Wednesday, February 08, 2012


starting February 16th I’m on tour, with events in Norway (Bergen Kunsthall; Oslo’s By:Larm festival), England (Critical Beats in London; Off the Page festival in Whitstable) and Paris (launch of the French edition of Retromania)


February 16: BERGEN

Talk on retromania + recreativity

Time: 6-30 PM

Location: BERGEN KUNSTHALL, Bergens Kunstforening, Rasmus Meyers allé 5

more information

February 17: OSLO By: Larm Festival

Conversation about Retromania with Audun Vinger + Q/A

Time: 3 pm

Location: Ragnarock conference room, ground floor, HOTEL ROYAL CHRISTIANIA, Biskop Gunnerusgate 3 PB-768 Sentrum, Oslo

More information


February 20–22: PARIS

February 20: Soirée Rétromania, a/k/a RETROMANIA ! Réflexions sur la pop culture à l’heure digitale. A presentation to celebrate the launch of the French edition by Le Mot et le Reste. Discussion with Etienne Menu (journaliste musical), Jean-François Caro ( traducteur) and Guillaume Kosmicki (musicologue et dj).

Time: 6-30 PM

Location: POINT ÉPHÉMÈRE, 200 quai de Valmy 75010 Paris (telephone: 01 40 34 02 48)

Cost: entrée libre

More information


February 23: LONDON

Critical Beats #3: Innovation and Tradition
I’ll be joining Tony Herrington, Lisa Blanning and Steve Goodman for the third in a series of panel discussions co-hosted by The Wire and the University of East London and looking at aspects of electronic dance music and club culture as they manifest in East London and beyond. Mark Fisher was scheduled to participate but had to withdraw owing to circumstances beyond his control, so Lisa B has stepped in to replace.

Time: 7.30 pm

Location: Circus 1 at STRATFORD CIRCUS, Theatre Square, Stratford, London E15

Cost: £5/£3

Information and tickets: 0844 357 2625 or

February 24 to February 26: WHITSTABLE

The second annual Off the Page Festival: a weekend of panel discussions, screenings, talks, and debates on sound, music, and music criticism co-hosted by The Wire and Sound And Music, with contributions from Linder Sterling, Dave Tompkins, Jonny Trunk, Rob Young, Chris Cutler, Vicki Bennett, Gavin Bryars, Evan Parker, Kiran Sande, and others.

Saturday February 25: I’ll be giving a talk about the work of David Toop.

Time: early afternoon (details TK)

Location: THE PLAYHOUSE THEATRE, 104 High Street, Whitstable, Kent.

Cost: £40 for a weekend three-day pass; £20 Saturday pass.

More information on tickets and the full schedule of events

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

they're back!

this sounds like a record from 1991

"unique rap-rave group from South Africa" says Dave, rap-rave = hip-house right?

i love it, i'm looking forward to hearing Ten$ion

but it sounds like a record from 1991

i find this.... eerie

even so, it sounds more modern than Adele, just as tracks by Pitbull/ LMFAO /Flo Rida et al sound more modern than Adele - if there's going to be throwbacks, i'd rather this stuff be in the charts, because it's throwing-back less far into the past than Adele-type music does -- 20 years rather than almost half-a-century

actually, what really perplexes is this

the fact that those kind of Belgium-in-91 riffs still sound quite modern

modern-ish as opposed to modernist

hipsterhouse in San Francisco - the monthly party Haçeteria

not just Detroit Techno and Acid House - they play New Beat and Italo too

Monday, February 06, 2012

mnml sggs's PC on two good aspects of 2011, first of them being collaborations

this struck me as wonderfully nuanced assessment of where music is at: the bounty of harvesting a crop, or crops plural, that were sowed long ago

"Several of these collaborations produced exceptional, if unsurprising results. A lot of them were my favourite records to actually listen to. Again, this is unsurprising, given that we’re dealing with well-established projects and, well, middle-aged dudes and dudettes who’ve really nutted out their approaches to sound. This is why, fundamentally, I think of the best of these as culmination records, recordings that cash out a bunch of ideas that have been kicking around for the past decade or more. But/so: not that exciting, really. And also, you know, I really hope that each is kind of the ‘last one’ in its sequence or series. For the sake of transformation. Culmination, then conclusion, then... rip it up, and start again. To continue on these trajectories would be to court the trage-comedy of true repetition. Add in more time, and you’ll endup with farce, if Woody A is to be believed. But being careful, culminating collaborations between people who really, really know their shit, these records are also very satisfying, if you give them your full attention. Repeat: they are amazing to actually listen to."

the second good aspect of last year was mixtapes, and he provides some examples/links to favourites - a couple of which i'd heard and would also recommend highly -- Moon Wiring Club at FACT, Mark Van Hoen at Pontone. And I must have missed the Endless House Foundation one, i'll have to check that out and the others recommended.

Mixtapes = "a feast" as PC says, but then again since their provenance trawls so far and wide and so atemporally, you might say that they too are a banquet based in harvesting crops planted long ago

Thursday, February 02, 2012


news about Retromania's foreign editions and the American first-time release of Energy Flash


* the French translation is published by Le Mot et le Reste Éditions on February 9th as Rétromania: comment la culture pop recycle son passé pour s'inventer un futur. I will be in Paris for the launch 2/20 to 2/23, details about the presentation on 2/20 to follow soon.

* the Spanish edition is being published in April by Caja Negra Editora as Retromanía: la adicción de la cultura pop a su propio pasado.

* the German edition is published in October by Ventil Verlag.

* in other Retromania news, the US edition has gone into its fourth printing, while the UK large-format edition, now sold out, has been replaced by the smaller, cheaper B-format with a new cover

Energy Flash

Energy Flash is issued in its expanded/updated form in America in May via Soft Skull. Because the original Generation Ecstasy was an abridged version of the UK edition, this is the first time it's been available here in its full-length form; it also has the 40 thousand extra words, covering developments in the 2000s, that were added to the UK-only 2008 anniversary edition. More information here and news about events TK.

really is a terrific record, kudos to Trunk for making it available again - more information here

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

reminds me of this