Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

mouth music (ghost breath)



"made with only the sounds that were left out when compressing Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” to mp3"

"here we find the form of the song intact, but the details are just remnants of the original. Similarly, the video contains only material which was left behind during mp4 video compression

"these are real, actual sounds that your ear can easily hear. You don’t have to be some snobby audiophile asshole. The sounds are perceptible even through crappy MacBook Air speakers and earbuds

full story here 

(via David Stubbs)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

mouth music (bustadelic)



can remember when this video seemed so phuture

now it has that retrophuture buzz about it    - the original amazingness alloyed with awareness of the creakiness of the limits of digital fx at that time

one of the most expensive videos ever made, at $2 million

Hype Williams!

the production on the track itself sounds incredible still, in an unalloyed way

what else did Darrell "Delite" Allamby do then?

only this on the Busta album (and a co-production)



otherwise, a lot, but not a lot of note

Janet is totally biting Aaliyah's style on "What's It's Gonna Be", isn't she?

Busta is Busta
















Wednesday, December 16, 2015

list less

short

1/ Future, “Fuck Up Some Commas” 
equal
1/ Young Thug featuring Birdman, "Constantly Hating"
3/ Travi$ Scott, “Antidote” 
equal
3/ Rae Smemmurd featuring Nicki Minaj and Young Thug, “Throw Sum Mo”
5/ Future featuring Drake, “Where Ya At”
6/ Jidenna featuring Roman GianArthur, “Classic Man” 
7/ Ty Dolla $ign, “Blasé”
8/ Daphne & Celeste, “You and I Alone”
9/ Future featuring Drake, "Jumpman"
10/ Kid Ink featuring DeJ Loaf, “Be Real”
11/ The Present, "Illusion"


long

1/ Future, DS2 
2/ Micachu and the Shapes, Good Sad Happy Bad
3/ Rae Smemmurd, SremmLife
4/ = Moon Wiring Club, Playclothes from Faraway Places
4/ = Moon Wiring Club, Why Does My House Make Creaking Noises?
6/ Ekoplekz, Reflekionz
7/ Aphex Twin, Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 EP


not actually this year

Aphex Twin, “Original Chaos Riff"
Naomi Elizabeth, “The Topic Is Ass”
D'Angelo, "Prayer"

old

Jean Guerin, Tacet
Peter Zinovieff, Electronic Calendar: The EMS Tapes 
Aphex Twin megadump
David Toop, Lost Shadows: In Defence of the Soul – Yanomami Shamanism, Songs, Ritual 1978
Else Marie Pade, Electronic Works 1958-1995


creel pone

Randall McClellan, Interruptions
Peter Hubner, Faust
Robert Aaron, Datura
Klaus Hashagen, Percussion und electronik
Filipe Peres, Canto Ecumenico / Litania / Homo Sapiens
Maruo Bortoloitti / Walter Cranchi, Il Luogo Del Lavoro
Beverely De Fries D’Albert, Mental Sailing: Electronic Music Album Number 1
Frank Garvey, Omnicircus
Luc Marianni, Souvenirs Du Futur
Elektronski Studio Radio Beograda
Lunar Probe /Musique Pour L’Image
Andres Lewin-Richter / Anna Ricci 


1/16 postscript

a few I clean forgot to mention....

The Advisory Circle, From Out Here
Keith Seatman, A Rest Before the Walk
Visionist, Safe
The Weeknd, "The Hills" 

and some others I only just got around to hearing (been bit busy!)

Young Thug, Barter 6
twenty one pilots, "Stressed Out"
Mbongwana Star, From Kinshasa
Jenny Hval, Apocalypse, girl
Jlin, Dark Energy


Still nowhere near "50 Best" lunacy levels but creeping insidiously away from the initial impulse to list less -  to pare down to what I can remember - and to what I anticipate remotely desiring to listen to again in a year's time, let alone in ten years time  - the impulse that made me leave off things I admire but never actually listen to, like To Pimp A Butterfly (despite buying the CD) or Garden of Delete or Vulnerica  

(I seem to have developed masterpiece-aversion, something to explore later perhaps) 

Truth is that last year, like most of the preceding years, there was an oversupply of good or interesting records....  

You stack them up and the impression is of bounty and fertility

But why then did it seem, for most of the year, like nothing was happening in music? That things were completely inert...

I know that this was a common perception because I came across it being voiced in a bunch of quite different contexts

The perception feels true, still

A mystery to delve into at some later date....












Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hauntology Parish Newsletter Yuletide 2015 - Moon Wiring Club; Gloria Gloucestershire + Farmer Glitch

It's Christmas, so it must be time for another Moon Wiring Club album

The surprise this year - it's two albums.  A vinyl LP, a compact disc.

                                            





Slightly different cover look on the CD - the Moon Wiring Girls, you could call them (a la Roxy Girls), in the past have been vaguely 1920s or earlier - but this one is sort of a Suprematist Female Ziggy, maybe... or an "Art Deco Punk" (Ian Hodgson's own description)

Slightly different sound - the beat-oriented tunes are a bit electro-y - "'Harold Faltermeyer scores an 80s fashion-horror film" - says Ian, with a guiding concept being "squashing 80s 12" mixes back to a 7" structure but keeping the oddness.... endless vocal chopping and sloppy breakdowns"



While the LP  Why Does My House Make Creaking Noises? is focused on "120 bpm Jacobean theatre electronic muzak", the CD Playclothes From Faraway Places has a large swathe in the middle of beat-free tracks - "Mungo & Shoddy", "Sartorial Reanimation", "Chiffon and Singed Hair",  "Into A Secret Land", "Snow Scenes In July", "Wake Critique" -  hinterlands of atmospheric gloop - straying at times towards Aphex SAWII or Zoviet France zones....  the wraith-writhing voicescape of "Haywire Assistants" being particularly compelling,...  the mistily serene"Timeless Tea Gowns" verging on New Age, in the best possible way....  terrific stuff all 

Purchasable here and here (if outside UK/Europe)




This pair are Moon Wiring Club's eleventh and twelfth albums.  Moon Wiring Club is one of the most consistent artists around - in both senses -  the sound fluctuates, has shifts of emphasis, but it's completely distinctive, no one else sounds like this - but also consistency in terms of hit-rate - there's been albums I'm more attached to than others - but overall the quality level has been  remarkably... level. 

The only other entity in this parish with a similar combo of instantly recognisable signature and standard-maintenance against the odds given the prolific-ness  is Ekoplekz...

Speak of the devil....

Here's Ekoplekz alter-ego Gloria Gloucestershire doing a split cassette with Farmer Glitch   

"Archive and recent selections....90 minute - hand dubbed cassette - 30 copies only"

The Glitch stuff is excellent eerie-ambient, with tracks going back to 1996.... the Gloria Gloucestershire pieces "monomixtur1" and "monomixtur2"   -  based on a live work-out with a Korg synth, each constituent part done in one take "with no overdubs or edits and presented in roughly chronological order" - are spacey, aggressive,  superb

.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

mouth music (digital abject)

Oneohtrix Point Never – Ezra from guy_do_or_die on Vimeo.




Interesting "review" of Garden of Delete over at Quietus by Ryan Alexander Diduck, which treats Dan Lopatin as an "overproducer" in three senses: super-prolific;  micro-intensive in terms of sound-design; and extensive as regards as the macro-context assembled around the release.

(I say "review" with quote marks because the piece stops short of actually judging the record or saying anything definitive about it as artifact, source of pleasure, etc).


In digi-maximalist terms, Oneohtrix Point Never has a simultaneously implosive-explosive thing going on it and around it. Implosive, in terms of the production process, processing, editing, range of sources brought into play and into friction. Explosive, in the sense of erecting this enormous carapace of what Diduck calls "para-text"  - "the video clips, the fake tribute  band the MIDI file release" so that others can make their own versions of the tracks, fake genres hypergrunge and cyberdrone, etc etc - around GoD....  blurring the distinctions between conceptual-framing, social-media, and promotion.... and causing the notion of album-as-event to be stretched to the limit....  such that consuming GoD adequately would take an enormous investment of one's time and energy.   


Digi-max also in the sense of prog echoes - concepts, the elaboration of a sub-world (Rush coming up as a reference point)

(Bit of a digi-max month with the return of Rustie and Grimes).  

Spiel from the creator himself addressing  the issue of fans getting "the payoff of all the idiosyncratic detail I put into it"

Weird, I subtitled this post "digital abject" , based on the processed vocal-goo, before I even saw the Verge interview where Dan says "The theme is pus. It's things that leak that can't be contained", then connects that to both Kristeva's Powers of Horror and puberty, and then discusses how his intent with GoD was: "how do I kind of vaguely represent things that leak or things that are kind of disgusting but still seductive? But then there's this other part of it which is like, leaks or things that can't be encrypted or things that aren't secure" 

Grunge, in itself, is a synonym for the abject   - originally, meaning grot, dirt ... then noise/distortion... then the socially abject (wasted youth, burn-outs) albeit as a self-chosen identity as much imposed.... 



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

(mush)mouth music
















selection filched from this polemic by William Hutson about questionable aspects to Screw's embrace by an avant-outside listenership (there's a touch of the me-no-curator protests-too-much about the piece.... but an interesting read and certainly correct about the sudden untimely / unseeemly interest taken by hypnogogic types in the genre once the likes of Oneohtrix started repping for it)

Screw 'n'  chop influenced track by Hutson's group Clipping



Thursday, November 05, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

mouth music (breathscape)



"Cradle for the Wanting is the anticipated second album by vocalist Ian William Craig. It was recorded in the winter of 2014/15 in Vancouver, Canada, after the release of his acclaimed A Turn of Breath LP... Comprised of eight silken movements, Cradle for the Wanting is set aside from A Turn of Breath in that it was recorded in the span of a few months, as opposed to several years. This smaller count of production time tethers the pieces together, as multiple elements of a single entity. Here, voice is the only source laid to tape. Ian excels in inventing lush arrangements through this simplicity in instrumentation. The works rise and collapse in series, as Ian’s distinct repeating tape system comes into play. From the shivering hiss of “Glassblower”; to the deep curling hymn of “Habit Worn…”, large and small wings are explored. Ian crafts an aural home in this album; one can glide through its halls for days without blinking back to the modern age. The palace is at ease."

buy

also on Recital -Voooxing Poooêtre. "Originally released in 1982, this collection is comprised of voice works from the 1970s to the early 1980s, spanning a wide geography; Eastern Europe, France, Italy, Spain, and America.  Including text-sound staple Bernard Heidsieck, Dada artist Klaus Groh, Italian artists Agostino Contò and Adriano Spatola (Edizioni Geiger), along with more unknown sound recordings from artists Giovanni Bignone and Grupo Texto Poetico, in addition to works by Minarelli himself. An appealing showcase of some less-prolific sound poets. The recordings have been retransferred from the original 2″ tape, yet an inherent ‘home-recording’ quality is prevalent in most pieces, which in a sense adds character and becomes part of the art itself."

buy









Wednesday, October 21, 2015

mouth music (source voice)












"There is perhaps a peculiar honesty to the human voice which has nothing to say - in the age of unspeakable horrors what truth is there of suffering than the pain of its incommunicability? The message, the content, which, under the weight of overdrivven fog, cannot even begin to articulate itself without being smothered, was the genius of How to Dress Well's Love Remains. But what is the result of content stripped of any content? What remains of the voice in this instance is the substrate of material suffering that Roland Barthes recognized as the "grain of the voice" - not just the texture of the voice, but also the material and historical body's instantiation and continuation as the voice. The grain of the voice is the texture is the voice below the level of semantic content (the "phenotext" versus the "genotext") and as such is the body materializing itself in and as voice. Adorno has located the material body, below the indentitarian perversions of rationalization, as the true site of suffering. Then the grain of the human voice - in its crying out as suffering - is the substrate of the substrate of suffering. It is the material imprint of suffering that will not even rise to the level of language's symbolic (and hence dangerously instrumental) rationality.


"The locus of the voice on Source Voice is everywhere circling around this grain, suppressing its content and thus "giving voice" to the tragedy that is suffering barred from linguistic expression. The deep, digital imprints with which AGF (Antye Greie, East-German composer and wife of Vladislav Delay's Sasu Ripatti) crafts her vocal textures and arrangements sets into the discussion of the grain of the voice a new contradiction. What voice it lets out bears in fact a digital grain. The body of the voices here are digital bodies, virtual bodies, and hence bodies without materiality, essentially non-bodies. And yet, for all this, their grain is all the more palpable. The fuzz, the glitch, the deep, sand-papery textures that pervade these voices are contradictory expressions of a material body that has, via the mediation of the digital, been removed from its materiality. It has transcended it only to produce the effects of its now-lost immanence.

"In this regard the tragedy of Source Voice is the tragedy - and the antagonistic capacity of this tragedy's future reconciliation - of voice in the age of its digital reproduction (more pertinently, production, for productions' sake). We are all bodies expressing the contentless materiality of expressing our materiality through digital means. If this is our soundtrack, its resolute content says this: that there is sublimity in the mimesis of this corporeal situation - the real virtualization of the corporeal as such. We are bodies without bodies (not organs!) who nevertheless bear within our voices the granular remnants of a materiality which has denied itself. It is this sublime tragedy which AGF expertly expresses in the voice (and its other) filtered through the indifferent monster if digital texture." -- Public Embarrassment Blues









Tuesday, October 20, 2015

mouth music (and beak, and mandible)












Tobias Fischer & Lara Cory Animal Music - Book + CD 01 September 2015

info here

1. Tikal Dawn - Andreas Bick, Germany
2. hermetica – Daniel Blinkhorn, Australia
3. Amazons & Parrots – Rodolphe Alexis, France
4. Grand Canal Springs – Tom Lawrence, Ireland
5. seals – Martin Clarke, United Kingdom
6. BOTO – Artificial Memory Trace, Ireland
7. Adélie_penguins - Craig Vear, United Kingdom
8. Pilot Whales - Heike Vester, Norway/Germany
9. Brame, septembre 2011 - Marc Namblard, France
10. formica aquilonia, sweden - Jez Riley French, United Kingdom
11. Schwebfliegen - Lasse Marc Riek, Germany
12. central mongolian high mountain range habitat - Patrick Franke, Germany
13. Otus spilocephalus - Yannik Dauby, France
14. untitled#292 - Francisco Lopez, Spain
15. Summer Sunset 01 - Eckhard Kuchenbecker, Germany
16. Waldkauz-Balz - Walter Tilgner, Germany
17. What Birds Sing - David Rothenberg, USA


"Do animals speak to each other? What do their songs mean? Will we ever be able to understand them and talk back?

Ever since the accidental discovery of whale song in 1967, the idea of complex animal sentience has been gaining strength within the scientific community. A growing number of researchers and academics are exploring the idea that animals enjoy music on a similar level to human beings. 

Animal Music is the first anthology to present an overview of the current state of this vital debate. Tobias Fischer and Lara Cory, the editors of online platform 15 Questions, have spoken to the leading scientists, researchers and musicians in the field to uncover hidden meanings and new perspectives. They visit the world’s largest library of animal sounds, hack into the mysterious sonic world of shrimps, travel back in time to the point where animal and human songs diverged, and decode the latest neuroscientific findings about animal music and communication.

The book includes exclusive interviews with Chris Watson, Jana Winderen, Yannick Dauby, Slavek Kwi and Geoff Sample as well as features on Bernie Krause, David Rothenberg and Olivier Messiaen and many more."


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Friday, October 09, 2015

moments in time



Ghost Box is 10 years old.

Today they release a commemorative compilation, In A Moment... Ghost Box

27 tracks (on the vinyl double) or 31 tracks (on the double CD and download versions), pulled from across their discography.

Go here to buy it and inspect the track list 


                                         


I was really delighted to contribute the liner notes to In A Moment.. Ghost Box. Pure joy to write.

Ghost Box is my favorite record label of the past decade. 

I'm not sure I can think of any other labels over that period where I've had the same consistent eagerness and curiosity to hear the next thing they do. 

Sure, there have been labels during that time who have put out a lot of good or interesting stuff, like Pan, or that had a hot streak, like Not Not Fun... or maintain a highly considered, defined aesthetic, such as Blackest Ever Black... 

But  (not counting labels-as-outlet-for-a-single-artist, like Gecophonic Productions)  in terms of labels where I've wanted to have everything they put out....   really, there's only been Ghost Box. 

And Creel Pone. 

(A revealing pairing. Revealing of where my head's been at, if nothing else)

(And of course Creel Pone is ten years old this year as well)

One of the most enjoyable things about the first two or three years of the label's existence was the way that Ghost Box - alongside their small but growing cluster of kindred artists and labels - became the focus for collective discussion.... a kind of collaboration of minds...  a back-and-forth that took place primarily between blogs and writers at webzines, although it spilled into print magazines too.

Ghost Box  & company had a catalyst function, rather like grime in the early days of this particular neighbourhood of blogs.  You had a similar sort of passing the baton of thought.  

So in homage to that moment I thought I would collate some of my favorite bits by other people talking about Ghost Box and its ungenre.

(In a few cases, they are talking about Ghost Box et al quite a few years before it and they came into being, but then the linearity of time is an illusion, agreed?)

"Songs are like lopsided Victorian automata, instruments mismatch in incongruent tempos... and sequences frequently crumble into soft-edged bliss before one's ears. It is almost as if the very action of their exposure is the agent of their collapse. Stranger still, though plainly audible, occasionally the music seems to disappear from earshot, becoming proverbially invisible, sinking into the netherworld of the unconscious. Recurrent themes serve as mnemonics luring the listener’s attention to the surface. Pieced together from the mustiest samples - children’s exercise records, vintage BBC drama, clunky Brit jazz and (most pertinently) library records, this is an archaeology of emotion, a philosophically motivated exploration of the power of not just one's childhood memories, but of the collective unconscious. In the work of The Focus Group and House's partners Belbury Poly and Eric Zann... memory is a theoretical portal to the phantasmal kingdom, not a trivial exercise in retro stylistics" 
- Matthew Ingram, The Wire, 2005  


"Ghostbox artists deal in a very British style of sound manipulation; perhaps it could be called music-hall concrète.... Sketches and Spells by The Focus Group reveals them as non-idiomatic cratediggers searching for the bits other than the beats, for the reflective moments that the headz miss. This is music by and for shoppers who come home with dirt ingrained deep into their fingerprints from flipping through stacks of old books and records at jumble sales and charity shops. It is as refreshing as the cup of hot tea served by the church bric-a-brac stall where you’ve failed to find anything interesting among the Sven Hassel novels and stained flannel shirts. Sketches and Spells is as warm and strange as a clockwork sunrise accompanied by a dawn chorus of steam driven birds. Super-dry jazz hi-hat work mixes with offhand synth-bass and slivered chirrups of sound sliced thin enough to be just impossible to place. There’s a lot of percussion but it’s the click-clack sticks, spacious triangles and tentative, carefully considered woodblocks of primary school rather than the dense free-for-all of the hippie jam (you can almost smell the wood-shavings covering childish vomit.)" 
- Patrick McNally, Stylus, 2005 


"The affect produced by Ghost Box's releases (sound AND images, the latter absolutely integral) are the direct inverse of irritating PoMo citation-blitz. The mark of the postmodern is the extirpation of the uncanny, the replacing of the unheimlich tingle of unknowingness with a cocksure knowingness and hyper-awareness. Ghost Box, by contrast, is a conspiracy of the half-forgotten , the poorly remembered and the confabulated.... Ghost Box releases conjure a sense of artificial déjà vu, where you are duped into thinking that what you are hearing has its origin somewhere in the late 60s or early 70s. Not false, but simulated, memory. The spectres in Ghost Box's hauntology are the lost contexts which, we imagine, must have prompted the sounds we are hearing; lost programmes, uncomissioned series, pilots that were never followed-up"
 - Mark Fisher, K-Punk, 2005

"The artists on Ghost Box treat their historical fetishes-- British occult texts, science and informational films, the loose hokum of 60s counterculture, and the straight fits of academia and bureaucracy-- as clues and suggestions. A typical Ghost Box record might sound like it was recorded 30 years ago, but like it was being mixed as you listen; a sound so minced, collaged, and disjointed that it takes on crude animation--a museum come to life. They're historically obsessed, but completely nonlinear-- laser guns smuggled into a Civil War reenactment.....  I keep coming around to comparing the music to early hip-hop. In 2008, sampling is de riguer. It's lip gloss. But I listen to Ghost Box back-to-back with, say, Stetsasonic because both linger in the post-traumatic shock of The Sample--in the shock of the sampler's ability to distort history, the ability to disembody, the ability to completely destroy the traditional image of time and space in music making. Grooves in Ghost Box's music, then, are constantly disrupted, disjointed. All players spectral." 
 - Mike Powell, Pitchfork, 2008
"Of course, fairy-stories are not the only means of recovery, or prophylactic against loss.... There is .... Mooreeffoc, or Chestertonian Fantasy. Mooreeffoc is a fantastic word, but it could be seen written up in every town in this land. It is Coffee-room, viewed from the inside through a glass door, as it was seen by Dickens on a dark London day; and it was used by Chesterton to denote the queerness of things that have become trite, when they are seen suddenly from a new angle...  The word Mooreeffoc may cause you suddenly to realize that England is an utterly alien land, lost either in some remote past age glimpsed by history, or in some strange dim future to be reached only by a time-machine; to see the amazing oddity and interest of its inhabitants and their customs and feeding-habits; but it cannot do more than that: act as a time-telescope focused on one spot." - J.R.R. Tolkien, "On Fairy Stories", 1939. 
"Herein is the whole secret of that eerie realism with which Dickens could always vitalize some dark or dull corner of London. There are details in the Dickens descriptions - a window, or a railing, or the keyhole of a door - which he endows with demoniac life. The things seem more actual than things really are. Indeed, that degree of realism does not exist in reality: it is the unbearable realism of a dream. And this kind of realism can only be gained by walking dreamily in a place; it cannot be gained by walking observantly. Dickens himself has given a perfect instance of how these nightmare minutiae grew upon him in his trance of abstraction. He mentions among the coffee-shops into which he crept in those wretched days one in St. Martin's Lane, "of which I only recollect that it stood near the church, and that in the door there was an oval glass plate with 'COFFEE ROOM' painted on it, addressed towards the street. If I ever find myself in a very different kind of coffee-room now, but where there is such an inscription on glass, and read it backwards on the wrong side, MOOR EEFFOC (as I often used to do then in a dismal reverie), a shock goes through my blood." That wild word, "Moor Eeffoc," is the motto of all effective realism; it is the masterpiece of the good realistic principle - the principle that the most fantastic thing of all is often the precise fact. And that elvish kind of realism Dickens adopted everywhere. His world was alive with inanimate objects." - G.K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens, 1906

“... Something that has obsessed me personally for a long time, is the idea of eternalism and non-existence of time. It’s the notion that everything that has happened and will happen and all parallel world outcomes are superimposed in one block time” - J.B. Priestley, Man and Time, 1964

"And then, what about that curious feeling which almost everyone has now and then experienced - that sudden fleeting, disturbing conviction that something which is happening at that moment has happened before? What about those occasions when, receiving an unexpected letter from a friend who writes rarely, one recollects having dreamed of him during the previous night? What about all those dreams which, after having been completely forgotten, are suddenly, for no apparent reason, recalled later in the day? What is the association which results them?....  Was it possible that these phenomena were not abnormal, but normal? That dreams - dreams in general, all dreams, everybody's dreams - were composed of images of past experience and images of future experience blended together in approximately equal proportions?"  - J,W. Dunne, An Experiment With Time, 1927 

"Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration....  If you mistake the hybrid thing of which I am speaking for real time, you will come inevitably to the conclusion that everything in the universe is transient and rushing to destruction. In real time the exact contrary is the case. Everything which has established its existence remains in existence. A rose which has bloomed once blooms for ever." - J.W. Dunne, The New Immortality, 1938 

"Tell me what you see vanishing and I
Will tell you who you are"
                                                            -  W.S. Merwin, "For Now"



Monday, October 05, 2015

mouth music (gutter garridge special)

Grime's been in the news this year a lot - more than it's been in a while. Nu-grime obviously (still ticking along two years in - Visionist new album getting some good reviews). But also grime-grime, proper grime, today's continuation of back-in-the-day. Stormzy, Novelist et al  getting lots of buzz. Visiting rap megstars like Drake and Kanye giving props to Skepta et al.  The Grime Proms

I check some of this stuff out - somewhat dutifully -  but I dunno.....  can't feel the fire in it. But I'm sure that's just me, having shot my excitement-wad so excessively the first time around


Probably I'm just one of those who finds genres most thrilling in the emergent phase...  before the sound is fully formed. .. before they even have a proper name sorted.


The stuff below, what I gave the placeholder name "gutter garridge" for a while - was all taped by me during the summer of 2002. Exception is 'Black Man Freestyle' (not it's real name, if it even has one) which is off a tape someone sent me early 2003. All of it is rough and ready, and doubtless a bit crap technically - as MC-ing, writing -  compared with the accomplishment of mature grime. And certainly in terms of the sentiments, mostly it's ugly - nasty, malevolent, indefensible.


But sonically -  and as a blurt of social energy -  it's still got, still gives, that first-flush rush - the astonishment of hearing the New come into being.


All titles approximate a/k/a imaginary!





Horra Quad, "Life Is Not A Game To Play" + "Imagine (You Had A Crew Like This)"


"Too gutter! Too gutt-ah!"







Black Man Freestyle Pulse X 2003 - this is Durrty Goodz, right?





Black Op's on Ice FM July 2002 - Mentazm Death Riff + DubSubLo Freestyle




Tough Chick, Horror Squad jingle, 2002


"Separate!"






Horra Squad July 2002 freestyles KD + Tough Chick + Lady Thugsy






Horra Squad - "Strings Of Death" a/k/a Jammer "Army" / "Alpha Male Bizniz" / "You're A Lady" / "Feels Like An Overload"





Black Ops summer 2002 Carmina Burana versus Britney Spears
 + Cocaine Freestyle


Sunday, October 04, 2015

to make your heart invincible



never knew this video existed


did know about this one - not a classic, to be honest.




video director knowledge: how to get round the fact that the leader singer can't dance (at least on camera)


mouth music (digikitschadelia)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

I'm having a public chat with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge at the Hammer Museum tomorrow evening Friday 25th at 7.30 pm. Free and open to the public, it's  part of the Hammer Conversations series (partly funded by the late Leonard Nimoy and his spouse!) and is in conjunction with the two-day music event All the Instruments Agree: An Exhibition or a Concert, which takes place on the Saturday and Sunday (September 26 /27) and features a host of groops operating on the borders of art and music, including P-Orridge, GLITTERBUST, the LAFMS Shoe....

More information













Monday, September 21, 2015

Pop music is boring at the moment, yes  -  but as the sound of a stalled and stagnant art form goes, this one is supremely pleasant




Also gliding like a narcotic cloud out of the car radio speakers







Thursday, September 17, 2015

Woebot with a justified rave about the new Micachu





Apart from that, though - got to say, politics is about 200 times more exciting / interesting than music at the moment.


Friday, August 28, 2015

drummige - the flashback




reminded me a little of this



there is a common denominator - not the drummige, but the awesome bassage - the great Herbie Flowers

the equally awesome drummige on "We All Insane" is by the great Barry de Souza

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

let it Blurt (mouth music special)

In the new issue of The Wire, there's a big feature on Ted Milton, looking at his long career fronting Blurt, but also his distant past as an avant-garde puppeteer.


Ted Milton was actually my first interview. This is before Melody Maker, back in Monitor days. An independent publicist had started sending us records, which caused us to reverse our "no reviews, no interviews, thinkpieces only" policy and institute a review section pronto. By the final issue, the "no interviews" stance had crumbled too, with a profile of Sonic Youth.

It must have been around that time that I asked the PR if I could interview Milton for Monitor. But I think my secret plan was to pitch the idea to a music paper.

At any rate, I never wrote it up for anybody, because there was no "it" to write up.Ted led me on a merry dance through central London, hopping from cappuccino place to cappuccino place. I trailed behind him, carrying this hefty boom-box I'd borrowed off a friend because I didn't have anything else to record with. We never actually settled long enough anywhere for me to press "record"; I'm not sure I ever formally asked any questions, as such.... My interviewee was an odd mix of skittish and peevish - I suspect that he couldn't really be much bothered with being interviewed by some green kid from a zine he'd never heard of. So I headed back on the Oxford bus empty-handed. *

                                             

I liked the Ted Milton solo record we'd been sent - "Love Is Like A Violence", I believe -  and vaguely knew about Blurt. But the real reason I'd wanted to interview him was actually the radical puppeteering.  Which I only knew about because of a record that had come into my brother Tim's possession quite a few years earlier. It's not mentioned in The Wire piece, but it appears to be Milton's very first record: "Confessions of An Aeroplane Farter" b/w "I Don't Want To Go Poo-Poo!", self-released on his own Echt! label, in January 1979.  My brother had bought it on the off-chance, purely - I imagine - because of the titles. And because it came with a free aeroplane sickness bag -  a promise of emetic levels of listener disgust.

                                            





                                         


The full artist name is Ted Milton and Mr. Pugh's Puppet Theatre. On the back of the 12 inch sleeve (although the disc itself is a 7-inch), all is explained, or at least, darkly hinted at:

                                      



Me and my brothers -  enamored of épater le bourgeois as concept and praxis - were really taken with the thought of  Milton bringing his show - from the sound of it, a cross between Punch and Judy and Ubu Roi with some Derek & Clive thrown in - to schools and other institutions, causing havoc and trauma.  Although there was a faint suspicion that the letter of complaint was a fake.

Perhaps not, though, judging by this account quoted at the Ted Milton website:

Mr. Pugh's Puppet Theatre and The Blue Show not only shocked the primary schools and women's guilds to which Ted Milton took it, but also the theatres and cultural centers.

So what was it about the Blue Show that caused such a furore?

"It was about oral nasality in the police force," says Ted, with off-hand relish. "It involved scenes of unparalleled nasal carnage. There were episodes where policemen actually farted their legs off, a la Douglas Bader. And aeroplanes fell out of the sky. they ate prisoners in the Andes. The Black Manias had crashed and the Normals had escaped from the identikit and Lo! they had multiplied. It was a very horrible routine."  

In the Wire piece, Milton describes another section of his show:

"At one point, a policeman sticks his big red nose down another policeman's throat. he starts vomiting and up comes a wet-look Union Jack. They didn't like that. It upset people. So I knew more and more and more where to go."

Further information about Mr. Pugh's Puppet Theatre from the website:

Mr. Pugh's Blue Show and Mr. Pugh's Velvet Glove Show were Ted Milton's guises as a puppeteer. Traveling Europe and Britain he would present plays like "Pere Ubu" by pre-dadaist playwright Alfred Jarry, as well as his own creations like "Operation Wordsworth". As such he also did support slots for Eric Clapton, Ian Dury and The Blockheads and Split Enz, often to the dismay of the rock audiences.

Tony Wilson, however was impressed enough to invite him to his TV-show "So It Goes" in 1976, and later, as Factory Records founder, he remembered Ted well enough to offer Blurt a deal.

Factory bod Kevin Hewick offers a dissenting opinion, though: 

"I first saw Ted Milton supporting Ian Dury and The Blockheads in 1978. He did this awful punk performance art Punch and Judy puppet show, puerile stuff like one of the puppets drinking snot from the others nose!"

Another interesting snippet I never knew: 

Film director Terry Gilliam invited Ted to perform the role of the puppeteer in his movie "Jabberwocky".

If you scroll through this clip from Jabberwocky (a teenage fave of mine incidentally, what with being a total Python-and-its-every-last-offshoot fiend), you can see a bit of puppetry at about six minutes in, although it doesn't have much to do with Mr. Pugh's Blue Show seemingly.


There are just a few tiny snippets of  Mr. Pugh Ubu-ism to be found out there: 








In his Wire piece, Daniel Spicer suggests that with Blurt, "Milton became both puppet and puppet master", to which Milton replies "I'd jumped out of the box, yeah!"







* Nothing to write up, but the day was not a complete write-off. The PR's office was based out of the Rough Trade building, where it so happened that very same day there was an album-playback party for Meat Is Murder.  She sweetly said it would be quite okay for me to wander in and have a listen, sample the refreshments. So I stood there, incredibly nervous and awestruck - not at the thought that Morrissey might be in attendance...  not that I was getting an advance ear-glimpse of the new album by my favorite group....  but because of the possibility that one of my NME heroes -  Barney Hoskyns! Morley, even! -  might be in the melee of hacks quaffing and pecking at the vegetarian hors d'oeuvres.  

                                                    

Monday, August 10, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Obsessed with these two songs at the moment -



Trying to think of what a prototype for "Twin Layers" might be...

The closest thing -  not that close - I could come up with was this 


A single year in New York's musical life is the The Go-Betweens's starting point -   Talking Heads 77, Marquee Moon...


Reminds me of the advert that future members of Orange Juice put out calling for musicians - "A New York band forming in the Bearsden area"

But Bearsden couldn't be much more unlike the Lower East Side.  

That's even more the case with Far North Queensland, where Grant McLennan spent much of his childhood, as evoked in "Cattle and Cane" and other Go-Betweens songs.



You can take the boy out of the _____  but you can't take the _____ out of the boy. 

  




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

mouth music (vocoder soul)





Surprisingly the 12-inch versions of these were not on YouTube. Indeed the B-side semi-instrumental wasn't up at all. So I took the liberty....

Both really take off after the 4.15-ish mark - i.e. where the album (and 7 inch) version fades out.

Vocoder and synthesizers courtesy of one Mike MacEvoy - who worked with Adam Kidron on a bunch of Rough Trade aligned albums, and went on to be a screen composer.