As anyone who has any history with this blog will surely know, I have probably featured more albums from the Cardinal Fuzz label than any other label over the last six years. Run by Dave Cambridge out of his spare room in the Yorkshire countryside, the label has become a byword for excellent and increasingly diverse music which is never less than interesting and, more often than not, hits the spot every time.
What some of you might not know is that the forerunner to Dave’s label was Optical Sounds, a publication that was very much in the mould of those great self-published fanzines of the sixties and seventies that brought much needed nuanced and focussed information to a fan-base that was starved of such things in the pre-internet age. Optical Sounds has continued to be produced, albeit on a largely ad hoc level, with the latest issue, number 12, being released in the last month. The work that goes into this is enormous with exclusive interviews with many of the bands featured on this website in the past… together with news and album reviews. All in all it’s pretty essential stuff and well worth getting, not just to support such an important enterprise, but to arm yourself with the sort of niche information that not even the internet can provide. See the cover below for the massive number of bands being covered, and order it direct from Cardinal Fuzz here.
If that weren’t enough, and to truly cement itself as a genuine contender in the fanzine department, this issue of Optical Sounds comes with a flexi disc…
I’ll just let that sink in for a minute…
Yes, a bloody flexi disc. I swear that the last thing I got with a flexi disc was probably in around 1981 and assumed that they just were not available any more (those of a younger persuasion will have to Google this phenomenon to acquaint themselves). How marvellous is that?
What make it even more brilliant is that it is a track by ace Canadian band Moths & Locusts, who have also done a remix album of the track in question, ‘Come Together’… and while we on the nostalgia train when was the last time I worked my way through one of those, especially where it’s interpretations of the same track?
As a result I was a bit sceptical about listening to this, but I have to say that it really works. Those who have done the remixing have been chosen really well with each retaining just enough of the track to make it recognisable, but then taking it off on their own journey.
For instance nearly all keep the refrain of ‘Come Together right now’ which retains the essential message while giving the whole album a meditative feel to it as you go from track to track without at any point feeling as if the whole thing is overly repetitive.
As well as this those familiar with Moths and Locusts previous works will recognise a number flourishes in every track which seem to float to the surface like moments of clarity before the remix takes over again. I guess that all this is probably par for the course for any remix album… but again I guess my point here is that there is some sort of balance that needs to be kept with these enterprises, and this certainly seems to be the case here.
When the last Moths and Locusts album, ‘Intro/ Outro‘, came out I was struck but the different layers and genres that made it up. Somehow this remix album separates those out and helps you more clearly see what the band are made of (and album producer ‘Rob the Viking’ has the lead track that is being Premiered here). So after listening to this, go back to ‘Intro/ Outro’ and put is all back together again. It’ll help you listen to the band in a new way… and that for me is job done!
The ‘Come Together Remix’ album will be available from the Moths and Locusts bandcamp page here shortly.
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Spotify playlists here.