Saturday, December 27, 2003

STRANGE LIMBO BETWEEN XMAS AND NEW YEAR’S EVE READING BONANZA

And a belated merry Boxing Day to our Great Britain and Commonwealth readers!

Worlds of Possibility with tthe Beatnik’s eye view of the year

heronbone with the AvantYob take, + prognosis for Grime in the04

what technicolor got in its Xmas stocking


Woebot sets the tone for 2004 with a splendid ragga-jungle 94 bizniz mix… well I haven’t actually downloaded it yet, it would take about 5 hrs on my set-up, but just the tracklist alone gave me a mighty memory-rush

In the basement, where the storage lockers are, I was looking for the tree decorations, saw a cardboard box fulla cds, ‘oh go on then’. Ah! A rich seam of jungle cd comps. Deemed at some point ‘second division’ and packed away-- what was I thinking? Jungle Hits Volume 2 with lots of Tom & Jerry, junglized versions of dancehall tunes by Capleton, Half Pint, Frankie Paul, Ninjaman), Jungle Hits Volume 3 (with Splash’s incredible “Babylon”--“alla da youth shall witness tha day that Babylon shall FAAAAAAAAALL!”, even more dancehall remakes); Drum & Bass Selection 5 on Breakdown, edging into that spare militant/minimal 95 hardstep/rollers/jump-up sound, still quite a bit of ragga vibe in there though--SS remixing Cutty Ranks ‘Limb by Limb’--H.M.P. [how long did it take me backintheday to realise that stood for Her Majesty’s Prison], Pure’s “Anything Test” as included in the Woebot Mix, stuff by Bizzi B & Pugwash, Rude Bwoy Monty, Zinc, Phantasy, and Ganja Max's fabulous "Rinse Out."

Funny thing, at the time--1994--the ragga-jungle vibe was a tiny bit oppressive just because that was pretty much all you could hear at raves. The only Moving Shadow stuff that got played would be ‘Terrorist’ by Renegade aka Ray Keith (#1 Amen tune ever) or ‘Dred Bass’ by Dead Dred, and they weren’t exactly archetypal Shadow. (And now those tunes sound better than an awful lot of the more "less obvious", "less crowd-pandering" Shadow stuff of the time). But all that ‘ambient jungle’/intelligent-leaning stuff, it got a tiny bit of play on the pirates, but on the floor, forget it: you’d go to an event and it would be wall to wall ragga-jungle and “The Burial” played once an hour. That’s why Speed was initially a sound initiative, just to showcase the stuff that wasn’t get played out. And initially Speed wasn’t at all successful. I don’t think it ever did draw da massive, as such, just a mixture of inner-scene producers and trendies.

Now, in one of the closets, I have a whole box full of Kool FM tapes…

Monday, December 22, 2003

Xmas Reading Bonanza

STOP PRESS: ONE XTRA--da missus on best of teevee 2003

Woebot on his mate Gwen the nutty record collector/dealer--lots of lovely full color scans (note to self: must MUST get a scanner) of the covers of incredibly pricey/obscure records as touted by Gwen. Matt in agony about the $1000 records he covets but can't buy. I am so out of these guys league, i don't think I've ever spent more than $28 in real money on a single slab of vinyl. (When i say real money i mean not the monopoly money you get from Music & Video Exchange when you trade stuff in for exchange which doesn't count cos its promo lead into gold yagetme)

k-punk awakes with a speculation on the future madeleines/involuntary mnemonic triggers for 2003. a hard one to guess, this, the most unlikely tunes remind me of past years, often ones i didn't consciously register at the time or particularly care for


technicolor
with an amazingly thorough overview (scroll down a bit) of the year. must concur especially with the comments on Grime (amazing, yes, but it could have moved so much further/faster) and dance (the glut expands but who on earth is buying the stuff?). Exhibiting true obsessive-compulsiveness Jess then returns a bit later with a list of great tunes he forgot to include, reminding me of one i forgot: Kanye West, "Thru the Wire". Love the way that this is basically just a guy playing a portion of one of his favorite records over and over, pitched up ardkore stylee so that Chakha sounds even more heliumgasmic, over this great sloppy-seeming beat. Another fave i forgot: Field Mob, 'Sick of Being Lonely', crunk but amiable, even plaintive.


skykicking
with a thought-provoking post on
the disappearance of "rhythmic danger" from drum'n'bass--triggered quite a few thoughts at this end which hope to put down here sooner rather than later

bit late on this one but just in case anyone's not checked it a terrific piece on the 'screwed and chopped' phenomenon in texas rap by tufluv--the entry is Wednesday December 17

todd burns on best xmas album EVER Crunk and Disorderly
--on which subject, i'm no scholar of this particular form, but it strikes me that Ying Yang Twins "Salt Shaker" is a pretty advanced production. Lots of interesting sounds whizzing about in them; multilayered bass noises, farty eruptions. Sorta like Rabelaisian bleep'n'bass, where LFO stands for Lewd Frequency Oscillations. [You have to admire also the frugality of the 'Salt Shaker' video. One location--a fire station; one prop, a fire truck; a few models (c.f. the hundreds of scanty clads in your average rap video). No special FX. If they skipped on catering and just got several tubs of chicken wings and a dozen supersized sodas in , well the budget could come in under.. 10 thousand? That's chicken feed!]

Naked Madja with Part 2 of the epic year round-up.
Interesting comments on Grime's inhumanity and absence of a redemptive vision. I get where marcello's
coming from but for me the coldness and harshness
and uninvitingness of the music IS the humanity, IS the emotion. That's how the world/life has treated these guys and that what's coming out in the music: the sonic equivalent of the skrewface. that was what was fascinating about the Wiley interview at hyperdub, the way he related to the coldness in his music to the
cold rage when he was kicked out by his granny because he'd been getting into trouble
with the law; he felt totally abandoned yet knew it was his fault, except on another level it wasn't,
'society is to blame' -- but that to me shows how there's a total existensial/emotional AND social/political dimension to these bleak impersonal-seeming machinic instrumentals. that said, for sure, there's much tonnage of shite grime trackage or pure functional mc tools

silver dollar circle has a great little rant (might have to scroll down a bit) about all the things wrong with modern culture, i found myself in total agreement, EXCEPT that the trigger for the rant is Daft Punk, who don't to me seem the embodiment of emptiness and blank irony Simon takes them as. Things like "One More Time" and "Digital Love" seem full of pure openhearted love and joy, and also really potent ammunition for those who argue that irony and awe can coexist and are not mortal enemies. (Whereas The Darkness, say, seem like really potent ammunition for the opposed view).

Thursday, December 18, 2003

FAVES 2003


TOP 23 DISCRETE SONIC ARTIFACTS
(all categories; unranked
)

Junior Boys, "Last Exit"

Dizzee Rascals, "Vexed"

Dizzee Rascal, "Sittin' Here"

Dizzee Rascal, "Do It"

Jammer, "Black Man Freestyle" over "Pulse X" (Luka pirate tape)

Kano, "Boys Love Girls"

Vybz Kartel, "Sweet To The Belly"

Wiley, "Ice Rink" (Wiley juggling all the MC versions in a row live on radio premiere, Luka pirate tape)

Cabaret Voltaire, "Fuse Mountain"

Cabaret Voltaire, "Dream Sequence Number Two Ethel's Voice"

Cabaret Voltaire, "Henderson Reversed Piece Two"

Villalobos, "Dexter"

Bigga-Man, "Trump" or "Funny Song" [still don't know]

Bright Eyes, "One Foot In Front of the Other"

DJWrongspeed, "Talk 'n Ads"

DJWrongspeed, "Old Skool"

Animal Collective, "Panic"

Unknown Artist, "Strings of Death" [imaginary title] + unknown MCs (Luka pirate tape)

LFO, "Blown"

Essentials crew, Deja  Vu FM show date unknown (Scud tape)

Hi-Tension, "British Hustle"

Freez, "Southern Freez"

Remarc, "Thunderclap"



TOP 23 SINGLES/TRACKS/VIDEOS


1st Equal/
Dizzee Rascal, "Vexed"
Wiley featuring various MCs, "Ice Rink"
Kano, "Boys Love Girls"
Vybz Kartel, "Sweet to the Belly"
Junior Boys, Birthday EP
Villalobos, "Dexter"

7/ Bigga Man, "Trump" or "Funny Song" [still don't know!]
8/ Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz featuring the Ying Yang Twins, "Get Low"
9/ Bright Eyes, "One Foot in Front of the Other" (off Saddle Creek 50 comp)
10/ Mark One versus Plasticman, "Hard Graft 1/Hard Graft 2"
11/ Outkast, "Hey Ya"
12/ Outkast, "The Way You Move"
13/ Sean Paul, "Get Busy"
14/ Unknown Artist, "Strings of Death" [imaginary title]
15/ The Surgery featuring Mr Bigg Shott, "Shott The Weed"
16/ Kelis, "Milkshake"
17/ Codex & Flexor, "Crazy Girls"
18/ Dizzee Rascal, "Fix Up Look Sharp"
19/ Jon E Cash versus Capleton, "Clear Conscience"
20/ Data 80, "Baby, I Can Forgive (extended mix)"
21/ Black Ops, "Haywire (sub low mix)"
22/ Schneider TM & Kptmichigan, "The Light 3000"
23/ Jammer, "Weed Man"

Runners Up (unranked): Simon Sez, "Shut Ya Mouth", "Golly Gosh"; Sharky Major, "Ain't a Game"; Vive La Fete, "Noir Desir" [heatseeker tune/fastest riser]; Wiley, "Ground Zero", "Frostbite"; K2 Family & Dem Lott, "What! (Secret Service Remix)"; Jammer, "One And Allâ"; Coldplay, "Clocks"; White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army", "The Hardest Button to Button"; Sean Paul, "Like Glue", that one wot versions "Uptown Ranking"; Bonecrusher; Beyonce, "Crazy In Love (unreleased cuz nonexistent vocal free and rap free dubstrumental)"; 50 Cent, "In Da Club"; Tatu, "All The Things She Said", "How Soon Is Now"; Chingy, "Right Thurr"; Lumidee, "Uh Oh" (unreleased cuz non-existent Autotune Pitch-Correct Mix)


TOP 13 ALBUMS/COMPILATIONS

1/ Dizzee Rascal, Boy In Da Corner
2/ Animal Collective, Here Comes The Indian
3/ Villalobos, Alcachofa
4/ LFO, Sheath
5/ N.A.S.T.Y. mix-CD by Jammer, Deuce magazine July 2003
6/ DJWrongspeed, Pirate Flava
7/ Michael Mayer, Fabric13
8/ David Banner, Mississippi: The Screwed and Chopped Album
9/ Ward 21, U Know How We Roll
10/ DJ Scud & Panacea Present The Redeemer, Hardcore Owes Us Money
11/ Various Artists, Crunk & Disorderly
12/ Vybz Kartel, Up 2 Di Time
13/ Soundmurderer + SK-1. I<<

Runners up (unranked): Stars Like Fleas, Sun Lights Down On the Fence; Lightning Bolt; Heroin (Orthlong Musork); Richard X; Ragga Ragga Ragga 2003; Elephant Man; Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Dinky; The Mover; Data 80; Mr. Scruff, Trouser Jazz; Bubba Sparxx; Kraftwerk; Akatombo, Trace Elements (Swim); More Fire Crew; Various Artists, Bricksmack (Drosstik); OutKast; David Toop, Black Chamber; Various Artists, Street Beats Mixed by Slimzee and Femme Fatale Featuring B-Live and Gods Gift; Matthew Dear, releases beyond counting; Platinum Performers 2 Fast 2 Ferocious free cd, Deuce winter 2003; Tobias Thomas, Smallville; Various Artists, Rephlexions; The Bug; Various Artists, The Biggest Dancehall Anthems 2003


TOP 13 REISSUES/RETRO

1/ Cabaret Voltaire, Methodology '74/'78. Attic Tapes;
2/ Soundmurderer, Wired for Sound
3/ The Blue Orchids' The Greatest Hit + EPs (new on LTM/Darla)
4/ Remarc, Sound Murderer
5/ Various Artists, British Hustle: the Sound of British Jazz-Funk from 1974 to 1982
6/ Factrix, Artifact
7/ 23 Skidoo, The Culling Is Coming
8/ Al Green, The Immortal Soul of Al Green
9/ Pyrolator, Ausland
10/ Essential Logic, Fanfare in the Garden
11/ Television, Marquee Moon and "The Dream's Dream" on Adventure
12/ Jean Cohen-Solal, Flute Libres/Captain Tarthoporn
13/ Arthur Russell, The World of Arthur Russell

Runners up (unranked); King Sunny Ade, The Best of the Classic Years; Palais Schaumburg; Animal Collective/Avey Tare & Panda Bear, Danse Manatee/Spirits They've Gone, Spirits They've Vanished; Metal Urbain; Various Artists, Cool As Ice; The Door and the Window; Nervous Gender; Fred Frith, Guitar Solos; Bad Company [not the rock band silly]; Lory D; Ultramarine remixes; Roy Ayers anthology; Bad Brains; Charalambides; Various Artists, Nice Up The Dance; The Passage, Pindrop/Degenerates/Enflame/For All and None


UNOFFICIAL COMPILATIONS
(unranked)


Grievous Angel Soundsystem vol 1: Nervous Ragga (P. Meme)
Radio-Phonic+ (J. House)
The Forbidden Zone, 1967-73 (J. Savage)
In The Sprawl, Vol 1 and Vol 2 (T. Finney)
Beta Lounge Record Club Shipment no. 13 (P. Sherburne)
Bounce Alliance: New Orleans, Miami, London/Swizz (M. Ingram)
Speed Garage 'Lost Classics' (M. Ingram)
Longhair Round Up 2003 (M. Ingram)
Australian Post Punk Vols 1-4 (J. Dale)
Robert Haigh, Vol. O: Before Breaks Began (M. Gascoigne)
Omni Trio, The Eps #1/Works #2 (S. Reynolds)


OLDSTUFF: NOT REISSUED BUT REDISCOVERED/REVELATORY

Home T/Cocoa Tea/Shabba Ranks's "Pirates' Anthem"
Human League/Martin Rushent, Love and Dancing
Gong, Camembert Electrique/Flying Teapot/You
Donald Fagen, The Nightfly
The Meters, Rhino double-Cd
Thomas Leer, 4 Movements/Contradictions
The Residents, The Commercial Album
Tubeway Army, Replicas
Gary Numan, The Pleasure Principle
Lard Free, oeuvre entiere
Byrds, Younger Than Yesterday
Goblin, Suspiria
Boston,"More Than A Feeling" (especially video on VH1 Classic)
Anthony Red Rose, "Tempo"
Dirtsman, "Hot This Year"
Guru Guru, Hinten
Love, Forever Changes, "7 & 7 Is"
Madness, many tunes
The Beat, first album, "Too Nice To Talk To"
The Specials, first two albums, singles
UB40, "The Earth Dies Screaming"
The Fall, oeuvre entiere
Black Chiney, Mixes 1 to 128 (chest ya Mr. Maplestone)


ON THE FENCE
Basement Jaxx
Matmos
Speicher
Sylvian
!!!

OFF THE FENCE
Luomo


UNACCOUNTABLY LOST ALL APPETITE/CURIOSITY
Jay-Z
Missy/Timbaland
Neptunes
Radiohead

OVEREXPOSED
Pharrell's face
Pharrell's falsetto


IN MY STOCKING PLEASE SANTA
(hint hint hint)

Miles, Jack Johnson five-cd box; Shirley Collins, box + Love, Death and the Lady; Pitman; Scott Walker box; Ze compilations;
Sub Rosa electronic anthologies; Linda Perhacs; Nurse with Wound, Soliloquy for Lilith 3-CD; Soft Machine BBC sessions; Annette Peacock I'm The One; Topic folk box; David Toop book; Bangs anthology


WORDS
The usual suspects (my cru my dogz BLOGGAZ 4 Life believe it m8 ---er, cough, I say chaps, keep on keeping on, eh?!); Deuce; Paul Morley, Words and Music (even though it's wrong), Greg Tate, Hendrix bk (bit short though innit); Eric Hobsbawm, Interesting Times.


OTHER
The Office series 1; Italian postwar politics; Scottish people; Sheffield people; Bedekar Pickles, Kieran Press-Reynolds; Da Missus; the endless treasure of VH1 Classic; Bridget Riley retrospective at the Tate; short but sweet six days summer sojourn in London, with no rain!

UNFAVES (NON-MUSIC)
The Office series 2; virtually everything on TV; domestic politics; global politics; woes of various sorts cutting dark swathes across the lives of friends and contemporaries.


MOST ANTICIPATED FOR 2004
Wiley album; N.A.S.T.Y. and/or Jammer albums; Dizzee #2; a proper Streets release would be nice eh Mike; Junior Boys full length; more Arfur Russell reissues; Animal Collective/Avey Tare/Panda Bear overload; 10 yrs since 1994 junglizm nostalgia in overdrive (started already, just couldn't wait); finishing the book.

PREDICTIONS/WISHFUL THINKINGS
Rap gets worse before it gets better; dancehall gets better before its gets worse; grime stays level AND underground BUT 3rd pirate radio hardcore continuum win in a row for Mercury; continuum's yin/yang light/dark musical/antimusical pendulum swings the other way in the form of a 2step revival (dis one 4 da ladeez massif); microhouse abruptly peters out, just like that; MACROhaus (Felix 'Don't You Want My Love' meets Giselle Jackson 'Love Commandments' meets The Mover meets Energy 52 'Cafe Del Mar') blows up ENORMOUS; Jay-Z comes out of retirement; Marcello Carlin comes out of retirement; Madonna gets Screwed; David Stubbs, Kodwo Eshun, and Paul Kennedy start blogs; nu-metal just, like, totally ENDS leaving all the weird hair 'n' bad beard bands as stranded and fucked as Poison Warrant etc were circa grunge; mysterious but aesthetically-astute virus cause out all post-Green Day/Blink 282 pop-punk vocalists to permanently lose their perky puppy-like overmelodious voices, hooray!; mid-Eighties revival begins in earnest, Williamsburg rife with bands imitating Kitchenware sound and Ron Johnson roster; Kane Gang The Triffids and Balaam & the Angel reform for School Disco: The Bad Music Era; bottom drops out of the mutant disco/negroclash market and Hip-House, New Beat and possibly even Hi-NRG are the new hotzones.


IN CONCLUSION

Merrie Xmas, and hope y'all get whatcha want in and for the 04.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Lists lists lists lists with twists (good on yer Woebot) but nobody, except Marcello, can be arsed with making any substantive commentary on the artifacts in question, let alone hazard anything resembling an Overview. Well I’m with the majority this year: Faves, due any day now, is going to be on the, ah, perfunctory side. Partly cos I’ve not got the time, and partly cos almost everything on it I’ve already said plenty about here during the past annum. As for an overview, you must be kidding! Who'd even attempt such a thing, you’d be throwing yr hands up in disparation (excruciating pun intended) within minutes. The Big Picture don’t bear contemplating really (even grime wasn’t THAT astounding). This is a time for the minutiae-minded (chest ya Tufluv, Finney) but be wary y'all--tis a thin line between alertness to those small but significant shifts and unwittingly teaching yourself to settle for less and less. Titillating, for sure, when Mr. Michael Mayer started dropping tunes with a Glitterbeat stompy feel in NYC the other week (that’s shuffletech, right?) and downright delightful to hear an actual honest to goodness T.Rex bassline on one track, but it takes more than a slight intra-scenic shift towards the quasi-lumpen to shake my world, rearrange my mind, make me raise my voice even. So bring on the Macrohouse, the MACRO-everything. Be unreasonable demand the momentous.
…but we’re not out of the prog fog yet…

Monday, December 15, 2003

Feeling

----The face of Wayne Coyne--the most appealing countenance in all of modern rock, don’t you think? I wonder what he’s going for with that image. It’s sort of Andrew Gold mixed with Jeff Lynne. I imagine him as this rising-but-not-quite-made-it-yet songwriter circa 1975, driving across LA on his way to a meeting with Linda Ronstadt’s people, in hopes of getting a tune on her next album.

----Marley Marl’s sampladelic production of “Ain’t No Half-Steppin’” by Big Daddy Kane--a gorgeous mist of near-microtonal plinks and dissonant chings, the instrumental source whereof is tough to ascertain through the haze (Rhodes keys?).

----Ryuichi Sakomoto, B-2 Unit. Amazing stuff (unbelievable, really, for 1981), even better than the “Bamboo” EP with Sylvian. Can finally see why “Riot In Lagos” is such a talismanic reference for certain Detroit types and Black Dog sorts.

----Various Artists, Crunk and Disorderly. Tis the season to be grimy: featuring Lil Jon & East Side Boyz, Lil Flip, Three 6 Mafia, Pitbull, Bone Crusher, Youngbloodz and more, the best Xmas album EVER!!! Favorite tune, sonixly: Konkrete featuring Big Boi’s eerie “D-Boy Stance”. Favorite tune, vocal performancely: over the brontosauran slow-stomp of “Guess Who’s Comin’ To Town” Bonecrusher emits a gruff rasp as heavy-breathed as Tad after bingeing at Taco Bell. Favorite tunes, conceptually: Ying Yang Twins “Ho! Ho!”---and yes it’s the obvious gangsta-Santa pun; David Banner’s “It’s Christmas Time (Jingle Bells)”--the chorus (to the tune of that carol that goes “god rest you merry gentlemen”) is “it’s winter time and we still cannot find a job/we fill out applications but you treat us like we’re slobs/so we rob and we steal/we’re just trying to get a meal/cos it’s Christmas time and we’re broke again, broke again”; Killer Mike’s “A Christmas Grind”, which starts with a shotgun blast and has this oddly Streets-soundalike-y chorus that goes “it’s Christmas time/I’m on the grind/Gonna take what’s yours and make it mine.” Not exactly tidings of comfort and joy, then.

---Kelis, “Milkshake”. Sounds like the ‘Tunes have been listening to Liaisons Dangereuses.

----The 808 B-line in “The Way You Move”. Jungalistic but smoove--worthy of Alex Reece.

----Finding Speakerboxxx/The Love Below for $2 in Kieran’s school fair. Two bucks!

----Also finding a CD of sound library music, Bite Hard: The Music De Wolfe Studio Sampler 1972-80, subtitled ‘An Eclectic Selection of Progressive British Sountracks’. (Hooray for hip East Village parents deciding to purge their CD collections as toys and Thomas the Tank Engine videos take up every square inch of their apartments!). It was the word ‘progressive’ that grabbed my eye, but although there’s a fair bit of Moog on this it didn’t quite live up to my hopes of Goblin-lite or Graaf-zak. Worth the two bucks though for “Spiro”, a 1975 rimshot and hi-hat heavy drumkit workout with ominously distorted and sustained guitarchords that sounds uncannily like something of ACR’s The Graveyard and The Ballroom. (Which is just about to be reissued by Soul Jazz).

---the almost hardcore tempo, wonderfully jaunty breakbeat tune they use in action or chase scenes on Powerpuff Girls.

----David Banner, Mississippi: The Screwed and Chopped Album. Screwed and Chopped by Michael Watts of Swisha House.
Bit weird listening to the fucked-up rmx w/o ever having heard the original album, I suppose, but this is great-- a late arriving contender for my Top 10 of the year. Love that droopy, slurry sound, like slipping helplessly into the slough of despond. A woozy-Uzi feel, like gangstas whose psychological armour is melting, releasing a long pent-up lush melancholy at times oddly redolent of Gary Numan at his most Satiesque and grandly pretty ("Down In the Park", say). There’s also sounds in there that seem vaguely gloomcore in flavour (whereas your non-screwed crunk has this stabs and distorted bassdrum sounds that sometimes approach a sort of downtempo gabba. The avant-lumpen, get-low impulse is transglobal, certain noises seem to have universal appeal). The chopping aspect might be even more interesting than screwed’s 16 rpm deaccelerated effect--at times the combination is like watching/experiencing a car crash in slow-motion, all blunted impacts and drawn-out metallic lacerations. Guess it’d be kinda interesting to get “on the vibe” for the full drug-music-tech interface insight. But as much as I’m a major Lester Bangs fanboy I’m not going to start necking Romilar or its modern counterpart. So I’ll have to content myself with being in the same position of those who heard and dug the sped-up voices in ‘ardkore without understanding their relationship to the E-rush. (Actually I don’t think I’ve done a downer of any description, unless alchohol counts, so got no reference points to draw on whatsoever. Do they still make quaaludes?). (Related topic: how certain drugs seem to have cultural effects and ramifications, whereas others (glue, say, or valium) don’t seem to generate anything in the way of subculture or musical effects; seem literally infra-cultural or even anti-cultural. I’d have put Robitussin or whatever these guys are sippin’ in the non-culture-generating bracket but it seems to have crossed over to the other side (as I guess ketamine did, eventually).

-----DJWrongspeed, Pirate Flava
Another late arriving contender for the Top Ten. For almost a whole year this chap Wrongspeed was doing a weekly 15 minute show on Resonance FM (between May 02 and February of this year--whythaFUCK did no one tell me?!?! Not that I’m living within radio range, but… there's arms that coulda been twisted, pleas and wheedling that could have been made). Then Resonance had to pull it after a complaint from the Radio Authority. More like sound art than music per se, each ‘Pirate Flava’ episode was a collage of culcha-matter gleaned from the pirate airwaves of London---MC patter, phone-ins, ads, tunes, station idents, rants. This Pirate Flava CD, kindly sent by Wrongspeed, starts with a 30 minute Megamix of what I guess must be highlights from the entire series: a fantastically compressed audio-archive of a decade plus of renegade broadcasting. But in some ways the next segment, “Talk’n’ Ads,” is even more amazing: Radio Babble-on of quirky, nutty, or offensive public speech. Or maybe that should that be Radio Babel-on--a profane and promiscuous tapestry of slanguages, dialects, creoles, patois, pidgins and outright foreign tongues, that reveals and revels in London as one of the great cosmopolitan cities of the world. Ads for morning-after contraception (reedy-voiced adolescent Black British boy--“oh shit the condom’s burst! Oh that’s okay you can’t get pregnant the first time”), community-conscious sermons about guns and how civic-minded adults really ought to step in to defuse teenage squabbles before they escalate, conspiracy theorists, religious nuts, ads for hair salons in Tulse Hill, phone-ins full of banter and larking about, but also sometimes hate and bigotry (some ugly examples of black homophobia: “in Jamaica, they stay in the closet… and when we FIND where the closet is, we’re gonna set it alight”), amateur lady-MCs gamely rhyming about playas who need to stay monogamous, advice and counselling from the utterly unqualified and self-appointed. It’s forbidden popular knowledges and minor languages ago-go. Next up is the pure E-rush of “Old Skool” (which wonderfully includes some material from before I started taping-- 89/90/91 days, when the DJs still had a touch of Smashy and Nicey about them: that old style smarmy patter of discotheque deejays who’d announce requests and dedications in a laughably TransAtlantic ‘smoove’ voice. Nice also to rehear the wobbly-nerved tones of Colin Faver, cheesy quaver). Finally there’s a fab garridge/2step collage called “UK Shed Mix”. Wrongspeed really ought to archive the entire series on the web (you can’t get the old shows on Resonance, unlike most of their other programmes, presumably 'cos they had to pull them after the Radio Authority's warning)


Not feeling


----All those Devo tunes in adverts (particularly rife on children’s TV channels for some reason). I know those guys have to keep up the mortage payments, but still…

-----Ludacris, “Stand Up”. Sonically: makes me think of Chain Reaction after they stopped being any good, circa CR 20, great ugly slabs of tectonic sound. Luda-wise: the larger-than-life brashment vibe now seems painfully overstated and quite irritating.

-----Luomo. You know, I’ve listened to that album more times than many of my ab favs of 03, and all I can say is: you guys are nuts! It just sounds incredibly meek, prissy, and characterless to these ears. More Latin Quarter than whatever cool Eighties reference points you care to bring.

----Sickly sensation of doom as you contemplate those forthcoming Liars LP titles--They Were Wrong, So We Drowned; “Steam Rose From The Lifeless Cloak”; “There’s Always Room On the Broom”; “If You’re a Wizard, Then Why Do You Wear Glasses”; “They Don’t Want Your Corn They Want Your Kids”, “We Fenced Other Houses With the Bones Of Our Own”; “Flow My Tears The Spider Said”. Not that titling was ever their forte especially, but…

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Treading on Thin Ice. Over at hyperdub Instalment #2 of that fabulous Martin Clark interview with Wiley. Amazing stuff re. turning rejection (being kicked out by his granny for being a bad bwoy) into a cold cold inner fireball of motivational energy. (And to think there's those out there who still think you can somehow enjoy/understand Grime without even registering its content/context!!!). The album is called Treading On Thin Ice and it's due early 04.

Monday, November 24, 2003

PROGMETHEUS UNBOUND: THE RETURN

Well, I feel I should apologise for Progmetheus Unbound. At the end of the day, it was simply far too cursory.

Via an intermediary (he doesn’t have email or even a computer, in fact the Billboard Progressive Music Guide was written on a typewriter) Bradley Smith has made his feelings known: “not thorough,” “sloppy”, “uninformed”. Noam tried his best but couldn’t quite hide his disappointment. Other correspondents (see below) haven’t been nearly so concerned about sparing my feelings.

My only excuse really is that the whole undertaking, while based in genuine curiosity about ‘progressive’, is practically speaking an exercise in seeing how extensively you can map a sonic terrain with only the most minimal first-hand (first-ear?) acquaintance with it.

Any, for what it’s worth, here is Progmetheus 2, an attempt to make amends by rounding up the most blatant ommissions and egregious category errors. To start off, some comments from my blog peers and e-correspondents.

^^^^

In as kindly a tone as he can manage Luc Sante notes numerous sins of omission:

NYC JUILLARD-HIPPIE PROTO PROG
Ars Nova
New York Rock & Roll Ensemble

BEAT GROUP LEAN PROGWARD
The Move

PROG 50S-NOSTALGIA
Roy Wood as Eddie & the Falcons

GARAGE-PROG
Electric Prunes--Mass in F Minor

ZAPPA-SONDHEIM HYBRID PROTO-PROG
Chrysalis

NONE DARE CALL IT PROG
Love (well, Four Sail and Out There, anyway)

DUTCH-SCANDINAVIAN DIVISION
Focus

NO WAVE PROG
Dark Day
Circus Mort (future Swans)
that Don Giovanni-based concept album perpetrated by members of Mars [John Gavanti? Don King?]

SF NEW WAVE PROG
Tuxedomoon
Sleepers

NYC MINIMALIST PROG
Glenn Branca (20 guitars!)
Rhys Chatham (100 guitars!)

^^^^

Audibly (legibly?) rubbing his hands together with glee, Sébastien Morlighem draws attention to a series of blunders:

POSTPUNK IS PROG INNIT PROG
The Work
Family Fodder (in fact all the Cold Storage connection)
Door & the Window
Flying Lizards*
Bits in The Fall discography (Live at the Witch Trial, The Unuterrable's Ketamin Sun -mock-prog ?)

*(The Flood/Trouble/Events during Flood on the side B of first LP ; most of the second LP, plenty of Fripp in it !)

FROG PROG
Early Pascal Comelade*

* minimal electroprog, big influence of Fripp/Eno, Pinhas, of course (check 'Allez Theia' by Heldon!!!)

COMEDY PROG/POETRY PROG FUSION
Lady June*

* ‘Linguistic Leprosy’ has bits of early TG in it?

^^^^

Outwardly genial but spiced with undertones of schadenfreude, Stanley Whyte points out the bleeding obviousness of such absent categories as:

WHEELS OF STEEL PROG
DJ Shadow*
Kid Koala

* Bonus prog points for releasing discs that are enhanced by listening to them through headphones.

NUGGETS PROG
Amboy Dukes - Journey to the Center of Your Mind*

*This should ALMOST be disqualified for including anything by Ted Nugent, as definitely-not-prog as I can think of.

1ST-TIER BRITISH INVASION PROG
The Kinks (1968-75)*

* this encompasses Village Green Preservation Society, Muswell Hillbillies, Lola Vs The Powerman, Acts 1, 2 and 3, Soap Opera - Concept
Albums ALL!

CZECH PROG
Plastic People of the Universe/Pulnoc

JAZZ-PROG
Keith Jarrett

^^^^
Matthew Ingram, barely able to stifle his glee,
points out the absence of French synth prog outfit Space Art from the PROG DISCO category, seeing as they were the same crew responsible for Space’s "Magic Fly," while also noting that Tom Moulton's Kebekelektrik album (a Kraftwerk Homage apparently) features a disco cover of Ravel's "Bolero," and in a final encyclopaedic flourish points out the presence of future Police guitarist Andy Summers as drummer on Deep Purple organist Jon Lord’s 1975 album Sarabande (“which was moving into Axelrod-y territory via covers of Ravel”)

^^^^

Rather testily, Scott Woods chips in with

PROG SOUL
Marvin Gaye

RURAL PROG
The Band's "Chest Fever"

AYERS PROG
Kevin Ayers
Roy Ayers

And further suggests that limiting this thing to music is, frankly, parochial-minded given the existence of:

PROG CINEMA
Ken Russell
Oliver Stone
Stanley Kubrick

^^^^

Verging on belligerent, Eli Bingham berates: “Where's Manuel Goettsching and E2-E4 then?! I mean, shit, he WAS in Ash Ra Temple”. He’s right: a shocking omission in the PROTO-TECHNO PROG CATEGORY

^^^^

Co-founderBruce Adams appreciates the inclusion of Kranky in the list of prog labels but objects to the Eurocentric bias resulting in the absence of:

JAPANESE PROG and JAPANESE SUB-PROG {blue cheer damage}: Acid Mothers Temple, Ruins, Boredoms, Keiji Haino/ Fushitsusha and the PSF label.

Bruce is also keen to advance his pet theory about the influence of ECM Records on American left field rock of the 1990s (see Appendix 3)

^^^^
Too nice to actually call me an ignoramus to my face, Wallace Winfrey is dismayed by the non-appearance of Voivod in the METAL IS PROG INNIT PROG category. He also suggests that Grateful Dead merit some kind of category (JAM PROG?) for their Weather Report suite, Blues For Allah, Terrapin Station (“all with the signature prog trappings of one long song composed of several parts”) and notes that bassist Phil Lesh and Ned Lagin's electronic 70s outing, Seastones “specifically mentions use of Buchla instruments--a hallmark of any good
prog outing”.

^^^^
Jonathon Dale
tartly indicates the embarrassing absence from HUNGARIAN PROG of prog-metal band The Galloping Coroners (a/k/a Vagtazo Halottkemek) and the non-appearance in FINNISH PROG of Circle (who “hide it behind these stoned circular riffs a la Loop or whatever, but the organ playing (Jon Lord, good Lord!) and the squealy dramatic (almost cod-operatic) vocals are a dead giveaway”.

^^^^

Francesco Brunetti reckons I need my head examining if I can’t see the righteousness of the following lineage:

MAGICKAL MYSTERY PROG/ALEISTER
CROWLEY IS PROG)

Graham Bond -- Holy Magick
Psychic TV -- Force the hand of chance
Nekrophile Rekords -- The beast 666 and the archangels
of sex rule the destruction of the regime
Current 93 -- Christ and the pale queen mighty in
sorrow
Coil -- Moon's milk (in four phases)

^^^^

Alan Murphy comes up with an embarrassment of glitches
whose lowlights include:

BIG BAND CONCEPT JAZZ PROTO-PROG
Miles Davis (& Gil Evans) - Porgy & Bess, Miles Ahead, Sketches Of Spain

FREE-JAZZ PROTO-PROG
Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz (A Collective Improvisation), The Shape of Jazz to Come
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme, Ascension, Interstellar Space

WIDESCREEN 80’S STADIUM PROG
U2
later Simple Minds
Disintegration-era Cure
Talk Talk*

* even if they never made it to stadium size, they sounded like they did

NEO-HAWKWIND DRONE PROG
Spacemen 3
Loop

^^^^^

In tones more sorrowful than scornful Matthew Maragno hints that it was possibly a bit of colossal fuck-up not to have addressed the existence of

TURNTABLIST PROG-HOP
Q-Bert
Radar
Rob Swift
Eddie Def

To which I can only feebly retort: you forgot DJ Faust, and suggest that while Matt’s contention that “pretty near all of them” are proggish is broadly true, most in fact lean more to Yngwie Malmstee/Satriani technoflash/showboating than yer actual full-on progrock concepts/fantasia pretentiousness

Matt also suggests adding Captain Beefheart to COMEDY PROG, adding Sun Ra and Mahavishnu Orchestra to JAZZ PROG, adding Widespread Panic to DIXIE PROG, and throwing Phish in their somewhere. Good points all.

^^^^^^

With an exquisite blend of asperity and condescension Michael Carty draws attention to the non-inclusion of Chapterhouse and the appropriate category: SHOEGAZE PROG-LITE (DECAFFEINATED & SUGAR-FREE), observing en passant the nice irony of the fact that “the name is even only one letter off Charterhouse, school of Genesis origins”.

^^^^

Aaron Goldberg practically jumps up and down on the spot with delight upon spotting the manifest failure to recognise the 80s-progness of midperiod Tears For Fears: “I mean a guy doing a guitar solo to Nature and the Gods on the cliffs of Scotland or wherever is so PROG I can't believe you missed it!!”. There was also of course their Pepper’s/Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles homage Sowing the Seeds of Love. Aaron further proposes Ween as “masters of post-prog”.

^^^^
Adam Sobolak advances persuasively the thesis that art-rock began when Klaus Voorman met the Beatles. “The pre-Hamburg proto-Beatles fundamentally were still just kids and fanboys sowing their
wild oats, it wasn't like rock'n'roll was going to be their career or anything. Besides, if there was any "higher pretense", the pre-1960 high-art embrace of American popular musics like jazz and rock always had a certain "noble savage" disconnect. The most radical outcome of the Beatles' contact with Voorman's bohemian circle is that the disconnect vanished; "art" and "rock" effectively fused. “ One notes also Voorman’s bass playing on the great Yoko Ono records (PRIMITIVIST PROG?)

^^^^

Rob Geary reckons any fule kno that latter day Warp is pure PROGTRONICA--“Aphex Twin and Squarepusher's recent efforts both the hallmark of prog- the dreaded DOUBLE ALBUM. Squarepusher's even came with the boast/warning sticker for the second disc, "Alive in Japan." Hello Budokan.” (One might go further moot the entire genre of IDM as intrinsically prog). Rob also notes that Spring Heel Jack “once cheered the PROG ‘N’ BASS bass movement from the sidelines but seemed to have successfully escaped late prog hell for the different hell of the academy”

^^^^
Ben Wolfson takes no small delight in pointing out that Univers Zero belong in BELGIAN PROG not FROG PROG; that Cuneiform is a shameful absence from the PROG LABELS list; that the ITALO-PROG subsection is pathetically underpopulated (he cites Stormy Six, Area, Picchio dal Pozzo as particularly notable); that’s there a vast subgenre of Rock in Opposition-style Eurorock mostly in the mold of Henry Cow; that DIXIE PROG really ought to include the Dixie Dregs and PROG-FOLK could probably include Richard Thompson (he was in the "supergroup" French Frith Kaiser Thompson, after all). He controversially nominates Television as prog (claiming that Fripp wanting to join the group while he was living in New York; Eno also produced some early Television demos). He adds that “it's not just the case that Laswell was in NYC Gong; the band was essentially Daevid Allen + Material” and in a penultimate flourish of encyclopaedic knowledge notes that Andy Summers’s prog credentials extend beyond Spooky Tooth to include “not one but two albums with Fripp--guitar synth duets”. Finally, “why aren't the Ruins in PROG’N’BASS?”. Crushing.

^^^^

Ex-girlfriend Suzanne Spiers emerges from over 16 years radio silence to heap fresh insult upon ancient injury with the observation that I somehow forgot to put Sven Vath in PROG TECHNO despite having extensively slagged him off for progward tendencies in Energy Flash. For an extra twist of the knife she mentions Clock DVA and The Cure as startling omissions.

^^^^

Marc EC Morris feels that Wu-Tang Clan’s non-appearance in PROG HOP is bizarrely wrongheaded, given their “obsession with maths, conspiracy theories, etc plus escalating pomposity circa the second Graveidiggaz album and then the utterly prog Wu-Tang Forever”

^^^^
Freshman-year crush Rebecca Rosengarde (who I recall only having a worn, scratched copy of a Rolling Stones compilation and possibly something by the Clash but what the hey) emerges from the digital ether to propose the category:

EIGHTIES WET’N’WIMPY INDIE-MAVERICK ESOTERIC PROG-LITE
Cindytalk
Sad Lovers & Giants
The The
Eyeless in Gaza

And further suggests that Arto Lindsay’s post-DNA outfit Ambitious Lovers fit somewhere on account of their series of albums based around the seven deadly sins.

^^^^

Damon Nguyen reckons Kak and Bubble Puppy both fit the category of LATE PSYCH/PROTO-PROG, and is downright insulting about the failures to incorporate Skin Yard, Sado Nation, and “all Amebix-inspired punk metal” somewhere in the list. It's all Greek to me.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Okay, that was the hard part. Now for the errors and omissions that occurred to me independently concerning the first list of prog subgenres.

BRASS SECTION PROG
The Flock*
Electric Flag [misfiled]

* favorite of Phil Oakey pre his conversion to pop aesthetic

SUB-PROG
Budgie
Three Man Army
Dust

COMEDY PROG
Grimms

MORLEY PROG
Van Der Graaf Generator

JAZZ PROG
Anthony Braxton
Miles Davis post-Bitches Brew

PROG-SOUL
Isaac Hayes
Isley Brothers

DISCO PROG
Cerrone *
Donna Summer--“State of Independence” **

* every album has approx four 10 minute songs on it and some kind of overall concept

** cover of a Jon Anderson song


MUTANT DISCO PROG
Thomas Leer
Arthur Russell
Faze Action

SYNTH POP PROG
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Yukihiro Takahashi--Neuromantic
Eurythmics--In the Garden *
John Foxx--The Garden
Thomas Leer -- Contradictions
Thomas Dolby
Dramatis


* involved Holger Czukay, Conny Planck, and Robert Gorl, and if memory serves some flutes

POSTPUNK IS PROG INNIT PROG
Metaboliste
The Lemon Kittens/Karl Blake/Danielle Dax
The Passage
Biting Tongues
Family Fodder

NEW WAVE PROG
Joe Jackson -- Big World/Will to Power/Blaze of Glory
Men At Work

SKA PROG
The Beat -- Wh’Appen
Madness--The Rise and Fall*

* gatefold sleeve; almost a concept album; suffused in nostalgia; used David Bedford# to do a brass band arrangement on ‘Primrose Hill’; excessive use of keyboards

# the prog arranger, worked on Roy Harper’s Stormcock, did at least four extended instrumental albums on Virgin including Instructions for Angels “the first LP ever in BBC Matrix H Quad/Stereo”, recorded partly at Worcester Cathedral (with Mike Oldfield producing) and based on the poems of Kenneth Patchen

PROGCORE
Minutemen
Meat Puppets
Birdsongs of the Mezoic
Tools of Ignorance
Tragic Mulatto
Blind Idiot God

METAL IS PROG INNIT PROG
Blue Oyster Cult
Electric Sun

PROG-HOP
DJ Shadow *

* Greil Marcus noted the following in a recent Real Life Rock Top 10 column:

“DJ Shadow, Diminishing Returns Party Pak (bootleg) For the second of two discs drawn from BBC jockey John Peel's March 29 show: a 40-minute collage of apparent examples of 1965-73 California pop, Fairport Convention-style folk rock, and British post-Beatle-isms. It's all so stylistically third-hand and discographically obscure that you imagine only Shadow can still name the tunes--even if anyone can hear the desire and idealism that seem coded in their forms”

GRUNGE PROG
Smashing Pumpkins

POST ROCK IS PROG INNIT PROG*
Brise-Glace
Gastr de Sol


* see appendix 5 for essay on post rock as anti-New Wave as the prog-redux

PROG LABELS: OMISSIONS
Passport
Manticore
Janus
Ektroverde
Brain
Ohr
Spalax
Sky
Spiegelei
Opal
Marmalade
E.G.
Extreme
Cuneiform
CMP
Akarma
Futura
Antilles
CBS *

* supposedly cornered the market at one point

DEFINITELY NOT PROG NOT ONE LITTLE BIT OH NO: OMMISSIONS
Marshall Crenshaw, the Vaselines, John Hiatt, Graham Parker, Voice of the Beehive, B52s, Creedence Clearwater, Brian Selzer, John Cougar Mellencamp, Springsteen, J. Geils Band, Mott the Hoople, Nils Lofgren, Bob Seger....

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Here’s some all-new categories that I missed last time round:

LATE PSYCH/PROTO PROG POP
Bee Gees circa Odessa
The Zombies circa Oracle and Odyssey
The Appletree Theatre
Kaleidoscope (UK)
Ill Wind
The Millenium
The Mandrake Memorial
Jude Henske & Jerry Tester
Euphoria
Gandalf
The Insect Trust
Open Mind
The Outsiders
Whistler, Chaucer, Detroit and Greenhill
JK & Co. Vernon Haddocks.

LATE PSYCH/SOUND LIBRARY/PROTO-TRIPHOP PROG
The Electric Prunes (later albums)*
David Axelrod

* Release of an Oath and Mass in F Minor --essentially David Axelrod records

“BREL CANTO”/ORCHESTRATED EXISTENSIALIST PROG
Scott Walker 1, 2, 3, 4

PROGRESSIVE BLUES/HEAVY-ROCK PROG
Cream
Mountain*
Vanilla Fudge
Beck Bogert & Appice
Baker-Gurvitz Army
Groundhogs
Al Kooper
Leon Russell
Blodwyn Pig
Atomic Rooster
Steamhammer
Masters of Reality **
Anything with Jack Bruce in it
Anything with Ginger Baker in it
Most anything with Jeff Beck in it

* key sonic architect Felix Pappalardi (former Cream producer) pioneered studio technique of close-miking different parts of the drum kit; second most famous song the keyboard laced “Nantucket Sleighride” about the 19th Century whaling industry and known to older UK readers as theme song of World In Action.

** second album features Ginger Baker on drums, he also sings a quite amusing song about how Yanks can’t brew a decent cuppa tea -- sfunny cos it’s true!

LATIN-FUSION PROG
Santana

PROG-LEANING SINGER-SONGWRITER
Shawn Philips

RUSTIC SUB-PROG
Greenslade
Strawbs
Meriweather *

* band fronted by Steve Sutherland of MM/NME/IPC fame

SPOOF PROG
Heavy Jelly

FUSION PROG
Mahavinshnu Orchestra
Colosseum
Return to Forever
Stanley Clarke
Brand X
Tony Williams Lifetime
Last Exit
George Duke

FUSION PROG LITE
John Klemmer

COSMIC BUFFOON PROG
Eric Burdon & War
Todd Rundgren
Verve/Richard Ashcroft

COMEDY PROG-LITE/POMP
The Tubes

LADY PROG
Sally Oldfield
Kate Bush
Annie Haslam
Vicki Richards
Constance Demby
Laurie Anderson
Danielle Dax
Bjork
Lisa Gerrard

PROG-FUNK
Rufus

PROG-FOLK
The Roches *

* produced by Robert Fripp

PROTO-PUNK PROG
Simply Saucer
Sproton Layer*

* First and Floyd-like band of Roger Miller of Mission of Burma--who're quite prog really come to think of it.

PROTO-NEW WAVE PROG
Split Enz *

* pre-skinny tie new wave phase they were outright prog, apparently

“JUST LIKE PUNK NEVER HAPPENED” PROG/NEW WAVE? WHAT NEW WAVE? PROG
U.K.

PROGGERS PASSING AS NEW WAVE PROG
Peter Gabriel circa III/Shock the Monkey *
Anthony More
Bill Nelson
Fripp-Exposure/God Save the Queen-Heavy Manners
King Crimson circa Elephant Talk
Golden Palominos **

* banned use of cymbals at the III sessions for that Joy Division/Comsats-like tom-tom panning drum sound

** as well as lydon, stipe, anton fier etc, actually featured people like jack bruce, fred frith, nicky skopeletis, richard thompson

MANZANERA PROG
Quiet Sun *
Go **
801

* This Heat’s Charles Hayward was in this group I think

** supergroup featuring Stomu Yamashta, Al Di Meola, Klaus Schultze and Phil M amongst others


FUCKING OBSCURE THESE, IS HE MAKING THE DAFT NAMES UP NO HONESTLY PROG
Chilliwack
Kraan
Klaatu

CUTLER PROG
Chris Cutler *
Ivor Cutler **

* Henry Cow, Art Bears, Residents Eskimo, the Wooden Birds, Cassiber etc etc.

** Ivor Cutler appeared in the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour film 1967 (his character was called Buster Bloodvessel!); his song
"I'm Going In A Field" featuring the line "I lie beside the grass" much loved by McCartney and possible influence on “Mother Nature’s Son”; John Peel favorite circa a time when Peelie played weird tapes by the likes of Ron Geesin; Cutler sings on Wyatt’s Rock Bottom; he put out records three albums on Virgin in the pre-punk mid-Seventies and one on Harvest; appeared on 1975 Virgin sampler alongside Wyatt, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream, Kevin Coyne, Beefheart, Henry Cow, Tom Newman, Clear Light, Hatfield & the North, White Noise and Steve fucking Hillage; also did an album for Rough Trade in the Eighties produced by David Toop & Steve Beresford. He’s prog prog prog prog PROG but actually hates rock music--indeed all amplified music--and is a member of the Noise Abatement Society!

OLDFIELD PROG
Mike Oldfield
Sally Oldfield
Paul Oldfield

SHELLEY PROG
Pete Shelley--Sky Yen*
Tiller Boys **

* electronic composition recorded in 1974, released circa 79/80
** Shelley + Eric Random + ???; Neu/Cluster-like

POMP (WITH LATENT PROG TENDENCIES)
Queen
Meatloaf/Steinman

POMP POP (W. L. P. T.)
City Boy

NEW WAVE POMP (W. L. P. T.)
Boomtown Rats

SINOPHILE PROG
Andy MacKay--Resolving Contradictions
Vangelis--China
Japan--Tin Drum

SAN FRANCISCO POST-PUNK IS PROG INNIT PROG
MX-80
Factrix
Chrome
Tuxedomoon

PROTO-POSTCARD PROG
Onyx*

* Glasgow schoolboy progressive rock group in which Edwyn Collins once played ukulele

POST-PROG PROTO-RAVE
Cosmik *

* Tyrol-based scene of late Seventies/early Eighties (Tyrol being Northernmost Italian, formerly part of Austria, interesting mix of Germanic and North Italian culture, and the birthplace of Giorgio Moroder) based around psychedelic dance music, lakeside proto-raves, hallucinogens. The soundtrack, so I'm told, somewhere between Krautrock and Moroder/Cerrone. I like to imagine it as sounding a bit like Manuel Gottsching/E4-E8.

DULCIMER PROG
Laraji
Constance Demby
Dead Can Dance

FLUTE PROG
Jethro Tull
Northwinds
Jean Cohen-Solal*
Saga de Ragnar Lodbrock
Men At Work
Mercury Rev

* check his Flute Libres/Cpatain Tarthoporn reissue on Mio Records, distributed in the US by Forced Exposure -- really ace, no serious, made a flute-believer outa me and that’s really saying something

NEW AGE PROG
Romantic Warrior*
Steve Roach
Ash Ra
Deuter
David Parson
Kitaro

* Pete Namlook’s early band

ECM PROG
John Abercrombie
Terje Rypdal
Steven Micus
John Surman
David Torn
Morning Glory *

*not actually on ECM but most of these folks in it

PROGZAK
Roxy Music--Avalon

SOLO AXE HERO PROG
Jan Akkerman
Phil Manzanera
Bill Nelson
Robin Trower
Adrian Belew

FORCED EXPOSURE PROG
Cochise
Magic Bus
The Scene is Now/Fish N’ Roses
Glass Eye

NEO-SUBPROG
Saint Vitus

NEO-PSYCH PROG
The Legendary Pink Dots
Porcupine Tree

4TH WORLD/NEO-GEO PROG
Osamu Kitajima
Winwood/Kabaka/Amao
Tibetan Bells
Don Cherry
Ryuichi Sakomoto
Paul Schutze
Jon Hassell
John Surman
Dead Can Dance
Holger Czukay
Byrne/Eno
Loop Guru
David Toop
Burnt Friedman
Jah Wobble--oeuvre entiere
Bill Laswell--oevure entiere
Aksak Maboul*


* the irrepressible Sébastien Morlighem says: first LP is really one of the crossovers between 'Prog' & 'Pre-World Music'. Second LP features Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Catherine Jauniaux

INDUSTRIAL PROG
Foetus
Laibach
Psychic TV
Coil
Skinny Puppy/The Tear Garden
Nine Inch Nails

NEW WAVE CAREER “SECOND ACT” PROG-RELAPSE
The Armoury Show
Luxuria

AGIT-PROG (AUSTRALIAN NEW WAVE SUBDIVISION)
Midnight Oil pre-Diesel and Dust

PARODY PROG
Spinal Tap -- “Jazz Odyssey”

PERFORMANCE ART/MODERN DANCE PROG
Blue Man Group *
La La Human Steps

* the music that accompanies the malarkey is kinda sub-Krautrock

OCEANIC PROG/BLISSED OUT PROG
Talk Talk *
Hugo Largo
Saqqara Dogs
Orang
Bark Psychosis **
Drowning Pool/Mumbles

* “this sounds like the music on fucking Pogles Wood”--Dominic Stud Brother. Possibly features bassoons (see Appendix 2 on Classic Prog Instruments)

** once listed The Enid in a ‘what we are listening to this week’ thing in Melody Maker, Graham Sutton now claims this was a joke but ain’t fooling nobody

BLONDE PROG
Darling Buds--Crawdaddy
Wendy James*

* for the concept album with songs that Costello wrote in one weekend

BLACK ROCK PROG
Living Colour
Burnt Sugar

90s NEO-PROG
Dream Theater
Voice Of Eye
Alboth
Rake
Iceburn
Cerberus Shoal
In the Labyrinth
Glass
Buckethead
Tractor Hips
Miriodor
Boud Deun
Ensemble Nimbus
Echolyn
Volapuk

LO-FI PROG
Truman’s Water
Timber
Thinkin’ Fellers Union Local 282

PROGRESSIVE HARDCORE
Rising High

CANTERBURY PROG-TECHNO
Ultramarine *

* Samples of Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers on Every Man and Woman Is A Star; later collaborations with Wyatt; avowed fondness for Mike Oldfield’s Hergest Ridge

CANTERBURY PROG-RAP
The Brotherhood *

* prod by Trevor Jackson who sampled all those Canterbury groups like Egg

NINETIES AFRO-PROG NYC CHAPTER
We
DJ Spooky
Sub Dub
Wordsound
Spectre

NEW MILLENIUM NEO-NEO PROG AND CRYPTO-PROG
Avey Tare & Panda Bear/Animal Collective
Guapo
Rapider Than Horsepower
Sigur Ros
Mars Volta *
Ephel Duath *
Stars Like Fleas **

* these two courtesy of Mostly Weird, Some Normal

** check their excellent Sun Lights Down on the Fence for electro-acoustic quirktronica, instrumental palette includes bass clarinet, copper bells, zurka, pedal steel, flute, clarinet, accoridan, toy xylophone, harp, prepared guitar, bassoon, cello, banjo, rhodes piano, and egg shaker

NINETIES/NOUGHTIES AGIT-PROG
Godspeed You Black Emperor

MISCELLANEOUS
I had problems filing these adequately:
Add N To X
Gerry Rafferty
Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece Co.
Bonfire
Bobby Beausoleil
Flash and the Pan
Sadistic Mika Band
Klaatu
Shylock
Giles, Giles & Fripp
Kingdom Come
Automatic Man
Mu/Merrill Fankhauser
Mark-Almond
Faith No More/Mr Bungle
Laughing Clowns
No Means No
Manfred Mann
Steve Tibbetts
Tom Newman
Pinski Zoo
Nucleus
Happy the Man
Between
Motor Totemist Guild
Pavlov’s Dog
Yeti

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1: PROG MOVERS SHAKERS & PLAYERS
Pete Jenner
Giorgio Gomelsky
Jonathan King
Uwe Nettelbeck
Simon Draper
Andrew Lauder
Nick Mobbs
Jean Carakaos
Miles Copeland*
David Cunningham

* apart from the Police connection, he earlier managed Curved Air or something

APPENDIX 2: CLASSIC PROG INSTRUMENTS
Mellotron*
The Gizmo**
Chapman Stick
Fairlight
Symphony Orchestra
Flute
Koto
Electric Violin
Gongs
Moog
Flugelhorn
Brass Band
Choir
Bassoon
Wordless female vocals
Arp
Worcester Cathedral organ***
Welsh male choir ****

* comprehensive-seeming list of every band that ever used a mellotron
** contraption invented by ex-10 CCers Godley & Creme and used on their triple album rock opera Consequences
***8 David Bedford, Invitation to Angels
**** Man’s “C’mon” features the Gwalia Choir


APPENDIX 3: ECM AND AMERICAN 90S LEFTFIELD ROCK

Kranky’s Bruce Adams: “During the mid 80s ECM switched major label distribution and a flood of albums showed up in stores as cutouts. I remember buying tons of albums at $1.99 or $2.99 a piece [SR: same thing happened in the UK] as do several of the kranky musicians I've spoken with over the years. I think it's the influence of those albums has filtrated down. The same thing happened with EG releases. I remember the entire Eno and 4th World catalogs being available at dirt cheap prices on vinyl. It always interested me how economic/distribution events, seemingly random, can have an aesthetic result. Consider the influence that the flood of bootleg krautrock CDs had in the mid-90s. For a long time Neu, Harmonia, Popul Vuh titles were all available as German and French bootlegs only…. [In re. ECM] In addition to the blurry guitar sounds from John Abercrombie, Bill Frisell [the first albums he did solo were on ECM as well as appearances in the Paul Motian and Paul Bley groups]. Terje Rypdal and Steve Tibbetts you can factor in releases on the New Series/ Classical wing of ECM by Arvo Part, Paul Giger and others as influences. And of course, the use of ethnic and unusual instrumentation and techniques by artists on the label from the Art Ensemble forward…. “

APPENDIX 4: POSTROCK

essay on post rock as anti-New Wave as the prog-redux

APPENDIX 5: AFRO-PROG

Afro-Prog Resource: Kosmigroov


APPENDIX 6: MISCELLANEOUS PROG RESOURCES

Gibraltar Encyclopaedia of Progressive Rock

Gnosis

ProgressoR

Axiom of Choice

Ground and Sky

Aural Innovations


Best progressive rock albums of all time

progressive ears
http://www.progressiveears.com/

Gong

Man

Heldon:

Heldon article at Angbase

Richard Pinhas article

Heldon official site

APPENDIX 7: UNITED NATIONS OF PROG

A fuller but very far complete breakdown of prog by nationality:

KRAUT-PROG
Passport
Spermull
Puhdys
2066 And Then
Zarathustra
Epidermus
Spacebox
Grobschnitt
Tyndall

CZECH PROG
Modry Efekt
Plastic People of the Universe
Umela Hmota

POLISH PROG
Test

ROMANIAN PROG
Phoenix

SWEDISH PROG
Samla Mammas Manna
Lucifer Was
Trad Gras Och Stenar
Trettioariga Kriget
International Harvester
Algarnas Tradgard
Kebnekajse
Arbete Och Fritid

FINN PROG
Pekka Pohjola
Circle
Wigwam
Haikara
Hoyry Kone
Kroko

NEIL AND TIM FINN PROG
Split Enz

ITALO-PROG
Cherry Five/Goblin
Premiata Formeria Marconi
Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso
Theatre
Le Orme
Stormy Six
Area
Picchio dal Pozzo
I Teoremi
Il Balletto Di Bronzo
Libra
New Trolls
Il Rovescio Della Medaglia
Museo Rosenbach
Osanna
Osage Tribe
Arti & Mestieri
Confusional Quartet

HUNGARIAN PROG
Fermata

FROG PROG
Lightwave
Jean Cohen-Solal
Etron Fou Leloublan
ZNR
Bernard Szajner
Ragnar Grippe
Perception
Pataphonie
Potemkine
Shub Niggurath
Saga de Ragnar Lodbrock

BELGIAN PROG
Univers Zero
Arkham
Art Zoyd

DUTCH PROG
Focus
Savage Rose
Solution
Kracq
Persephony
Willem Breuker Kollektief

GREEK PROG
Socrates Drank The Conium

SOVIET PROG
Eduward Artemiev
Zvuki Mu

WELSH BOOGIE-PROG
Man

KIWI PROG
Split Enz

Thursday, November 20, 2003

More good publicity for the 'sphere (funnily i was kinda feeling it had gone a wee bit quiet on the rhizome-vibe front, hopefully just a lull or real-world preoccupations taking some of the main voices out of ciruclation). Hope this latest dose of praise and attention doesn't have the seemingly self-consciousness inducing effect the last double-whammy (Kodwo/McLellan) did.

Must disagree with Mr Young on one point though, where he quotes in apparent agreement someone's remark to the effect that blogging's a "hermetically sealed and potentially borderline-autistic pursuit"... sure this is the land of 'spotters and savants and data-hoarding obsessives, but no actually for me one of its major appeals is the sociality (or do I mean sociability?). The way conversations occur in near-real time; people take the baton of argument and run with it, then pass it on. That's why it reminds me a bit of the old music weekly press when writers would engage with each other, have debates across the pages and weeks--usually within one magazine, sometimes across the whole inkie-weekly terrain.

Seems like there's a tiny wee contradiction in accusing (not that Rob Young did this but others have) the 'sphere of being both solipsistic and cliquey (those are opposites, right?).
(Incidentally many of the diss metaphors that blogworld attracts--""circle jerk"--strike me as implicitly prudish and puritanical cf. the concept of "intellectual masturbation". But then i'm just a wanker so what do i know.).

Anyway enough meta-commentary. Hello Guardian Readers.

(I suppose I better post a bit more regularly then eh?)
luka with a micro-essay on the phenomenology of aesthetic perception. absolutely firin'.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Dave reactivates World of Stelfox, which had been dormant to an almost cryogenic degree, with a frenzied burst of discursive activity. Nick of Fabric/Michael Mayer mix-CD illustriousness
has started a blog. And there's a few more new-ish ones of note added to the linx down there on the right.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Tufluv with amazing evocation of Wiley’s “Ground Zero” (at the bottom of Tuesday’s entry). Desperate, absolutely clamoring, to hear that tune.

Re. Wiley going down to London’s world music emporium Sterns, nice to be able to slot him into that 4th World/neo-geo/ethnological forgeries continuum: Czukay/Canaxis & ‘persian love’, Byrne/Eno/Hassell, 23 Skidoo’s Urban Gamelan, Toop, Wobble, er, Loop Guru, er er Transglobal Underground.. um, never mind…

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Disconcerted, passing the massive Salvation Army building in the West Village, to note that their slogan is “Blood and Fire”. Well, Rastafarianism is a form of fundamentalist Protestantism, and not even the most loopy sect. Apparently along with homophobic invective, at the big dances in Jamaica, the DJ sometimes goes in for a bit of anti-papist ranting-- which recalls all those anti-Catholic secret societies in the 19th Century South, who actually thought the Pope was going to arrive at the head of a modern day Armada and invade America! Wonder if this is why Lee Perry did a track called “Bafflin’ Smoke Signals” which is apparently about Vatican election procedures. Always wanted to hear that track since Ian Penman (where has he gone?) referenced it in the Wire. “Salvation Army” even sounds a bit like the title of a roots track (something by Burning Spear maybe), it would even make a good band name.

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Progmetheus Unbound: the Relick still in preparation; complaints, rebukes, and emissives pointing out sins of ommission or misfiling continue to accumulate.

On which subject: Suspiria. Totally lives up to expectations. (Thanks Mr. Jim Clarke). Funnily enough Two Boots over the road was showing the movie for Halloween but literally haven’t had a spare 90 minutes to go see it.

And in further eerie synchrony got an e-flyer for this:

SpaceBar #3, a night dedicated to Science Fiction, Horror, Italy and Disco.

featuring:

horrorshow analog keyboard/prog rock drumset duo ZOMBI,
live soundtrack reconstructionists MORRICONE YOUTH
and DJ DAN SELZER playing nothing but 70s and 80s italo.

The flyer further says:
ZOMBI's love of the music that often accompanied these films pours over into obsession. The works of filmmakers like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and John Carpenter, accompanied by eerie, driving, relentless musical scores by the likes of Goblin, Fabio Frizzi and Carpenter himself, set standards for the use of rock music as original film scores as well as furthered the cause of electronics as compositional tools for soundtracks. The use of analog synthesizers and progressive musicianship brought about an alien quality that bridged the gap between the 70s prog-rock juggernaut and the icy simplicity of early new wave and industrial music in the 80s. Zombi rock so hard they will make your mind numb. Don't miss this. www.zombi.us

while

“… Morricone Youth promises to play us an entire night of sci-fi soundtrack covers… DJ Dan Selzer will be playing an incredible set of italo disco that should be hotter than the interior of Georgio Moroder's
customized Lamborghini”.

Info:
SpaceBar
Slipper Room
167 orchard street (and stanton st.)
5 dollars
Tuesday, November 11th, 9pm


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feeling

charalambides, unknown spin (kranky)

heroin, orthlorng musork

sun ra, space is the place DVD

smoove presents ‘street beats’ mixed by slimzee & femme fatale, featuring mc'ss b-live & god’s gift (Smoove/Ministry ach spit of Sound spit spit grime mix-cd)

david toop, black chamber (sub rosa)

really feeling

bright eyes, “one foot in front of the other” (off saddle creek 50 comp)

michael mayer, fabric 13 (fabric mix-cd)

grievous angel soundsystem vol 1: nervous ragga

pyrolator, ausland (ata tak, reissue)

josef k, crazy to exist (live) (LTM)

Big up to Bedekar Pickles--virtually a food group for me at this point, esp. mango chilli. If Patak are the Reprezent of indian condiments (excellent, but...), then Bedekar are like Ganja Kru or Congo Natty ya get me. Hardcooooore.
Tiny wee discussion (been transcribing for the Postcard chapter, can you tell?) on Tuuuuuuune of the Nineties "Renegade Snares" at ILM--which reminded me I meant to post on Rob Haigh's pre-breakbeat/'industrial' era music. A feller named Marc Gascoigne responded to my public pleading and wheedling, and burned it up for me. (Big up Marc!). 'S pretty good 'n' all. Particularly like the later-Eighties stuff like Valentine Out of Season, A Waltz in Plain C, which is just pure tinkling on the old joanna (the earlier stuff has a few more gestures in the direction of avant-garde). Definite Satie-damage, and shades of Harold Budd now and then (no bad thing--those albums he did w/ Eno among my absolute all-times). Of course one listens to those little borderline-twee piano motifs and keep expecting a breakbeat to tear out any second. And of course it sent me to the Moving Shadow stuff. The Deepest Cut/Music For the Millenium is even better than I remember. The tracks that seemed a bit filler just seem like majesty now: "Together", "Alien Creed", "Shadowplay". The latter is one of the soul-flaying Amen-tearouts of all time. (I was surprised how much of the album was Amen-limned, but then a lot of the intelligent/ambient stuff back then featured Amens. Indeed Bukem was one of the first with "Demon" and even on the super-serene "Atlantis" there's an Amen in there. It was like the fundamental rhythmic grammar of jungle, in the way that the jacknife/onebarloop thing has been with post-97 d&B). Someone on the ILM thread gave mad love to Nookie's repro of "Soul Promenade", I second that E-motion: what a great push-me pull-you clip-clop giddy-up beat.

My favorite line about Haigh's music is Kodwo Eshun's phrase "the kindness of Omni Trio." You really get this feeling that the music cares for you, it's a healing or a blessing or something.

(Of course, along with the openhearted tenderness, the aura of benediction and benevolence, the other, totally contradictory aspect of Omni is the aggression of the music, the sheer attack, the raging furore.
The smiting might of the drops ‘Renegade Snares (Foul Play VIP)’; those shearing-metal Amens in ‘Shadowplay’ and ‘Thru The Vibe’; the snare breakdown in the second version of ‘Soul Promenade’ on Vol 5 with its amazing alloy of mayhem and elegance, poise and pathology. This is violent music, it really has the same wrecking effect on me as The Stooges, something of that order.)

I actually think Mr. Haigh might be my #1 musician of the Nineties in terms of the sheer amount and duration of pleasure he's given me. The only one who really comes close is Aphex Twin. "Amount of pleasure" is an interesting criterion because it's not about "best", it's about what delights, and it automatically empties the field--if you've done more than one great album you're already a front runner. And Omni's done about two and half, effectively--Deepest Cut, another album's worth of tunes scattered across the EPs Vol 2 to 5, and a little less than half of Haunted Science (underrated record--once i got over the initial disappointment of it not being exploding-divas as before, really grew to like the widescreen atmospheric approach [he said he was trying to go for a more "fat" sound] which really pays off on 'Who Are You?'. "Soul of Darkness" and above all "The Elemental", one of his most magical tune and picking up off the eerie enchantment vibe of "Alien Creed' on Deepest.

I vow again to buy the two or is it three post-Haunted albums--I owe ya big Mr. Haigh. God bless and big up ya chest wherever you are (probably somewhere in Hertfordshire).

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Fascinating interview with Sino-Grime god and "Eski-Dance" coiner Wiley at Hyperdub, conducted by Martin Clark of Deuce.

Two highlights:

"I used to watch a lot of Kung Fu films.... I like Chinese music. I like Greek music. I’ve been buying loads of kinds of music: Greek, Chinese, African. I just went to some place called Sterns? It sells world music and I bought loads of stuff there. I’ll take it back and sometimes I’ll sample it...."

and

"I’m a winter person but the cold… sometimes I just feel cold hearted. I felt cold at that time, towards my family, towards everyone. That’s why I used those names. I was going to use “North Pole” but I didn’t even get that far. It was all things that were cold because that’s how I was feeling. There are times when I feel warm. I am a nice person but sometimes I switch off and I’m just cold. I feel angry and cold."

Sterns!

Can't wait to hear the album...

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

okay that's enough contemporary musik for now, next thing you'll be getting is Progmetheus: the Return.
A current music interlude:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

We Are All French Today. The Strokes new single: It was on the tip of my tongue and the wife pipped me to the post--"this sounds like if Daft Punk made a rock record". Marital telepathy or objective truth? It's no secret that France has a bit of a chequered history with la musique roque. There tends to be this twice-removed, distanced aura to that nation's guitarband output. It can be enjoyable for precisely that quality: Plastic Bertrand "Ca Plane Pour Moi" (he was Belgian though right? apparently he didn't even sing on his own records, sez Malcolm McLaren, admiringly), Les Ritas Mitsoukos (not sure 'bout the spelling) on their one great track whose title escapes me (sounded very T.Rexy though), even things like Metal Urbain (check their great new reissue Anarchy In Paris!, Acute's best yet) and Les Thugs. And of course Daft Punk took that nonreal vibe and turned it into a positive aesthetic strength. The new Strokes has that artificiel quality--not as in fake, inauthentic, bogus, so much as made out of some ersatz substance that resembles but isn't real-deal rock. There's a plasticized glazed gloss to the record, a deep unrocking stiltedness. It's particular the case with that track which more than any Strokes tune seems plotted out on graph paper, and is delivered in unusually desultory and remote-control mode. But maybe that degree of twice-removed and hyper-selfconsciousness is our common condition today, maybe it's impossible for anyone anywhere to rock in that basic pure from-the-gut unreflecting scare-quote-free way that was available to James Gang or AC/DC or whoever. (Look at the Darkness or Andrew W.K., where for all their intent to rock, their straight faces... well, let's just say I'm not convinced). Maybe we are all French today.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Talking of ersatz, after "Hardest Button" I'm so close to really liking The White Stripes, at this point the only thing holding me back is Jack White's voice. It's so.... is arch the right word? Whatever it is that was in Frank Black's voice that made it clear it was in some sense a put-on or once-removed-from-the-source, is like quadruply present in his voice. What Joe Levy called
meta-casm, referring to that minigenre of pretend-superstar-rock of groups like his beloved Pooh Sticks and Urge Overkill. Somehow that quality spreads from Jack's voice to his whole face (and the pencil moustache in the new video really is the grated snail on top of the turd cake). So my favorite element of White Stripes is Meg's drumming--granted good female drummers are always unfeasibly exciting (c.f. Quasi) but she's so heavy, she's got that Bonham drag and sexy ponderousness to her beat. (Incidentally, what is it about 1963 that makes it their technological cut-off point? Why not 66-67, circa Yardbirds which seems to be a big part of where they're coming from? Or 71, circa Led Zep? Also, aren't they cheating a bit, or creating an ideological discrepancy, by using state-of-the-art techniques in their ace videos, but not in the music? Shouldn't they for consistency's sake stick with whatever gear and film stock the guy who made A Hard Day's Night had?).

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
rap bits

Rah Digga, "party & bullshit"
most exciting B-boys-on-E tune for a long while, this is essentially furiously rutting and stankonic techno-house.

Loon, "down for me"
In the category of "radical, but bad": typewriter funk taken to the grooveless limit, this is almost like a Blectum dubstrumental or dissassembled Thomas Leer or the Cabs-gone-hardcore of Bodysnatch's "Revenge of the Punter." What's on top--loon and some R& singer--has no relationship to what's below, it's total superimposition, like two totally different tracks.

Ja Rule, new one.
Seems to be making a desperate attempt to de-poppify his image, almost Hammer-goes-gangsta levels of overcompensation going on here. Prefer him in Love Muppet mode.

Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz "Get Low" Remix. Just when you thought it couldn't get any gnarlier and growlier and more like the black Sabbath, Elephant Man does a cameo. Not sure though about the bit where it goes into soca--the happy hardcore of the Caribbean.

OutKast, "Hey Ya". okay this is great, although in cold light of scrutiny it does seem to be not so much a chorus in search of a song as a wisp of harmony backing vocal in search of a chorus. But oooh whattavideo. The one by his other half is a bit slight and sapped-sounding though.
Carlin seemingly emerging from recent oddly cantakerous phase with his most entertaining and goodhumoured piece in a while-- ironically it's about non-current music! Concept: the records that will never, ever have any kind of hipster cred or rehabilitation-kudos but are nonetheless excellent or loveable. Not sure about the "they tell you not to like" set-up--most of this stuff seems to belong in a category of stuff that's neither reprehensible nor naff but just there, somehow outside the discussion--the solid background pop that 70 percent of the charts has always consisted of. Especially concur re. the love shown toward Imagination (and to think i sold my Imagination remix album--possibly the first example of the genus, come to think of it -- actually the remixes uniformly marred the sublime originals), Cliff's "We Don't Talk", Sweet Sensation, Shania, Lyndsey De Paul, Skellern, and Julie Covington (although more for Rock Follies than that lame Virgin solo album--despite presence of prog-folkies like Richard Thompson etc), plus the nod to Judie Tzuke. Ommissions? Tasmin Archer's "Sleeping Satellite" (although, despite its being Number One in the UK, I only ever heard of its existence thanks to a late '92 ardkore versioning of it that turned whatever-ecological-allegory-stuff-she-was-on-about into E-code ("did we fly to the moon too soon" = dangerous over-blissed mind-burn darkness impending) if anyone knows the hardkore track in question that sampled Tasmin can they please tell me, that's an all time Most Wanted Mystery Track). Renaissance, "Northern Lights" natch. Steeleye Span's "All Around My Hat" and "Gaudete". Other stuff by David Essex: "Silver Dream Machine" (a bob stanley favorite) and "Me and My Girl Nightclubbing". Heatwave. Hi-Tension (on that most alluring looking Soul Jazz Britfunk comp). As is Freez, "Southern Freez". Hot Chocolate. Joan Armatrading had a few moments. Sailor, "Glass of Champagne". Kenny, "The Bump". Hello, "New York Groove". Geordie. Genesis, "Turn It On Again". Queen, "Another One Bites The Dust"--the dubdisco production. Def Leppard, "Pour Some Sugar"--ditto. John Cougar Mellencamp, "Jack and Diane"--dub-newwave/heartland rock production. Chris Rea, "Fool". Loose Ends, "Hanging On a String" -- or is that too cool for this criterion? Gap Band deserve more love--"Humpin'". Deniece Williams, "Free". Rose Royce. Yarborough & Peoples. SOS Band. Oh and UB40 had their moments--"King", the ultrachilling and quite dread "The Earth Dies Screaming", even as late as "Don't Break My Heart".
Ingram starts a new chapter. Relieved to hear it will be business more-or-less as usual.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Progphobes, steer clear; prognostics, tread cautiously

Bringing up the rear


and quite undeterred by lack of auditory acquaintance with most of the music referenced below...

herewith unfurls

PROGMETHEUS UNBOUND
a provisional cartography of progward tendencies through the last 40 years of music; a prototype taxonomy of prog substyles, prog-adjacent musics, and post-1976 prog sprog genres

TWANGY PROTO-PROG
The Shadows *

* according to Chris Cutler in File Under Pop and he should know

PROTO-PROG
Procol Harum
United States of America
50 Foot Hose
Pearls Before Swine
White Noise
The Nice
The Red Krayola
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

HAIGHT STREET PRE-PROG
Sopwith Camel
Hot Tuna

DIONYSIAN POST-SINATRA/PROTO-DISCO PROTO-PROG-LITE
The Doors--The Soft Parade

DIONYSIAN ELEVATOR MUZAK PROTO-PROG-LITE
The Doors--LA Woman

SYNTH-PROG
Tonto’s Expanding Headband
Beaver & Krause

BLUES-PROG
The Electric Flag

RAGA-PROG
George Harrison--Wonderwall Music
Quintessence
Beaver & Krause--Gandharva

BRASS-SECTION PROG
Blood Sweat & Tears
Chicago

SHOWBIZ/AFROHIPPIE-HYBRID PROG
The Rotary Connection

COMEDY-PROG
Bonzo Dog Band/Viv Stanshall
Ivor Cutler
The Firesign Theater
Frank Zappa
Tea & Symphony
Gong
The Goons? *

* George Martin produced them, right?

SUB-PROG
Uriah Heep
Black Sabbath
Iron Butterfly
Deep Purple

“BIG IN GERMANY” PROG
Barclay James Harvest
Nektar*

* as used in latest issue of Uncut as a positive reference point for current “Neo-Prog” band Elbow!

GREEK PROG
Aphrodite’s Child*

* Demis Roussos and Vangelis!

FROG PROG
Magma
Heldon
Lard Free
Univers Zero
Jean-Michel Jarre

ITALO-PROG
Goblin

PARSONS PROG
Dave Parsons
Alan Parson Project
Amanda Parsons*
Parson Sound**

* singer of Hatfield and the North)
** Swedish, see Jon Dale’s epic

SOUND LIBRARY PROG *
Gas Mask
Secret Oyster
Zzebra
If
Ekseption
Jam Factory
Solar Plexus

* prized sample sources for hot (and crucially, beyond-obscure) breaks and licks apparently


WEST COAST PROG
Spirit *

* check video for “I Got A Line On You” for prog hallmark: overmanning. Two drummers, AND a percussionist, six or seven guitarists….


JAZZ PROG
Carla Bley
Weather Report
Terje Rypdal
Oregon

AFRO-PROG
Mandrill
Tower of Power
War
Oneness of Juju
Cymande

REAL AFRICAN AFRO-PROG
Osibisa
Salt/Ginger Baker/Fela Kuti--Strativarious

PROG SOUL
Stevie Wonder

BOSSANOVA-PROG
Azymuth
Ivan Conti--The Human Factor

FUZAK-PROG
The Doors circa Other Voices/Full Circle

PROG-CONCRETE
Spooky Tooth & Pierre Henry
Egg--“Boilk” (from The Polite Force)
Peter Hammill--“Magog (in bromine chambers)” (from In Camera)

HEAVY SICK PROGFOLK*
Comus

* this category by Francesco Brunetti

DRUMMER PROG
Ginger Baker’s Airforce
Cozy Powell

CELTIC PROG
Clannad
Planxty
Horslips

PROG-LITE
Moody Blues
Todd Rundgren
Electric Light Orchestra
Supertramp

POP ART PROG
10 CC

“FIVE YEARS OF EXQUISITE NOTHING”* PROG
Be Bop Deluxe

* so sayeth Paul Morley

MORLEY-PROG
Tangerine Dream *
Edgar Froese solo **

* blew his teenage mind, see Words and Music
** one of his first interviews, shaking like a leaf to meet his hero, ibid

PENMAN-PROG
Wigwam
Frank Zappa*

* straight up squire, no kidding

DIXIE PROG
Allman Brothers
White Witch
Hampton Grease Band

QUAINT OLD LADIES’ NAME PROG
The Enid
Granny

MERSH PROG
Jefferson Starship
Kansas
Alan Parsons Project
Styx
Journey
Asia

CLASSICAL PROG
Sky
Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds
Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Variations

PROG-FOLK
Blowzabella
John Martyn *

* not just another folkie luddite no sir --into guitar FX and delay systems to almost Frippertronic degrees

PROTO-PUNK PROG
Peter Hammill--Nadir’s Big Chance

GREAT DIVIDE CROSSING HIPPY-PUNK-PROG CONVERGENCE
Here and Now/The Fall/ATV*

* famous free tour of 1978

NEW WAVE PROG
Bill Nelson’s Red Noise
Punishment of Luxury
Tin Huey
Lene Lovich
XTC
Angletrax
The Buggles
Magazine *
Psychedelic Furs
The Cardiacs
The Stranglers--Black and White/The Raven/Men-in-Black
Belew-era King Crimson
Simple Minds**

* almost produced by Fripp; Gabriel mooted at one point also

** in all the early Minds interviews Jim Kerr talked unabashedly about how much he dug and was influenced by Gabriel-era Genesis

PROG-FOLK-LITE
Renaissance--“Northern Lights”, *

* blew Simon’s teenage mind -- 1978, Top of the Pops -- no serious this was possibly my first contact with the “sublime” in pop -- before my ears could differentiate between sonic strands, it was all this shimmering blur, this exultant silverhaze surge, almost Velvets-like -- hearing it again 20 years later, ears quite adept now, I heard it as the mimsy, frou-frou, Abba-influenced prog-folk gone-mersh that it is -- still love it though and prefer it vastly c.f. the rest of Renaissance which is uber-prog in the generally accepted/reviled sense.


PROG-FOLK/NEW WAVE PROG HYBRID
The Skids circa Joy

DAFT CULT PROTO-NEW WAVE PROG
Doctors of Madness/Richard Strange

POSTPUNK-IS-PROG-INNIT PROG
This Heat
The Red Crayola with Art & Language
ATV/Good Missionaries
Pere Ubu
Durutti Column

ITALO-INDUSTRIAL-IS-ITALO-PROG-INNIT ITALO-PROG
Maurizio Bianchi

OI!-PROG
Sham 69--That’s Life*

*a concept album about a day in the life of a working class lad, loosely inspired by Quadrophenia


DEAD POET DISCO-FUZAK-LITE PROG

Jim Morrison --An American Prayer

PROG FUNK
Parliament
Funkadelic
Bootsy Collins
Zapp *

* that Frampton voice-box thing, and Roger Troutman was a bitchin’ blues-influenced guitar and tried to sneak it onto records and into shows when he could


DISCO PROG
Earth Wind & Fire
Big Apple Band/Chic
Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band
Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band *

* first hit = disco version of Beethoven on Saturday Night Fever soundtrack

MUTANT DISCO PROG
Was (Not Was) *
Material **

* ex-Yippie/White Panther types; “Walk The Dinosaur” = their “Sledgehammer”
** FACT: Bill Laswell used to be in some latterday NYC-based incarnation of Gong

PERFORMANCE ART PROG
Laurie Anderson

ANARCHO-PROG
Crass (especially the later albums)*
Flux of Pink Indians (especially the later albums)

* c’mon, the artwork alone qualifies; and one of them was pre-1976 in some avant-garde dronerock outfit

WHITE NEW WAVE SKANK PROG
The Clash--Sandinista
The Police circa Ghost In the Machine/Synchronicity*

* Yes + Arthur Koestler + ex-Spooky Tooth guitarist = deadly combination, albeit New York Times endorsed

CRYPTO-PROG SYNTH-POP
Human League first two albums *
Thomas Dolby
Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark
Yellow Magic Orchestra

* Oakey worshipped Roxy, yeah, but also rated Yes as quite glam; the other two loved Zappa

EIGHTIES POSTPUNK SUPERGROUP PROG
Golden Palominos

EIGHTIES MIDI/FAIRLIGHT/SEQUENCER PROG
Landscape
Man Jumping
Startled Insects
Herbie Hancock circa Rockit*
Kate Bush
The Art of Noise **

* Laswell Involvement Warning
** one of AON them actually worked on a Yes album; producer Horn actually IN Yes briefly/Close to the Edge"/Close (to the Edit)" ha ha ha; classically-trained Anne Dudley; instrumentals; concepts. Totally prog AND they reformed to do a drum’n’bass-lite concept album about Claude Debussy.


SCOUSER-POSTPUNK PROG
Echo & the Bunnymen--Porcupine/Ocean Rain
Pink Military/Pink Industry
Pale Fountains
Julian Cope*
Frankie Goes To Hollywood**
The KLF--Chill Out

* Peggy Suicide onwards
**bits of first album; all of Liverpool


EIGHTIES NEO-PROG
Marillion
It Bites

NEW POP PROG
Duran Duran/Arcadia

INDUSTRIAL-PROG/AVANT-FUNK PROG/GAMELAN-PROG 3-WAY HYBRID
23 Skidoo -- The Culling is Coming*

* just reissued on Les Temps Modernes, fucking awesome, especially “healing (For the strong)--a match for anything on Seven Songs

MOD PROG
The Who post-“I Can See For Miles”
The Jam--“Funeral Pyre”
The Style Council--Confessions of A Pop Group
Paul Weller solo *

*albeit tendencies are Dadrock-stifled and innately mod-restrained but definite midperiod Traffic/Winwood vibes -- likes a toke too

GOTH-PROG
Marc & the Mambas
Virgin Prunes *
Siouxsie & the Banshees circa Nocturne **

* the ambient-y sound-collage bits anyway
**c’mon, double live album recorded at the Albert friggin’ Hall?

GOTH SUB-PROG
The Mission
Fields of Nephilim

SHAMBLING PROG
Stump
Shrubs

QUIRK-PROG
David Thomas & the Pedestrians
Primus

PUB ROCK PROG
Costello circa Imperial Bedroom/King of America/Brodsky Quartet

SONDHEIM-PROG
Prefab Sprout

COLLEGE ROCK PROG
10,000 Maniacs *
REM stodgy midperiod Fables of Reconstruction/Life’s Rich Pageant/Document
Camper Van Beethoven

* Cat Stevens cover version, cmon!

RETRO-PROTOPROG
Bevis Frond
Black Sun Ensemble
Outskirts of Infinity
Sun City Girls

PROG-CORE
Bad Brains *
Black Flag **
Phantom Tollboth
Husker Du circa ‘Reoccurring Dreams’
Gone
Blind Idiot God
Saccharine Trust/Universal Congress Of…
Paperbag
Always August
Zoogz Rift

* actually were a fusion group before going ‘punk’
** from My War onwards

SKA-PROG
Fishbone *

* definite Yes influence, according to Jon Pareles; stage craft > songcraft factor

EIGHTIES BLACK PROG
Tackhead
Living Colour
24-7-Spyz

PAISLEY PROG
Prince here and there*
Madhouse

* e.g. Santana-ish instrumental bit in “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”

FROU-FROU PROG/LAURA ASHLEY PROG/MIMSY PROG/GOTH-LITE PROG
Shelleyan Orphan
Enya
All About Eve
This Mortal Coil
Sarah McLachlan
Cmon let’s be honest: Cocteau Twins

ARSEQUAKE-PROG
Butthole Surfers
Walking Seeds
Terminal Cheesecake
Swans --Children of God
Skin

BAGGY-PROG
The Stones Roses--Second Coming
World of Twist*
The Charlatans**
Happy Mondays--Yes Please***

* Hawkwind meets Roxy meets Human League meets Northern Soul meets E meets David Gilmour-admiring guitarist

** that Jon Lord Hammond organ sound

*** somnabulent funkmuzak sub-muso drivel only one notch above The Doors circa Other Voices/Full Circle

SHOEGAZE PROG
Levitation
Pale Saints
Boo Radleys

SHOEGAZE PROG-LITE
Slowdive

INDIE-DANCE PROG
The Shamen

POSTMODERN PROG
Bongwater
BALL
Everything on Shimmydisc

CRUSTY-PROG
The Drum Club
Ozric Tentacles

METAL-IS-PROG-INNIT PROG
Rush
Queensryche
Jane’s Addiction
Metallica (before they went 'grunge')
Old
Tool
Everything Terrorizer ever covers ever

PROG-HOP
Boogiemonsters
PM Dawn
Scienz of Life
OutKast
Loads more

GRUNGE-PROG
Pearl Jam
Melvins
Earth

CHILL-OUT PROG
The Orb
The Irresistible Force/Mixmaster Morris
Namlook entire oeuvre and all his pals

POST-ROCK-IS-PROG-INNIT PROG
Tortoise *
Bark Psychosis
Labradford
Way too many to list

* TNT once unkindly compared to Spyro Gyra!

MATH-ROCK-IS-PROG-INNIT PROG
Don Caballero
Ach cannae even be bothered

NINETIES AMERINDIE PROG
Flaming Lips
Mercury Rev
Sabalon Glitz

NEO-SINGER-SONGWRITER PROG
Tori Amos

PROG’N’BASS
Goldie (no surprise there)
4 Hero
Photek
Damn near the whole lot of them at one point

PROG-HOUSE
Larry Heard
Chris Brann/Wamdue/P-Taah
Joe Claussell

PROGTRONICA
System 7
Future Sound of London

TRIP HOP PROG
Massive Attack--Mezzanine

TRIP HOP/GOTH-LITE HYBRID PROG
Massive Attack -- the last album 200th Window or whatever it was called

BRIT-POP-PROG
Ocean Colour Scene
Blur--The Great Escape

BRITPOP RAGA-PROG HYBRID
Kula Shaker

GLITCH PROG
Oval
Farmer’s Manual*

* didn’t they just release like 30 hours of music as one release, that’s like the equivalent of 10 quadruple albums or something!

QUEERTRONICA PROG
Terre Thaemlitz
Matmos

POSTMODERN PROG-LITE/MERSH-PROG FROG-HOUSE
Daft Punk--Forever

PROG-STEP
Phuturistix

BASTARD PROG/MASHED PROG
Osymyso ‘Intro Inspection’
John Oswald in toto

LIVING DEAD PROG
Post-Waters Pink Floyd

MAGGOT LIVING OFF LIVING DEAD PROG
That orrible goblin-creature with the saxophone in the post-Waters Pink Floyd videos on VH1 Classic


… to be continued… with your help…


APPENDICES

1/
TOP 20 PROGRESSIVE LABELS EVER
Virgin
Island
Deram/Nova
Charisma
Harvest
Celluloid
Vertigo
Axiom
E.G.
Recommended
UA
Ralph
Radar
SST
Some Bizarre
Kranky
Shimmydisc
Crammed
Mego
Hannibal


2/
NOT THE LEAST BIT PROG NOT ONE LITTLE BIT INDEED NO

New York Dolls, Ramones, Undertones, Dr. Feelgood, Postcard, Green Day, David Lee Roth, The Heartbreakers, Grand Funk Railroad, Wedding Present, Tom Petty, The Pretenders, The Cramps, AC-DC, The Mekons, Bronski Beat, Pixies, the Mooney-Suzuki, Talulah Gosh, Oasis (well maybe Be Here Now), Elastica...


POSTSCRIPT: PROG VERSUS PROGRESSIVE

Well, I still strongly suspect that prog may be more enjoyable to think about and talk about than actually listen to. And I’m still fairly certain that prolonged and thorough exposure to the canon of prog-rock as generally understood--Yes Genesis ELP Jethro Tull mid-seventies Gentle Giant Floyd etc--would only confirm/aggravate the impression that’s already been left by my slight, glancing contact with the stuff to date: that on the whole it is, as punk doxa insists, fairly ghastly, deservedly discredited, pretty redundant, beyond salvaging. Even the more interestingly grotesque and edgy-seeming stuff from the prog zone--Hammill/Van Der Graaf Generator, Henry Cow/Art Bears, Soft Machine--is definitely an acquired taste, like black olives or grappa. (I’m acquiring Hammill slowly, Softs too; Cow and Bears are still some way off).

Still it’s worth considering that beyond prog-rock as commonly, narrowly defined, there’s a much broader realm of ‘progressive’ music that is a lot more deserving. In its own time, 1967-75, the concept of ‘progressive’ encompassed a lot of now highly regarded maverick cult figures and ahead-of-their-time innovators. Take Eno--for all his punk-preempting polemics against the prog supergroups' cluttered bombast and over-spiced musical fare, for all his dissident-at-that-time rhetoric about himself as a non-musician--if you judge him by the company he kept, he was ‘progressive’ through and through. Beyond even the obvious Fripp connections, you only have to check the line-ups on his solo albums (where you’ll find Dave Mattacks from Fairport Convention and even Phil Collins, along with other progressive musicians) or look at his resume (he played on a Camel album!). In a real historical and record-biz structural sense, ‘progressive’ contained both the highbrow end of glam (Roxy Music were managed by E.G.--whose other clients included King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer--a connection that was established when Ferry auditioned to be Crimson’s vocalist) AND the post-Velvets diaspora (John Cale made that record with Terry Riley, whose Rainbow In Curved Air was a classic “head” elpee; Cale also did the live thing with Kevin Ayers, Eno and Nico; he was on Island for several albums). That argument about noise vs. euphony, non-musicianship vs. virtuosity, was an argument within an art-rock discourse. Likewise, look to the labels, the management, the gig circuits, the media coverage, and it’s clear that the avant-troubadours like Nick Drake, John Martyn, Tim Buckley, Joni Mitchell, Kevin Coyne, were all part of the progressive, album-oriented, non-pop culture as covered by Melody Maker, ZigZag, Rolling Stone, Let It Rock, Sounds, but also (albeit more critically) by Creem and NME too. ‘Progressive’ includes post-Fairports folk-rock and the likes of Roy Harper, as well as quite a lot of raw ‘n’ gutsy music of the era (Groundhogs, Hawkwind, Free, Ten Years After, Led Zeppelin). Ditto for the more refined (but not necessarily bloated a la prog stereotype) blues-rock of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, Atomic Rooster, Family, and arguably the rootsy/Americana type groups like Little Feat and The Band too. And by any sensible measure, ‘progressive’ as a term incorporates ALL Krautrock. Including Kraftwerk. What could be more ‘progressive’ or indeed more prog than having a track that lasts the whole of one side--Autobahn--and putting instrumentals that feature flutes (shudder!) on Side Two?. And virtually every K-werk album was a concept album.

Prog in the punk-vilified sense has come to be associated with only the most gauche and clumsily overblown gestures in quest of sophistication and high art stature (orchestras, mellotrons, single “songs” that take up both sides of an album) but there was a broader “progressive” consensus based around a set of post-Sergeant Pepper’s values (which, while not constituting by any means the full definition of rockism--there’s after all a whole punk/post-Bangs version of rockism too--are certainly consistently opposed to pop music in the chartpop sense and to Pop-ist values). “Progressive” traits and values include: albums > singles; aspiration to “art” and its incumbent notions of artistic development, expression, authenticity; fondness for concept albums or thematic song-suites; not having any problem with songs that go longer than four minutes; an interest in stylistic fusion, merger, hyphenated hybrids; partiality for varying degrees of pretentiousness, fantasticalness, futurism OR antiquity, lofty tone; willingness to do all instrumental music or to abandon for long stretches the focal role of vocals and the concision of pop structure; a production style that emphasises space and is suited to hi-fi stereos and FM radio rather than the Dansette and AM radio; extended works (double albums etc); in live performance, a willingness to embrace theatrics and multimedia.

Beyond the obvious anti-canon of Prog Dinosaurs, an awful lot of not-at-all-awful music was created between 1967-75 that fits some or many or even all of these parameters, and almost all of it was a casualty of punk’s Year Zero clean sweep. Take Roy Harper’s Stormcock, released in 1971 on Harvest, one of the key ‘progressive’ labels. It consists of just four songs, and the longest goes on for nearly 15 minutes; I’ve never been able to work it out but there’s probably some kind of concept to the record, at least there’s a consistent tone/mood/vision, it’s definitely not a collection of singles (the shortest track is about 7 minutes long!). Yet except for a bit of orchestration on “Me and My Woman”, for the most part it’s an incredibly pared down record (just one guy and an acoustic guitar, with some amazing use of the studio here and there to multitrack the vocals but basically virtually unplugged and pretty raw by the standards of the day). Emotionally/lyrically, it’s as caustic and denunciatory as punk. I suppose what I’m getting at is this feeling of being a wee bit cheated because being a good punk-indoctrinated kid I never went near anything like Roy Harper for an incredibly long time, almost that entire period of post-Pepper’s/pre-Ramones music was cordoned off as “irrevelant”. For most of my music-conscious life, Harper was referenced--see also Steve Hillage--as a paradigmatic example of everything that was righteously outmoded and banished by punk. Either that or as a humorous example of the hippie getting-my-head-together-in-the-country syndrome turned to farce--that story of Harper giving one of his sheep mouth to mouth rescuscitation and contracting anthrax. If it weren’t for being hipped to Stormcock by my comrades David Stubbs and Paul Oldfield (separate recommendations, as well) circa 1987 I’d probably have continued to see the guy as some rustic relic in the vague post-hippie vicinity of Catweazle-lookalike Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull with his fish farm. . And I would have missed out on what became one of my absolute all time favorite records. And yet despite that revelatory encounter with Stormcock the anti-prog(ressive) conditioning remained strong enough that I was still deterred for a really long time from investigating further into folk-rock or other progressive areas.

The other thing is that of course an awful lot of not-at-all-awful music after punk fits some or many of those ‘progressive’ parameters. So the cartography above treats ‘prog’ as as a suffix or prefix, something that through hyphenation can come into surprising proximity with things we love. For some, maybe most still, it’s a contaminant, a worrying tendency, something to ward off with punky/indie-rock squeamishness. It’s really weird how long the reflex has persisted, with presumably less and less first-hand contact with the stuff as the years go by.