OFFICER!

DEAD UNIQUE (BLACKEST EVER BLACK)

OFFICER! - DEAD UNIQUE 72519
Format:
1 CD
Release:
20.06.2014
Label:
BLACKEST EVER BLACK
Kat.-Nr.:
72519
Barcode:
5055300382122
Blackest Ever Black presents to you "Dead Unique", an album by OFFICER! recorded in 1995 but never before released into the public domain.

This then is not a reissue or a revival; it's a new record that just happens to have been maturing in the cask for, oh, a little shy of 20 years.

It also happens to be a lost classic of English art-rock, and the crowning achievement in the career of its mercurial creator, Mick Hobbs.

Initially as guitarist in THE WORK (alongside Bill Gilonis, Rick Wilson and Henry Cow's Tim Hodgkinson), and subsequent related groupings THE LOWEST NOTE, THE LO YO YO, and THE MOMES he became closely associated with THIS HEAT and their Cold Storage studio in Brixton over the course of the 1980's.

OFFICER! - the project that this incorrigible collaborator and connector calls his own - surfaced in 1982 with a cassette tape entitled "Eight New Songs By Mick Hobbs".

It marked the blossoming of a singular writer and improvisor, with a gift for plangent melody, ingenious arrangement and lyrics at once caustic and courtly, playful and profound.

The Cold Storage-recorded "Ossification" LP arrived a year later, followed by "Cough" (1985) and "Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes" (1988).

By the start of the 1990s Hobbs had joined Jad Fair's HALF JAPANESE (he continues to play in that group as well as Strobe Talbot, a trio with Fair and Benb Gallaher).

In the early months of '95, HALF JAPANESE were in Baltimore to record their "Hot" LP; Hobbs stayed on to cut the bulk of the songs that comprise OFFICER!'s "Dead Unique" - songs drawn from a rich store of material written and refined in the seven years since the band's last outing - with a talented assemblage of local and visiting musicians.

Returning to the UK, Hobbs brought the tracks to producer Julia Brightly to mix at her 16-track home studio in Bethnal Green; by the end of the reasons that no one, least of all Hobbs, can remember, "Dead Unique" was shelved, all but forgotten about until 2012, when Blackest Ever Black chanced upon it while trawling the OFFICER! archive maintained for Hobbs by Andrew Jacques.

Finally and rightfully the album will be made available to all for the very first time - on double-vinyl, CD and digital formats.

A complex but thrillingly immediate avant-pop song cycle that charms and confounds at every turn, "Dead Unique" will give immense pleasure not only to OFFICER!'s existing cult following, but to anyone with an appreciation of summer.

For piquant, idiosyncratic songcraft - fans of Kevin Ayers, Flaming Tunes, Art Bears, Woo, Dislocation Dance, R.

Stevie Moore, Robert Wyatt, Cleaners From Venus, Lol Coxhill or The Monochrome Set should especially pay attention.

It touches upon ragged-raw rock'roll, sumptuous chamber music, pastoral folk, blowsy prog-jazz and paranoid dub-space, effortlessly shifting from skronking abstraction to rousing harmonic refrain and back again.
 
  • Tracklisting
  • 1.1. NEST
  • 1.2. ELEPHANT FLOWERS
  • 1.3. IT GOES UP / REVENGE
  • 1.4. GO BACK
  • 1.5. COWS HUM IN THE FIELDS
  • 1.6. SHRUG / GOOD
  • 1.7. BITEMAN
  • 1.8. NARDIS
  • 1.9. SOMEONE AT THE DOOR
  • 1.10. STEWED FRUIT
  • 1.11. ALL I GOT
  • 1.12. V.I.M.
  • 1.13. BUGS IN AMBER
  • 1.14. GUESS
  • 1.15. THE PONY WAS CONTENTED
  • 1.16. LILAC AND ORANGE
  • 1.17. CLINT