Small is beautiful.
Have you ever considered the irony of communally-minded folk only operating as singular entities due to necessity/economics etc and rightly promoting the notion of individuality whilst espousing communal values (in society at large) & supporting Left ideals of the communal society sharing wealth etc? Perhaps there is no irony. Can't the individualism of cultural resistance inhabit a broad socially networked common society of caring for each other and more to the point, those less well-off? Surely...
Politics. I didn't mean to start that way. Unruly Milk aren't Political. They're political? They'll tell you there's no 'point' to this. It isn't part of a master plan. It isn't made with an aim. It is was it is.
Small is beautiful - make a zine, a book, an album, art - why not? Because you want to and you can.
Spilaggges deserves to be global but everything that's Global stinks - your company, your coffee, your pop icons - all rotten to the core, all Gods to kneel before because you are barely worthy of existing on their planet, never mind benefiting from their power. Global business gods - all hail them! They give us jobs, after all. They run society for us in the name of business. They're looking after us. Nissan deal! That's a lot of jobs. We're all for hire so please do so. You just can't knock job-providers. Look at the middle-classes in my street, giving work to all those scaffolders and builders via gentrification - innit marvellous?! Working class people used to live here - so what?
Worship Pop gods for through their might thou shalt inherit greater strength in numbers and the power they exude which you, with open arms, will embrace. Crowds and Power. It's great to feel a part of something, isn't it? Not just anything, but a big thing, a Global thing. Unless we join the crowd we shall be crushed underfoot as they rush towards their gods. We'll be outcast, branded weirdos and condemned to suffer that fate commonly known as being 'different' which, you'll be surprised to learn, is still a possible state of existence even today when the 'different' are mass-marketed and, yes, made into a Global phenomenon.
How to be different. One old ploy was to dress like business men when everyone else in music was looking ragged, post-Punk or whatever. That worked, for two minutes. Today we can't do that because you'll just be taken for twats, plain ordinary twats aspiring to uber capitalist social status (by other 'outsiders', anyway). There's no alternative. Every tribe is full and by joining one you'll be just another number in that tribe. Be a skinhead. That would be different. Boots 'n' braces. Scare people. Make sure you wear an Anti-Nazi League badge, though, just to make the point that you're not one of them.
Micro-talent is Big, these days - brewers, bakers...and other makers. Some sell-out to big companies and make millions. Some bands used to start small and sell out. Remember Punk? But there are few big record labels today and none are looking for the Next Big Thing from 'the street' unless it's Street music like they're praying for a 'new' Hip-Hop/Grime whatever.
So now people really do make music for themselves without actually dreaming/believing they might 'make it'. Like this grubby crew from England's West Country (not even London!) making music in a barn. I jest, playing the city sofisticate, but really, joking aside, Unruly Milk make me consider moving to Somerset. Why? Because there is a great little 'community' of music-makers who know each other, get together and at the end of it have a small-press CD to show for it. Whereas London (curse this city) crushes the idea of any such thing. Its enormity, its alienating gleaming glass towers of capitalism tower over everything and its poor must flee to find housing. If small collectives exist they do so in secret, lost in this money jungle to those who might seek them out. If Somerset (Unruly Milk's county) necessitates close-knit activity, London makes the idea redundant, an ideal of days gone by (community-wise). London challenges the idea of getting together. The very structure itself seems to taunt those who try. Or am I just too old and don't have the energy required?
If Global superstardom/business has power, so to do Unruly Milk. What they give the giants cannot. What Unruly Milk do is connect, instantly, the second you press 'play'. Remember when music was a precious thing? Even though it may have been provided by Global companies, you treasured it, not having the opportunity to say 'No' and opt for an indie alternative until Punk happened and we know how that went. I'm showing my age.
Unruly Milk is Joe Thompson from Hey Colossus / Henry Blacker, and Kek W (ex Ice Bird Spiral, Hacker Farm, etc) with help from Elisa Thompson and Stef Giaconne. Joe calls it The New Wave of Somerset Lo-Fi and I like to believe that's really going to be something. What is this thing anyway? I hesitate to use certain labels about Spilaggges, besides, I'd only make up stupid ones. They say of Jazz that you 'get it' or you don't (try convincing someone that Albert Ayler is worth their time). I feel the same about this music. I won't try to convince you that it's anything, not in the usual way.
I can't say one song is amazing, one solo, one rhythm or technical (as in kit) wizardry makes it shine. But even the almost-nothingness of Found Anything Yet, Jake appeals to me, at under one minute of rummaging, crashing about, a simple tune on guitar accompanied by whistling and finally, the briefest female voice sighing something.
Nothing here is common, not the 'ambient' moods, possessing as they do something else, a texture in distortion, simple repetition but most of all that feeling of...what? Spontaneity? Perhaps. If it seems 'throwaway' to some that's because they know they cost of everything and the value of nothing. The old values ceased to be significant decades ago yet people still persist in upholding/worshipping them. You know, production values, skill, virtuosity, all of which we treasure in our personal preferences from music of old yet there's no place for them here.
This, however, is not the hackneyed sound of 'nihilism' and destructive energy (that's been commodified). To use Ornette Coleman's album title, it's 'something else'. Even the song, Western Zoyland, crackles with Otherness, literally a distortion of the Pop song, or 'la-la' vocal whimsy of Folk. Ditto Ambassadeurs, the ruffness of the song barely breaking through the fuzz. The Woods Near Albi, with it's fluttering wings sample, makes a mockery of most Hauntological efforts, being truly atmospheric as opposed to pre-set Ghost Box mimmickry.
Join the 100 club and buy Spilaggges. In doing so you'll be part of the solution, not the problem.
Available from Blackcat Records