Ladies and Gentlemen, I hand you over to the affable company of Matthew Fuller.
Sometimes you’re stuck in a rut. A hole so big you can’t climb out and the more you spin those wheels the deeper you dig.
You need levitation or a massive kick in the arse, a kick powerful enough to launch you out of your pit. Until recently my musical horizons had narrowed: once an expansive vista they’d become blinkered, frustrated and cyclic. My bum wallop (matron?) was a ridiculous cave-dwelling climbing trip with some music-loving mates. It helped me rediscover that love of ear-bending beats and mind-melting melodies (perhaps our new catch-phrase!). A dose of ear-bending is good: once you see something from leftfield then centre-field no longer seems quite so centre; it shifts your whole sound-scape, your entire perception.
Imagine hearing Jimi Hendrix for the first time in the ‘60s, Kraftwerk in the ‘70s, Public Enemy in the ‘80s. All the elements you knew before were still there but distorted, filtered, warped. That’s powerful stuff. So much music sounds bonkers to the Western ear but give it a whirl and you’ll widen that vista, get yourself out of your trench and hear some stinking beats on the way. Once you’ve cracked it, once you ‘get’ it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.
First up: Ozric Tentacles. This is the last track off Paper Monkeys, their newest release. Turn that bass up and drift towards the East. I was lucky enough to see them live last week and they’re just unbelievable.
Next up: Balkan Beat Box. Not heard much middle-eastern stuff before? You’re missing out. This track’s a live recording off their 2007 album Nu Med. Absolutely caning and ear-bending to boot. Dust off that air sax.
Stuart McCallum. I saw this chap live a couple of months ago. I like jazz but hate jazz guitar, so didn’t exactly have high hopes. I needn’t have worried ‘cos it was awesome. Part-post rock, part jazz, but don’t let that put you off.
To finish off this synaesthetic smorgasbord, a classic ear-twist artist: Frank Zappa. You might not guess this track’s 40 years old. One third computer game soundtrack, one third stand-up-and-dance, one third disco soundtrack, one third what-the-hell-was-that, this track will have you questioning more than just my maths.
And as The Offspring once said, I hoped you enjoyed our time together today. You know it seems harder and harder to just sit back and enjoy the finer things in life… Matt!