VARIOUS / OZIT - The Black Diamond Express To Hell

The train, it’s a large metal metaphor really isn’t it? I mean take old movies for example, you get some passionate kissing, maybe a soupcon of anxious fondling and then before you know it an express train is pushing its way into a damp tunnel. Well in 1950s America maybe, I find it hard to connect anything sexual to the modern British train experience; high prices, grubby seats, someone sat next to you dribbling on themselves and occasionally mumbling to an unfamiliar deity, and don’t even mention the toilets. I tell you, these guys think they’re on an express to hell – they should try West Midlands Travel… it ain’t no picnic let me tell ya! Still, this collection of blues, rock ‘n roll and jazz flecked tributes to the locomotive does a good job in explaining the pain, torture, love, sex, loss and simple memory of all things built to ride on tracks. In the same sphere as the wonderful Dust-to-Digital compilations, here we can connect with the crackly sound of early blues, re-mastered to suit the current digital taste, and the folks at Ozit-Morpheus have done a fine job in collecting tracks which excite and confound rather than slipping into mere tokenisms. With tracks from the Carter Family, Al White, Duke Ellington, The Dixon Brothers, Jesse James and many more there’s fragments of many a genre all draped in swathes of noise and static. Quite beautiful and strangely melancholic – what better way to portray that noisy old mass of steel.