Spotlight – 14: Gablé
Again, a case of accidental discovery via iTunes. I’m increasingly of the opinion this is a fine and noble way to discover music, if you can manage it. I’ve spent several fruitless afternoons in Rocking Horse Records, trying to think of an album to buy – discounted Death, cos I’d been promised that: discounted Monks, cos Light In The Attic still send me stuff: discounted Lily Allen, cos that’d be plain stupid and I’ll be able to pick it up for $5 or less in a year’s time – and, blam! Find a couple in the space of days.
This one is fab: laidback, considered, indiscreet, involved, full of playful silences and short songs, Gallic pronunciation and the odd bazouki-style guitar, segments and snippets and mandolins and sporadic dubstep and blares of car horns. It’s witty, dryly so. (I’m guessing from the juxtaposition of instruments to instruments to vocals, because I can’t understand sung French, and don’t listen to sung English.) Speaking as a Deadnotes fan, I’m loving the fact no song on the album I apparently own (I’m OK) is over 2.17 mins long. I’m reminded of that great stuff on that peculiar Bay Area, CA label that came out several years back – Why?, Odd Nostrum, Themselves. Now, what was its name? Ah, Anticon. You can call this hip-hop if you want, but that’s like calling Ništa Nije Ništa rock. Totally, if not entirely, missing the point.
For example. “Biko” is pure Robert Wyatt. Oh wait. It is Robert Wyatt – my iTunes skipped a track or two. But that only goes to further serve my point: it could so easily have been Gablé. And “I’m OK”… well, I had to check it was Gablé before proceeding. It’s spooky and surreal and a little bit Ivor Cutler, and clatters like Lone Pigeon or Clive Pig. This so easily could be an early movie by – um – I need to stop throwing these meaningless comparisons in.
Kid Koala, that’s the one I’m sticking with today. What I mean is… how wonderful is this video, for starters? You could call this pastiche, but only if you were prepared to label Syd Barrett (or Kid Koala, or Ivor Cutler) the same way.
I’m still as in the dark about this jaw-dropping playful cross-fertilisation as when I started. And I really do prefer it that way.