This album provides a retrospective of the twenty years of Megaphone records, founded by Stephane Bismuth after putting together Shack and Arthur Lee for a tour. The label released The Magical World of the Strands and a host of other eclectic artists. This record provides a cross-section and starts quite rightly with Something Like You by Michael Head, which I’m assuming you are all familiar with. You are, aren’t you?
Ribbon Bow follows it from Karen Dalton’s Green Rocky Road, which after all of this time still has a resonance and impact. Simon Dalmais’ cover of Poor People from Alan Price’s score for O Lucky Man, makes it sound even more like a Randy Newman song. Shoot the Nanny by LeCube is a lovely delicate folk song, a little in debt to Elliot Smith, LeCube is/was Julien Barbegallo who is now the drummer for Tame Impala. Dolaytrim by Angil and the Hiddentracks bursts forward from a platform of Rhodes organ, gradually the industrial buzz of the guitars overwhelms the song before they fade and the organ once again cascades notes like sunbeams dancing on a lake.
Omar Bashir’s Maqam Hijaz/Maqam Awj is a wonderful way to spend eight minutes transported to another continent; it’s an unhurried meditative piece that quietly pushes into your subconscious. Megaphone is a label that isn’t looking for success, it is really just helping people to get music out and to bring artists to people’s attention, a labour of love, we are all enriched because of people like Bismuth.
The Megaphone label’s eclectic history uncovered