Ivor Cutler / A Flat Man (1998🇬🇧)
Composed By, Written-By, Vocals [Sung, Spoken By], Performer [Played By], Harmonium, Mbira, Instruments [Sundry Other Nigerian Ones] #IvorCutler
Unavailable since 1999, A Flat Man was originally released in 1998 through Creation and found the Glaswegian absurdist, as ever, wrapping his tongue round verses in his soft Scottish brogue, where euphemisms confuse the pure and drag the odd down into the dark.
Cutler’s life was as beguiling as his works. Born all but by the gates of #IbroxPark in 1923, young Cutler suffered from anti-Semitic abuse throughout his impoverished upbringing due to his eastern European ancestry, schemed to kill his younger brother, object of his mother’s affections, before eventually being caught by his aunt in the heat of the act, as well as struggling at school to develop his handwriting much beyond a wanton scrawl. Later in life, after being dismissed as ‘absent-minded’ during his brief stint with RAF during WWII, Cutler became a schoolteacher – the career he would continue with into his late 30s.
Cutler began to pen pieces of prose and poetry with half a mind towards publication which remained largely idle indulgences until in 1959 when he was asked to perform on BBC’s Tonight programme. It was with this appearance that his career took a true turn, eventually culminating in his debut foray, in what would eventually become a vast discography spanning five decades, with Ivor Cutler Of Y’Hup released in 1959, before endearing himself to John Peel (for whom Cutler would notch up nearly as many session recordings as #TheFall – 21), #JohnLennon (enrolling him as #BusterBloodvessel for #MagicalMysteryTour) and #RobertWyatt (with Cutler appearing on the #SoftMachine lynchpin’s seminal #RockBottom).
As a man who once said #Kafka's bleak final novel The Castle encapsulated him perfectly, Cutler dives into a brand of his own unique miserabilism, opening with ‘A Bubble Or Two’ – detailing the suicide of a drowning mother – and followed soon by ‘Jam’ - “What’s your favourite jam? Traffic jam - it’s the jam for a man” - #AFlatMan showcases one of his darker turns, lightened by the usual mel