Thursday, May 15, 2014

Midwich - The Brunt

Midwich - The Brunt.
Download only 30 minute single track album.

For whatever reason I took myself away from the computer for long periods of time over the last few weeks. The most I could manage was about half an hour in one sitting and then I stood up and walked the grounds, poked about in the Rhododendron's and wondered if it’d be worthwhile getting the drive re-graveled now that the weather’s taken a turn for the better.

Mrs. Fisher put some new curtains up in the writing room. This room here where I tap these words now. Said curtains are very thin and the light comes through them. Unlike the ones they replaced, which I preferred, which were thick and heavy and blocked out the light making it easier for me to see the monitor, the one I’m staring at now. The trouble with these new curtains is that they reveal a room which has largely remained unchanged for about the last 18 years. Thats about the same amount of time I’ve been writing reviews and publishing zines and it got me to thinking; if those curtains hadn’t been changed, would I still be sitting in this room 18 years hence tapping out the same kind of reviews behind those same dark curtains?

To be honest I was beginning to feel I’d hit a rut, a not entirely uncomfortable one it has to be said but one from which I was getting bored of bumping along in. My audience knew me and I them and what a lovely world it is we all live in. The days when I’d receive a jiffy bag full of crap tapes from someone I’d never heard of who didn’t mind if I said they were all totally shit are thin on the ground now. I used to get zines from exotic countries [until Steg arrived and then I got them from Blackpool] and hand written letters from African’s asking me for money. I used to get DVD’s of Italians flashing their knobs to a background of loud and discordant feedback and one sided noise LP’s with paste on covers made from recycled record sleeves. Envelopes with nothing in them but a letter saying ‘here’s five euros for the last two zines’ were quite common, I think I must have kept a light fingered postie in fags for many a year.

I’ve been in these ruts before, when everything sounds same-y and the world does nothing but pump out generic music bubbles that pop like the watery suds on the top of a crap pint of lager. It eventually passes. A release comes along that sort of makes sense of the situation.

Is ‘The Brunt’ that release? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But it is rather lovely and the perfect antidote to whatever lassitude it is that ails you. Its the kind of Midwich drone that effortlessly floats by, a warm breeze on a summers day that makes you feel glad to be alive, a pint of beer that hits the spot perfectly, the smell of a field full of oil seed rape as you pass by on the way to somewhere special in an open top sports car. But what I like about The Brunt the most is that it exists only in a digital format. After eyeing downloads suspiciously since their inception I now realise that, in some circumstance at least, they have their uses.

I wouldn’t for instance pay iTunes a £125 for the Beatles box set [box set here being somewhat of a misnomer seeing as how it only exists digitally]  or £100 for the AC/DC Complete Collection, I do prefer hard copy over download but there comes a time when a download is all you need. As evinced by the recent Tom Carter Benefit Release where a hundred artists gave their work for free so that you the punter could donate money to the ’Get Tom Carter Back On His Feet’ fund without the hassle of the people involved having to waste money and time making hard copies that would cost even more money to send in the post for you to listen to and leave on a shelf when you’ve done with it. The Brunt is a benefit track too. A pound is all thats asked for. That pound will help Rob Hayler fund his Barrel Nut micro zine and other Radio Free Midwich adventures. One measly English pound.

All this ties in nicely with my thoughts on the continued clear out that began several months ago. Mrs Fisher’s mantra ‘The more shit you own, the more the shit owns you’ is one to live by. Less is more. Ditch the shit or have someone sort it out once you’ve pegged it. The continued clear out sees the classical vinyl collection [minus the avant garde stuff] disappear down the chazza along with a further thinning of the kind of crap that I bought just because I thought they had nice covers. LP’s with nice covers and crap music can go live in Oxfam. Discogs sees a small trickle of once thought good items that I bought because Julian Cope told me to and the work of several electronic artist who I now realise have more time, money and sycophantic label bosses than is good for them.

And whilst I’m here ... box sets packed with ludicrous amounts of detritus. It gets worse. Recent favourites and prime examples of the genre are the first three Oasis albums, now all getting the 20th Anniversary treatment, bloated up to include 3CD’s, 2 LP’s, a 56 page hardback coffee table book, a 12 x 12” print, a tote bag, an enamel keyring, a set of badges, 5 postcards and an exclusive 7" single, all yours for a £110. Not to be outdone Neil Young’s new release has a box set version containing this lot; a standard LP, a “direct feed from the booth" audiophile LP, seven 6" clear vinyl discs, 1 standard CD, 1 DVD, one 32-page book, a 12" x 12" book, and [of course] a download version. This also retails at a £110 meaning that if you spent £220 on these two box sets you will have parted with a sizeable amount of money for two albums. Forget all the crap that comes with it, thats £220 for two albums worth of music. You can buy a lot of curtains for that kind of money, or 220 Midwich downloads. I know which I prefer.

1 comment:

Rob Hayler said...

Cheers to Uncle Mark for the kind words - much appreciated. Here's a direct link to the warez:

I can confirm that buying my download 110 times will be 110 times better for your soul than buying the Oasis boxset.

Love, R x