World of Moderninity- Track Review
Anglo-French musical sovereigns set aside the woes of modern life, and create music with a beautiful entente.
Availability: 'World of Modernity' is available on the E.P. 'Let's Move Somewhere Else'- both available at: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lets-move-somewhere-else-single/id605417575
There is a weight of expectation to the duo's rich pedigree...
but there is no burden of proof on the shoulder's of this virgin horizon. I shall mention that more anon. A lot of new music tends to consists of brand new ventures. Band and acts assembled, are for the most part, fresh-eyed and filled with restless intent. Whether graduating from the underground of London; having battled through the bar scene of the north east, or emerging bleary-eyed from the cavernous halls of local music academies, there are several options. Ordinarily a few cursory songs are recorded, redefined, polished and published on social media. Some give up the ghost when projected subscription supersedes net profit. The more industrious manage to gain a toe hold in the first divert of the giant mountain that is the musical hierarchy. Some are even lucky enough to be plucked from near obscurity, given a record deal, and maintain a grasp on public attention for years to come. Oh, and there are the, for want of a succincter neologism 'bearth of enations'. These are the bottom-feeding talent show 'hopefuls'. I would gleefully beat a tramp to death with a Victoria's Secret catalogue to see the entire species extinguished forthwith. Their subcutaneous, disjointed form of phenakistoscope charm, is the slow ruination of new music. I digress. There is a small demographic that exists within a minute intersection of the tesseract. These are the more 'mature' collaborations. Some are equated due to the disablement of a existing band; some spread themselves between several projects, whilst other unions occur because of mutual interest and respect.
In the intriguing case of Rubberbear, the genesis of this musical Alcyoneus is a curious tale. They formed late last year, and are Tom Chapman of New Order, and former member of The Fall, Steve Trafford. They are based in Manchester- not exactly a slacker, when it comes to churning out musical genius. They manage to fuse multi-layered psychedelia, with baroque orchestrations to create a lush and symphonic wonder. Already the duo have laid down several tracks, and gained a steady and dedicated band of followers via Facebook, Twitter and beyond. I am a fan of both of the detective duo's portfolios of work. They arrive from two different landscapes and skylines, with regards to their sonic influences and back catalogues. I was fascinated to see whether the two men would blend harmoniously, or would simply electioneer separately, on different sides of the political spectrum. I was soothed and relaxed when I began listening to the E.P. 'Let's Move Somewhere Else' as the music is imbued with the respectively glories of their former employers, whilst retaining a fresh and unipolar popularity. The 3 track, 12 minute long E.P. is fascinating and assured, and despite possible concerned about its brevity, it manages to pack a huge physical and emotional punch into such a short amount of time.
It is with keen and trembling ears that I hovered over the associated 'play' button of E.P. swansong 'World of Modernity'. It would be counter factual to say that you should investigate just one track, but I felt that by focusing my obtuse intentions of one song would do great favours to the E.P. as a whole. The opening salvo of the introduction's build up, drifts and carries you mind to a peer. Possibly Blackpool, possibly Morecombe; the geography is not essential. What you do feel is a great sense of juvenile reminiscence; fond memories, slot machines, ice cream vans, and low-swooping seagulls baying for fish and chips. It holds and glides for a couple of seconds. It is uncertain what direction the track will take. Before you can ballot accordingly, there is an electronic percussive overdrive, that helms the fort and sets fire to the pitchforks of the marauding villagers. There is no misstep in the cross-pollination; no sentiment is lost in translation. The conjoined mythical beast that captivates and conquers, has a happily familiar sure-footidness to it. There are perhaps swathes of Depeche Mode; maybe a little bit of Kraftwerk's Teutonic buccaneering. Although saying that, Kraftwerk are as professional and reliable as they come when it comes to their type of music; and similarly Rubberbear show no nerves or signs of deviation. The electronic thud and witches' brew of skiffle, gravitational pull and meteorology is compounded, as the vocal enters the fray. The lyrics are homespun and effectively simple at first: "I've been looking for a place/In a world of moderninity". The final word being given polysyllabic caress; poured forth like a libation. What the word 'moderninity' means, is quite another matter. Whether it is an archaic term that has fallen from literary consciousness, or another neologism, is another matter. One suspects that it has some meaning, and I will be a whirlwind of O.C.D. neurosis, trying to track down the word's etymology. Our hero may feel a little weathered by age, or the age we live in. He seems to be a human scale, balancing Finagle's Law in one hand, and Murphy's Law in the other, and wonders which way he will fall. There is not an overwrought pessimism, but a knowing sense that the pace is quicker and more frantic than the '80s and '90s, and it is tougher to stay ahead of the rat race. It is said that there is a world outside of his door "that calls (my) name". The biopic's story arc is sound-tracked by a scratchy, pulsing and bullet-ridden mesh of electronics and orchestration. It is though the component adjectives are metaphors for functionality of the human body. There is blood flow, heart beat, oxygen expulsion, and a perpetual breathe that expands and contracts to sublimate the vocals. The Dirac's coup arrives at the 1:10 mark. The vocal and sonics solemnisation and create a tenable electricity. Just then the pace slows, as a more contemplative and deracinated subjection comes to the fore. The words "Isn't it strange" are repeated, sewn together and stretched, sounding a little like The Byrds mixed with Think Tank-era Blur. The guitar sounds are more revered, satisfied to whisper plaintively. The vocal metamorphoses to a more tender and longing refrain, before pitching and delivering a switcheroo, with the introduction, once more, of the chorus. The effective colour scheme is present for the remainder of the track, and brings us to a pontificated and superb end.
Given the strength of the rest of the E.P. it would be folly to suggest that Rubberbear will be looking for a standout or linchpin from the release. 'Steamroller' has initial touches of Noah and the Whale and Gorrilaz, but goes all punk and new wave, and is a multi-directional beast, whilst the latchkey child 'Let's Move Somewhere Else' begins life similarly to a Wild Beasts song, but then vocal touches of The Coral and is a shimmering and intriguing number. The tracks have commonground and shared tactics, but contain coded messages, secrets, universal sentimentality and pure emotional resonance within. It is a successful and self-assured music venture that we have here. Both of the guys have a clear mutual respect and great knowledge of each other's background and strengths and compliment these beautifully throughout 'World of Moderninity'. A new album is afoot this year, and judging from the strength of the E.P.'s tracks there will be no fall from grace or any measure of under-appreciation. The fan-base will swell and the sounds and scope pertained within will be revered and studied. I am not overly-familiar with either New Order or The Fall. I have heard more of the former, but probably relate more to the latter's business acumen. Whether you want to label them a 'super group' or a 'French-Anglo partnership' is up to you. Give equal judicial review to each song and draw your own conclusions. I think you'll agree that if you are an ardent fan of the respective genres, or fit somewhere subducted of each, the music has a non-elitist and populist agenda. It wants you to be inspired and sing along, remember the words, and relate to the sentiments and universality of the message. Tom and Steve are fresh blood brothers, and soon will find that they have a very busy schedule. Take a listen to the track, and consequently the E.P., and...
... let the loveable Rubberbear into your home.