"Are there really no good films set on Mars? Is it because the sand gets in the camera lenses?
#mars #bars" S.W. Tucker
So, here's a little bit of info about the new EP, and a bit of a rant too:
Hahaharem comes out at the end of August via Stray Recordings (although you can buy an advance copy with additional tracks and art, at higher quality than most online stores, via our Bandcamp). We also have another EP in the pipeline with Elementary Recordings, and a proposed release of the tracks we recorded in collaboration with Mutate. Stray Recordings is the home of deep soundscapers Mutate and the dirty drone dub beats of Stray Dog City.
Hahaharem is our Shoegrime / Soulgaze EP. These songs have all the grit and griminess we've been working towards, combined with the swirly shimmery 'smashed to splinters... in space' guitar sounds, the chiming baritone and deep bass riffs... bass you can feel...
We want to tug at heart strings. We want to rattle rib cages. Give it a blast and you'll see what we mean: http://themekanoset.bandcamp.com/album/hahaharem
iTunes US link for Hahaharem:
iTunes France link for Hahaharem:
iTunes Germany link for Hahaharem:
iTunes El Salvador link for Hahaharem:
iTunes Italy link for Hahaharem:
iTunes Brazil link for Hahaharem::
|Electric 12-string guitar: taking a well-earned rest.|
"Went to my first NeoFolk gig. There was a 15 minute broad-sword solo. And woman in wedding dress spent the entire time apparently trying to decide on what tune to sing, to a cheap keyboard demo of 'opera'. " S.W.T.
I have to say a massive thank you to Lee and Justine for sticking with me over what's been a pretty tough couple of years for all of us (you'll have to read the book for more about our recent misadventures). It wouldn't have been worth it without you:
|Justine + Lee: they love it really.|
I also have to say thanks to my fiends Jo, Al, Beth, Ade, Chucky, Nigel, Sin, Lisa, Andy, Rory Poppins and Kev Kilter for being there whenever I wasn't hiding away or just needed an ear, an eye or a pint of weak lemon drink:
|Devious Jo Staples|
|Angsty Al Neilson|
|Beth's patent 'Getting a Round In' solo|
|"Fabreeze! For your jeans!"|
|P'Orridge + Ade + Photobooth|
|Chucky: colouring-in is the new sound-check|
Although this is our first release with Stray, me Ade and the Stray crew go way back. I've got pictures somewhere of teenaged Milk and Ade roaming the backstreets of West Brom in search of scraps of wood to make speaker cabs and flight cases for what would become the infamous Stray Dog City Soup Kitchen Sound System.
Stray have an archive of hours and hours of tapes and piles of hard drives of our late-night recording sessions and radio broadcasts (some nights we managed a broadcast range of almost the entire street), exploring 'grooves with the lights out'. Mapping our territory.
|We'll take that ride.|
It was an education. It made me realize that you can totally forget about the restrictions of conventional (safe, established, boring) song structures and let the song go where it needs to go, or groove.
While all the bands we gigged with were doing shameless and awful impressions of their one favourite band, we were grooving on heavy bass riffs, distorted / echoey hip-hop / minimal beats, drone and location sounds; playing home-made samplers, tape loops, doctored turn-tables and tape machines.
Our peers - not that we really had any - have clung to the backboards of one bandwagon after another, constantly one step behind, and always suddenly deciding to champion things we were doing years before (and were met with confusion and hostility for doing so). You forget that sometimes Alternative sometimes just means Imitating Heroes. Fuck that. We have ideas. Energy.
Now of course, they've all got Kaoss pads, loop stations, laptops, syn-drums... we never used those toys in the first place. We couldn't fucking afford them. Nowadays these things are cheaper, but they're no longer mysterious or even innovative:
Any faker with rich parents and an urge to masturbate in public can jizz into a looper with no regard for dynamics, narrative, timbre, tone, imagination. They seem to think those things are... beneath them? Seriously people... this isn't maths. It's not engineering. It's not a fucking crossword puzzle. It's not sport. What's the point if you can't dance to it, or get entirely lost in it? Keep it to your bedroom.
Like us, Ade's been doing his thing, sticking to his guns. A lot of what we've been doing all this time has become fairly mainstream, and no longer enough: torturing guitars, turning up the bass, emptying out the arrangement, messing with song structures... but as we always said "what goes around comes around, and then falls on its face, on the pavement."
Given the nature of Hahaharem it makes a lot of sense to be putting this out with Stray.
|Pocket-Trumpet. It's a trumpet. It fits in your pocket.|
Like Stray Dog City and Mutate, The Mekano Set has been an attempt to combine - in the most honourable and natural way possible - interests, influences and energies from both dance / bass / beats music and Post-Punk / New Wave sounds. And like them, we don't give a flying fuck if you don't like it.
If you really have to sit on your hands and wait for some condescending posh journo to tell you when they think it's OK for YOU to like something, you can fuck off. Get away from us. There's just no helping you.
The sardonic, misanthropic k-hole hipsters at Vice; the dumb-it-down racist toffs at NME: you can all fuck off. Get away from us. We've got nothing for you.
Leeching on working class / queer / black culture like an inbred dog crashing through a fence, ploughing through flowerbeds to get a sniff at another dog's arse, the career opinionists for these no-style no-content fontwanks are a bunch of inbred simpletons doing more damage than their trustafarian brains care to comprehend. Cue the blank, land-shark glare of the career hipster... #vice #etc
|The Meks: Bating Bigots is our Business.|
Stray Records Hahaharem page: http://vamp.lart.me/~ade/music/sr/catalogue.html#STRAY048
Stray Dog City: http://strayrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/stray-dog-city-spitemask
Elementary Recordings: http://www.elementaryrecordings.co.uk/
The Mekano Set
Hahaharem Hands photography © BeatnikSoup
Live shot: Ian Dunn
Group snapshot: S.W. Tucker.
All other snaps by the band.