Friday, 28 September 2012

Freaky Folk Friday

Give Your Light Off by Woods is psychedelic drone funk of the highest order. Initially it might appear to you as something more akin to free folk, after all we are trained in the Western World that if we hear a guitar, and this song's one constant is a melancholic repetitive acoustic riff, that this will be the dominant instrument. However here the guitar is a red herring, the secret and real star of the show is a perfectly and architecturally organized array of tape echoes and delays that allows subtle Funkadelic guitars and Push It Out era Beta Band vocals to swim through your ears like a seductive night tripper.

This week's second example of how to use the acoustic guitar comes courtesy of genre mash king Diplo. Taken with the Woods tune we could be building up a soundtrack here to a great psychedelic road movie. Think Zabriskie Point, Vanishing Point, other titles with the word Point in, but the subtle yet distinct sub bass rattles that are oh so very Diplo contrasting with some very definitely 60s tropes (flutes, chants) would make the film made a new film. Made now, but set then. Why havn't we had this? A modern take on the classic nihilisic road movie, set in the 1960s but using the themes of rioting and anger with state control. Look at photographs of what is happening in Madrid, look what has recently gone on with the Occupy Movement and look at Pussy Riot. We need this film.

My question to you is who would direct it?

A.C Newman, from The New Pornographers has a great way of phrasing his words. Someone once described Billy Joel, a genetically similar vocalist, as singing from out of the window of a taxi speeding past you. This made me think of another genetic (yet as far as I know unrelated) family: have you noticed there is something strange going on between Ted Danson, Ron Pearlman, Will Ferrel, Rory McGrath and the drummer bloke from the Chillis?

It's 1989 and you're on some beach, heading away from the pulsing balearic throb of a hundred syncopated bodies. Your new friend, all hugs and shared water is guiding you over a rock formation. The purple syrup of the sea is reaching upwards to the sky, trying to pull it down and devour it the way it has done to a thousand lost scooners. His frame seems more wiry, you never noticed this before, as he skirts down into more dark, less lights, more dark. And then you're in the cave and the cave hits you with the smell of piss and the sharp discord of voices heard from the pinpricks of flame puffed from gaunt faces. Is that the sound of the party in the distance? Or it is the waves or is it, and i'm more inclined to think this now, the breathing of a dozen shallow voices in the dark. Who would chose to be hear rather than there?


LA resident Caleb Stone records under the name Sleepy Bitches. Slowed down vocal samples, delayed and stretched over the kind of bass music that invites comparisons to xxyyxx. There is a cheeky sense of humour at play, check out the slap bass work on the appropriately named Seinfeld...

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