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Dani Siciliano





various artists CD

Dani Siciliano CD cover Dani Siciliano debut solo album Likes... follows two singles on the K7! label (Walk the Line and Extra Ordinary, both included here) and many, many guest vocal appearances from the past 5 plus years. Helping out her husband Herbert (Matthew Herbert, aka Doctor Rockit) amongst others, on various releases through the years, including Herbert's Around the House (1998), Bodily Functions (2001) and Goodbye Swingtime (from 2003 as the Matthew Herbert Big Band), Herbert finally returns the favor by helping Dani out on her own cd. Forgetting the house sounds of yore, Dani and Herbert instead work up some magic on a delicately tweaked, jazzy, subtle affair, which for the most part works wonders as a debut album. I think Dani Siciliano's debut album could really stir up some noise.

I'd been waiting for someone to follow-up the sounds of Laub and Barbara Morgenstern for awhile now, waiting for someone to translate that glitchy, organic German sound into English. an that's just what Dani Siciliano does one her debut album. Where this works best (and is most apparent) is the cd's first track Same, a slowly evolving, 9 minute song which bases its rhythm off of Dani's percussive vocal samples, building on top of a pulsing string section and augmented with tinkling electronic keys. This could be a Laub remix, if the lyrics didn't come out so real and un-manipulated, and if the pulsing rhythm wasn't so insistent.

All Thee Above, a song midway through the disc continues this Germanic glitched influence with a fine result. The track squeaks and glitches slowly to start, finally meeting with Dani and Ornellas Mugison (guest vocalist/lyricists) duet vocals. Subtly plucked (and glitched) guitars embed with Dani's sighing, wordless refrain, while Ornellas makes his own comment.

A song that will get a lot of notice on this cd is Dani's treatment of Nirvana's Come as You Are (are there enough Nirvana covers out there to warrant a tribute disc yet?). I honestly didn't even recognize it at first, it's so different from the original (or maybe I'd not heard the original in so long). Dani turns the song inside out, creating a breathy female blues vocal, which is coupled with a building jazz rhythm built from broken percussive sounds - something I believe Herbert has mastered well. If this song doesn't get used somewhere (teen comedy maybe?) I'll eat this disc.

Dani only lets me down a little on the latter half of the disc when she tries to hard to create normal music (albeit music with pulsing synths, Herbert's percussion, and organic strings and jazz instruments). Dani's vocals (and lyrics) work best when she's more subtle, and one songs like She Say Cliche and Red the parts don't really gel. Maybe some Dani remixes could save some of the lesser tunes. One last thing worth noting - The liner notes for this cd are in the smallest font I've ever seen - bring a magnifying glass if you want to read the details of this disc!

---Patrick, March 9, 2004