Article by Barry Adamson

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Star writes
Few thoughts on the subject of the great time we live in

Twisted souls

NOTHING HILL. Or was that Rotting Hell? It's sometimes hard to figure out if the place where you reside really exists, or if it's just a 51st State of mind kinda thing. Whatever. Nothing Hill is everywhere and nowhere, baby and you can be sure as hell that it's never what it seems to be. It's like a magnetic force that draws in the sharp opportunist dying to reinvent himself. Assume your desired identity, be somebody, anybody, but be prepared to walk the talk. If not, your protracted fall and ignominious retreat is assured, brother. Don't bother relating your hard luck story, the flock won't empathise. They've heard it all a million times before.

Dig this... When you've come back from the dead you tend to see things in a different light, especially WHEN DARKNESS CALLS over a city you thought you knew. If you need any forensic evidence Kojak, just check out the spent cartridges, the tire tracks on the tarmac, the shattered glass and the freshly spilt claret found at THE CRIME SCENE. Who killed ya, baby? You find out fast, because this time the bullets are hitting pretty close to the bone.

Gangster lean and gangster mean; he meant business. After just a few brief engagements in various salubrious emporiums of pleasure, word spread across town fast - Citizen X was the hottest thing from the Grim North that ever came down to the Sleazy South on a one man march. Hold the front page! The hardest stone-to-the-bone groove funk, the bitterest sweet soul, and the deepest, swinging jazz, exploding with the blues that were anything but natural - he had that music down cold, all delivered with the concentration and daring of a cat burglar. After all, these were the sounds that had inspired him to take it to the stage in the first place.

Citizen X had a vision; a crystal clear, 20/20 widescreen vision, that he would christen CINEMATIC SOUL. "The deeper you go, the funkier it gets", was the fitting tag line for this auteur's main feature. It's the Downtown Soulville sound that's always been rated X, makes you choke on your popcorn, hits you in the gut with all the force of well timed knuckle-dusted stomach punch.

Sly, Isaac, Ike, Marvin, J.B., Miles, Big Bazza, all lit the short fuse to the dude's compelling original soundtrack imagination. He loved the black velvet soul - screen dream - with a vengeance. Citizen X knows what time it is, but who stole the Soul? The clock is ticking. Time to take it all back, with menaces. Grab that jubilant groove of yesteryear by the scruff of the neck. Then remake/remodel it for a more desperate, tougher Yesternow. Right now.

Citizen X is the Director of his own life's movie with a need to still calls the shots. God wasn't dead, He'd just taken a more artistically rewarding career path in the motion picture business. Perhaps that's why he could never reach him on the phone. Though totally alienated from the fast and loose Nothing Hill world ever swirling around him, Citizen X is nonetheless actively enraged within it. It's a familiar bluesy story, one that he's spent his life singing with the raunchy ring of verisimilitude. THAT FOOL WAS ME is the number.

It didn't take long to understand where he had come from and where he was going.

A Number One, top of heap, THE KING OF NOTHING HILL. But at what price? Citizen X is greeted with a TWISTED SMILE, while THE SECOND STAIN is most ominous. Just around the corner it's still the WHISPERING STREETS, a scene that is all too familiar. The Superfly BLACK AMOUR was the sweetback character he'd learned to play to perfection in every steamy boudoir, just to stay on top. Life is cheap, but toilet paper is expensive. Pick up five bullets, five names and a contract for five hundred grand from The Big Boss. The libidinous ambience of temptation is palpable in the feted night air. But a word to the wise - if you think you're big time, you're gonna die big time. Lights, cameras, TV news crew and ACTION!

LE MATIN DES NOIRE maybe the citizen's steal, but Paris? Just don't fuck with it. You see, Nothing Hill recognises no archaic territorial boundaries. It really is a 51 State of mind that's inexorably spreading. Our Outsider, Citizen X knows this. COLD COMFORT indeed. More is the pity.

IT'S A CINEMATIC SOUL. WELCOME TO THE MEGAPLEX. And CUT... That's a wrap. (Barry Adamson)


"Kids of today are not very rebellious, it is like zombie time... I don't wanna sound like my dad but kids really buy all the shit served to them and nobody is challenging anything. There are few good things and the rest is utter shite. It's getting blander and blander and I can't be optimistic about the future of music. The only good, new thing is the Internet and I love it. I really believe it is the future although severely restricted right now. I feel that people who download your MP3 are usually fans who already have your record; there are going to be some who stumble on your Web-site and they might end up buying your record but claiming to lose such random visitors as customers is rubbish as it isn't easy to download things..."

"It's the same when people are taping music and giving it to others. If that person really likes a record, he or she will go and buy it. It's a form of advertising and all people are doing are sharing files. I don't know how are people losing money when the files are shared?! I think it is a bigger problem that people are not into music as they used to be in the past because there are so many other things to divert attention and entertain. I'm not into music myself; I buy a thing or two from time to time and have realised that modern things are crap and there is much more adventurous stuff in the past. I did download few things and it was for information purpose only and when I liked something I did go out and buy it, like an album of Theremin (ancient synthesizer) music from the 1930s."

These words haven't been composed by our propaganda committee but by Will Sergeant of Echo & The Bunnymen/Glide in 2000. Since then things have gone from bad to worse with majors consolidating labels, print media and the Web (Napster-ideal is discarded into the highway of opportunity's trench ) for serving more pap, crap, hype galore.
(09 August 2001)

Barry Adamson