Music Reviews
Freedom's Myth

Daniel Givens Freedom's Myth

(Aesthetics) Buy it from Insound Rating - 3/10

Some records are bad because of the musical capacity of the band, some are bad because of the tunes themselves. Some, the special few, are bad for both reasons, and because they feature the weakest cymbal sample of all time. Step forward, Daniel Givens. Givens' biography boasts that he is a well respected DJ and photographer - note musician is not included in this list. Upon hearing the four tracks here (spanning a whopping 35 minutes) you'll be begging him to stay away from the eight-track. That's all you need to know. Really, I don't want to listen to it again, so just take my word, go on. A quick check of the word count says I'm going to have to sit through this again. Here goes. The opener Concrete Migration features the album highlight - a percussion track generated by the cheapest of cheap keyboards. I'd love to say it was a radical artistic move, highlighting the necessity of all instrumentation, but it's not. It just sounds shit. This is augmented by a rambling guitar line, a curious sound akin to when annoying people run their hand round a wine glass, and Givens' curious take on scatting. 'Doo doo doo' our man Daniel says. Again and again, for a good five minutes. I've come to the conclusion this track is in place to keep you from getting any further in to the record, a cruel safety measure.

Of course, I passed it, and paid the price. The next track, the centrepiece one suspects, Middle Passage is a blatant attempt at ripping off Goldie's classic song Mother, or if not, a terrible coincidence. However, where Goldie gave us 60 minutes of bliss, beautiful melody, subtle ambience, majestic strings and crushing drum 'n bass, Givens hands out crap spoken word, an annoying whoosh noise, more cheap keyboards and a 'clunk' noise passing for percussion. For 13 minutes. It's about here I thought it could not get any worse.

And - wait for it - it doesn't actually. The following two tracks Bird/Flight and Bridges are by no means good, in fact they're pretty firmly in the bad camp again, but not to such extremes. Both come across as a kind of poor-man's Tortoise, ambling about all low key jazz, thankfully minus any scatting. If you squint, ignore the 'percussion', and add your own melody, you might just be able to tolerate it.

So to conclude, this is rubbish. Really, really bad. I'd like to point out areas of promise, or the odd good tune, but I can't. Luckily it's limited to a mercifully small run of 1000 copies, so avoiding it shouldn't be too hard. Please note that the mark below is rewarded primarily for 2 things - a) the nerve to open the record with the World's Worst Cymbal , and b) for reminding me just how good Goldie is. Proceed with Caution.