Thursday, November 26, 2020
Sunday, November 22, 2020
When Mates Make Books Xmas stocking-filler round-up: 1984 x 2; transnational club culture; hauntology; postcapitalist desire; Hawkwind and the Underground.
The only proper (living - there's one RIP) mate in this round-up - the rest are more like internet acquaintances - Michaelangelo Matos has a new book: a long-fermented and richly researched appreciation of the year 1984. Like similar year-focused tomes by other, older writers (Jon Savage's 1966, David Hepworth's 1971), pop's annus mirabilis just so happens to coincide with the author's youthful peak point in terms of excitement-capacity and impressionability / ability to be impressed. (So if I was to do one, the title would be 1979, or 1981 - when I was sixteen and eighteen respectively... but then again I was also blessed improbably with a second adolescence at the cusp of late twenties into early thirties, a proper one in which I actually went out and had wild fun rather than stayed in reading - so 1992, or 1993, or 1994, would also be strong contenders). But back to Matos's wonder year.. well of course, from the Brit perspective, '84 was the year the bloom went right off New Pop, although we did have the whole Frankie commotion... but it was definitely slipping into the Bad Music Era... but from a young American's perspective it must have indeed been a supremely exciting year, especially on the MTV and mainstream radio front, with the Brit invaders still coming through but starting to get out-done by Americans who'd cottoned on to the power of video (Prince, ZZ Top, Springsteen, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, M. Jackson et al). But as Matos amply demonstrates, there was a whole lot more going on. Can't Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop's Blockbuster Year is out in a couple of weeks.
Everybody knows the hits of 1984 - pop music's greatest year. From "Thriller" to "Purple Rain," "Hello" to "Against All Odds," "What's Love Got to Do with It" to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," these iconic songs continue to dominate advertising, karaoke nights, and the soundtracks for film classics (Boogie Nights) and TV hits (Stranger Things). But the story of that thrilling, turbulent time, an era when Top 40 radio was both the leading edge of popular culture and a moral battleground, has never been told with the full detail it deserves - until now. Can't Slow Down is the definitive portrait of the exploding world of mid-eighties pop and the time it defined, from Cold War anxiety to the home-computer revolution. Big acts like Michael Jackson (Thriller), Prince (Purple Rain), Madonna (Like a Virgin), Bruce Springsteen (Born in the U.S.A.), and George Michael (Wham!'s Make It Big) rubbed shoulders with the stars of the fermenting scenes of hip-hop, indie rock, and club music. Rigorously researched, mapping the entire terrain of American pop, with crucial side trips to the UK and Jamaica, from the biz to the stars to the upstarts and beyond, Can't Slow Down is a vivid journey to the very moment when pop was remaking itself, and the culture at large - one hit at a time.
update 11/24/2020 - I forgot, there's another book about 1984 as pop wonderyear coming out, at almost the same time bizarrely - but this one is from the UK perspective: David Elliott's 1984: British Pop's Dividing Year. Read Elliott's piece on it at The Quietus. Information about the book and its scope here.
Ten Cities tells a transnational tale of club culture across six decades, 1960-2020, focusing on five European and five African cities: Lagos, Luanda, Berlin, Bristol, Johannesburg, Kiyv, Nairobi, Lisbon, Naples, and Cairo. Edited by Johannes Hossfeld, Joyce Nyairo and Florian Sievers and published by the art book imprint Spector Books, it weaves together contributions from 20 writers and 19 photographers from those ten cities.
In Africa as well as in Europe, club cultures create free spaces that can function as nocturnal laboratories for societies. Nightclubs are hubs in a complex global network – and at the same time they are manifestations of very local and specific practices. This book tells the story of club music and club cultures from 1960 to the present in ten cities in Africa and Europe: Nairobi, Cairo, Kyiv, Johannesburg, Berlin,Naples, Luanda, Lagos, Bristol, Lisbon. It expands the focus beyond the usual North Atlantic narrative of centres and periphery and instead aims at a coeval narrative. In 21 essays, playlists and photo sequences the book draws intimate portraits of these cities’ subcultures, their transnational flows, as well as the societies from which they evolve and which they, in turn, influence. An urban and political rhythm-analysis from the viewpoint of sound and night.
More information about Ten Cities here at the Spector Books website.
An earlier blogpost of mine about Ten Cities and "xenotronica".
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Excited to announce the publication of two books in translation!
On November 16th, Audimat publish Le choc du glam, the French version of Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, translated by Hervé Loncan. More information here.
On November 19th, Minimum Fax publish Futuromania, a collection of my writing about electronic music (dance + non-dance), translated into Italian by Michele Piumini. More information here.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Election Eve anxiety was momentarily alleviated last Monday when I got to moderate a really fun discussion about rave culture's visual aesthetics and its ongoing legacy in graphics, fashion, music and pop culture. Involving Jeremy Deller, Martine Rose, and Trevor Jackson, the conversation - convened by The Design Museum as part of its current exhibition Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers - goes out live on Thursday, November 12th, at 7pm UK time. Information about tickets can be found here.
from The Design Museum's announcement for The Spirit of Rave:
Rave was a defining counterculture movement in Britain. Responding to the social, political and economic conditions of the 1980s and 90s, it joyfully disregarded design convention from cut-n-paste techniques to neon colours and brash imagery.
Please note that this event includes strong language and references to drug culture.
Sunday, November 08, 2020
Tried to put down some thoughts on the events of the past week, but I don't really have thoughts, just feelings. Relief, joy, hope, elevation... a sensation of lightness, the lifting off and away of an immense heavy shadow. All the things everyone else is feeling. Well, except for the people who are feeling the opposite - and who are still with us, still alarmingly numerous, still implacably lost. But let's not dwell on that right now... let's stay in the glow as long as we can.
What songs are large enough for this moment? This is no time for subtle or emotionally complex or artfully ambivalent; only simple, direct, uplifting will do.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Here's a piece I did for Tidal on the early days of U2, when they were just another New Wave band jostling for attention, timed for the 40th anniversary of Boy.
I could have sworn the first time I saw / heard U2 was them playing "A Day Without Me" on TV, but deduction led me to this performance of "I Will Follow" on the after-school kids show Get It Together.
Friday, October 09, 2020
Here's my 4Columns review of the Super Deluxe Edition of Sign O' The Times and ever-so-slightly ambivalent paean to the uncontrollable copiousness of Prince.
Listening to the Super Deluxe Sign in a single sitting did remind me of the episode of Louie where now-disgraced Louis C.K. and an equally greedy comedian buddy do a “Bang Bang”: eat two slap-up meals in quick succession at different restaurants. As gross and health-endangering as this was, at least the sad-sack duo gorged on different cuisines. Listening to the new supersized Sign all the way through is like eating at the best Italian restaurant in town (the original Sign, which takes up the first two discs) and then immediately repairing to a mediocre Italian restaurant for rounds two, three, four… Not only has the edge been taken off your appetite, but you have the fresh memory of something superior and delicious with which to compare.
Too-muchness is Prince's essence. He seemed afflicted with a sort of erotomania of sound. Just couldn't stop playing - with himself (literally, in the studio - playing nearly all the instruments, multitracking his own voice), with others. The compulsive, almost involuntary creativity caused him to record while on tour, both before the concert using a mobile studio truck or after the gig at a local studio.
Where did he get the energy from? Especially as these concerts were bloody long. In August 1988, I saw Prince twice in a single night: first at Wembley Arena, where he and his band blazed through 41 songs over the course of a couple of hours (there were three sets of encores!), and then again at a smaller venue a couple of hours later, where the Purple One’s idea of post-show relaxation was to play another lengthy concert to a more intimate audience. Don’t stop ‘till you get enough, as Michael Jackson - the only Black American artist of the Eighties to eclipse Prince in popular impact – put it. But also "enough" is as a good as a feast, as the old maxim goes –once you’re replete, even the sight of a banquet brings on nausea.
Talking of maxims... Prince's music turns around the contrast of maximalism and minimalism. Across whole albums, but also within individual tracks sometimes.
I always dug the maximalist tendencies, and certainly "approved" of the excess, then and now. Harped on about it at a time (late Eighties) when me and my Melody Make crew were calling for an unpunking of the discourse... when we were rejecting the truism "less is more" and proposing that more might actually be MORE. (The sheer obesity of the Buttholes sound - spare tyres of sound flopping free from the girdle of postpunk inhibition and restraint)
But in practice the minimal Prince holds me more as a listener.
The nubile perfection of Dirty Mind, a sound that is barely there (those translucent keyboards), all suggestion and implication. His only truly flawless statement, as an album?
"Kiss", worn out by over-exposure, but so fleet and fresh to hear after the baroque folly Around the World In A Day
(Although the sublime loping simplicity of "Pop Life" ...)
And on Sign itself, the tracks that are faraway my faves are the most mechanistic and monolithic - "Hot Thing", "It."
Well, there's also "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker" - ripe, humid, detuned.
And "If I Was Your Girlfriend"
"I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man" is a particularly striking example of the minimal / maximal tension.
The first half is this perfect pearl of power pop.
But then it goes off into a completely different direction / aesthetic universe, that barely seems connected to the first part - more to do with Santana than the Bangles. And which I like even more...
That unexpected detour / split-song structure always reminded me of what happens in the Stones's "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" - the shift from taut raunch to jazzy meander
The bluesy funk of "Sign O' The Times" the title track / lead single reminds me a tiny bit of the biting blues-funk and bitter “hard times” lyrics of Johnny Guitar Watson songs like “Ain’t That A Bitch” and "A Real Mutha For Ya" - updated with a late Eighties drum machine feel.
This is my favorite thing on the Supersize Deluxe and it turns very much around the minimal-maximal contrast - stark, almost Mantronix like drum machine versus florid multi-tracked vocals
At one minute long, more a splinter than a song, “Colors” is an exquisite fragment of jazzed guitar chords that could be off an ECM album by Bill Frisell or John Abercrombie.
On the disc B-sides and extended mixes of singles off the original dubble, I enjoyed “La, La, La, He, He, Hee,” which mimics George Clinton’s cartoon heterosex allegory in “Atomic Dog” of canines chasing felines, and pivots around an astonishingly funky vocal lick like a hound yowling (plus wonderfully horny horns).
And there's other delights but boy do you have to pick through a lot of lesser material
There isn’t a neat parallel with other art forms, because pop albums rarely have a narrative structure, but let’s imagine the ‘super deluxe edition" template applied to film. You might dream of seeing the original director’s edit of Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons before the studio butchered it (and lost forever the offcuts). But sensibly you might flinch at a 9-hour version of Citizen Kane.
In this case, Sign doesn’t restore what Prince originally intended, it’s more like a series of extensions to a house that partially obscure the original construction without actually rebuilding it. The pristine thing is still in there but there’s all this stuff in the way now.
In one sense, the Deluxe Edition is beautifully curated – the sound is fabulous, the packaging exquisite, right down to the peace symbol stencil on the cardboard box that arrives at your front door. Yet in another sense, it’s a feat of anti-curation that overrides the original curation of the artist (and the record company, who held in check Prince's own more-IS-more impulses).
In some ways, it would have been more intriguing to reconstruct the original planned but abandoned albums – Dream Factory, Camille and Crystal Ball – that preceded Sign and supplied much of its originally released content. Like all those music nerd bloggers out there who create counterfactual albums - sometimes records that were planned and put on the schedule but withdrawn, or that were started but abandoned, and in other cases, were never conceived by the artist but fit alternate-history timelines (Beatles albums if they didn't split in 1970 but pooled songs from what in our world went into the solo albums).
Friday, September 18, 2020
Kieran Press-Reynolds, a.k.a the other genre taxonomist living under this roof, has won the award for Best Work of Music Journalism: Text-English at the Reeperbahn Festival, for his piece on "How Tik Tok Is Taking the Tunes Out of Pop." Kieran saw off competition from the illustrious likes of Laura Snapes, Roxanne Gay, Ed Gillett, and my friends Tariq Goddard and Carl Neville. Check out the list of winners here and K's acceptance speech video here!
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Here is Kieran Press-Reynolds's latest feature, for Pigeons & Planes / Complex - titled "Gorgeous Glitches and Nightcored Melodies: The New Generation of SoundCloud Music is Here".
Stop Press: !!!!! Kieran nominated for a Music Journalism award - his "How Tik Tok Is Taking the Tunes Out of Pop" piece makes the shortlist for "Best Work of Music Journalism (text - English)" at the Reeberbahn Festival !!!!!!
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Relieving the gloom of this indoorsy, inside-out summer, an unexpected treat from Moon Wiring Club - a dose of unseasonal dank in the shivery shape of Tabitha Reverb: a "re-re-remix album" of A Spare Tabby at the Cat’s Wedding to celebrate its 10th Anniversary.
"The tunes on TABITHA REVERB have been coaxed together using original MWC archive material from ASTATCW (and beyond) to include extended overhauls, exhumation of abandoned tracks, intricate reinterpretations and deftly-sinister manifestations of musickal intentions originally unfulfilled."
Ian Hodgson clarifies the concept and the constituents: "A mixture of long-form 'dance remix' interpretations of original Tabby tracks, tunes composed at the time but unused and subsequently modified, tracks that feature elements of MWC tunes ‘across the ages’ but which originated out of ASTATCW programming and stuff that was composed in the mind-set of the time but using better production methods..."
He adds that "the original idea was to have them as a Nineties style 2 x 12-inch set" but regrettably the realities of the current moment in terms of production / distribution / costs etc mean that Tabitha Reverb is a digital-only release.
This got me trying to think of 2 x 12-inch sets of the Nineties as described by Ian as his model for remix project. Mostly what came to mind was the vogue in the Eighties for putting your album out as two or three 45 rpm 12-inches (PiL, Cabs, Spands yeeuch). But then I thought of this great double-12 inch by DHS, containing the immortal "House of God".
That, however, was just two discs crammed into a normal sleeve, as I recall. But I'm sure there were others in that moment of dance culture's apogee of design awareness / packaging excess - releases comprising two 12-inches in a gatefold sleeve in the double-album style. In particular, I have a sense memory of a gatefold double-10-inch single in pic sleeve.
In other Moon Wiring Club news, the old BlankWorkshop website (which dates back to 2004) had to be demolished for health and safety reasons. Check out its replacement here.
Thursday, July 09, 2020
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Not a fan of live albums generally, but the unexpected highlights of this 7-disc package turned out to be the four concerts from a single month in 1977 - the UK / North America tour Iggy (with David in the backing band) did between the release of The Idiot and recording Lust for Life.
This is an oddly slick rendition of "Dirt" (no Stooges in the backing band) but actually brings out the majesty of the song.
Even a flashy, very un-Asheton-like geetarsolo cannot mar this
Thursday, July 02, 2020
In a couple of weeks, an old and very good mate is publishing a book that has been a passion project for the last several years, involving an astonishing amount of research and trips to far corners of the world.
That mate is Matthew Ingram, a.k.a Woebot - and although he's put out a pair of compendiums of brilliant bloggage, and a tasty monograph, it would be fair to describe Retreat: How the Counterculture Invented Wellness as Matt's first book proper. Published by Repeater on July 14, the debut does not disappoint. Here is my blurb:
“This richly researched archaeology of the counterculture places health at its core, showing how ideas of healing and therapy were inextricably bound up with the era’s spiritual longings and erotic politics. Each chapter scintillates with surprising revelations, unexpected connections and startling insights”
More info about Retreat and further endorsements can be found at the Repeater website.
As part of the build-up to publication, Matt has broken out of blog retirement to post a long and probing essay on Woebot, not so much a preview of the book as a side-bar to it - on the relationship between music, Eastern philosophy, spiritual equilibrium, cosmic vibrations, "bliss consciousness" etc.
Read it here while also listening to this fabulous 2-hour mix of astral sounds Matt has especially prepared for your elevation. Tracklist here.
Not on the mix, but the tune-writer's own version:
Met Mr. Budd a year or two ago, on the streets of South Pasadena (Geeta knows everybody)
Friday, June 26, 2020
The first track, "Echos" is hauntología far ahead of its time (made 1978). "In Memoriam Of Mercedes Cornu," it's a sonic equivalent to those little roadside shrines of flowers and candles and photographs that are so poignant to stumble upon. Ferreyra wove it entirely out of the voice of her niece, who died in a car accident.
The creator's account of the track sticks to technicalities, perhaps as a form of emotional self-defense: "This work has been composed by reconstructing four Latin-American popular songs – 2 Argentinian and 2 Brazilian – which were sung a capella by Mercedes Cornu. These songs were broken down into short and long sounds, syllables, breathings, coughs, etc and then rearranged using techniques of tape cutting, mixing and manual shakes."
About the second piece, from 1987, L'autre ... Ou Le Chant Des Marecages /The• Doubue • Or The Swamp's, Ferreyra talks of the inspiration in more vivid and animated terms: "I was deeply impressed with Blaise Cendrars’s paradoxal personnality, his terrifying « Double » which strips itself with an naked extrem and sadic cruelty in his book « Moravagine, It was impossible for me not to record the depth of my feelings in a brutal and wild vocal composition. The « Sacow » of Moravagine, lurks behind it. The work’s onomatopeia was inpired by the short « black poems » from Cendrars’s story : « the white were black » (Les blacs étaint des noirs)."
Saturday, June 20, 2020
Released on my birthday, Green's first new release in fourteen years!
I've been listening to his music for over forty years now and - apart from a couple of lulls - it's continuously delighted and fascinated.
Part of the gift of "Tangled Man" is the impetus it's given me to listen finally to Anne Briggs. Just never got around to it somehow.
(I have a record-fiend friend who happily coughed up $600 for an original copy of one of Briggs's albums. I gasped when he told me - but couldn't help admiring how he brooked no obstacles to his wants and needs.)
On "the flipside", Green covers another Briggs tune
Here's Green talking about how he was a folkie before he was a punkie:
“Recently, in an interview for a forthcoming book about art and music in Leeds in the 70’s and 80’s, the author asked me, as an aside, if it were true that I was wearing Morris Dancer’s leg bells at the 1976 gig there by the Sex Pistols, Clash, Damned and Heartbreakers as other interviewees present that night had reported. My DNA was reconfigured that evening so my memory is hazy but it is very likely that I was wearing the leg bell pads made for me by a school friend some years before. In fact I may well have gone to the gig straight from the evening Morris dancing lessons I attended at Leeds university.
"Because before punk gave me the liberty and license to make my own music I was geekily obsessed with ‘folk’. When I was fourteen I was enraptured by the Fairport Convention album Liege and Lief and became an underage regular at Dublin Moran’s folk club at the Castle, a very insalubrious pub down Newport docks. It’s there I was made aware of the Topic record label and the music of the Watersons, Martin Carthy (who I subsequently stalked . . . ask him) and Anne Briggs. The beautiful melodies Anne sang unaccompanied were profoundly affecting, her unornamented voice a precursor to the anti-professionalism of DIY. For a long while I walked about dressed like a 19th century farm labourer (with a bit of eyeliner) in a kind of hypnagogic reverie to an inner soundtrack of Northumbrian pipe tunes, Wassailing songs and Morris dances. Jesus.
Forward some 40 odd years and my friend and Scritti Politti bandmate Rhodri Marsden had been contacted to do an arrangement of an Anne Briggs song for a project with which he was involved. Knowing I was a fan he suggested maybe I’d like to take on the task. I was dead keen and recorded myself at home playing and singing my versions of a couple of the very few songs Annie had written many years ago...."
Interesting that Green here pinpoints Briggs's naturalistic, "unornamented" singing... because his own vocals on "Tangled" and "Wishing" have never sounded so synthetic and stylized, a quality shared by the denatured setting for the songs (bar the guitar part on "Tangled"). Far far from folk (indeed he sings, as he has since Songs To Remember, in an American accent.... rippling strands of liquid sugar spooling from his lips).
The title of this post? When I listen to "Tangled Man," I hear the lyric as "Webster's set me free". Which would fit the logophile bibbly-o-maniac Green, evoking all the places that reading has taken him... (Even the Americanized reference would be the kind of thing he'd pop into a lyric, rather than the OED).
Green's words, in song and interview, have been among the "ways to set me free", the select number of mind-expanding things that set me on my present course.
Now, how about an album, you lazy sod?
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
The present flickers on a knife edge between the dystopian and the utopian - and here's Carl Neville with a new novel for Repeater that hurls the reader into a counterfactual world circa now that in some ways is close-to-utopian, but also contains within it dystopian aspects - or regions - far worse even than the worst that last week momentarily seemed to herald.
Here's how I blurbed it:
“Alternative history usually involves dystopian scenarios – counterfactual realities in which the Nazis conquered the world, the South won the Civil War, the Reformation never happened. Eminent Domain is that rare thing — a near-utopian version of the present more advanced and progressive than our own, rendered with a level of vivid and intricate detail comparable with William Gibson at his most disorienting. But where speculative fiction typically presents a warped mirror image of our own era, Carl Neville’s enthralling and immersive novel does something different – it makes you aware of the radical potentials, the different way things could be, that lurk latent in the world as it stands. Eminent Domain makes this present in which we currently languish feel like the impostor reality.”
More information and how to purchase Eminent Domain at the Repeater Books site.
Carl has started a series of blog essays that detail his journey through life, art, writing and thought that led to where he is now and the work he is doing. Here is the first installment. He's also just blogged a couple of Spotify playlists related to Eminent Domain and its precursor-sibling novel Resolution Way.
Carl will also be convening a series of discussions on the theme of utopia to take place live on YouTube - including one next week on music and the utopian in which I will be participating. More details on that to come.
Music and the utopian, eh? It's such an open-ended term and if you're not careful you can start thinking of any music that is vaguely suggestive of paradise or heaven. But in terms of music that actually proposes or enacts a model society, for months now - since doing the memorial lecture in fact - I have been obsessed with this song.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Bruce describes it as "a form of psychic relief... by blogging, I removed things from the fog of vague interest and I oriented them toward possible creative use"
That chimed with my own feelings about the value of unpaid labour: writing as freeform fun, as mental calisthenics, as intellectual hygiene... the blog as public notepad, a testing space or site for the construction of thought-probes
This comment also struck a chord:
"I’m even proud and happy that I managed to spare the readers so much of my own mental compost in this blog. The chosen, curated material that made it on to this blog was maybe one percent of the vast heaps of rubbish I was overturning. I could have stuffed this blog with two hundred times as much “content”..."
One of the problems with having a blog (or blogs multiple) is that you start thinking bloggy - everything becomes potential "material", something that could be turned into a riff with only a smidgeon of effort, given the lax standards of the format and the tolerance of the readership. The incontinence you see (not here these days, but still on the other blogs) is a fraction of the stuff that I have in bulging folders of scrawled notes... and there is more that never even reached paper at all.
(Perhaps this level of mind-churn was always going on - and getting emitted in letters and later in emails - both of which tend to go copious - or in conversations in pubs and elsewhere. I don't know. But there's something about the itch caused by having a blog outlet that is generative, for good and for bad).
So here I am in the 18th year of blogging - a little bit longer than Bruce lasted - and although most everybody on the original scene has stopped, a few haven't... there are newer names who are prolific and copious... and now and then a brand new one gets started.
To adapt the Ivor Cutler ditty, I believe in blogs. I truly believe in blogs.
Besides, it feels like I couldn't cease operations, even if I wanted to... it's too late to stop now.
But something might have to change.
Friday, May 15, 2020
!!!! Foul Play's first two EPs + "Finest Illusion" b/w "Skrewface" get reissued by Sneaker Social Club in a pristine remastered vinyl set titled Origins !!!!
Here's the blurb I supplied:
"From the slamming science of “Ricochet,” through the jittery ghost-rave of “Survival” and the outer-space lover’s rock of “Dubbing You,” to the manic magic of “Finest Illusion,” this collection of early EPs by rave legends Foul Play tracks an astonishing evolution across barely more than a year. Some of the top tunes to come out of the hardcore > jungle > drum & bass journey? Yes, but also some of the most thrilling and gorgeous music of the entire ‘90s"
Well, it seems the vinyl is already sold out in advance, but the digital album goes on sale on the 22nd of May - and hopefully there will be a repress.
Mexican Summer's Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti reissue program, aka the Ariel Archives, reaches Cycle 2 : The Doldrums, Worn Copy, House Arrest. Each of these retransferred / remastered and deluxely repackaged vinyl double-LPs is accompanied by a liner note essay by yours truly.based on new interviews.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of participating in Donaufestival in Krems, Austria. This year's festival had to be cancelled, like all the others. But a festival reader based on the 2020 leitmotiv, Machines Like Us, has come out with a mixture of essays in German and English. I contributed a piece entitled "Desiring the machine / Machining the desire" which compares the Deleuze-delirious discourse around technorave in the '90s (perped by such as Kodwo, ccru-kru, Kroker and truly yours) with the notably less exultant way that electronic musicians and their critical champions evoke digital technology in the 21st Century: no longer as a Promethean power trip, something exterior to the self that can be harnessed, but as a insidious soft technology worming its way into our interior life, abjecting the self from within.