Sunday, September 07, 2008

Vitamin Fusion

Pedro - Vitamins

It's taken me a while to give the new Pedro (aka James Rutledge) album, 'You, Me & Everyone' the listening time it deserved. I'm a huge Pedro fan - I have the sleeve of his debut EP (featuring a beautiful drawing of a tree by the late, great Dave Tyack) in a frame on the wall in my house, and those first two EPs plus his self-titled debut album - all recorded for Melodic - I absolutely adore. So I'm pleased to report that 'You, Me & Everyone', is astounding, while also being a giant step forward from his previous output. Its release has been somewhat confusing. It came out on Mush in the States last year, but didn't get a UK release until May 2008, over two years since Rutledge downed tools and put the album in the out tray.

This is proper FUSION music - dense, confusing, complicated, liberating and insane - after my first listen I felt like I needed to have a lie down in a darkened room to recover. Having said this, you can tell that Rutledge had real fun making the album. It's not po-faced noodling; it's the sound of barriers being broken and sonic envelopes being pushed to the very edge and then over into the abyss of the completely new. Take 'Vitamins' - a moody techno intro bursts gloriously into twinkling electronics, tinkling glockenspiels, backwards guitars, brass stabs, mesmerising flutes, and percussion that is RIGHT OFF THE CHAIN. A pox on ye, James, for making me type that last phrase, but I don't know how else to describe it. The drums are properly mental. Double good. In the next life I’m coming back as a drummer...

How the hell do people write music like this? I have a basic grasp of how a band might compose a traditional song of verse/chorus/whatever, but I have absolutely no understanding of how on earth this sort of music gets written and recorded. I would say mountains of psychedelic drugs were involved, but I don't think James is much of a dabbler.

Buy 'You, Me & Everyone' by Pedro from Boomkat
Pedro MySpace