Tuesday, November 21, 2017

From Vital Weekly:

AAAAAAAAXB – THE BEST OF (CD by Cordelia Records)

‘All your friends are morons’... sung to a funky, slightly 70s soft-core porn soundtrack backing. The tone is set for this most curious album. Allow me to try to explain. Did you know that in 2014 the concept of ‘good will reflectors’ was introduced at the annual ESM (Electronic Surf Music) convention? The idea was, in brief, that by using such reflectors set up in or nearby concert venues audiences would be prevented from liking bands in a general sense – and not liking them because of their actual performance. By doing so the appreciation of the music would be the purest form possible. An example: you may appreciate U2’s music better (or solely) because you like Bono’s hairstyle. If you can prevent this pattern of thinking, people will appreciate U2 purely for their music and not because they happen to like Bono’s hairstyle. Makes sense doesn’t it? In fact, the use of ‘good will reflectors’ would cause a revolution in the marketing of music in general and pop/rock music particularly. Imagine bands or musicians appreciated for their music only? This album was recorded by AAAAAAAAXB, whereby the A’s stand for the eight Alan’s involved in this album, X for X Ray Romeo and the B for Brian. It might come as no surprise one of the Alan’s is in fact Alan Jenkins, who is most likely the best known of the eight Alans to the readers of Vital Weekly. Jenkins is the purveyor of Electronic Surf Music, which is exactly what you think it is, and used to be a member of the Deep Freeze Mice, the Chrysanthemums and Jody and the Creams – and a plethora of other bands foolish enough to let him sing and play his guitar in their vicinity. This album, which is the band’s debut, is called ‘The Best Of AAAAAAAAXB’ and comes in a fold-out cover including the history of the band and featuring a few dairy excerpts of their travels to Papua New Guinea. Musically ‘The Best Of AAAAAAAAXB’ offers us Electronic Surf Music, which we already discussed at length, but also tracks like ‘Door B’, ‘Look. Billy Gilbert’, the amazing ‘Dizziness’ and other tracks featuring sound effects, reversed tapes, electronic collages, almost free jazz improvisations and the likes, setting it apart from the Electronic Surf Music we all know. Think Ed Sheeran. In fact, picture Ed Sheeran appreciated purely for this music and not for his cuddly image, hairstyle and chequered shirts. There would be very little of Ed’s success left. But I digress: ‘The Best Of AAAAAAAAXB’ is a great listen; it features the typical melodic and a-melodic music you’d expect from Jenkins, as well as his typical singing voice and sense of humour. Does humour belong in music? Zappa answered this question by releasing a series of dead-boring albums. You may consider ‘The Best Of AAAAAAAAXB’ not serious enough for Vital Weekly, but you are wrong. Dead-wrong. (FK)
––– Address: http://www.cordeliarecords.co.uk

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Best of Aaaaaaaaxb is out now.
The Deep Freeze Mice – Hang on Constance Let Me Hear the News (Cordelia, 1985)
The greatest of 10 albums made by Leicester’s DIY psych-punk surrealists, this lost masterpiece offered wildly literate fuzz-pop weirdness, spiky sound collages and the only song in history to take James Brown to task for failing to acknowledge that “there is no soul music … there is only neuron music!”