Gluck's new collaborations create compelling sounds
The Self - Jeremy Gluck (SWND Records)
On other occasions, when I've introduced Jeremy Gluck's new work, I've usually referred to his previous musical collaborations. Which might have been a mistake.
It's far too easy for an outsider to pigeonhole a creative person. I've been referred to as “the guy who wrote ...” and they name a particular work. Which, while at the time that thing consumed me, is no longer the case. In fact, I've been beavering away at other things, sometimes with other people, and I find the newer works to be far more satisfying and, dare I boast, far more interesting to the half-awake public.
And yes, I suppose I do count myself as half-awake. Folks on everyone's lips are famous for reasons I am in blissful ignorance of, while I've been reading about the extraordinary, hideous, and highly entertaining David Litvinoff. Soon enough I'll start on another book which will start in 1942.
So. Present day. That's 2022 (I have difficulty remembering). Jeremy Gluck, fine artist and prolific - some would say “driven” - music deviant has released "The Self", an LP composed of collaborations with the likes of Youth, Bredon Moeller, Dave Fuglewitz, Phase 47, Paul Hazel, Mick Harvey, Michael Dent and Marty Thau.
Okay, we live in Australia so most of you will only recognise about three of those names. Website SWND Records describes the guts of "The Self" as
A compilation of collaborative remixes from Jeremy Gluck. Spanning over 10 years, The Self closes one circle and cycle of creative output from this prolific artist, while creating a further one, opening with work a decade old and finishing with two contemporary mixes. The spectrum of styles “The Self” encompasses is as varied and volatile as its long list of remixers, all providing Gluck with sophisticated soundscapes in which to situate his spoken word performances.
Anyone familiar with Gluck's Facebook page will recognise a yearning for solidity, security of the self, of moral certainties. And, all he can find is instability, uncertainty, vacuums and distant whorls of gas and rock.
His journey, his beachside ambles and his still-childlike faith in the sun, sand and ocean are things of aching beauty. His art reflects that, and his constant switching of surfaces and fundaments means that he's constantly re-evaluating his reality.
SWND finishes detailing Gluck's more formal achievements:
Gluck presented his paper on Gustav Metzger at the UWTSD Nexus Conference in Swansea, in July 2019. He has exhibited in London, Sydney, Bath, and Swansea, is a member of Non-Place Collective based at Fringe Arts Bath, and a film created by Gluck is now part of the BFI archive.
The man has also issued a number of that current artist's in-joke, the Non-Fungible Token (for those who came in late, that means tokens which aren't mushrooms, toadstools or truffles, but which cost a packet for a whiff of self-smuggery).
Right, well. All that's a bit much to take in on an empty stomach, so let's twist the cap off the gin and turn on the music...
Okay. "The Self" is just a wonderful LP. Each track is its own world, almost its own ecosystem. As the tracks tumble into your head you're simply taken over. The only constant, really, is Gluck's narrative, clear and resonant. It doesn't matter whether you've heard the originals of these songs. Here, they inhabit a different landscape anyway.
The first track, "Everlove" is like toppling into a French movie where everyone falls in love in the spring and then it's summer and there's sand in everyone's cracks. It's glorious. I know we expect Gerard Depardieu to come bumbling in with his brutish face and snubby strawberry snout, but he never appears, which makes it a very special French movie indeed.
"Whisper" is simply a sweet, delicate groove-y love song, which ripples inside your cosmos, baby. I love the loops by the way. Not every music-maker can use a loop properly, but Dub Gabriel (he's utterly famous and deservedly so, not my fault if you've missed out) really knows how to create a sort of enveloping swirl of emotion. He's no dope, either, check out his ID photo here, where he's wearing a decent Ramones T-shirt and looking like a podgy Chopper Read.
"Sleep on the Edge" is mixed by Dave Fuglewicz, and it's quite disturbing, in a trippy, train-track-clack kinda way. The abrupt interventions of el-distorto stuff which might be guitar thoroughly melts your tooth enamel.
"When I Die" is remixed by Mick Harvey with the subtitle of "Annoying Remix". Well, it's actually very pretty indeed, although it's also got a creep-factor of 5 out of 5. Straight Outta Twilight Zone via Compton.
Now, I don't want to go deep into all the nooks and crannies of "The Self", because that, to my mind, will rob you of the joy of discovery. Suffice to say that we're talking a notable cult hit here, the kinda thing you put on when you get home after a big night, not ready to go to bed yet but don't feel like blasting "LA Blues" either.
"The Self" will get you to where you're going, one way or another.
It's the music, the songs, the vibe, the groove, the faith and love borne of humanity and curiosity, of uncertainty and growth ... that's "The Self".