March 27, 2009

Projekt A-ko Is Awesome And This Is A Post About Them

Projekt A-ko
We suppose we should start at the beginning of the story, which is this: when we were music director at the radio station of our small liberal arts college in Connecticut in 1996 we took delivery of copious excellent records. And in those days, pre- ubiquitous Interhoozle and MySpazzz and all that, one reliable indicator of whether the indie rock you were about to hear was any good was what label it was released on. So when we saw a new CD EP come through the door that spring from the very respectable Che Records, we took notice. The disc was Urusei Yatsura's Plastic Ashtray EP [video], and like all good things in 1996, we almost immediately took it into the auxiliary studio and copied it to cassette tape, the now quaint storage media. We played that tape to death, and always maintained an interest in Urusei Yatsura while not actually hearing any of the ensuing recordings. Along the way some legal friction with a Japanese comics outfit or some such forced the band to drop the "Urusei" from its name for releases in certain markets, but otherwise the Glaswegian foursome continued to make and release records until 2001, during which we moved around a lot, played some cards, had a few jobs and largely forgot about the band. That is, until about a week ago, when Parisian blogstress and Johnny Foreigner fan Veee sent us a message asking if we were hip to the band. Almost the same day we received an email from a fellow in England saying something about a few bands and mixed in there was the name Urusei Yatsura, who we had only a week or so before seen used as an RIYL for the rising British band Wet Paint. So we thought, hey, that's weird, everybody's talking about Urusei Yatsura nowadays, and then we doot-doot-dooed like Homer Simpson for about a week before going back to the email mentioned all the way back in the previous sentence.

Upon further review, we learned that said email was indicating that three former members of Urusei Yatsura had formed several years ago the new combo Projekt A-ko. The new trio -- Fergus Lawrie on guitar and vocals, Elaine Graham on bass and vocals, and Ian Graham on drums -- will release the full-length Yoyodyne April 20 on its own Milk Pie Records, and we've heard a few tracks from it, and they are amazingstunningawesome. There are a couple non-album MP3's at the Yoyodyne microsite, and even those are awesome. Yoyodyne took three years to write and record, and the tracks "Here Comes New Challenger!" and "Nothing Works Twice" have been selected as singles from the 13 cuts, although it is unclear whether that means they are, you know, actual singles coming out on vinyl and whatnot, or just the band saying "hey! radio programmers! play these tracks!" It's a little confusing because these tunes have already been issued: Filthy Little Angel records released a Projekt A-ko/Horowitz split EP in February 2008 in an edition of 200 vinyl copies which contained the tracks "Nothing Works Twice" and "Goodbye Sunlight" on it. We will spend most of the weekend thinking of ways to justify spending six pounds sterling for that. Then in March 2008 Broken Tail Records issued a four-band EP Four By Four More, which contains that cracking Projekt A-ko track "Here Comes New Challenger!" We love this tune so much we are offering it for download below along with one of the non-album tracks we turned up at the band's site. Yoyodyne is already available for pre-order, and its 10 pounds sterling price includes worldwide shipping, which means we'll have a second import expense to torture ourselves over all weekend. Oh well. Expect to see a lot more about Projekt A-ko here at :: clicky clicky ::, as we're quite taken with them.

Projekt A-ko -- "Here Comes New Challenger!" -- Yoyodyne
Projekt A-ko -- "Our Teenagers Need Healthy Touch"
[right click and save as]
[pre-order Yoyodyne from the band right here]

Projekt A-ko: Internerds | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr


Anonymous said...

i have yet to listen to the group, but it's interesting that a band named themselves after an anime. i feel so old. i remember watching the anime on sci-fi channel back in high school

Old Man Deily said...

This stuff is bloody genius. As I've repeatedly told my pal Chris from Green Magnet School, regarding my deep and abiding jealousy of his songwriting, THIS is the kind of haunting/relentless/pretty/angular stuff that I most enjoy listening too...but I can't write. Makes me sick & green with covetousness. Ah, well. At least I can listen.

(The titular Pynchon-Buckaroo Banzai-etc. reference lends panache to the proceedings as well...) :-)

Old Man Deily said...

P.S.: @ Anonymous...well, heh heh, you may well feel old remembering watching the sci-fi channel in High School...

...but to put it in perspective, when my pals and I were in high school, there WAS no sci-fi channel. :-) (And MTV had barely been invented.)

Yes, we are THAT old.

Jay Breitling said...

I'll go even farther than OMD and state that I remember when the cable "expansion channels" came along, and I remember thinking they'd never catch on. Then again, I was happy with our first-gen, 25-channel rotary cable box that could be hacked with a 5x7 index card...