Peek And Poke

Bzangy Groink, Thursday 9th December, 1999

This Is my third White Town album. I had wondered whether I should wait a month or so and finish it next millennium but I thought better of it. I like 20th century music and I’m happy to let this album sip into that category right at the cut-off mark. Mind you, no-one’s heard any 21st century music yet so perhaps It’s an unreasonable nostalgia.

Most of these songs were recorded and all of them mixed at my new studio, Bzangy Groink. Finally, I’ve got the kind of recording environment I’ve longed for since I was twelve when I was bouncing takes of my Yamaha B-35 between cassette recorders and fretting about the resultant pitch shift. I’ve now even got a little glass window I can look through at the same time as issuing terse talkback comments through the, ahem, “cans” It’s like a proper studio 🙂

White Town remains just me, plus the occasional additional musician. This album benefited from the honeyvoice of Ms. Sophie Clarke and the flying fingers of Mr. Bruce Hunnisett. The rest of it you have to blame on me. I was going to involve loads of new people, bring in guiros, Mongolian long-singing and pan-pipes but in the end I felt like being a bit insular and doing some heavy navel-gazing. There may be lint there, bit it’s all mine.

Since the last album I’ve moved house four times and I’m now happily settled In Norwich (Norfolk, England) which is where I used to live as a kid. The city’s lovely this time of year, as autumn morphs into winter. The sky’s just as huge and blue and far above my head as in summer, even if I don’t look for as long cos it’s so chilly. Most of the songs come out of living here, either now or when I was little. I’ve re-visited old memories like Hemsby and Heather Avenue and they’re all here, jumbled up a bit. I’d do you a map but that would spoil your fun.

I’ve tried to create something which isn’t of its time. I didn’t bring breakbeats an every track simply because it’s the contemporary fashion. I only used them when they were needed for the song. Neither have I hurled Moogy squiggles over everything cos it’s flavour of the month. I’m actually quite amazed when I see indie kids in Moog t-shirts. For years, these were the snobby type of kids who considered me too uncool to talk to because I loved Kraftwerk, Heaven 17, Depeche Mode and the Human League. I guess If you wait long enough, *everything* comes back into fashion. 😉

But, in the words of a greater man than me, “I ain’t new to this.” I’ve never made a single piece of music (or used a certain sound/instrument) to enhance my non-existent trendy quotient. I’m too much of a happy geek far that. *Nothing* on this CD is designed to make me look cool or clever or ironic or iconic. I have no interest in all that bullshit.

There are peeks at things you maybe don’t want to know about it. There’s a lot on here which shows me far what I am, which is not that great a person. Not a monster, hopefully, but certainly no bloody saint.

There are pokes at things I hate. And loathe. And detest. But which seem to be part of being a “cool” person these days. Just nodes in the pre-packaged hipness to which we’re all meant to be aspiring.

This album is partly my pop reaction to all that. Sing along if the song grabs you.