Various Artists –
‘50 Minutes’ (Exercise 1) Released 30/10/06
"Amazing. An album that makes you think a minute’s
all you need (for all your needs, musical)..."
Nia Gibbons on 10/25/2006
The idea of this beautiful
compilation album that benefits ‘The Medical Foundation for the
Victims of Torture’, is to home 50 minutes of 50 artists; so to be
spectacular AND useful at the same time. Amazing. An album that
makes you think a minute’s all you need (for all your needs,
musical). Where to start and what to choose? This must have been a
concern of the jury, but it doesn’t stand out as an issue, and the
tracks are friendly somehow with one another considering the size of
the group and the variations involved.
You’d better watch out for Amycanbe’s piano orientated sweet and sad
piece, ‘My Ring’. The Bobby McGees’ (who’s album is called ‘fuck me
i’m twee’, should explain a thing about them) ‘Please Don’t Dump
Me’, “please don’t dump me, […x5…] I’ll hunt you down and kill you
in your bed” comes from a contradictory soul so stuffed with
saccharin it’s as if the body snatchers got hold of Anneka Rice
whilst she was hovering over to help Father Christmas himself. Or
something. With all the r-rrrrolling of a Latvian lady, Ladyfuzz
remind us what the fuss is all about with “mein kin” of ‘Abendrot’.
At the album’s half way point ‘This Time Round’ arrives by
Bradford’s Le Tournoi as a sultry tease of a song that starts as it
doesn’t mean to go on, but quickly becomes an end of
movie/romantic-moment-of-utmost-importance (pleading but with slow
resignation: “well, what do you want?”) ploughing through strings,
both of the plucking and violin kind. Hot Puppies’ ‘I Left My Heart’
will have you doing the “do do do, do doo do doooo do do,” and then
some. Pandatone’s ‘Forrest Dream’ is a shooting star of a song, and
is exactly what it says in the title. Tessalations’ ‘I Am Jack’ runs
along a similar thoughtful theme. There’s borderline reggae and just
about everything else too. Absolute diamond of this magic
collection is Daniel Johnston ‘You Made My High School’ “Drr drr,
playing my guitar. Drr drr…”. The “drr drr” doesn’t sound exactly
like a guitar, but exactly like a crazy boy trying to sound exactly
like a guitar, on stressed volume.
Some songs, possibly from their brevity, are saturated by their
influences/ similes. Dons Mobile Barbers’ ‘Constant’, for instance,
peels as if from the label of Mercury Rev. They all feel complete in
themselves, of course, but so much so that one wanders why songs are
ever any longer. If there happens to be in existence one track one
doesn’t like - and there aren’t any rotten grapes here – the next
song soon arrives.
Just a little note, when played on a media player or such like,
songs not chosen for one reason or other are sectioned for your
perusal. There’s a great one about a grocery store. And an addition
to that note, Gigwise’s copy stood out at 50 minutes and one second.
Keep that on the low, but keep the volume of this cute cultish
classics up high.