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...."


"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."


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

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

The Shadows *

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

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

Sopwith Camel
Hot Tuna

The Doors--The Soft Parade

The Doors--LA Woman

Tonto’s Expanding Headband
Beaver & Krause

The Electric Flag

George Harrison--Wonderwall Music
Beaver & Krause--Gandharva

Blood Sweat & Tears

The Rotary Connection

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

* George Martin produced them, right?

Uriah Heep
Black Sabbath
Iron Butterfly
Deep Purple

Barclay James Harvest

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

Aphrodite’s Child*

* Demis Roussos and Vangelis!

Lard Free
Univers Zero
Jean-Michel Jarre


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

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

Gas Mask
Secret Oyster
Jam Factory
Solar Plexus

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

Spirit *

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

Carla Bley
Weather Report
Terje Rypdal

Tower of Power
Oneness of Juju

Salt/Ginger Baker/Fela Kuti--Strativarious

Stevie Wonder

Ivan Conti--The Human Factor

The Doors circa Other Voices/Full Circle

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


* this category by Francesco Brunetti

Ginger Baker’s Airforce
Cozy Powell


Moody Blues
Todd Rundgren
Electric Light Orchestra

10 CC

Be Bop Deluxe

* so sayeth Paul Morley

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

Frank Zappa*

* straight up squire, no kidding

Allman Brothers
White Witch
Hampton Grease Band

The Enid

Jefferson Starship
Alan Parsons Project

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

John Martyn *

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

Peter Hammill--Nadir’s Big Chance

Here and Now/The Fall/ATV*

* famous free tour of 1978

Bill Nelson’s Red Noise
Punishment of Luxury
Tin Huey
Lene Lovich
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

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.

The Skids circa Joy

Doctors of Madness/Richard Strange

This Heat
The Red Crayola with Art & Language
ATV/Good Missionaries
Pere Ubu
Durutti Column

Maurizio Bianchi

Sham 69--That’s Life*

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


Jim Morrison --An American Prayer

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

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

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

Laurie Anderson

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

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

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

Golden Palominos

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.

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

It Bites

Duran Duran/Arcadia

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

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

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?

The Mission
Fields of Nephilim


David Thomas & the Pedestrians

Costello circa Imperial Bedroom/King of America/Brodsky Quartet

Prefab Sprout

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

* Cat Stevens cover version, cmon!

Bevis Frond
Black Sun Ensemble
Outskirts of Infinity
Sun City Girls

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

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

Fishbone *

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

Living Colour

Prince here and there*

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

Shelleyan Orphan
All About Eve
This Mortal Coil
Sarah McLachlan
Cmon let’s be honest: Cocteau Twins

Butthole Surfers
Walking Seeds
Terminal Cheesecake
Swans --Children of God

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

Pale Saints
Boo Radleys


The Shamen

Everything on Shimmydisc

The Drum Club
Ozric Tentacles

Jane’s Addiction
Metallica (before they went 'grunge')
Everything Terrorizer ever covers ever

PM Dawn
Scienz of Life
Loads more

Pearl Jam

The Orb
The Irresistible Force/Mixmaster Morris
Namlook entire oeuvre and all his pals

Tortoise *
Bark Psychosis
Way too many to list

* TNT once unkindly compared to Spyro Gyra!

Don Caballero
Ach cannae even be bothered

Flaming Lips
Mercury Rev
Sabalon Glitz

Tori Amos

Goldie (no surprise there)
4 Hero
Damn near the whole lot of them at one point

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

System 7
Future Sound of London

Massive Attack--Mezzanine

Massive Attack -- the last album 200th Window or whatever it was called

Ocean Colour Scene
Blur--The Great Escape

Kula Shaker

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!

Terre Thaemlitz

Daft Punk--Forever


Osymyso ‘Intro Inspection’
John Oswald in toto

Post-Waters Pink Floyd

That orrible goblin-creature with the saxophone in the post-Waters Pink Floyd videos on VH1 Classic

… to be continued… with your help…


Some Bizarre


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...


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.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Flippin' heck that Jaxx album's a bit of a flailing over-egged pudding isn't it? I suppose if your founding premise is "more is more" then it's a bit hard to back away from that or scale it down. The record only really gets enjoyable for me at the point where most reviewers seems to think it starts to flag, 2/3 the way through when it calms down a lot and empties out a bit. Otherwise it's just way crammed and fizzing with whizzing clever bits. It's like they're trying to throw the wildest grooviest party ever with the most eclectic soundtrack and the most unexplected guests (well the Siouxsie track is great admittedly), but it's all a bit strained and strenous. For Basement Jaxx now just about the most surprising and radical thing they could do would be an album entirely consisting of ballads.

Likewise the new OutKast, which I've haven't heard, but somehow just the idea of such a sonic banquet causes all appetite to fade. Plus at this point the very concept of them seems fatigued in advance--that sense (which began to stick them fatally circa Aquemini, which I never cared for) of OutKast as somehow improving, for hip hop, and for the listener. Stankonia, I confess, is one of those records that got ruined for me by the reviewing process; by the time I was done, I'd used up all possible pleasure I could ever derive from it. Such a rich, readable, celebrate-able, eminently endorseable pop-text, and yet as fruity and extravagant and audaciously over-reaching and androgyny/sexual-ambiguity drenched and stankadelic as their music is, it's so hard not to produce an appreciation that doesn't have the faint taint of piety (I certainly failed w/ Stankonia) although SFJ at Slate almost manages and nearly resuscitates my lapsed Outkast-fandom. OutKast have such impeccable sonic/psycho-sexual/cultural/etc credentials, and it seems perverse and churlish to not to join in the applause.... but they're starting to seem like a sort of Fugees of Crunk, donchathink?

It's the Prince syndrome, really, with them and Jaxx too. Adored the Purple One so intensely for so long back in the day but it's been a small aeon since I've felt even the slightest inkling to listen to him. Prince knew about this syndrome very early, he wrote that song on 1999 called "All the Critics Love U In New York", right?
Fascinating stuff in that Hyperdub/Plasticman interview about the power shift away from djs towards mcs. Mr Plastic sez:
"Your tune could be catapulted as the biggest tune in the scene because the MC has spat a certain lyric on top of it, just by chance…. The Djs at Eski [sole Grime rave of note Eskimo Dance]
are only as big as who is spittin’ on their set. The Djs don’t get rated so much for their mixing skills…. there wasn’t so much of a reaction when a tune dropped but rather when an MC dropped a lyric. It was just like 8mile...

Saturday, October 18, 2003

new and notable blog (by Ronan of ILM fame) Must-Try-Harder weighs in on Mr Scruff. And somebody else also told me Scruff was a blindin' deejay...
hyperdub interview Doyen of Croydon Sound Plasticman

Friday, October 17, 2003

progstravaganza in preparation...
Risking the scorn of my peers, I hesitantly enquire: what do y’all think of Mr. Scruff? Because I’ve never seen anyone in this ‘hood even mention the guy, and the only informed-seeming hipsterati remarks I’ve ever read on Scruff have been distinctly scathing (albeit as much of his alleged audience--students--as the music itself). Yet I rather like his Trouser Jazz of last year. It’s poor man’s Wagon Christ, I know, but something about the Bentley Rhythm Ace-ness of the samples’ provenance (car boot sales, yard sales, charity shops et cetera) inoculates the jazz-funk tendency. Tunes like ‘Sweet Smoke’ and ‘Shrimp’ exist at some exact (and agreeable) midway point between Stop Your Nonsense and “Southern Freez” , while “Come Alive” is almost like some kinda World of Twist take on broken beat. Steptoe & Son meets Roy Ayers; cosmic, on the cheap. Endearing. I warm to the chap even more after seeing his animations on some TV documentary last week.


Sort of in this vicinity, does anyone know what The Avalanches are up to?


Talking of Wagon Christ, whole lotta love towards Luke Vibert's YosepH being shown out there. Haven't yet fully succumbed to its undoubted charms--sounds a bit disintegrated, and the acid element makes me yaaaaaawn. Plus I've also developed this weird associational thing about Vibert's music being kinda gamey. Partly the resinous beard thing but also comes from something I once read in a Vibert interview that i've not been able to get out of my head since--how when he's working hard on his music he holes up and lives on nothing but really black coffee and really strong foods like olives and pungent French cheeses (and presumably vast quantities of weed) but "after a three days of this it really does your guts in". Somehow the mind's nose image of this unventilated lifestyle has infused my experience of his music. Like it's funky in both senses--get your groove on and hold-ya-nose. YosepH makes me think of an expression of my mum's for things/places/people that smell a bit ripe: "hums a bit, don't it?"
LCD Soundsystem, live, a week ago, Bowery Ballroom…
… was more exciting than I’d thought. Came with minimal expectations really (a guy and a synth and a drum machine?) and was ambushed by the physical full-band force of it. The sheer rockfunk. Shades at times of the Contortions, Happy Mondays, even a hint of Stooges attack. An American Lo-Fidelity Allstars? As well as a fine flesh-and-blood drummer there was a percussionist (who knew a cowbell could be so exciting?) who doubled as a guitarist; another guitarist (or was it a bassist? ) plus a chick on synth/tech. The singer (is that the guy who used to front Six Finger Satellite? He’s pudged out a bit) wore an Oxford University T-Shirt. But underneath the obligatory irony, the masking metacasm, something seemed to be burning, a real deal HOWL, a scorching sense of “we mean it man” (although what the meaning might actually consist of remained unclear--the yearning to mean itself against all the heavily stacked odds, the over-acculturation that is a generational curse?). Not a massive fan of “Losing My Edge” (the weakest moment here anyhow) I couldn’t have been more surprised. In the end, I suppose I didn’t really know what to make of it--the best possible outcome.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Fascinating speculations at Erase The World about memory overload and memory-taint, sort of a negative madeleine-syndrome. A good argument against dramatically expanding life-expectancy. (Which is supposed to be on the cards midway through this century: if I’m lucky, it’ll come just in time to freeze-frame me at a state of advanced decreptitude). Baal’s musings sound like the basis of a really good s.f. short story. Reminds me tangentially of one I read as a lad (Bradbury? Pohl? Ellison?) about a future Earth whose entire surface is smothered in records. No not, vinyl (sounds like an Ingram/Reynolds/allcru paradise), historical records-- documents, files, history books, newspapers, etc. I guess this was written before microfilm, and back when computers were insanely bulky.

Chilling ancedote about the rat, as well.

Chiming in with which verminoid theme, the debut of a new series on urban fauna & flora called:

Biting Luka-Stylee.
Episode 1: The Rat.
Early this summer. A massive ruckus outside, sounds of shouting and banging of sticks, hysterical male laughter. There's been a lot of work in the building recently, tearing out and replacing of pipes, and huge heaps of detritus, masonry, corroded piping and binliners of miscellaneous crap, have piled up round the side of the building, festering there for months. Today is clean-up day. During the process of moving it to the skip, something brown, furry, fetid and disturbingly large shoots out and runs into the building through the basement entrance. The workers give chase, flush it out again, and it races the opposite direction, out onto the street, where it darts under the Chief of the Clean-Up Squad’s car. They’re poking broomsticks under there but it won’t come out. Where the fuck is it? They rock the cars on its wheels--nothing. Then one guy opens the hood to check the engine and fuck, there it is, sitting on the battery, for just a micro-second, before darting into the dark recesses of the engine. It had worked its way up the back of the tyre and into the engine. There then ensues a good half an hour of banging on the axel with broomsticks, rocking the chassis back and forth on the wheels, honking the horn, turning the engine on and off. No good, the petrified critter refuses to budge. It’s somewhere deep in there. Finally, the Chief stares at his car in puzzlement and despair, scratches his head, and then gets in and drives off, rat still embedded inside his vehicle. A true New York City story, folks.

Speak of the devil:

Did Luke mention ‘mist’? Much missed, mist. New York doesn’t seem to get it for some reason. A staple of my childhood, walking to school through mist-wreathed parks, washed-out watercolour sun weakly peeking through dilute yellowgrey sky.
prog-gnosis good

naysayers take heed, progward tentacles will re-enfold you next week, for now these morsels must suffice:

Nineties AfroProg

One for your diary: Copey's Rome Wasn't Burned In a Day 3 day headz-fest starting October 30th

Attention K-Punk: Day 1 includes a 1971 film on/of
one on/of AMON Duu 2 and another on something called LES RALLIZES DENUDES.

Cope cohort Seth Man is something like the Tufluv of prog/post-psych freak rock. Cheers to Joe Gross for this one.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

okay that's it, all progged out -- normal service will resume shortly -- back on the grimestone -- grime grime 8bar 8bar grime grime...
while we're progging here's the debut of an occasional series:

Book I Like

It was Noam who tipped me off about The Billboard Guide to Progressive Music. Said it did for prog rock what Chuck Eddy's Stairway to Hell did for metal. Author Bradley Smith certainly makes some heterodox choices. Along with the what-you'd-expect likes of Khan. Clearlight and Camel, there's entries on Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey (he gets a little shall we say excited about Cosey, especially re. her later heavy-breathing solo CD Time To Tell with saucy nude pix in the booklet---calls Cosey “perhaps the first progressive composer/pin up girl”), Teenage Jesus & the Jerks (possibly for similar reasons), Danielle Dax (bit of a theme here), Glenn Branca, Loren Mazzacane, and (in the also-ran section at the end) Sonic Youth (but only the 1981-83 work!!!!!!!!!). TG, Teen Jesus and early SY are especially odd inclusions because elsewhere he’s a total audiophile, always praising things for their clean production and great sound quality.

There's lots of other non-obvious and quite Wire-y choices here which show Bradley's an open-minded geezer: Annette Peacock, Annea Lockwood (who did records like The Glass World, made out of the sounds of glass, and A Soundmap of the Hudson River, which is exactly what it says on the package, and came out on Lovely, the nyc downtown minimalist label that does people like Robert Ashley), Heldon (which reminds me I must do a post on Richard Pinhas's Deleuze & Guattari inspired Rhizosphere--made 20 years before Mille Plateaux’s In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze) and Lustmord.

Just as Eddy doesn't have Obvious Candidates like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden in Stairway, similarly the Billboard Guide to Progressive Musicdoesn’t really work as an Proper Objective Authoritiative Guide. There's quite a lot of odd omissions: no Gentle Giant, no Magma, no Hammill or Van Der Graaf. Krautrock gets slighted: Can, Neu!, Faust, Cluster, fail to make the cut, but Popol Vuh and Ashra and Tangerine Dream/Froese/Schulze do.

Noam’s a little generous to Smith because the prose is not Eddy-level: no wisecracks, the writing is solid and meticulous but lacks flash or elan. But I actually rather warm to the guy's dogged earnestness, the dedication to creating his own aberrant canon.

Above all the Guide appeals 'cos it's glimpse into a vast universe of sound, most of which's existence I'd barely imagined. Smith's got a lot of time for the non-Kraut Europeans: Swedes like Algarnas Tradgard (the one to get is The Garden of the Elks, 1972, apparently), Anekdoten, Atlas, Anglagard, and Ragnarok; Czechs like Fermata and Collegium Musicum; Finnforest from guess-where; Portugal’s Gotic. He seems to be a bit down on North American prog (but then I guess it was kind of a British/Euro thing? Shoot me down, I know next to nothing about this stuff). Turns up his nose at Rush’s rapid shift to the mainstream; After Bathing At Baxter’s is included but not Jefferson Starship's Blows Against The Empire, and even pre-power-ballad Journey are way too commercial.

Truth is, I'm fascinated by prog but I've barely listened to any of it. I got into
music in '78 and was totally New Wave/postpunk indoctrinated. It was years before I could listen to a guitar solo and enjoy it. Flutes make me flinch. Most people at my school had older brothers who "hipped" them to Clapton Floyd Yes Genesis. Being the eldest in my family I had a hip younger brother who turned me onto Buzzcocks Ian Dury X Ray Spex Stranglers Pistols Crass. Virtually every desk in my school was daubed with perfectly executed Yes or Floyd or Zep logos; I'd be flying the flag for postpunk and scrawling the PiL logo. It was only when the Beastie Boys legitimised it that I finally checked out Zeppelin. I've still not heard the Gabriel-era Genesis, ELP, Jethro Tull, or Wish You Were Here (I picked up Dark Side for two bucks but have never got to side Two). So it definitely has the lure of the great unknown/forbidden.

Top 15 prog platters I wanna hear as selected from Bradley Smith's BGTPM:

Third Ear Band-- Music from Macbeth (as played by J. Lydon on Capital Radio)
Egg -- The Polite Force
Curved air-- Live
Agitation Free --Malesch
Ron Geesin & Roger Waters -- Music From the Body
Ron Geesin -- A Raise of Eyebrows
Genesis -- The Lamb Lies On Broadway
Gryphon -- Red Queen to Gryphon Three
Hatfield and the North -- The Rotters Club
Steve Hillage -- Rainbow Dome Musick
Michael Oldfield--Hergest Ridge (a favorite of Ultramarine's)
Khan -- Space Shanty
Brand X--Moroccan Roll
Lard Free -- III
Pangee- Hymnemonde (but only cos they’re from Quebec)

and one that's not in the Guide:


Caution! Nuts Inside!

Gabba-garridge may not have lasted more than ten seconds but gabba returns to the capital. East London massive take heed!



venue - The Dungeons, Rigg Approach
(off Lea Bridge Rd), London, E10

date - Saturday 25th October 2003

times - 11pm thru 8am

door - £5 b4 midnight, £7 after

FOUR rooms of Hardcore, Gabber, Rave, Techno, Drum'n'Bass, Electro & Breaks

Simon Underground (Underground Music)
The Warlock (Rag & Bone)
The Lurker (Fifth Era)
Kenny Kramp (Crossbones)
Face Hoover (Crossbones)
Rave Enforcer (Crossbones)
Nekro (Crossbones)

BlackMassPlastics (Live)
DJ Tjech
Bombdogs (Live)
DJ Controlled Wierdness
Recuss Kid (Live)
Judge Mental

Spy-K vs Guil'ohm
Pussyshaver (SMB)
Jessy Pomeroy (Sphenoid/Toolbox)
Gabbawocky Dave
Brad Lee


More info:

Caution!Nuts Inside!


If i was living in London I'd hop along to this event, if only to check out legendary East London acieeed-crypt The Dungeons. Plus Crossbones, this phuture tekno squat-rave sound system/record label I mentioned months ago, are just about the UK's sole solitary squad of PCP-aligned doomtroopers. Opportunities to experience Mover-style gloomcore through a big system in the midst of a headstrong throng of drug-fucked darkrave zombie-warriors stomping til the crack of dawn and beyond do not come along too often these days, I would go if I were you!

And just so Leicester readers don't feel left out:


"DJ SMURF's Birthday"
Club Soho, Halford Street, Leicester, LE1 1TR
FRIDAY 7 NOVEMBER 9pm thru 5am
Hardcore /Gabber /Breakcore Room:
Hard Trance/Style /Techno Room: HARDBREED DJ's

Caution!Nuts may be inside!

More prog skeletons in the AfroFuturist closet

Greg Tate loves Jeff Beck (and Santana, and Zappa)

Mark Dery was a devout reader of the technical guitar mags

John Corbett played oboe on Brand X’s Do They Hurt?

Mark Sinker ran away from boarding school to see Steve Hillage at the 1978 Deeply Vale Free Festival

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

“… Doremi Fasol Latido, an altogether heavier set than previous albums. Conceptually “a collection of ritualistic space chants, battle hymns and stellar songs of praise as used by the family clan of Hawkwind on their epic journey to the fabled land of Thorasin” setting the band members as the heroes of a space fantasy saga wherein the Lords of the Hawk, having fought a losing battle for several years against the Bad Vibe squads in the age of the machine logic god Eye See Eye, departed from the planet, swearing to one day return to rid the world of evil, intending to seek help from the Great Mother and the Galactic Union.”--from the sleevenotes to Hawkwind’s Stasis: the UA Years 1971-75.

Hawkwind = the white Parliament-Funkadelic.

Barney Bubbles = the white Pedro Bell

Bad Vibe Squads - Sir Nose D'Voidofffunk

Afro-Futurism = Black Prog

Kodwo Eshun = Yes fan

(he is, I swear --and totally unabashed about it)
PhilT nominates Family as one of the great lost longhair-but-not-really-prog Brit bands: “Started off with a late 60s UK psych gem - Music In A Doll's House - then quickly passed into a song based version of prog for a few albums - slightly similar to Van der Graaf Generator - then picked up bassist extraordinaire John Wetton and released 2 unclassifiable, fantastic albums then another terrific post-Wetton album before fading into UK rock misogyny on duo project Streetwalkers

Family--great band! I’ve got Bandstand, with the killer Brit-boogie “Burlesque” and a greatest hits. Always wanted to hear Doll's House. I heard of Family for the first time at some point in the late eighties when this guy I'd got to know who
was about 9 years older was FLABBERGHASTED that I'd never heard of them: "one of the most important bands of their day" he spluttered, sounding genuinely disapproving. I guess for about three or four years in the late sixties/early seventies Family were
massive critical darlings, singer Roger Chapman considered one of the top vocalists of that time. Family actually had a string of UK hit singles (“Burlesque” got to #13, “In My Own Time” to #4), the albums sold well, big draw live, festival regulars; but they failed to break America. And like so many of their peers (Atomic Rooster? Savoy Brown?! Blodwyn Pig?!?) they disappeared from popular memory.

The Groundhogs--another great group of this ilk (bigged up by Julian Cope in recent years on his Heads Heritage site). Angular and jaggedly eerie blues, like Wire if they’d come up through the Brit blues-bore boom. There’s a couple of things by PJ Harvey circa Rid of Me that are dead ringers for The Groundhogs.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Never got to Marcuse, but Norman O. Brown, yes yes yes. Life Against Death: another inter-library year-off-before-college favorite. Quite an influence on Jim Morrison apparently. Brown comes up with this wacked-out, impractical and unliveable rereading of Freud contra its positivist reductions at the hands of American psychoanalytical industry. His polymorphous perversity advocacy very much chiming in with Situationism, "playpower", yippies et al (although the scholar Brown was quite sniffy re. the counterculture, drugs, etc, if I recall). Love's Body, the sequel: a bit fragmentary and aphoristic, this heads deep out into the mystic, throws the Bible into the mix, suggests we give up language altogether. Totally nuts. There was a third one.
Ah. I've took someone whom Eden's quoted on Hawkwind to be Uncarved.Org's actual own Official position on Hawkwind. Seems like he actually thinks they're shite but has barely heard them. In fact, it appears that it's Shards Fragments & Totems who really = Hawkwind. I was actually vacillating between Eden and Meme but came down... the wrong side so it seems.

Hawkwind do appear to be a band to which embarrassment attaches itself--I remember the guy from Loop getting all hot under the collar about being compared to them. But quite why Amon Duul II are cool, and Hawkwind not, is hard to see.

Edgar Broughton Band---always wanted to hear them. Who else is there in the longhaired postpsych but too-raw-to-be-really-prog sector? Tractor were pretty cool. Man? Another one I wanna hear. Stackwaddy.
Back like Lazarus: the Sixties-haters vs Sixties-lovers debate. Nigel from The Yes/No Interlude: "Reading Theodore Roszak's The Making of a Counter Culture (1969), a useful corrective to the usual soppy memoirs of the 60s. Indeed, it's hard to recognise the world he was writing about from the consensual histories of what that decade was supposedly all about. It wasn't just the Beatles, Twiggy and Carnaby Street, you know. Some people read books back then...."

That's another one I got out on the Hertfordshire inter-library loan system!

Hammill, sorry K-Punk, says: thank prog we're out of the Sixties at least and talking Seventies. But surely prog proves that the early Seventies is the continuation/expansion of the Sixties project? Periodisation is always tricky when it comes to culture, but if epochs and epistemes actually exist in pop culture they definitely don't correspond to the decades, they overlap. Some historians put the end of "the Sixties" at around 1974 when a whole bunch of factors (OPEC-induced oil crisis, world recession, end of Vietnam War etc) brought a distinct epoch starting roughly 1963 to a close. All the narratives and movements and struggles, in pop and in para-pop (politics/culture/art/media/fashion) that escalated
in the mid-Sixties didn't punctually terminate on Jan 1st 1970, they carried on, mutating and in some cases intensifying.

I just mentioned the Hawkwind scene--that's one Sixties-continues example. Others include Krautrock/kosmische rock (Faust and Amon Duul w/ the communal thing, links to German radical politics); folk-rock; 70s political soul (all catalysed by Sly & the Family Stone according to Greil Marcus); glam's secret hippie roots (Tyrannosaurus Rex's faery whimsy, space fantasy, acoustic guitar + bongos >>> T. Rex chrome boogie 4 teenyboppers -- plus Bolan was in John's Children, of course). Even the underground disco scene, pre-Saturday Night Fever, was full of former headz, Happenings-style lights/sonic overload, and love peace unity respect rhetoric, it was driven by the same energies that pushed the gay liberation movement and civil rights. Beyond music, the Seventies auteur movie thing continued what began with Easy Rider et al.

Given punk being staffed by 1968-veterans, and post-punk's connections to pre-punk culture/secret hippie roots, I actually think there's a case for saying "the Sixties" really ends circa 83/84, when the independent/alternative ideal died, or at least calcified/withdrew/festered. In the broader culture, you could date it from the Falklands War (and ineffectual protest movement c.f. Vietnam) and Thatcher's reelection (ditto Reagan). Her first term, I think everybody on the left thought was a fluke, rather than a real sea change. The fact that she was reelected despite massive unemployment etc was the real hammerblow. Sheer disbelief. Thatcher-Reagan was all about reversing the gains of the Sixties, about the breakup of post-war liberal/permissive consensus.

Round about then your Rough Trades went entryist, started adopting managerial structures and competitive practices, using radio pluggers. It was time to "get real" or go to the wall (whereon the writing was).

If I was to date the utter end of "the Sixties" in music terms to a single record it might be Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer". Those albums around "Games Without Frontier" and "Shock The Money" were his "postpunk" efforts (paranoia, alienation, no cymbals on the drums). "Sledgehammer" is him selling out to the Eighties, that burnished airless Go West beige-funk sound. See also ex-Traffic man Stevie Winwood's records of that time.

Non-coincidentally, the final end of "the Sixties" musically in the early/mid Eighties coincides with... the Sixties Revival. Only when it was truly dead could it be recycled as blank homage: Jesus & Mary Chain, Primal Scream trying to Love meets soft Velvets, the Paisley Underground, Byrds-imitators galore, The Cult circa "Revolution"... Or as joke: Doctor & the Medics, Neil the Hippy's cover of "Hole In My Shoe".

Anyway Mark shouldn't hate on the Sixties because if ever there was a time that was all about discontinuum and breaks and looking forward and refusing to be weighed down by the past, it was then. Christopher Booker wrote a whole book trying to discredit the Sixties project--the title was The Neophiliacs. It's not the "real" Sixties fault that the nostalgia industry got hold of it and effectively ruined it.
prog blog addenda #1

--- Hawkwind are great! "Silver Machine": godhead. That wasn't a diss John, but a compliment, and also a genuine attempt to place where you're coming from (pretty accurate it seems). A crucial band for all the reasons you list. On the flyer for their first event Throbbing Gristle positioned themselves as "post-psychedelic trash" and I think they had the Hawkwind/London squat/free party nexus in mind as an area they wanted to tap into (this is before punk had emerged, so what other context could they look to). Someone could/should do a book on that post-psych/pre-punk zone, Pink Fairies Gong Here & Now etc. Hawkwind: A big influence on Chrome, and there’s definite parallels with the more guitar-driven Cabaret Voltaire. Hawkwind: definitely one for Tres Hot in the next year's Uberhipster Index.

--- I'm thinking Carmody's more like Roy Harper than Fairport Convention

Sunday, October 05, 2003


TWANBOC = Robert Wyatt

K-Punk = Peter Hammill

I Have Zero Money/Howie = Magma

Heronbone = Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

House At World's End = Fairport Convention

Freakytrigger/NYLPM/Ewingland = Brian Eno

Worlds of Possibility = Popol Vuh

Somedisco = Ivor Cutler

The Original Soundtrack = Kate Bush

Uncarved = Hawkwind

Pillbox = on a good day John Martyn, on a less good day Wigwam

Blissblog = on a good day Can, on a less good day Henry Cow

(to be continued, revised, amended...)
The return of the Archives. (thanks Matt)

Friday, October 03, 2003

Further to the East Indians in the West Indies, bhangra/dancehall postcolonial bizniz 'n' ting topic, Dave Stelfox tells me that Diwali man Lenky is in fact half-Indian.
I love Dr Who too and certain images from it haunt my memory from childhood but I can't remember any actual plotlines or series scenario so can't participate in the amazing auteurist discourse instigated by K-Punk. But I did recently acquire Out of This World, a nice BBC Radiophonic Workshop album of 'atmospheric sounds and effects' as used on Dr. Who and other science fiction/supernatural programmes. It's surprisingly listenable considering that many of the "tracks" are as short as 12 seconds (the average is more like 45 seconds, almost Commercial Album length) and have titles like "Sea of Mercury", "Firespitting Monster", "Terror Zing", "Venusian Space Lab", "Andromedan War Machine", "Laser Gun, five bursts" and "Gravity Generator". Hey, here's one that's called "Magic Mushroom" (and it's only three seconds long!). Is this a deliberately dropped clue that the Radiophonic Workers were not unacquainted with psychedelics? I think we should be told! Very nice tacky cover, oh for a scanner and I could do the TWANBOC thing. Annoyingly the Dr. Who theme is not included.
Promising new blog with a quite splendid name: Tufluv.

Particularly enjoyed this bit: “What did hi-fi ever do to Dillinja? The man must have some enormous sulphur-belching reservoir of acidic loathing for stereo sound, speaker boxes, studios and anything remotely involved with the amplification of noise because anytime he goes near them he seems intent on obliterating noise itself: amping it up to that event horizon where sound ceases to be sound and turns itself inside out, imploding in a deafening white silence where it just goes * and screams like a newborn baby Big-Bang into the dimension on the other side of the sonic boom. This isn’t music, it’s a murder.”

Course I'd much rather prefer to read this description than actually listen to a Dillinja record these days--that boy used to be a GOD to me but then circa “Acid Trak” he went all Dom & Rolandy and lost it major far as I’m concerned. I suppose this begs the question why I like the punitive aesthetic when it's Grime but not post-97 d&b.... I have no answer as yet... have to get back to you on that one...

Tufluv has nice wide range well beyond the usual bloghood suspects, for instance stuff on 'broken beats'. Must beg to differ though: that West London Soundbwoy favorite “Loose Lips” is a ghastly thing. If that tune broken beats’s best effort at an Anthem the scene’s got problems.

More reactionaries--Garage Nation promoters talking in RWD webzine about their intention to bring back UKG oriented to an upmarket crowd and pure niceness vybe:
That crowd is still there, a lot of people still want to go out and hear garage but feel intimidated. It went too underground, bands like So Solid gave it a bad name, but I think it’s coming out of that a little bit. All the MCs rhyming about ‘I’m going to kill your mother’ and all that, we don’t wanna hear it. … We’re trying to take it back to the vibe it was, for the people who wanna hear UKG but don’t wanna hear an MC shouting all night. That is happening now and it’s the reason old skool is doing so well. “

“Kill-your-mother” is what they used to nickname that ultraviolent strain of hardest-core gabba back in the day. One of my few disappointments with the way Grime’s turned out is that the gabber-garridge vibe didn’t last very long--“I Luv U” and a few pirate tunes nicking the Human Resource ‘Dominator’ dronewarm sound, and that was about it.
Time of the Season. Silver Dollar Circle brings bad news for the EZ's and Timmi Magics of this world: "Grime seems to be getting colder, even more minimal and mechanical as the winter sets in; check out Youngster's DJ sets on Rinse on tuesday nights. last tuesday the MC was goading Youngster to 'take it colder, we're gonna get below minus degrees'. and the music got ever more inhuman hostile and grinding to point where it was just a stuttering electronic pulse with metallic flickers over the top. And they refused a request to play 'eskimo' cuz 'this is a forward show'. is 'eskimo' now old skool/played out?!"

And further to the Wiley "Eskimo"/Residents Eskimo thing, I forgot that Wiley of course also did a track called "Igloo"...