David McClymont Centuries

Label
Last Night From Glasgow
Released
27th May 2022

Format Info

2LP - Transparent blue vinyl + zine

Centuries, decades, days… Welcome to the dreamlike world of David McClymont (ex-Orange Juice) on this essential double LP retrospective + zine. The Monorail Edition comes with the House, garden, music, sound risozine, a collaboration between David McClymont, Stephen Pastel and Musheto Fernandez. Transparent blue vinyl.

This collection of 27 songs is both an introduction to and a retrospective of the music I’ve released over the past decade. There is no chronology to the running order, with the selection based more on compiling an album with a beginning, middle and end. Recorded in a snug home studio, in a cosy country cottage, on the side of a sleepy mountain range, the sound of nature can’t help but seep into the patina of the music – no vocal take is without the sound of a noisy parakeet, cockatoo or rogue frog colouring the recording. Maybe nature is the entry point that saw me returning to music, this move back to a more rural setting which in itself was like a return to my childhood growing up in a stone farmers cottage on the west coast of Scotland. Also, in these recordings, there are detectable musical threads that weave back to late 1970s/early 1980s Glasgow when life felt like a second childhood before we were barely out of our first. It’s history now, and you never really expect yourself to become part of history, so that in itself becomes a challenge to your own and others’ expectations of the music you might make. These threads I see in my music are happy occurrences that conjure up the joy and excitement of starting out, the disappointments and triumphs, and the sheer wonder of living the artistic life.

David McClymont, Melbourne 2021 

 

David McClymont was the member of Orange Juice that I knew least well. I’m sure we must have exchanged a few words and hopefully a smile or two as our paths briefly crossed in the ferment of Postcard HQ at 185 West Princes Street. David had lived there before Brian (my Pastels cohort) moved into his old room. In more recent years we started corresponding, sporadically discussing this and that and usually sharing music. I became aware that David had a strong catalogue of work and wondered if it could be compiled at some point. 

When Last Night From Glasgow indicated an interest, things intensified and I was honoured when David invited me to help compile a selection of his work. I also had the idea of interviewing him for a fanzine, which would serve as a complement to the record. House, Garden, Music, Sound is a collaboration between David and me, and Musheto Fernandez, a Glasgow-based graphic designer. All three of us worked on The Bluebells zine, Yesterday Was Another Day, last year so it’s maybe also the second part of an informal series we have underway.

I’m really proud to have worked on this record, and to have helped David, now based outside Melbourne, document his brilliant, slightly secretive endeavours. For me everything he does has a real freshness to it, an unfamiliarity and a sense of playfulness that both surprises me and explains something about his contribution to Orange Juice. Recently I’ve heard the odd Talking Heads song which connects into early OJ. I missed this before but I hear quite a lot of it here. And Brian Eno too. And other things which maybe aren’t even there but feel like they are. In places it reminds me of the wonderful Flaming Tunes record – where practical limitations combined with exotic elements make for something extraordinary.

David has travelled far to come to this kind of music but a very visible thread connects him to his past while reflecting where he is in the new continent. All great music has a kind of truth about it and Centuries is as truthful as time, modest and wearily majestic. I like to picture him wandering back home through ancient trees in the rain, maybe on some days thinking of past lives as he sits down at his computer trying to make something new, searching for a different combination. In a way it’s amazing that he’s been away for so long but what a return.

Stephen Pastel, Glasgow 2022

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