on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2017 4 Jul

Die Zeitreise des Monats (remix)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Cardiff 1980, milestone, one-album wonder. Fitting the black, the noir, the empty spaces, here we are: the first book ever that moves around the gist of a truly unique album, „Colossal Youth“ by Young Marble Giants! Most  of the time You will be flying through the pages of the book by Michael Blair and Joe Bucciero. Minor quibbles: the stories  of the three are at times more interesting than some of the commonplace academic references to „Vexations“, Cage’s „4’34“, or Eno’s eternally quoted story about his key experience to make Ambient Music happen. The amazing small moments of wonder and recognition are still holding majority, and you will love sinking  into the music even more after reading the little book. When I was speaking to Alison Statton and Philip Moxham some years ago, I asked them at one point – because their record was so anti-punk and different to the fashions of that era – what they had been listening to in the time of the creation of their masterpiece, and they answered, nearly unisono, that they were listening a lot to Brian Eno’s „Another Green World“. With their kind of minimalism, they created more of „Another Bleak World“, though the vibes of childhood, old hymns, nursery rhymes and merry-go-rounds were never that far away.


„Allow me to guest in your chair, this is a very nicely warmed chair by Brian. Well, we all came from Cardiff. They were in Cardiff, we were in Cardiff. So it was a sort of crossover time when power pop and new wave was making waves as something else. And there was this little group of artists in Cardiff that were making some other music. It didn’t make any sense at all, but it’s a little bit – there’s a film I’m trying to think of now where I’m reminded … where you go and see something and you know it’s the broom that’s sweeping you off the streets.

There was a couple of groups at that time, who were doing things that were kind of Gang of Four-ish, and then there was the Young Marble Giants, and we went to see them one day, my band and I. We went to see them in this little cafe, with maybe a dozen utmost people in this cafe, and they had this little cassette-machine with this rhythm on it, and a bass player, and a guitarist, and this girl’s singing lalalalaa (Karl imitates a naive way of lalala-singing), and every song was like that, and I just remember guys crushing cans with extreme boredom, and frustration: when is it gonna have a crescendo? When is there gonna be some passion? And it was so restrained. We all came out of it and went: „Oh my god, if I never hear that again, it will be too soon“.

And at the time, I remember saying, thinking, mmmhhhmmm, mmhhmmm, may be that’s just a new music that we’re not prepared for yet, were still focussed on being pop stars and trying to be Elvis Costello, and all the other people. And the guys come along and have done this thing. And they were the first of the new wave of artists that came out of Wales. We got others … they were kind of based in Rock’n’Roll, or guitar-based rock music, and some great players, but they were the first really in a long time to do anything that meant something special. They really tapped into something, and I like the album now!“

(from my interview with Karl Hyde and Brian Eno, Notting Hill, 2013)

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