I’m a terrible fan of lo-fi, that horrible ‘almost genre’ of music
that sounds like a demo and
celebrates the incompetent. I can’t get enough of it, I just love a good
shambles. This album – the second
from Dent May – definitely sounds like a demo, but not like a
Sentridoh collection of sound collages and acoustic shuffles,
not like early Ariel Pink where Hall and Oates struggled to escape an Animal Collective b-sides album,
but instead like a collection of tunes seemingly based around garageband pre-sets.
It’s the album of a trier that wants to be Prince and hopes to find beauty in
reaching for the impossible, but
instead produces a digital squelch that wants to be pop but doesn’t
seem to deal in hooks.
I don’t want to be one of those guys who has a pop because of a change in
direction, but please bring back the ‘magnificent ukulele’, it suited you.
Above everything though, Chris Blackwell ran Island as a fan,
first and foremost. His business head was firmly screwed on but his
passion for eclectic music never wavered either.
He’d produce his artists himself when he could and sat not in a platinum plastered office but with the rest of his staff, forever the man that
started by selling his own records from the back of a hatchback.
Twenty years after Island’s birth, Rough Trade launched in a similarly
idealistic way, and as such is
considered the unchallengeable blueprint for running an
independent record company.
In truth, Island forged a far more interesting ‘business’ mould.
Rough Trade’s punk aesthetic was brilliant but blinkered; Island
embraced more cultures and genres than any label before or since.
They’re the reggae label that signed the biggest band on the
planet, the most recognisable
face in black music, the princes of new romance… and The Buggles.
We never said they were perfect.
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