Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bing Selfish "Selfish Works" EP

(Messthetics) So...pretty much all that the dude from Messthetics/Hyped2Death must ever do is uncover/luxuriate in/contemplate the most amazing, rarest, strangest, most mindbending British 45s and cassettes from the 70s and early 80s, many of which end up on his comps. So what would it take to inspire him to reissue one of the hundreds of magic gems he's found as a stand-alone vinyl single? Is this the absolute best weirdo record ever made? Is this so strange it will turn brains and ears inside out? Is this such the definitive statement of the Messthetic aesthetic that it had to re-appear in its original form for the sake of humanity's good? Upon a bunch of pleasant, slightly confusing listenings, I'll say no to all of the above. In fact, the latter is completely moot, as this was originally a 12" in 1983. It was its existence in that format that may have paved the way for this reissue...when it was discovered Selfish had leftover 12" records without covers Messthetics made new covers to distribute that vintage vinyl, and that led to this remastering, repackaging, and reissuing. While the original issue, fitting into no genre or scene, was originally ultra-rare based simply on no one knowing how to distribute or market this oddity, I would venture to guess that the main reason this is being championed now is that Bing Slefish's decades of outsider creativity, recording countless songs over the years, writing, drawing, filmmaking, and creating a loopy website for all of it, is too impressive to ignore. This is a genuinely strange collection of tunes, recorded in Barcelona over old tapes of Spanish traditional music, some of which was incorporated into these disturbingly mellow, always slightly askew songs about places, people, emotions, and adventure. Ultra-dry British humor, avant-garde genre-disregard, catchy pop tendencies, and a voice like a children show's host talking to puppets make Bing a great thing. Still not sure why this exists, but perhaps that's the point.

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