Krautrock - to give it its original, undignified title - has turned out to be one of the most unexpected, yet powerful, influences on the late 90s. There are few places, however, where you’ll find the lessons learnt by Can and their compatriots put to better work than in the music of Glasgow’s Ganger. With the year- old current line-up including new members Natasha and Craig alongside founders Stuart Henderson and James Young, the band's mesmerising pulse and rich two-bass textures unfold across Fore, a compilation of early EP tracks, and the more tightly- structured new CD, Hammock Style. Proud as they are of these records, they don’t want to be restricted by them, as Natasha explains.
'We'd definitely like to do soundtrack music or music for images or anything like that. We’re also quite involved in our own projects as well. We’re pretty much up for trying a lot of different things out.’
There is, Stuart says, a documentary on indefinite hold about infamous photographer and filmmaker Richard Kern scored completely with Ganger tracks. 'The only thing that’s stopped us doing videos in the past is the financial aspect. We have been approached by people who were interested in
putting our music to images, but we have to think
about what we can afford.’
They’ve also allowed some tracks to be deconstructed on a trilogy of remixes on the Soulstatic Sound label, all of which became instant collectors' items since one side of each single was unplayably scratched. ‘The person who did them said he tried to reflect the music on one side by scratching the other,’ explains Natasha. 'On the Andy Weatherall one, the scratches were a lot more consistent because he thought it reflected the music,
and another was all over the place.’
Sonic Youth and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails have voiced their approval of Ganger, but it's been an uphill
CLASSICAL XXVI International
Viola Congress ‘ Glasgow:
RSAlyi D, Thu l6—Sun
2‘ 4‘ (.117: a t . ., / 4 William Primrose: Glasgow's unsung hero
Ganger: putting on the Hammock Style
struggle so far. 'But I never expected anything
different,’ explains Stuart 'because what we’re playing
is classed as weird music anyway, so it's not like it's something that’s going to fall into everybody’s lap.’ Nevertheless, they may find an unexpected following among the hardcore skateboard fraternity, whose tastes are apparently far more eclectic than previously realised. Natasha's boyfriend is a sponsored skater and managed to get the opening track of Hammock Style on to an American skateboarding video in America. This is
unlikely to be the last strange twist in the Ganger story.
It's the instrument that has most Jokes about it on the Net PeOple who play it are often regarded as somewhat odd and, most worrying, fewer children are choosing to learn it. But provrng that the vrola can be as cool and sexy as the rest of those in the orchestra and, more to the point, has a gorgeous, rich sound, is the XXVI International Viola Congress.
A four-day event taking place in Glasgow, the Congress attracts delegates from all over the world It is being held in memory of William Primrose, arguably the greatest Viola player ever, although amaZingly there has not been, until now, any shouting from the rooftops about the fact that he was born in Glasgow St; the Congress organisers have put together a programme of recitals, masterclasses and lectures in Prrmraw's name, redressmg the balance of the tardy attention paid to this most noble of instruments, as well as to one of its most gifted proponents.
The reCital programme is, however, not Just directed at Viola enthusiasts ’If
(Alastair Mabbott) a Hammock Style is released by Dom/no on Mon 27 jul.
you're interested in mUSIC, or string playing in particular, you’ll get something out of it,' says organiser Dawn Durrant. ’We give you every angle, from a young Japanese boy to established master Michael Kugel'.
Part of the reason why the viola has been neglected is the lack of solo repertoue 'It is taken more seriously now,‘ says Durrant 'especially as more ceinposers, such as Schnittke, are writing for it, but in the past you really had to be a superstar to get anywhere.’
No doubt Primrose, born in 1904, would have been pleased. 'A 1922 Sunday Post article reported that this Glasgow boy was gorng to London to make good and then Glasgow completely ignored him,’ explains Durrant. Soon, a bronze sculpture ledrcated to Primrose will be erected opposite the Royal Concert Hall. That and the Congress wrll ensure that he is not forgotten again and that the legacy he has left the world’s Viola fans will live on. (Carol Main)
Further info from 0747 334 4867.
FOLK Continental Ceilidh
Lanark Racecourse, Fri l7—Sun l9 lul.
Waking up sleepy Lanark is the first annual Continental Ceilidh on the town's racecourse Easin accessible from Glasgow, Edinburgh or anywhere else in central Scotland, C In The Park is a big event, with a Big Top Concert venue, Big Top Ceilidh, sesSion bars, cafe, kids events, workshops, shuttle buses for the mile or so from the centre of the town, and a guest list that tries to please everyone. There‘s a Wide cultural gap between the Dublrners, Man and Mitch, Lindisfarne and, say, the tartan Amoebas, Salsa Celtic, lv'richael tr‘rarra, Vast Majority or hery young Spanish band Llan de Cubel, but so what — you can take your Granny to the early stuff then stay up all night in the dance tent See. the Folk listings for full information.
Wolfstone play the final concert of the Festival. Their demise has been rumoured for some time, but the great Highland folk/rock outfit keeps making more appearances. Fiddler Duncan Chisholm is keen to clarify. ’A few years ago, after something like eight or nine toors of America and big—selling albums, we discovered that our finances were in a mess. Things had slipped, it got very complicated, and although we were making money, we ended up haVing to work a lot to pay off debts. Then, JLlSl as we were getting clear of that, problems with a record company ended up in a lack of promotion for a major tour, which With all our outgorngs -- it's a big band to tow — ended up another finanCial disaster, so we were back at square one. And there were other problems none of them musical though. So although we are going to call it a day, we’re committed to a summer's worth of work first.' (Norri‘ian Chalmers)
I Wolfstone play the Continental Ceilidh, Lanark, Sun 79, Edinburgh Queen’s Hall, Thu 30, Harm/ton Town Hall, Mon 3 Aug.
Wolfstone: festival veterans
9—23 Jul 1998 THE llST41