Fila Brazillia / Subtle Body / International Feel

Steve Cobby’s musical resurgence continues apace with a second reissue of classic Fila Brazillia material, on International Feel. A much-loved, lasting partnership between Steve and David McSherry, this fresh 4-track 12 cherry picks pieces from the duo’s vast archive, from their beginnings in 1994, to 2002. 

Nightfall, present in a previously unreleased instrumental mix, is a mid-tempo chugger, a fusion of IDM and dub. An obscene bass oscillation rudely interrupting its ambient whirring of whistling glitches and twisted trumpet tones. There’s a dash of dramatic strings, drum /  snare rolls, and in amidst the Depth Charge sonar blips there are roots reggae samples. 

The Light Of Jesus takes its title from a sometimes stuttered Evangelical vocal clip, that turns out to be the holy drinker, Charles Bukowski. The poet, and a personal “hero” of mine, who taught us how to run with the hunted, here, bops to bright blue-skied, percussive, “paradise house”. The soaring strings in this case accompanied by echoed rock guitar riffs and gated, gurgling, keys. 

Room `96, another definite dance-floor filler, is live jam, recorded at Hull’s Room nightclub, nearly 3 decades ago, but the star of this show is Subtle Body – a Phil Mison / `90s Cafe del Mar staple, and my own favourite Fila Brazillia tune. 

When I interviewed Steve, a good while back, he told me some cracking stories, and one of them concerned this particular piece. It was Subtle Body that secured Steve a job producing The Afghan Whigs` Greg Dulli, reworking the Cincinnati songsmith’s debut solo LP, Twilight As Played By The Twilight Singers. It seems that Greg had experienced an epiphany while hearing the track at an L.A. party as the sun came up. He apparently requested that it be played over and over. According to Greg the song saved his life, and put him on a long and rocky path to recovery, which started with a month in the studio with David and Steve in Hull. 

Subtle Body squeezes an awful lot out of its 3 simple chords, suspending each note  in sustain, here for an extended 9 minutes. Topping this off with a sparse but emotive, Wurlitzer electric piano refrain. Tiny temple tingsha bells ring and the music almost evaporates into the ether. A sublime sunset apparition. 


Fila Brazillia’s Subtle Body is out now on International Feel. 

international feel logo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s