Friday, April 27, 2018

See you in 2018!

Here's my Village Voice piece  about the return (just one year off schedule!) of The Mover, which includes an interview with Marc Acardipane.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018



Donaufestival: endlose Gegenwart (endless now)
2pm - "Absent Futures, Present Past: Temporalities in Today’s Music" - panel discussion with Jens Balzer and Christian Höller 
Location: Kino im Kesselhaus 


Vitra Design Museum

6.30 pm - talk about techno, rave, and electronic dance music
Location: Depot Deli, next to the Schaudepot 


Internationale Kurzfilmtage 

Saturday 5th – 10 pm - jury member for announcement of prize-winning music videos at Muvi Screening & Award Ceremony 

Location;  Lichtburg Cinema

Sunday 6th - 10 AM - "After YouTube: Music Video after the Internet" - panel discussion with Marisa Olsen and Christian Höller
Location: Festival Space, Langemarkstr. 22, 46045 Oberhausen
Admission: Free


publication of Retromania: ak popkultura żywi się własną przeszłością by Kosmos Kosmos

Launch event -  "a meeting with readers": discussion led by Jarek Szubrycht, with Filip Łobodziński (translator of Retromania), followed by Q+A
Time: 7pm
Location: Plac Zbawiciela (podium in front of Plan B Café


Rock 'n' Roll Book Club "My Life in Pop": video-illustrated talk on TV epiphanies + Q+ A. 

Time: 6pm to 8 pm
Location: Walthamstow Library
Tickets:  Eventbrite. 

Spain mini-tour for Como Un Golpe de Rayo (published by Caja Negra)


Primera Persona Festival 

21.00 horas - talk about glam rock and its legacy with videos + Q+A
Location: La Casa Encendida 

FRIDAY MAY 11 –  Málaga, Spain  

451: La Noche De Los Libros Festival 

21:00 horas | talk about glam rock and its legacy with videos + Q+A
Sala 001
La Térmica
Avda. de los Guindos, 48


Primera Persona Festival

21:00 horas | talk about glam rock and its legacy with videos + Q+A
Location: El Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona 

Monday, April 16, 2018

E17 ahoy

In a week and a half, I'm off on a long jaunt through Europe that takes in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Spain - and Walhamstow! Full details of the events on the Continent to follow here soon, but for now a head's up about the East London event.

Part of the Rock 'n' Roll Book Club series, it's on Wednesday May 9th between 6 pm and 8 pm.  The location is Walthamstow Library in the High Street.  The theme is "my life in pop" as a string of TV epiphanies - basically I'll be playing TOTP clips and videos that had an impact on me over the decades and riffing about them. Then Q + A. 

For those not slaked, conversation will then continue at a local tavern, accompanied by appropriate music. 

Information about tickets can be found at Eventbrite. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Hauntology Parish Newsletter - April-May 2018: A Year in the Country book; Ghost Box releases; Emotion Wave; media dropping

The big news in the parish is the publication this week of A Year in The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields by Stephen Prince of A Year In The Country the blog and the label.

Sub-subtitled "Journeys in Otherly Pastoralism, the Further Reaches of Folk and the Parallel Worlds of Hauntology", it's an excellent compendium of Prince's musings and meditations on all things wyrdly bucolic, uncanny, and elegiac, spanning a spectral spectrum from Richard Mabey to Zardoz, Virginia Astley to Sapphire & Steel


With the possible exception of Mark F's Ghosts of My Life, it's the first tome fully dedicated to all things hauntological (as opposed to various volumes about "folk horror" or 70s kids teevee)

You can buy it here, and here - and if you must (although then again, it's effectively funding righteous scourge The Washington Post, so why not?) here (UK) and here (US)



In other parish goings-on, I have already mentioned the delightful debut album for Ghost Box from Portugal's Beautify Junkyards -  The Invisible World of... 

Fairly imminently there will be another fine album by The Advisory Circle - Ways of Seeing, out late May. 

Through his own imprint Cafe Kaput, Circle chief Jon Brooks also recently put out this album 

Neil Grant of Lo-Five - whose album When It's Time To Let Go for Patterned Air Recordings  pleasured me last year  - has set up a  collective of Liverpool-based experimental electronic musicians under the rubric Emotion Wave.  Here's Neil's project rationale .

Emotional Wave has some musical output  already under its collective belt and I believe there is a non-audio entity (printed matter) in the pipeline. And in a week or so Neil releases the Lo-Five miscellany Propagate - remixes, compilation tracks and one-off specials.

Neil also alerts me to his having put out a little while back some "super lo fi house tracks"  under the title My House Is Your House Volume One. Like Propagate,  it's a tide-you-over / palate cleanser type release before the follow-up to When It's Time To Let Go.

Love the graphic echo of Human League's "Being Boiled" single sleeve there.

(Neil informs me that this was actually unintended - he just got the figures from a Letraset pack! A nice eerie echo nonetheless)


Finally, a rather tardy mention of an intriguing my-back-pages project Meadow House by Daniel Wilson of Radionics Radio renown. It's really on the very edge of this parish, in so far as it's not particularly haunty, but the back story to Daniel's self-invented Dada-prankster practice of media-dropping - "theact of recording special homemade music and dropping it for random people tofind" -  is pretty interesting.  


The hypnagogia/memoradelia-tinged project Starblood has launched a series based around the concept of late-night TV sign-off themes.

Here's another of their tracks coming more from a dreampop / idyllitronic precinct than this particular parish but nice 'n' woozy nonetheless. 


Parish elders Boards of Canada were recently venerated here and here


Tuesday, April 03, 2018


Here's an essay by me for Pitchfork about Boards of Canada's Music Has the Right to Children, which was released 20 years ago this month.  Including an interview with BoC brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin, it resituates the group and the album in a longer lineage of psychedelia. And it looks at this music's children, notably hauntology man dem.

On which subject, one testimonial that regrettably had to go for space reasons was from Jim Jupp of Ghost Box / Belbury Poly:

"We're always at pains to acknowledge the influence of BoC and particularly that album. They are without doubt direct ancestors of Ghost Box. It was like the first opening on to that whole world of the mis-remembered past that obsessed us. I'd say it was instrumental in turning us on to searching for the source of all that weird music from childhood TV, which leads us of course to library music.

"There's one sound for me in particular that always makes me think of BoC. It's  quite easy to set up on a fairly simple synth but nobody ever did pre-BoC. You have two oscillators both generating a simple sawtooth wave but the pitch of one is modulated very slightly and very very slowly. You get this kind of out of focus effect that is instantly reminiscent of National Film Board of Canada  / Sesame Street. Most people would  say that's because old 60s and 70s synths never had stable tuning, but I think its perhaps more due to the inconsistent playback speed on old broadcast video tape."   

Which reminds me I have been remiss in not pointing out the  loveliness of the latest release on GB, by a new signing to the label: 
The Invisible World of... Beautify Junkyards

Who share a song title with BoC

From Portugal, Beautify Junkyards definitely fit the "memoradelia" (coinage: Patrick McNally) concept, and I'd be surprised if a smidgeon of BoC DNA wasn't part of their make-up, along with traces of Broadcast

Everybody wants to...

The title comes, thankfully, not from Tears for Fears but - apparently - from a child's mumbled answer when asked about God: "he rules the world". To me "rue the whirl" suggests disoriented regret in the face of  Time's relentless remorseless onrush, the hectic ephemerality of being (aka Maya).... how each moment of the present topples 
instantly down a cliff face into an irretrievable past.  

But then there is the safety net of memory - increasingly threadbare and fragile, as the torrent of time wears away at it - but our sole defense against Loss.