What on earth is happening? I hardly feature any instrumental tracks in years of publishing Sonic Breakfast posts and then, within the space of a few weeks, I post two. Unlike the piece by Sacha Hoedemaker though (here), today’s track has an accompanying video. My desire for narrative is sated by the film that wraps around ‘STAR’ by The Director’s Cuts.
The Director’s Cuts is essentially Peter Pahor, a filmmaker from East London. Peter tells me that he has a few projects on the go; “A music video for a very cool rap rock duo, various cinematic portraits (https://peterpahor.com/cinematic-portraits) and a humanitarian documentary featuring a nobel peace prize! 🙂“.
With a post-rock soundtrack, a piano loop that builds to a cinematic crescendo, ‘STAR’ finds us in a hotel room. Our main protagonist mauls a small trophy. There is sadness in his eyes. Perhaps, he’s thinking back to the night when he won the trophy and wondering how it all came to this? Perhaps, the trophy he actually wants is bigger and better than the tiny one in his hands? He’s the runner-up and he’s about to let his partner know how angry this makes him.
It all reminds me a little of watching a live show by Nordic Giants. I take a look back into the archives of the eGigs back catalogue and am reminded that I’ve now been writing about things for a long time without much accolade. (Review here).
The press release fills in some of the blanks. STAR is inspired by the failed dreams and frustrations of the millennial generation, a bunch who have been sold the dream of success and fame as the only way to really being happy. It’s brooding, chilling and laced with sad menace. It’s also expertly executed and marks Peter out as one to watch.
And that, brief and to the point for a Sunday, is a wrap.
I’ve been casually exchanging e-mails with Emiel, the guitar player from an exciting post-rock band from Belgium, The Guru Guru, for a couple of months now. They were playing one of the fringe events when I was over in Groningen for Eurosonic. I wanted to head along but a combination of it being in a maze-like venue consisting of many rooms and alcohol (yeah, Ok, I got lost) meant I missed the chance.
(Click on page 2 to find out more about The Guru Guru)
If you’re told that a gig is lasting from 6 until 9 in an evening, what time would you turn up? I thought I was being a tad over-eager to show my face at 6.45. But, the truth is that I’d been looking forward to seeing The Robocobra Quartet upstairs at Nottingham’s Rough Trade since I’d chanced upon their music and sneaked an advance copy of their forthcoming album, Music For All Occasions. It truly is an album of the year, which oddly is also the subject of the final tune (and stand-out track) on it.
“Thanks for being a decent audience. We’ll sign stuff at the merch desk but we’re in a massive rush to catch the boat back to Belfast”, says Chris Ryan, drummer and vocalist. “This is our last tune.” And the realisation sinks in. I’d missed out on this by being too casual. I still hadn’t had my tea.
I saw enough to know that The Robocobra Quartet are incredibly important. Post-rock, down tempo jazz influenced angst has hardly been something I’ve given much consideration towards in the past. Truly though, I’m not sure I’ve really heard much like this before. Unique and inventive whilst remaining accessible, it’s intensely satisfying stuff. The spoken word lyrics seem to make sense over the woodwind and bass even though the reality is that they’re fragments of nonsense on repeat.
The final tune, the one I hear, is Correct. This was the piece that had initially drawn me to the Robocobra Quartet. It’s delivered with intense panache in this live setting. Drummer Chris loses himself amidst the staccato sax as he spits and sweats his way to the conclusion. The band leave the stage. I shake their hands and commit to seeing a full set very soon.
Later, as I drink another pint, I spy others entering the venue expecting to see a band in full flow. They’re already on their way home. The disappointment is tempered by the knowledge that these guys will be back. They’ll make 2017 interesting.