Matador – 2001 – 54 minutes
'No Comprendo' is a new musical project by Khan (aka Can Oral) featuring contributions from friends as well as some of his most desirous hero collaborators. He also wrote all the lyrics and played all the instruments before inviting various songsters to offer vocal interpretations to accompany his compositions. The result is a myriad of dark 'n' dirty beats that fits somewhere between indie industrial blues and gothic electronica.
It kicks off with the 1980s electro pastiche 'Les Gros Nichons', featuring the petulant Gallic vocals of Stereo Total's Francoise Cactus. Former Bad Seed contributor Kid Congo Powers pops up on 'Why Hurt Flesh', a dark number that's addled by distorted Mexican guitars. Highlights include the sublime vocals of Julee Cruise, which wrap around sub-bontempi organs on 'Say Goodbye'. The man himself provides sleazy ruminations on 'Wolf' and Hanin Elias of Atari Teenage Riot does her porn-star impression on 'The Bee'. Diamanda Galas treats us to her 8-octave range with her unique brand of vocal gymnastics on 'Aman'.
Not exactly easy listening (fractions of it are definitely an acquired taste), 'No Comprendo' is an interesting smorgasbord, with some contributions more praiseworthy than others. If anything, it's good to see artists who usually push the boundaries with their work (Galas, Spencer) appearing under the one banner thus making them more accessible to a broader audience. Khan claims that the album title comes from the tourist cliché oft used down Mexico way by visiting Americans. Don't worry, no translator is required for this one, but keep your wits about you and don’t drink the water.
Tracklisting: Les Gros Nichons (with Francoise Cactus) – Why Hurt Flesh (with Kid Congo Powers) – The Wolf – Monster (with Jon Spencer) – Say Hello (with Linni Schipp) – Say Goodbye (with Julie Cruise) – Aman (with Diamanda Galas) - The Bee (with Hanin Elias) – Mercy Mama (with Andre Williams) – Fishies Fuck (with Jon Spencer) – Vaselin (with Kid Congo Powers) – Fantomes (With Francois Cactus) – Guitar King