Last night I had a dream. I was sitting with my father and we were watching a VHS together. We were looking down at the side of a green hill. There was a man, painted head-to-toe in charcoal-black, running around. His movements were in an exaggerated Buster Keaton-style manner. As he jumped up and down, and rolled about, and sprinted hither and thither, I thought: "This is brilliant!" It's weird, funny, and inventive - bonkers! Then I realised that it was me; I was watching a video of myself.

At this point in the video I saw that I started lying down on the hillside, my arms spread wide. And because I was covered in paint I saw that I was leaving figure-shaped marks on the grass. As I moved into another position I made another connecting shape imprinted black on the turf. Suddenly the video looped. Now I was watching the start. This time I was alone watching. There I was, close-up, painting my white face in charcoal-black paint. I pressed my face onto the ground and it left the mark of a large black W. I moved myself around and, printed the letters O, E, B, O, T in a tight circle, a rosary.



Check this fantastic book. A must-see for any London-based Reggae fan of Psychogeographical bent.


R.D. Laing on Music

Adrian Laing's book about his father is interesting and useful, but at the end of the day a bit of a hatchet job. If you want to get in touch with Laing as he really was this YouTube video is pretty much indispensable. It cuts away a lot of the bullshit and reveals Ronnie plainly as a highly intelligent, empathetic individual.

Yes, if you read "R.D. Laing - A Life" he does come across as a shit parent, a really, really shit parent - but even that doesn't negate him as an individual. Some people aren't cut out for parenthood, it's worse than a shame, it's often a disgrace, but it still doesn't necessarily make them bad people. Of course, some bad parents ARE bad people too...

If there's a highlight here it has to be Laing talking about music. Click above to play the relevant section which I've cued up. It's one of those great, insightful cultural moments in my opinion.  I talked the other day about "the window in the sky" - Laing prefers "a connection with the heart of humanity" - but yes, that's precisely why the woeful among us gravitated to music.


Dr Lloyd's Discs

One of my all-time favourite people Dr Lloyd Berrow, just the most beautiful guy, and a sincere, erudite and passionate music fan, has set up a record store in a van. What a fucking excellent idea!

Check out this great video where you can see Lloyd's Store - running in what looks like very inclement weather. I only wish I had more opportunities to head to Lyon!

And then head over to Mixcloud and hear Lloyd's sweet survey of 2017.


Sunny Murray RIP

An old comic from 1997. Wiki entry.

InterviewMeeting Cecil Taylor: "As a matter of fact, he lived across the hall from me. So through some kind of way we met, and he said 'you're the drummer' and I said 'you're the pianist.' So he said 'do you have your drums' and I said 'Yeah' and he said 'well, bring 'em over here.' So' beboppers had all sorts of controversial opinions about him, like 'are you gonna play with that cat, he's so way out."


Ekoplekz: Cassettera

You'd expect a cassette-only release would be an opportunity to let standards slip to "let the tape spool" so to speak. Even the title, a pun on "etcetera" implies a casual afterthought, something almost not worth mentioning. Au contraire! "Cassettera" contains some of the most martially-coordinated of Ekoplekz tracks. Hearing analogue tones (which so usually splash or splatter, belch or swagger) under such a tight leash is spell-binding.

As much as Ekoplekz continues to make music indebted to the past, the music is rich with yearning for Detroit and UK Techno, Krautrock and NDW and Close to the Noise Floor-era UK Electronics, the sounds are increasingly without precedent. Just as the titles of tracks like "Formative", "Bass 2 Dank", "Jacktrak" and "Seconds too Soon" are progressively obscure riddles in reference to old music, now requiring PhD levels of trainspotter geekishness to disentangle, so Ekoplekz' musical world has become fascinatingly opaque and almost accidentally original.

It could rarely be argued that the cassette as format adds anything to most modern releases. It can become something like a hipster afterthought; but this is not something you could level at this artist. Upstream I know that Ekoplekz has bounced his mix down to tape already. The effect is rather like a marinade. Frequencies bleed into one another as they fall into the narrower available bandwidth. Indeed the process is equivalent to a kind of Compression. Recently Compression has been given a bad rep owing to the nonsense talked about the Loudness Wars but in the recording studio it has always been a critical part of the mix, historically giving an unmistakeable fingerprint to the recording of instruments and voices.

If you've not experienced the sound of cassettes before, their sonic imprimage is something like being "pulled through" rather than being "showed" a sound; almost as though underwater towed by a rope. This might be the perfect place to start.