Ah was pure lukin’ on the internet fur heavy choons and that, then I mind I hud this crackin’ wee fucking track fae ages ago. Some mad cunt caud Glasgow Gangster Funk hud this pure wee magic choon own Southern Fried Records. It wasnae like pure magic and that, but it was pretty sound man.
Noo whit’s fucking mad is that nae cunt remembers this choon, and nae cunt even kens who he is. But that’s whit I’m aw aboot, know what I’m sayin’? Suh yur own tae plumbs if ye think I cun tell ye anyhin mair aboot the cunt. In fact, I dinnae even ken if he’s fuckin’ fae Glesca.
So what’s the score wi this wan then, en is it any good at aw? Well aye man, it’s not too rough at aw. It’s like a mair manky Dj Sneak or sumhin’ like that. Like fucking Olav Basoski back in the day, but fae the toon (mibbey).
Ye cun fucking hear this bein’ played oot in aw the auld clubs, but the mad hing is that I don’t think any cunt did.
Glasgow Gangster Funk “Come On Die Young”
Fuckin’… nine tracks or sumhin’ own the disc, which isnae bad considerin’ I only paid oot a couple o’ notes. They’re aw pretty similar, pure heavy samples and dead basic synths (like the cunt cannae fucking play en he’s jus’ writtin’ the maste basic shit he cun tae go down wi the samples). But that’s no aw bad cus it sounds pretty clean, en I knaw I said there was hunners aw samples en that, but ye can tell that it’s aw pure auld gear he’s yased. Like it aw sounds as if it’s strugglin’ just to keep up – it must huv been a pure pain in the baws tae get this done back in the day. En ye ken whit? I appreciate it noo. I fucking appreciate the work that went intae building this wee record. This is somhin’ that’s fuckin’ pure oor the heids aw aw the Ableton “drag & drop” weans, aw pure writing pish dance music, know?
So, naw, it isnae a master piece by nae means but it’s no bad as awe curio, aw days gone by ye know? When you cud fucking walk doon the toon en drap intae a wee record shop and fuckin’ be like “awright mate” and he’s be aw “awright man”. Noo it’s aw fucking HMV and online pish. Even Rub-A-Dub is fully of Ableton USB shite noo. You just cannae buy the choons any mair.
I sometimes wonder if anyone will ever find this blog if I continue to write about records that seeming only I own. Surely there must be a least a million google hits on The Hong Kong Micros “EP2” – sadly, all of which are referring to cheaply manufactured electronics. Still, I guess the point of this (if there is one) is to share weird and wonderful records with people – to stop them being lost in the Ether. Or maybe that makes me sound too much like a pretentious ass… But I digress.
Who are the Hong Kong Micros? I don’t know now and I didn’t know then. The Hong Kong Micros “EP2” isn’t the most inspired name to give your second extended player, but there was something about this shoddily pressed EP that made me pick it up in Kushi Recordings, Glasgow in the summer of 2000. Plus, it came with a free sticker – never underestimate the power of free stickers when marketing to the youth.
The Hong Kong Micros “EP2”
The EP is composed of four very varied, but equally interesting track, most of which stretch past the six-minute mark, and all of them feature an unmistakable MPC groove.
The Hong Kong Micros - [EP2 CD01 #01] Worktonite
The Hong Kong Micros - [EP2 CD01 #02] Pray
The Hong Kong Micros - [EP2 CD01 #03] Tonite
The Hong Kong Micros - [EP2 CD01 #04] Closing
The a-side has two fairly standard club cuts of dry drum house, both of which have that ‘early 2000’ house vibe. You know, back in the day when we were happy with some grooving drum patterns, a few filters and a handful of samples. ‘Worktonite’ is a master class of oldskool bridging newskool house. Chugging, but never pumping, drums scuttle along accompanied by a one note bass line that drives the track towards it’s 50’s style horn hook, introduced with some classic filtered white noise. I love it, and in the six minutes and twenty-eight seconds of its play it doesn’t put a foot wrong.
Track two is like a UK vision of early Dj Sneak. Filtered disco/soul looping beneath a house beat. Sadly this time, the inclusion of an African sounding drum on the off beat, and a jarring key change in the break kinda ruins the vibe for me.
What could have been an interesting track ends up sounding a little uninspired and more an eclectic compilation of samples and not music. And to be honest, the excessive use of a splash symbol indicates to me that someone was having trouble putting this together. That’s not to say it isn’t a decent track – it stomps with confidence and has all the right flow once it gets going, it’s just audibly the weakest track on the EP.
The b-side starts off with a bit of a surprise. I’m not sure how to describe it, which leaves me with a bit of a problem here. Let me just say that it’s ultra repetitive, very glittery, and with the crunchiest drums ever. You remember Scanty Sandwich before he want all serious techno? Well, this is a good version of that.
The second track on the b-side, and the finale of EP2 is the incredible “Closing”. Eight minutes and ten seconds of uninterrupted brilliance. Really, this is a shockingly good track. It has the same MPC feel as the rest of the EP, but has this time released from the 4/4 that dominated the other tracks. Instead we have a broken beat (or close enough to it), that sound utterly deliberate, confident and gorgeous. An electric piano provides some subtle chords in the background, and floats gently above the deep sustained bass.
There’s a short guitar sample, used to perfection as a stab over the second beat and fourth beats of every bar and the soulful sound of Bob Seger, chopped and edited with care. This is one of the few electronic releases that manages to project emotion in front of attitude – heartache pours from the speakers. The track breaks down to show that haunting vocal hook in its entirety.
Strange how the night moves,
with autumn closing...
Strange how the night moves,
with autumn closing...
Funny how the night moves,
just don't seem to have as much to lose
with autumn closing...
From this point on the track flourishes into unashamed beauty – Bob’s vocals being continually and subtly layered and joined to produce the most engaging record I think I own. On fade out, the horrible, thin, dirty, 11-year-old vinyl becomes too noisy and the voice is lost in a wash of white noise and crackles.
It amazes me that something this wonderful has flown under the radar for so long. Then again, the use of Bob Seger’s vocal is both a blessing and a licensing nightmare – never would a little independent record label be able to afford the massive cost of licensing such a sample. It’s for that fact I say, God bless white labels.
Laying in bed watching an overweight, Scottish writer spout pretentious bullshit about video games I’ve never played, isn’t always a productive pass time. However, as I lay there vegetating my days pains away, I heard something quite unexpectedly beautiful. A haunting, muddled piece of craziness slowly pulling it’s self together in the background of the outro, capturing the mood perfectly. This was my first introduction to Mummy Short Arms. That event took place more than four years ago, and the band is only now getting their collective asses in gear to release that very single. I like their style.
Now, I’m not very adept at describing traditional music styles – of which I guess Mummy Short Arms is indy / rock. What sounds to be a traditional five piece rock band, making use of some synths and the sporadic use of an old drum machine, have turned out a very, very interesting piece of work.
The vocalist sounds like a bluesy mumbling cross between Cpt. Beefheart and the Cookie Monster. That may not sounds like the most complimentary line, but let me assure you, it’s the voice. And if that title, “Cigarette Smuggling” doesn’t piqué your interest, nothing will. You see, “Cigarette Smuggling” isn’t just a cleverly ironic title intended to excite pretentious idiots like myself – it’s entirely literal…
You see my friend with the long hair?He play the bongo drumHe's in a Spanish Prison,Just twiddle his thumbs
What Mummy Short Arms have given us is a lovely example of deconstructed rock, entwined with a ridiculous subject matter and played with an entirely straight face. The track never breaks it’s cool façade, and even in full swing has a confident swagger and a ‘demo’ vibe which makes everything feel pure and raw. Everything is done with an air of cool, the likes of which I’ve not heard in a very long time. From the cluttered and casual intro that slowly fades into guitar licks that are more suited to a smoky 1910 Saloon bar, you know you’re in for something special. In the preceding 3 minutes and 52 seconds, Mummy Short Arms don’t let you down once. I’d love to call this track ‘fresh’ and ‘new’, but it’s bloody 4 years old now – and I still love it. Just goes to show, cool doesn’t grow old.
Anyway, it’s finally available for sale on Flowers In The Dustbin, on 30th of May. The single will be backed with “Searching For A Body”, which I’ve yet to hear, but I’m desperate to see what else they have up their sleeve! I’ll be buying it immediately.