At Santa Cristina, in central Sardinia, the Archdrude and Co. stare down into the depths of its Neolithic well temple
Earlier this month, on a research’n’showtime trip to Rome and Sardinia, I took a coupla Black Sheep cohorts for moral support in those Papal lands. And what a result we had! Like some Norse mission gone wrong, Michael O’Sullivan, Acoustika and myself brought with us a huge storm that hung across the Macomer valley, as we hung out at some of my beloved Bronze Age tomba di gigantis. And at the great stone of Santu Bainzu, a fabulous rainbow transformed the entire landscape. Better still, the ‘Anglo-Saxon storm’ (as my Italian promoter named it) then followed us to Rome, uprooting two trees in the city centre, bringing paranoid Roman drivers to a standstill, and causing the club owners still to be mopping up as I hit the stage. So, when – after three songs into my set – Michael O’Sullivan ran the ‘storm’ sounds over the PA, you can well imagine that the audience considered it a set-up. But, uh-uh… twas my intention all along. By the way, those Cope watchers among you who’ve been particularly mystified by my recent music and behaviour should probably take a look at a long J. Cope article in the November edition of the current music magazine THE WIRE, for it’s a hefty size; the first one in a long time that has dared to try and put my visions into a contemporary perspective.
BEACH PARTY by Samuel Katarro
Anyway, I’d now like to commence this month’s review section with huge applause for BEACH PARTY, the riotous debut album by the young Sard guitarist/singer Samuel Katarro, whose twilight music is a saucy hybrid of In-bred Cajun David Thomas/Crocus Behemoth Blues Holler and Mithraic Spaghetti Western Sunset party themes. Erring on the side of novelty at all times, Katarro roller skates effortlessly across blues traditions, whilst simultaneously celebrating their hoary and (for many too) oft-repeated glory. Yet Katarro can still conjure up a breathtaking Buster Keaton-like tragedy to his music whenever he sees fit. Released on Angle Records and distributed by Audioglobe, you can score this delightful sucker from the artist himself at myspace.com/samuelkatarro
BIG RIPPER by Todd
I was also mightily impressed by the sonic collisions achieved on BIG RIPPER by London longhair quartet Todd, whose manky bulk-purchased arsenal of riffs were obviously never properly de-magnetized before being handed over to the band, and so consort constantly across half- and quarter-tones of sludge, like a Monoshock session recorded over a Shockabilly 24-track. Eccch! Or like some Far East Industrial Giant bought the original but highly worn moulds for Led Zeppelin 2 and was now making inaccurate and poorly finished copies that actually sounded more like Cactus. Ouch! Some of the song titles grabbed me, too, especially ‘French and in France’ and its companion piece ‘French and Out of France’. Rather. Released on the Midlands-based Riot Season label, this stressed-out 5am garbage delivery is the reason I left the city in the first place. Oo yeah! Cop this totally moshive example of pimped Uber-barbarian self-obsession via www.riotseason.com
THE FIRST IMPRESSION LAST by Soho What
Singular in a very Electro-Buzzsaw manner is THE FIRST IMPRESSION LAST by Soho What, whose catchy bastard post-punk toons blaze along Chrome-esque shock corridors into intertwining cul de sacs of 39 Clocks- and Metal Urbain-isms, while Transatlantic Faust-style lead vocals conjure up Electric Manchakou sub-sub-French Detroitisms, know wharramean? Imagine A Certain Ratio’s classic ‘All Night Party’ 45 performed over a rhythm of Devo’s ‘Satisfaction’, or maybe the autobahn’n’ice-rink motorik of the Stones’ ‘Shattered’ and yooz reaching the Soho What pleasure centre. Top marks, however, go to the snarling epic ‘She Said’, with its snidey Howard Devoto-meets-Barney Albrecht matter-of-fact vocal and hectic HALF MACHINE LIP MOVES-style Cleveland No Wave machine gun riffing. Hailing from Italy, Soho What is run by one Rodolfo Borsella, who has very little presence on the ‘worldwide’, but – for his classy hybrid of Cleveland, No York, De Twat and London – really should be searched by those interested souls via Rodolfo.firstname.lastname@example.org
IDENTI by Olekranon
Right, while we’re at it, the highly impressive Olekranon are back again, and so soon … just three months after my review of their epic RECYCLE HUMAN LUNG, they’ze cracking ‘em out and dammit it, they ain’t half good! This newbie is entitled IDENTI, and continues along a similarly precipitous voyage as its older sibling, in places navigating that same hugely overloaded sub-Krautian sonic motorway system that GAM’s Axel Struck and Gunter Schickert had in mind back in the late ‘70s, elsewhere weaving intricate electro-porn soundtracks voiced by banks and banks of artificial females, and ultimately forever offering up slab-after-slab of freshly roasted sonic ritual experience to the angry music Gods basking in their hi-fi longbarrows. Mastered by Khanate’s mighty James Plotkin and released on Inam Records, this is a mindfucker of a record, totally wiped me out and left no fingerprints, neither. Contact this fine band via email@example.com
SPLIT SERIES by Alog vs. Astral Social Club
Finally, Vinyl of Month must surely go to the split LP from Norway’s Alog and England’s Astral Social Club, whose epic and dyslexic electro-meditations have created a bizarre throwback of the kind released on ye hoary 12” single format throughout the early ‘80s (via Rough Trade, natch!). Released on Fat Cat Records (www.fat-cat.co.uk
), side one showcases a single 13-minute-long Alog track that sounds like Psychic TV attempting to perform live over a multi-voiced mash-up of Talking Heads’ ‘I Zimbra’, while late period DAF records jam (and skip) in the background. On side two, Astral Social Club’s three tracks merge perfectly into each other, creating a single seamless ever-becoming electro-acoustic meditation somewhere between the charming Sears Windfarm experiment and pure Cabaret Voltaire/Chrome noise music. Both sides of this epic voyage are real headcleaners of the toppest kwoll, so cop a full load if you need to blast your synapses W I D E
Okay, that’s me finished for another month, except to mention that the next Black Sheep album will be released in the New Year to coincide with a tour of Scotland, and will be entitled THE LEARNED BASTARD TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER THE IGNORANT HIGH PRIEST, a statement lifted from the Horayoth section of the ancient Jewish law book The Talmud. If all goes to plan, we shall be busking at several important cultural centres that have been highlighted on the new album, simultaneously performing full shows in certain cities. Okay, that’s as firm as the plan is thus far, so I shall now sod off for another month.
As the days draw in, please take care on the roads and enjoy Guy Fawkes Night.
Awl fucking right!
JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)