Clas­sic Al­bum: Fila Brazil­lia, Black Mar­ket Gar­den­ing

Pork Record­ings, 1996

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

Over in Boo­gie Down Hull (as no one ever calls it), around the mid-nineties, two men are beaver­ing away in a town­house-cum-stu­dio in the city cen­tre. Trip-hop­pers sulk by on the streets be­low, as the high street bus­tles with shop­pers ig­nor­ing Wet Wet Wet’s Love Is All Around, as it ra­di­ates from in-store speak­ers.

Obliv­i­ous to all this – to trends, fash­ion, and the rules for mak­ing mu­sic – are Fila Brazil­lia, deep in the im­mer­sive process of mak­ing their third al­bum (of an even­tual 11), Black Mar­ket Gar­den­ing.

It’s a won­der­fully dense record, full of joy­ous, romp­ing beats and riffs, styles and moods. And it marked a cre­ative high point for the duo of Steve Cobby and Dave McSherry.

Over the course of its nine tracks they roy­ally messed with disco, tin­kered with jun­gle rhythms, and em­braced hip hop’s gift for a loop.

“We were very much into cross-pol­li­na­tion,” says Cobby. “It can be a bit of a clus­ter­fuck, but some­times there’s that magic when you put dis­parate el­e­ments to­gether.”

Cobby and McSherry shared labour on the project, each tak­ing turns to twang guitars, bash drums and fid­dle with keyboards.

“We were both adept at pro­gram­ming and en­gi­neer­ing, as well,” says Cobby. “So, if he was in the chair I’d be ex­ec­u­tively pro­duc­ing at the back. It was just a case of pass­ing the ba­ton, mak­ing each other laugh.”

The fact that nei­ther of them gave a mon­key’s about what was cool meant that they were, and for­ever are, unique.

Lis­ten­ing back to Black Mar­ket Gar­den­ing to­day still feels re­ward­ing, like it’s an al­bum out of time. A snap­shot of two nut­ters do­ing what­ever they fan­cied, as long as it was funky.

“The nice thing peo­ple say is that our stuff dates well,” says Cobby. “That’s be­cause we weren’t jump­ing on band­wag­ons. A lot of our peers’ mu­sic has dated, be­cause they went for a twodi­men­sional genre ap­proach, which was some­thing we never did. Ob­vi­ously it was com­mer­cial sui­cide [laughs].”

Well, Wet Wet Wet may have sold a bil­lion records, Steve, but is Marti Pel­low re­ally that happy? [An­swer: Yes].

Steve Cobby’s lat­est al­bum, Booth­ferry, is out now.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.