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Onemind Presents Onemind

John Fekner City Squad - Idioblast 1983-2004 (2CD)


  • £27.34

Cat. no: CDMH8296
Format: CD (2CD)
Barcode: 090771829627
Release Date: 10 May 2024
Genre: Rap/Hip-Hop

With words as weapons and public infrastructure as his blank slate, John Fekner's City Squad are always questing for the ineffable, even as they yearn for concrete change - Make no mistake, Idioblast is a serious party where everyone is welcome

Released in 1984, Idioblast is a lost classic, a future shock narrative ahead of its time, and yet completely of its era, like few artifacts before or since

The cover tips you off from the jump-- a crude but effective collage featuring classic Fekner slogans like Toxic Junkie, Growth Decay and Soft Brains Watch The Screen And Buy The Jeans. In an uncanny and tragic coincidence, the very frst lyric on the album--"The place to be is on the space shuttle/ if you're brave enough to get on it"--seems to anticipate the Challenger disaster just two years later. But for the most part, the tracks on Idioblast directly reference the concepts that inspired Fekner's visual art.

Musically, "Rapicasso" utilizes pneumatic pounding with an industrial edge as Fekner equates the great and controversial painter with risk-taking grafti kids bombing trains and billboards across the city. Art is in a constant state of exploding-- forms, paradigms, outdated ideas. Splitting the difference between hip- hop and new wave, the Santaniello- sung "The Beat" is like Thomas Dolby meets Run-DMC and should've been a radio staple for at least one sticky summer. It could soundtrack either a couples roller skate or a drug-fueled evening out. Channeling Fekner's slogan-stencil aesthetic, "Travelogue The 80's" is a tour de force reminiscent of Negativland's experiments in audio culture jamming. As Fekner details, "I grabbed all of the sounds via a shortwave radio picking up transmissions from LaGuardia airport and the TV. I recorded and edited on a Sony Pro Walkman and an Aiwa dual cassette deck."

CD (2CD) Tracks: Halley's Comet / Rapicasso / The Beat / Travelogue The 80's / 2-4-5-7-9-11 (ft. Bear 167) / I Get Paid To Clap (Full Version) / The Sight Of The Child / Wheels Over Indian Trails (ft. Dave Santaniello) / Rock Steady (ft. Dave Santaniello) / Another Four Years / E Z Gee Jammin' / Concrete People (John Fekner, Dennis Mann & Al Belfore) / BD Cycles (ft. Sasha Sumner) / Rhapsody In Black / When The Future Collides With History (previously unissued) / Concrete Concerto (John Fekner, Dennis Mann & Sasha Sumner) / Concrete People (Dance Mix) / Concrete Concerto (Oil Drum Mix) / The Beat (89 Mix)

More From This Artist: John Fekner City Squad

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