17.7.17

Missing Nude Photo



"Hi I recently (1 day ago sold by huge mistake my husbands twelve inch record call rhythm to rhythm nude photos with a sillouette of naked women back to back on it year 1979 . I got back in touch with Allen dallison and said he’d sold on to one of you guys. If you have this in your pocession I would appreciate it if I could buy this back of of you. Allen will no longer answer me to who he sold it on too. Would really appreciate your time for this enquiry as my husband was not happy. Many thanks for your time. Sue"

13.7.17

Aphex Twin Korg Geek Out

Richard James talks to KORG's Tatsuya Takahashi via FACT.

FACT, of which my pal Dave Moynihan and I were discussing, has crossed over to a GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) styled mag. As though, like modern day troubadours, musos have simultaneously become gear-heads. Making their own music as much as consuming other people's. I'd like to think I anticipated this with my 2009 "Switched-On" music tech piece for Domino's "Loops" journal - I mean ferchrissakes you've GOT to blow your own trumpet...

The interview (is Richard really interviewing Tatsuya or vice-versa, I can't tell?) is long on very deep technological detail, but actually, if you pay close attention, really fascinating. Of course I wonder if attention to this kind of sonic minutiae can produce interesting music - isn't it rather big, simple and crude innovations that push music forward? But on the other hand I think it's very apposite that one's musical heroes are focused more on the obscure crevices of sound and not, er, PR.

Still blowing my own trumpet, I know STILL!!! I thought Richard's comment here was cool:
"I’m a secret nerd-fan of synth demos, mainly vintage ’80s ones currently! Some amazing music has been made as equipment demos, unsung heroes. I collect synth demos. Well, ones that I like. It’s kind of an unclassified music genre..."
Because I once wrote an article for The Wire magazine on precisely this.

-

Postscript - A very lonely thread I started on this at Gearslutz in 2012!

11.7.17

Rocket Cottage - Faking Folk In The UK



Tracklisting

Steeleye Span - Robbery with Violins
[Magnet - Willow's Song from "The Wicker Man"]
Kings Cambridge Choir - Seven Joys of Mary
[Peter Warlock - The Curlew]
Benjamin Britten - Peter Grimes (extract)
The Watersons - Here We Come A Wassailing
[Ron Copper - Hard Times of Old England]
Sydney Carter - Socialism In Our Time
[Davey Graham - Anji]
Davey Graham - She Moves Through The Fair
Shirley Collins and Davey Graham - Nottamun Town
[Marc Brierly - Welcome to the Citadel]
Bert Jansch - Black Water Side
Led Zeppelin - Black Mountain Side
[Tony, Caro and John - There are no greater heroes]
Donovan - Get Thy Bearings
Donovan - Mad John
Donovan - Sand And Foam
[Pentangle - Let no man steal your thyme]
Steeleye Span - All Things Are Quiet
Pentangle - Light Flight
[Incredible String Band - Koeeoaddi There]
Incredible String Band - First Girl I loved
Incredible String Band - The Minotaur's Song
Mike Heron - Audrey
[Fairport Convention - Fotheringay]
Anne Briggs - Standing On The Shore
Bridget St John - Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity
Vashti Bunyan - Window Over The Bay
[Josh Macrae - Girl from the North Country]
Jackson C Frank - Blues Run The Game
[Chrissie Quaye - The Seagulls Scream]
Nick Drake - Black Eyed Dog
John Martyn - Singin' In The Rain
[Principal Edwards Magic Theatre - Weirdsong of Breaking Through at Last]
Fairport Convention - Tale In Hard Time
Fairport Convention - Si Tu Dois Partir
Fairport Convention - Stranger To Himself
[Duncan Browne - Gabilan]
Roy Harper - The Same Old Rock
Mike Chapman - Aviator
Kevin Coyne - Sand All Yellow
[Everyone Involved - A Song for The System]
Comus - Winter Is A Coloured Bird
Gryphon - Opening Move (excerpt)
Third Ear Band - Druid
Trees - The Garden Of Jane Delawney
[Heron - Upon Reflection]
Dransfield - It's Dark In Here
Dando Shaft - Til' The Morning Comes
Renaissance - The Sea
Melton Constable - River Lane
[Tuesday - Glow of The Firelight]
Lal and Mike Waterson - Magic Man
Shirley Collins - Black Joker
Morris On - Greensleeves
[John Martyn - Eibhli Gheal Chiun Ni Chearbhaill]
Kirsty Macoll - A New England
The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues
Boards Of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy

Some Nice Pix



Reminds me of the Gloucestershire of my Childhood.


Sydney Carter plays at Eton College.


The very beautiful Anne Briggs.




10.7.17

connect_icut: Rage Coma



Talking of all-consuming labours of love made with nary a thought of their commercial reception - Sam Macklin of The Bubblegum Cage has just completed this really fantastic album. He says it has taken him three years - dude has thrown his whole frickin' soul into this. Far be it for me to try and do justice to that endeavor in a few pitiful lines - but, trust me, this is really great. By a long measure the best thing he has ever done.

Sam, in case you didn't know is the number one My Bloody Valentine fan in the world. But rather than [inappropriately] track that obsession into a trad alley of guitar rock he's picked up the baton of beats and noise. Remember those MBV off-cuts that beguiled us - the ghostly guitars and Public Enemy beats of the single that came free with "Isn't Anything" or indeed Andy Weatherall's Gang of Four-sampling [via Westbam] remix of "Soon"? Well imagine that vein expanded into a whole universe; a glittering cosmos of hummable, excoriating basslines of star-glowing, tessellated after-trails, of loping nth generation hip-hop beats.

Certainly, if there was any justice in this world, this astonishingly well-produced record would be feted by The Wire and Pitchfork. It seems brutally unfair that Macklin may have to satisfy himself with a job well done - with having brought a little beauty into the world.

9.7.17

Vitamin C



The eagle-eyed may have noticed that I finished my Vitamin C animation - the film which took me three and a half years work. Blood, sweat and tears I can assure you!

There is now a Vitamin C Film website, with a downloadable script/storyboard and soon I'll be passing out stickers promoting it.


The good news is that the film has been picked up by STEM, part of Project ENTHUSE which was set up by a consortium of organisations who "came together to bring about inspired science teaching through the continuing professional development of teachers of science across the UK." No, they didn't give me any money, but it will mean that the animation will be promoted and find its way into schools.

One of the stipulations with my very stringent contract with CAN is that the version of the film I made with their "Vitamin C" and "Dead Pigeon Suite" can only be hosted at Vimeo, can't be embedded elsewhere and can't be available as a download. Consequently, to liberate the film and so STEM could use it, I had to create a new version and make some new music myself. These three themes will be the first pieces of music I've made since 2013's "Woebiotic EP".

I regret that I don't have more of a social media presence with which to leverage publicity for the movie. That's basically what it is all about these days isn't it? I've even managed to get locked out of my Instagram account which I had tactically set up precisely for the purpose of publicising Vitamin C. Doh! Therefore if you're reading this, and you are so inclined, please share either versions of the film. SINCERE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED SO FAR!!!!! I LUV U!!!!!

6.7.17

"Building The House" - Walden Comic


I've just finished reading Ken Goffman's excellent book "Counterculture Through The Ages".

It's really sharpened an appreciation that my fundamental interests in music stem from its ability, between 1956 and 1996, to function as a locus for counter-cultural impulses. Miraculously Goffman, for someone not primarily a music critic, zones in on precisely the movers and genres at which it makes sense to talk in terms of Counterculture.

In short: Be-bop, Rock'n'Roll circa 1956, The Beatles and The Stones, Bobby Dylan, San Francisco Acid Rock, the Ann Arbor of The Stooges and MC5, Tropicalia, Glam Rock (yes!), Punk, Public Enemy and NWA and Acid House (quoting local authority Simon Reynolds...)

What did he miss? Not much: Fela Kuti, the radical Roots Reggae of the seventies, Krautrock, No Wave, and Ardkore. Those were the other institutionally problematic musics.

Published in 2004 one gets the sense that Goffman half imagines that this ferment would continue apace. Actually what has happened is the countercultural impulse evacuated the middle-ground entirely. The music business abandoned the field. Instead radicalism and revolt became horrifically polarised and driven out of the domain of normality. From the self-inflicted personal traumas of self-harm and suicide to the political insanity of terrorism. It's possible such disparate political events as Brexit, the rise of Corbyn, Trump and Macron are an influx of the abandoned impulses once again entering from stage left and right.

I have to ask myself why someone like myself - a middle-aged, public-school educated, property-owning capitalist would be slightly interested in something like the counterculture? On the face of it it seems profoundly hypocritical, perhaps a hankering after some kind of rebel frisson? In answer to myself I have to reflect that my upbringing and childhood experiences with authority (parents, school and the state) have forever poisoned me against it. And certainly to my detriment; it would be much easier to play the game and replicate the same structures.

My dislike towards the left has certainly got its roots in the same antipathy to authority, to quote Henry Thoreau from Civil Disobedience and other essays (a quote often misattributed to Thomas Jefferson):
“I believe,—“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.” 
You can't square that with the nanny-state and big government. It genuinely baffles me why people believe a Socialist government is the answer to anything.

A large part of the Goffman book is dedicated to the Transcendentalists, especially Emerson and, my hero Henry David Thoreau. I read Thoreau's "Walden" in 1997 and loved it so much I took great care to make a comic of a section of it. It's a great subject for a comic, and I believe someone in 2008 subsequently made a comic of the whole book. The same solipsistic structural dynamic exists in the original text and the form of comics. Much like blogging too I guess. Never been seen publicly before!

Gold Disc