On the whole, music of any type can be more or less guaranteed to cut through any cultural differences and unite people through a shared appreciation. Unlike language or customs, music, rather like maths, has a universal standard that everyone can use, albeit with wildly differing interpretations. Sometimes music can be attributed to a region or country by way of its style or composition, as is the case with Latin or Reggae. This does not stop us being able to enjoy it. Very occasionally music is performed in a style that doesn't travel well, the character and peculiarities get lost in translation somehow. America's biggest selling C&W artists never make a dent in the UK chart and as for some our European cousins, they're still looking for the next Birdy Song, but that's OK, it's good to be different.
Age Waves by Sam Flax is an album that falls into the category of 'does not travel well' so Cal to Blighty is a trip too far for this explorer of the experimental and esoteric. The world may have become relatively smaller since the internet but the nuances of a particular audience are still in evidence. For the same reasons as we don't really have shock-jocks like Howard Stern or TV evangelists like Billy Graha, we don't always get, or need, all that the US can throw at us, sometimes it's better left at home.
Emerging indie label Sweet Sound Of Nothing may have "journeyed half the way across the world to catch Sam Flax at SXSW", and were, apparently, "blown away", but in hoping to sell him as a commercially viable artist over here they are asking too much.
Continue reading: Sam Flax - Age Waves Album Review