The Clash meets Go­ril­laz

Village Post - - Currents -

When news broke that Gus Co­rian­doli, now known as Gus Van Go, es­teemed and Juno Award–win­ning record pro­ducer for the Stills, White­horse and many oth­ers, had teamed up with ex-Stills prin­ci­pal singer Tim Fletcher along with Brook­lyn hip-hop pro­duc­tion duo Like Minds and reg­gae MC Screechy Dan, well, need­less to say, we were in­trigued.

Mega­tive has a long ori­gin story made up of late night road trip con­ver­sa­tions and words spo­ken at par­ties on rare oc­ca­sions over years be­tween Van Go and Fletcher, when the two worked on Stills projects. The two shared a love of mu­sic that com­bined reg­gae with the spirit and pol­i­tics of punk.

What if the Clash made a sec­ond Com­bat Rock record (an al­bum both con­sider one of their favourites)? Why wasn’t there a fol­lowup to the Spe­cials sec­ond, less ac­claimed, record More Spe­cials?

“We were al­ways, like, at a time with the Clash re­leas­ing dou­blesided al­bums all the time, why isn’t Com­bat Rock a dou­ble-al­bum?” says Van Go. “We’d jok­ingly be say­ing one day we’d make the sec­ond side of that al­bum.”

Mega­tive had its blueprint. And even­tu­ally, the two set out to work on their dream project.

Van Go was based in Brook­lyn and had worked with Jesse Singer and Chris Soper of Like Minds in the past and knew the com­bi­na­tion was a good one. But they needed that voice, the chatterbox MC, to pro­pel the con­ver­sa­tion forward like their favourite mu­sic of the past. They found it in long­time MC Screechy Dan, of Ruff En­try Crew.

Af­ter Van Go sent the first few songs to his old friend at Last Gang Records, the band was im­me­di­ately signed.

Their self-ti­tled de­but al­bum, re­leased July 27, is lov­ingly rooted in the mu­si­cal tra­di­tions of the past but pep­pered with a beats-ori­ented sound­scape that is very much of the present. Think the Clash meets Go­ril­laz. Lyri­cally, Fletcher of­fers up songs that range from im­ages of a dystopian future in “Yeah Yeah Yeah” to good old-fash­ioned ex­is­ten­tial dread on songs such as on the band’s groovy first sin­gle, “More Time.”

When the band per­formed live the last time they came through Toronto, Gus may have dropped the mo­hawk from the ’ 90s and is no longer the prin­ci­pal singer, but he still prowls the stage and en­gages with the crowd like few per­form­ers can.This is a man who loves a crowd and loves per­form­ing. And it’s in­fec­tious.

“I’ve al­ways been a ma­niac on­stage; the spirit takes me,” says Van Go.

“I let loose and have fun, and that’s been my phi­los­o­phy for what I do on­stage since like 1990. I have no other way to be.”

Word to the wise, en­joy this band while they are here. As Van Go ex­plains, every­one in the band has other projects on the go, and mem­ber­ship is fluid, so who knows what is next for them.

Mega­tive plays in Toronto on Sept. 28 at Long­boat Hall.

Brook­lyn’s Mega­tive play Long­boat Hall on Sept. 28

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.