Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Drum machine

Man Forever is John Colpitts, better known as Kid Millions: drummer extraordinaire with Oneida and Ex Models, and collaborator with everyone from Boredoms to Black Mountain and Spiritualized's Jason Pierce. A bookish figure offstage, he transforms into an octopoid superhuman behind his kit. A good job, too, given that Oneida's legendary Ocropolis performances lasted for ten hours.

Man Forever's last LP, 2017's Play What They Want, was ironically titled - the music it contained wasn't in thrall to anyone's preconceptions or constrained by any kind of convention. Neither was it consciously designed, Colpitt instead allowing himself to be led wherever the compositions took him. "I didn't want it to be dismissed offhand with something like, 'Oh yeah, this is Kid Millions messing around with drums'", he told one interviewer. "I really wanted it to be surprising."

Play What They Want WAS Kid Millions messing around with drums (to great effect, it should be added), but it was certainly also surprising: a heady cocktail whose ingredients included freeform piano, choral passages, playful patterns and hypnotic non-Western rhythms and chimes, drawing on contemporary classical and avant-garde influences that took it way beyond standard rock tropes.

Contributors to the album included Laurie Anderson, Yo La Tengo and Trans Am's Phil Manley. Don't expect any of them to pitch up onstage in the Moon tomorrow night, but do go along with an open mind.

(An edited version of this preview appeared on the Buzz website.)

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