• Denholm Hewlett


Introducing the mysterious and ultra-funky golden baseline grooves of Cleo McNETT, a skilled bassist and forgotten musician. An enigmatic character with hardly any intrinsic information about his life and personal story.

Rumoured to have been born in Texas, USA, Cleo Mcnett supposedly started his musical journey playing bass in his local church gospel band, over the years he became a skilled bassist and started recording his own homemade records on tape. Cleo produced and released a trilogy of albums during the 1980's, including LET THE MUSIC GUIDE YOU, ALL OF ME and LIFE.

All the songs and albums were written, produced and all instruments performed by Cleo Mcnett, he recorded and distributed his music through his own self-titled publishing company between 1982-1993. Cleo's music is funky, soulful, hypnotic, fuzzy, smooth and rough around the edges, all the tracks possess this immersive and infectious homemade DIY low-fi charisma. Cleo's signature golden bass line grooves, which are the driving force behind all of his home-made musical explorations, were truly ahead of their time.

Cleo's most recognised composition is the instrumental SNAP, which was famously sampled by DJ SHADOW on his album Endtroducing (1996), SNAP was used for the interlude segment "Why Hip Hop Sucks in '96", which in itself was a meta statement about how during the mid 90's, Hip Hop producers were going crazy with samples, avidly repurposing instrumentals and loops of music from obscure musicians like Cleo, who still remain shrouded in mystery, while the song that sampled them becomes more famous and widely appreciated than the original artist's entire catalog.

Cleo was also the host of his own cable access TV program called The Cleo Mcnett show, which ran for 12 seasons from 1985-1997. Aside from this, there is hardly any concrete information on Cleo Mcnett online aside from tidbits, and maybe thats for the best. Cleo wasn't famous and probably never wanted to be. I think its much more endearing to retain your mystery as a human being and as a creative person, long live Cleo Mcnett. The surreal and hilarious music videos for his numerous hit songs include loads of footage taken from his long running self-titled TV show which feels like a strange mixture between Twin Peaks and Napoleon Dynamite.

Check out a selection of Cleo's brilliant music videos! They're so bizarre and ingenious you won't regret it. Delve into the world of CLEO McNETT.

~ Psychic Garden