Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated...I've just been holed up somewhere doing some stuff that needed to be done to keep my family in food and clothes and me in music, books and booze. Sorry about the lack of blog posts over the last couple of months and many thanks to those of you who enquired about my well-being.
The blogs will be coming thick and fast from now on. And there are few better places to start than with this one.
Midget Ninjas have, to be blunt, made the best stab yet at securing the title of album of the year in my book. That they've done it with a free release via their Soundcloud site is, in one sense, entirely irrelevant, and in another a sign of the times. There are so many cracking free releases these days you could probably get through an entire year enjoying a heaving musical banquet without ever putting your hand in your pocket. Not that I'm advocating such a policy, but you probably could.
Soviet Bass is one such release, taking both a thematic and musical lead from the Soviet Union and various traditional elements culled from the, often pre-Soviet, Russian empire and butchered to within an inch of its life in the glorious names of art and innovation.
It's a process that leads to such memorable musical moments as the bastardised politburo stomp of 'Infected With Lenin', the infectiously haphazard bonhomie of 'Drunken Sailor's Dance' and the not-too-solemn caterwauling of 'Mother Russia'. Add to this the match-up with the worthy opponent who is Major Lazer and you've easily got enough material for a debauched vodka-fest spiced with semi-ridiculous bouts of Cossack dancing.
Whether that's your particular bag or not, the soundtrack is one hell of a romp. The free album even comes with a bonus 'disc' that includes such wonders as 'El Diablo Sovetico' and the mesmerising 'Katyusha Rave'. Quite why a free release should separate some of its content in this way is open to debate, but for me it's just another element of the senseless brilliance that awaits you when encountering this collection for the first time.
The unfeasibly catchy 'Tank Rydaz' is making an appearance in my July show on Dandelion Radio. The rest of it you can pick up for absolutely nothing from their Soundcloud site. Meet me there.