Words by mynameisjOhn, January 2016.
"I haven't got the sharpest memory. Some years are hazier than others. I guess, like most people, I tend to look back at certain eras or epochs in life in terms of where I was and what I was up to. And what I was listening to. Second year in St Flannens will always be defined by basketball and Wu Tang.
Ten years ago,I found myself relocated to Kerry to study sound engineering in a remote gaff real close to the beach. Grand,like.
Tralee initially presented itself as a town with a tough shapey demeanour, but if you were brave enough to walk through the old boys drinking and dancing to the keyboard and singer two-pieces in the front bars, you'd find a blazing scene of weird underground music in the back bars. Club Head Bang Bang were the cultural ambassadors of the Kingdom. A weekly shindig that presented all forms of music, as long as it was different and daring. For me, this was a defining period. It didn't happen overnight, but little by little, I found that my turntable was rotating records by Laurie Anderson, Battles and Pink Floyd more often than the Edan and Cut Chemist joints. I was going to see more bands than DJs. I was getting a little jaded with rappers (and rapping). I wanted something new, but I didnt really know what something new looked or sounded like.
While I was skanking around Kerry, Deviant was frying burgers in Brighton and playing wirh something called a foot pedal loop station. He'd ditched his Galway stomping grounds too. Everyone needs a change of scenery. Leave your city before it devours you.
Long story short,Deviant came home for a weekend to say hello, drink a pint and show us what he'd been up to. He'd been a busy lad.
That weekend Andy played a local music event we hosted called Kerrynini. Again,it was back-bar business with the decks set up on a pool table. Dancing and drinking and clapping and shifting were all the order of the day.
But when Deviant stepped up to perform, something was different. He'd been up to something alright over in Brighton. He started. He scratched a high hat, stamped his foot and the looping began. From there, I don't remember too much - snatches of Primus, a cut of Kate Bush, the ever present Pink Floyd being mangled by fingers and crossfaders. It was new music from old music. Not a new concept. But the process was. It was weird and wonky and wobbly. And my mind was blown. We drank Buckfast afterwards, because, back then, I was able to drink Buckfast. He said he'd been listening to different stuff over the last couple of months. Not rap. Stuff like Laurie Anderson and Battles. Huh? He said he was gonna follow this scratch music thing, maybe make an album. A couple of months later, 'Fragments and Stammerings' emerged. The CDs arrived to Kerry. "Bang out a few these down there,will ya? Only 5e". I put on one the CDs. Jesus almighty! Andy was making music! Bloody amazing music! It didn't sound like anything else, but it definitely did sound like Andy. Oh yes. Songs (and I mean songs) of lost lovers, hometown regrets and subconscious pokes to get the kettle on. It was fucking mad and it was brilliant. It smacked of an old wandering blues musician, only the guitar case was replaced by a flight case and a trolley. Folk shit to smoke shit to. 'Fragments and Stammerings' was so important to a lot of us, because it was the first real kick. It could be done. We could make music,but we'd have to work hard. Harder. The music could bang and bounce,but it could be personal too. You could be Madlib and Jethro Tull on the same track. You could put it all out there, the fears and mistakes and the hopes and swagger, but you better be real about it. That's what I took from it anyway. It was that record that made me go "jeez, I better figure out how I can do this too. I can't do what he can do (no one can) but I better try do something." And I know others who felt the exact same. 'Fragments and Stammerings' wasn't so much the beginning, more so it was a line being drawn in the sand to say the weirdos are here and they're here to stay."
released January 14, 2016
All songs by Deviant & Naive Ted.
Created with turntable, mixer, loop pedal, shitty 4 track tape multi-tracker and an even shitter mic from the 2 Euro shop
Recorded 2005-6 in Brighton, UK and Roscommon, Ireland
'We Godless Bastards' features guitar by Chris Edkins
'Leave It At That' features vocals by Sebi C
'Vampire Private Dick' features skratches by Manipulate
Original master by Killian Barton
Cover image by Morgan Folan
All proceeds to Community Skratch Games X
all rights reserved