Fresh hope.

Posted: 14/06/2012 in Local Music
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s a welcome, but rare, deviation from the norm when artists take the time to create a bit of a spectacle and build a bit of warranted buzz around themselves. It’s even rarer when the target audience for such a spectacle is a wisely selected local scene, rather than a stab in the dark attempt at reaching too wide a market at too early a stage.

Taking some shrewd inspiration from the likes of WU LYF and Nine Inch Nails circa Year Zero, an anonymous collective of (presumably local) musicians have set about the incognito distribution of a couple of concise tasters of music, artwork and – the most substantial of the materials, thus far – a composition that could conceivably be
viewed to serve as a sort of manifesto.

The impeccably intelligent aspect of this is the fact that absolutely no one knows who is involved in the collaboration (or that it even is a collaboration) and, as a result, everyone currently aware of its existence is immeasurably intrigued.

Such calculated planning and ambition shows real initiative and the wilful sidestepping of the oft-quested path to instant wide recognition points to eyes steadfastly trained on the long game.

A further stroke of genius can be seen in the way the materials have been distributed. At present, the select few people with any knowledge of this musical X File are themselves involved in the local scene and all correspondence has been conducted via unsolicited emails from addresses that appear to give no tangible clues as to the identity of their administrator. Sixteen Sixteen Six, for our part, only became aware of it via the loose lips of a decidedly up and coming act who have recently signed to a label set to feature quite heavily in these pages in future. Otherwise, up to this point, the tracks and artwork remain elusive outwith a certain circle of musicians.

Also decidedly admirable is the service that will be provided to the other artists caught in the crossfire of the hype that is sure to follow these first whispers. It seems inevitable that the chosen recipients of this anonymous act’s initial sparse output will see an increase in publicity for their own musical endeavours and, being that the only people currently in the know are musicians, something with this much potential for hype could go a long way to countering the recent blow Facebook have dealt against potential traffic levels of artists’ pages. When your band knows something hardly anyone else does, it follows that a lot more people are going to wilfully include your page in their news feed, in anticipation of further updates.

It would be easy to write this whole thing off as a misguided, flash in the pan sort of scheme. However, those with a bit of faith and a propensity for curiosity will doubtless agree that this is exactly the sort of innovative thinking that is needed every now and then to shake things up a bit. As local scenes don’t have astronomical promotional budgets, bypassing the regular channels requires clever networking and dedication and these are qualities that will undoubtedly take any aspiring musician far.

When this is considered, the identity of the person behind their ingenious marketing campaign becomes as pertinent as that of the musicians themselves. If the responsibility for this is their own, it is undeniably impressive. However, it seems more probable that such an effort is the result of the combination of various people with various skillsets and a glance at some of the leaked artwork would suggest the same.

Being that we have heard one of the tracks – albeit via a smartphone – it would be remiss of us not to appraise the musical aptitude and inspiration that succeed in streaming forth throughout the composition’s short duration. However, as much as their evident skill does serve as an endorsement for the orchestrators of this melodic conspiracy, the real catalyst for the seemingly imminent explosion of excitement is their cloak and dagger approach to what should be a fairly run of the mill first step for a new act – getting the first samples of their music out there.

Where artists making no effort to publicise themselves can sometimes show a firm faith in their own abilities, the conscious decision to meticulously conceal your identity at the beginning of your career is something else entirely. It is an act that exemplifies utterly unshakable and self-assured conviction that you are capable of blowing everything else around you out of the water, as soon as you decide it’s time.

So, what do we know so far?

A new musical force exists on the Ayrshire/Glasgow scene, a cross-section of local musicians are in possession of snippets of tracks, sparse communication has taken place via anonymous email addresses and the name of the files (30072012) appears to point to the 30th July as some sort of significant date.

This piece can be taken as a confident prediction that, come that date, the local scene will be awash with rumour and the hard drives of anyone with even a passing interest in unsigned music will play host to a file named 30072012.

Until then, eyes peeled!

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