Sunday, June 11, 2006

I interrupt my heavy rotation of the Hello Saferide EP to bring you this info on what’s hot on the HQ stereo from Slovenia…

Stirje Pravi Dedci translates as something approximating “gang of four” but in a more spiritual team sense. Not the Chinese communist angle that informed their UK forebears. Anyway, this posthumous release presents a discordant funk bridge between The Fun Lovin’ Criminals and The Screaming Blue Messiahs. Muscular and rhythmic crime jazz that rocks. The songs are told like stories over a distressed guitar bass and drum attack. One of ‘em is a CZD cover recorded for a tribute to that unique combo which has still to see the light of day. SPD included the great Igor (BIGor) Basin in its ranks and the bass player is now with Crazed Farmers.

Crazed Farmers “Because” continues their unabated fusion of influences to create an organic fusion of sound that’s practically unclassifiable. Eastern European Cajun Hardcore is just one facet of their oeuvre. This one was produced by Tim Kerr who has had to rope these rogue wildcards to harness a focussed direction for the noise. The version of “Psychotherapy” here is virtually unrecognisable except for their glowing eyes. Sounds like it was recorded by people who’d just been given a double dose. Whereas Gershwin’s “Summertime” is positively baroque. You always know that you’re on to something when an accordion is thrown into the mix and there are cool sprinkles of that here. Žiga and his band of reprobates aren’t afraid to break eggs on their quest to take their noise to the next level. This is a cohesive experiment which will be ongoing, so don’t say you weren’t warned.

Pankrti 06 is a tribute compilation to Llubjlana’s most notorious punk rock combo who have just reactivated in recent weeks. I’m not familiar with the source material but judging by these songs they were more than a match for many of the Western exponents of that ’77 sound. This includes versions of Pankrti songs by the aforementioned CZD and Crazed Farmers as well as surf intonations by The Bitch Boys and some risqué triphop from Gušti and Polona. A broad canvas. I think that it’s worth pointing out here that the youth in this territory were way more at risk of having the authorities cart them off than any spotty oik here in the UK. Eastern European punks were a far hardier breed because they risked being locked up for their beliefs. These kids were prepared to take on the authorities and what they’ve got going now is a testament to that. They made a difference. I’m not sure that punk did here, not the way it’s been absorbed into the mainstream and homogenised. We tend to take things for granted here on this sceptic isle.
“One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This”, the upcoming New York Dolls comeback is way better than any of us could have hoped for. However, having seen the NYD movie about Arthur, the fact that it stands up maybe isn’t so much of a surprise. When you think of the shite records that Iggy has made since The Stooges – and I tend to lump The Idiot and LFL among those, and "Skull Ring" – this is all the more remarkable. Of course, Johnny. Jerry and Arthur are gone but Dave and Syl still have the chops. They’re not afraid to send themselves up either. “Evolution is obsolete” is the message in “Dance Like A Monkey” and well, now that the truth is out then we might as well make like the apes. The band sound good without coming on like a carbon copy of the original, untouchable and unstable ingredients. The spirit is intact. That’s what matters. That’s all that ever fucking mattered.

(Thanks to Brian for the copy of this – that’s one guy that never stopped believing)