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Pajaro Sunrise - Kulturkatzenjammer

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 4 / 12 / 2013

Pajaro Sunrise - Kulturkatzenjammer
Label: Lovemonk
Format: CD


Intriguing fourth album which combines together elements of Americana, synth pop and folk from Pajora Sunrise, the nom de plume of Madrid-based experimental musician Yuri Mendez

Madrid musician Yuri Méndez's fourth album using the Pajaro Sunrise moniker sounds much better than expected when you understand that the Yiddish noun (or was it Goethe to first coin the term?), 'katzenjammer' can imply both plink plonk music (itchy avant-garde for example) or the ear-ringing side-effect from a hangover. Neither of those, 'Katzenjammer' probably refers to Mendez having overdosed onAmericana in the past. Bubbling synth pop tracks blend together with rather anthemic folk music and lazy majestic grooves. In Dutch, depending on your level of education, the feline connection can be explained by 'kater' - 'Dutch' for tomcat also means a hangover - and 'kattegejank' meaning 'katzenjammer' in Nederlands, Nederduits, 'Deutsch' or Yiddish. The people in Madrid, who manage Lovemonk Records label, claim to speak or word or two in 'Dutch'. Hence this mention of 'katzenjammer', and I can happily, therefore, explain that 'Kulturkatzenjammer' is one of the grandest album titles ever chosen. Yuri Méndez's thoughtful lyricism certainly adds to the album's universal appeal. Occasionally moralistic and admittedly showcasing Catholic perspectives at times, Pajaro Sunrise, the Early Bird in English, doesn't use pigeon English at all but swiftly words English lyrics akin to initial thoughts in his native tongue. Which is where the discrepancy joins in. 'Kulturkatzenjammer' combines so many loose ends. The album puts together a Hispanic mindset with the aid of imaginative wordplay that goes beyond one's native language, adding to his incentive to experiment in music. Phlegmatic as only perhaps a Californian can be, Madrid's Pajaro Sunrise's 'Culture Crackdown' refrains from making accusations yet mellows sharp edges, like being trapped in wintertime. Today, this one-man band Pajaro Sunrise stands rather proudly as a seasoned artist. Rolling tracks like 'Minolta', 'Long Forgotten Flowers', 'Good to See You' and 'Move like a Ghost' contrast gently with his folky twang songs and moments of fragile experimentation, such as on the daring opening track 'Hopefully Pt. 1'. Part two acts as if it is the closing track, but not before an equal sense of intrigue, stamped all over this album, has settled in.

Track Listing:-
1 Hopefully, Pt. 1
2 Good to See You
3 Long Forgotten Flowers
4 Minolta
5 A Love Like Mine
6 Gorgeous Georgina
7 This Place
8 This Vision
9 Il Sorpasso
10 Passing Birds
11 086
12 Move Like a Ghost
13 Sink or Swim
14 God Doesn't Care Anymore
15 Hopefully, Pt. 2

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