Monday, December 25, 2017

slices + loaves


Travis Scott featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Goosebumps”

Migos featuring Gucci Mane, "Slippery"

Migos, "T-Shirt"

Migos, “Bad and Boujee”

Future, “I’m So Groovy”

Moon Wiring Club, "Crumbling Toffee Town"

Big Sean, “Bounce Back”

Gucci Mane featuring Migos, "I Get the Bag"

Future, “Zoom”

Future, "New Illuminati"

Robert Haigh, "Winter Ships"

Lil Uzi Vert, "XO Tour Llif3"

Robert Haigh, "From the Mystery"

Future, "Mask Off"

Ariel Pink, "Another Weekend"

Post Malone, "Rockstar"

Zomby, "Mercury's Rainbow"

Robert Haigh, "Sunken Pavilions"

Miguel featuring Travis Scott, "Sky Walker"


Migos, Culture

Moon Wiring Club, Cateared Chocalatiers 

Robert Haigh, Creatures of the Deep

Travis Scott, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (technically 2016 but who's counting)

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Kid 

Sarah Angliss, Ealing Feeder 

Moon Wiring Club, Tantalising Mews

ArteTetra compilation, Exotic ésotérique Vol.2

Future, Future

Laurel Halo, Dust 

connect_i-cut, Rage Coma

Zomby, Mercury's Rainbow

Future, HNDRXX

Jlin, Black Origami

The Radiophonic Workshop, Burials in Several Earths

Travis Scott + Quavo, Huncho Jack Jack Huncho

also tasty and nourishing

Genteel Decay, A Crumpet or Two

Kink Gong, Erhai Floating Sound

Trevor Wishart, The Secret Resonance of Things

The Focus Group, Stop-Motion Happening with The Focus Group

Ekoplekz, Bioproduct

Lo Five,  When It's Time To Let Go

Toi Toi Toi, Im Hag 

Children of Alice

the pantry of the past

Franco Battiato, Fetus

Franco Battiato, Sulle Corde di Aries

Franco Battiato, Pollution

Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs present English Weather

Patrick Cowley, Afternooners

Doctors of Madness, Perfect Past 

Jean-Jacques Perrey et son Ondioline (my liner notes)

Bernard Parmegiani,  Rock

Jonny L, Sawtooth

creel crusts

Antero Honkanen / Åke Andersson, Reidarin Sähköiset Kuvat / Ode To Marilyn

Electronic Music by Canadian Composers, Volumes 1 & 2 / Music Canada Vol XIII, Electronic Music in Canada

William S. Fischer, Omen

Suomalaista Elektroakustista Musiikkia, Finnish Electro-Acoustic Music

Thursday, December 21, 2017

After releasing one of the year's highlights with the post-rock-that-ROCKof Rage Coma, connect_icut a/k/a Sam Macklin sneaks out a last-seconds-of-2017 surprise extra release: Music For Granular Synthesizer, part reversion to his customary glitch mode and part exploration of gnarly new zones steeped in influence of early computer music. 

A reminder that Rage Coma is still available, completely free - now "Angel Vomit," that's got to be one of the titles of the year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Haunty things that somehow escaped my notice (get just the faintest suspicion sometimes that outfits don't send me the stuff precisely because that they don't want to get stuck with the H label - well tough titty, Vanishing Twin!) until the LP Choose Your Own Adventure was introduced to my ears by Italian decktician + journalist Chiara Colli last week, when we both deejayed at the minimum faxmas party in Rome.

She also played a track by this native operator in the neo-library vein -  L.U.C.A a/k/a  deejay Francisco a/k/a Francesco De Bellis.

Another release from Vanishing Twin, whose line-up is international but who are based in London

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

ROUTLEDGE DEXTER SATELLITE SYSTEMS MIX = a brand-new audio assemblage from Mr Moon Wiring Club...  months in the gestation, it's rather different from his usual mixology .. more overloaded and choppy...  Horse's mouth indicates the original intent ("started off as very much a ‘murky hip-hop’ mix") and the different outcome ("grew organically into something else... picture the whole thing like a malfunctioning satellite broadcast, different channels spluttering spasmodically then fizzing out") while also revealing that the constituent elements include the hhactor Edward Woodward, Zoviet France + Evan Parker, and a surprising amount of contemporary music (Actress, Ikonika, Best  Available Technology). 

Official mix manifesto:  

"Greetings Citizen Volunteers! CLASP your swanky bakelite listening devices and tune into the ROUTLEDGE DEXTER SATELLITE SYSTEMS MIX ~ unquestionably the finest in MWC deftly-spliced disjointed hip-hop wonky radio-play melodic oddness around! Freshly Near Mint / almost unplayable antique sonic-slices are politely cajoled-up inside a labyrinthine audio-mesh extracted from video archive endurance excursion-sagas of perplexingly perpetual proportions! But don't get greedy Stu ~ an abundance of rhythmic propulsion & uncanny momentum is never far from t'derangement table. Endeavour to enjoy!"

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Pulling my gloves, scarf and woolly hat out of SoCal retirement as I head off to snowy Germany and only slightly less shivery Italy for the publication of Shock and Awe - titled GLAM in the Ventil Verlag edition (translated by Jan-Niklas Jäger) and Polvere di Stelle in the minimum fax version (translated by Michele Piumini). 

Details below on this whistlestop tour of  readings + riffing, records + videos, questions + answers.  


Berlin Sunday December 3 

doors open 7 pm / event starts 8pm - Humboldt-Universität Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Medienwissenschaft, 

Georgenstr. 47 (S- und Ubahn Friedrichstraße), romm: Medientheater

Writing as Performing Pop. A Conversation with Simon Reynolds

panel with Sonja Eismann (Missy Magazine) and Bodo Mrozek (ZZF Potsdam). 
moderation: Stefanie Alisch. 
introduction by Dahlia Borsche and Fabian Holt. 
deejaying Marc Weiser (Palais Wittgenstein)

Berlin Monday December 4 

7pm -  HAU2

Hallesches Ufer 32, 10963 Berlin.

7pm - 8pm readings + riffing + videos


8.30 - 10-30 „Plattenspieler“with Thomas Meinecke (FSK) - chatting about fave records of our lifetimes

Bremen -  Tuesday December 5th 

7PM - Schwankhalle

Buntentorsteinweg 112/116 28201 Bremen

readings + riffing + videos / Q+A

presenter Tobias Levin

Frankfurt - Wednesday December 6 

8-15pm - Milchsackfabrik

Gutleutstr. 294, 60327 Frankfurt am Main

8.15 pm - 10 pm – conversation with Klaus Walter + videos / Q&A

Köln - Thursday, December 7th 

9pm - King Georg

Sudermanstraße 2/ 50670 Köln

readings + riffing + videos  / Q&amp - presenter Mario Lasar 

München - Friday, December 8th 

8PM - Kammerspiele

Kammerspiele / Kammer 3 / Hildegardstr. 1, 80539 München

readings + riffing  + discussion / Q&A

Mainz - Saturday, December 9th

8pm -  Capitol Cinema

readings + riffing /  + Q&A with the audience


Milano - Monday 11 December

11 am- 1 pm - live on Radio Raheem - playing favorite records recent and old + chat 

9.30 PM -  Santeria 

BUZZ: a discussion moderated by Fabio De Luca / Q&A

Bologna - Tuesday 12 December 

7 pm -  Gallleriapiù

riffing + videos  / Q&A

Catania, Sicily -  Wednesday 13 December

8.30 pm  Sal Catania  (Leggo.Presente indicative  production)

readings + riffings + music 

Roma -  Thursday 14 December 

7 pm - “Polvere di stelle Big Christmas Party” @ minimum fax

interview with Francesco Pacifico

deejaying from SR 

Monday, November 27, 2017

tantalising news

Often when a recording artist reaches that point where it feels fitting to release a 
best-of / greatest-hits -  or a career-spanning commemorative archival anthology -  it seems to signal  (or even, in some obscure fashion, precipitate) the end of their musical journey. A silence ensues. Perhaps followed, after a long interval, by a wan comeback. Perhaps followed by nothing at all. 

In Mr. Hodgson's case, he has not only returned punctually, at his usual time of year, but he has come back stronger than ever, with a triple-dollop of some of Moon Wiring Club's best work yet: the double-CD Tantalising Mews and the vinyl long-player Cateared Chocolatiers.


Noteworthy is the attractive new-look packaging for Tantalising Mews: a cardboard gatefold, with no information on the front, back or inside (indeed the release only identifies itself on the spine).


In a pouch lurks a fold-out insert that supplies the titles of the thirty-three  - thirty-three! - tracks on the pair of discs, and hints at the narrative framework that links them: "wireless telegraphy - from the immaculate ghost of an identical ancestor".  Perhaps informed here by the analogy that 19th Century spiritualists saw between remote communication with the dead and the recently invented telegraph?


Cateared Chocolatiers contains - in the form of a brightly coloured fold-out poster -  the board to a game that involves "a journey through a rococo town of rolled-up carpets and crumbling toffee buildings in order to catch a train from a weird rural station you know you’re going to miss." The boardgame can be played by following the rules printed on one side of the disc's intricately illustrated dust jacket and by consulting the cast of characters arrayed and described on the other side.


Noteworthy also: the sounds.  "Ghostly drifting molten landscape musicke" is how Blank Workshop characterise the contents of Chocolatiers.  And indeed that album especially, but all three of the discs,  push the ambient-leaning tendencies in previous Moon Wiring Club music to a new extreme of ectoplasmic exquisiteness and sickly malaise.  Beats, barely mustering the will to manifest, are decrepit and ineffectual entitities, rarely cohering into a pulse, let alone a groove. Voices droop and decompose, releasing vapours that fog the brain and obnubilate concentration. The mind wanders into mist-shrouded, boggy terrain...  mistakes marshy phosphors for beacons... gets lost... founders...

A true return to formlessness.

You can place advance orders for this Christmas hamper bulging with sticky delight here and here.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dü the Dü


Currently at your local newsagent or record store, the December issue of The Wire features an essay-review by me of the Hüsker Dü box set Savage Young 

Bit of a nightmare keeping the umlauts consistent throughout the review! I think I missed only one. If you inspect the front cover, you'll see that they actually forgot the umlaut over the Dü.

Apart from umlaut-anxiety, this was a most enjoyable trip down memory lane - taking me back to the mid-Eighties, the moment just before I went professional, and a time when Hüsker Dü was pretty much my favourite band on the planet. They cropped up regularly in my Monitor pieces as a touchstone. Then, after joining the Maker, I reviewed Candy Apple Grey and Warehouse: Songs and Stories in swift succession. Finally got to interview the  not that long before they split up. 

Actually, continuing the diehard streak of reviewing, I also handled Bob Mould's solo debut Workbook when that came out. That review languishes somewhere in my ink-and-paper archive. Never did get into Sugar, though.  

Some years ago I read that Bob became a drum & bass convert and even recorded a whole album in that vein (seemingly following the same trajectory as Kevin Shields).  That seems to have been an exaggeration: listening now for the first time, it seems more a case of an uneasy merger of Mouldian noise-pop and electronica, not unlike that Jesus Jones record Perverse, perhaps, or even Earthling


Also in this issue of The Wire, a fascinating cover story by Rory Gibbs on the post-geographical virtual digitronica collective Quantum NativesBrood Ma, Yearning Kru (love that name!),  recsund, Rosen and others.  

A different kind of electronic collective is celebrated in the freebie CD that accompanies the issue, and it couldn't be more up my avant alley: a compilation of electronic and tape-music pulled from the archives of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"Eloquent Rage"

A fascinating oral history convened by Joy Press of New York Radical Women: the Sixties feminist thought-cell and guerrilla theater unit, born in flames of rage 50 years ago, who pioneered consciousness raising, who coined concepts and slogans like "the Personal is Political" and "Sisterhood is Powerful," and who launched absurdist-satiric attacks on the Miss America pageant and Wall Street. Featuring the voices of Robin Morgan, Ellen Willis, Susan Brownmiller, Alix Kate Shulman, Shulamith Firestone, Kathie Sarachild, and more, this is an exhilarating memorial to a group whose ideas + spirit are more timely + urgent than ever in this savagely polarized political-cultural moment.

  New York Radical Women hurl cosmetics and feminine 
    accoutrements into the Freedom Trash Can at the 1968 Miss 
America pageant. Pic by Bev Grant. 

Protesting Miss America again, 1969. 

Hexing Wall Street, 1969. Pic by Bev Grant.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Hauntology Parish Newsletter (November): even Further; The Belbury Circle

Further returns on November 18th, with an evening of ghostadelic entertainment at the Portico Gallery in  West Norwood, London.

Press release:

DJ Food & Pete Williams present the second of their immersive  audio visual evenings at the Portico Gallery, London. Live music from Simon James and a not to be missed A/V set from Sculpture. Get lost in Further's multi projector light and sound show. Food, drink, a record stall from The Book and Record Bar plus plenty of seating.


7.30 - 8.30: Doors open, there will be a record stall with stock picked to compliment the evening by Micheal Johnson from the nearby Book & Record Bar and delicious local food served alongside the fully licensed Portico bar stocked with local beers and ales.

8.30 - 9.15: Simon James - former Simonsound and Black Channels member and one of the foremost exponents in today's modular electronics scene - plays a rare live set with his Buchla 200e Electric Music Box.

10.00 - 10.45: Sculpture bring their incredible live show to West Norwood via Dan Hayhurst's tape loops and electronics and Rueben Sutherland's zoetrope turntable visuals

10.45 - 12.00: DJ Food & Pete Williams (Further) will open and close the evening with their multi-projection Light & Sound Designs.

Tickets available here


Ghost Box have a new release - Outward Journeys, a first and fine full-length from The Belbury Circle - that is to say, Jim Jupp of Belbury Poly + Jon Brooks of The Advisory Circle- featuring once again contributions from John Foxx on two songs, in the form of  vocals and synths. Dig also the new style design from Julian House which has the air of Omni about it maybe...


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Grimey Jeremy

Here's a piece I wrote for i-D on the unlikely love affair between grime and Jeremy Corbyn.

Although written a good while before the Burial essay, they are companion pieces in some ways.

For instance, public transport - specifically, the night bus - plays a role in both pieces.

And Mark makes another appearance.

Parallel text: Paul Mason on broken neoliberalism and the rise of Corbyn:

"If [neo-liberal / third way] social democracy’s strategy was to generate a surplus through a highly financial, globalised free market economy and distribute it downwards as a compensation for stagnant wages and atomised communities, that is no longer possible. The more you try to do it, the more you have to coerce competitive behaviour into people’s lives, from the counter of the coffee bar to the welfare system, to housing, to the process of finding someone to go on a date with.Promise number one of a radical social democracy should be: we will switch off the great privatisation machine. Promise number two... we will stop imposing, nudging and coercing market behaviour into the lives of people and foster instead the human, collaborative impulse that 30 years of neoliberalism suppressed."

Monday, October 30, 2017

chatting with Chuck

This week I'm heading to Palo Alto in the Bay Area to make an appearance at Stanford University:  an onstage discussion with Chuck Klosterman on the subject of nostalgia and pop culture (although I daresay the concept of retro-politics will also rear its head, as it could hardly fail to) followed by Q+A. 

Date: Wednesday, November 1

Time: 7-30 pm (doors open 7: pm) - 9pm.

Location: Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University

Further information here

Stanford borders on Menlo Park, whose Menlo-Atherton High School famously produced Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. And Greil Marcus.  

And then a little ways in the other direction there's 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Spectres of Mark: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning

Here's an essay I did for Pitchfork about Burial's Untrue ten years on. 

It's also effectively a tribute to Mark Fisher, who is a recurring presence in the piece. 

It's intentional that Burial's real name is never once mentioned in the piece - honoring his original allegiance to rave's radical facelessness and anonymous collectivity. 

Below is my favorite out of the post-Untrue Burial output - in some ways the missing chapter from that album.

There were two parallels and precursors for Burial's  ghost-of-rave (as ghost-of-socialism) aesthetic that I couldn't get into as it would have been too much of a digression.

The first: Mark Leckey's Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, which I wrote about here

And the second:  "Weak Become Heroes" by The Streets.

What Burial related through samples and moody orchestrations, Mike Skinner conveyed with words,  describing the flashback of a former raver abruptly set adrift on blissed memories of love and unity on the dancefloor. All the commotion becomes floating emotions...  They could settle wars with this...  Imagine the world's leaders on pills... All of Life's problems I just shake off.” Then he's snapped back to the dreary streets of a hostile and hopeless 21st Century England: “gray concrete and deadbeats... no surprises no treats... My life's been up and down since I walked from that crowd.” “Weak,” in Skinner’s song, means not just personally frail, but politically powerless. The weak became heroes when they became a mass, uniting around the unwritten manifesto in the music: someday there’ll be a better way, but in the meantime let’s shelter for a while in this dreamworld.  What the critic Richard Smith (like dear Mark also “late” now – so many ghosts these days) called “the communism of the emotions” triggered by Ecstasy seemed to prefigure a social movement. But the collective energy never got beyond the level of a pre-political potential; the moment dissipated. 

I love those hardcore and rave tunes because they sound deep, hopeful, for the times, and the people... It’s unbelievable, that glow in the tunes, it almost breaks your heart.” - Burial, someplace, sometime

"The tunes I loved the most…old jungle, rave and hardcore, sounded hopeful....  All those lost producers…I love them, but it’s not a retro thing… When I listen to an old tune it doesn’t make me think ‘I’m looking back, listening to another era.’ Some of those tunes are sad because they sounded like the future back then and no one noticed. They still sound future to me." - Burial, someplace, sometime  

In a way, it's a shame Burial stopped doing the interviews -  he was almost born to do them, even more than make music! He's better at describing his own music and motives than any of his critics, except K-punk himself. I remember Mark telling me after he'd done the interview that he couldn't believe his own ears - the stuff that Burial was coming out with was so poetic and evocative, too good to be true almost. A dream of an interview. Anwen Crawford told me of a similar experience: as I recall it, it was like she was hypnotized, sent into a trance by his voice over the phone. But at same time he was completely real and genuine - somehow down to earth and an ethereal being floating out there at the same time....

"I wanted the tunes to be anti-bullying tunes that could maybe help someone to believe in themselves, to not be afraid, and to not give up, and to know that someone out there cares and is looking out for them. So it's like an angel's spell to protect them against the unkind people, the dark times, and the self-doubts" - Burial on Rival Dealer EP / "Come Down With Us"


Actually there's a third parallel/precursor - The Death of Rave by V/Vm, a/k/a The Caretaker - another of Mark's favorites of course... 

This post is dedicated to Carl Neville

Sunday, October 22, 2017

the Love in our eyes

Here's an essay I wrote about The Smiths and The Queen Is Dead for Pitchfork - on the occasion of the record's reissue as a deluxe expanded box set.

Given a lot of space here but feel like I could have easily gone twice as long. Despite the immensity of the writing about The Smiths already out there (including my own quite sizeable contributions) the mystery of Morrissey and the magic of  Marr (+ Rourke + Joyce) feel inexhaustible.  I could write a whole essay just on "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side."

Monday, October 16, 2017

synth gardener

Here's my profile of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith for Village Voice.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Tale of Two Simons

Now here is a piece I've been wanting to write for a good while now.

I was delighted to get the opportunity to do it for RBMA.

It's the story of  the first decade of Virgin Records.

And it's a profile of Simon Draper, A&R Director and later Managing Director - the man whose vision and taste made Virgin a contender for coolest label of the Seventies.

Not that other chap, the one with the beard.

(Lol inventing here the industrial / Cosey Fanni Tutti style of trumpet-through-fog  four years ahead of schedule)

(Viv G on the vocals there)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


An old mate I've recently reconnected with, Matthew Worley - now a Professor of Punk - has his magnum opus on 1976-and-all-that-followed out now on Cambridge University Press.

Here's my blurb for No Future: Punk, Politics and British Youth Culture, 1976-1984:

"No Future cuts through the stodgy crust of nostalgia, self-serving memoir and fan-boy facts that conceals punk and reveals the truth of youth culture in late Seventies / early Eighties Britain: the internecine battles fought over issues of sound and style were inextricably linked to the political conflicts and dilemmas of that era. Digging deep into the fanzine squabbles and music press controversies that raged across the punk community, Matthew Worley brings to keen life the urgency of a period that felt at once like a terrifying crisis-time and the dawn of a new epoch delirious with radical possibilities. Giving Anarcho and Oi! the serious attention they’ve long deserved, and analysing this tumultuous time through perspectives that range from anti-consumerist boredom and feminist personal politics to media-critique and dystopian dread, No Future is an essential read for punk scholars and punk fans alike."

Next week there is a London book launch for No Future - on Tuesday October 17th at the Brick Lane Rough Trade, starting 7 pm, with Worley in conversation with Steve Ignorant and Cathi Unsworth. 
Something that Worley has been cooking up for next September at the University of Reading - a conference on music writing in which I'll be participating.