John Moore - Lo Fi Lullabies
“A bruised eremitic, Withnalian Rattlesnake on downers. Makes Lou Reed sound like a bricklayer.” Andrew Male, Mojo.
Following his rock and roll debauches in The Jesus and Mary Chain, and the insanity of the last days of nineteen-eighties New York, the early nineteen-nineties found John Moore back in London, on the scrap heap, penniless, divorced, broken-hearted, and keeping some very dubious company. Things had never been better. Old enough to have acquired some scars, yet young enough to keep upright, now at last, with something interesting to write about…to him, at least.
Armed with a few guitars, a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder, a cheap condenser Mic, a lot of red wine, Absinthe, rolling tobacco, and a beautiful view of The Westway, he wrote and recorded Lo-Fi Lullabies, for the next phase of his stalled career. Songs, which, with the great studios, producers, and record companies he was expecting to come knocking at any moment, would be every bit as good as the classics that had inspired him, and propel him back to the path of glory – Some chance.
Strangely, he did build a following in The Czech Republic and Spain, and recorded one album ‘You Might As Well Live’ with his band revolution 9, which was well received in the UK, but completely out of step with the flag-wavers of Britpop. The venture ended, as it had begun, in noble failure. He continued writing and performing, and put together a more raucous quartet whose recordings can be heard on the companion album tp Lo-Fi Lullabies - Floral Tributes.
The band had potential, but was broke, and once again, heroically unsuited to the times. Then, almost as a joke, he and drinking buddy Luke Haines recruited a pretty young singer with a fine voice, and formed Black Box Recorder, ostensibly as an art project, which accidentally became popular, and took up much of the next decade. As if this wasn’t enough, his enthusiasm for the Green Fairy - Absinthe, which he had discovered on a tour of the Czech Republic, led him to become its first importer since 1914, right in time for the Millennium. A period of notoriety and relative wealth followed, and the Lo-Fi Lullabies were put in a drawer for a rainy day, still with the idea of ‘doing them properly one day’, as if they were some kind of musical pension – but, of course, they were promptly forgotten about. Time passed, life happened, and suddenly it was 2014.
To this day, Moore still owns a green double-decker bus, but has no idea where it is parked. It took twenty years to realize that these strange, claustrophobic songs of love, wisdom, and bitter experience that he’d smoked and croaked his way through, in the tiny top-floor room overlooking the Westway, while consuming Absinthe and red wine like a true-doomed soul, in his narcotic afternoon reverie, were in fact, the definitive arrangements, and that no amount of Neumann U87 microphones or expensive string arrangements could recreate their strange atmosphere. Finally, it dawned on him, that the record companies – what was left of them, weren’t coming, the big pay-days had been and gone, and the producers had retired. Even the dreaded Britpop was stuffing odour eaters into its orthopaedic adidas and limping out on the heritage trail. Twenty years on, rather than waiting for a posthumous release, obliteration – or to be discovered in a land-full, ten thousand years from now, he decided to release them – the rainy day us now. The Lo-Fi Lullabies are spirit messages from a past life - wax cylinder recordings from a time before even the lowliest musicians had enough recording power on their phones to produce a soft-rock apocalypse, with extra plug-ins for soulfulness and authenticity. Here, the hiss is real, the string buzzes genuine, and the playing mistakes, a testimony to youthful intoxication, and all the better for it.
Without being Luddite, no record companies, major studios, or interested parties of any kind were involved in the making of this record. It was recorded onto four-track cassette – the best available at the time, then many years later, transferred to computer and given a wash and brush up, then finally, mastered and pressed onto Blue Vinyl – just as Moore’s very first release was.
Now, along with its companion LP, Floral Tributes, on red vinyl, free digital-download cards for vinyl purchasers, and available to purchase on-line, these Lo-Fi Lullabies are finally blinking into the light. So far, nobody has invented a plug-in to recreate their sound, but an algorithm can’t be far away. In the meantime, please sit back, watch the sunset, smoke an e-cigarette, drink wine, let the Paddington-slip from your mind, and let the Lo-Fi Lullabies wash over you, and cast their spell.
Tracks : Side 1, 1. What Do You Want To Talk About? 2. Clouds Roll By 3. True Intentions 4. Path of Least Resistance 5. Work It Out Somehow. Side 2 1. When I’m Dead 2. Watching The Lady Dress 3. Giving Up The Ghost 4. Now That Your Lover Has Gone 5. Kisses and Scars300 only blue vinyl LP.