Neoangin: A Friendly Dog In An Unfriendly World


"Without a doubt, Jim Avignon is a name that is recognized far beyond German borders. His paintings are unmistakably his own, and he is a very well known figure in the art scene. So it follows that since 1997, as Neoangin, this passionate clubgoer has been releasing his own wildly genre-defying lo-fi pop: an overload of kindergarten chaos, also offering quiet, melancholy moments that avoid irony, often incorporating musical quotes; music featuring a slightly dusty old Yamaha organ, of which Jim says: 'I can play in every style with it, yet the sound is always special'. To better emphasize the artificiality of his music, he sticks to the preset sounds of the organ rather than using samples. However the sounds are employed in a way so contrary to their intended use that whoever first programmed them would quite probably have a heart attack if they heard what Avignon was up to with their software: he creates an art-techno track from country elements, a jump-and-run melody is mutated into a dark, moody tango and then eaten away by squeaking sound defects. And nevertheless, we are dealing with very personal, sometimes almost intimate songs, rather than some musical tour de force for its own sake. Wonder is now releasing Avignon's masterpiece: A Friendly Dog In An Unfriendly World -- 33 songs, and a booklet with a corresponding picture for each one. JIM is never 'just' a painter or 'just' a musician, rather a chronicler of and contributor to a constantly self-renewing pop culture. The collage-like music reminds one of the technical naïveté of Badly Drawn Boy, the lyrics have an existentialism reminiscent of early Cure. In a way, Neoangin is a musical reverberation of the last fifteen years, an echo of all those revolutions that perhaps didn't change the world, but certainly changed our record collections. A personal refurbishing of C-86, Grunge, Techno and LoFi-Pop, a sweeping style-jump, an unpredictable mix of everything that Jim likes, which is a lot: Doors, Stranglers, Der Plan, Blur, electronic from Rephlex and Warp, Stockhausen-Walkman, Mr. Scruff, or the DMX Crew. Sometimes these varied influences can be found within a single song, which Jim creates using the same cut-and-paste concept as old-school hip-hop producers, but with an entirely different result. It is definitely wild-style club-culture, just without the sponsoring and bouncers."