Hannah's Barber   4 comments

God I hate the thing whereby when you know that if you want to write about anything properly you know it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to do it justice, and the word count will pretty high too, but here it is, an unlikely-ish story. Ever since Nochexxx played me the Carlton “Killawatt” Valley record that made me splutter in pissed wonder for it’s entire duration I’ve wanted a copy, and initial research into its perceived market value put it just slightly beyond my financial reach, or made me think to bide my time, which I did. Therefore I was chuffed to randomly discover it on eBay, looking at the prices of Dulcitones in the first instance, I think, and win it by being the first and only bidder, with my sniping skills still in the box of Old Things. Must be pretty old things, because the record got sent to my lovely Ex’s cos that’s where the ‘Bay still thinks I live, and it should keep up really. Or I should, because when the record didn’t appear I’m afraid I started making assumptions about people not finding the time to post records that they would have expected to realise more from bidwise at auction, and I sent a bit of a terse enquiry asking whether I should be expecting it anytime soon. I should, said the seller, because he’d swiftly posted it after sale, had proof of postage, was a postman himself and knew the drill, and, ridiculously, had recognised my name as a that bloke out of The Wire, and had therefore included a copy of his own record in the package. I was, of course, comprehensively disarmed. So, after fetching the red card from Sam and having to explain to matey at the PO that Pete Um is not my government name, and once we’ve all sat around listening to Special Request & Truck Inna Garage etc, I put on this weird gift, more than 99% certain to be underwhelmed, but curious nonetheless.

Strangely enough, it’s great! It’s got that neither-one-thing-nor-t’other quality which those with a jones for new kicks ‘n’ weird thrills consider standard in a standardised “surprise me” jaded appetite. But it’s a subtle thing – it’s not knocking you over the head with some gimmicky claim to unusualness. It’s like, uh, well it’s like a lot of things and none, but it’s like a melancholic 4-track Mouse On Mars using some outboard gear, perhaps, and that’s just one thing it’s like, a bit. It’s definitely a strikingly successful mixture of the programmed and the played, although it’s hard to tell what’s being done to what, and in a good way. Actually I think the only thing I don’t like about this record is the font the text on the cover is written in, which brings back bad memories of trying to like trip-hop, and that’s a shamefully weak-ass First World 21st Century reason for being negative about anything. But the music, which might be the main thing after all, that’s pretty solid, all the way through. I’m more into it the less beats there are, I think, but then I didn’t get where I’m not today by being overly concerned with rhythm-programming. In fact the standout track for me is probably the pianoey sketchitude of Piano 4OK, if I’m typing that right Mr. Trip-Hop font. That seems to me a good example of what this lot do best, i.e a kind of judicious execution of textural progression perhaps, or the kind of sound-painting that chooses all the right colours and then puts them all in the right places. There’s a lot going on on this record, but it unfolds beautifully. In fact it kind of hides its light a bit, but then that’s sort of what’s good about it. Looks like Boomkat still got some too.

Oh, 99p at Norman!
Yeah, it’s “organic” man!


4 responses to “Hannah's Barber

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  1. that is such a ‘Pete’ story – he had proof of postage, was himself a postman, and even recognised your name from The Wire! hahahahah it could only happen to you… the man who got trench foot at Glasto 😉

  2. so 10 months later, here’s the reply:

    yes I believe you told me that you did get trench foot, having got there days before it started, and it rained all those days more or less constantly, and then throughout the festival itself.

    I may have dreamed it, but I don’t think so. on the other hand, maybe you dreamt it…

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