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Eddie Marcon

Aoi Ashioto

Disk Union / Pong Kong

Released: 4th September 2020

LP£34.99Out of Stock

Eddie Marcon are a group that seem to exist outwith the parameters of normal time. I’m amazed that this extraordinary release is a first time on vinyl 15th anniversary reissue of one of their very best sets. Amazed that it’s 15 years since its original release and amazed that they would mark an anniversary in a conventional way. To me they’ve always felt so completely other that I thought that if they counted time at all it would be in a different measure to everyone else.

The name is taken from the core duo of Eddie Corman and Jules Marcon who were members of the legendary psych-rockers, LSD March. Eddie Marcon is by contrast de-volumed with beautiful acoustic sounds and foreground Eddie’s extraordinary voice. Slow patterns move gently through and around a melodic centre, everything in place, everything breathing. Eddie’s singing is clear and bell-like, sometimes it feels a little like Saya from Tenniscoats (they’re friends) but there’s something else too - she sounds serious, grave almost in places - she somehow transforms the moment from beginning to end of line. This makes me think of Joni Mitchell - their voices too have something in common.

While there’s always something slightly melancholic in all their music there’s a sense of fun too - their label is called Pong Kong and a lot of the covers have a childlike lack of inhibition and rules. They’re very prolific, confusingly so (I think I have about 25-30 releases and that’s not complete), very few of the releases have English translations. Almost everything is really high standard - with every record there’s a strong sense that this is it - this is the definitive Eddie Marcon record, this is a classic. But they all feel like classics - Shining On Graveposts, Yahho No Poton, Kura-Kura Kurage.

Although most of their work has been based in the Kobe region of Japan, and unlike Tenniscoats they haven’t really travelled their music, they did play in Stirling at Le Weekend festival in 2008. Meeting them was so charming and great, they were proper tourists too. They wanted to get their photos taken with Highland cows and at the concert they wanted to play great music. They were so still and concentrated in their performance, it was unshowy and fabulous. It sounded like every single note mattered. They were so immersed in what they were doing that the audience was immersed in it too. It was an unbroken spell.

Aoi Ashioto feels the same - it makes the room. It starts with a mechanised moment and moves into a suite of softly psychedelic folk songs that just surround you. These songs feel immediate and three-dimensional, otherworldly and permanent too. A couple of years ago there was an incredible Light In The Attic compilation of an earlier era of Japanese music (1969-1973) called Even A Tree Can Shed Tears. Most of the music didn’t feel like it belonged to a particular place or time and I think that’s why it felt so poignant. Eddie Marcon’s music is the same - it’s of this time but other times too. It will stay with you.