The first time I met Mr. Hayhurst, he was hoovering up all sorts of record albums at the Fairfax Flea Market. Like a speed dater, thin slicing one-handed, through dozens of album sleeves while elbowing me out of the way... with intent. There was an aging suitcase at his feet and beneath the arm with that cattle prod elbow, a pair of new old brown brogues just acquired as it turned out, a few stalls away. The all-consuming Mr Hayhurst, all at once, regaling in someone else's dejected culture or rejected clutter. As I stood next him, my eyes cast down to the suitcase, and he paused for a second, "To take it all back to London." He said emphatically. Who was this guy, out to spoil the Cut Chemist's career by buying up every available vinyl album in Los Angeles before Mr McFadden could? To truncate, "To the Little Joy." I said, where he, his spouse, (confusingly called Mrs T), Wife X and I, with a little help from Jack D., quickly became vast friends.
That chance meeting and ensuing conversation revealed Hayhurst to be the D half of the self-styled Experimental Healing and Easy Listening music combo, T&D. That eventually lead me to London, and to the Alma, in Newington Green, (purportedly Bobby Gillespie's least favorite pub), and to drinks and dinner with both sides of T (Mr Botez) &D.
First things first of course and we have to clear up that neighborhood bully Bobby Gillespie vs. The Alma business. "Yeh, would you believe it!" T exclaims, and would've probably been aghast had he cared enough about either Gillespie or the Alma. "But, we've stopped coming here anyway as a rule... shit music," D begins. Gillespie didn't appreciate the music either, apparently. "Anyhow, but I'm getting out of here, D says, "I'm moving to Finsbury, then Bobby can kiss my Finsbury Park ass."
So, I wonder. T&D what is it? Where did it start? How long have you been doing this? I like to ask three questions at once... "The Arsome Norsen duo. The band is the effect of Mr Hayhurst (D) and Mr Botez (T) religiously attending Tuesday and Thursday masses." They don't laugh. "We met at the New Design Talent Expo back in 'ohhh,... 99. D's former girlfriends dad, a talented criminal lawyer got T of some GBH charge. That, and the plinth handcrafted by D, fomented the friendship."
So T&D is? "Teenage dreams, tits and dicks, technology and design, trauma and death. You choose."
Thus far their musical output includes two finely hand and machine crafted studio albums, The Longest Track and Dance, Dance Dance, released on their 'Leftbag' label; a select number of live dj sets - most recently in Shoreditch they say, and the song selections and playlists culled from their vinyl Flea Market escapades that they share with their friends, as Swapmeet FM. As they explain, "There's the music we make, and the music we buy. We don't 'sample' when we make music. We are not of that sort. We wouldn't even know how to do that. We don't have any prior musical skills. The goal is to educate ourselves. The music we buy tends to be of a distinct origin. One side of our label, 'Leftbag' is the "rightbag", what we like and what we listen to. The other side is what we spew out."
Then there's iPollution, an invention, but more about that, they say, another time.
There is so much going on with T&D and such aural mystery, they're like the Mika Vainio and Ilpo V?§is?§nen of N16. With melody. At times T&D seem to offer industrial music from a post industrial clime. These machines are light. They are quietly forming silicon circuitry and not stamping out tugboat components. If you hear the kerplink of tv movie zen Gardens, the sound is dissipated and pretty lost.
T&D's tracklistings read like an IKEA product catalog.
There is beloved repetition and perhaps a future in aiding insomniacs. And I don't mean that risibly. That can be big business. There's the Southern California 90s New Agey Environmental feel at times for sure, like something the Bodhi Tree might sell to accompany your green tea. But all this comes from the centre of one of the more frenetic city's on earth. It's inexplicable that it all sounds so not shaped by its environment. "Most of the recordings," T explains, "are done post dinner. Having consumed large quantities of quality animal products you could say we might find that relaxing spot. Ultimately, it's less about catching a beat and more about generating a vision of sound. Swapping your ears with your eyes." It's so insistent on pricking them up.
Having established then that they really are a future headline act at the Long Beach Soundwalk, I wonder whether there are any questions I should specifically ask, or if there is anything they might say that would help O/L readers reach a greater understanding of all this than I can... "You might question the order of the letters, T&D and not D&T alphabetically," D suggests. Or perhaps T says, "How we build our non linear instruments." Finally we settle on less than small matter that they have in the past dabbled in sculpture and T acknowledges that their music owes something to that experience, "Right now, we're carving out new sounds."
Find T&D all over the web: Leftbag.com where you can download their full length albums The Longest Track and Dance, Dance, Dance or on myspace: www.myspace.com/timondamon
Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."
Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV
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