I’ve been meaning to feature Neko Nine on these pages for a while, now. One of those random discoveries that reinforces perceptions of music geekdom as something dynamic, something vital, where the cached hold-outs of sound located around the next corner are far from predicable.
Neko Nine hail from Yaroslavl, a city on the Volga a couple of hours drive from Moscow. And yet there’s an engrossing universality to this; buzzing cadences that transcend any loose notion of location. Début album Summer Is You – originally self-released, subsequently picked up by experimental label Fluttery Records (hint: buy here) – is hewn from grand slabs of atmosphere, allusions to landscape-orientated perceptions amidst the heavier, metallic, moments. One of those records in which the tracklisting catches you pleasantly unawares – there are certain moments that are quite beautiful.
Neko Nine / Let Me Explode
Neko Nine / What Can You Feel When The Day Dies
Long-term readers will know how smitten I was with the Blanck Mass album back in 2011 (“when they start putting drunks in space, this will be what the approach to Neptune will sound like”). I’m not sure when the follow-up is due, but I’m guessing it’s not too far off considering new track ‘Hellion Earth’ has recently sneaked out. This is significantly different from the drone orchestration of previous material. An almost retro electronic framework, hinting at a shift in direction – or at least an orbit around a new planet.
Blanck Mass / Hellion Earth
Tomorrow I have to head off to a small island somewhere in the Hebrides; patchy mobile reception, zero wi-fi, no turntable. Which means – alongside the sheer panic behind just how the hell I’ll cope without resource to modern life (alcohol, I expect) – I’ll be unable to update here for a week or so. Hence the final track from this year; something written in 1934 (for the film Dames) and subsequently recorded by pretty much every outfit that have ever wandered past a recording studio. The 1959 version by doo-wop entertainers The Flamingos is probably the definitive version, but I’m rather taken with what cropped up as a b-side by LGM favourites North Atlantic Oscillation. A remote, dreamy quality that segues smartly with the song’s livery.
Enjoy, and have a music-inspired New Year. Lazer Guided Melody will be back sometime around 5/6 January.
North Atlantic Oscillation / I Only Have Eyes For You