Savetheculture - Karl Hector and the Malcouns, Sahara Swing


Nominated to #SaveTheCulture by Neil Vogler, Steve Taylor-Bryant is lost for words as he listens to Sahara Swing...

I don't know if you remember when we started this #SaveTheCulture project but I was the first nominated. It's quite an honour, so when Neil Vogler nominated me to go again my chest swelled with pride and a single tear of joy leaked from my eye. Now, back at the start, I was given a jazz trio but I know Neil, he won't stitch me up like that so let's open this package and see what I've got. Drum roll please...

Karl Hector and the Malcouns. Karl who and the what type of coconut biscuit? You're just making names up now. A quick Google later and I'm now convinced this isn't a joke and the band actually exists but I have a fear from what I've read that I'm not going to like them. I mean, what the hell is Krautrock Psychedelic Afro-beat Funk when it's at home?

It turns out that Krautrock Psychedelic Afro-beat Funk is the type of music that makes my whole brain get conflicted with itself. It's genius but yet awful, brilliant but yet confusing. It makes no sense but is perfect. It's Neil Vogler personified in music. It's also virtually impossible to review. There aren't the words invented yet to describe the Sahara Swing album. Instead of finding new words then I'll let you see my notes for the first half of the album so you can see how conflicted I became...

1-Just noise
2-Very funky and some beautiful bass and percussion, nice drum break to end
3-Jazz meets Ray Manzarek, nice
4-Interesting , can't narrow down instruments but I like it.
5-An almost jazz/synthesised 'Rage Against the Machine' track. Stunning.
6-Nonsense to start with and then just a bit samey through middle. Then nonsense again. Not for me.
7-Pointless filler
8-Ooh this is very nice. Funky with beautiful brass...

See? There are elements of this style that astounds me. The brass and percussion in particular are astonishing and as a musician (percussionists are musicians, you know) I'm incredibly impressed with the skill set and emotional range put into every track. As a listener though, I'm confused and a little bored. It's certainly not for me but that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a place aboard our #SaveTheCulture vessel, it means a lot to Neil to start with, but more than that it's challenging and challenging is always good in music, especially in the drab pop existence we live in today. I thank Neil for the nomination, apologise for not seeing what he did in it and not liking it enough, but I urge any of you that like to be challenged to click that video at the bottom and give it a go. Some of it may speak to you in a way I wished it had spoken to me.

For my next nomination we are going a bit more famous and, in my opinion, a little less challenging. We are going back to 1967 and where my love of poetic lyrics and punchy organ music comes from. Tony Cross! Break on Through to the Other Side with The Doors self titled album.