Julian Cope’s Album of the Month

One Unique Signal - Villains To A Man

One Unique Signal
Villains To A Man

AOTM #111, August 2009ce
Released 2009 on oneuniquesignal.com
  1. Plasticism (8.18)
  2. Jaded (6.02)
  3. Villains (18.46)

In my relentless search for the most psychically useful 21st Century sonic meditations with which to navigate the Underworld, I have discovered that – in order to hold any guarantees of positive results for the serious Shamanic Traveller on a Budget – certain typical elements must appear within that chosen music that have nothing at all to do with Inspiration and Individuality, but bear instead absolute archetypal1 ingredients that do not break down rock’n’roll but instead reinforce it through Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. Many modern albums that contain almost all of the required elements for Inner Travel are let down simply by the brevity of the songs, and the indiscriminate manner in which half-hour jams stop dead, projecting the unsuspecting listener into a gargantuan (and highly useless) silence. Of course, this is through no fault of the artists themselves; who the fuck am I to demand that such elements and codes be contained within their music? However, as a Shaman on a highly adventurous trip, I feel obligated to search out such Psychically & Meditationally useful albums and shine a light on them wherever possible, as the pulsating, moronic, repeated muscular pounding of skins’n’wires has been the main reason that the formerly Christian West has been upended into a maelstrom of Rave Ups, Knees Ups and occasional Seize-Ups. Music of the Devil? I should Coco. God Gave Rock’n’roll To You? Good sentiment but an utter Crock of Kack outside its initially warming poetic truth. Which is why this new release by One Unique Signal is so damned effective; it does all of the above AND it’s a hot-to-trot Loopian blitz through the same killing fields as those inhabited by other such Modern-Traditionalists (Nudity, the Heads and Cadaver In Drag come most immediately to mind), and all clad in a blood-orange sleeve of Brigit Rileyan proportions. Loverly! Yup, the many headed mole that is One Unique Signal wears a German helmet surmounted by an all-weather arc light, kevlar’n’steel shoulder epaulets and close fitting drainage boots, his weapon-of-choice is the archaic-but-reliable Binson Echoplex, his totem is the gatefold inner of ON YOUR FEET OR ON YOUR KNEES (molto guitars’n’loco drone), and his sparse Inner Soundtrack appears to have been informed by a simply repeated diet of HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GRILL-period Hawkwind, the aforemenched Loop and plenny plenny Spacemen Three. Even better still, this 33-minute LP don’t outstay its welcome none, buzzing your synapses and collapsing your ego simultaneously, then sodding off with its dignity still so in tact that you the Listener have no other recourse than to give the thing yet another spin. This Album of the Month sets up three meditations for our delectation, each passable jams if of merely 3-4 minutes duration. However, strung-out to these epic lengths, further laundered by P. Spector level of reverb, and rendered finally with expertly and inspiringly intense performances … well kiddies, it all conspires to give each track a ‘last night of the tour’ feeling that sheerly exhilarates my blood and irrigates my very ancestral canals. Rather.

  1. I recently heard someone use the unusual term ‘atypical’ when they clearly intended to mean ‘typical’ or ‘archetypal’. As ‘atypical’ means the absolute opposite of both the aforementioned, I assumed they just wanted to use a big word but didn’t know its meaning, ho hum.