Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Josef K

Domino Records continues to clean out the vaults of Scottish post punk, this time with Entomology, a collection from Josef K. Despite the group's brief lifespan, their legend has grown mightily over the years. The collection's liner notes were written by Paul Morley, and here's an excerpt:

There needed to be a gloomy remotely intimate glam pop group named after a character created by Franz Kafka who detuned their pained, pining guitars like the Velvet Underground, who screwed up dance beats with as much nimble knowingness and/or amateurish exuberance as Devo, who faced up to long lasting reality with as much sad, mad grace as Magazine, who got stuck into logic as defiantly as Pere Ubu, who had spent a lot of time watching Television and listening to the first six or seven songs written by Buzzcocks.

They took themselves very seriously whilst circling the idea that fun was a very peculiar notion.

They were The Sound of Young Scotland, together with Orange Juice, whose guitars were also radiant and brittle, whose rhythms were also scrubbed and blunt, whose vocals were also proud and serious, but who sounded like another group completely.

A touch more rational. A little less glaring. A splinter less uptight. Lacking, perhaps, the art for art’s sake element that some of us swooned over, and which we see explicitly echoed in they way, say, the popular Franz Ferdinand express themselves.

Their own men.

In their own special time.

Who would know when it was time to quit.

While I never liked them as much as the Edwyn Collins-fronted Orange Juice, Josef K were good enough to play in the same league as them, and two decades on their songs still sound great.

MySpace: Josef K

Audio: "Sorry For Laughing"
Audio: "It's Kinda Funny"


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