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"a bubble-film of holy shit popping and winking on the asshole of Mother Earth" - two reviews of GOD on wax and in the flesh, 1994, Melody Maker

(Note - Kevin Martin's always made music that's fascinated me one way or the other. "Anatomy Of Addiction" is, if I recall rightly, an album he's not happy with but I think it's ace. The live show was amazing, if I recall rightly they were supported by (or were supporting) Bark Psychosis in one of their last ever shows (or was it Boymerang? Or was it Spring Heel Jack? Who the fuck knows - I just remember being stood next to the entirely marvellous Jonathan Selzer for the duration and both of us being utterly stunned.


THE problem with white appropriation of black music is that all too often the bands choose the least interesting, most conventional aspects of black pop to explore: partly to reaffirm their cultures’ outmoded “natchel riddim” ideas of black authenticity, or to shore up white critical discourse that seeks to claim all true innovation as its own. What’s so fascinating about the British post-rock fringe is that the bands take precisely those facets of black music which are most unpalatable and conform least to racist notions of black musicality, and cast them in their own environment, giving them a renewed potency and significance.
   What’s crucial is that they don’t just borrow the sound (listen, learn and weep Primal Scream) rather they try and remain true to the spirit of transgression and subversion inherent in this music and bring that spirit to play on their own experience. So sure, I hear Public Enemy, Miles, Trane & Far-I on this LP but I also hear a totally distinct voice, a filthy beast of its own, a divine stuck pig of a band spewing out a colossal agglomeration of rock and jazz’s most incendiary moments.
   God are three horn players, two guitarists, two drummers and three bassists. And an electric viola. And a sampler. That’s over 479 million musical possibilities and they’re all dealt with here, I counted. The opener, “On All Fours”, judders on a slamming hip-hop chassis, building and building till it buckles, sax squealing around impossible gradients, until every available bit of speaker space is crammed with noise. “Lazarus” rises out of a swamp of Ayler sax-drone to become delirious metallic funk: listening you get so hypnotised and drawn in it seems that all you have left is the beat – they you snap back and the filled out grotesqueness of the soundscape just about steals your breath. I got that fever and a cold sweat.
   “White Pimp Cut Up” is one of the most brutal deranged retchings of bile I’ve had the pleasure of submitting to this year, a sound that riddles your guts and bursts through your chest, turns into Seventies porno-jazz before pulling an eelskin-handled flick-knife and committing gross GBH on yer head. Marvellous. And finally, the closer “Detox” runs the voodoo down for 18-minutes that have Walkman-ed me round this city with my head on fire for the past fortnight.
   I’d put “Anatomy Of Addiction” up there with “DI Go Pop” and “Motion Pool” as one of the precious few British LPs this year brave enough to open its eyes to the present rather than look back to a dead past (Blur? Ha ha, it is to laugh). Hallowed company that this astonishing album richly deserves.


CONNECTIONS are being made, dues are being paid after years of historical debt. Mo’Wax and trip-hoppers like Tricky and Depthcharge are welding phat beats to avant backdrops; the post-rock axis fuses live and lo-fi with the multi-track swirl of dance: Underworld are fixing pop’s centre in the clubs and decks where it belongs. All over Britain, the most intresting music is being made not by the scenesters and paper sellers, but by the dissidents, those brave enough to pursue their vision remorselessly and chase their imaginings. It’s called genius. Kevin Martin is one such figure and Gig Of The Year doesn’t even come into it. This was the last live show on earth by the last live band on earth. This was a live, aural sex show and I’ve been f***ed and finished off, my trembling hands barely able to light my post-coital fag. Tonight, the earth slam-danced.
   God are about the friction between different musics, the sparks that fly when a dozen people each bring da noise. With pop becoming more and more disembodied, God are perhaps the last gasp of the physical. The wracked body pissing, shitting and f***ing out great gouts of noise. One giant orga(ni)sm of sound feeding on its own components and puking them up, then swallowing them down again and crapping them out, their excretory mix kicking up the stink of heaven. Violins are sucked into Tauhid horns, weighted down by guitar and finally pulled under the propulsive bass nd drums. The noise rolls on, ignoring verse-chorus narrative in favour of pulling out the intensities, stacking up the climaxes and then looping them into a terminal crescendo that rips you apart.
   Although I could never see Ice or Techno-Animal storming the mainstream, what’s so scintillating about God is that they are so utterly danceable. “Lazarus” is wickedly funky, coiled bass unfurling round your butt and whipping you into the groove. “Drive The Demons Out” is spun out into a long, jam roar that has the indie-kids skanking gape-mouthed, while the addition of a trio of African drummers tonight only adds to God’s rhythmic weight.
   This is crucial. Don’t view them as weird or “out there” or any of those things you need long words and black wardrobes to dig: God are for music lovers, plain and simple. If you’ve ever liked PJ, Miles, the music from “Dirty Harry”, PiL – music delivered like a bomb that strains at the impossible every second – then get into God NOW.
   Gigs over the next few months are gonna be pretty empty experiences after this. This was inarguable, incredible, unspeakable, essential. I CANNOT SHAKE IT. Yeah, I saw God and s/he was funky, a bubble-film of holy shit popping and winking on the asshole of Mother Earth. You got that?
   God f***ed me and I want to sleep in the wet patch. Dope.


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