03 November 2007

Von Sudenfed - 'The Rhinohead'

Okay, so I've been away for a while, having, like they do in films, lost my memory and ended up wandering around this shabby land, attempting for reasons I can't recall to visit every branch of Tescos, coming to my senses only in a public cemetery during a cloudburst in, somewhat to my irritation, Accrington. On the journey I shed many things, but I seem to have retained my love of music, and there is now so much catching up to do.

Back in the days when I invented the internet, I wrote about the Mark E Smith / Mouse On Mars collaboration. And things just got better and better. So here all you need to know is that Von Sudenfed have made the greatest record of this year and perhaps the century so far in The Tromatic Reflexxions, and yes of course it goes without saying that it's miles better than the last Fall LP, to the extent that it's really a cliche to have said so, and The Rhinohead is its most glorious, immense, life-affirming slab of a tune. I can't imagine living without it. This is Northern Soul as you always wanted it to sound, a classic from a speed-fuelled late night down the Wigan Casino upgraded, rebuilt for a new era.

What seems clear to me now is that our world is fucked, because in a sane world Rhinohead would storm the hit parade and sit in splendour at the top of the charts until about March. Everybody else would stop putting out records because there'd be no point, really. Its release would be celebrated by Von Sudenfed themed parties where children would dress up as their favourite member. Who'd you like to be today kids: Andi, Jan or Mark? In a world where things are right and all was well they'd have brought back Top of the Pops for a one off five minute special, repeated every hour on the hour, with Mark reading the words off a bit of paper. Was a national holiday in honour of its release even considered, I ask? What then do we have politicians for?

You also need to have seen them live, and so I'd suggest spending your weekends on perfecting that time machine you're working on so you can get to the gig at Heaven a few weeks ago. There was a night. Miserablist fat, bald Fall fans hogged the back while lovers of life at the front lapped it all up. Anyone who thinks people who play laptops aren't, like, proper musicians should have seen this. But in the regrettable absence of a Tardis in most households, can I suggest that you visit Dime a Dozen, the default website for live Fall-related content, every single day until you can slip in under their 100,000 members bar and sign up for piles of low-quality, lovingly assembled recordings? It worked for me.

Rhinohead comes in a big fat 12" with a beautiful purple cover and you can buy it from shops or from the internet. Everyone knows that the best online record shop is still Norman's, right? Or you can download it from, say, 7digital, which I only mention here because it isn't, you know, itunes. It contains the usual utterly pointless remix - and there remains work to be done in analysing the amount generated for the national economy by paying for the vast swathe of otherwise utterly pointless remixes around - and this year's second greatest song, Slow Down Ronnie, in which Mark E finally gets round to tackling a subject he was always going to have to do, and dispenses advice to snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan. If Mark E Smith is telling you to slow down, you've got problems, I'd have thought.

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