Wild Mercury Sound

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci revisited, plus forthcoming attractions, and scrupulous avoidance of The Smashing Pumpkins

John Mulvey

Funny that on the same day the new Robert Wyatt album turns up, the post brings three reissues by one of the British bands who learned most from him, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.

We went straight to 1995's "Bwyd Time", and it still sounds amazingly fresh. I guess Gorkys have never really been given the credit they deserve. In the mid-'90s, at the height of Britpop, it's hard to overstate how incongruous they were. Here were a bunch of Welsh teenagers dressed as wizards, conjuring up precisely the sort of psychedelic folk blend that became so hip in the hands of Devendra Banhart and his extended family a few years later.

The first three Gorkys albums are now being reissued by Sanctuary and have aged tremendously well. "Bwyd Time" is my favourite, because it begins to move away from cranky whimsy and towards a rich pastoral psych like "Miss Trudy" and "Gewn Ni Gorffen".

It's a lovely record, and it reminds me of how disappointing Euros Childs' solo albums have been since Gorkys split up. What is worth tracking down, though, is "The Seven Sleepers Den" by Richard James, where James - the shyest member of an extremely unassumiing band - finesses the discreet folk style that he brought to Gorkys.

Next week, I should have got my thoughts in order about that Wyatt album (sounded good again this morning), plus I'll try and finally get around to doing something on the Jason Isbell solo set, and the terrific Mike Wexler album. I've also been promised the new Julian Cope thing any day now. And I imagine there'll be some more Smashing Pumpkins fun, fingers crossed. Have a good weekend: it's all about Ryan Sidebottom for me.


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