18.5.17

Throwback Thursday #1

Dug from the image archives!


k-punk, heronbone and emerald daze in the comaflage (Jim's coinage that...)




Peter Schmidt prints from Eno's "Before and After Science"


The six WOEBOT.tv episodes. Blam.


Lesser-spotted.



Looks like a really shit party.



Love this! I had to remove the image attachment thing off of Dissensus to speed the damn thing up but rather than dump all the images I turned it into a gif! Witness the sickness.


My Practice Hours DVD menu. Shout out to Troy.


Lulu loading the twelve-tens with her plastic dinosaurs. Of course, innit.


Seek and you shall (still) find.




Old Skool.


Hm, a familiar looking-strategy! Ho ho. I actually wrote a post to accompany this. Thank god I didn't publish it =)



The rig.

14.5.17

Big Book Of Woe Sale

I self-published "100 Lost Rock Albums From The 1970s" on Amazon in January 2012 and "The Big Book of Woe" in January 2013.

The single Blurb edition of 100 Lost Rock Albums From The 1970s

Because "100 Lost Rock Albums From The 1970s" was priced really low it meant (literally) thousands of people took a chance on it. Mostly people were happy to accept it for what it was - a personal view. The angry, spiteful and downright negative reviews generally came from those outraged that such a selection could dare describe itself as "lost" - but broadly speaking, as many apologists pointed out, lost is a subjective assessment.

People were also confused by the "hidden in plain sight" paradigm - that the idea was to focus on records which had become obscured by the currents of musical fashion. The remaining bitter punters were incensed by typographic errors or even how I put sentences together. Those mistakes I cleaned up in a subsequent edition. I probably should have taken longer to assemble it - or even involved an editor at the outset.

Today in May 2017 I feel good about the 100 Lost book - in the UK, without my asking a single person to review the book, it has finally edged into a four star rating on the back of twenty two reviews. In the US the tally is less strong - three stars on 18 reviews.

The only bound print-out of The Big Big Book Of Woe.

I approached "The Big Book Of Woe" more cautiously, a caution which it turns out was justified. When I priced it, I pushed the figure much higher - to $9.99 - chiefly to reflect the fact that it took months to pull together (from a decade of writing) and that it was over a thousand pages long. In the first instance this meant less sales but also much better reviews. It has five stars in the US and UK.

It wasn't all plain sailing however. I was devastated by a humiliating review in The Wire, a magazine I was convinced I could rely upon for a sympathetic hearing and penned by someone whose activities I had supported. As unjust and ignorant as one thinks this kind of thing is, one can't control it. And certainly as a critic if you dole it out you've got to accept it when it comes right back at you.

For the past three and a half years I've been busy working on an animated documentary about "Vitamin C". Something I styled as a substantive and considered "magnum opus". I finally finished that in February but I have to go through the (equally humiliating) process of submitting it to festivals so it won't be public till later this year.

With the animation out the way I've been able to spend a bit of time catching up with things here. Part of tackling that neglected business means finally getting round to slashing the price of "The Big Book Of Woe" - it shouldn't really be an expensive thing to buy given the spirit it was written. $2.99, its new price, is the lowest Amazon will allow it in that bracket. Time to remove it from the safety of its glass case on the shop-floor!

Simultaneously I've dug out all the images I posted at WOEBOT over the years and made them available in Google Photo Albums (see the links bar at the top). I hope they bring back some happy memories to longstanding readers of my drivel.

13.5.17

Ekoplekz - Bioprodukt


Bioprodukt. A biological entity. That's the idea behind this. That these analog, electric signals aren't trammeled by bit depth or 127 midi steps - rather that control voltages trigger other modules in a ballet méchanique.

That they have their own wonky logic. Spiral of their own volition into curious feedback eddies. Occasionally signals become crushed into hot peaks. That if you listen closely you'll hear the low drizzle of recording noise. Ekoplekz doesn't seek out these corrupted crevices - doesn't foreground them - they are simply, unpretentiously there.

This is electronic music as eminent craft. A modern craft, with shades of a cultural legacy, like the natty silkscreen on the cover. Like a chef might slice and dice his curious vegetables with ultra-sharp Japanese knives. The chef isn't talking to you. He hardly knows you are there. On "Acrid Acid" he has his back turned to you. You wait cross-legged. Or summat.

Suggestions of King Jammy-era Digital Reggae. Of Black Dog-style pads. Of Red Mecca. All this is, broadly-speaking irrelevant in 2017. The past is here but only as a cipher, we are not mired in tradition.

Hardcore, Jungle and Drum & Bass Compilations - Slight Return



This was a strange one.  Put out by the entirely unknown to me Scratch Records this must have been an outside cash-in on the scene because their other releases include records by Moody Blues Wings-man Denny Laine, Menergy and the comedian Jim Davidson. Gives you some idea of the filthy machinations of the music business.

I bought this at the time but sold it at the end of the nineties because I had a lot of the tracks on twelve inches. In truth, looking at the listing now, not enough of them to merit passing it on. Absolutely stellar line up of peak-period Lucky Spin and Dee Jay Recordings material (for whom there is no equivalent collection I am aware of) but the pressing is way too quiet. Picked this up again in Iceland in February - and like the T.Power disc I bought up there the record is in fairly terrible nick - a shame because originals seem to go for entirely stupid prices.



At the end of the last post I mentioned the Slammin' Vinyl "Absolute Classic Drum and Bass" Compilation. Here's a label we know and love for the early DJ Red Alert/Mike Slammer and D-Force classics. They must have cottoned on earlier than most to the value in compilations as they were responsible for a stream of Happy Hardcore releases collected and mixed by the likes of Ratty, Sy and DJ Brisk between 1995 and 2000.

These one, two, three releases (perhaps skip this fourth one dedicated to Happy Hardcore) are absolutely excellent collections which, in spite of their "classic" moniker, frequently eschew big name tracks for completely delightful obscurities you scratch your head wondering why you've never heard before. They're also on the cheap side to pick up secondhand, especially when you consider the tracks which comprise them are now reaching astronomical prices. A wise buy IMHO.

8.5.17

Health



Health!

Nutrition. Diet. Exercise. Yoga. Meditation. Dancing. We're gonna put it together people.

Tim Maia - Rational Culture
The Meters - Africa
Bob Marley - Lively Up Yourself
Marcos Valle - Nem Paleto, Nem Gravata
Ashford and Simpson - Bourgie Bourgie
Sharon Redd - Can You Handle It (Francois K Mix)
Electra - Feels Good
Ultramarine - Stella
Herbert - So Now...
A Split Second - Flesh
Kodek - Tim Toum
Wagon Christ - Hasijk
IX Tab - The Smoke and The Birds
Mouse on Mars - Rompatrouille
Scott Seskind - I remember