The Mekons to release ‘Exquisite,’ surprise new album recorded in isolation

Group’s latest, a Bandcamp exclusive, “recorded in splendid physical isolation on mobile phones, broken cassette recorders, clay tablets and other ancient technologies”

The Mekons’ latest

In Paris, in 1925, Yves Tanguy, Jacques Prévert, André Breton and Marcel Duchamp invented a game they called ‘cadavre exquis,’ derived from a phrase that came up when they first played: ‘le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau’ (‘the exquisite corpse will drink the new wine’).

Basically each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed. In the current plague year 2020, after a planned rendezvous in Valencia was necessarily cancelled, mekons adopted this method as a means of collectively assembling lyrics and tunes and recording their new album.

Locked down in various locations, scattered from the West Coast of California to the East End of London, they sang and played into their mobile phones and emailed, uploaded and Whatsapped their wailings, beatings, scratchings and strummings around the globe through the billions of interconnected nodes of our networked panopticon.

ESCALERA video edited by JAMES LANGFORD

Advertisements

Give Us a Tune: The Mekons

“Ghosts of American Astronauts”

Up in the hills above Bradford
Outside the Napalm factory
(They’re floating above us)
Ghosts of American astronauts
Glow in the headlight’s beam

It’s just a small step for him
It’s a nice break from Vietnam
(Filmed in a factory)
Out on the back lot in Houston
Who says the world isn’t flat

A flag flying free in a vacuum
Nixon sucks a dry martini
Ghosts of American astronauts
Stay with us in our dreams

John Glenn drinks cocktails with God
In a cafe in downtown Saigon
(High above them)
Ghosts of American Astronauts
Are drifting too close to the sun

A flag flying free in a vacuum
Nixon sucks a dry Martini
Ghosts of American astronauts
Stay with us in our dreams