Posted by: Nick Walters | June 6, 2007

Hot In The Airport – the gibbering mutant elastic bands of Y. Bhekhirst

Sometime last year, on one of the various Yahoo! groups to which I belong, someone posted an MPEG of “the worst song ever recorded.” Entitled Hot In The Airport, it sounded like a drunken Arab attempting to croon a Fall song in Spanish during a horrific accident at an elastic band factory. I listend to it a few times, larffed a bit, as you do, then forgot all about it.

Until the other day, when I was rooting through the files on my USB stick, where I tend to dump things to ferry between my work/home computers, and save photos, jokes etc I don’t really want on my work PC, and use as a “jotting pad” for story ideas etc. You know the sort of thing, you probably do it yourself.

And lo and behold, Hot In The Airport was still there in all its twangy glory. I listened to it again, and began to get fascinated. It sounded like something Holger Czukay might have done, if pumped full of horse tranquillisers and forced at gunpoint. It sounded as if English wasn’t the singers’s native language – indeed, it sounded as if NOTHING was his native language, except maybe gibberish.

And the music sounded like it was being played by inept but dedicated psychopaths. It was wrong and annoying… but something about it drew me in… something about it being SO against the current culture of PopIdolShite and IKEA indie bands. Something about it sounding like the sort of odd music that inspired me to check out The Fall (a love affair that has lasted two decades this year). I was curious.

And so I googled Hot In The Airport, and discovered the mysterious and totally unique and rather unsettling world of Y. Bhekhirst.

I discovered it through this website.

I discovered that he is affectionately known as “Y” to his fans. I now count myself among their number… how many of us are there? Hopefully more than two now, and hopefully soon to include YOU!

I discovered that no-one knows who Y is, that he is an “outsider musician” of such obscurity that he makes Jandek seem like Elton John.

I discovered that Hot In The Airport was a single released on cassette in 1986, and the title of Y’s only album, also released in the same year.

I discovered that Y is thought to be of European, possibly German, origin, and operates, or operated, under a bizarre cover of EIGHTEEN different pseudonyms, including Y. Bhekhirst, Jose Hugo Diaz Guzman (considered to be his real name), Jose Hugo DiazzGuzman, Pepe H. Diaz, H. Diazg, Ah Pol, Al Pol, Al Phol, Al Phool and Al Phooz.

[I bet you think I’m fucking making this up, don’t you?!]

And I discovered the music, by downloading the Hot In The Airport songs from this website.

I discovered that the Y song I Will Sing bears more than a passing resemblance to that Meatloaf song I Will Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That). HOW FUCKING WEIRD IS THAT?

I discovered that Hot In The Airport is Y’s MOST POLISHED work. All the other songs on the album are “masterpieces” of inept repitition, with spidery, repetitious guitars and inexplicable time-signatures, and lyrics which mix the bizarre and the mundane into something quite genially disturbing.

The opening track, Dalmar, is an instrumental, and sounds like The Fall tuning up. A single twangy bass line is repeated over and over again at different octaves, whilst cymbals splash, and drums beat reluctantly to an alien time signature. It is MINT, and very, very strange and sinister.

After that comes Over All which is very typical of Y, with its circular lyrics and inistent, repetitive, slightly out of tune guitar twang.

Then comes…

Oh, for the love of BOLLOCKS, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to describe this stuff!

It’s… like… music… that… SHOULDN’T BE… but… somehow is…

It’s the tweaking and gibbering of mutant elastic bands… 

It’s like the music being played in the worst restaurant in the world whilst all the drugs in the world are injected into your eyeballs whilst you are being hit over the head by a sewing machine.

It is at once irritating and fascinating. A whole world of mystery exists around Y. Bhekhirst, and this, I think, is the key. In a time when everyone knows everyone else thanks to our emo culture and, er, ubiquitous bloggery, it’s great to come across something as fucking weird and undiscovered as this.

Curious now, aren’t you, eh?

Check out the website, then.

And you can download the Hot In The Airport album from here. Go on – you won’t regret it – and you, like me, will soon be addicted.

All together now!:

hot in the airport, hot in the airport, hot in the airport
tonight, tonight, tonight


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