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Broken Record #37
Flamingods is a band that cross so many genres, and seem to have so many obscure influences, that they were perfect candidates for our long running Broken Record series. They've just returned to our collective consciousness with a rather spectacular remix album called Moon, but here you can get an inside peak into each member's record collection. A insight which surely goes a long way to defining Flamingods' gloriously fucked up sound. Have a read and then listen to some of Moon below.
Sun City Girls were a beast like no other, a band with such a disregard to the music industry that each release ended up being more surprising then the last because of it. How these guys conjure up so many different musical styles into each record is beyond me. In ‘Crossdressers from Beyond the Rig Veda’ there’s musical styling’s ranging from South East Asian Opera, Drone, Psych, Surf, Gamelan, Freak Folk, Ethnic Influenced Pop, Rock, Spoken Word, Acoustic sing-alongs, Piano Ballads, covers of traditional Moroccan & Thai Music and everything in between. SCG came into my life at a time when I was feeling pretty uninspired musically. Knowing that there was a band that had such similar interests to me and with a back catalog of nearly 50 releases was hugely inspiring to say the least and has brought me some of my favorite and most surprising musical memories.
I remember being about 5 or 6 and hearing this in my dad’s car. It’s my earliest memory of synesthesia, Tom Waits is very visual. I was scared of the sound, and my imagination conjured up images of haunted carnivals, ghost ships, sickness, plague, and madmen, basically things that were along way from being a child in Bury St Edmunds. The track ‘Singapore’ is the one I remember most, I still have the same picture painted in my head 20 years later. "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King"
It’s pretty tough to decide what my Record of Sin is, I think good music should be enjoyed and appreciated - if I think something is good I’m not embarrassed to listen to it! That said, the first record that comes to mind is Alien Ant Farm’s sophomore album ‘Anthology’ (2001). My embarrassment in (secretly/not so secretly) loving this album is that it was spoon fed to the world via the most commercial outlets, MTV, mainstream radio, cheesy American Film syncs, so I guess I’m supposed to be a bit ashamed. Cheese aside, it is a great and pretty complex album, Mike Cosgrove is a boss behind the kit. I might go listen to it now.
It was around the time I joined Flamingods that this album finally found me and convinced me with its kind of mysterious and childish charm. It’s the music and approach rather than lyrics that evokes two versions of “Christmas in the desert” in my mind; the more vacuous and still atmosphere of “Christmas On Mars” by Flaming Lips and vague memories of winter while growing up in Bahrain. It also happened to be during a visit to Bahrain to see my family for Christmas that I got into this album. So much whimsical, nostalgic and surreal feelings conjure up within me upon listening; all feelings I’ve associated with my childhood and early teen memories, especially those in Christmas time.
I generally think Lapalux (real name Stuart Howard) is a bit underrated but this album especially lacks the wider appraisal it could and probably should be adorned with. The detail and depth defining the fabricated layers of sound make this album so engrossing. Its such a vividly stylised trip that bends backwards to expose Stuart’s ability to realise his hypnagogic vision. It flows so well and is perfectly paced with vocal features that melt into the music perfectly every time. I don’t understand how Lapalux isn’t perceived to at least come close to being Flylo’s equal in production chops yet.
I usually find myself stunned at the amount of times I can just throw this record on and never grow tired of hearing it. Its been in my personal listening rotation more or less since it was released back in 2010 and I’m not really sure why I keep coming back to it. I guess it captured a particular sound that I had been searching for so long prior and did it so perfectly. It’s filled with some of the most majestic, quirky, nostalgic and timeless jams such as L'estat (Acc. To The Widow's Maid), Beverly Kills and of course Round and Round. If you haven’t checked this album yet do yourself a favour.
Growing up in Bahrain there often wasn’t much to do. When we were all old enough to get our license we used to take long convoy cruises out to the desert and drive pretty much all over the whole island, it really doesn’t take long. I decided to play the Empire Strikes Back soundtrack once and it was such a surreal experience and something I was almost not prepared for. Next time you’re in a car blast the “The Asteroid Field” and you’ll probably feel like your manning the Millennium Falcon through some madness.
‘Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space’ was written after the break up of Spiritualized member’s Jason Pierce and Kate Radley where she decided to leave him to marry Richard Ashcroft, the lead singer of The Verve. Resulting in heartbreak and eventual heroin abuse, Pierce in turn, wrote one of the greatest albums ever which we were lucky enough to witness live in it’s entirety at ATP Matt Groening. Almost every song on the record has lyrics that are directly speaking to Radley about his depression, influence and state of mind, even starting the album off with an audio clip of her saying the words 'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space'. Don't be fooled by the amazing, uplifting music because once you listen to the album with the lyrics in front of you it's probably the deepest, saddest album out there in my opinion.