This promo is like a (doubtless unintentional) Dutch take on those Godspunk compilations from Pumf records in Blackpool (unintentional because I would run naked through the streets of Leiden if anyone says they have all the Pumf compilations in NL)
Ah Niek, what new wonder is this? Niek Hilkmann, of Yoshimi! sent me this CD in the post. Frankly, opening the parcel was a little underwhelming as all I had was a set of handwritten notes (which I lost) and a CD-R (saying "Promo Sampler 1") with the word "YCR" printed on its paper sleeve. Little else. Sometimes mysteries such as these prompt further investigations and this time I'm glad curiosity won out here. YCR is a Rotterdam label that is releasing Niek's new split single with St. Polaroid, but their site mentions nothign about a promo sampler. I mailed Niek and lo! He sent me some info that I can now hit you cats up with.
So let's cut to the chase and talk of matters musical. The opener Girls In Hot Weather, is courtesy of Niek's band, Yoshimi! and a beautifully maudlin, fuggy lovesong it is too; one that sets the tone for much of what is to follow., The laconic vocal delivery balanced against the brilliant melodic hooks creates the spit of an early REM track, something like Talk About the Passion; it's queer, and obtuse but very enjoyable. This LP is full of crazy little worlds that somehow sound believable, regardless of some of the outrageous conceits that get run past the listener. Talking of conceits, just listen to Boring Pop's track, Nathan's Rotation, a Roffa busker's reworking of I Love You Suzanne, have pulled off the best Lou Reed impression ever. It's mad, and a good song in its own right. What else? well, Ricky de Sire's Neleven Der Toekomst is a messy slide round a local dancefloor in somewhere like Almere. God knows what is going on here; it gets increasingly frazzled, and the singer's voice is all over the shop, but it's oddly beautiful nonetheless. A balm of sorts is provided by St. Polaroid's Matthew Webb, which is a soft country swinger, with melodies aplenty and sweetly earnest attitude to match.
The next song, Collie, is Niek Hilkmann of Yoshimi's paean to his old dog, Trixie. I know this cos Niek told me. And, as with anything Niek does, it's endearing and playful stuff; the lad's a massive talent and something pretty unique in Holland, that is, someone who can be weird, funny and intelligent without resorting to parody. Then we get a sort of Postcard shuffle with Boring Pop's Consolation Song (I wonder if this bunch have been listening to Orange Juice). It's perfectly pleasant if a tad unsettling. And with lyrics such as "But even whales go to the beach / so happy days are within reach" we seem to have stumbled on a Dutch C21 take on George Formby. Fine by me.
Ricky de Sire returns and presents us with a sort of pomp stomp (albeit a hungover one) in Mythes Zonder Einde. The singing is a mess but brilliantly so; you suspect this is about as good as the singer can do and you know what, it's more than enough. Ride with it. Somehow it all ends as a messy and brilliantly underpowered dub of sorts, bringing this jumble sale of sounds to an end, all too soon in my opinion.
This promo is like a (doubtless unintentional) Dutch take on those Godspunk compilations from Pumf records in Blackpool (unintentional because I would run naked through the streets of Leiden if anyone says they have all the Pumf compilations in NL); anyways, you know the score, all eccentric, all slightly out of tune tracks, all seeking some sort of emotional solace in just making music. Further, the connection between band and listener is temporarilly shelved. In someways you wonder if "band" is an appropriate word to use here? We're just subjected to humans making wild noise.
What was all that about?