Posted on: April 4th, 2013

keep the gangways clear

The language used in the process of creating music or film or clothing can swiftly skip through the florid fields of wish and wash, Mere words fail often and so metaphor by association and simile swing into action “a little bit harder, somewhat brighter, perhaps a touch of warmth?” we’ve all had to respond to these encoded unspecific generalities at some time before – “ certainly, I know just what you mean… I think”

High street highwaymen who abuse terminology in order to sell cure-all snake oil have their whims routinely clipped by legislation and sales description acts. Food is too dangerous to mis-describe, but when it comes to bath and shower essentials, then the massed entries of Roget come to lead the charge and confusion blends with evocative bullshit to create a mixed fibre all of its own.

So when does Home Made and Hand Made trip over the edge of Plausibility Cliff? The moment the cotton is plucked from the plant, the wool sheered from the sheep, a process starts; both machines and hands are used, even if the hand only pushes the button marked ‘on’.

The thread winds through many stages, spinning, knitting, dying, finishing, pressing, packaging, selling, purchasing, wearing, like a cloth-headed version of ‘John Barleycorn Must Die’ and yet the jumper still comes out hand-made.

The music is processed in much the same fashion, from the lessons learned from ‘A Tune A Day’ to the playing here in The Developer, via pedals and amps through Marco’s desk onto hard drives and into film, it all gets touched along the way, but machines (designed and made by man) play a big part and out of it all comes ‘music’ – that woven thread that creates delight boredom or anger, depending on the listener’s taste.

Smedley’s garments are not for everybody, and there will be those who don’t enjoy The Developer, but the great mistake we now call The Great HMV Cock Up is the trying-to-be-something–for-everyone, the Primark and Greggs of the musical tapestry.

Yet all processed food remains a loaded gun. Turkey Twizzlers are frowned upon when factory made but are they not just Sunday’s roast in a breadcrumb jacket? The humble potato is poisonous until processed, and this starts with the luring of slugs with beer on the allotment, never mind the deep-fat fryer…

Language runs out of steam and so taste has to take over

two drummers drumming

The Developer on a Dual-Drum Glitter Band setting