How do you write about a record so mercurial, leftfield and wide – ranging as this? I guess we have to look at the ethic behind it. Born out of an uncompromising and broadly anti-folk night held every month at London’s 12 Bar, Blang Records has spent a decade releasing records that challenge musical fashion, goes against the grain and above all has something to say. Lucky Dip is a showcase of artists from their ten-year career to date.
Although musical diversity seems to be the order of the day, if there is one thing that connects the artists found here, it is their liberal mix of humour, social commentary and general outspokenness that points fun at society often via bigger issues but generally through the strange minutiae of everyday life. On the one hand you have Sergeant BuzFuz’s poignant look at global powers and their policies in Truth and Lies and at the other you have the almost Bonzo-esque tale of Malcolm Kaksois’ Sexy Dentist. Internal Exile by Slate Islands is a modern day folk tale with a timeless message and Soap Box is intelligent, garage punk-r’n’b courtesy of Thee Cee Cees. Musically the selection is wonderfully wide ranging, lyrically it is nothing less than brilliant.
Non-conformity, that is the key, not a fist in the air, revolutionary stance more a very gentle and quintessentially English, slightly silly and subtly subversive undermining of expectations. And in a society that seems ever more centred around this “fame at all costs” fast track, at a time when music seems to exist only as a pathway to TV stardom or in arenas the size of a small county where tickets require a 2nd mortgage and a small child as a hostage, we need Blang more than ever. Proof that small, independent labels can make a difference, that you don’t have to toe the line, that music more than ever needs to lose it’s po-faced earnestness and can have something to say but do so using humour and a sly wink to the listener. Blang…we love you.