02 September 2005

@The Agriculture

The nice boys and girls at The Agriculture just dropped round a few CDs (the courier had distressingly maladaptive eyes and a faint whiff of formaldehyde but I'm letting that go for now) and it seems rude to ignore them, especially when the album by David Last sounds a little like a less hectic early 23 Skiddoo, struggling with a beginner's course on West Indian steel drumming run by the Anti-Nazi league circa 1984.

The whole album is oddly reminiscent of those Ligotti stories when weird things happen where the country meets the town, where the urban sheds skin with the rural.

It's slow, liminal, almost familar but slightly unheimlich, like a visiting relative seen through the gauze of Capgras Syndrome.

This is a stretched rural groove, a hip-hop devoid of signifier and torn from the streets. In another life it might be DUB but in this one it's more like Wooden Wand & The Vanishing Voice gone disco.

O:Rang springs to mind and I'd almost forgotten about them.

Hand drums pitter patter alongside their heavier dubbed-out cousins, little pieces of chiming metal are occasionally fondled. Listen hard and there's tiny tunes made of percussion, woodwind and bells which ring out briefly and then dissolve into the smoke, never quite appearing entirely comfortable and constantly threatening to head off into other directions.

Voices appear as overheard snatches that might be people dragged into alleyways and slashed or else the oxygenated yelps of dancing revellers heard through yards of trees and hastily smoked bracken.

Have a listen, these are from the start and the middle of the album. It gets weirder and smokier as it goes on...

David Last - The Push Pull

David Last - Cat Silver

Don't like the name though and I'd probably never have bought this album because of it. To 'jazz flute'. If he was called Xyhedrical Chile or Sangstrom or Behemoth or anything else I think I'd like this album even more.


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kek-w said...

Xyhedrical Chile: I think I did one of them once.

Loki said...

good spot kek... a much underratd band. Their debut single "June 16th 1774" commemorated the first use in English of the word 'baloney'(attributed to a honey-voiced perfumier called Joseph Marburg) but I think you posted about the re-released version of their seminal brit-kraut album from 1994, the name of which temporarily escapes me....

Psychbloke said...

Was that a real comment or have you two lapsed into total self-parody?

kek-w said...

Marburg's last perfume 'collection' was 'sposed to have been pretty amazing, mainly based on recreations of weird aromatic far-eastern spices, very 'tangy' apparently. I'd loved to have checked it out, but I couldn't because of me allergies...he had some exhibition in Spain recently that was just photographs of luminous gases; it was just blurred photos that are 'sposed to look like ghosts or something. What a brilliantly mental idea!

"the re-released version of their seminal brit-kraut album..." Yeah, it was called "Ichor". The original was a private pressing of fuck-knows how many copies, rarer than hens-teeth, much prized by Psych/Kraut collectors. The band tried to pass themselves off as '70's German, but they were English (Leeds?) and it was recorded in the late '80's I think. There were boots of it floating around now and again, but even they were hard to get. A mate burned me a CD-r a couple years back, but there's now an 'official' CD release on Astral-Turf. It's def. worth getting...there's a track called "Sphinx Loop" which is pretty cool; it's made from multi-tracked mellotrons...a big drone piece with really quiet drums on it. But there's a fucked-up, mental but totally unexpected guitar solo at the end. All the vocals are in German, even though the guys are from the North of England.

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