Friday, November 10, 2006

Basement Crates: Discovery 10

Marxman: All About Eve (Talkin Loud, 1993)

This is a real joy to share. As I have said earlier, I used to collect everything on Talkin' Loud (and the rest), but very little of it has aged well. This, on the other hand, is as beautiful now as it was 13 years ago.

Marxman were that rarest of rare beasts, a multi-racial Irish Marxist rap crew. This makes them sound bad when, in fact, they were absolutely bloody brilliant. Great, conscious lyrics, hugely melodic samples (this one written by Stevie Wonder's co-writers, Cosby and Moy) and all back-lit with a sense of dynamic purpose.

Marxman meant it. You don't see many - hell, you don't see any - hammer and sickles on rap sleeves these days. You don't hear anyone with much to say that isn't pretty much like everything everyone else is saying. But not here.

All About Eve is a wonderfully subtle song about love and abuse and the way people use shame and deceit in their relationships and the more I listen to it, the more I feel sad that Marxman were never taken up by more people. But then, I listen to it again, how the voices dip in and out of each other, how they deconstruct destructive male behaviour and question compliant female behaviour and then I realise that maybe I'm expecting a bit too much of people.

Anyway, happy ending coming. Six or seven years later I met Marxman's Oisin through his new project, First Born. We sat in a pub in Camden and got a bit drunk and talked about the band and I wrote up it up as a big interview for Melody Maker.

We still see each other. Which has no bearing on how good this is.

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