Friday, September 7, 2012

Mad Nanna on Quemada Records

Got a new one in from Quemada Records, just over the bridge in Queens. This one from Melbourne's Mad Nanna, someone I haven't come across, but has an extensive discography and sounds like so far he's got a lot in common with Beat Happening or Pink Reason, that similar spirit of community and expression in spite of it all. It's a selfless, unrewarded act of willing a recording like this into existence. You get the idea that the raw, uncomplicated way this is delivered is a deliberate choice to remain accessible, maybe a little too unrehearsed, but that's the charm of A-Side's "I Hit a Wall". The ramshackle feel of a middle of the night basement recording. The instrumentation is barely crawling forward, a sincere struggle to summon the bleary chords. A slight distortion on the vocal with a sense of conceding to a sad hopelessness. The main melody is endlessly repeated with a soft percussion grazing the ride cymbal, it's a lot like those old John Davis singles. Recorded live, the sense of space and casual delivery is just as important as the sound captured. A conscious effort to never let this get away from them, this tempo isn't going to pick up, it's a cohesive whole, with everyone on that same lonely plane. Creating for the sake of creation and maybe in their unrestrained effort can challenge some of those ideas about songwriting.
B-Side's "untitled" (?) comes up with a slightly quicker repeated chord and high plinking chimes from played strings way past the fretboard. A similar kind of weird tension in never deviating from this straight line, the vocals, clear, but buried right in between being able to decipher the narrative and midnight ramblings. The emotional direction is blurry, we're driving, barreling ahead towards what exactly? Isn't that what the Velvet underground was built on? This single note that ends up sounding angry or reserved, dirty and monotonous.

Paired nicely with the deliberately sketchy, mysterious drawings from Antony Riddell, an octopus creature headed towards a burning oven, as minimal and rough as the tunes inside...from Quemada Records.

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