by David Owens
The Manic Street Preacher's missing guitarist Richey Edwards' voice has been sampled by a Turkish duo Kim Ki O
He was the enigmatic rock star whose mysterious disappearance has assured him cult status at the heart of one of rock 'n' roll's greatest mysteries.
Now, Manic Street Preachers' Richey Edwards will once again be heard on record.
The guitarist disappeared on February 1, 1995 and was officially presumed dead on November 23, 2008. However, the aura surrounding the musician remains undimmed and looks set to burn even brighter with the release of Dogs - a track from Turkish duo Kim Ki O, who have sampled Edwards' voice and used it on the track, which features on the electronic outfit's new album Grounds.
The words are taken from a 1994 interview with the Blackwood-born lyricist, who disappeared, aged 27, when he and singer James Dean Bradfield were due to leave for a promotional tour in the US.
In 2009 Manic Street Preachers released Journal For Plague Lovers - an album composed entirely of lyrics left behind by Edwards, however this will be the first time the eloquent guitarist would have been heard on record since the Manics themselves sampled his voice for a track called Askew Road, the b-side of the 2004 single The Love Of Richard Nixon.
Over a pulsating bassline and haunting synth you can hear the musician say: "All we've ever been interested in doing is making a record which encapsulated a mood and a time." The song ends with a loop of Edwards uttering the words, "Go and live with my dogs somewhere."
Multi-instrumentalists Ekin Sanaç and Berna Göl - both self-confessed Manics' fans who are currently on tour in Europe, said they were inspired by Richey's words, although they weren't expecting anyone to notice who was speaking the words.
"We had absolutely no idea that people would find out where the sample came from," explained Sanaç. "We naively believed that it would remain our little secret. We underestimated Google search obviously!"
They both admit that the words of Richey Edwards have had a profound influence on them and their music.
"When we first got into the Manics, there was no internet and living in Turkey, relatively speaking, we were isolated from a lot of music," said Göl. "It was rather hard to get hold onto interviews with bands, what they do, what they say, etc.
"So two years ago we ran into the interview of Richey and we were quite stunned by the things he was talking about. We could totally relate to them and it was very inspiring.
"We were just recording our new album and this got stuck in our heads and later it became even more inspiring than we had realised.
"The song is about the feeling of isolation and alienation. It's something we share, not necessarily personally but in a broader sense.
"Nobody talks about this enough, but we see this inspiring attitude in his (Edwards') interview. The urge to escape means more than it sounds."
The pair, childhood friends who formed Kim Ki O in the summer of 2006, explained they discovered the Welsh outfit when they were teenagers.
"They are one of those bands we grew up with. We first heard their music when we were 13," recalled Sanaç. "They were not popular at all here back then.
"It was the Generation Terrorists and Gold Against The Soul albums that we were into right away. Then came The Holy Bible, and Everything Must Go when it came out, was no less important for us. It was their politics, their directness and the music itself was perfect.
"They're one of those bands that don't fade away as you grew older. (1996 single) A Design For Life is the perfect tune to hold on to if you are about to lose your way in life and this absolutely still counts."
The duo said their fascination with the missing Manic had also manifested itself in a song they wrote called Richey James, which was named after the former Manic.
"That song is actually now called William Chisholm. He used to be our English literature teacher in high school.
"The song is mainly about major disappointments in life, the struggle and taking a stand. It's whether you stay or leave. It's very simple.
"We used to call it Richey James. We liked the idea and how powerful it was to address that song to Richey, although it covers many other issues and has no direct reference to him.
"And we played many shows announcing that song as Richey James. But then we decided it was too direct, more than we meant it to be so named it after our teacher who passed away recently.
"It's actually on our new album. It's about Richey, William and many other people now."
[Originally published: walesonline.co.uk, 14 April 2013]