A lady with a Received Pronunciation accent tells us that “you are listening to Heavy International”. That's how this LP starts. Things are never as self-explanatory again.
The Eternals – Heavy International
A lady with a Received Pronunciation accent tells us that "you are listening to Heavy International". That's how this LP starts. Things are never as self-explanatory again. I suppose I should have realised this as the first track is called This Mix is So Bizarre. A soupcon of Can-esque bass lines and drum fills along with a semi-rap are about the only constants in this musical collage. Frankly it's some of the most exciting music I've heard all year. To be honest describing this track is impossible, but I have to draw attention to its inventiveness, as this quality is the key note of the LP. Brutal cut ups and changes of direction seem to be de rigeur. However the record never loses its essential lo-fi charm listen to Patch of Blue and Beware the Sword Bat if you want proof of this.
Another wonderful element to Heavy International is the fact that everything is just so strung out and trippy. Akin to mid period Funkadelic, the music is absorbed by minute details and licks, and as is the case with Beware the Sword Bat, great mad, ethereal backing vocals. It's very much in thrall to Clinton, and there are serious nods to Cluster and Lee Perry. Lee Perry and Cluster (and hell why not King Tubby as well?) all seem to have collaborated on Remove Ya, which is a fabulous piece of nonsense. The title track itself is a delightfully crackpot and slothful; cussedly rejoicing in its own indecision. Astra 3B is a bastardised dub track with inflexions of some of Maximum Joy's more dolorous moments. The constant refrain, "I can't find my way home/out on my own again" sung in a cod-nursery rhyme voice is irritating to the point of abstraction, but somehow it works. It completely overachieves in its idiot, druggy rambling.
Overall Heavy International is a hugely enjoyable listen, and despite the fact that some of the content is deliberately left-field and obscure, there is some great punch the air stuff too. If you don't believe me listen to Origin of the Heat Ray which is pure Funkadelic. On the other hand, It is Later Than You Think could be John Shuttleworth.
Bizarre, but worth it.
Words: Richard Foster.