Saturday 10 August 2013


I'm a little confused about where this song is coming from. But I did my best and I think I can explain it. So. Originally there was a song by a duo called Charlie and Paisley called 'Sebastian' in which they were backed by the band, Les Bicyclettes de Belsize Park. Les Bicyclettes de Belsize then practically remixed the song, which consisted of setting it to reverse and putting in some nice samples in the form of snippets of dialogue from classic British films.

I suppose it wasn't really that confusing in the end. But still, it's a lot easier to get your head around things when you write them down, don't you find? Well, for me, it helps.

The reverse quality to the song is what gives it an equal dosage of beauty and strangeness - the latter mainly in the reverse vocals that now say "Na-it-sabes..." instead of "Sebastian" as they do in the original. The beat, now in reverse, takes on the mantle of an off-beat trip-hop rhythm and, together with the winsome lilts of the instruments of the song, the whole thing turns into quite a life-affirming piece that - for me at least - calls to mind the Baz Luhrmann song 'Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)'. Although that song used to leave me a little depressed because it was literally taking you through the future of your life.

Thankfully, 'Sebastian (Naitsabes)' isn't quite as polemic as that "feel-good" diatribe. It's much more subtle, mainly heard in the resulting effect of the ambient backwards sounds and the samples. For instance, the samples I most connected were from Billy Liar - a Keith Waterhouse novel, play, then film: "It's the town. It's the people we know. I don't like knowing everybody - or becoming a part of things. Do you see what I mean?" Being from the homely-homely suburbs of Surrey, I can understand that.

Anyway, it's a well chosen set of samples, all from the old British "kitchen sink" dramas of the 1960s. Gives it an Englishness that makes me feel nostalgic. Nice, whimsically winsome (I've used that before and I'll used it again), unique sound. BTW their name comes from a 1968 British musical film of the same name.

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