Friday, 19 October 2007



I never quite jumped two footed into the post rock scene and as it gracefully mutated towards folk music and struck up some kind of middle ground hybrid I have to admit I found myself removed even further.

It is no secret that Papa M is one of the many recording aliases of Dave Pajo who cut his teeth early and deep as a member of Slint before later moving on to play with such heavyweights as Tortoise and Stereolab before taking a more curious step with Zwan and experiencing a whole different kind of ride at the hands of a real joker. A good experience I sense was no had by all.

On his own the music that Pajo produces is most graceful, taking guitar arrangements to a new place and combining modern and classical interoperations in a way that is both fruitful and pleasing. Cynicism aside this guy can drink from my canteen any day.

This is post-rock as chill out music, minimal and explicitly able to build a base for a smile in/on the listener.

It was one afternoon when walking through Leicester Square that I finally click with this record. With coffee in hand and my walk soundtracked by the pulsation of “Drunken Spree” not even the freaky sight of a shirtless man on a chilled October day could possibly ruin proceedings. This is “European Son” done the happy way. The menace and intensity maintains as there is no cumbersome posturing or negative ending attached to the show. It stands out.

This is a record that manages to climb the chancers of the ilk immediately displaying width and invention in the piece as “Roadrunner” serves to remind me of Boards Of Canada while “Arundal”, the track that bookends the record, is indeed the song from the Hamlet advert.

Despite its country picking “Plastic Energy Man” reminds me of “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Blind Faith. Later the voicemail checking of “Crowd Of One” makes for an equally evocative and intrusive despatching.

Ultimately this is a satisfying ride, not least for making it through the fourteen minute “I Am Not Lonely With Cricket” that swallows up the entirety of side three. Mammoth and maddening.

Now, just what is that mark on the sleeve of my copy?

Thesaurus moment: better.

Papa M
Dave Pajo interview
Drag City

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