Aranos, "Live in Galway"
Music from several points in Aranos' career is covered by this disc, reaching as far back as 1999's Making Love in Small Spaces and moving forward to music from Tango Mango. In the spanning of his solo musical career, Aranos exhibits all of his musical tendencies. His gypsy-like pop sensibilities are showcased next to his more experimental uses of gongs and digital noise. The shifts in style and pace highlight a perhaps underappreciated facet of Aranos ouvre, namely that is constant creative impulse makes for some deliciously diverse music. He may favor his violin, but no two albums have ever sounded the same and no two albums have ever relied on any formula to keep themselves moving along. Aranos is fundamentally unpredictable.
Photographer and film-maker Karin Wimmer keeps everything relatively
simple, filming Aranos from a raised position and favoring his
performance over the video made by Chris Wallis and projected onto a
white sheet hanging above the stage. While the video may have been
easier to see at the venue, the DVD doesn't do it much justice. Often
times, when it seems as though all eyes should be on that projection,
it's difficult to discern what is going on and so we're left with a
rather still Aranos creating his unique brand of haunted drone and
It would be excellent if Aranos could find a band that would
keep up with his off-kilter songwriting and haphazard imagination, but
because that's a difficult enough proposition, he has to rely on
pre-recorded material to fill in behind him. At times it makes for
better listening than watching, but at other times Aranos is funny and
hypnotic simply because his musical performance is so magical. When he
breaks out his flute on "A Day Shot," there's little chance of thinking
his performance to be anything other than meditative. All things
considered, the DVD succeeds the most because of Aranos' music and his
intense style of music. While the DVD could have failed because of the
lack of any real action on stage, Aranos' voice, playing, and
sense of humor keep the entire package in tact. There are probably far
less than 99 copies available by now, so if an introduction to Aranos
is what is needed to open up his world, I'd highly reccomend this DVD.
It's a great starting point for discovering the career of one of the
world's most peculiar and individual musicians.