GB 118LP GB 118LP

Hunkered down and unable to record together, in 2020 the Mekons created a glorious digital chain letter of an album. Exquisite is a sprawling manifesto of connection and defiance that deftly slides through fiddle tunes, digi-dub, fireside ballads and urgent rock n' roll. And that's just side A. The original recording plan was to have been a whole-band-in-a-room session in Valencia, Spain. When the pandemic rendered that impossible the process took a sharp swerve. This legendary group from Leeds, have written contemporary music history for the last 40 years as radical innovators of both first generation punk and insurgent roots music, and Exquisite is another powerful vector of that legacy.

"In Paris, in 1925, Yves Tanguy, Jacques Prévert, André Breton and Marcel Duchamp invented a game they called 'cadavre exquis,' derived from a phrase that came up when they first played: 'le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau' ('the exquisite corpse will drink the new wine'). Basically each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed. During the plague years of the early 21st Century, the Mekons adopted this method as a means of collectively assembling lyrics and tunes and recording their new albums. Scattered in various locations from the West Coast of California to the East End of London, they sang and played into their mobile phones and emailed, uploaded and messaged their wailings, beatings, scratchings and strummings around the globe through the billions of interconnected nodes of our networked panopticon. Mike Hagler assembles the results in Chicago and sends them to be mixed by The Baron at Chateau Trumfio. While the world goes hyper-speed to NetNever avidly acting out the crazy jags of meltdown capitalism electrified dancing corpses and waves of virus plunge into burning oil seas of ancient systemic racism ravaging and squawking out of this nightmare sleep of reason, come chlorinated chickens home to roost in nests of hypocrisy, impunity and conspiracy. We put on our goggles and look to the Madderworse, scanning our eyes towards the acid horizon of annihilation, take virtual joy if you can. And, well, you just might be tired from having to take to the streets: what better time to settle down with a fancy cocktail of medical drugs and dig the Mekons' new surrealist sounds..." --Colin Stewart, Bridlington