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Xylitol – Kunst Ist Tot

Peripheral Conserve

Xylitol - Kunst Ist TotA few predictions: you like sleeves by Babs Santini. If you’re my age you’ll have spent a fair amount of time in obscure record stores and fairs staring at Nurse With Wound covers and wondering if it’s worth the 25 – 100 quid they were asking for the original vinyl. You’ll have grown to love those sleeves even if you didn’t shell out at the time. They’ll have stuck with you, like a berry rash. You’ll probably also like Peter Strickland who directed films that you’ll like called things like Berberian Sound Studio and Katalin Varga. Even if you haven’t seen those films you’ve probably already figured out that you’re bound to like them. Even if you don’t like them you’ll have figured out that, in fact, you do. These tracks have been selected by Peter Strickland.

None of the above matters, of course.

This is a little beauty. Short, not especially sharp. The lead track sounds like it could be D.A.F. in their best years (i.e. the middle) and therefore is essential. The vocalist might have stumbled off an early Ramleh tape or… well, it could be Nigel Ayers from Nocturnal Emissions (again, the good stuff!). This could have been a discovered classic from 1981. It might still be. I’m not sure I trust Xylitol and I like not being able to trust them; that used to be a thing. You couldn’t trust Foetus either and that was why we always bought the next release; you had no way of knowing but it was always worth the effort and you always wanted to know.

To not trust, to have uncertainty was a wonderful thing and Xylitol keep that ethic going. Like Foetus, NWW et al there’s a paradox at heart here: this sounds like a Xylitol record but doesn’t really sound like any other Xylitol record. The other tracks sound like they might have bled from the now open pustules of the Ghost Box boys and girls (who conversely, you can trust, more or less). It’s the best bits of those records even if you sense it’s unrelated to them at the conceptual level. I don’t think there’s a commentary here, more a sense of childlike wonder. This is playful, even a little silly. My two year old loves it; has all the right moves. He has found the groove.

A final prediction: in three years’ time you’ll be annoyed you haven’t bought this. In ten years’ time you’ll be pretending you did.


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