Category Archives: Bamboo

Less the revolver, more the mule

Featuring : Bamboo

Bamboo are back in the pages of 20JFG this week as they’ve got a single out today from their album The Dragon Flies Away.  We posted another track from it last year.  It’s great.  So is Wake Up Your Heart, so we thought we’d post it.

Bamboo – Wake Up Your Heart

Wake Up Your Heart opens with a looped, Japanese inflected melody and is soon joined with a bassline straight from Morricone’s most propulsive Spaghetti scores.  That intersection was obviously already mined in the Kurosawa remakes but here it’s less in the service of fatalistic violence and more in a propulsive journey towards something more enlightening.  Less the revolver, more the mule.

Wake Up Your Heart is out today on Upset the Rhythm, backed with a remix by Nico Marcel of Always Running.  Upset the Rhythm’s release of The Dragon Flies Away (with awesome new artwork) can be pre-ordered here.

The Great Queue

Featuring : Bamboo


There seems to be an inversely proportional relationship between our accelerated demand for content and the rate at which individual content producing units (aka musicians) are actually putting out…content.  While the Talking Heads could drop LP after LP in the late 70s we’re now conditioned to expect years between releases. 

Quite possibly, the sheer diffusion of culture over the internets has meant that the queue to grab a slice of the consumer conscious has grown long and weary.  A great winding thing of bodies and instruments snaking towards the hills.  Hey, there’s Drake trying to usurp Coldplay’s next ‘launch window’, oh and over there, Taylor Swift’s playing some boyfriend meta-game to keep herself amused in the interminable line.

So it feels strangely uncanny to welcome Bamboo back to these pages so soon.  After stunning us by airdropping a last minute ‘album of the year’ in 2015, Bamboo are (relatively) quickly back with more.

Bamboo – Always Running

If Grace Jones, on a (purely hypothetical) trip to Japan in the early 80s, where she had been hired to do a Young Marble Giant covers set, had drafted in the Yellow Magic Orchestra as a back up band…it might sound something like Always Running.  And if some enterprising youth had thought to record it to tape, that tape would have barely been able to contain the vast ebbs and flows of five minutes and 45 seconds that Always Running occupies.  For the delicacy of the first minute is barely recognised in the euphoria of the penultimate and in between huge crashing waves of synths constantly destroy and renew.

MASSIVE, as they say.

Always Running is taken from Bamboo’s new album, The Dragon Flies Away, on Crumb Cabin.  Limited to 50 tapes you can pre-order it here.  It’s out of Sept 12th.  Bamboo’s previous album — you know, the one I gushed about up the top there — that’s getting a CD release via UTR on the 23rd and it’ll come with a live album ‘Live at Cafe OTO’.  So that’s three album releases in a month. #content

Far East and West of Here

Featuring : Bamboo


There is a place among the reeds where the maximalist future dwells.  Birthed among the sacred flames of Young Marble Giants and Mariah it is all mystery, all the time.  Like, ’24/7 glints of light off the still rivers, is that a human or a water god?’ mystery.  Like, cascading polyrhythmic drum patterns sort of mystery.  The sort of mystery that is secretly plotting the awakening of the Old Ones as it plays the ‘synths or horn section?’ game [spoilers: it’s synths, it’s always synths with us].

Bamboo are that future, and dear god it’s glorious.

Bamboo – Khene Song

If only we still threw dance parties, this would be our go-to, ‘clear the floor to make room for the true believers but everyone’s dancing by the end’ track.  It sweeps in our favourite Far Eastern touchstones including Yellow Magic Orchestra (on the album there’s a fairly obscure cover of Harry Hosono‘s Love Theme for an early 80s Japanese TV Show) and the aforementioned Mariah (who’s Utakata No Hibi finally got a reissue a few months ago and promptly sold out — check the link to read Twitch’s post about it from 2008(!)).  It is OOIOO if they’d binged on Leven Signs instead of Italian Opera.  It is, as I mentioned, glorious.

You can get the album direct from Upset the Rhythm right here.  I just have, because it’s really fucking good.