you would expect some sort of crude drawing, a grotesque photo, or just plain blank album art, but the jacket is simply red text on a background. Within the text, the author goes on an extended diatribe about how fucked the world is and has been. This could be the record that kills the summer and everything else for that matter. Billy Bao just gave Rusted Shut and Brainbombs a run for their money and we couldn't be happier about it. One last note: we referenced Brainbombs three times in this paragraph and we did so for a reason. May 08 is a must own for fans of Brainbombs music and a perfect substitute for those of you who dig the jams, but can't get down with the Brainbombs lyrics. So is Rusted Shut's Dead for that matter, now get on it.

ZGUN (Sacramento, 18 April 2010)

Please, Billy, stop yelling at me. Please, I feel sick, I'm nauseated. I can't stop shaking my head. Do you know why? Of course you do. What's that sound? What are you doing in there? What's that noise, Billy? How are you doing that? How are you making those noises . . . and why? Where are they coming from? No, no: I don't mean literally. I mean where do they come from in you? I think you need to talk to someone about this, Billy. I think these episodes point to a serious problem, especially that 15-minute one at the end. Was that a saxophone I heard somewhere in there? I'm glad you're trying new things, but--why do you keep screaming at me? It's making me feel bad about the world. -FSS

Aquarius Records (California)

Records O' The Week:

Billy Bao "May 08" (Parts Unknown) lp $12.98
Brainbombs meets Fela meets Whitehouse! Sound too good to be true? IT IS!!! Too good to be true AND totally true!!! Heavy and twisted and far out. (Vinyl-only, sorry cd folks).

We were definitely a bit skeptical when we read descriptions of Spanish noise rockers Billy Bao as sounding like Brainbombs, Fela and Whitehouse. Even more so when we got the record in and noticed those were the three bands BB thank on the sleeve, we figured, okay, lazy reviewing, BB love those bands so heck, they probably sound like that, or at least sort of. So imagine our surprise upon actually hearing this, and realizing that the Fela / Whitehouse / Brainbombs was somehow, pretty right on. At least in as far as one can actually describe a band as awesomely weird and fucked up as Billy Bao.
The core sound is definitely Brainbombs, low slung fuzzy sludge bass, in the red, super distorted and impossibly blown out. The drums a Neanderthal pound that borders on the machinelike here and there, howled vocals, alternating shouting and sort of crooning a non stop stream of invective, the sound crusty and filthy and punk rock and garage rock, but with a weird electronic vibe, bordering on industrial now and again. The relentless crunch occasionally screeches to a halt, and launches into a weird super dynamic stop start thing, sometimes even getting all stuttery as the guitars dissolve into fractured electronics.
And the horns, did we mention the horns? Not like the moaning bleat of the Brainbombs' dented trumpet, these are full on festive high life horns, buried way down in the mix, sampled we're guessing, quite possibly actually Fela, but low enough in the mix that only the horns make it through the murk, except for a few moments where the horns / samples slip into the stuttery spaces, only adding to the off kilter chaos.
The B-side sounds like Burmese on angel dust, and since Burmese ALREADY sound like they're on angel dust, BAD angel dust, you can get an idea of how fucked up and fierce and bass heavy this side long jam is, the music a wall of blown out, super tangled, in the red bass riffage and low end buzz, so noisy that the song teeters back and forth between intense riffage and full on speaker shredding NOISE, over which the vocals are a feral frenzied Whitehouse style yowl.
Heavy and fucked up and noisy and genius. WAY WAY WAY recommended. A few more listens and we might just have us a new favorite band.
The sleeve is just a single long missive from the band, there are liner notes and thanks lists in there, but for the most part it's all a stream of consciousness rant against war and government and industry and copyright and loads more, the inside cover features two full color photos of just the sort of death and destruction and human misery they're talking about.


02 Ago 2009

No todos los días se encuentra uno con que su tienda de discos favorita de todo el universo recomienda a su clientela un grupo de Bilbao. De hecho, a mí es algo que sólo me ha pasado... hummmm... ayer: Aquarius Records, establecimiento de California especializado en músicas periféricas (black metal cazurro, electrónica letal, percusión hecha por elefantes y todo lo que se les pueda ocurrir) ha elegido como disco de la semana el elepé May 08 de Billy Bao, un proyecto de rock de vanguardia que lleva a Bilbao hasta en el nombre.

Pero vamos por partes. Aquarius es una tienda, sí, pero también mucho más: su lista quincenal de novedades es una recomendabilísima publicación periódica para mantenerse al tanto de los sonidos menos comerciales, porque el equipo de Aquarius comenta los discos con conocimiento profesional y entusiasmo amateur, que es como mejor se hacen las cosas. Tienen el link a su página, por cierto, en la sección de enlaces de Evadidos, aquí al lado a la derecha, en ese rincón
que casi nadie mira.

En cuanto a Billy Bao, bueno, se presentan como un músico nigeriano afincado en Bilbao (o en Bilboa, como escribe por ahí su sello americano, Parts Unknown), pero los tipos que tocan no tienen ninguna pinta de haberse criado en Lagos y sí de estar curtidos en mil batallas de la escena vizcaína, que lo están. "Aquí no nos conoce ni Dios", han declarado, aunque este periódico (ya ven, tan conservador que dicen) les dedicó una bella página hace un año. Ah, desde aquí pueden acceder a abundantes emepetreses con los que destrozar los altavoces de su equipo informático.

Y, hechas las presentaciones, volvamos al principio: los chicos de Aquarius han elegido May 08 como disco de la semana junto a lo nuevo de Cold Cave y se les ve estupefactos ante el degenerado estruendo de los bilbaínos, con su "aporreo neandertal" de la batería, las "voces que aúllan" y demás ingredientes de ese sonido "crujiente y sucio y punk rock y garage rock, pero con una rara vibración electrónica, bordeando una y otra vez lo industrial". Y concluyen: "Heavy and fucked up and noisy and genius. WAY WAY WAY recommended". Pues eso, que MUY MUY MUY recomendado, pero mentalícense y bajen el volumen antes de darle al play.

A camarilha dos quatro

Mattin é um artista basco que trabalha com improvisação e noise, além de escrever sobre Software livre e propriedade intelectual. Já colaborou com Oren Ambarchi, Tony Conrad e Matthew Bower, mas seu nome se tornou mais conhecido após formar em 2001 o grupo Sakada que contava com Eddie Prévost e Rosy Parlane. Junto com o baterista Alberto Lopez, criou o projeto Billy Bao, um compositor fictício dissidente de Lagos, na Nigéria, que descobre o punk rock como meio de canalizar sua raiva do sistema. O projeto rendeu alguns álbuns e CD-R’s, sendo este May08 o terceiro álbum. (B.O.)

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Com diversos projetos em âmbitos teóricos e musicais, além de todo o aparato militante que ele embute em suas criações, Mattin dá prosseguimento àquele que parece ser seu projeto mais radical e irônico. Até podemos cogitar a hipótese de que a urgência da música do Billy Bao advenha de uma naiveté desorientada, nutrida por um ideário no estilo extrema esquerda. Mas é claro que por mais que Mattin nos leve a cogitar a hipótese de um trabalho a ser levado a sério, vale também perceber suas nunaces irônicas. Para usufruir as composições punks do dissidente nigeriano Billy Bao, se isto é possível, é preciso em primeiro lugar perceber que muitas das barbaridades que são expostas pelas letras e por sua sonoridade irascível são fundamentadas por uma necessidade de”épater la bourgeoisie
“, não através de um embate direto, mas da sugestão de que certas sonoridades, aliadas a certas idéias, estão para além do tolerável, do concebível e do “escutável”, por assim dizer. O barulho é fundamental na estrutura de May08. Mas Billy Bao não é música chamada “erudita” e não encerra um pensamento originalíssimo, embora sua audição remeta a diversos interesses neste sentido.

Das cinco faixas sem título do álbum, apenas uma é totalmente amparada nos efeitos estridentes da guitarra de Mattin. O restante são composições punks, emolduradas por uma roupagem de alguma forma parecidas com o noise lo-fi do Hospitals, mas na verdade trata-se de uma outra abordagem. São incorporados não só um trecho da faixa “Zombie”, de Fela Kuti, que participa da melhor faixa do álbum (a segunda), mas também percussões metálicas, acordes aparentemente consonantes mas propositadamente mal executados… As vozes são entoadas com má vontade, em tom de reclamação e, às vezes, como na faixa três, podemos perceber uma estrutura musical mais ou menos concatenada. Mas tudo em May08 é tocado de uma forma tão desleixada e, ao mesmo tempo, histriônica, que o resultado parece trazer consigo uma carga niilista repleta de intencionalidade e escracho. Claro que o título do álbum colabora com essa percepção: o maio de 08 não pode reproduzir o gosto pela “cultura” que a contracultura tratou de exacerbar, revalorizando o jazz, a música negra americana e a música oriental. Pelo contrário, ela assume uma certa baixeza, uma profunda aversão a tudo aquilo que compactua com a sociedade de consumo – o “sistema”.

O fato é que May08 não é um happening, um manifesto ou até mesmo uma carta de intenções. Trata-se de uma ilustração possível dentro do universo de problemas que o autor insiste em mobilizar. Não é à toa que ele organizou um livro chamado Noise & Capitalism, distribuído gratuitamente em seu site: trata-se do aprofundamento de idéias que surgiram no início da década tanto no desevolvimento da música eletrônica como também da música aleatória de John Cage, o artista que melhor preconizou a oposição entre barulho e sons ditos musicais, tal como consonância e dissonância se opuseram no século XIX e XX. E a correlata identificação deste problema a um questionamento das forças que amparam o controle comercial das expressões artísticas. Até aí, nada demais, trata-se de um livro de considerações sobre a nossa época. Mas quando transpomos suas questões para o campo de sonoridades de May08 algo parece fazer sentido: é a depauperação das formas já codificadas que faz com que a música de Billy Bao adquira aos poucos um sentido de urgência e radicalismo que soa mais que interessante. (Bernardo Oliveira)

* # *

É relativamente simples descrever em termos sonoros o vocabulário utilizado por Billy Bao: uma música barulhenta, furiosa, que faz uso de vocais gritados quase sempre indiscerníveis e tem como insturmentação power electronics e/ou instrumentos com tamanha distorção e baixa fidelidade na gravação que também acabam parecendo ser esses eletrônicos preparados que criam potentes fontes de ruído. Tudo se estrutura dentro de composições que se localizam entre o noise e o hardcore – no caso, sem a bateria metronômica em última velocidade; retém-se só a fúria e a frontalidade ameaçadora do vocal –, como Sightings e Wolf Eyes. Esses projetos, no entanto, se caracterizam por serem assaltos sônicos em que a enorme intensidade se deve à forma como os barulhos são minuciosamente talhados e bem gravados, criando timbres e texturas avassaladores e únicos, a sua maneira. Em May08, não vemos muito disso. Então qual a graça específica do projeto? Há duas. Em termos estritamente sonoros, é a gratuidade do instrumental que, sem qualquer relevo ou ideia particularmente interessante, mantém-se no entanto coerente com o vocal, dando ao todo a sensação de um surto descontrolado de energia, mais ou menos o equivalente em termos sonoros de uma performance. Pode-se dizer que o mesmo tipo de música poderia ser conseguido por diversos outros em circunstâncias semelhantes, e não seria falso; não é tanto a originalidade o que se ressalta aqui: é mais a consistência do projeto. A segunda graça diz respeito ao conceito por trás de Billy Bao, à identidade inventada do artista de Lagos que usa a música como forma de oposição ao sistema, e particularmente o barulho como ato de insubordinação sonora à eufonia. Pode-se dizer, novamente, que isso está longe de ser algo novo, e que desde o nascimento das músicas de agressão e confrontação, com Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, etc., a ideia já era essa. Novamente, não seria falso. Billy Bao não acrescenta outro capítulo à já extensa história do noise e da música confrontativa. Em todo caso, May08 tem a virtude de chamar a atenção, mais como projeto do que como sonoridade, para os elos entre entretenimento e política, e como trabalhar a resistência dentro desse modelo. A resposta não é muito original, mas também não se pode ter tudo. (Ruy Gardnier)

Otrosh Blog (Madrid)

Billy Bao
"May 08"
Parts Unknown (PUR041)

Para los que no lo conozcan todavía, decir que Billy Bao es un grupo de Bilbao, en el que tocan Alberto López (batería, ex La Secta, Atom-Rhumba…), Xabier Erkizia (guitarra y producción) y el polifacético Mattin (guitarra), acompañados en este vinilo por Iñigo Telletxea (bajo). Han esparcido discos por todo el mundo en los sellos S-S Records, Xerox Musik, Herbal Live Series, Afterburn y w.m.o/r. Casi nada. La cara A del vinilo consta de cuatro temas, en total unos dieciocho minutos, y la cara B de un tema de dieciséis minutos. "May 08" es menos crudo que otros artefactos que han sacado, como por ejemplo la casete “I’m going to kill all the rich man”, pero igual de intenso y bruto, y más producido. Los temas de la cara A son cañonazos de noise punk rock, pero no el clásico o típico que podrías esperar cuando lees punk, rock y noise juntos (ahora a cualquier cosa con un poco de distorsión le llaman noise rock). "May 08" es experimental, es oscuro, es sucio, es brutal, es violento, es anárquico… es Billy Bao. No esperes escuchar algo como Brainbombs, grupo con el que se les relaciona continuamente (y que se cita en los agradecimientos del LP junto con Fela Kuti y Whitehouse), aunque yo no consigo ver esa relación (los suecos son, entre otras cosas, más monolíticos, menos ruidosos y más monótonos, más simples vamos). Puestos a buscar referencias, yo me quedo con los Stooges de “Fun House”, Big Black, Swans, Einstürzende Neubaten, y más actuales, Hair Police, Wolf Eyes. De todas formas, referencias a cualquier grupo se quedan cortas para describir a Billy Bao. Dentro del punk rock noise abstracto se esconden voces hardcore escupiendo proclamas políticas de distinta índole (que puedes leer en la portada y contraportada), todo bajo ritmos machacones, riffs que me recuerdan a unos Stooges acelerados, samplers de voces, de secciones de viento que te hacen bailar, aunque duren poco, mezclándose todo en un ruidaco infernal mientras voces desesperadas y desquiciadas gritan de manera inhumana. La segunda cara es un tema de dieciséis minutos. Ruido abstracto, industrial, denso, con un sonido que recuerda a Hair Police y con voces hardcore/death metal, si todavía cabe, más hundidas en el fango y maraña del ruido intenso que se va formando. Este vinilo te deja exhausto, con los oídos bien limpitos y destaponados y, tras el susurro de “Billy Bao” del último tema, listo para dormir. De lo mejor de Billy Bao.- Rafa Ju.

Sound Eyet Blog

Μεχρι στιγμής μυστήριο αποτελεί ποιοί ακριβώς είναι οι Billy Bao. Το "επίσημο" website τους λέει ότι αποτελούνται από έναν εξορισμένο, από το Lagos της Νιγηρίας στο Bilbao, Αφρικανό στα φωνητικά, ένα τρελαμένο πάνκη drummer και τον γνωστό noise underground εξτρεμιστή ηχοταραχοποιό Mattin στις κιθάρες. Στην πραγματικότητα, μπορεί ότι ακούμε στο "May 08" να προέρχεται από τα sound files του υπολογιστή του Mattin. Σε κάθε περίπτωση, μιλάμε για έναν οριακό noise rock άλμπουμ, που πέρνει τον ακραίο post-hardcore ήχο περιθωριακών 90ς σχημάτων όπως οι Harry Pussy ή οι Jesus Lizard, τον πετά στην θορυβώδη λασπουριά του noise rock των Sightings και τον σχημάτων της Load και τελικά τον αναπροσαρμόζει στα μέτρα σύχρονου ψηφιακού out noise . Τα πάντα κτυπάνε κόκκινο... οι ακραίοι μηδενιστικοί στίχοι, τα επιληπτικά φωνητικά, οι υπερπαμορφωμένες κιθάρες, τα χύμα drums, η άναρχη δομή των κομματιών...Ίσως το καλύτερο άλμπουμ avant rock της χρονιάς και σίγουρα το πιο πρωτοποριακό.

Sickness Abounds (Russia)

☼ Billy Bao - May 08 LP

by request...
"When I came from Lagos (Nigeria) to San Francisco (Bilbao) life was tough here or there. I did not mind, I had a purpose in my life: to fight the system that fucks up everyday of our life. Back in my hometown, I was an unknown songwriter but, as soon as I arrived to the streets of Bilbao, I discovered Punk Rock. It had energy and attitude and was exactly what I needed. Next thing was to get a band. I sought out the most primitive drummer in Bilbao, Alberto Lopez (ex-La Secta, ex-Yogur, ex-Atom-Rhumba), and the noisiest guitarist around, Mattin. The band was formed under my name, it could not have been any other way. These songs go beyond what rock and roll is and what it could be, in fact they are the degeneration of Rock & Roll against the regeneration of Bilbao."
Billy Bao (Mattin + Xabier Erkizia) is comparable to Stickmen With Rayguns-era Bobby Soxx. Billy describes his journey, beginning in Lagos where he was an ignored songwriter and soloist looking for a creative spark and outlet. It was in San Francisco, Spain, in the Basque area of Bilbao, that Billy discovered punk rock’s primal energy, and he became inspired to make this abhorrent pummeling scuzzrock that is so extremely harrowing. He hooked up with the drummer of La Secta and other local SOB’s and made songs full of unbridled anger and despair. This stuff is as scathing, violent, and agonizing as the Brainbombs.

Год: 2009
Страна: USA
Лейбл: Parts Unknown Records

01. Untitled (4:00)
02. Untitled (4:37)
03. Untitled (4:33)
04. Untitled (5:23)
05. Untitled (16:18)


Head Heritage

I reviewed this record somewhere else a couple of months ago, this one and Dialetics of Shit are the kind of noise-war-artifacts that pieces like Machine Gun, by Peter Brotzmann may sound like to guys from the 70s.

Billy Bao previous records were astounding to me, I guess the Spanish punk scene must be pretty much close to Mexican punk scene, full of similar sounding bands with speed demon sensibilities and little brain in their “political” messages, but once in a while comes something that really shakes things up, Billy Bao might not be punk, might not be Nigerian, might not be political and as a matter of fact it would be a little tough to describe, but it is obviously way above from what we can currently perceive on a punk rock scene.

A “fictional” project of Basque musician Mattin, Billy Bao is a supposed punk rock group led by a Nigerian musician Billy Bao (a cool reference to someone who was more punk in attitude than most punks, Nigerian Afro-beat god, Fela Kuti, whose Zombie is sampled somewhere on this record) who is now set on Spain and is making records about how disgusting is the system (am I going to suppose life is tougher on Spain than on Nigeria?).

Other things to keep in mind is that Mattin was part of the Basque Radical Rock movement of the 80s, which brought us bands like Eskorbuto or La Polla Records, bands that took the punk rock ethic in a more serious and radical way, whereas the Sex pistols disbanded pretty soon and neither of its original members lived up to their punk rock ethics, bands like Cicatriz, Eskorbuto or La Polla Records, really lived the way they sang, on the red, as some of their original members died of heroine over doses, aids or terrible accidents, yes, life in the punk rock scene in Spain during the end of the 70s must have been a very though time, as Spanish dictator Francisco Franco was still head of the government.

Billy Bao might also be a reference to the Spanish city of Bilbao, and another cool reference I already mentioned was Fela, who made Zombie, in the late seventies, a record so full of venom that Fela received an almost fatal response by the military heads of the state, almost resulting in his own death, while Never Mind The Bollocks was supposedly making a stance on Anarchy in the Uk, Fella was living it on Nigeria.

Billy Bao is a record? Sonically speaking yes, it sounds like a very though punk rock record with noises and primitive sampling coming in and out, it sounds a lot like some of the most fucked up live recordings by the Stooges, as the “band” or Mattin or whoever is in his company, performs brutal repetitive two or three chords of distorted punk rock at its most chaotic, and then some brutish cut and paste work makes it sound like one of the most “out there” records of all time, but don’t forget this is Mattin, a guy from Spain, also home of one of the greatest masters of Cinema, Luis Buñuel, remember that scene on the El Angel Exterminador, where a guy comes into a room and the scene is repeated again and again? Well Mattin does similar stuff sonically speaking, giving the record a strange and eerie quality, yes, black humor and surrealism float here.

Onda Rock (Italy)

Non c’è dubbio che il pessimismo e l’angoscia siano tra i motori fondamentali dell’esperienza sonica degli spagnoli Billy Bao, quartetto formato dall’omonimo cantante d’origine nigeriana, dai chitarristi Mattin e Xabier Erkizia e dal batterista Alberto Lopez.

Con un suono spaventoso e rumorosissimo, “May 08” spinge la band verso lidi musicali sempre più brutali e sempre più attraversati dallo schifo e dal disgusto per una realtà poco incline a lasciarsi comprendere. D’altra parte, in “Dialectics Of Shit” cantavano:”My life is shit/ your life is shit/ and you don’t do/ anything/ Just/ drink/ fuck/ sleep/ and get killed/ by a system/ that only wants you as a/ working corpse” (“My Life is Shit”).
Definito come un incrocio tra Brainbombs e Whitehouse, “May 08” abbandona l’impianto “garagista” del disco precedente per lanciarsi a occhi chiusi verso le torride, purulenti emanazioni del noise-rock più malvagio di sempre.

Suddiviso idealmente in due parti, il disco parte con una sfrenata convulsione, martellante e densissima. Una sciagura cui sembra impossibile sopravvivere (“1”). Un suono ossessivo, isterico, feroce, tra citazioni del Fela Kuti di “Zombie” (“2”), primitivismi post-core & noise in stile Cows (“3”) e repellenti, bradi minimalismi, tirati allo spasimo, fino al delirio dei feedback che tutto sommergono (“4”).
Eppure, niente che possa competere con “5”, probabilmente il loro capolavoro e uno dei pezzi più diabolici dell’anno: un inferno di selvaggia disperazione, un nichilistico sputo verso il cielo. Prurient costretto a sanguinare dagli occhi.

Aspettando la definitiva realizzazione delle loro intenzioni, un ascolto purificante.



Billy Bao har jeg skrytt av før og det er ingen grunn til å dempe seg nå. Det nye albumet Billy Bao - May 08 (Parts Unknown lp) er nok en knusende oppvisning i tung avantrock. Bandet består av Mattin på gitar, Xabier Erkizia vokal, Alberto Lopez på trommer og Inigo Telletxea på bass. Billy Bao er mer punkrock enn noensinne og tar den seige, hakkete cruden sin ytterligere noen steg ut i et terreng av improvisert hardcore. Billy Bao blander idiotrock med avantfantasier, elektroniske sammenbrudd ala glitch og syk vokal og sender resultatet gjennom en forsterker som ligger begravd i atomavfall før hele sullamitten dundrer ut av to enorme, rustne høytalere. Billy Bao tar arven fra Black Flag, Germs og Big Black inn i en fjern fremtid. Billy Bao er et av verdens beste rockband.

Frog 2000 (Xpain)

Se ha hecho esperar, pero por fin Billy Bao edita nuevo disco. Un monstruo capaz de hacer que salgas a la calle con la intención de cazar economistas. Las guitarras erigen una música tan poderosa que, en mi caso, me disparan recuerdos de aquellos meses que pasé en una fábrica montando hornos industriales.
Los de Bilbao han terminado superando insignes composiciones anteriores y esta vez zarandean a su público con repetitivas explosiones que retuercen la vida anodina, haciendo polvo todo lo que sabíamos sobre cómo se supone que hay componer una canción. Ojalá se editarán más discos como este.

BILLY BAO - MAY08 (Parts Unknown, 2009)



Maximun Rock & Roll
  #317 (San Francisco)

It is an odd combination‹the sounds that come off this record and the words
on record sleeve. The music is furious, manic, noisy drone, and damn loud.
Electronic sounds with a thrashy drumbeat and pained vocals. It riles you up
while listening to it and gives you a sort of catharsis from all the shit
you endure day to day. Turn it up and tune out the world. I am tired after
listening to May 08. However the record cover reads like a teenager¹s diary.
It is political, but not cohesive or thought-out, like someone just starting
to think about the actions of the world around him. Those are the lyrics for
the first side of the album. I preferred it when I made I made up my own.

An Uncontrollable Urge

I stumbled across this LP at Mystery Train several days ago.  The label said something like “revolutionary Nigerian skuzz rocker,” and the cover looked interesting, so I bought it.

Those words on the front and back cover are the entire lyrics of the album, and you can make out maybe a fifth of them.  It’s a thick wall of noise, with vocals, drums, bass, and I can’t figure anything else out.  At one point I was able to pick out a Fela Kuti song playing in the background, but I didn’t recognize any of the other samples.

It’s dense.  Really dense.  Maybe too dense, I suppose, because it starts to get boring.  There are a lot of interesting things in here, however… perhaps he could’ve used an editor.  But if I ever get face to face with the guy, I’ll never say that.  Because, reading the front of the jacket, I assume he would literally rip me to pieces, and feast on my blood.

So, I’ve decided I like the guy.  The lyrics are fiercely radical, but sometimes nonsensical.  I understand, I think, where he’s coming from, however.

Capitalism show us that it does not care about humanity and we only care about individuality.  People in the Western world are just fucking around, and I continue doing nothing but this.  And you?  Satisfaction?  Are you happy?  Are you going to go out?  Are you having a nice dinner?  Another beer?  Another record?

… probably.

Tagged: fuck you

Sorry State Records (USA)

Another aural assault from Spain's Billy Bao. As usual, he's taking Whitehouse-esque sheets of noise and combining with droning, minimal punk to great effect... I have to say this is a lot more gripping than the debut 12"... killer stuff for the noise merchants, so if you like Drunkdriver you should check this out for sure. Parts Unknown Records

yellowgreenred (USA)

I didn’t check out May08 the moment it came out because, while I’ve enjoyed all the other Billy Bao records to varying degrees, after last year’s Dialectics of Shit I was afraid Mattin may have run out of ideas with this project or “persona”. May08 seems to take delight in confirming my fears, as this is Billy Bao at his least inspired. The first five cuts are standard-issue Billy Bao minus the riffs, interesting vocals or intriguing behavior that had me saying “yes, I’d be delighted to pay $11 for this imported single!”. He might chop up the different sounds in one track, or play a jazz sample in the middle of another, but the antagonist approaches here come across as lazy and old. Really dull, uninteresting music that isn’t even annoying in the way previous BB records have been. The last track is sixteen minutes and opens with generic bassy guitar noise and buried vocals, and continued for a good eight minutes or so before I decided to make dinner. If you make it all the way through and something interesting happens, let me know. I have to wonder if the only reason Billy Bao currently exists is because people are still asking him to put out new records. Mattin seems better suited as a noisy avant-garde collaborator than a rock musician releasing multiple albums. Maybe the joke is just on us.

7;t figure anything else out.  At one point I was able to pick out a Fela Kuti song playing in the background, but I didn’t recognize any of the other samples.

It’s dense.  Really dense.  Maybe too dense, I suppose, because it starts to get boring.  There are a lot of interesting things in here, however… perhaps he could’ve used an editor.  But if I ever get face to face with the guy, I’ll never say that.  Because, reading the front of the jacket, I assume he would literally rip me to pieces, and feast on my blood.

So, I’ve decided I like the guy.  The lyrics are fiercely radical, but sometimes nonsensical.  I understand, I think, where he’s coming from, however.

Capitalism show us that it does not care about humanity and we only care about individuality.  People in the Western world are just fucking around, and I continue doing nothing but this.  And you?  Satisfaction?  Are you happy?  Are you going to go out?  Are you having a nice dinner?  Another beer?  Another record?

… probably.

Tagged: fuck you

Yes, dear readers, I'm still here. I've just been spending most of my days lately reading stuff that looks like this so I ain't got much time for dis heer punk rock,  nawmean?                                              Anyhoo, tonite's 3rd of July special is none other than the Basque Country's most terrifying thing besides the ETA, Billy Bao. I gave up long ago on determining whether Billy Bao's story is true or false-given how clear their debt to The Society of the Spectacle is, I doubt "true" and "false" are         useful categories here.                                                                             But you kiddies iz here for dee moosick, ya? Here's whatcha got: five pieces (NOT "songs") of very intelligently assembled, shrieking, horrifying noise that includes a Fela Kuti sample somewhere on Side A (how could I make this up?). Everyone's been screaming "Whitehouse this" and "Brain Bombs that" since these cats started dropping sonic napalm, but fuck that. Billy Bao's music is clearly and violently its own thing altogether, even when they thank Whitehouse in the text of that indecipherable cover. This is a terrifying, twitching manifestation of the social disease known as capitalism...or the demons dancing in your head after mixing speed and valium. I'll let the eggheads amongst you figure out if that's a false distinction or not.
I have to warn you that you will ABSOLUTELY HATE THIS THING if you're expecting standard punk music based on rock formulae. This is a sonic atrocity, not rock 'n' roll.                            
Fuck May '68, Fight Now! After detourning your own private spectacle, mosy over to Mattin's page and see if May '08 or any of Billy Bao's blunt objects are still in print. Big ups to DX at Distort 'zine for turning me onto these terrorists. Find some hilarious reviews here.

p.s.-sorry this post looks like shit. Blogger is being about as helpful as the Italian public transit system tonight.

Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth?

*Billy Bao “May 08″ (Parts Unknown) – Great LP from these noise rockers…hell, there’s not really any discernable songs on this full length like the 1st one, this is just a lot of weirdo wall of distortion numbers. I feel like if you aren’t listening to this loud, you might miss out on what’s going on- it’s SO nasty and violent. Reviews will compare this to the Brainbombs and such, but trust me, this is way more blown out than that. Get this!

Examiner (Sacramento) by Jason Avery

Billy Boa is not a pleasant listen and neither is the lyrical content.  The music sounds terrible, filthy and the lyrics are often indecipherable which seems a bit counter productive to me considering most of the lyrical content is political in nature.  There is an essay on the outside sleeve of the album that pushed Billy Bao's polictical  the message more than any of the music or lyrics contained on the record.  Basically from what I'm reading the album bringing  the negative consequences to the public's attention.

The artist Billy Bao is from Nigeria and has seen the direct effects of uncontrolled capitalism and poor foreign policy in his country.  I think he could have done more with the album because the lyrics are indecipherable and the album will not translate onto the airwaves...what good is screaming in anger when there are no audible ideas behind the sound?  I can understand if the vocals are being used like an instrument and are just another layer with no apparent meaning, but with Billy Bao this is not the case so it doesn't make sense to me.

A narrative would have been better than screaming over degenerated noise punk. If he is truly trying to use music as a vehicle to spread the word on his political views.  The album just kind of degenerates into un-rhythmic noise and really doesn't seem to have any purpose outside the album sleeve.

Gilgongo (Tempe, Az, 2015)

Deranged, distorted, disturbed noise saturated punk, Flipper at 16rpm? Drunkdriver after a night of heavy drinking? I'm not sure... but a truly out-there record for those who can appreciated a heavy and complicated and claustrophobic take on hardcore.

Piero Scaroffi

contains five untitled tracks. The first piece is a filthy psychotic rave-up. The second one is a funk-punk of sorts that adds African-style horns. The third one is a lazy recitation amid bombardment-like guitars. The fourth one is a repetitive tribal war dance for android tanks. The fifth one is 16 minutes of chaotic guitar noise, frantic drumming, monster bass riffs, hellish growling, relentless strumming, and apocalyptic rumbles.

contiene cinque tracce senza titolo. Il primo pezzo è un osceno rave-up psicotico. Il secondo è un funk-punk di sorta che aggiunge corni in stile africano. Il terzo è una pigra recitazione in mezzo a un bombardamento di chitarre. Il quarto è una ripetitiva danza di guerra per tank androidi. Il quinto sono 16 minuti di caotico rumore di chitarra, di drumming frenetico, di mostruosi riff di basso, di urla infernali, di strimpellio implacabile e di rombi apocalittici.

Ox-Fanzine / Ausgabe #86 Oktober/November 2009, Kalle Stille

BILLY BAO bewusst anhören ist ein bisschen wie ein Wettsaufen, bei dem es darum geht, wer als Erster kotzt. Hier geht es darum, wer als Erster aufgibt und die Nadel anhebt, denn diese Platte strapaziert deine Gehörgänge, sie geht dir auf die Nerven, sie verursacht Unruhe und führt garantiert nicht dazu, dass du dich anschließend besser fühlst, wenn du doch die ganze Scheibe durchgehalten hast.

Aber sie zerstört deine Grenzen, zeigt dir neue auf, und kann dir in der falschen Stimmung so tierisch auf den Sack gehen, dass du anschließend einigen Leuten endlich mal die Meinung geigst, weil es dann auch egal ist.

Mit großkalibrigen Waffen auf ungeliebte Nachbarn schießen ist die andere Option. Die logische Fortführung dessen, was FLIPPER einmal so harmlos angefangen haben, monoton, eintönig, fies und einfach nur bösartig wie ein Tumor in deinem Gehirn. Nicht in der Geschwindigkeit, in der Trägheit liegt die wahre Gewalt. Unbewertbar ...