Archive for February, 2012

Guitarist, composer, producer and visionary, Michael Rother was a founding member of the bands NEU! and Harmonia, and a founding member of Kraftwerk. A collaborator with Brian Eno (and almost David Bowie) his musical vision – one of minimal elements, yet great beauty – has coloured, directly or indirectly, post 70s rock music indelibly.

Michael and his trio will be playing Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne in March, en route to a solo performance at the I’ll Be Your Mirror festival in Japan.

In the lead up to Michael’s Australian shows, I spoke to Michael on the line from Germany, on behalf of The Orange Press:

TheOrangePress: I’ll just go back the beginning. You met Ralf Hütter (with whom Rother formed Kraftwerk) when you worked together in a psychiatric hospital, and you jammed… You were interested in removing all the Blues from your music. Why was that?

Michael Rother: That was one element really. The main objective was to steer away from copying clichés that had influenced me in the years before, and to develop my own musical personality. One element which did not belong to my musical background – the history of central European music – was the element of Blues, which was what some of my musical heroes in the mid-60s were following, like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. Growing up – at 18, 19 and 20 – thinking about my developing my own musical identity, being an individual and not a copy of somebody else, that’s when the necessity of leaving the Blues elements behind became strong. It’s simple to say Blues, but it was more than just Blues that had to be dropped.

TOP: Yes, the whole American thing?

MR: Well, all of the pop and rock music clichés. That sounds very ambitious and I know I wasn’t modest, but you have to aim high to change… to arrive at something new.

TOP: Well, you certainly did do that. You changed music forever I think by just doing that reasonably simple thing. With Kraftwerk and NEU! you worked with (producer and engineer) Conny Plank, whom you’ve said very nice things about. How did Conny Plank help shape your music?

MR: In the beginning I had no idea of studio technology – I was just a musician and Conny was an experienced engineer. That was one of the big qualities he brought along – he had so much talent, and he was obviously just as interested as we were in following crazy ideas… of created something different to what was around. And so we were natural allies in that respect. It was amazing and inspiring to watch Conny at work at the mixing desk. He had of course developed strong ideas of how to record the drums, for instance … he talked quite often about how to record drums. What amazed me was his capability of picking up our ideas, before we were able to actually express them. It was an intuitive process – that was very important because both (NEU! co-member) Klaus Dinger and I and later Roedelius, Moebius and I in Harmonia we had very strong ideas about what the music was to be, so we were not looking for someone to play an instrument (Conny also played instruments but in other projects). He knew that we were not looking for a different musician to play with us… his capabilities for organising our sounds were amazing. There were many situations when he added ideas to the recording process. Something I remember clearly was when he turned around the tape, when I recorded ‘Hallogallo’ (from NEU!’s first album) overdubs, and that really inspired me – I loved backwards guitars, even today I use loopers; I’m concentrating on playing live guitars with loopers. One of the most fascinating elements is the possibility of turning the music around, so it plays backwards. If you know Jimi Hendrix’s music, that is something we have in common…

TOP: Yes, and the Beatles… very much so. You mentioned Harmonia (Rother’s collaboration with Cluster members Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) – what did Brian Eno contribute to Harmonia? Did he just drop in and out, or was he ever a member as such?

MR: Well, of course there is a lot of information that is not quite accurate on the internet about that. I’ll just tell you the story how everything developed. Harmonia played a concert in Hamburg in 1974. Brian Eno was in the first row, and he listened to us – we actually even jammed a little bit in the second half of the concert, and then we invited him to visit us. What impressed us was he told us he was quite aware of our music – he knew a lot of NEU!, Cluster and Harmonia – and at the time was talking to other British musicians about us, and exchanging records and discussing our ideas with them – for instance David Bowie. We invited Brian to visit us, just to play with us and exchange ideas further – and that took two years! He arrived in ’76, and by that time Harmonia didn’t exist anymore; we had separated in early Summer of ’76. We told him that’s the situation, but of course please come and visit us – and we got together again and the four of us ended up in the studio, jamming. We spent 10, 11 or 12 days just jamming – not really trying to record an album, but it was just the joy of creating without any pressure. That was the meeting of Harmonia and Brian Eno, that was all. He went away with several tapes full of music that we did; I had a four-track machine at the time –each of us had a track of their own – and Brian took the tapes with him. Actually he was on the way to record with David Bowie – I think that was Low – and the idea was for Brian to return but that didn’t happen. My first solo album came out in early ’77, and Brian returned to Conny’s studio to record with Cluster, so it all went a different way. So much was happening in such a short span of time.

TOP: You were going to play on (David Bowie’s) Heroes, weren’t you? What happened there?

MR: Well, that’s a mysterious story, because, at the time – just to give you a short version – I had phone calls with I think three or four different people. The first one was a secretary calling on behalf of David, asking me whether I was interested in working with David. Then I spoke with David for a long time – that was the second call – and everything was fine: he was totally enthusiastic about the idea of collaborating, and I was willing to do that, talking about the details of the production, etc. Then a third person called me, to talk about money, and I was in a way, maybe naïve or very hippiesque (laughs). I told him not to worry about the money; as long as the music we do is great, there will not be a problem – that was my attitude, and more or less this is still my attitude these days. I mean money is important, to get it right, but music has to be the first thing on your mind if you collaborate and not the third or fourth. And then the fourth person called me to tell me that David had changed his mind, and that I wasn’t needed. And then 30 years passed, and I read interviews David Bowie was giving in the UK – I think UNCUT was the first I noticed – where he was saying I turning him down, which was strange because that was not true. Anyway, David contributed a quote when we re-released NEU! in 2001 and we exchanged messages. So I guess it’s just my conclusion because there is this contradiction in memory – David thinking that I turning him down, and my recollection of it being quite different. You know that David Bowie’s experimental phase when it started in the ‘70s was not popular with the fans and the record company – sales were going down, Low was not doing well, and maybe there were some people in his environment – management, record company – who were afraid of David following that experimental path even further and adding another crazy guy like me to the session. So maybe somebody decided to protect David from himself. But I have no proof of that theory.

TOP: It’s very interesting that both Low and the NEU! albums were not commercially great but they have been so amazingly influential in the fullness of historical time. With Krautrock – I don’t really like that term – or rather, German experimental rock music, Jaki Leibziet from CAN played on your first four solo albums…

MR: I’m grateful you don’t like that expression (Krautrock) because I don’t either…

TOP: I think it’s horrible. It’s very derogatory in my opinion – I’ve never liked it at all. But I was thinking about all the German experimental groups of the time: NEU! and Kraftwerk were very different from bands like Amon Düül and CAN, in my opinion. Did you feel as if NEU! was very different, or were you all going for the same sort of thing?

MR: Of course I preferred to think that we were very different, because that was of course my aim – trying to create a music that was completely independent, not only from my musical past but also completely different from what anybody else was doing. There was not a feeling of a collective of German musicians that were doing the same thing. And to be quite honest, apart from the musicians I collaborated with, I wasn’t very much interested in what was happening in Germany either. I think there are very big differences in the music of NEU! and Amon Düül and Faust. I didn’t really listen to what they were doing – I was fascinated by the Kraftwerk people, Klaus Dinger, the Cluster guys, and that was the music I wanted to create. But of course, if you look at the musical scene in Germany from far away, like from the Moon…

TOP: …or even Australia (laughs).

MR: (Laughs) No that’s not far away… Things move closer together. So if you compare us to the Beatles, or other classical music, or folk music, or Deep Purple or something like that then of course the ‘family’ of German music of the ‘70s does have something in common maybe, something more like a spirit. I think I prefer to leave the finding of differences to journalists and other people; it may sound a bit big-headed if I try.

TOP: On your 1983 solo album Lust, you made it entirely solo on a Fairlight (synthesizer), but you seem to generally like to work with a band and other musicians. Do you prefer to work with a band?

MR: We are talking about a process of 40 years already. First, you experience a certain situation… you have to react to circumstances. That was the case in ’71 when Klaus Dinger and I decided to start the project NEU! as a duo, which was strange because, as we found out later, it was obvious we couldn’t play as a duo live… it was possible to record an album together with the help of multi-track machines. And later on, my solo albums were very popular in Germany; they sold a lot of copies and I was able to buy all the studio gear, the professional recording gear. I was completely happy to spend weeks and months – and years even – in my studio developing music. That was a dream come true for a musician, to have all those machines. Then the situation changed again with the arrival of notebook computers – in the late ‘90s it was possible to present interesting music onstage without a band, so I started collaborating with Dieter Moebius again, and we did several tours around the world. Parallel to this development the situation changed as our music… it had to do with the internet I guess: the world got smaller and I sudden started to find out about other musicians who knew my music, bands like Stereolab or Sonic Youth, and later on (The Red Hot) Chilli Peppers for instance, and Secret Machines. It was a new situation and I met musicians I liked and there was opportunity to collaborate. This has been the situation for the last 12 years or so, and I started enjoying playing live much more. In the ‘80s I wasn’t interested in playing live; I was fascinated by the studio atmosphere and the possibilities of sound creation with the Fairlight computer. Do you know that this (the Fairlight synthesizer) came from Australia?

TOP: Yes I do, that’s right.

MR: It was a great machine, and at the time I was so thrilled I spent months researching and trying to work with its very complicated software. Lust was the first album that was created on the Fairlight, mostly. Maybe I overdid it but it was wonderful for me to write music and let the machine play music that I couldn’t play with my limitations on the keyboard. And to create and integrate sounds that, before the arrival of the Fairlight computer, were not available for my music – I would have had to ask an orchestra to play. The sampling technology in the early ‘80s was a bit different from nowadays – it was 8-bit and it sounded like 8-bit. Nowadays people sometimes use the 8-bit limitations to create a certain effect… but at the time I was so thrilled by that machine. Nowadays it is the meeting with other musicians that sometimes really inspires me, like two years ago when I did all the concerts with my project, Hallogallo with Pete Shelley and Aaron Mullen… and last year I met a young band from Germany called Camera – we jammed twice – and we will be doing some live appearances this year. We are booked for a festival in Athens and we are talking about going to Russia as well, so this will be a very colourful year I think.

TOP: That’s wonderful. And you are coming to Australia in March.

MR: Yes, this is what I am preparing for right now. I’ll be in Japan for a solo concert that just came up recently. Jim Rourke, in the early days he was a member of Sonic Youth, he lives in Japan – I think he even grew up in Japan – we both did a concert in Yamaguchi in Japan last year. So we met there. He was invited by ATP (All Tomorrow’s Parties) to curate one of the two days of the I’ll Be Your Mirror festival in Japan, so he invited me to play there. The first step is the Australian tour with Dieter Moebius and Hans Lampe, which will the first time that this collaboration will come together on stage.

TOP: That will be fantastic. With Dieter Moebius, after all this time. That will be wonderful; I am very much looking forward to it.

MR: There was no chance to rehearse, but I know exactly what Dieter Moebius is capable of creating on the spot. So I am preparing the ‘backbone’ of the music, and I rely on Dieter adding special colours and spices to the music – that’s what he’s really great at: he can pick up the situation and come up with crazy ideas. I look forward to that experiment very much.

Published February 2012 on theorangepress.net

The recent Facebook War – the page  ‘1,000,000 Black Sabbath fans say yes to Bill Ward’ (check it out and ‘like’ it for Bill’s sake) – regarding Black Sabbath‘s drummer Bill Ward started me thinking.

The page, in support of re-adding Bill Ward to the upcoming Black Sabbath reunion album and world tour after he pulled out citing an ‘unsignable’ contract is a signifier of something bigger. I watched it jump from around 1,400 ‘likes’ midweek to almost 37,500 as I write, at the end of the weekend. Online Metal magazines, blogs  and fans got behind the push and it quickly flourished. Guitarist and writer Tony Conley, who set the page up, admits he would have been happy with 1,000 ‘likes’ – it looks as if he actually might make his 1,000,000 at this rate. Why?

Bill Ward is just a drummer from a ’70s heavy rock band who have not put out a significant album for 20 years and have the occasional reunion, playing their 30 year old hits. On the other hand Bill Ward is a demi-god among demi-gods who gave heavy metal to us and will live forever. (Before you get out the voodoo doll with my name on it, I want to say quickly that I subscribe to the latter view, as obviously millions around the world do).

Black Sabbath – through a once-in-a-lifetime combination of personalities, vision, happy accidents and the blessings of Odin in the form of good old luck – came fully formed into the world of rock music with a cinematic, doom-laden music that instantly electrified 15 year old boys the world over. All the elements that form Heavy Metal were there on their first album Black Sabbath (deliciously released on Friday the 13th, 1970) – even though the New Wave of British Heavy Metal of the early ’80s would refine and streamline the music in the hands of bands such as Iron Maiden, the template was set by Black Sabbath.

The band was helmed by the visionary guitarist Tony Iommi (now there’s a surname for a Lord Of This World) and bassist/lyricist Geezer Butler. Their singer was Ozzy Osbourne who brought an amazing, blood-flecked drama to Butler’s acid-fried sci-fi/Hammer Horror lyrics. And on the drums was a sweet natured stoner with the very workaday name of Bill Ward.

As a drummer, Ward was often overshadowed by his early Metal contemporaries – Deep Purple‘s sizzling Ian Paice and Led Zeppelin‘s towering John Bonham – and yet, he was the most human of all three. His playing was often sloppy and it struggled with some of the faster tempos or more syncopated grooves that Iommi’s compositions and riffs presented. BUT without a doubt he was the best, by a country mile, to air-drum to.

And before you 2012 hipsters start sniggering at the thought of a 1970 15 year old boy air-drumming to Black Sabbath, I want to say that it is reaction to music that makes music fun – and ridiculous reactions, such as air-guitar, air-drumming or singing along to AC/DC on your iPod make it super-fun, and stamp that music indelibly on your soul, often till the day you die. Dancing is not the only reaction to music, and some music draws out no reaction at all. Bill Ward’s playing was just perfect to air-drum to – check his tom fills on 1970’s (yes, that’s 2 great albums within 4 months of each other) Paranoid‘s ‘War Pigs’. Generations know these fills as well as they know the anti-war singalong refrain ‘Generals gathered in their masses/Just like witches at Black Masses‘. Unlike the regal rock-prince stance of Led Zeppelin or the concert-hall classicism of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath’s music was approachable and more inclusive (and, importantly, kids could actually play this stuff in their suburban garage bands). And Bill Ward’s style and personality had a lot to do with that.

Fans loved him for it, and obviously still do. But that is not entirely the cause of the groundswell of support. It is that Black Sabbath fans around the world want a Black Sabbath reunion to be just that – a reunion of the four original members of Black Sabbath. Sharon Osbourne was initially identified as the evil witch in this scenario (come on, it is Metal, and Sharon does seem to relish the Black Queen role now and again) but it seems she had nothing to do with it. There is silence from all sides as to how the contract presented to Ward was ‘insignable’ – but the consensus appears to be that for the most down-to-earth, no bullshit member of the band to walk away, it MUST have been an absolute iron-clad insult.

Who knows how it will pan out? Obviously, fans will accept nothing else than the original lineup – and i think this is very important. Since the Beatles smilingly destroyed the Sinatra-style solo star in the early ’60s, we have seen our bands as four- or five-headed single entities. It is generally the ‘original’ lineup that we stitch together into one being. And we don’t like it when that being loses a head, or replaces that head with another. The Beatles could never replace a member. Led Zeppelin did the right thing when John Bonham passed away – they split. The Rolling Stones tour without bassist Bill Wyman and it isn’t the same. They replaced Brian Jones after his tragic pool death with Mick Taylor, and then Taylor with Ron Wood – to all intents and purposes becoming a new band each time, stylistically. The Who soldier on without the theatrics of drummer Keith Moon or the dark bass-gymnastics of John Entwistle, which is getting kinda stupid (and faintly arrogant). Black Sabbath themselves have had some truly dreadful lineups over time, alienating fans hugely each time. This time Black Sabbath have moved forward with their album and tour plans by recruiting the drummer from Ozzy Osbourne’s band, Tommy Clufetos in Bill’s place. I am sure Tommy Clufetos (poor bugger, i would not like to be him right now) is a great drummer – maybe he is even technically better than Ward – but that is entirely not the point. Our four headed Black Sabbath is missing a head and we want it back.

With roots in the tiny Indian Ocean nation of Seychelles, home to a unique culture that fuses Africa, Europe and Asia, Grace Barbé is a singer, songwriter and musician whose music, like her mixed heritage, reflects and celebrates the diverse influences of her Creole culture. The combination of afro-funk, island roots and reggae sung in Creole, English and French laced with a modern pop sensibility has created a fresh vibrant sound in the world music scene.

Grace has recently released her debut album, Kreol Daughter and will be appearing at the this years WOMADelaide. Check out her music – it is as funky as a breath of fresh air can be –http://wp.gracebarbe.com.

I recently spoke with Grace about her music for TheOrangePress.net:

 TheOrangePress: I will start by going backwards. What did winning the WAMI (Western Australian Music Industry Association) Award in 2008 mean to you and your music?

Grace Barbé: In 2008… well, that was my first Award in WA and it kind of recognised why I am doing music and gave me the motivation and inspiration to actually keep doing it, and know that I can be recognised for my work. I’ve won three other WAMIs after that so it has been fantastic.

TOP: Your music is beautiful… I am very interested in the Seychelles influence on the music. I listened to a YouTube clip of ‘Fatige’ and  – I am a muso – it took me a little while to figure out what time-signature that was in… It was a beautiful groove. Is that part of it – the crossing over (of rhythms)?

GB: It is not the ‘Sega’ but it is influenced by the ‘Sega’ from the Indian Ocean Islands… but on quite a few of my songs I’ve got quite a bit of crossover happening between Afrobeat music, the ‘sega’ and a bit of afro-funk in there – it’s quite a complex track!

TOP: I’m glad I didn’t try to dance to it… but I ended up dancing to it anyway… Now, you collaborate with James Searle; can you give me some insights on how you guys collaborate… how do you work together… who does what?

GB: Sure. Yes, Jamie and I – I call him Jamie – we’ve been working together for almost ten years now. We were in bands together in the past in Perth. He’s from the UK and he grew up on reggae music and African Music and he lived in Tanzania for a year – so he’s got all these influences and a rich collection of African music and Afrobeat… he was so fascinated by the Seychelles and the Indian Ocean Islands and he was lucky to head over there to the Seychelles and Mauritius and do a bit of research. We came back with all this information and these rhythms, thinking it’s crazy not to be doing something with this – properly, with proper production. We started working on reggae first; we had reggae bands – and once we’d done it for a while and we studied the industry and how it works, we’re thinking there’s a lot of reggae bands out there – if we want to stand out we need to do something quite unique. And here I am, a Seychelloise living in Perth – it would be crazy for me to not go back into history and bring all that into my music. So that’s what we did: we started introducing the Sega rhythm and the crossovers, the Afrobeat … and pop and funk… introducing it to the band. And in about five years, with the lineup I have now, it took about that long to play the rhythms the way that we do now.

TOP: Oh really?

GB: My drummer is from Amsterdam and he’s never played sega before but he grew up with the African rhythms – he’s been to Guinea and knows about the African rhythms… he’s got the 6/8 feel already, but you’ll fine that the 6/8 rhythms from around the world, they sound familiar but they’re all a bit different. But he had to learn how to play the Sega from the Seychelles and Mauritius properly.

TOP: Talking about collaborations, on Kreol Daughter you’ve worked with Jeremy Allom (UK producer and engineer: Massive Attack, Bjork, Sly & Robbie, Maxie Priest) from the UK. How did that come about?

GB: Well he lives in Perth and I didn’t even know that. And it was through someone in the music scene who mentioned it who’d worked with him. We thought we’d go and see what he’s like, and we really liked his work. He’s fantastic to work with and he loved what we were doing.

TOP: He understood where you were coming from?

GB: Absolutely. He being from the UK and working with major reggae artists… with the reggae on the Kreol Daughter album. So that’s why we brought him onto the project, because we knew that he specialised in that particular genre. And the other tracks he mixed really well, the non-reggae tracks on the album…

TOP: Was he very hands on? Or did he just let you do your thing?

GB: He was a hands on engineer and mixer. Jamie Searle is my producer and I co-produced with him. So it was myself, James and Jeremy in the studio pretty much and it was fantastic …I tried to stay in the background and watch these two guys at work. It was my first album so I learned a lot through the process…

TOP: And are you happy with how it all turned out?

GB: I’m very happy…

TOP: So you are doing WOMADdelaide in March?

GB: I am.

TOP: And are you looking forward to that?

GB: I am. It’s been my dream for the past few years to play at WOMAD, finally. It’s my biggest gig so far I would say… one of my biggest and my priorities are for WOMAD for the next few months.

TOP: That’s wonderful. One last question: What’s your view on current music?

GB: On current music? Well, I try not to get too caught up or too stressed about where the music industry is going, and where music is going. I try to eliminate that as much as possible in my own work, so I can focus on doing what I do – because what I do is genuine, it’s fresh and it comes from my heart… and I’m putting as much as I can into it, and it shows: it reflects in the reaction of the audience. I listen to a lot of other musics… I find that pop music is getting really stale. I grew up on pop music as well, I’m an 80s child… but it’s getting very stale and its all the same. It definitely means that I’m not taking little influences here and there to put into my own style… it’s very important for me to push the foundation of who I am as an artist from the Indian Ocean islands… that’s what I’m focussing on.

Published February 2012 on theorangepress.net

Retro-based music, even when it is as lovingly created and truly heartfelt as the rash of nu-soul releases of the past ten or so years, is nonetheless a tightrope walk. The balance of ‘nu’ to old school is a fine one –Amy Winehouse could do it beautifully (especially under the style-eye of Mark Ronson), Adele can do it just fine with her great big heart – but too often, the old school looms too big in the mix, and the thing falls flat, sliding into nostalgic pastiche. Why is this? One theory is that it is easy to cherry-pick from the extant past which lies below one’s fingertips in racks upon racks of Motown and Stax vinyl, but much harder to create ‘nu’ ideas.

Andrew Mayer Cohen’s second album How Do You Do? under the nom-du-Soul ofMayer Hawthorne (a portmanteau of his middle name and the Michigan street of his childhood) is a release that has got me thinking on this nu/old school thing again. The album sails so close to the wind most of the time – pureTemptations here, spot-onSmokey Robinson there, a little too Isaac Hayes here again – that it is all too easy to sniff and go back to the ‘real stuff’, the original Soul sides that echo endlessly on this record.

But – and this is a big BUT – How Do You Do? is so damn good that it knocks my over-thought critique flat on its tweedy ass. Impeccably constructed, smartly arranged and played with real juicy groove (the Funk Brothers smile down from the golden-brown Motown sunset upon these righteous tracks), it is irresistible.

Yet it is the vocal that makes one really sit up (it is always the vocal that makes one sit up!). Hawthorne’s voice can stand up to anything these twelve neat tracks (12 x 3min tracks – just like they used to do on 70s vinyl) ask of it. From smoky Smokey Robinson falsetto to David Ruffin-style urgency to Teddy Pendergrasslove-man come-on, the vocals are a treat. Even the mirrorball dappled spoken-word intro (“So here we are, at the end of the night… “) to opener ‘Get To Know You’ is cool, not corn.

They call it blue-eyed soul, but like so many odd loops in popular music, it is the music of white artists emulating the black artists who emulated white artists – indeed, mighty Motown aimed directly for the 60s white teen market under the banner ‘The Sound of Young America’ with cool, stylish acts such as theMiracles and the Supremes. This Groovy sound was heavy on the pop, hardly breaking a sweat (that was left to the hardcore soul labels such as Stax and Atlantic) as it chewed up the charts, turning on bands like the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

Much of How Do You Do? harks back to that Motown sound – ‘The Walk’ and the driving ‘Hooked’ are pure Detroit pop-soul gems – with much of it also reminding me of the slick Hall & Oates 70s take on soul. But even more than that, tracks like ‘Dreaming’ or the finger-popping ‘Stick Around’ bring to mind the almost forgotten 1967 Beach Boys ‘soul album’ Wild Honey. Perfect sunkissed harmonies and an innocence in the lyrics make this all very pretty music – even a guest spot on ‘Can’t Stop’ by the wry Snoop Dogg doesn’t dent its white-gleam sheen. Nothing wrong with pretty; pretty never did the Supremes or Muhammed Aliany harm.

Mayer Hawthorne is undoubtedly one of the real kool kidz – his talent and cool is beyond doubt; to realise this grew out of a side project encouraged into the studio by his label boss, Peanut Butter Wolf (yep, that’s what it says) indicates how easy it all is for former-rapper Hawthorne. 

Is it all an ironic pose? Doesn’t seem to be, even though Hawthorne’s hipster credentials had me forensically searching How Do You Do? for signs of post-modern fuck-off. When he says “I have found my own unique sound on this album” I think he must be kidding – beautifully rendered, yes; unique, no. This is the man who issued his debut single (‘Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out’) on a red, heartshaped 7” vinyl single.

Whatever. How Do You Do? is a groovelicious, party-starting, gooey-romantic gas. I am going to spin it again now – I am getting to quite enjoy being knocked flat on my tweedy critic’s ass.

Published February 2012 on theorangepress.net