Scobberlotchers - recorded by Momus in Osaka immediately after Britain's shock referendum decision to leave the European Union - is the first post-Brexit album, and certainly won't be the last (although it may turn out to be the best). "Post-Brexit" is a music sub-genre which shares certain features with the more personal, more familiar post-breakup album: both are driven by cataclysmic splits, ire and belly-fire, recriminations, insults, and at least four out of the five stages of the famous Kübler-Ross model of bereavement-grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Momus - a European to the core, despite his move to Japan - responded first to the Brexit vote with a string of Captain Haddock-like insults. As the songwriting evolved, Brexit took it's place in a larger and more disturbing pattern, confirmed by a coup in Turkey and Trump's successes on the American election trail: an uptick in populist isolationism, the sudden apparent acceptability of overt racism, and increasing acts of terrorist violence or random hatred. Extrapolated, these developments pose the threat of a looming neo-imperial order with it's own sinister "year zero". But Scobberlotchers isn't all menace: jubilant songs like Heian and Perlenschwein remind us that even in the darkest, most "interesting" times there are solid consolations in the form of love and art. And Momus' continuing use of Japanese folk music (mixed here with dissonant snatches of 20th century avant-garde classical music as well as straighforward pop) reminds us that although the West may be entering a bloody decline, Asia remains serene and optimistic.
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