Number eight in the div/orce series features Vancouverites exclusively. How fitting then that The Secret Mommy Quintet's song tributes the spirit of their hometown during a few months in the summer where the stars seemed to be aligned for musical creativity. To Live in Vancouver in the Summer of 2008 marks the first recording that Andy and company have recorded as a quintet (as opposed to the last album by Secret Mommy, Plays, which listed all the players as guests), and it is a departure from previous work. First off, there is Andy’s voice, unprocessed and relatively “conventional”, and then there is the pop sensibility and overall catchiness to the track. It is clear that Andy is further merging his experience in song writing and composition with his love for playful electronics. The result is a pop song straddling the border of experimentation.
On the other side we have the recording debut of Basketball; a three piece of heavy percussion, vocals and bent electronics. They were certainly one of the catalysts for the above mentioned spurt of artistic energy in Vancouver (perhaps Secret Mommy’s track is an ode to their record-mates?). But instead of focusing so directly on their own hometown, they broadened their focus to an almost worldwide scope. They pluck from the world countless geographical influences, from Tome’s vocals in his native tongue, Croatian, to the Iranian scales, to the gypsy-esque spirit. Basketball exists amongst a history of music played on street corners and at celebrations around the world.
While it was mentioned above and, more specifically, in Secret Mommy’s song title that the summer months marked something grand amongst a small community of people in Vancouver, this should not imply that such energy is dwindling. On the contrary, Vancouver is a hungry city culturally, and this 7” is a testament to a city pining for fun and harboring the energy to do something about it.
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