It's like we've always said: the industry, perpetually several steps behind what's really going on in the world, never fails to jump onboard and lend its full support, long after the party's over.

In The Guardian today, Caroline Sullivan writes:

Is this the end of the band? James Oldham, head of A&R at A&M Records, says: "All A&R departments have been saying to managers and lawyers, 'Don't give us any more bands, because we're not going to sign them, and they're not going to sell records.' So everything we've been put onto is electronic in nature. British guitar bands became characterised as meat-and-two-veg - dull, bland, thin gruel, whereas this is seen as sleek, modernist, exciting, a mish-mash of modern elements."


And if this IS the case, I'm kind of glad we're turning away from all things 'electronic'. As a band that's been tagged with the term for a while, we've consistently been way too noisy and raw for the electro crowd (chuck a vintage synth in the mix for your bland indie fart-water). And far more electronic than your average electro act (live loops = too confusing. Drum machines = cheating. Guitars that sound like synths, synths that sound like guitars = too fucking weird)

But you know, this "exciting... mish-mash of modern elements" is just as retro, bland and thin as the boys with guitars brigade.

Can we move on? No, of course not.


I became really self-conscious about The Mekano Set. A loss of confidence I think. The material has been getting really good again, but my heart hasn't been it. But things have happened lately that should be telling me that's stupid. I guess I needed someone to say it straight up.

So it's true. It's looking like there will be an album. And on our own terms (which is why we're finally saying yes to letting other people do stuff for / with / to us).

I don't want to say too much at the moment because, well, it tends to break the spell. But I do want to say that I think we're doing it for the right reasons. We need the focus, and we can't just keep doing ep's, because putting three or four tracks together is easy, play-listing a whole CD's worth is going to be a challenge.

This is no sell out. Frankly, it's something we've always wanted. And we certainly have more than enough material. Which is good and bad...

At the moment I'm thinking that it will almost be like a compilation (but with studio versions of tracks, with decent mixes and production etc. not just compiling the tracks that you already have). Conventional packaging too, for the first time. Because the arty hand-made paper style releases are a hell of a lot of work, and they take time, and you can't do 500 of them, let alone 5000.

And as much as we all love those early ep's, they never received the production / mix we felt they really deserved. I've learned so much over the past couple of years that I feel I can really do them justice now.

If it does OK, I'm hoping that we will be in a position to release key tracks from the different stages - the best freewheeling tracks from the 'Classic Agenda Lineup', the best grooves from the Screw Top / Cake Shop years of Beth and Milk Bedsit Therapy, the best of the 'Milk Now Has All The Toys He Could Ever Need' sessions, and beyond.

Expect some surprises.