At the start of this year, those rogue cats, Mind Fair, Dean Meredith and Ben Shenton, asked me to come up with some press notes for their forthcoming release. Pre-orders for the 12 have started to appear, so I thought I`d take the opportunity to post my unedited script…A huge thank you to the chaps for letting me – hopefully – help out.
Next up from Mind Fair, is a crafty cover of cosmic classic, That Thing, by That Thing. Originally released as a now scarce 12 on AVI in 1977, That Thing was a one-off synth-pop project produced by Dutch musician Geertjan Lacunes – who worried the outer limits of various European hit-parades during the `70s and `80s under the alias Jerry Rix. There`s a rumour that he had a hand in Silver Connection – the act responsible for disco smash, Fly Robin Fly. German label Jupiter picked up the quirky That Thing, who repressed it as 7 for wider distribution, no doubt envisioning that they`d licensed a novelty monster the scale of Chicory Tip`s Son Of My Father – which alas was not the case. The track was however a firm favourite of pioneering Italian DJ, Daniele Baldelli, since its wonky bass riff can be heard spinning in and out of scores of his legendary taped mixes, – where it`s twisted, almost inverted, by the maestro`s use of EQ. The first time I heard the tune, was when Mark Seven had it sequenced between Mon Dino and Nacht Und Nebel, on his own seminal Baldelli tribute, a mix entitled, Slow Blow. That was in 2004, when its funky, chunky chug of bongos, whistles, sleigh bells and sound-effects, made it a synch for a balearic beat crossover.
Back in 2021, Mind Fair have fashioned a faithful but you-betcha beefed-up re-recording. The crazy lyric – care of Chicken Lips cohort, Johnny Spencer – accompanied by un-MIDI-ed Moog and modular synth twitches, italo arpeggios and fuzzed guitar tones. Fabrizio Mammerella delivers a remix that`s like a meeting of NYC`s Emergency Records, and Belgium’s Antler and Subway. `80s New York and `90s New Beat. Chris Barbosa and Morton, Sherman and Belluci collaborating on a cover of New Edition`s Once In A Lifetime Groove. Dropping the chorus into devastating delay, chopping Johnny up into percussive Pop Muzik snippets. Sealing the psychedelic deal with a dose of analogue acid.
In comparison, Eric Duncan’s re-imagining, initially comes across as kinda muted, but that’s just to catch you off guard. While pitched down, and the drums for sure more sedate, it`s definitely the trippier of the two revisions – with all sorts of strangeness sneaking up on you, throwing abstract shapes deep in its detail. That 303 now sounding severely stoned. It`s like that rogue cat at the afters, the one who commandeers the drinks table in the kitchen and then bends any and every unsuspecting ear while endlessly shaking folks` cocktails. Spontaneously connecting the disparate dots in the universe, seemingly without stopping to draw breath. The kind of nut that everyone knows, but can never work out how they make it home. Tongue-in-cheek weirdness worthy of Eric`s Rub N Tug partner, Thomas Bullock, and his mate, DJ Harvey. Too slow to disco, too high to stop dancing, it`s quality psyche gear for the experienced, discerning, dimensional traveler. There`s a dub for those that can’t quite handle the vocal (lightweights!).
You can pre-order, and listen, over at Piccadilly, and Juno.