Feature:  Lobi Traoré


Tickling My Fancy Music Revue:  Edan, Super Adventure Club, Quiet Marauder


Playlists:  ‘Beyond The Pale’: – A Halloween Special


Lobi Traoré  ‘Bamako Nights: Live At Bar Bozo 1995’ (Glitterbeat Records) –  18th November 2013

Honoured with not just one but two posthumous tributes in 2013, the mystical ‘Bambara bluesman’ of Mali, Lobi Traoré, and his expansive resonating flange pedal guitar narratives are given another fresh airing with both a collection of live recordings and a sweltering performance from the tumultuous African state’s capital.

The first of these, Top Of The World Bwati Kono Volume 1 (released earlier in the year) draws together a host of recordings; taken shortly before his untimely death in 2010 at the age of just 49. The latter from the Glitterbeat label is a legendary, ‘packed-to-the-rafters’, 1995 performance from Traoré’s residency at the fabled downtown Bamako hotspot, the Bozo Bar: recorded just weeks before the overzealous authorities closed it down.

From a brief stint accompanying Mali bandleader (and another of the country’s ill-fated musicians, destined to die young) Zani Diabate, and as the leader of his own acoustic ensemble, which toured much of Europe in the 90s, Traoré’s now synonymous ‘soulful’, reverb, electric sound was actually formulated and took root at the Bozo years later.

Imbued with not only the intrinsic sensibilities and symbolic themes of his homeland, but also well versed in Western blues and rock – an unlikely fan of AC/DC’s Angus Young if you please! – his template, heavy iteration wah-wah lead can amorphously transcend into Michael Rothar-esque space mapping or run away with itself and head off on a Hendrix like tangent.

Bamako Nights captures the loose, almost extemporized sounding, drift of a Traoré performance; the singer/songwriter taking the crowd with him as he meditatively affects an adroit passage through Mali’s social and political pains. Attenuate guitar lines bolstered by flanger; licks powered by enveloping sustain; and a band whose steady, yet often expletory solo spotted, bubbling bass and rapid percussion bind the nuanced accents together, all prove rhythmically hypnotic.

To have been a-fly-on-the-wall at one of these intimate, intense, shows must have been a magical experience; especially as Traoré kept the anticipation building; the appreciative audience either enthralled by every descriptive note and earthy toiled vocal or adding their own backing chorus of spiritual hollering and hand clapping: You’ll be hard-pressed to find a greater live experience and encapsulation of the atavistic West African blues.

Tracklist –

1. Ni tugula mogo mi ko

2. Banani

3. Dunuya

4. Sigui nyongon son fo

5. Ne kele kanuba

6. Dibi

7. Bamaku N’tichi

Tickling My Fancy – 

Edan  ‘Radio Show (Part 3)’

Broadcast from the vortex chasms of Planet Rock itself, the latest transcriptions, musings and omnivorous pouring’s from the mind of hip hop maverick, and effects-pedal loon, Edan appear like fleeting visits. Still waiting for a proper follow-up to the defining psychedelic rap album of a generation, Beauty And The Beat, this radio show (part 3 of a triumvirate of transmissions) will have to suffice. But wait…there was of course the old skool meets funk and Bollywood mash-up Echo Party in 2009 (HERE); a stop gap whilst we wait with bated breath for that elusive third album.

That unapologetic exuberant ‘Echo party’ reverb and spirit continues as Edan blends some of Hip Hop’s less iconic, though no less important, bit-part players from the dawn of electro and the second golden age (circa the latter years of the 80s) with blossom-pop sike, reverential psychedelia -including the transcendental cult classic, ‘War In Peace’, by former Moby Grape drummer and drug-bedraggled victim, Skip Spence – Afro Funk, No Wave, Jesus Christ Superstar styled gospel funk and Kevin Ayers. Two hours of unbridled polygenesis music appreciation.

As usual no track list, though if you have the patience and inclination you can fathom from our host’s unapologetic reverb heavy announcements the tunes he’s playing (even if our said host has to fumble around to find the details). Believe me, most radio shows will sound pretty tame and mundane after you hear this – especially when you cop a load of Edan’s impromptu sing-alongs and loose drawling skits.

You can, if you hurry now, catch the inimitable turntablist and ‘mic manipulator’ at the All Tomorrow’s Parties & Loop curated ‘End Of An Era Part 2’ festival (29th November to 1st December 2013). Billed as their ‘final holiday camp ATP festival’, the alternative universe of musical experimentation and revelry has enjoyed a long tenure at Pontins Holiday Camp in Camber Sands UK, but it seems this soiree on the East Sussex coastline is drawing to a conclusive close. Full details can be found for perusal (HERE).

Super Adventure Club  ‘Straight From The Dick’  (Amellodie Records)  – 2nd December 2013

It’s Scottish and it’s mad; it’s a perverse King Crimson bred with Fugazi, and it’s a blur of hundred notes per second guitar wankery mixed with ridiculous Beefheart imbued breakdowns; but best of all, it’s a rambunctious fucking noise. The Super Adventure Club can best be described, as a gangly uncouth creature that flails and jerks between fits of awkward progressive jazz, bombastic heavy mental pomposity, and kitsch rock.

Lyrically flowered by surrealistic self-masturbatory puns and growling, hollering profanity, the Glasgow trio’s latest feverish outburst, Straight From The Dick, is another rowdy kick in the ‘proverbials’. Energetically noodling through skulking prog and post punk on the instrumental one-finger salute, ‘Fuck The Pop’, or lifting off into the angst metal rock of ‘9 Times’, the group rage against the machineries of joy with a dose of healthy caustic humour. And to boot they also manage to upset both the Catholic Church and Bono (ridiculously sainted to the level of Pontiff, sat extinguishing the ectoplasm miasma of the band from his gob) into the bargain with the album’s Bacon-esque caricatured artwork.

Angulated but cutting, dawdling yet punchy, the album doodles and jams out a quite balanced, if erratic at times, mix of inspired ‘riffery’. Unfortunately just as they’ve been drawn to the Monolith’s attention, the band have announced that this will indeed be the last furor for them, their finale swansong, as they’ve decided to call it a day after a tumultuous six-years of slogging at the coalface – philosophically pondered on the outro, ‘Bossa Novice’: ”If I’d done half the things I’d planned to have done, there’d be a lot more done, and it wouldn’t make a difference to anyone.”

This announcement is a crying shame, as the Caledonian scene certainly looks a thriving hotbed of creativity at the moment, especially with the quality of acts churned out by both Songs, By Toad Records and the SAB’s own home label, Armellodie (HERE). Raise a last half-empty glass of your choosing to a band that will be much missed.

Quiet Marauder  ‘Men (Sampler)’  (Bubblewrap Records)  – November Wales/ 13th January 2014 Rest Of UK.

Cast your aural memory back to the 11th October 2013, when the Monolith hosted the ‘Gummo’ inspired, ‘I Want A Moustache, Dammit!’, curio from the Welsh Quiet Marauder troupe.

Tickling our fancies then, they now threaten us with a 111-track oeuvre; a weighty satirical manifesto, a sketch show of earnest rebukes that just keeps giving. Sparks without the pizzazz, the group’s deadpan, often vaudeville modernist intonation is self-deprecating in audacity, yet at its heart beats the leitmotif of masculinity.

So not a clarion call to arms but an ironic lament to inadequacy, the soon to be released opus, Men mocks via a cast of oddballs, perverts and shy, soft-handed male characters the deficiencies and rituals of past, present and modern courtship. Those predatory thoughts and chat-up lines, best kept inside your own dome, are discussed on the Bonzo-esque, ‘Internal Monologue Date’, via a deadpan conversation, whilst ‘Pretty Girls Are (Pretty)’ is a mooning Vivian Stanshall discussion between two unhinged acquaintances on public transport – a hotspot to pick up women. It gets sillier and more deranged, as our brethren of clueless fellas evoke Victoriana style serenades on the sex-pest, white gloved slobbering, themed, ‘It Wasn’t Me, It Was The Moon’. They even stoop to the level of employing a ‘co-pilot’ in the shape of a cute dog and ‘a bubbly guy who’s gay’, as a failsafe shoehorn into the ladies affections. Sexual predilections are numerous too, one of the most lighthearted if bizarre is the Toreador’s love for his prey on ‘Sad Spanish Eyes, Rodrigo’; a touching tale of man falls for bull.

As with the previous QM featured track, the ‘alpha male model’ is tackled throughout this album. Varying between quite poignant under-riding lament and lampoon. A ridiculous incanted list of the British prime ministers, is made even more silly by the hovering presence of a ghoulish imp and a Eno-esque spooky soundscape on the vignette, ‘Prime Ministers (1952 – Present)’; reducing them to their unsettling but almost irrelevant status as power-hungry dickheads. ‘If We Were Playas’ is another suitable ‘piss-take’ that sounds like the bastard child of Cliff Richard and The Chefs, and offers a dandyish opine on matching up to the paragons of machismo.

Quite the collaborative effort, prized guests feature everywhere. One of the most startling contributions and a tune that stands out from the witty rhetoric, is the soft-lilting, dry-ice synthesiser balled, ‘Caged’. Lost in a parodied misty smog of 80s neon-tubed remorse, it features the voguish siren Gothic swoons of Jemma Roper; a duet of sorts that actually manage to almost sound convincingly emotive.

Released in their native homeland next month (November) but held-back from the marauding hoards of English till January 2013, those seeking a sneak peak will find solace here.

Playlists –

Beyond The Pale:  ‘A Halloween Special’

The Monolith Cocktail’s customary annual (well since 2012) Halloween playlist contains three hours of abject musical terror, unflinching Gothic campness, B-movie grade howling, unedifying demonic mischief and Blaxploitation fang banging.

We’re wolf whistling at the moon with Kim Fowley; taunting the reaper with the Cinema Red And Blue; slivering like a salacious lunatic with Mad Man Jones; tormenting sleepy havens in a fit of Satanic murderous glee with Nick Cave and his miscreant Bad Seeds; casting out demons with a serenading Dr.John; and checking out for good with The Faltlinerz.

Over 50 tracks of unbridled ghoulish fun and fervour, you are cordially invited to sample the unhinged mind of the Monolith with three-hours of creepy exuberance that features Nuggets style garage, R&B, soul, funk, Horrorcore, psych, soundtracks, exotica and psychobilly. Oh yeah, and there ain’t a Goblin track in sight.

Furthermore as a timely tribute to Hammer’s leading ‘longman’ of choice, the inimitable Christopher Lee, who received – and not before bloody time – a British Institute Fellowship award, as part of the recent London Film Festival celebrations, this mix will serve as an honorary cloaked nod of appreciation. Very much the man of a thousand – well at least 200 – faces, the Lord of Summerisle-Baron Roderico da Frankurtan-Lord Provost-First High Councillor and perhaps finest ever Count Dracula, continues at the ripe old dotage of 91 to drag himself onto the film studio sets and – a surprise to many – record, what can only be described as, ‘chamber’ metal albums – two Charlemagne inspired suites of partially sung and narrated Gothic pretence and other suitably macabre themes. Here’s a bejewelled, and cast from the sorry remains of some unfortunate victim, encrusted goblet toast to both Lee and ‘All Hallows’ Eve’.


One Response to “Our Daily Bread 020”

  1. […] Super Adventure Club  ‘Turns Out my Brain Was My Other Brain’ […]

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