2023 sees the 70th anniversary of those early Sun Records releases that changed the world. Sun founder, Sam Phillips would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year too. Jeremy Gluck and Paul Hazel, obviously cannier with a calendar than I, are pretty aware of the Memphis mythos of the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, the early King, and the genre’s earlier Kings and Queens. These are the concerns of their new single, End of Rock’n’Roll.
The End of Rock’n’Roll comports itself with a loping alacrity, with intent, without birth’s big bang. The spoken word piece is a recitation of the artists and titles of the first 25 releases on Sun Records. It's a skewed but reverent homage to those who started it all, from Gluck and Hazel, radical reconstructionists who refuse to simply see rock’n’roll fade away. It’s not going to be as simple as that.
Jeremy and Paul’s musical investigations and collaborations have trended excitingly towards the experimental and cut up. The most recent of those releases, Benefactor, was a wholly uncompromising artwork, a canvas awash with Hazel’s dark electronic arts and Jeremy’s restless and relentless, lyrical curiosity.
Gluck is perhaps the better known of the duo, actually steeped in rock 'n' roll as lead singer of cult surf-punk band The Barracudas. Expanding from that milieu to create digital art, along the way becoming a renowned electronic music and video art collaborator. Is it okay to say he might even be a big figure in arts in Swansea? That he is one of the agents of change in that city? The Barracudas are of course Jeremy’s rowdy digging into their own scene calling card, a unique band, and their significance in British music, recently revisited with a carefully curated 3CD retrospective from Cherry Red Records.
As a songwriter, Gluck has had songs covered by artists such as Lydia Lunch and Rowland S. Howard (The Birthday Party, Crime and the City Solution, These Immortal Souls), and Nikki Sudden (Swell Maps). He formed the first alt.country supergroup with Howard and Sudden, recording the album, ‘I Knew Buffalo Bill’ in 1987. Gluck’s journey into experimental electronic music began in 1997 leading to collaborations with the genre’s leading lights, including Martin Rev, Brendan Moeller, Dub Gabriel, and Youth.
Paul Hazel studied electro-acoustic composition with Simon Emmerson and was schooled in the ‘Search and Reflect’ method with free jazz drummer John Stevens. His band Blue Train hit the Billboard dance charts with Get Movin’, (Masters At Work); Paul has composed music for film and TV. His own short films have been exhibited in Japan, Venice, and several galleries across Wales.
End of Rock 'n' Roll is available now from Bamboo Radical, on Bandcamp.
End of Rock 'n' Roll on Bamboo Radical Records is here⇒