KID SHIRT

Friday, November 13, 2009

UM: "GIRAFFE"

Welcome to UmWorld.



This CD makes me think of sheds for some reason. Tool-boxes rather than Roland Grooveboxes. Rusting scythes, the smell of WD-40, those little scraper things that you use to de-ice windscreens in winter. (Computer) Music for Shepherds.

Um.

"I think I just caught myself out".

Tracks. Lots of them. Lots of tracks. Logic stacked laterally. Illogical longing.

Words are shifted around to make new sentences, new meanings; a Rubic Cube of words. Sometimes it's something that's a little bit like poetry, but not quite - synonymic and phonetic shifts - almost puns - other/times it's like he's talking to himself, chatting to dead air, open-mic over Rustic Crunk, joshing imaginary friends, drinking, playfully critiquing himself or getting annoyed by something that might (or might not) have happened earlier that day; it's like a series of entries in a diary - blogsplatter n scribbled memos-to-self - sometimes talk-songs, sometimes soulful n semi-funky: observations, moans, pronouncements... all accompanied by an array of ratcheting samples and clicky-hissy percussives, a bass-gtr or back-parlour Electro.

(Some of the songs are instrumentals.)

"A male entity announces his name," says an anonymous snippet of voice plucked from the air. I love things that arrive devoid of context; that force you to guess, to make up a story.

Sometimes he's tongue-in-cheek; sometimes tongue n groove.

Later, on another song, a weary, downpitched voice says, "No, I really do feel awful" and makes me think of a half-dead cartoon horse. A plodding drum-beat and forlorn-sounding series of bass-strums trudge their way across a seemingly-endless field of mud - a Flanders of the Soul - singing: "I feel so depressed / when I get dressed". I'm feelin' it, mate; I'm really feelin' it.

UmMusic wears its drum-machine on its sleeve for everyone to see.

On "Too Old For Sports" he comes on like a Beck of the Flatlands, a dissolute songwriter exiled out in the reeds and bullrushes w/ a sleeping-bag and his 4-track: "EQ my soul (my piss-up)...I'm on a hidin' to nuthin'..." / "Scaring myself with the power of a biro..." / etc.

Elsewhere, he's like a one-man boombox version of The Residents ("Curse The Calm before The Storm")...fractured riddims n half-melodies rubbin' themselves against a chair-leg like a randy flea-bitten Spaniel: "I'm gonna drink a lot of Guinness / and get real fat / I'm gonna get no pussy / and stink of cat / And not give a fuck / About this and that..."

Occasionally, he lists his gear or explains how he's mixing/tweaking the music; I loove it when Process reveals itself and, instead of demystifying the act of creation - the glamour of sound-art - it folds back in on itself adding another layer of complexity. Revelatory auto-critique as a backing vocalist, yeah!

32 tracks! - not everyone's gonna be a winner; but there's no shit either; nothing bores or outlasts its welcome - this is like a quiet idea-storm: a procession of thoughts, camera-angles, memories, rambles, rumbles, micro-anthems, marching songs, drinking games, broken raps, Pop-monologues, miniatures, chamberwerks, salon songs, an orchestra of shed.

But the best pieces are very fucking good indeed.

"You make sweet milk with your guitar / it's the way you are / a black-hole star."

I think this is 5 years old, so I'm kinda ashamed Pete only came on my radar recently. On the sleeve-notes it says: THERE IS AH WHOLEHEAP AH TALENT IN THE GHETTO THAT IS GOING UNOTICED BY THE MAINSTREAM. DON'T GIVE UP I BREDRENS AND SISTRENS, THE STONE THAT THE BUILDER REFUSED SHALL BE THE HEAD CORNERSTONE.

Kid Shirt seconds that.

"Deep within my DNA is space for a missing gene..."

Comes with some really cool drawings and a list of giraffe facts.

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