Nomi's two studio albums for RCA (Klaus Nomi, 1981; Simple Man, 1982) do reflect some of his otherworldly glamour, too often his astonishing vocals are lost amid formulaic backing tracks; the few extant live recordings and videos are far better, despite an often primitive sound. But Za Bakdaz, just out on Heliocentric, reveals Nomi in a different light. Part experiment in playful terror, part rough draft of his unfinished glossolalic opera, this suite of home-studio recordings circa 1979—lovingly restored by cohorts Page Wood and George Elliott—is a postcard from a distant land where kitsch and high art meet head-on.The first (and basically only time) I saw the exquisitely Overt Nomi was on Urgh! A Music War, and I had what I would imagine was the reaction he would have wanted: "What the hell is that?" And, of course, I never forgot it. So I guess that was two wins for him. Anyway, the Village Voice article is in the form of a "dramatic reading" (with an entr'act and everything!) because he shares a birthday with 18th-century Italian castrato Farinelli. So I wouldn't blame you if you didn't read it, as you will only be annoyed.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Here's the story (village voice):