‘Eighties!’ Some of my favourite music comes from this decade – Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Rush, Cardiacs amongst many plus my absolute favourites -Talk Talk’s ‘The Colour Of Spring’ and ‘Spirit Of Eden’. But if I had to pick one favourite song of the 80s, I think it would have to be ‘Adorations’ by Killing Joke. And this is probably why I have just finished reading Jyrki ‘Spider’ Hamalainen’s brand new KJ biography ‘Are You Receiving?’
I was only vaguely aware of the band by the time I heard ‘Adorations’ on the radio back then. I remember seeing them on The Tube and ‘Love Like Blood’. But this new song jumped out the airwaves and I was grabbed by Geordie’s guitar playing – the way his chords filled the space was like a primal Alex Lifeson. And the melody and vocals had a beautiful ellagic quality. I bought up the previous ‘Night Time’ album which I really liked but it was ‘Brighter Than A Thousand Suns’ that sealed the deal. I even liked the almost proggy follow up album ‘Outside The Gate’ (especially ‘Obsession’) which apparently is very unloved. So it was great to read how the band got there and managed to keep the name going up to the present day. Fans of rock ‘n roll stories will find much to pour over – from Aleister Crowley’s reincarnation to recording in an Egyptian pyramid or liver and maggots in the reception of Melody Maker.
Jyrki is a long time contributor to Vive Le Rock magazine but is clearly very much a KJ fan and that shows in the attention to detail which includes lots of interesting recording information and anecdotes from producers / engineers as well as details on album art / artists. An easy, entertaining and seemingly thorough introduction to the band – recommended. Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/y4jjvnow
Now for a couple of Bandcamp recs….
I am a huge fan of Petter Herbertsson’s music (Testbild! / Sternpost) and he has made some of my favourite albums of the last 20 years. So I was delighted to see he released a new collaboration project with Dan Olsson last month called ‘Room For Teeth’. Described as ‘Dark and cinematic free jazz lurking in the shadows of an abandoned Indian temple’, this is a brilliant lost mondo soundtrack for 2020. Snap it up on download or cassette here:
And I finally got round to buying Charlie Cawood’s 2019 second solo album ‘Blurring Into Motion’ too. Charlie plays all manner of stringed instruments from around the world. I have seen him several times live as bassist for Knifeworld and Lost Crowns which lead me to investigate his composing and arranging skills on his debut solo album ‘The Divine Abstract’ a couple of years back. On both albums, Charlie composes for some of his own instruments and arranges for other orchestral players to contribute as well as occasional world/synth musicians. Richly detailed, the music is as hypnotic and kaleidoscopic as the mandala-esque album art by Mark Buckingham. Classical, folk and world influences filtered through a sun dappled psychedelic prism. Absolutely lovely.