Wednesday, 30 April 2014

REWIND: The High Fidelity - 'Luv Dup'

This week, I have been featuring music that I might not have got into if the Britpop scene of the mid 90s didn't lead me there. Because of Blur playing a session on his show, I began listening to John Peel regularly. And it was on his show that I first heard this lot... A lot of people will remember Sean Dickson as the frontman of baggy combo The Soup Dragons, but who else remembers his subsequent outfit The High Fidelity? They were played on The Evening Session and John Peel regularly in the late 90s and early 2000s, and were responsible for some superb leftfield pop gems. "You have to remember that I've been fucking about with sounds -- to put it nicely -- for about 14 years," said Dickson. "I've always mutated sound, you know, looping things and cutting things up. You spend your life kind of taking things in your head, the same way a computer saves things on a hard drive, and now and then, you've got to back up what's there. The High Fidelity is a retrospect of my head over the last few years." 

Their 'Demonstration' album from 2000 is overall a messy and slightly flawed collection of tracks that dash from genre to genre, always ensuring that the instrumentation is interesting and unique. One instrument used often in their music was the omnichord, a vintage synthesiser. John Peel shared the band's enthusiasm for the instrument, and when they gave him an omnichord as a 60th birthday present, it led to Peel co-writing and performing on 'Pig Might Fly', one of the tracks on the band's low key second LP, 'The Omnichord Album' from 2001. Although the band never announced a split, they haven't released anything in 13 years, and Dickson now does remixes under the alias Hi-Fi Sean. Would be great to see them back one day... Especially if it means more songs as wonderful as 'Luv Dup'.

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