To celebrate my 60th birthday, I asked my social media friends to nominate a favourite song from 2021 – 60 to commemorate the fact I am now 60. Enough folk came forward to make this a blog series.
This time, we’re shifting across to Twitter so The Wire editor Derek Walmsley can make a recommendation – ‘Neutral Love’ by Amirtha Kidambi & Matteo Liberatore. Derek writes, “I absolutely love this” and I can understand why. It’s absolutely enveloping, gorgeous, strung out with dissonance and texture and a silence all the more eloquent for the occasional disruption and distortion. Or, Avant Music News puts it, “Kidambi eschews singing for drones, mouth and throat noises, and plaintive tones, unbending in her lack of orthodoxy. Liberatore provides his own drones as well as long-held notes and dissonant chords on an undistorted electric guitar. While only voice and guitar are credited, a certain amount of processing may be present as well.“
Yeah, well of course. I was just about to say that myself. Although such straightforward (albeit accurate) description does not serve to capture the feeling of wonderment within the listener, the sense of spaces and shapes collapsing and reforming in and around your computer desk, the helpless. I expect that this is music which seeks to remove itself at some stage from the everyday, the chatter: dislocated and unbidden. No images race across the inside of my mind as this sound lingers: no images need to. It is enough to be surrounded by it in itself.
Glacial. From New York. Not entirely sure I would describe it as… no, wait. That’s OK. Improvisational.
To celebrate my 60th birthday, I asked my Facebook friends to nominate a favourite song from 2021 – 60 to commemorate the fact I am now 33 years older than Kurt Cobain when he died. Enough folk came forward for this to make a decent blog series (assuming that my writing is still up to the task).
Today, it is the turn of Dylan Nyoukis to make a recommendation – ‘SUM1’ by Alpha Maid. As The Wire magazine says about the video in its typically deadpan manner: Taken from Alpha Maid’s forthcoming five track EP Chuckle, available via CANVAS from 19 March. The video was directed and edited with friend and collaborator Adrian Aldihni in Sydenham Woods, London, December 2020. OK then. Introductions over.
Maybe you should just listen to the music and cut through all this bullshit.
NOTE TO ANY PASSING STUDENTS: You can derive more information and context from the above paragraph then it may seem at first sight. First up, what is The Wire magazine? What connotations do you derive from its name, what associations can you make? Is ‘SUM1’ by Alpha Maid (for example) likely to be bro country rock, landfill indie or music in the style of Lewis “the new boring” Capaldi? If not, then what? Will is be throbbing and pulsating with sexual desire and WAP pussy innuendo, will it help to orientate or disorientate the listener or do neither? Will the video be filmed within some woods (see above) – and if so, what does this signify? In shot? Blurred? What then? These questions are not designed for you to second guess what other people think. The choices and interpretations you make are for you alone. (Unless you choose not to let them be.) WHAT DOES the fact the video was filmed in woods SIGNIFY??? ANY thing? Anything. The choice of band (artist?) name – what does this denotate? Is there anything to be read into the music’s release formats, the title of these release formats, choice of label, choice of video director/editor? And so forth. Do some research. How about the Facebook friend who recommended me this music – is it worth tracing back through their name and see what they’ve been up to? DO some FUCKING RESEARCH.
Five tracks. Why five?
It reminds me a little of that arsequake stuff Reynolds and Stubbs were so hot on, tail-end of the 1980s. A.R. Kane, Bark Psychosis. Lush. (No, not the fucking band. A descriptor.) You don’t know what the fuck I am talking about, and furthermore would prefer it if your posterior was doing everything but wobbling with pure physical delight? More fool you. LOOK IT UP. Or don’t. Whatever. I’ve had it with you lazy Joes for today.