While some artists allow themselves to be swallowed by their own pompous self-mythologising, others take pleasure in a more light-hearted kind of alter-ego, constructing a public image out of scraps of whatever cultural paraphernalia appeals to them.
One such artist is Martin Moog (not his real name, obviously), who, as The Japanese War Effort, expresses himself through an intriguing gauze of lo-fi electronica, Post-it notes, YouTube sampling, Lothian Buses and Scottish football history (see his ode to Ian St John below).
Appropriately then, The Japanese War Effort began life on April Fools Day two years ago as "an ambient joke band" but has since evolved into a beguiling channel for Moog's sometimes poignant, sometimes witty world view.
It comes as something of a surprise that such a cultivated personality arrived at his musical style through a series of negations: "I like electronic music, but I don't have any fancy equipment, I love hip hop and rap, but I can't rhyme, and I don't want to be a folk singer, because a lot of people have had that idea recently," Moog says. "So making half electronic guitar songs in my bedroom alone seemed like a good idea. It's ideal working at my own pace, on my own terms, and not having the mundanity of weekly band practices or anything like that."
When UtR saw him play live recently in Edinburgh, the tall, bespectacled Moog looked almost out of place as he stepped on to the stage in front of the capital's most dedicated scenesters. But from the first note he had the crowd hushed in reverential attention as he got on with his dexterously looped compositions, accomplished guitar playing and calm, confident delivery. In short, it was a performance.
"The loop pedal is only used on the live side of things, where I interpret what songs I have recorded on my laptop, and I try to use it sparingly," Moog says. "Using a loop pedal means that songs have to start quite sparsely, and tend to build and build to a climax, so it can be a bit of a challenge creating an interesting song structure within the confines. But I'm a big advocate of playing songs live in a different way from the record, and the loop pedal allows me to do that, so the drawbacks are definitely outweighed by the benefits."
Moog is enthusiastic about the current music scene, but maintains a healthy scepticism: "Obviously there's a real mix of good and bad music," he says. "I've recently played with some great bands in the shape of Meursault and My Kappa Roots and I'm also a big fan of Barn Owl, Plaaydoh - who unfortunately have just split - and Eagleowl. It would be wrong to mention who I dislike - I'd like to avoid the clichs of becoming embroiled in any disputes through the press - but suffice to say, I've had enough of dullard groups who do that seven piece indie with folk instruments thing, which seems pretty over exposed at the moment. But it is certainly a good time to be getting out, playing live and making records."
Heeding his own advice, Moog is a busy boy in the coming months. The Japanese War Effort will be contributing to a couple of compilations, and will be working on a new album over the summer. But Moog says the focus of his musical energies will be his new band Conquering Animal Sound, which is "an expansion of the Jap's live ideas, involving two people playing through one loop pedal". They are releasing their debut mix tape as a free download at the end of May, and will be playing their first show at Henry's Cellar Bar on the 30th of May.
• For more music from Scotland's best up and coming bands, visit the Under the Radar blog