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On a personal level his one has been a long time coming… about 15 years, to be precise. My first encounter with Maximum Joy was around 2001 when Chris Farrell – back then fresh-faced working the counter of Imperial Records (R.I.P.) in Bristol, now boss of the Idle Hands shop and label there (and still fresher-faced than most) - played me the song ‘Silent Street / Silent Dub’, the lesser-spotted B-side of their Stretch 12”. We were in a club, mind, but I think “played me” is still accurate: it was opening time and there was no one else in the room. Quite honestly, I've never heard anything that comes close - before or since. On the one hand, it's quintessential post-punk; on the other hand, in 2017 that broad catch-all tag does a disservice to its sheer vibrancy and soar-above-the-rooftops musicality. Janine Rainforth’s singing, probably my all-time favourite vocal take, seems to combine an ageless English folk sensibility with both a teenager's innocence/insouciance and a smoked-out drowsy jazz maturity well beyond her years. Charlie Llewlin’s drumming is broken beat some 20 years ahead of schedule, Dan Catsis’s bassline is heavy as lead, and Tony Wrafter’s free-roaming trumpet channels Don Cherry with aplomb. All bound together and ultra-intensified by Dick O’Dell’s vertiginous dub mix. And that's just Side 1 Track 1. The rest is nearly as good. Very proud to be reissuing this magnificent body of work on a new label with Chris that we've called, unimaginatively, Silent Street.
2x12" with download code, and liner notes by Rainforth, Wrafter and Kevin Pearce.
Was £18.99, now £9.49!