Playing this tape a LOT, round n round – snap the tape back in and Replay, you old fucker – last couple days while painting Kid Kid Shirt's bedroom skirting-board (non-huff paint, btw, kiddies) – “Dad, your music sounds weird,” yells 11yr-old younger sister / My Other Daughter from out on the landing b4 retreating to autotunepoptasticgoogletabstreamzone – and, yeahr, I deeclare this css: dead good.
Screw Punk Rock: music endlessly declares its own Year Zero, day-in / day-out, and this, dear reader, is merely part of its eeeeternal basement-facing self-reinvention; a constant re-routing of The Real from the ground-up.
((man, the batteries on the tape-player just wore 'emselves out, so the music nodded'd-off in a suitably Eccojam // Vaporwave sloooowexit from its own spare-room micro-economy; well, one of the players was Bart Sloow, so should I be surprised?)).
*inserts fresh batteries*
First track, side one, starts relatively unpromisingly (to ye unbelievers, I'm sho') – just a group o'pals trying to figure out the 'rules' of today – it don't quite work (bashin' the drums and shit), but a few minutes into the jam they settle down, find each others' measure (it's how it works, see?) and the good shit sloowly unfolds. If it sounds like Silvester Angfang (Mk1) it's because / in spite of the fact that this bunch includes a coupla (funeral) folks / pals from Sylvester Anfang II. (Confused? You will be). After an initial burst of restless franticness n equipment / mettle-testing, this wiiinds down into a niiiice dirgeful waaay-post-VU methodronepsychgrooove: bootifool graveyard-bothering miserabilist minorchord nod music (with titles to match!): bloody LOVE it. There's one or two moments where the postponkghosts of PiL or Crispy Ambulance emerge for a mo or two, but it mostly echoes NY lofts 66-71 w some bongo-free euro-commune jams thrown in. A couple tracks sound ((unsurprisingly), like disk two of Yeti; or that fabulous (untitled) Siloah album (tho nothing could really sound that good – but they try...).
The real magic unfolds on Side Two. Damn you, you Flemmish, crypt- and barge-dwelling bastards: the music unpeeeeels itself like rotten wallpaper scraped away revealing a secret world behind yr own rusting wallhung radiator. It's like The Borrowers, except they all look like fucking tiny John Cales and are ripped on half-forgotten forestdrugs known only to elderly, 80something Russian mushroom-picking haags. The Mark Fishers of this world might find this sort of music emblematic of some form of passive 'defeatism' – a retreat from the World's 'real' challenges – but I think it is the exact opposite: a sloow resistance that circumnavigates the years; a secret baton that is passed across the generations with a nod, a glance and a Minor Third chord. “Don't care if you don't get it...”
Magic is made daily in bedrooms and cellars and spare rooms on borrowed drums and barely-understood guitars. Magic is made, constantly, with our hearts and thoughts and heads, through shared sounds, grins, meals and big hearts; it is skinned-up hourly on gatefold covers, glimpsed thru YouTube clips of half-forgotten German / Dutch / Danish / Welsh bands...
It doesn't matter if you don't 'get' that.