Dollars To Pounds: Praise The Lord

May 28, 2008

Just last week I was droning on about how rare it is that bands split up and the constituent members all go on to make records that trump their original collective efforts some kind of musical Yugoslavia. Well I’ve found another example for your ringbinders: Lord Skywave is the new guise for Simon Lord of Simian, the chap who memorably declared that he was our friend, and we’d never be alone again. Last heard of in the underperforming Black Ghosts or providing the vocals for "I Believe"—the standout track on the debut album by his erstwhile rhythm section Simian Mobile Disco—Lord has raided his family’s musical history for this laudable new venture. Turns out that Simon’s Dad Jeremy Lord, a bit of a prog wizard in his day, invented one of the first British synthesisers, the Lord Skywave.

That joystick controller certainly looks fun and apparently it’s got a built-in potentiometer and everything. All the clangy bass sounds on Simon’s album emanate from one of only ten Lord Skywaves ever built, so he named his new alias in tribute.

But the Lord family influence doesn’t end there. Simon’s own songs explore a kind of whimsical Britfunk, nestling nicely into the gap between Jamie Lidell and Hot Chip, but they mesh with surprising fluency into re-arrangements of several Debussy-style chamber pieces composed by his grandma Madeleine Dring. Listen to him mint the new genre of impressionist 2-step prog if you don’t believe me:

Lord Skywave, "Idyll"

Think I’ll never be able to link from that to another louche London funkster with a classical composing grandparent? Well you think WRONG. Caspa Codina is the latest nom de plume for Gabriel Olegavich, grandson of Sergei Prokofiev, who’s also a member of Spektrum and produced all the (good) early Lady Sovereign tracks—including the incredible "The Battle", go soulseek it now—under the name Medasyn.

Again it’s difficult to talk about Codina without mentioning Lidell, or Sam Sparro, or Gold Chains, or any number of honky nerds who’ve slapped a keytar with an eyebrow arched. But Olegavich’s beats are always crisp, battered in authentic London chip fat. If there ever is another Lady Sov album, he needs to be on it.

Caspa Codina, "You Will Never Be The Same"

Posted: May 28, 2008
Dollars To Pounds: Praise The Lord