And as we were talking of Midwich Youth Club, or at least mentioning him in passing (see Analogue Electronic Whatever), I know, you think these musing are randomly plucked together, truth is we labour for a seemless flow. Alright then, randomly it is. Been out for a month or two, a limited cassette through the Manchester based label, the Clap, titled ‘the return of Mr Citrus’.
Now I’m suspecting that this was flagged up to us during one our impromptu periods of absence, though by way of a little digging we did manage to give it a brief heads up, somewhere here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/midwich-youth-club-9/ – so we’re not totally feckless, just a bit lazy, late and stupid. Waffling aside, we’re admiring of the Midwich Youth Club, rascals that they are, they live in the 70’s, in children’s land for the best part, not quite double deckers, tomorrow people or the hugely annoying folk in ‘the box of delights’, but next door, or at least in the same street as, Hector’s House, Mr Benn and Tony Hart, spending the days listening to seriously warped copies of ‘Replicas’, ‘pleasure principle’ and ‘Telekon’ on a home made turntable built with the aid of a collect monthly easy to build flowchart sellotaped together from the Gramophone and Wireless Digest. The sounds are often a peculiar kaleidoscopic frying, very much vintage electronics of the type that wheezes and splutters, a condition caused by endless Sunday’s spent hoping for rescue from the frequent weekly trips to rain sodden car boot sales. At once wonky, sometimes kitsch, forever appealing and affectionate, though at times skittish and off the map, these sonic salutes from a surreal land rekindle a glowing fondness in this weary heart. Sitting on the margins of the Bearsuit spectrum, the Midwich folk did for a time find kindred spirits and a welcome shelter at the latterly departed soft bodies imprint. Is it just me or is this sounding like an epitaph.
Okay back to the cassette, which if I’m honest, sort of sounds like the above but then again doesn’t because strictly speaking according to its author, its not exactly a Midwich project. So with that in mind there is this curious balancing act working underfoot here, where several sonic worlds are colliding, the above – the kooky and kitsch and the rest, a little more dark, distantly dystopic and stretching the MYC palette into previously unexplored territories. Features fifteen tracks, some lovably deranged, others just deranged and all touched with a sense of the strange, the weird, the out of focus and if you really listen carefully, the occasional slap you around the chops surprise like for instance, the Byrds-ian effervescent rush, yes you read right, of ‘confessions of a hippy vicar’ a little something from the sneaky hat and a wonderfully homely retro pastiche just missing an early 70’s TV show featuring annoying kids – double deckers anyone. even when they are trying to be demonic and scary, that playful side still peaks from behind to corrupt the effect – see ‘the exit strategy of Mr Citrus’ while if you really want to be blunt, stuff like the oddly shape shifting playful sinister of ‘the magpie converter’ is enough to give Scooby the doo doo’s. for us, a soft spot is forming for both ‘density zones’ a weaving hullucinogen woozed out on mesmeric ripples and the subtle haze of Eastern motifs and the fuzzily crooked calypso ‘obstacle face’ which one suspects, lying untouched in some TV basement cupboard, an aborted wacky cartoon waits patiently to be be discovered and paired with an equally strung out theme track.