Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who writes this stuff and are they actually paid for it? an occasional series.

Looking through Time Out to find something to keep The Spleen entertained on his annual visit I discovered that WU LYF, who I rather like (cheers, Alex!) and are about the most Mancunian sounding band imaginable are apparently Tropicalia (a fairly broad “genre” in and of itself anyway) and Animal Collective influenced: well they’re certainly heavily Bromantic and maybe the rhythm section is a bit more exuberant than your average Indy landfill but they sound a lot more like Crispy Ambulance, or Dub Sex to me. Maybe I’ll go and play it to some of my Brazilian students telling them it’s Giberto Gil and see if they can spot the difference.

Is this just ‘cos of the vaguely tropical video for “spitting out blood”?


Greyhoos said...

I'd missed them until now, but am sort-of liking it too. (Thanks, gents!) Judging from the vocal arrangement on "Spitting" and another song, I can see why someone might lazily reach for an AC comparison, and I guess the liveliness of the rhythms on the former might sound vaguely "tropical"/so. hemisphere to some listeners. No matter in the end, cos you're probably reading someone who's young and/or has a very limited frame of reference when it comes to such stuff.

And as far as them getting paid: Chances are good that they didn't, since that's become increasingly rare in recent years.

Alex Niven said...

Perhaps they've mistaken "vaguely afrobeat" for Tropicalia?

Another possibility is that somewhere along the line they put Tropicalia down as a "crazy" genre tag on their myspace page (quite a common thing, this) and then this has been entered into some live music database somewhere and just been recycled.

I think sort-of-liking it is definitely the operative phrase. The idea is laudable but the sound isn't quite there, perhaps. It lays down a good blueprint though doesn't it?

Greyhoos said...

"Vaguely afro-somethingorother" might cover it. Listening to it some more, I was inclined to say it's more like Vampire Weekend, except more general (ie, much-less -specifically Graceland) as far as all that's concerned. It also reminds me of a more polished version of a "neo-tribal" sound that a handful of U.S. indie groups were kicking around about 4 years ago (Man Man, Mi Ami, et al).

And yeah, sort-of. It's not incredible or anything, but it caught my ear more than anything I've heard in "current rotation" on my local college station during the past couple of seasons or so.

Greyhoos said...

And I hope I didn't ruin the whole thing by bringing VW into this. Apologies if I did. But I'm thinking I should reverse the chronology and look into Carl's Manchester assertion. Crispy Ambulance were one band our of that scene that didn't register over here, so I heard very little by them back when. And Dub Sex I'm completely unfamiliar with.

Alex Niven said...

They're both before my time I'm afraid. The guitar lines to me sound like Wild Beasts doing Explosions in the Sky, with maybe a hint of Gang Gang Dance (perhaps this trippier end of '00s afrobeat more so than VW?).

Greyhoos said...

They weren't before my time at all, they just didn't get any attention on this side of the water. Crispy Ambulance were dismissed as a Joy Division knock-off, because they had a vocalist who sounded so much like Ian Curtis that he reputedly filled in w/ JD on some dates when Ian couldn't make it. But from what I'd read about 'em in the years since, I gathered there was more to them than that. Dub Sex I'd never heard of at all. Likewise for King of the Slums, who I definitely want to seek out.

So, Carl -- thanks for the posts of recent days. Feel like I owe you a couple of rounds of drinks (or something) for the lesson.

Greyhoos said...

And as far as WU LYF go, yeah...I could rattle off a number of more recent things that they remind me of/intersect with, but why bother? I like it okay. But in the past couple of days of spinning it, I get the odd suspicion that I might eventually see it being used in TV car commercial some months down the road.