Duck Duck Grey Duck/Magic & Naked // Split 7-inch
Six Tonnes De Chair Records
Recommended Track(s): Pictures of an Imaginary Desert
It’s easy for me to recall a specific lesson from an elementary school music class, one that would certainly prove invaluable. After handing out blank paper and an assortment of color pencils, the teacher put on a recording of Beethoven’s iconic 5th Symphony and simply said, “Draw what you hear.” I can’t remember what I created exactly (most likely a scene from World War II, my childhood interest) but I realize now that the objective was to prove that the human imagination goes hand in hand with the world of music. It is especially true of instrumental tracks, which rely solely on the sound of instruments and audio effects to convey a message or conjure an image. Two Swiss bands, Magic & Naked and Duck Duck Grey Duck, have managed to achieve just that with a new 7-inch split featuring two uniquely different instrumentals.
As the name implies, Magic & Naked’s “Pictures of an Imaginary Desert” does succeed in painting a tranquil scene of a shimmering desert landscape rich in color and not devoid of life. An oasis with swaying date palms and glittering waterfalls easily comes to mind. The song moves at at an smooth and whimsical pace, gradually culminating in a swirl of resonating guitar. On a technical note, the volume level of the track seems lower than standard and had to be considerably amplified to be heard properly. On the flip-side is Duck Duck Grey Duck’s “Camel Boots”. If “Pictures” was the peaceful desert mirage, “Camel Boots” is akin to getting attacked by a band of violent Bedouin raiders. It’s a louder, faster, and saturated with surf-tinged, Arabesque riffs.
I must note that the split itself is beautifully packaged with the blue or green vinyl and paper sleeves printed with images of camels, palm trees, and mythological beasts. Although limited to only two hundred copies, it’s nice to see a visual effort on behalf of Six Tonnes De Chair Records in an era where cassette tapes are the norm among indie labels for their cost effectiveness. And be sure to keep an eye on Magic & Naked, who are releasing their first record of breezy, psychedelic tunes later this summer.