Wednesday, 17 August 2011

In My Ears Today - Henry Mancini, The Natural Yogurt Band & Alberich

Some twat’s singing ‘It’s Indie rock’n’roll for me, it’s Indie rock’n’roll for me’ whilst I’m in the charity shop scanning the books – ‘SHUT THE FUCK UP!’ I scream, silently, of course, but he keeps on and puts me off – in fact, as it turned out, put a curse on me because I came out empty-handed from all the charity shops today, and that’s unusual, so unusual that I’m convinced The Killers are to blame. Still, the final port of call was a record shoppe and there I found Henry Mancini’s soundtrack to ‘Charade’ on vinyl and in very good nick, for £4.99, so the day was saved. It’s a wonderful record.  It’s classy, know wha’ I mean?

On the bus I filled me lug’oles with The Natural Yoghurt Band’s debut album, ‘Away With Melancholy’, of which only 1,000 were originally released by Jazzman (or was it 100? Or 10? One sure way to achieve cult status and a complete sell-out, the limited edition...shame you can’t limit blogs, although I’m doing a good job, I reckon). It’s a great album by Wayne Fullwood and Miles Newbold, who play keyboards, vibes, flute, bass, percussion and...that’s about it, I think. They’re like a low-fi British version of Medeski, Martin & Wood, minus the guest stars, production and, if I dare say so, the chops, but what they lack in that department they make up for with good old eccentricity (trust the Brits), by which I mean they embrace, intermingle, exploit and pay homage to all kinds of music such as library funk, cosmic slop, Jazz casual and cod Cool – none of which makes sense. Just get the album if you can.

Variety being the spice of life, I’ve been listening to Alberich’s ‘NATO Uniformen’. It was first released as eight cassettes but has gone digital. When he shouts (he doesn’t sing) he sounds like a Dalek and the words aren’t discernable, so I prefer the instrumentals, with the emphasis on the ‘mental’ because this is about as hardcore as techno gets, and it’s not techno. It’s Industrial, you might say. It’s industrialised sonic warfare is what it is, so wear a helmet (you might want to sit on it as Frederic Forrest does in ‘Apocalypse Now’ before the helicopter attack, just to safeguard your balls or, ladies, your bits, although I can’t imagine ladies listening to this because as much as it’s an anti-war concept, at the same time it glories in the kind of blood, guts and thunderous din that makes some men revel in war). What a noise! There’s something about it, though, that becomes hypnotic after a while, especially on tracks like ‘Sacrafice Deployment’. Pure gun metal electro-grunge, and I like it.

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