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coverpic flag Czech Republic - Full Moon 46 - 07/16/00

BMG Ariola

Buty did it again. Following the success of their critically and commercially acclaimed Drevo (1995) and Rastakayakwanna (1997), Kapradí (Fern) brings us another dose of the characteristic mix of pop rock, and Radek Pastrnák's sense of humor.

After a brief intro of what sounds like knife sharpening, Buty launches right into Jedno pivo (One Beer). Over driving Iberian rhythms, descending triads and castanets, Pastrnák urgently demands: "Good man, serve me a beer!" This is followed by the single Tata (Daddy), which is a typical Buty moment full of nostalgic images and sounds that lead directly to the explosive ELO/Queen-style production number, Olina. Wow, what an entrance!

Next comes the punning Ohambí (Privates), and the sparse Jedu do Poruby (I'm Going to Poruba), and it's time for the bossa-nova Prisel den (The Day Is Here). Towards its end however, the crooning voice, tinkling piano and the mellow flutes get interrupted by a sonorous announcer: "It's half past the beginning...station Kapradí is now presenting the news. Jaroslav Seifert (a Czech poet) was born in the last century of this era - shortly before the arrival of plastics. It all happened closely behind the invention of the wheel and of the telescope." He then concludes softly: "Our complete, endless universe is being controlled by minute microorganisms."

Snezí (It's Snowing) is a cool jazz/raggae cover of the cut Divny host from their first release. A Miles Davis muted trumpet wonders in and out of the slowly chugging rhythm, the organ swells emphasize the lyrics, studio tricks - such as the huge reverb that explodes following the first mention of the "odd man" - underline the key passages:
Tuzka se dotkla papíru Pencil touched the paper
co lezí pred divnym chlapem lying in front of the odd man
s nikym se nebaví. not talking to anybody.
Hádám, odkud prichází I'm guessing where he's coming from
ze se tolik lisí - a nevím. that he's so different - and I don't know.
O cem bude psát ví jenom on - Only he knows what he'll write about.
venku huste snezí a tuzka na papíre lezí. It's snowing heavily and a pencil is resting on the paper.
Vsichni uz jdou domu Everybody's going home
jenom on tu sedí only he's sitting here.
na co myslí. What is he thinking about.
Tak mu ríkám at uz zaplatí So I ask him to settle his bill
a on ze prej penize nemá and he says he has no money,
ze se práve vrátil z kosmu. he just returned from space.
A na dukaz nakreslil - lezatou osmu... And as a proof he draws - the infinity sign...

This whole thing ends with quotations from Mr. Acker Bilk's "Stranger On The Shore."

The next two cuts lead to another brassy, noisy, wall-of-sound hit Hejcman blues, ending with the repeating chorus "end, end, it will never end." And indeed, there is one more song, the pensive ballad Parní stroj. "A steam engine," sighs Pastrnák tenderly over a murmuring choir. "I see it in the distance...people standing around, watching...dringing beer and eating hot dogs. A steam engine run by a dexterous Japanese..."

Kapradí earned Buty the Czech "1999 Group of the Year" award, and rightly so. Although the band has experienced some personnel changes, this album is another winner. It's multi-layered, bold and jazzy, moody and funny - another intriguing outing.

Copyright © 2000 Ivan Sever e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Buty articles/reviews: Drevo, Rastakayakwanna.

© 2011 Luna Kafé