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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Turn Down The Loud - Jam Tako

Welcome all to ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connollyย - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of ๐™‰๐™š๐™ฌ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ playlists.

๐™๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐˜ฟ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™‡๐™ค๐™ช๐™™ - ๐™…๐™–๐™ข-๐™๐™–๐™ ๐™ค

Charles makes something out of somethingโ€ฆ

Where does it all come from? I mean, where do we get it all? What made us do it? Where do things come from? How do we know how to do things? How do we know what to do? What a lot of generally vague questions to answer. This demands a lot of thought - a difficult thing to do with all the noise these days. Everyone is doing things all the time, but few think about what they are doing. They just do what they do. And make a lot of noise while doing it. So let me zone out for a bit and think. Nope, not working. Too much going on inside my head - donโ€™t laugh. Food. That should help. Yes, food. โ€œOh this is delicious!โ€, I said. โ€œItโ€™s my motherโ€™s old recipeโ€, she said. โ€œOh right, well compliments to your old mother!โ€, I scoffed. โ€œNot my old mother, my motherโ€™s old recipe!โ€, she barked. And so the noise resumed. But it made me think. She didnโ€™t make this noodle wonder from nothing. In the words of a certain Spanish waiter, she โ€œlearnt it, frrrom a booookโ€. Her old motherโ€™s recipe book. Sorry: motherโ€™s old recipe book. It was passed down, from generation to generation. This in turn, made me realise that pretty much everything comes from something in the past. We build upon older, wiser knowledge. We donโ€™t start from scratch each and every time. If we did, we would still be hitting rocks with rocks. I never quite understood why they apparently did that, but anyway. Perhaps a nice interesting tone for sampling at a much later date? Perhaps not.

Just everything from clothing to architecture to machinery to medicine, is based on what we have learnt in the past. Then we build on that. Thatโ€™s how we know the Earth is round. Or is itโ€ฆ? Yes. Yes it is. We also know this this because so far, no one has fallen off the edge. So letโ€™s think more practically. Why do I write the way I do? I had never written anything before I started writing these Connollyโ€™s Corner articles. But I have had my sponge on hand at all times, absorbing all that I come into contact with. Even ghastly germs. We get over the bad stuff, but the good, well it just quietly mounts in the background. It builds a personality. Growing up watching series like Fawlty Towers, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, Dadโ€™s Army, The Sweeney, and even The Mighty Boosh, it all formed what is known in the trade as โ€œmeโ€. A dry, sarcastic old fart with a lighthearted manner and a darkened soul. As to the writing itself (the English and that), well, I were just brung up good. We are all born pretty much the same, yet our surroundings form us as the years go by. In a word: influence.

Influence is at the heart of absolutely everything. Letโ€™s talk music. I will speak about myself, for the simple reason that I know more about myself than I do about any other living soul. Call it inside knowledge. People have said that at times my singing voice is similar to that of Paul McCartney. I cannot deny the occasional similarity, and neither can I be baffled by the notion. I am also utterly flattered by anyone who says this. But it is not a conscious effort of mine. I adore his voice, and have been listening to his music my entire life. Therefore it is not remotely surprising that I should sound a little like him. He is my idol, after all. And in the early Beatles, he himself was influenced by Little Richardโ€™s voice. You see, everything really does come from something in the past. Why is my music all over the place in terms of genre? Because I have always listened to a wide varying number of genres. So, I am basically a small jumbled up mess of everything I have experienced and liked.

Before moving on, I would just like to clear up something. Pine needles everywhere. But aside from the pine needles, it is the idea of brainwashing. My parents often had The Beatles playing, but does this mean they were brainwashing me from an early ageโ€ฆ? Influence is SO different to brainwashing. Although there can be overlap. I think brainwashing should have a negative connotation in order to be called brainwashing. Otherwise one might say I was โ€œbrainwashedโ€ into loving The Beatles. This is not a negative thing. Introducing me to good quality things can only be seen as a good thing.

Influence does not just have to happen early on in life. In fact, I believe influence is something that never stops. Decades on, one can get hooked on things from farther afield. An English landscape gardener might start a fascination with the Zen of Japanese gardens, for example, and therefore might be tempted to father a field in a different way. Or how about the other way around? A Japanese band getting hooked on American rock music, and therefore swapping their shinobue for a Fender Stratocasterโ€ฆ? Well, this is exactly what happened with Jam-Tako, my favourite Japanese trio on the New Artist Spotlight. And donโ€™t worry, there will be no mention of K-pop here, for I believe we have no readers under the age of 12.

I have been quietly absorbing the music of Jam-Tako for a couple of years, and with every release their sound leaps to the rung above. With their brand new single released on January 1st, it felt like it was finally time to talk about them. Please welcome Jam-Tako (from Tokyo) with their single, Turn Down The Loud. Damn you, shut UP!! I said, WITH THEIR SINGLE, TURN DOWN THE LOUD!!! I can hardly hear myself think. Right! Thatโ€™s better. The band consists of 3 people who have been making music together since 2002 - thatโ€™s over 20 years!! This alone is impressive, as 7 years tends to be about maximum before band members either get angry or bored and eventually mooch off. As far as I can tell, they make music and record as a trio, but perform live as a quartet. I say โ€œas far as I can tellโ€ because English isnโ€™t their first language, and because my Japanese is on par with my Swahili. Jam-Tako is made up of Miki, Jun and Akane, all pronounced as you would expect: correctly. Miki and Jun are the writing duo behind the songs themselves. The band really doesnโ€™t like to stick with one sound, but in general I suppose it could be said that they sway more towards American rock. Although this could be anything from romanticised over-the-top theatrical ballad to straight-up Bonjovi style rock. They tend to nestle nicely in the rock era of the 80sโ€ฆ Until now, where Turn Down The Loud is more Black Keys, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Dandy Warhols and Jack White, with a touch of Bjรถrk, Yoko Ono and Blossom Dearie in the vocals.

The thing to hit me initially was the slick, professional sound of the drums, bass and guitars, followed by the swagger of that tambourine. But it was the backing vocals and lead vocal that really caught my ear and made me stick around. There is nothing frilly or subtle about this recording. I have always had a pet peeve for guitarists that donโ€™t โ€œdig inโ€. Guitars will not break if you strike the string like you mean it. Just GO FOR IT!!! Jam-Tako really does just that. They DIG IN! There is no hesitation in any single note of Turn Down The Loud. Ironically, the song is loud and proud! But believe me, you will not be turning THIS one down. Solid writing, solid rehearsing, solid playing/singing, solid recording, solid production, and solid mixing. And all in what to other Japanese might seem a foreign culture. Theyโ€™re hitting this American rock with tenacity, rather than attempting to balance smaller rocks.

That voice though. So unusual! So inspired! I suppose this is what happens when cultures collide. Things from the past are observed and consumed, then spat back out with a different flavour. The same ingredients plus a little wasabi for heat, vigour and originality. Something unexpected. As I say: inspired by influence. What a single!

Youโ€™re probably wondering about my noodle dishโ€ฆ Youโ€™ll have to ask her old mother.

Listen to ๐™๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐˜ฟ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™‡๐™ค๐™ช๐™™ on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Spotify playlist HERE!

Listen to ๐™๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐˜ฟ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™‡๐™ค๐™ช๐™™ on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!

Watch ๐™๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐˜ฟ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™‡๐™ค๐™ช๐™™ on YouTube HERE!

Follow ๐™…๐™–๐™ข-๐™๐™–๐™ ๐™ค on Iฬถnฬถsฬถtฬถaฬถgฬถrฬถaฬถmฬถ Twitter HERE! (amazingly the first artist I have ever come across to not be on Instagram)

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