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Petti - live wire

Petti is a musician who literally burst onto the music scene, making his fiery debut scarcely three years ago with a work that was a dream, an apparently simple recording that nevertheless gave off tremendous energy and contained songs like hammer blows sung in a dense, secure and powerful voice. His live performance is always even more impressive.
I will always remember the intensity of his hypnotic psycho-blues tracks and his way of playing the guitar as if fleeing from disguised clumsiness. This versatile singer from Bera offers echoes of folk singer-songwriters, sometimes acoustic, like an impossible continuation of the wilder sides of some of the members of Ez dok amairu! But we all know that Petti also admired artists such as Tom Waits, Neil Young, Tim Buckley and Nick Cave. We also knew that he liked to play around with blues riffs, but he did not write ‘Clapton is God’ on the wall. The tragic Nick Drake was his God in song form.

Last year Petti considered bringing out a double album with one acoustic CD and another electric one. In the end, through, ‘Arrazoiak’ opted for the least obvious path, and songs such as ‘Alegia’, ‘Dirdira hori’ or ‘Bihotzeko harriak’ withdrew to an acoustic world which seemed to want to make them more delicate. Petti decided to wait a while before presenting his electric side. Now everything is finished for this other facet which is a true live wire and which shakes you down to your very soul. Petti recorded the thirteen tracks on ‘Etxeko uzta’ in conjunction with four of this habitual collaborators, the sharp shooters of Bera’s rock scene: the Irazoki brothers, Fernan and Joseba, and Iñigo and Maikel, who brought out a number of pataphysical rock tracks last year under the pseudonym Onddo, and played with Montoia before that.

Hitz jarioa, which acts as a single, defines the shudder of mistrust engendered by empty talk. Rhythmically also it establishes the sound of dense guitar playing that Petti accumulates in his electric ballads. ‘Aurrera-aintzinera’, on the other hand, moves to the trotting heartbeat that will be familiar to fans of Crazy Horse. We can also find a couple of tracks by another one of the Petti’s soul-mates Beñardo Goietxe: ‘ Ziztak irauli’ plays around with a psycho-billy of dirty strumming with love and earth, iron and rust, while ‘Biharamuna’ is like a Pyrenean ‘raga’, a rambling piece that closes this wonderful album with much brilliance and style.

Petti's double spirit is also evident in the auto-remake of ‘Bera’, the star track from ‘Amets bat’, his first work and a declaration of existentialism which is now even more spine-chilling and acidic, especially in the final ‘yarragh’. Another bold piece is ‘Adiskideak’, with its gentle waltz that is wretched and mysterious. Taking a break from the hell of neglect, Petti reminds us of this Tom Waits-ian world in ‘Agurra’. ‘Etxeko uzta’ also has guitar parts, as does ‘Iraganaren putzua’, a hard pop track that competes with a more accelerated ‘Ikuskizuna’, punk in style but with a melody, like something from the Who. All this is followed by another self-remake of ‘Arrazoiak’, one of the most cryptic tracks from his previous work, with a flavour all its own. And in addition to ‘Nazkatuta’, which has a voice from beyond the grave, there is also one more musical curiosity: ‘Eroriko naiz (Bizia)’, which is imbued with the aroma of new country given off by groups such as Wilco and Lambchop.

With ‘Etxeko uzta’ Petti shows how he has matured, controlling his voice, playing around with sometimes minimalist rock that is nevertheless always full of the energy and controlled expressiveness of this snide and somewhat savage universe that is the main pull of Petti’s electrically charged songs.

pedro elias igartua