Nudges, Whispers and Threats

by Captain of the Rant vs. Hair Explosion

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Captain of the Rant on 'Nudges, Whispers and Threats'...

Spoken word is a tricky one to get down on record. My live performances are definitely very, well, live - energetic, verbose and, as the pseudonym suggests, rather opinionated and loud. There is something beautifully fluid about live spoken word, and trapping that spontaneous, magical energy in a record seems a little self-defeating.

I want to leave the live material unmediated, and when I get the chance to usespoken word with different medias, I want to challenge myself and the material I write.

My live performances have increasingly become more comedic, so for this EP, Hair Explosion and myself have gone elsewhere. This material is darker and more fierce than I ever dare (or want to) be on stage. there isn't much to chuckle at here. But instead, we aimed to create something that's genuinely unsettling, something that really gets under your skin. Something that isn't background noise, but something that calls for attention.

That's not generally considered very cool in these days of hip irony and detachment. But fortunately, it's hip irony and detachment that is this EP's main target, and more jokes won't combat that. Displaying sincere, heartfelt anger, frustration and sadness just might.

Hair Explosion on 'Nudges, Whispers and Threats'...

As the Captain says, it sure is tricky getting spoken-word/poetry down on record... especially when combined with music.

In producing this EP I have tried to merge both the Captain's excellent poetry with as excellent music, so that they combine to form a product which is more than the sum of its parts.

Thus we have gone through numerous 'drafts' - making sure that the combination of music and verbal performance match up and sync, both in atmospherics and deliverance – just as any poet will undertake a process of rigorous redrafting before releasing their creations unto the Earth.

I am also a writer. This definitely helped in production of this EP, as it meant the good Captain could be assured that I would understand the nuances of his rhythmic and dynamic changes, and compose appropriate music to accompany his words.

The music is dark, and with a heavy dub and trip-hop influence. This is juxtaposed with the Captain's usual musical tastes – he is the epitome of a punk lover. But I am not. I admire the lyrics and political activism of punk – but not the basic lack of musicality that is inherent to most punk music.

Therefore the music is dub based, as that is an area in which both our sensibilities combine. (Punk being inspired greatly by 1970s reggae.) It also has trip-hop influences because that is a genre which I love, and as heard in early Tricky albums, is driven by spoken, non-rhythmic lyrics.

Thus, you may find these tracks, as the Captain says, somewhat unsettling. However, I have always loved music which challenges me in such a way. As Aristotle says, catharsis is the purgation of unwanted emotions. Listen to these tracks and be cleansed.


released 12 April 2012
Words and voice: Captain of the Rant

Tuneage and production: Hair Explosion

Captain of the Rant thanks Brendan Pickett

Hair Explosion thanks Paul Case




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