Sunday, March 07, 2010

Finding Readymade Cubism...

graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour/30x20cm

This instance of found ‘roadkill’ subject/object matter presented itself, for representation, as a particularly fine physical-illustrative example of the notion of ‘Readymade Cubism’ (hence the ground of the drawing being processed in that specifically-referential form of mark-making), being reformed into a series of flat, overlapping, sharply-creased angular planes, very much in the manner of, further enhanced by its scoured, almost wholly monochrome metallic surface, devoid of but a few remaining faded traces of painted branding. Of all such finds, this one – pressed especially flat into almost paper thin slivers, its surface distressed to its base aluminium state, weathered, eroded to a condition of apparent fragility – appears a particularly delicate & ‘aesthetic’ object, something like an example of origami, having passed through its functional phase, to serve another more contemplative purpose.


Martin Stephenson & the Daintees ‘Gladsome, Humour & Blue’
The Geraldine Fibbers ‘The Hut Recordings’
The Misunderstood ‘Before the Dream Faded’
Jesca Hoop ‘Hunting My Dress’
& ‘Kismet’

Featuring more oldies-but-goodies exhumed from the garage-bound cassette collection...

The Martin Stephenson album stands up rather well, retaining its trademark idiosyncratic charm (not least in the form of 'Me & Mathew', amongst others) within its broad stylistic mix, tending more perhaps towards the 'Blue' end of the spectrum of its title (epitomized by the beautifully-unbearably-bleak 'Even the Night', but that's the way we like & enjoy things here at TOoT, inclined in the direction of & fuelled by melancholia more often than any other inspiration, very probably: a collection of enduringly fine songs, possessed of any number of lovely moments, resulting in a general air of 'gladsomeness' in the hearing of.

Then, from whatever obscure, long-forgotten depths, a highly-concentrated shot of the astonishing sonic energy of The Geraldine Fibbers: the immediate impression is of their sound being not unlike Throwing Muses-go-(very)-alt-country, with something too both of the 'Dry'-ness of PJ Harvey & Hot-era Triffids, as vaguely locational points of reference, but rather more than - thrumming, buzzing & crackling grungily, brooding with dark menace, not least that of the sawn cellos & pounding drums within the potent mix, & magnificently defiant somehow. Further research, via Last FM, seems to reveal this 7-track mini-album-as-was to have been, in its day, an intense distillation of (by some distance) the best bits of the expanded version, 'What Part of Get Thee Gone Don't You Understand?', with the promise of more to explore...

Also, the similarly condensed highlights of The Misunderstood's recording career as it briefly was, in the mid-60s, in the form of a half-album that's wonderful to be reacquainted with, country-tinged psychedelic blues that still sounds electrifying in its sheer raw, urgent energy.

Who said nostalgia isn't what it used to be..?!

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