This is something I've been meaning to put in the mails but ultimately I've forgotten about it. Which is a shame, as it's really quite special. It's called Contemporary Protest Music and it's by The Master Musicians Of Dyffryn Moor, a duo made up of Owen Martell and Simon Proffitt. Proffitt, a multi-disciplinary artist, runs the label Amgueddfa Llwch, which means Museum of Dust in Welsh. Operating since 2017, it's put out two records by the Master Musicians and one by Proffitt himself. This latest one is particularly vital, inspired by the current administration in the UK and the effects of their policies. It's a running joke on Twitter that music writers often ponder "where has all the protest music gone", since instrumental music, be it experimental, club, ambient or any other type, can't possibly be as effective or thought-provoking as good old-fashioned folk, with its direct lyrics and hummable melodies.
This release is a "howl of rage". That's as clear from the titles of the tracks - mini-essays in themselves - as from the sound itself. Each track is a flurry of percussion, thick, dense and powerful drumming that runs from five to nine minutes. I can't even begin to give more detail than that, but I will say that after several listens I decided to pair it with an album from arch-chillmaster M. Geddes Gengras, with startlingly good results. Money made from this release is being donated to the Wrexham Foodbank. A 360-degree political statement.
1. The greatest trick the Tories ever pulled was convincing working class British voters, who feel left behind, to blame the EU & immigrants for their troubles while also convincing them to continue voting for the very party actually responsible.
2. How could it not make you angry, and I mean deep down gut-clenched angry, to know this Government has spent the last 8 years easing taxes on the rich & turning a blind eye to the billions the country loses every year to tax havens & then fining the homeless for having nothing?
3. With every fibre of my being, I hate what is happening to my country. Liars, self interested disaster capitalists and charlatans have hijacked political discourse. We are headed to armageddon but none of those advocating for this will be hurt and they do not care for anyone else.
4. The revolting hypocrisy of Tory MPs & ministers posing for food banks. Their austerity policies, ‘welfare reform’, delayed payments & sanctions have engendered hunger & destitution. From 42,000 food bank users to 1.2m in 8 years. Pyromaniacs taking selfies at their own fires.