Oblique god play strategies

Featuring :

Brian Eno – Third Uncle

Where Brian Eno starts post-punk even before there was punk, we are talking 1974 here. The guitars scratch, the bass is really black and the sparse tinny percussions, ah, the percussions, they are madness, you can see a direct line going from them into the African jungle the Talking Heads explored in Remain in Light. The frantic vocals, cold but full of urgency at the same time, constitute a true model for New Wave and Synth-pop cool.

Third Uncle sits comfortably in Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), an album which is pure bizarre pop genius and eclectic sonical experimentation, and at the same time stands out because of its…errr…percussivity?? Everything seems to rattle in it, the rhythm does not only charge forward, it also expands sideways creating a space of freedom within a hip shaking head banging funk structure, there is a parallelism here between Eno’s work and Krautrock : disciplined improvisation, a key to avoid boredom without falling into nonsense.

What does Third Uncle talk about? The lyrics, an apparent (who knows?) free association exercise full of sharks and fools and turks and shoes and boots don’t seem particularly related to the title (one uncle getting burned at the end of the song is the only linkage), although the constant ‘you’s’ hint at the romantic obsession/sexual drive theme that lies at the heart of almost all pop and rock and roll, the feeling of lust accentuated by the break-neck paced car chase guitar riffs and the catatonic blaxploitation bassline. Yeah, it might be that, perhaps not, perhaps Eno is talking to his uncle, who knows, the guy is a joker, he even designed a deck of cards full of ‘Oblique Strategies’ to be deployed during the creative process in order to fuck it up a bit.

In any case, that was only my interpretation, after all according to Eno’s philosophy an artist never finishes his work, the closing touch (if ever possible) is performed by the one listening (or observing). He’s done his part, now we do ours, we owe it to the guy…what is this all about? Asking ourselves is part of the magic.

Cursor Minor – The Sport of Kings

Cursor Minor’s first album didn’t really do it for me. Second one Cursor Minor Plays God is a totally different story. I am all about the Library, Michael Portillo and the ban yam tree, plate tectonics and embroidery, Librarians are often sexy. See next time someone asks if you’re a god….say yes!

This track goes on for about eight and a half minutes and (with the exception of the vocoda bit) always leaves me wanting it to go on for longer.

Sport of Kings has a Neu! + joy feel to it, no idea if that is deliberate.

Not sure what this has to do with sport, or maybe it just sounded like a nice title. Thank you to Mr.Hunter S. Thompson?

In the guitar at the end is the noise of my cat wanting to be fed. He must have sneaked into my flat and secretly recorded it.

Educational video

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