Archive for the 'music' Category


t h e m i n d u n r a v e l s f o r d a y s

‘small metal gods’, from manafon, the new album by david sylvian. an incredible, sparse, affecting record which stands among the best things he’s ever done. his voice has aged well and has an ever so slightly ‘broken’ edge to it i’ve not heard before. beautiful, experimental, stripped down at times to the bare minumum. highly recommended.


w a l k i n g a g a i n s t t h e w i n d

jesus, been a   l o n g   time with no posts i know. been terminally distracted by other things.

somehow i’ve managed to keep up with the running, albeit intermitently, and have the mile down to 8:04. my plan is to extend the distance when i break the 8 minute mark but this is proving somewhat problematic. perhaps i’ve hit my time, who knows…

as the weather cools i’ve discovered that right up there with twisted ankles, drivers not indicating, pedestrians thinking that they own the fucking pavment and so can take up as much of it as they fucking well want, that wind is not a friend to the runner. slows you down, steals your breath. wind is a cunt.

if only i were a “mega-mime”…

also, i’ve begun to make a list of music that is the best to run to, and that which, while great, seems only to hamper the enterprise.

the cutthroats 9 / unsane good

the eighties matchbox b-line disaster – bad

todd – bad

fudge tunnelgood

the knifegood


whitehouse – bad

zeni gevagood

the pattern seems to be: too much which is unexpected or jarring = bad, whereas repetitive, plodding (preferably heavy) rhythm = good. hardly surprising really.

haven’t tried it with muffpunch yet. think i might give it a miss.


s a y y o u l i k e i t s a y y o u n e e d i t w h e n y o u d o n ‘ t

‘we share our mother’s health’ by the knife 
(one half of which is now fever ray, the other half of which is currently writing an opera “not about darwin but like darwin.”  apparently.)


t h a t ‘ s b e c a u s e y o u ‘ r e s i c k , i t ‘ s ‘ c a u s e y o u ‘ r e s i c k , t h a t ‘ s b e c a u s e y o u ‘ r e s i c k

wheelchair epidemicyes, ok, fine, so i bought ‘inch’.

these 7″ singles were all remastered in 2009 by bob weston, and are only available in this limited edition singles pack… inch comes in a clear vinyl display pack that can be hung on your wall, or folded and secured with a specially printed rubber band.”

and they’re not kidding either:

inch rubber

and i’m standing there watching them live at the forum, 2009, and i’m thinking to myself, anyone who doesn’t like the jesus lizard is just… wrong. debate and opinion have no place here. they’re wrong.  so very wrong… and i wish them diseases.


y o u r n e w r e l e a s e a l l o v e r m y f a c e

htrk badgea nice new shiny badge from those beautifully moribund folks at htrk .

as i’ve said before, htrk sound like alan vega‘s drum machine on the wrong speed, coupled with early swans tempos and repetition, swathed in birthday party era rowland s. howard feedback/noise guitar (but more of him in a bit). jonnine sings a disinterested and yet strangely avid drawl, as if she’d cut your fucking throat if only she could be bothered.

a few years ago now we saw them live in kentish town and i managed to buy a copy of their debut album proper ‘marry me tonight’, minus packaging; an album (produced by the aforementioned mr. s. howard) which it would appear, for some bizarre reason, has only just been released. i mean, it’s been at least two years.

what -as the young are fond of exclaiming- the fuck?

so, anyhoo, after the gig some two frikkinyears ago, i’m in the toilet ‘taking’ a piss, and i hear someone being violentlyand repeatedly sick into the basin next to the cubicle. i finish, go to wash my hands and find htrk’s bass player, sean, recovering from the aforementioned regurgitory abandon -the basin  a w a s h  with sick. “you alright mate?” he asks me, calm as you like. “um, yeah, fine i answer. i admire a man who can be polite so soon after vomiting.

sounding not unlike the cocteau twins on a lorry-load of temazepam, htrk are clearly not for everyone, but for those interested in their particular brand of lethargic attack and avalanches of feedback, the rewards are there to be had…

i also heartilyrecommend their cd ‘nostalgia’ (if you can get hold of it) which perhaps better approaches the grinding noise they make live.

but finally, the note i received in the post with my badge, a scrap of paper scrawled in lipstick


m w a h .


” f e e l t h e w r a t h o f m y b o m b a s t ! “

mark e. smith“it says a lot about them when they start harping on about the lack of real heroes nowadays; and how fame has been cheapened by the likes of the spice girls and reality-tv contestants. what they don’t realize is that most of the people they revere– people like elton john and mick jagger and john lennon – are or were cunts.”


“looking back, you can see how mtv profited from these people. it was only a year later they started brainwashing kids and record companies. it all boils down to an easy fix – straitjacket your acts, get them to deliver simple sentiments, simple albums, and all of a sudden music’s no longer something you carry around in your head but just another piece of tv. i understand that it’s always been about money; that’s a given. but there’s something inhuman about the way in which it’s put into practice. and the swiftness of it all! from idealistic punks to moneyed indie chappies. i prefer to stay away from it all; attack them from the comfort of my abode with a nice cup of tea and the chuckle brothers on the box.”

excerpts from renegade: the lives and tales of mark e. smith


m u s i c b y w h i c h t o w r i t e p t . i i

part ii in a very likely unending series.


calcutta1calcutta2calcutta gas chamber ‘ by john watermann.
available in two editions (both shown).
sounds not unlike like crawling through a malfunctioning machine full of metal insects, de-tuned radios and broken bottles.
notes from the cold spring re-release: “the concept of aurally conveying the horror of a gas chamber was realised through field recordings in an abandoned electrical power station in brisbane in 1992. the sounds are grating and harsh, a mixture of field recordings and electronic manipulations. one can rarely pinpoint a location or action but the images the sounds conjure up are of all sorts of nefarious activities related to death by machinery.”


rhythmajikrhythmajik ‘ by z’ev.
recorded to accompany his esoteric book of the same name (which i don’t own). this is a series of short 1 to 2 minute tracks of sound and rhythm. like an epileptic fit in a cymbal factory. as to the book’s claims that the rhythm patterns included on this disc have magical healing properties, can’t say as i’ve noticed. a great record though.


hativszevhati vs. z’ev #1 ‘.
collaboration between polish ritualistic experimenter hati and the aforementioned z’ev, these are strange ritualistic soundscapes of drones and gentle percussion. that’s gentle percussion, rather than genital percussion; which i think would sound very different.


eerste-schijfeerste schijf ‘ by thu20.
microscopic noodlers, thu20 create spare soundtracks of machines going every so slightly wrong. lots of space and silence that probably isn’t really silence. like listening to a mechanical aneurysm.


therewillbebloodthere will be blood o.s.t.‘ by jonny greenwood.
leaving aside the question of how old you have to be before calling yourself ‘jonny’ becomes embarrassing, this is of course the original soundtrack to the frankly incredible film ‘there will be blood’. much like the film itself, this album is equal parts ominous, beautiful and epic.


no-more-twain-of-one-fleshno-man-put-asundercleave-9-great-openingscleave: 9 great openings ‘, ‘no man put asunder: 7 fruitful and seamless unions‘ and ‘ no more twain, of one flesh: 11 unequivocal obsecrations‘ by the hafler trio.
described by the hafler trio as “trilogy in three parts”, funny that, this trio of discs, sold separately, sound like a single note played on a cello which changes very slowly and is added to over the course of each hour(ish) long album. impeccably orchestrated and hypnotic.


thesinkingofthetitanicthe sinking of the titanic‘ by gavin bryars.
like a drowned then resurrected string quartet and choir playing in the raised hull of the ‘unsinkable’ ship, the musicians perhaps perched on rusted fixtures and fittings. plaintive and, dare i say it, moving.
read detailed notes on the recording here.


dedications-to-fleadedications to flea‘ by windy & carl
dog lovers will be pleased to hear that this album is indeed dedicated to a four legged friend: “all music by windy & carl. most other sounds by flea, our dear, departed dog 1990-2005. we’ll always miss you.” two long tracks of gentle, ambient guitar and the sound of the titular flea panting, barking etc. non-animal lovers need not apply.
might be difficult to find in the cdr edition i have [pictured] but apparently it’s also available on the album dream house.


zuckerzeit‘ by clusterzuckerzeit

i can’t even  b e g i n  to imagine what this must have sounded like in 1974 when it was released. electronic pioneers cluster’s third album, ‘zuckerzeit’ breaks all my rules concerning music by which to write, in that it’s both overtly rhythmic and melodic, and yet somehow it works. it beeps and pops along cheerfully like a drunken robot. it’s the sound kraftwerk would make if they were wandering along a country lane whistling contentedly to themselves… which they probably never did. unexpected and most pleasing.