Friday, January 27, 2006

The End Of The Affair

Today is a black day for freedom of expression. First the Washington Post bans all comments on one of its blogs, then Google China creates a super-censored version of the internet to keep the country's intolerant gerontocracy happy.

And then Mig-Ig-Uar grew weary of my trolling. It was bound to happen, I suppose, since I think that maybe only one of my last five comments had not been deleted. But I feel strangely ashamed and chastened, like the time in elementary school I tried to eat a tippex covered note rather than let it fall into the hands of a teacher, only to have it taken from me anyway.

All we have left, I guess, is the healing power of the flute. I appreciate that this week-long parade of the flutes has ignored Jethro Tull, a decision made all the more baffling by the fact that a sibling went to school with Ian Anderson's daughter. I also caught a Canned Heat song that featured a delightful flute solo in Freddy's last night. Turns out that every sod has posted it.

Anyway, the March of the Flutes is a five-day affair. There will be winners and losers, although both will be highly mellifluous. Which is why we will close things with the definitive modern dance-flute freakout. And it's from an out of print album, which is nice.

Bentley Rhythm Ace were frequently derided as the Northside of Big Beat. Didn't help that many of the members were refugees from fraggle bands. They made two albums for Astralwerks under licence from Skint, ended up in a lot of adverts, like some kind of less sincere Moby, and petered out around 2000.

I had anticipated a tiring and fruitless quest round the East Village to find a copy of their debut. But I scored first time in the basement of this slightly dowdy place opposite Cooper Union. Only five dar.

No-one, before or after, has surpassed the swarm of funky flutes that appeared on the first song on their debut album. It would be very difficult to unleash such woodwind mayhem without cloning, and mutilating, an entire lorryload of James Lasts. Probably not as bouncy as you'd want (for that you would need "Whoosh"), but it will definitely "sort you out" (sorry).

Bentley Rhythm Ace - "Let There Be Flutes"
This "Bentley Rhythm Ace" album. It appears to be neither gone nor forgotten. So you may purchase it at these reputable merchants


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