Making Love in Small Spaces



CD Pieros 001

  1. 1.Russian Tanks

  2. 2.Confessions

  3. 3.Steady Job

  4. 4.Grim and Gray

  5. 5.New Guitar

  6. 6.Never So Good

  7. 7.Nervous Breakdown

  8. 8.Black Eyes

  9. 9.Likes Me Too

  10. 10.Beams of Sunshine

Aranos - all instruments
(except for bleeting of the sheep on "Steady Job")


€ 16,- including shipping


Echoes of Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht are evident as well as East European Gypsy influences, with some visits to Republica Electronica and Music Concrete scrapyard. Album powers on for over 0 minutes with relentless energy through some unusual sounds and rhythms. Themes ranging from Russian invasion, in "Russian Tanks", religious skepticism in "Confessions", cruel laugh at conformity in "Steady Job 17 complete with bizarre oscillating feedback, wah wah squeaking violin and a bleeting flock of sheep and lambs evidently on the way to an abattoir. "Never so Good" celebrates life on dole or "Welfare Disneyland? with orgasmic moans. Story of a suicidal depressive "Nervous Breakdown" - Bulgarian style harmonies and wild rhythms embellished by heavy metal style distorted violin solos unexpectedly dissolve into a jazz meandering piano. "Likes Me Too" young idealistic love floats in trippy chcks, clangs and hoots with a repetitive dreamy bamboo flute motive. Vampirical lust and submission reverberates in "Black Eyes", while "Beams of Sunshine" exhales boundless optimism carried on a stream of gongs and oriental percussion.

Making Love In Small Spaces reels and roams from an evocative description in "Russian Tanks" of the time when Soveit troops arrived in Aranos' native Bohemia to praise of indolence in "Steady Job". As the latter song declares "I'd rather be poor/homeless and insecure/than pay taxes to support your system", reeling in multi-track delight and reedy gloom to a loping string bass rhythm, the violins slipping and gliding with mischeivous high tones as the sheep declare their preference for fresh air over government and city living. As the tempo rises into a bleating whirl for the conclusion, the fantastic imagery of a row of sheep dancing into the twilight of their empire in Irish echo of The Seventh Seal springs irristibly to mind. From time to time Making Love In Small Spaces brings Aranos' concerns with personal freedom and musical ellipsis to the fore so strongly that it becomes quite overwhelming. The descant falling off of melody into a whirl of strings and fragmentary drum machine beat is as likely to speed off into a lugubrious Eastern European Folk dance tune as into avant passages of undefinable abstraction where his keen ear for dynamic maintains an occasionally outr�sense of melody. Sometimes songs like "New Guitar" or "Never So Good" with its resonantly toe-tapping telling of the avoidance of work in a welfare Disneyland hold hints of The West (to Amrica or of Ireland) as much as the East, but Aranos inhabits his own gruff world of surprising arrangements and swinging environmental sounds. While there's plenty of vibrant Gypsy spirit meandering it's own merry way throughout the album, there is as much a sense of immanent gloom too, in the sighing and groaning or the accapella self-sufficent choir of "Nervous Breakdown". Its spasmodic bursts of manic violin and blalaika among the dejected piano which wanders through the Blues and out again where the stream of consciousness flows into the mordant love song "Black Eyes". Whatever the mood though, Aranos displays his compositional and performing talents admirably throughout, polishing things off in darkly eccentric style with plenty of disarming flourishes of brilliance peppered throughout some of the more esoteric stretches. The former promote listening to the latter though; as while some can be less accessible in their arrangements at first, they soon become old friends through a familiarity which derives from taking the challenge they offer to give a proper listen to the hesitant amorousness of "Likes Me Too". It is perhaps an offhand tribute to his skill to say it, but one of the things which makes Making Love In Small Spaces work so well is the instant familiary of several of the songs above which makes it appear as if some are cover versions. That they are all his own work reveals not only Aranos' knowledgable positioning within the various forms he expands upon and references, but also his mastery of the techniques in doing so. - Antron S. Meister

People into the collaborative efforts between Nurse With Wound and Aranos might be in for a little surprise with this one. Violinist Aranos has released his first solo post-Noise Museum full lengther on his own label, Pieros. On this disc, Petr Vastl (a.k.a. Aranos) has tapped more into his Gypsy roots, making a more folk sounding album crossed with influences of his Irish surroundings. It's a great listen but difficult to review for Nurse With Wound fans as it's much simpler and much different than his work with Steven Stapleton. There's no cut up noise nor sound manipulation going on here. Perhaps I'm not used to his singing, but then again how many Tom Waits fans really loved his voice the first time they heard it,... More difficult than that is the fact that no distributor is carrying it currently. To obtain it right now, you have to email Aranos himself and see what kind of deal he'd like to work out with you depending on where you live! It's good to be alive. - Jon Whitney

Continuing to defy expectations (well, mine anyway), violinist, sound-shaper, and recent Nurse With Wound accomplice Aranos (aka Petr Vastl) morphs effortlessly into the role of one-man-band and twisted crooner on his third album. Performing a wide arsenal of original songs that evoke the likes of Iva Bittova, Boris Vian, Tom Waits, and even Kurt Weill, Aranos taps into the gypsy soul inside us all. Extra props due for inspired use of sheep! Strange, refreshingly unique and utterly delightful! - JG