Unreal City

Unreal City, by Lady Vervaine

Unreal City, by Lady Vervaine 

As I wandered through Noel Park again this morning, the fog was so dense it felt like everyone in the world had breathed their hottest breath into the cold air, all at once. Visibility was as low as I’ve seen it in London, and while the days of the peasouper are past – my granny used to tell me about how she’d ask directions home, only to find she was stood outside her front door – the novelty of the fog is still fascinating. Words like ‘shroud’, ‘envelop’, ‘hang’, all these are lovely.

Into this mysterious scenario came the frenetic sounds of Strategy’s Future Rock. First brought to my attention by George Brooker’s review, my post-Christmas bonus enabled me to finally shell out on a few new cd’s, one of which was this. This is an album that’s completely full of sound; quite different to a Low, or even many of Strategy’s Kranky labelmates, paucity of sound is not on the menu here. Rather, Paul Dickow (sadly not, as I had hoped, former Blackburn and Brighton & Hove Albion legend Paul Dickov), who is Strategy, has melded together a carnival of sound. It’s feet are in the roving basslines and wilful experimentation of dub; the steamy, exotic afrobeat of Fela Kuti; the funky jazz of Herbie Hancock; the artful electric piano of Stevie Wonder, circa Innervisions.

To accompany my study of the arch-pessimist of philosophy, Arthur Schopenhauer, then, was an eclectic, bewildering, swirling electronic sound, which was absolutely beautiful. Calm down Arf, it’s not all that bad.

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