All the parallels of love with addiction on White Bread, Black Beer suggest that Green the writer still knows that love is essentially both pathology and cure, so Scritti's sweetness remains sick, their sickness sweet....
Mark Fisher - Scritti's sweet sickness on K-Punk
The benefit of Green Gartside's magnificent prevarication (or is it sublime perfectionism?) that has lead him to produce a total of 5 albums since 1982 (37 years and counting). Means that we have had ample time to absorb every hook, line and to (over) think about the familiar parallel world of love that his songs (he?) inhabits.
From the first hearing of Skank Bloc Bologna via Confidence, Lions after slumber on to Snow in Sun off of his most recent album White Bread, Black Beer there is a distinct yearn that doesn't permeate the broad 'pop' landscape. Certainly not now, even back in the wild 80's when the new pop hegemony took hold, Green's voice and vision stood out from others crowding the darker edges of the dancefloor/charts.
In this day and age, intellectual rigour no longer has a presence on Spotify playlists or indeed in life in general it has no place - certainly political discourse/scientific debate is no longer encumbered by intellectual rigour of any significant substance. It seems ironic that the only obvious place that advancement is truly being intellectual explored is in Sports science - but then there is money in goals!
So, Green and the Scritti Politti project stands out as a beacon of beauty and brilliance yet at the same time the melancholy celebration of love continues to be anchored by the aforementioned yearn. The question must be is does the yearn need to be real or is it simply because it is unreal that we are more attracted to it?
Slip inside the soul of a song - choose any one - Faithless, Oh Patti, Bam Salute, Ummh!, The Boom Boom Bap and what do we find? Who do we find? The flicker of addiction, rejection, escape and redemption.
Tears of sorrow, tears of joy
Oh come at once for the sweetest boy
That's the price that the boy has paid
To choose not to be afraid
You know that barroom belles, well, they're calling
You know their perfume smells like blood
If looks could kill singing dollar, dollar bill
Well, that's the beat of my life
- The Boom Boom Bap
Oh first and foremost - ooh you gotta get close
To the money and the madness that are mine - at any time
And last but not least -- in the heart of the beast
There's a beauty that was once upon a time - and long ago
- Bam Salute
I'm cuttin' down on the stuff I'm thinking
Too much 'umm' drives a man insane
Promised my world to a girl forever
Now she can't take the blame
I should have gone where the sun was shining
Green can't come to the 'phone right now (my baby)
I could have shone like a dark star, baby
The promise of new music is dangled before us every 12-18 months. The story goes that the album is all ready and good to go. Apparently it sounds brilliant but... nothing appears. His last album was a series of demo's, handed over to Geoff Travis of Rough Trade for approval prior to going into the studio to complete. Fortunately Travis decided to accelerate the process by 5 years and simply released the demos - which still sound magnificent.
Goodness knows the number of almost completed masterpieces that Green has locked away on a hard drive somewhere. All we can hope is that somebody can persuade him to share them with us before it all gets too late in the day.
In the meantime, we have the 5 albums, assorted EP's/singles, a couple of compilations and the hope that someday Green will share another snapshot or two. Until then all we can do is yearn...