My Inspiration: Jango Flash – Acting On The Telephone | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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North Shields-based producer Jango Flash (AKA Jack Angus Golightly) has unveiled a deeply personal new track which draws on his experiences of the devastating effects of alcoholism. Acting On The Telephone’s alt. rock sound is underpinned by Jack’s languorous vocal and an insistent guitar melody; clever production techniques make the track sound epic. Here, Jack explains his inspiration behind the song.

 

“Acting On The Telephone is written from the perspective of two people. One being a very dear and important family friend of ours down in East London who has unfortunately become a serious alcoholic, and the other being her incredible daughter who is supporting her through alcoholism whilst raising two children as a single mother.

“This woman was drinking a lot. Just to put it in perspective, we’re talking around two large bottles of gin in the space of a few hours plus a boat load of alcohol to see her through the evening until she passed out…and this was almost every day. She had been in and out of hospital because her liver was failing on her and had lost the use of her legs for walking long distances, meaning she had to use an electric wheelchair to travel. My mother took the train down a few times to be there for her, but she seemed to keep reaching for the bottle.

“She used to be a popular dinner lady at Queen Elizabeth boys grammar school in Barnet where my brother went when he was younger. The line in the song where I say “The QE boys are stacking bread” refers to the small circle drug dealing between the kids in the 90’s clubbing scene down south. Bagley’s near Kings Cross was a huge part of the underground scene back then, and was totally infamous for being one of the largest multi-room warehouse raves in London. My brother was one of the faces in that scene and I remember him telling me that he went there every weekend for a whole year without fail. He told me how magical it was, a place where people could be themselves, dance in euphoria until the morning and just forget about the world.

“It’s fragmented fly on the wall writing really, because from 27th April 2018 none of my family were really answering calls from anyone since we were focussed on helping my older brother fight stage four cancer. But I remember sitting on the stairs one night in my family home and listening to this lady who used to take care of me and my brother leave five consecutive answering machine messages in a row when she was three sheets to the wind and thinking ‘how the hell did we get here?’.

“On 24th March this year my brother passed away. I carried his coffin, I read his eulogy, and now I will continue to keep writing music with him on my mind. My parents have lost a son and I’ve lost my best friend who helped shape me into the man I am today. It’s one of the reasons this track has taken me six months to complete from start to finish. It’s carried me through the most heart breaking time of our family’s life, and subsequently for me it’s very sentimental piece of music.

“Technically, it’s also been a challenge to get right as an amateur producer. I scrapped the vocals three times in a row and mixed the track until I was mentally and physically unwell. Everything from the way the drums were recorded to the amount of string arrangements and post-production involved, it had a lot of clashing frequencies and things in it which had to be heavily refined. Me and my dad stood in our front room and recorded like 40 takes of that vocal chant you can hear throughout the track. I wanted it to sound like a football stadium full of people, and I remember him saying “it reminds me of the Liverpool Kop”, a passionate crowd of football supporters. Which was poignant as Liverpool happened to be the team my brother supported ‘til death. In terms of samples, I remember cutting two seconds of breakbeat drums from a My Bloody Valentine vinyl, chopping it up with claps and placing it under every other snare hit. I sampled a dissonant drone from the final level of Silent Hill 2 and stretched it to absolute digital breaking point, which is the sound you can hear right before the solo. And then for the solo itself I wanted it to sound like a spaghetti western in an aircraft hangar, which was a fun process.

“Like the other songs I have released over the past year, Acting On The Telephone is collaged out of developments I made on rough phone recordings and hand written scrawls from key moments in time. If an idea in my head takes me somewhere exciting or makes me feel a certain way, I will pursue the sound until I can hear it manifested, and then I’m happy.

“After I wrap up the fourth and final track of this EP, I’m looking forward to stepping outside of writing, producing and mixing everything by myself. Instead, I want to work more closely with the band of talented musicians I currently have around me. I want us to explore each other’s minds and harvest the ideas that we can provide independently. I’m super excited to watch us progress and perform live this year because I feel it’s the start of something bigger. As a band we will continue to push ourselves at our craft, and I guess we’ll see what the future has in store for us.”

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