Thursday, October 04, 2007

Post-Rocktoberfest #2: Butterfly Child - Ghetto Speak
You can't fault Butterfly Child for trying. Between 1991 and 1993 they managed to squeeze out three EPs and they've somehow succeeded in releasing a series of albums since then. They moved from Belfast, to London and finally to California, apparently. They may even still be going as the solo project of singer-songwriter Joe Cassidy.

All this is fairly amazing given the total critical and public indifference that has always greeted the band's releases. It's also rather puzzling as Cassidy's inspiration actually seemed to run out pretty early on. The first two albums - Onomatopoeia and The Honeymoon Suite - are fine records as far as bookish indie rock goes (they sound rather like The Sea and Cake) but all the real post-rock action is on those early EPs.

Butterfly Child were best known as proteges of AR Kane, alongside Papa Sprain (who were also from Belfast). This is worth mentioning here as Ghetto Speak sounds distinctly like a pristine, lighter-than-air and highly literate take on the breathless avant electropop of AR Kane's epic I.

The EP is packed with breezy, intertwining synth tones and digital eruptions but Joe Cassidy's voice is what really takes things to the next level. Cassidy, at his best, has the assured, poetically musical delivery of a good (though extremely fey) rapper. Possibly, that's why he chose to name this EP the way he did. Whatever the case, Ghetto Speak is a cryptic, concise delight.


Arliss said...

I have that ep as well, along with a few songs on some various compilations at the time (early '90's) - I really wondered why no one noticed - esp. when the UK rock press was losing their minds over the Boo Radelys' "Giant Steps" in 1993. The Butterly Child would have made a fine opening act for them...

Biggie Samuels said...

Actually, if I remember rightly, The Boo Radleys did take both Butterfly Child and Papa Sprain on tour with them around that time!