01 ottobre 2019

C'è un nuovo interessante progetto di Mick Hobbs in fase di realizzazione, interamente dedicato a Cornelius Cardew: si chiama Paragraphs and Principles e riporta in primo piano la gloriosa sigla Officer! Per ora lo anticipa un brano, Para 2, che fa da lato B al singolo dall'assai appropriato titolo Brexit Means Toxic. Si trova tramite Bandcamp.

With Boris Johnson floundering and hopefully soon to be found “dead in a ditch”, and with still no sign of imminent resolution – whoever ends up in charge – to the UK’s ongoing political fuck-shambles, Mick HobbsBrexit Means Toxic 7” is well-timed, even if, like many a protest song before it, it’s preaching to the converted. Anyway look, if it takes a constitutional crisis to bring Officer! out of hiding – it’s a price worth paying.
Hobbs has always been an old folkie at heart, it’s the tension between that and his more disruptive, surrealist impulses that animate the best of his key '80s work, and make him such a brilliant and peculiar songwriter. Joey Stack handles vocals here, sounding wonderful as ever, her breezy Raincoats-y delivery inevitably recalling the stellar heights of The Lo Yo Yo. But for us, the B-side is where it’s at… whatever “it” might be… a tribute to Cornelius Cardew, and a trailer the forthcoming Officer! album Paragraphs and Principles, which is made up entirely of Cardew pieces performed/reimagined by by Hobbs and his cohorts. Para 2 finds Hobbs narrating the essence of Cardew’s epic The Great Learning, “to illustrate illustrious virtue / to renovate the people / and to rest in the highest excellence.” The music harks back to the RIO of Biota, Henry Cow, Art Bears et al, as plumes of reverberant ambience build to a maelstrom of piano, reeds and massed voices – bonkers, and exhilarating. Say what you will about Europe… there’s a certain kind of madness that will always find its fullest expression in England.