Fact: London’s weather is now too cold to play sport (sensibly).
Fact: Christmas looms and for blokes buying presents for girlfriends it’s a one-way ticket to Skintsville.
Question: What, therefore, should the broke, chilly men of London do with their dark mid-week evenings? Perhaps I should rephrase that question. What should the broke, chilly men of London do with their dark mid-week evenings when there is no sport on TV?
Answer: They should hide away in secret bunkers, plotting world domination, scoffing boxes of cheap take-away, and between games of badly-played poker, they should talk about music (not girls).
This is exactly how a band of vigilante soldiers, collectively and imaginatively known as The CD Club, was brought into being. This crew of music-loving brothers had a basic feeling of discontent with the variety of music their everyday lives subjected them to. They claim that it was as though they were ‘losing their edge’, as the great LCD Soundsystem prophesised. So they started a movement. Not an early morning movement accompanied by a newspaper, but a movement that would take them all away from the constricts of the musical norm; a movement that would enlighten and challenge each and every one of them; a movement that would generally go where no man had gone before. At first they took their allegiance underground and altered their names for anonymity (and because their real names aren’t very funny), but now they wish to share their knowledge with the world, to inspire ordinary people to throw down their Celine Dions and Westlifes and take up their ILS, their Plantlife, their Fat Freddy’s Drop and their Go! Team.
A degree of civility was initially set down at these monthly meetings in order avoid total aural anarchy, and thus far these are The Written Rules of CD Club (oooh, CAPITAL letters!!):
- You do not talk about CD Club
- YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT CD CLUB!!
- Your album cannot be older than your last sexual encounter (solo efforts not included)
- Compilations and ‘Best of’ CDs are deemed the devil’s work.
- No women allowed (at the time of rules being written, things change).
They are not writers or poets, they are mere accountants and computer geeks. And although they aren’t blessed with rugged good looks (excluding Ghost), they are blessed with a love of fine music. At first blindfolded and gagged I was lead to their hideaway where I was forced to take down their message and deliver it to you, the people. If I didn’t do as they said, my life would change for the worse. So now I offer you their spoils from October, plus a short explanation from the music terrorists themselves:
Bench Yokel (Slick hick)
Boards of Canada – ‘The Campfire Headphase’
“Wow, I’m back in the womb and surrounded by Mum-goo. Unless that’s just my hangover haze? Wait a minute, I wasn’t drinking last night! Hmmm, maybe I should’ve been. Either way, this album is an eerie soundscape in the ilk of Peace Orchestra and friends”.
Rhys-o-matic (5th gear nomad)
Starsailor – ‘On the Outside’
“Raised on a guinea pig farm and forced to live in a hollow tree, Starsailor are the sons of Turin Breaks and the fathers of a cracking good sing-along album. I’m convinced that this is their best album yet. But then I hated all their others.”
Badger (Psychosomatic Saffa insane)
Neutral Milk Hotel – ‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea’
“Noisy bagpipes, singing saws, clumpy banjos, screeching accordions, wavy-hand electro-sound-makers, folk-rock, partially acoustic, brasstastic in parts as well, kaleidoscopic, obsessed with semen and flesh and Anne Frank’s diary, funeral procession music with tambourines, lyrics that are just nonsense (a la Beck), shouty man battling his pain, his love, his death. It’s the joke Arcade Fire wanted to tell us but couldn’t because they forgot the punch line.”
Ghost (Diamond geezer in the rough)
Franz Ferdinand – ‘You Could Have it So Much Better’
“Yeh, I know I’m lazy getting this. Everyone loves it though, so I don’t really need to plug it. If you liked what The Kaiser Chiefs did this year then you’ll wet yourself over this one. My favourite track is the 70’s rock ballad that is The Fallen.”
Dr Dave (He’s a baby)
I am Kloot – ‘Gods & Monsters’
“Das Album, das im Vergleich zum Vorgänger ziemlich rauher ist, fängt dunkel an und geheimnisvoll, jedoch wird in zunehmendem Maße Überformatunter das, sogar freundlich. Die starke Stimme trug die Melodien, die sich charakteristisch von der Bramwells Arbeit beschweren, die unten versichert und verursacht eine lebhafte Atmosphäre, bleiben jedoch gleichzeitig tensionful. Die Mischung folgte und mit jedem Fall Ausdruck-stark – and that’s the God’s Honest Truth.”
Von Pijinstein (Too shy-shy, hush-hush, eye-to-eye)
Vitalic – ‘OK Cowboy’
“If you tied your hands behind your back and leapt from the top of the Eiffel Tower face-first into a protrusion of shiny French-made (not French maid) pump-action, steel spikes…and lived…then that’s about as close as you could get to listening to this album without actually buying it. Even better if you’re drunk, angry or both. I first heard of them on the Too Many DJs album. Drive-time favourite track – My Friend Dario. Diesel-fuelled.”
Trucker (The Northern Soul)
The Dead 60’s – ‘The Dead 60s’
“My angle would be that it’s marketed as a contemporary of this year’s indie/rock hits (Hard-Fi, Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers etc.) except it ain’t; it lives happily in it’s kingdom of punk/ska but close enough to the borders so that the neighbours may appreciate it…It’s distinctive. If you like the beat, it’ll pad that section of your collection out nicely. Like Billy Idol, The Specials and Salmonella Dub got in a fight.”
A-Train (Drop him like he’s hot)
Antony & the Johnson – ‘I am a Bird Now’
“To tell you the truth, I only bought this album because it won the Mercury prize and I’ve only listened to it a few times. But what I’ve heard, I like. My fave track has to be track 1, which I cant recall the name of right now.”
The Silver Fox (Hiphop pensioner)
Roisin Murphy – Ruby Blue
“When I first heard the album the 3rd track (Night of the Dancing Flame) reminded me of Nina Simone. Because of this I knew that CD Club would love the album. For me music is all about association (ooh mysterious). That, and there’s just something about red heads…”
el Pres (Ambassador for New Zealand music)
The Juan Maclean – ‘Less Than Human’
“The mutant offspring of DFA records (who can do no wrong these days), Juan Maclean have made a make-out album for robots. Veering between dirty electro punk-funk and blissed-out minimalist synth-tracks, Less Than Human has a sensual heart beating beneath an ice-cool metal exterior. Fave track: Crush The Liberation”
Plant a seed and then watch it grow. Over the coming months expect more frightening visits from this death squadron of sound. At least, that’s what they told me.