Artist Focus: Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci

Some artists leave a legacy that stretches far beyond a great single or a number 1 album. 

Artist Focus is a new series hosted by the extended Melodic Distraction family that deep dives into the life and times of the musicians that have defined the sound of modern music. From the stone cold classics to the unearthed gems and forgotten B-sides, our community tribute an hour of music by a single artist that has had a notable impact on their life.

In this episode, Jab presents Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci:

“I first heard Welsh band Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci on John Peel’s Radio One show back in the early 1990s. I loved the fact they were singing in Welsh and exuding the spirit of early Roxy Music. The poetry, human observation and absurdist nature of their output is set to a beautiful melodic canvas. Songs about celebrity excess, supermarkets, poodles, burning patios, freckles, murder and rural landscapes. Loved by The Velvet Underground’s John Cale, this was a band who celebrated musical and thematic creativity and independence. Fans ranged from elderly Greenwich village folky-types to young fashionistas. They signed Welsh dictionaries at gigs. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci were championed by DJ John Peel and are a milestone in the Welsh music scene, alongside Super Furry Animals, blending folk, psychedelic rock, pop and surrealism. A significant proportion of their output was sung in the Welsh language, demonstrating its beauty in song and lyricism and countering the homogenised English-default of rock culture. Cool Cymru vs Britpop! When singing in English, the phrasing of their First Language, Welsh, shines through with real charm. Individual members have gone on to be equally prolific and have influenced successive waves of great Welsh artists including the current Welsh scene: Cate Le Bon, H. Hawkline, Accü, Adwaith and Candelas.”

See also former members: Euros Childs, Richard James, John Lawrence, Steffan Cravos AKA DJ Lambchops, Tystion (Welsh Hip Hop).

Photo GORKY’S ZYGOTIC MYNCI at Robert’s Emporium in Cardiff, Rob Watkins 2003, courtesy of Museum of Youth Culture, London, England.

Album cover: Spanish Dance Troupe 1999.