Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Searching For Black Blooms

I thought I had written about Black Floral, the album from Middlesborough UK native Detective Instinct. I was listening to this non stop when I was smoking and packing up the house in July before coming to the UK (it came out through Sickroom Records around then). I then stupidly left it amongst the vast record collection of my flatmates' (as well as Harmony's second album Carpetbombing - so bummed...)

Anyway, today I was looking for something to get me through the grind of marking some work, and I stumbled across some Trumans Water. Great band. But it also reminded me of the songs that Kevin Branstetter sung on Black Floral, 'Merchant Vessel Elision' and 'Tortillas'. You see, the album is a tale of two sections, interlaid into one - the artist created the warped aural groundswell of kraut/paisley psych/synthesised warp and then threw the hellgates open for esteemed lyricists of the underground to sing/speak/murmur/hum over the top. So whilst you have the erstwhile and politically witty (and whittled) lyrics of GW Sok over 'ABC & She' and 'Crack Attack', you have the suitably weird Jad Fair shuffling around in his pastel-blazed bathrobe in 'Black Floral I' & 'Black Floral II'; the spoken word ruminations of Mike Watt ('The Sum Of A Son', 'From Calais To Dover'); the ethereal-as-microfiche wanderings of Karen Schoemer (especially the discombobulated echo/head-on-a-megascreen imagery that come to me during 'The Architect of Negative Space')... My favourite tracks though are the ones that include Branstetter and Country Teasers' Leighton Cook, because they are as unhinged as you would expect - like Ian Dury, but reimagined by Harmony Korine where he lives in a council flat with Shaun Ryder and the Sleaford Mods scungebuckets. Seriously, 'We'd All Love Wheels' is one of my favourite songs of the year, hands down. It has no right to, really, but there it is.

It's a weird record for sure, but it doesn't feel like a slapdash effort, a patchwork of past glories, a harried compilation of similar nut not necessarily likeminded souls. Black Floral works because it creates its own world and wholeheartedly drags you into it. Like the floating abyss that the unsuspecting Glaswegian men fall into when pursuing Scarlett Johanssen in Under The Skin (still unsure I agree its the brilliant work people say it is, but it is an arresting experience - but that is by the by), Black Floral has you ensconced in its world, a living organism within a viscous organism, melding together, fusing as one, an eternal nightmare and dreamscape. In short, it's weird, beguiling, stupid, funny, thought-provoking, and brilliant.

Grab Black Floral here.

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