medicine and duty

Medicine and Duty
Clouds burn slowly
Foolproof Projects

Why oh why aren’t Brighton based Andy Pyne and Co better known and given more exposure by press and media alike. Over the course of the last few years the Foolproof Project collective have peppered our hi-fi with some of the most eclectic and electric performances its been our fortune to hear. Grafting an enviable body of releases beneath his belt via Puffinboy and Raised by Wolves – Pyne also features amid the ranks of Burning Idiot Noise whose debut release ‘Jack’s Stomp’ had charges over being one of the best singles of last year and can be currently sampled via a stupendous 2 disc set that comes adorning the latest issue of the cool as f*ck ‘Galactic Zoo Dossier’ (#7) where their track ‘I got the speed’ features in all its maddening glory, though we must grumble as to the fact that somewhere along the line we appear to have missed out on the mentioned ‘the e is the closest chord to ohm’ set. By the way at this juncture we really must pass on our thanks to Tom Tulipomania for sending us the aforementioned GZD.

So while he’s not busying himself with all the above as well as running the Foolproof Project imprint Mr Pyne spends his evenings terrorising the neighbourhood with fiercely erratic sonic jams with cohorts Matt Colegate and Jack Cooper under the guise of Medicine and Duty. ’Clouds burn slowly’ is the trio’s second full length following last December’s ’we will be bedfellows’ (another release would you believe that we’ve inappropriately managed to miss).

Limited to just 100 copies this scarred and schizoid set features 11 out there gems in the making, no stone is left unturned as the trio set their sights on frying your hi-fi – never keeping or seeking to keep still ’clouds burn slowly’ mutates in a rather curious and dislocated fashion drawing inspiration from a wide and varied spectrum of generic montages ranging from the loosely limbed and potently brewed no wave meets art rock manifestation that is (perhaps the albums centrepiece) ’El Dragoon’, tripping agitated tribal inflections meet white funk accents (‘no last request for the heretic’ – imagine ‘77 era Talking Heads dropped head first into the frenzied agit kraut grind of Public Image’s first album), psyche whiteouts, jazz nuances, classically contoured psychosis styled angulated post punk (’drag stripper’) – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

‘clouds burn slowly’ without wishing to demean it with such a term is an art house gem – cold, caustic, anti-septic, distant, disfigured and unnaturally acute and alarmingly addictive in recent times the only release I can recall that compares in equal statue is Left Hand’s debut ’Minus Eight’ though arguably Medicine and Duty’s vocabulary is slightly more varied you only need tune into the Henry Cow inspired loon jam of the titled track for affirmation of that.

Opening cut ’drag stripper’ is filleted with psychotically sneering spiked riffs that lacerate at will while been anchored and harnessed in a scalding straightjacket of bleached paranoia that to these ears is not so dissimilar in texture and design to ‘Wardance’ / ‘Psyche’ era Killing Joke. Early career A Certain Ratio are recalled on the crookedly twisted head shrinking anti-pop melange that is ‘travis cut’ though here spiked with lashings of a youthfully experimental Cabaret Voltaire. And while your idling your way through what you thought was just a simple little tension bearing fractured and minimalist stroll courtesy of ‘the terrible truth (lock the tank)’ the Killing Joke references (as are the Big Black) rear their ugly heads again as it soon shifts gear and dynamic to rear up into a frenzied cranium crunching beast of howling spite. The there’s the manic free for blitz of the mind melting ‘sandblast your past’ to contend with which neatly leads us to the trepanning experiment of the closing and dare we say devilishly lunatic ‘face violence’. A must in our humbled opinion.

Key tracks –
Drag stripper
Travis click
El dragoon

Go to the label site for a chance to download a live studio set for free along with a dozen or so mix tapes – you know it makes sense.

from August 2007

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