Thursday, April 5, 2012

Joxfield ProjeX - Discography Part 2 - Nothing But Sofas

Joxfield ProjeX - Nothing But Sofas (CDR Tin Can Music 2005)

Encouraged by finding out that we had some music within after finnished our first recording sessions for 30 years in May 2005 we immediately decided to continue (see the Discography Part 1 post).
If "Dark White Morning" was the result of a week of instant composing we now wanted to try to make some structured songs and started to compose wildly. In 4 or 5 months we had about 50 songs, some almost completely finnish in composition, some just a small idea. A lot of them with lyrics.
"Let's make pop songs" we said.
In november 2005 we went to Kolpebo, a very small village in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Sweden. We borrowed the cottage from a couple of Yan's wife's friends.
A perfect place for noise and reflection, beer, whisky and nasty fastfood. No neighbours to disturb, no neighbours who did disturb. Full volume 24 hours a day.
All days filled with structures while trying to add some flesh to these skin and bones of songs and/or ideas. Every night before going to bed we ended with a ten minutes 100% improvisation which we also recorded (see Discography Part 3).

The result of the week was 13 tracks which became a new album, "Nothing But Sofas". 10 of them with vocals, 3 instrumentals. The lyrics was stories, existential reflections, some nods to Sartre etc etc. Maybe a bit pretentious, but it did work. We were very satisfied with the pop album structured project...


Not too long after we'd finnished it and released it in November 2005 in our own way (20 home-made CDR copies given away to friends) we realised one specific thing:
We didn't like it too much! (We listened much more to the companion "live" album of the 10-minutes night jam tracks)
Why didn't we like it? Don't know, but one reason amongst others was maybe that it was too early in our re-established career to try to perform a project of this kind. We were still too amateurish; the production, the playing, the singing isn't as good as it should on a record of this kind. But, the songs are good, the compositions are good. We should have waited at least 5 years before we made it. I think.

Obviously there were people who like it. Jerry Krantz of great Aural Innovations:

"Joxfield ProjeX were on a creative roll and in the same year released Nothing But Sofas, which they describe as their "pop" songs album. "Pop", of course, is a relative term when it comes to a band like Joxfield ProjeX. There are indeed songs, with composed melodies and vocals. But they are far from being pop music. I like the dreamy, drifting, pleasantly melodic quality of songs like "Prince Gong Climbes The Great Wall At Mutianyu" and "As Close As You Are". "Threadmill" is similar, but with heavenly, almost symphonic keyboards. Like some spaced out Nick Drake song. "Hell Is Other People" features chunky, pounding rock, with a dark, demonic prog rock edge. "La Thiene Plateau" is like some long lost Peter Hammill song. There's the dancey space-prog-pop of "This is Paradise" and the noisy "Industry Forever", which brought to mind a robotic dancey Chrome song. And on the flip side we also have the intense, driving progressive rock of the all instrumental "Bass Bass" and "Red Lantern", as well as the grandiose space rock of "Sirens of Titan", which reminded me of Quarkspace but with more of a symphonic edge."

Here a taster, the opening track of the album. Prince Gong was an interesting caracter 150 years ago, maybe the first link between ancient China and China of today (check the back history here: In a fictional scenario we let him sit on the Great Wall at Mutianyu and reflect.
Never mind the false singing and the amateaurish playing, I think the melody and the lyrics is great and if anyone asked me today I would say it should have been a wonderful song for Robert Wyatt to sing in his outstanding wonderful way. Let's make it to the imposible dream project of the future!

And, yes, if you find some connections between the first line of the lyrics and the name of this blog.... well, you're not all wrong.

Prince Gong Climbes The Great Wall At Mutianyu by joxfieldprojex

Memories of my illusion,
being Gong, the Loyal Prince
Used for Western Trade as a tool
is this the essence of life.
Sitting on the top of The Wall,
Mother Dowager Kangli,
Emperor Daoguang,
Why am I accused?
We´re all dead, but I can see you,
from the Wall at Mutianyu.
Fighting blameful for Old China,
a big shame defending West.
O, Mother, o, Father, you fools,
what is good with locking in?
A foe of our land?
Selling out our souls?
But now, with all influences,
prostitution for a dime.
Somewhere someone´s eating my Soul,
will Kon-Fu-Tze or Mao rule?
Consulting the Master of Mind,
force the people to unite.
lightning up my mind,
cannot see the guilt
What’s the future of our country,
what will China end up as?
Politics? Warfare? or Protests?
Business mindset? Industry?
Farmers? Religion? And Killers?
Beauty? Nature? Mostly Love?
Will this be the proof,
China red or pink?
Our life’s full of contradictions,
as I sit here, being dead.
Climbed The Great Wall at Mutianyu.
Here I watch my life again.
What is good is bad, that is life,
they´ll always try to teach us.
But we will know more,
only Love remain.
Yelling at you, the Bad Leaders,
telling lies behind your back.
They will use you as a scapegoat.
You know someone has to be.
At Mutianyu I saw future,
maybe false, maybe true,
Knew that I was right,
as the time will tell

There is no intension to make a physically re-issue of this album, but the curious ones can drop a line to and receive a download zip-file of the album, including full lyrics insert. Put 'NBS' as a subject.


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