Artist: Gang of Four Video: 'You'll Never Pay for the Farm' Highlight: The…
- Posted on Dec 29th 2010 2:00PM by Jenny Charlesworth
"They are smells relating to human activity," Gill tells Spinner of the outfit's version of the '80s sticker phenomenon. "And there are words that you can move around, so you can put different words with different smells [in the 'Smells' booklet]. The words, I think from memory, are: 'Labour,' 'Commerce,' 'Sex,' 'Warfare,' and 'Pleasure.'"
"It's a childish-slash-child-like game," he adds, after a moment of reflection.
Gill might want to give a little more weight to his descriptors. The activity of scratching at captured scents might recall the wonderment of childhood, but the lexicon Gang of Four employs here is hardly that of a seven-year-old. In fact, the entire collection on display in the box set (which ranges from vials of human blood to a comprehensive world history art project) is worthy of Ivory Tower critique.
"Me and [singer] Jon [King] have always done the artwork [for our releases]," says Gill. "And I think the artwork on 'Entertainment' was kind of crucial to the whole concept of the record, kind of an extension of what the music was about and what the lyrics were about. So the artwork kind of provided the extended context of that. And that's what we wanted to do on this record, but more so."
In order to accomplish the ultra-ambitious undertaking that was creating and compiling the eccentric goodies up for offer in 'The Ultimate C O N T E N T Can,' Gill and King specifically had to block out time for the endeavour. According to Gill, had he not cleared his hectic schedule, the album would never have come to fruition.
"Anytime we'd get anywhere on the Gang of Four record, I'd then go off and produce somebody else, which takes two months, three months, however long it takes, and then you come back to the Gang of Four project, and you've slightly forgotten where you're at and what the point is," says the guitarist. "So in late 2008 I just told Jon, 'I'll tell you what I'll do, I won't do any other projects until we've got this record done.' So basically all of 2009 was writing songs and recording them and finishing them off."
While Gill might have experienced the occasional pang of production-withdrawal after closing his personal studio to outside clients, the pay off -- Gang of Four's first studio album of original material in 16 years -- was clearly worth it, for both the English musician and the pioneering post-punk outfit's longtime fans.
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