Margareth Kammerer - To be an animal of real flesh [Charhizma - 2004]Margareth Kammerer is a 38 years old Italian singer, guitarist and actress. She has been playing for the last fifteen years, but To be an animal of real flesh is her first solo release. Willing to make an impression, she asked the help of good friends such as Tatsuya Yoshida, Philip Jeck or Fred Firth. Did she manage to rise to the challenge?
Well, not really… Don’t get me wrong, this CD is not unpleasant. Five of the tracks are solo. Kammerer is alone on guitar and voice. Many will think she fits in the current wave of female folk artists (CocoRosie, Feist and so on). It’s not entirely wrong. However, Kammerer’s guitar playing is a bit more angular, threatening than your usual folk “diva” and her voice is very peculiar. Unfortunately, her songs quickly fall in a sort of routine.
No more routine on the three songs featuring guests musicians… Alex Dörner (trumpet) brings some nice variety on the otherwise monotonous I carry your heart with me. On Willow… c’est que j’aime Tatsuya Yoshida (drums, Ruins) adds variety to the overall one-dimensional rhythmic pattern. On this track he is in his less heavy than I’ve heard him being lately, but it’s still the sound of that amazing, amazing drummer. The last guest is Chris Abrahams, pianist with The Necks. Just like Dörner, he adds variety to Kammerer’s music, especially since the track he plays on is a new version of the first song off the album…
The six other tracks are remixes. They make of this album a full-length, but do they really add something? Are they really necessary? After a very pedestrian first minute, Bernhard Fleischmann’s remix of Facing it gets very, very good when he adds a sort of “stubborn” piano melody. Much better than the original. Nicholas Bussmann’s remix is an odd mixture of industrial and jazz but it’s not really enthusing. Fred Frith work on Somewhere I have never travelled is quite a disappointment. A beat box, some added guitar. Boring. Philip Jeck is much better: he remixes The Bright Stones in a way that make it sound very dark, almost threatening. Christof Kurzmann’s remix works is not worth much attention. The last remix is done by Active Suspension O.Lamm. Heavy beats, digital noise. Nice work, but far from being essential.
For her lyrics, Kammerer used texts by British poet EE Cummings, Yusef Komunyakaa, Anne Carson, Paul Celan and the now unavoidable Antonin Artaud.
To be an animal of real flesh is a CD whose quality has more to do with the guests then with Kammerer. However, both the remixers and the guest musicians ado not lmatch here their usual high standards. Very average album.François Monti