Song of the day – 671: King Champion Sounds
A blast from the past, but existing in the present.
I use the word blast. I refer to the bursts of clarion-call brass that punctuate this uplifting, insurgent noise. I refer to the chiding, aware vocals. I refer to the refusal to succumb to the undeniable fact that cunts are still running the world and will continue to do so long after our children’s children are dead unburied, suffocating in the fierce unavoidable heat. I refer to the throbbing, pulsating beat. I refer to the snatches of rebel music, heard here and there and especially on ‘El Problemo Grande’. I refer to the cleansing power of the music. I refer to the excitement, the thrill of being alive. I refer to all the above and more.
“Television/That sticky religion.”
The past? This music is being created by men – and very possibly women – I knew a long time ago, decades. Good to hear them sounding so vital, still.
The present? King Champion Sounds make living sound so fucking IMPORTANT. Take it, Lee Adcock.
King Champion Sounds is not a hip name. If anything, it sounds like the name of a well-established reggae studio.
That’s totally wrong, of course – as the searing opener quickly proves.
Good lord, what righteously fantastic jams. So psyched to hear that ol’ firebrand G.W Sok – previously of savage Dutch band The Ex – is still slashing down his own path and exploring ever outwards into new sonic territories. But instead of igniting an inferno of political outcries, he’s channelling his fiery energy into something more vibrant, more cerebral.
You could draw lines from Pylon and Method Actors, to Romeo Void, and certainly expect several happy detours into the absurd logic of The Fall and Pere Ubu. Granted, the ‘Free-dum Trail’ doesn’t follow that track; imagine, instead, a glorious cascade of percussion as a small jazz band winds down after a long, exhausting performance.
King Champion Sounds are GIGANTIC. Urgently gigantic. They jam with a purpose. What’s so, so exciting about these guys, though, is the cosmic, Sun Ra state of tranquillity they achieve on tracks like ‘Orbit Macht Fel’ and ‘Shop Drop’. A driving, pulsing, breathing channel to the sublime, a heady, transcendent feel of being alive and being aware that local champs New Sound Of Numbers have tapped into, too, thousands of miles away. SYNCHRONICITY.
But, as for the closer… forget the modern world. Plunge into the sands of Egypt, on a quiet, lonely excursion through the bleak, sand-shifting wilderness. Your guide is one epic clarinet solo. The journey to the sublime is complete.
Photography: Greg Neate