23 September 2011

Prince Rama Re(tard)mix Review w/ Transglobal Underground



For those that really can't be arsed with all the arsing, there's the proper review here.

"Rest in Peace”, the opening track of the latest Prince Rama album opens with a slightly strangulated House howl, the kinda thing you might have gurned circa 1990 (where were you?), which is then savagely dismissed without a thought; a discarded, non-devotional whore… the drum rumbles begin and then the Dead Can Dance Indian sweeps and suddenly we’re deep into what might be a psychosexual memory of Sinbad movies… a primary imprinting on chiffon and chant and painted ladies inside golden pots, concealed by red smoke… I should be clear, this isn’t intended as a slight… I’ve been playing this album a lot, perhaps because I’m imprinted that way too…

...you are too...

...especially if you think you're not...

...or maybe you're looking at this and thinking: I don't know a single bit of A Clockwork Orange argot; I'm not from your world, pops...

...I've never heard of Leela or the Tight Fit...


In which case; I'll try and explain.

No punctuation, or at least no full stops…only accurate way to understand where this record is coming from… it’s breathless dandyism, artful sabre-tossing and ultimately a little melancholic because the sounds of the east appropriated here (or rather, churned over; this isn’t a Transglobal Underground-style appropriation) are the sounds of Holly/Bollywood’s understanding of the east pre 9/11, when it was exotic and tameable… when no one was even thinking about atrocities or Hassan I Sabbah…when the evilest Arab you saw was Tom Baker in full-make up…

...actually I think I'm getting the odd sniffs around the internet (OK, so far just Jonny Mugwump) that Transglobal Underground might be due a comeback and surely now in the midst of MaybeRetromania (not read that book yet so I'm not really sold on the premise) this would be a perfect time for one of those timeless/utterly time-dependent shaggy Club Dog bands to make their comeback... the music definitiely has never gone away (found different beats perhaps, but not that different beats) and, actually, I find it hard to think that Transglobal Underground in particular could go away, being less a band more a condensation of a certain time, a few uncertain spaces... for you, this could be (INSERT Megadoggish drug-binge here), for me it's aligned to Brighton, sometime early-to-mid 90s where I saw Transglobal Underground and where the whole Eat Static inspired psytrance was about to lift off... in just a few days ethnic drones would be smeared over everything... right then, you could only look back and see, what? Monsoon?

(though you could of course blame Coldcut and Ofra Haza; odd how few picked up on this, or how long it took for everyone to align)

So... Prince Rama.



…it’s not all Sinbad (a lot is Sinbad); “Trust” starts off with an airplane drone and then add voices that sound like they’re trapped in another room before building into some cargo cult version of Gary Numan circa Cars, with some added flourishes from Danielle Dax…

I hear a version of She... the Rider Haggard version... unfilmed but out there...

…the Dax references continue into “Incarnation” which may be a soundtrack to a James T. Kirk honour duel on some far off Essex planet* while “Portaling” starts somewhere inside a mountain during the heart-sucking scene of Temple Of Doom and then sort of detours into handclaps and, bizarrely, pub rock-soul circa 1974…

<<< I've read reviews since writing this and they seem to know about Prince Rama (art school Krishna commune )... and it seems like the associations, these pretty little stabs at meaning that I make, are only semi-appropriate but...

Fuck it; I'm getting more and more annoyed with research-based reviewing. Occasionally, I give a shit about the context of a band (or what they meant to say) but mostly I don't; with this kind of brainfizzing confection, it's all there, it's in the open, there's nothing that re ---- search could bring to the party... >>>

Hectoring over...

You’ll get a lot of fun out of this record; its brain is grimy enough to past muster with all the Pocahaunted TDK fetishists but its bones want to be in the middle of a Bollywood set; lip synching and twirling imaginary balls of bird fat… it has colour, has odd breadth (and odd breath)

But almost no punctuation.




*This phrase was in the original review but I wrote it so long ago I'm struggling to remember what I meant by Essex Planet... it could be a typo but then I don't believe in typos so I must have meant something by it... perhaps I was thinking of Essex quarries (in all senses of the word, or two at least), perhaps it was just one of those sniping non-sequiters that I occasionally shovel into my word piles just for the steaming hell of it... I'll get back to you on Essex planet,,,
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