Thing of the Day

Remembering Anet

June 15th 2011

Anet MookNot really a Thing of the Day today, more the genuinely very sad task of relaying the news of the death of Cay singer Anet Mook.  News reached us here late last night that Anet had lost her life in recent days. Details are a little sketchy at the moment but it seems that Anet was struck by a bus in her homeland of the Netherlands, Amsterdam we believe, sometime last week. 

Anet Mook was the singer and guitarist in Cay, a band we had the pleasure of releasing a couple of singles with here via ORG Records.  We actually released the band’s debut single Better Than Myself in 1998 and their final single, Resurrexit, in the summer of 2000, the two releases book-ended a rather fiery feisty and really rather underrated album that was actually about a lot more than just the energy of an angry young band. The album, Nature Creates Freaks, and a number of singles, came out on Warner Brothers label East West during what some would say was a rather difficult time spent by the band on the major label.

“It's odd that I find myself emailing you with this rather than the Warner people who we had longer ties with. Perhaps because we knew that you actually gave a fuck” (Mark, former Cay drummer). 

Mark relayed the news to us last night. And he’s right, I’d like to think we did actually “give a fuck” about not only the music but the people who came together to make what was, for an all too brief time, a very special band. Of the many things we’ve released or been involved in over the years, the Cay singles are amongst the things that we’re most proud of, and that even now, when other things may not seem as exciting as they were back when they were newly released, even now we’re very proud of those Cay releases.  And the reason we're still so proud, and why the singles still sound so good, is that Anet poured so much of herself into the music - something that's said about musicians way too often, but with Anet, it was the really the case.

It might be true to say that Cay were not always the easiest of bands to work with and do things for, but that is often the case when people are making music that really does matter to them, and I can honestly say that we never had a problem with them.  All members of Cay were delightful people to know, especially in those more innocent bright eyed days when the first single was coming out to such exciting acclaim.  Anet and her long time band and life partner Nick were full of creative joy as it all unfolded in front of them.  I’ll never forget the bright beam of delight on Anet’s face the day after the first bits of national radio play kicked in for the single (as she greeted me with  “man I though you were full of shit when you said you could actually get us played on the radio”), she had a massive smile and great big excited eyes, little things like a bands first bit of radio play were genuinely exciting back then, and when things were going right, as they so often were those early days before the music industry sucked them up and spat them out again, in those early days Anet and Cay were alive with brightness and wide-eyed creative excitement.  They really, really cared passionately about the music they were making, as much as any band we've ever known, to the point that it hurt them.  Yes they did have their personal problems and there were all kinds of rumours in later times, this isn’t the time for all that darkness though, we’d rather think of the bright and fiery orange and red haired creature with her great big smile and her music that really did excite us so much back there.  We’re proud to have been involved in some of the more positive times of Cay and it was a privilege to share some of those adventures with a special person, a very underappreciated artist and a bright-eyed orange haired creature that we really did give a great big fuck about.  

For once the NME was bang on the mark when they reviewed the band’s only album, Nature Creates Freaks, back in June 1999:

It's easy to distrust rock star rage, especially when it's making bucks for The Man. The trouble is, genuine anger is rarely honed enough to make for listenable music. And that's why Cay matter.

A four-piece Camden-based noise machine fronted by venomous Dutch singer Anet Mook, Cay arrive having survived a furious A&R feeding frenzy at last year's In The City and getting signed despite sounding like the devil's own daughter gargling razor blades over the rawest hardcore. The risk was always going to be that their major label debut would be an over-produced shadow of their molten live sound. It isn't.

When it really burns, like on 'Hooked On That', this is the sound of Anet Mook's soul turned inside out, her rasp fuelled by whisky and backed by massive punk chords. Even the obligatory moments of introspection (like 'Skool') crackle with tension. It's rarely straightforward either, the guitars skewed and dirty like Robert Fripp inventing Sonic Youth.

They'll hate the comparison, but this is the album 'Celebrity Skin' should have been. It's the most genuinely angry album you'll hear this year.

There’s no writer credit with that NME review, but whoever wrote it wasn’t far wrong and that album is what Anet and Cay should be remembered and celebrated for. We are genuinely upset to have to bring you this news today. Rest in peace Anet Mook, we really did enjoy sharing creative time and space with you.  

Anet’s funeral is this coming Thursday in Amsterdam.  
Our thoughts are with Nick, Tom, Mark, her family and friends.

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