I’ve been beaten. Actually not just beaten I’ve been annihilated, decimated and destroyed.
After blogging about Leftfield/Lydon Open Up yesterday I picked out a 12″ called My Friend by Pressure Drop to listen to, because it was on the same label as Leftfield (Hard Hands). Having bought it on 30 June 1997, I’m not very proud to say that I have probably only listened to this about 4 times in my life and certainly not within the last 15 years, it just never made that much of an impression on me and then new stuff came along – they don’t call me 1537 for nothing you know! What? oh, sorry that should read, ‘I don’t boastingly refer to myself as 1537 for nothing you know!’. I had no idea what it sounded like before I played it.
I was really pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere of melancholy flaring into anger pervading ‘My Friend’. I had never really paid attention to the lyrics, well poem really I guess, that prefigures the ‘angry/urgent’ section of the record, narrated by Constantine Weir (of Galliano fame – any Acid Jazz skeletons in any closets out there?), it is genuinely quite a spooky tale and the sweep of the music is very cinematic in effect. I managed to unearth the video, which I’ve attached because it does merit some watching – it makes Britain circa 1997, look grim and dour as Hades.
In the usual chit-chat below a different, still version of the video on Youtube* someone wrote ‘sounds like Ennio Morricone meets Massive Attack’, and therein lies my beating. I slept on it last night and I’ve thought about it this morning tramping the hills of North Wales** and I cannot come up with a better description, or indeed another one at all. Damn him/her/them! It does sound like Morricone by dint of the brilliantly mournful harmonica and it does sound like Massive Attack (it would slot into the sound-world of Mezzanine pretty well), although I hasten to add ‘My Friend’ is no copy.
Maybe I’m over thinking, but it makes me sad to think of such a good record just sitting there in vain, snuggled down between Presidents of The United States of America and Primal Scream (oh yes, I be alphabettin’ to the max), just lying there dormant and forlorn. This will get played again, soon.
The B-sides? remixes of course, and you know my usual views on those! Not so bad this time, the ‘Alienation mix’ is longer and goes light on the mournful and heavy on the angry side of things. Whereas the ‘Beyond Reason Mix’ made no impression on me whatsoever. Ah well, plus ça change. And so on.
*which I normally avoid since it just consists of ill-informed shite and insults, mostly; peddled by people called things like 1588 and I_luv_armpitz. True story.
**as the bard wrote,
Oh, thrice blessed day off, thou art so lovely and though the rain and winds doth blow,
Tis better by far than dealing with all occupational crap, you know. (Fellatio; Act II: scene iv)