imomus (imomus) wrote,

Ben Butler & Mousepad, Eats Tapes, and The Rah Band

Here's my current musical "other half", Joe Howe, with his personal other half, Emma Balkind, curator of the Dark Horses exhibition currently showing at Glasgow's Recoat Gallery (click through the Dark Horses zine on their blog or have a gander at the gallery's Flickr set).

When people ask what the Joemus album is sounding like, I tend to say "8-bit Glam Rock", which is the genre description that seems to fit best. (My next Playground column, by the way, is going to be about the frustrations and confusions of genre -- at the Rough Trade shop in Truman's Yard I had no idea where to start looking for Momus records, because I didn't know if I was officially "UK Pop" or "Postpunk" or "New Folk" or "Electronica" or whatever -- all and none of the above, really).

Joe and Emma will be our guests in Berlin for a week or so later this month, before they move to Eats Tapes' place in Kreuzberg for a month or so. Here's an Eats Tapes video:

Eats Tapes don't have a genre complex, they're happy to slap the "8bit techno" label on what they do. But can I find an 8bit techno divider header in a record shop near me?

Joe Howe has a new project which I wanted to tell you about today, it's called Ben Butler and Mousepad. The MySpace page says it's inspired by "computing science prog-funk jams" and lists influences as "magma, gentle giant, curved air, king crimson, giorgio moroder, greg phillinganes, weather report, yellow magic orchestra, funkadelic, moog, library music, bbc radiophonic workshop, tape music, glass candy, day of the tentacle".

One thing you won't hear on the three excellent mixtapes Joe links from his Ben Butler page is The Rah Band. Despite the fact that bits of BB&Mousepad sound remarkably like early Rahs (electronic Glam, basically), Joe had never heard of them! He tells me he's "stoked" to have them pointed out. To be honest, I knew very little about them (I vaguely remembered Lawrence from Denim going on about them circa 1990) until Cherry Red asked me to go through their entire catalogue and choose 15 songs for a digital-only compilation. (It'll appear soon on the Cherry Red website, along with my own selection from my Noughties albums.)

I stumbled on the Cherry Red Rah Band album and wowed a big wow. It was Joe, before Joe!

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