Having faked their own deaths on the last LP, Peter Parker and Sneaky were free to...
Jack Smith 2004-04-28
If further proof be required that concept albums didn't die out with the 70s prog-rock era, we need only to witness the thematic wonder that is Fingathing.
Double bassist Sneaky and turntable terrorist Peter Parker have been coming up with concept-driven releases ever since they formed from the ashes of Rae and Christian's backing band five years ago.
The first Fingathing LP, 'The Main Event', centered on WMF wrestling. The second 'Superhero Music' used cartoon superheroes. Both were augmented by the quirky illustrations of their pal and visual-collaborator Chris Drury.
The latest concept is aliens. Not just any old aliens, but a bunch of musical cosmic beings who happen to excel at playing the exact kind of inter-planetary cinematic music that Fingathing are known for.
The duo 'met' them (bear with us on this) after being fired into the cosmos in steel coffins following the faking of their own deaths on their last LP. Obviously they then recorded an album with their new extra-terrestrial friends and brought the results back to the UK.
Fans will be pleased to know that the BRNB's influence has not been deleterious in terms of Fingathing's eclectic musical references. If anything, the beats seem more muscular, the cuts and plucks sharper, the overall sound more persuasive.
The soundtrack element of their vision has become more magnified, (and more
sidereal) as strings, space-age synths and FX-laden sounds create Bladerunner-esque backdrops to Parker's machine made riddims.
Intro track "Walk In Space" carries a rock-ish swagger and effected basslines and scratches that are entirely in keeping with the experimental club music we have come to expect from the pair.
The behemoth beats of "Big Bang", the scratchy percussion of "Synergy", the B52's-esque rock-funk of "Cluster Buster", the warbling sentiments of "Lady Nebula" (the album's only real feminine moment) all sound perfectly natural next to one another and kick up plenty of moon-dust along the way.
More than ever, Fingathing sound like Afrika Bambaataa enjoying an audio tussle with John Carpenter at a turntablist battle - on Jupiter.
Significantly, it sounds like Sneaky and Parker enjoyed letting their imaginations run free, and with the music matching the concept so well it's a triumph in several respects. Broad in scope, kooky in concept and inherently muscular, this is a unique and penetrative offering to the world of leftfield electronic music.