GIGsoup’s Fraisia Dunn revisits Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci ‘Bwyd Time’ – 21 years after it’s original release
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, fronted by Euros Childs released ‘Bwyd Time’, their third album, in 1995 on Ankst Records. This band that hailed from Carmarthen took influence from the likes of Captain Beefheart, Caravan and Frank Zappa. The album kicks off with the funky title track, ‘Bwyd Time’ complete with whistles, before really getting to business with ‘Miss Trudy’, an off kilter tune about a local violin teacher that goes a bit mental. The song fluctuates between sing-along folk, demented guitar noise and lilting minor key ballad. Backed with piano and violin this song really packs a punch, ending with a slide into oblivion.
The band were all multi instrumentalists playing a huge range of strange devices including celeste, sitar and on the second side, purportedly AK-47 and hand grenade. The band was bilingual – their previous album, ‘Tatay’ was entirely in Welsh. ‘Bwyd Time’ sees a mixed approach, with some songs, for instance ‘Paid Cheto Ar Pam’ in Welsh and many tracks in English. The sleeve notes helps with this particular song “Don’t cheat on Pam because her voice is like a toy and every time I’m near her she makes me feel like a sandwich.”
This record marks a kind of half time for the Gorky’s. There next record ‘Barafundle’ sees the band mostly shake off the crazed stories of blood and dark in favour of a gentler folk sound. Gorwel Owens who went on to produce their future albums engineered on this record. Gorwel also went on to produce the Super Furry Animals – one wonders if the bands swapped sounds.
The first half of this album is generally weird and melancholic. It finishes with the revelry of ‘Iechyd Da’- a drinking toast to their ‘pretty friends’. The second side takes a darker turn, featuring the marvellous ‘Man with Salt Hair’ that ends with the apparent gunning down of a child’s choir. Single, ‘The Game of Eyes’ follows- featuring a strong voice over by John Lawrence explaining the ocular interaction between two people. Backed with moog, synth and flute and guitar it stands the test of time as a demented journey into strange musicality. The eerie ‘Blood Chant’ follows with the repeated lyric “Take out your eyes and your ears and what would you see? Take out your eyes and your ears and what would you be?”
Sadly this was the last we would see of the darker Gorky’s. Some may say the record is self-indulgent, but the skill of musicianship, the mix and the song writing stand the test of time. The band was a John Peel favourite and John Cale described their first album, ‘Patio’ as one of the best of all time. After this record, the band did go on to release their most popular single ‘Patio Song’ – a lilting ditty which is certainly kooky but not nearly as frightening, as funky or as experimental as the songs that make up ‘Bwyd Time’.
This Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci article was written by Fraisia Dunn, a GIGsoup contributor