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ANCIENT & MODERN
Release date: September 27, 2011 (via the SIN Label; distributed by Bloodshot)
Mekons formed in Leeds, England 34 years ago in 1977 and Ancient & Modern is their 26th album. This current classic line-up has remained intact since the mid-1980's. Throughout their history, they have worked collaboratively and collectively with everything credited to the band, never to individuals. Their mind-boggling output consistently blurs the lines between high art and low and has included exhibitions in the UK and US, a deranged musical recorded and staged with Kathy Acker, an art performance with Vito Acconci and several books including the unique art catalog/unfinished novel "Mekons United."
On Ancient & Modern the Mekons bring you an “album” just like albums used to be; cardboard things filled with cheeky, chunky 78rpm shellac. Just take a look at the cover of Ancient & Modern and you’ll know what we’re talking about! Let the band take you for a walk down memory lane, to the world as it was just before the First World War ... to the Edwardian Era, to the Naughty Naughties a hundred years ago, a cozy nostalgic world: cricket on the village green, punting down the river in a striped blazer and boater, off with the hounds, picnic hampers, community singing, mistresses and wives, mysticism, secret societies, dangerous poetry, radical modern art, Freud, national strikes, revolution, anarchists, bombers, British concentration camps ... oops, is that really a hundred years ago?!? The Mekons travel back/forward to a world unaware that it’s waiting for the pistol to CRACK CRACK CRACK in Sarajevo, plotting their singular course through the digital tsunami of contemporary sounds that blare tinnily from your mobile phone or spin at 78rpm in His Master’s Voice from the horn of your exquisite Gramophone.