The Mekons surprised the world on Juneteenth with the bands new Bandcamp-only album Exquisite recorded on cell phones in Aptos, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York and Devon. Exquisite is the post-punk groups twenty-third album since it started four decades ago. It was inspired by the century-old game “cadavre exquis.”
Jon Langford, one of the bands founders, posts “In Paris, in 1925, Yves Tanguy, Jacques Prévert, André Breton and Marcel Duchamp invented a game they called ‘cadavre exquis,’ derived from a phrase that came up when they first played: ‘le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau’ (‘the exquisite corpse will drink the new wine’). Basically each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed.”
Langford continues, “In the current plague year 2020, after a planned rendezvous in Valencia was necessarily cancelled, mekons adopted this method as a means of collectively assembling lyrics and tunes and recording their new album. Locked down in various locations, scattered from the West Coast of California to the East End of London, they sang and played into their mobile phones and emailed, uploaded and Whatsapped their wailings, beatings, scratchings and strummings around the globe through the billions of interconnected nodes of our networked panopticon. Mike Hagler assembled the results in Chicago and sent them to be mixed by The Baron at Chateau Trumfio.”
Rolling Stone notes that the band uploaded Exquisite to Bandcamp on June 19, or Juneteenth, a day when 100% of Bandcamp’s proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Juneteenth is a holiday memorializing June 19, 1865, the last day of slavery within the United States.
The digital album can be purchased on Bandcamp for $8.00 USD.
Exquisite track list:
- Se Reveló el Cadáver (Intro)
- West Yorks Ballad
- The Inhuman
- Buried Treasure
- What Happened to Delilah?
- What I Believe at Night
- Corn & Grain
- Drink the New Wine