Sunday, 22 October 2017

MONIKA WERKSTATT GIGS – COMING UP!



Exciting news! The Monika Werkstatt collective are coming to the UK, playing Bristol and most importantly (for me) the ex-European Union, corporate-controlled, wage slave capitol of the Western world, London! I'll be at Cafe Oto on Sunday which is, after all, a day of worship.

BARBARA MORGENSTERN, GUDRUN GUT and SONAE, PILOCKA KRACH will appear, 'live', in the actual flesh, not digital, real humans manipulating technology so as to transmit actual human ideas and feelings - yes! They contributed to the Compilation of the Year, which I recommend buying because you won't spend your money on anything better this year and that includes a new house, car, TV or basket of food and as Will said: If music be the food of love, play on!

18.11.17 BRISTOL – THE CUBE
19.11.17 LONDON – CAFE OTO W. LA LEIF



Support for the Cafe Oto gig will be the excellent La Leif, whose debut EP, The Nest, is available here. I very much look forward to hearing her 'live' too.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Bernard Parmegiani - Rock



Bernard Parmegiani's soundtrack to Michel Treguer's Rock (1982) may not be an acousmatic masterpiece but it's an enjoyable exercise in mood pieces for a motion picture, more akin to classic electronic library music, perhaps, than anything else. Or John Carpenter's minimalist techno soundtracks. Then again, Depart reminds me of Tangerine Dream's Sorcerer soundtrack from 1977. It's all pared down, minus the space and depth we're accustomed to with Parmegiani, but the uptempo tracks bubble along like proto-'techno' and some of the atmospheric slower pieces succeed in conjuring up images desolate, possibly hostile alien environments (I haven't see the film - who has?). I particularly like the trombone on Serge Assommé. Us fans are just glad of something new from Him and if this snack tempts newcomers to start feasting on the 'main course' all the better. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Various Artists - Entertaining The Invalid



I bought this CD brand new.
"So what?!"
Cheap second-hand, promos and MP3s are what I usually get, but seeing the sleeve and it's notes online I thought "I'll have some of that." Box sets I own featuring Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer, Dutch electronic music etc have extensive sleeve notes; I've never read them.

So here's Entertaining The Invalid, compiled by Matt Wand (formerly of Stock, Hausen & Walkman), who wrote the barley legible notes printed in typewriter-style font on brown paper. Why was that so appealing? I used to write a fanzine and this looks very much like one. I'm part of current 'indie' culture, you know. You probably don't know because being part of the true indie underground is being unknown, like all the artists on this compilation.

So I started having thoughts (a worrying phenomenon in itself) about indie culture, 'the underground', lo-fi, zines, small press art books etc. I wondered if there really was an increased interest in all that or my thinking had drifted toward the wishful side in the hope I might sell one more copy of an art book. There's something happening here, so I convinced myself. Look at vinyl sales. No, they're not a good marker. But wait, is the desire for vinyl more than hipster retroism and Dad nostalgia for what he sold years ago? Could it be a quest for 'the real'? If so, it's a deluded one. Unless the seeker wants 'real' analogue sound as opposed to digital clarity. Don't start that one. I mean 'real' as in album sleeves, for instance. Perhaps real as in a product of small specialist labels. As you know, the cost of them isn't exactly DIY democracy in consumer action. How about real CDs with sleeves designed to echo the spirit of indie circa...77? '79? (add your preferred date). Who'd have thought a CD could ever be thought of as 'real'? Before streaming it never entered our heads.

Not vinyl. No. Zines? One minute there looks like a revival, the next that zine community blog is dead, so I don't know. Anyway, as all of you who've attended small press fairs will have recognised, much of what's made is, sadly, more akin to the decorative arts than the spirit of '77. The spirit of an age is here on Entertaining The Invalid. But what kind of spirit? The 'Fuck you' 'I'm just doing this' spirit? The old 20th century spirit that kick-started zines with sci-fi buffs, 60s rebel kulture, 70s Punk, 80s DIY. 

'Stop asking questions' says The Anti-Mann on the opener, Angry Zen - right, I'm trying, but since getting this I've asked myself loads and can't stop. I ask myself what's so special about DIY culture whilst knowing the answer, then asking myself if...IF there's a bigger feeling for all that now is it a response the the potentially overbearing corporate mind control high rise luxury professional class world domination bid? Or what? Humans trying to find the human touch amongst the push-button health and safety regulated work life existence...

I'll stop asking questions. I'll say that this is the best compilation to appear this year. It's not just another nostalgia fest. Matt Wand's dug deeper than anyone; so deep it's as if he's made all the music himself and re-presented it as obscure artists. Try finding any of these. Where are/is Miracle Fat Destroyer now? Or Arthur Appliance? His/their Cheese Appliance is one of the highlights. Daft, wonky, childish...like Cabaret Voltaire...being daft. The hound-dog-on-your-trail barking on Tunnel Sickness...the video game stupidity of Joystick Jerk...fake Jazz in A Certain Ratio style Crazy Paint...Low Odour's Blue Monday joke. 

And so on, so much here to laugh at, puzzle over and simply enjoy for various reasons, not least because a lot of the tracks are really good. Get the real CD for the packaging. Available here.





Thursday, 12 October 2017

That's Enough Shit & Shine / Monika Werkstatt Remixes / People Will Talk (film)



Woke up this morning...(what's this, a blues number?) and had a shit and shine, I mean, listened to some Shit & Shine with my tea, like you do - the forthcoming That's Enough on Rocket Recordings is one good way to drag your head into the land of the living. Look out for it. I'll be talking about it more nearer the release date. Meanwhile, here's the first of the three tracks...



The Monika Werkstatt collective hoo-ha 20 year celebration comp this year is the Compilation of the Year (contemporary), along with another UK comp (old stuff), which I've yet to review but will soon - and here are some remixes. They're not quite as impressive as the originals but these five tracks are nothing to turn your nose up about, or to, or whatever you do with your nose (it's your business). Lucrecia Dalt's Blindholes - Borusiade Version is a classy cybernetic shuffle through time and space; quite the thing through headphones (or ear buds, as I believe they're known today. I used to wear ex-British Airways 'phones when DJ-ing...I like to think they encouraged me to 'fly' behind the Technics). Danielle de Picciotto's Desert Fruit - Perera Elsewhere version is also noteworthy, the way the beat dissolves into a chasm of disturbing sounds. 



With winter coming what better way to spend an evening than watching classic films. OK, we do that most evenings since we retired (from clubbing). A recent showing in The Cave was People Will Talk, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. I'm ashamed to admit having only just seen it for the first time. Mankiewicz's screenplay is spot on (funny, clever, even profound), the story probably reflecting his experience of the commie witch hunt's that blacklisted many actors and directors. People will talk and eagerly set out to condemn without good reason. So we see super-suave Cary Grant as Dr. Noah Praetorius going about his business of being the perfect doctor. He's magnificent in the role. But what's the story behind his friend, the mysterious Shunderson? Watch it and find out. 



Monday, 9 October 2017

Martin Glass - The Pacific Visions of Martin Glass / Ursula Bogner - Winkel Pong





The concept album (ask your granddad) lives. That's not something I ever thought I'd say with any kind of relish, but fear not, The Pacific Visions of Martin Glass is a million miles away from anything made in the conceptual pomp heyday of the 70s. Back then we invented Punk as an antidote. Today, in the post-modern era, it's OK to say your album's about an American businessman who 'falls under the hypnotic spell of the Pacific.' Mind you, how seriously we should take that story is another matter although at one point someone does welcome 'Mr Glass' to the Four Seasons hotel. Glass is an appropriate name given the hypnotic, repetitive nature of Reach The Beach. Far from being content to simply hit the 'minimalist' button though, Glass adds fine detail that makes the whole album worth replaying. If Les Baxter had made an album with Ryuichi Sakamoto it might have sounded like this. I think that's a compliment.





If Ursual Bogner hadn't existed someone would surely have made her up, such is the inevitability of this space-age electronic music, orbiting as it does the earthbound oast house genius of the UK's Daphne Oram and her former employees, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Perhaps Peter Thomas should get a mention too. And Tom Dissevelt. Oram and Dissevelt are well-recognised today, but Bogner's history remains elusive (until that academic writes her history, as he surely will). Meanwhile, Winkel Pong is another tantalising glimpse into the purified electronic realm Bogner inhabited, emitting crisp, clean analog signals as it does, irresistibly to these ears. Worth a mention is what sounds like a flugelhorn on Atmosphärische Energie, a nice touch. This little taster bubbles and bleeps away like that friendly household robot you will have in the future, with a suggestion of menacing undertones on Feldspat to suggest it might burn your eye out with a laser beam if you upset it. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Dead Beat An' Poetry



Once upon a time I was a 'notable local poet' - yes, I was. The time was the early-80s...so long ago that I can't remember the year. The poetry I wrote was of the ranting variety, as befitted my state of mind and, you might say, social standing (I think I was unemployed). Besides that, I was not born to find inspiration in either Wordsworth or TS Eliot. Or rather, I should say, my life (education) did not take a course that would lead me to appreciate the 'classical' poets (yes, I know TS Eliot was a modernist, I know that much, but it helps to have knowledge of classical literature to get his references, so I've been told). 

So I ranted, inspired by Punk poets but not to the extent of actually shouting. But thinking about the verse I wrote, perhaps 'rant' is unfair. After all, it implies...what? A lot of bile aimed at The Man and society? Well, to differentiate my breed from would-be 'fine' poets, I suppose the tag was as good as any. Suffice to say I spoke of daily life rather than romance or the romance of sunsets. That kind of poetry had always put me off poets and to some degree still does. These days if I chance upon poetry that I like it's more often than not Bukowski, or The Beats.

Kerouac and co were an influence, although not to the point of romanticising either 'the road', Negros or Jazz. And the word 'angel' was never written by me in a poem. What I did write remains a mystery as I post this. No doubt the poems exist on paper somewhere, but don't worry, I'm not in a hurry to make them public. I recall combining Karl Marx and supermarkets in one. 

Naturally I was looking forward to supporting Linton Kwesi Johnson. Attila The Stockbroker was something of a 'star' in those days too. By the way, my name was underlined all those years ago, just to highlight my moment of poetic 'fame', obviously. That or to alert myself of the cutting's significance when, as I did today, rummaging through old ephemera. 

Well, the punchline is that LKJ didn't show. I can't recall why. I suspect, in hindsight, he was scared of being upstaged by me and my 'provocative work'. Ha-ha!



Monday, 2 October 2017

Lee Gamble - Mnestic Pressure / Time Attendant - Ruby Modifier



Lee Gamble patrolling prowling the borders of the dance floor as he does, sometimes, on some tracks, like Istian, which sounds like it carries a sample from somewhere but who knows what he samples or where he gets them from unless you're one of those who know The History of Rave/Jungle/whatever and I'm not - all diced and sliced, some bass boom chucked in (no not chucked, fused/blended) - tick-tick-tick...East Sedducke - ticking time bomb splintered d&b FX - it's ALL GOOD - the whip-cracking percussion and tire-screeching 23 Bay Flips, robot jive of UE8 and 'junglist' Ghost - YES!




Paul Snowdon's back (where's he been? painting, probably) as Time Attendant (who else?) and as per usual (you know, this level of consistency is boring!) he's made a great album, a lovely album, an album of subtle, crafty, slippery electronic wonders.  Suburbanosis has a fine section where it sounds like Forbidden Planet then very swiftly an 80s psycho-slasher soundtrack before becoming totally Time Attendant, which is great because I'd hate him to sound like anyone else even when he's channelling Deliah or Daphne and he never straight out copies the Radiophonic thing but rather contacts it through a spiritual medium rather like Jon Brooks, who mastered Ruby Modifier. Another gem from Time Attendant. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Butcher/Edwards/ Sanders - Last Dream Of The Morning (Relative Pitch Records)



Being an inexperienced listener in the area known as Improv makes me highly qualified to discuss Last Dream Of The Morning. Doesn't it? No? Perhaps, as an expert on Improv, you disagree. But firstly, I wonder, do you actually exist? I believe such people exist but know none personally. David Toop exists. I know this because I have books by him which, despite having read quite a few pages of leave me with little more expertise in the field of Improv than I began with.

Beginnings: improvisation is another matter. I have heard that since...let me think...the late-70s? When that much-maligned thing known as Jazz-Funk became popular. Improv experts will challenge the notion that much improvisation occurred on Jazz-Funk records and it's true to say that the very worst were no more than wine bar Muzak. The best...the best are beyond reach of my memory but probing time a little further back there was Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band which, as you know, made the best Jazz-Funk ever before it became known in the popular sense as Jazz-Funk in the form of sun strips on cars parked up for Caister week-enders.

Returning to Improv experts (the existence of) and my relative ignorance, can I gain any points by saying I once played with Derek Bailey? Yes, I did. But before you start racking your brain to recall my name occurring on any of his recordings stop, because it didn't. I 'played' the turntables 'live' with him at a Wire magazine event which was eventually included in their '60 Concerts That Shook The World'. Some of you long-term readers will have heard me say that before and I shall dine out on it for as long as I live, probably. Unlike Wire magazine readers, I know where to find Improv experts, or fans, at least. At gigs. Obviously. I have pondered in the past hanging around newsagents until I catch someone buying the latest copy of Wire, or 'The Wire', as it was once officially named. I know Wire-buyers exist because I've noticed a reduction in copies on the shelf of my local newsagent. That and the fact that it still exists.

That Improv still exists is testimony, not to its popularity (stupid!), but the stubborn persistence of men and women (he says, in order to be PC without ever having seen a woman playing at an Improv gig which, I know, does not mean they never do, more that a: they are rare, b: I haven't attended that many Improv gigs...not since the early-80s, when I saw Lol Coxhill, Evan Parker et al play upstairs rooms in pubs) wishing to get together and Improv together. I mean 'improvise'. I've no time right now to explain Improv to you if you're wondering what it is and whether it's like Jazz. Suffice to say it's like Jazz, but without the tunes, therefore not improvisation derived from melodic structure, harmony, chords and whatever else makes up music as you know it. No. Just...plucking, strumming, blowing, banging etc...often on instruments associated with Jazz. If you want to no more, don't read my book.

I hadn't listened to Improv for a while until Last Dream Of The Morning dropped into my inbox. I confess I was quite prepared to be unimpressed by what I would hear, not because I doubted the pedigree of Improv stalwarts John Butcher (saxophones), John Edwards (double bass) and Mark Sanders (drums), but because I imagined being bored. I can be very stupid sometimes. Just like you. We're human after all and as such, prone to prejudicial preconceptions. Someone once accused me of being middle-class because I listen to Jazz and Classical music! But I've no time right now to discuss class in relation to cultural preferences.

I barely have time to discuss this album. I have a piece of art to finish and have talked long enough to forget what I was going to do next with it. Mostly, like Butcher/Edwards/Sanders, I improvise. My, how they improvise. It must come from years of Zen-like 'non-thought' as they intersect through sound. Listening for the third time and right now to the second half of Gridlocks, I marvel at the other-worldly phantom breath of Butcher in the lull before it builds again, along with Sanders' cymbal-swish and Edwards' bowed bass. The spaces, or feeling of space, in Syphon...Edwards' fluttering bass...the delicacy...lightness of touch...is astounding, as is the whole album. Listen without prejudice (not wishing to assume you would) and you will agree. I would say more but writing about Improv is even more difficult/futile than dancing to architecture. 




Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Coltrane's Birthday / Irreversible Entanglements - Irreversible Entanglements


I'm bad at remembering birthdays, even family ones, so it's thanks to a friend's FB post that I was informed of John Coltrane's arrival on Sept 23rd 1926. The ensuing conversation prompted me to reach for the Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings CD box set and play, amongst other tracks, their rendition of Greensleeves. In doing so, whilst McCoy Tyner played the melody, I was struck (not for the first time) by how strange it was for hip, black Jazz musicians to be playing an Elizabethan ditty. It was first revealed on the Africa/Brass album earlier in 1961. I've no idea why Coltrane picked it but he'd also recorded My Favourite Things a year earlier, turning that into a Jazz classic so who are we to doubt the wisdom of his choices? 




Jazz today ain't dead and doesn't even smell funny judging by the fiery evidence of Irreversible Entanglements by Irreversible Entanglements. Yes the art form is alive and well in the hands of this ensemble on Chicago's International Anthem label. Channelling Jayne Cortez and The Last Poets Camae Ayewa (a.k.a. Moor Mother) preaches from the pulpit of politics and despair. These fiercely righteous cuts featuring Keir Neuringer's alto along with Aquiles Navarro (no relation?) on trumpet and a buoyant, rumbling rhythm section ooze class. The third track, Enough, is notable for a brilliant opening double salvo from Neuringer and Navarro alone before the rest come alive. There's plenty of fire-spitting from all involved, especially Neuringer on Projects but to pick one from the group is to deny all the credit they deserve.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Ennio Morricone - Space 1999 - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack



Ennio Morricone on the moon! Just like Moonbase Alpha in the TV series, Space 1999, which I watched when it was aired in the mid-70s and probably developed a crush on Barbara Bain. I've a crush on Morricone too, especially his 'dark side' which, like that of our moon, remains 'unseen' by some, as I was reminded recently by an FB friend who didn't even know it existed.

When I say 'dark' I mean avant-garde and just as our full moon is said to bring out madness in some, so too does Ennio's other side if the YouTube comments are anything to go by. I suppose if you love the theme to The Mission the music he made for some 70s Giallos may be too crazy. This soundtrack, made for the Italian version of the British series, consists of similar elements to those classic works; sombre, nerve-shredding strings, bursts of Improv and even the voice of Edda Dell'Orso. The other key components are the electronics, as befits a sci-fi scenario. Well, it's all quite brilliant, especially the 12-minute Studio. If one can forget it's original context, this could just as well accompany an horrific tale of murder in Rome...committed by a psychopathic android...in 2099.

First ever vinyl release of this is out now on Death Waltz



Thursday, 14 September 2017

Let's Get Physical (Graffiti) & Nico's Political Incorrectness



"No-one wants CDs anymore" said the woman working in the charity shop. What? Even charity shops have turned their back on the old format? Well, this one had anyway. Streaming and free files have killed the CD, which now has the same status vinyl had ten years ago, exceptions being the niche home-baked, hip independent limited edition type. As for everything else, the more common stuff, it seems to be available at very reasonable prices second-hand. Vinyl, however...well, you know the story.

The absurd value placed on vinyl today is a good thing for those of us who've been buying it since the 70s. It means that, should we be a little cash-strapped or, in my case, wanting a book that's a little expensive, we simply cull the vinyl collection and sell to trade shops for prices we'd never have got ten years ago.

Meanwhile, I've taken to buying CDs again, mostly in charity shops. Don't ask why; I suppose I'm perverse that way. Plus, all that stuff on the hard drive is great but you know how that goes. Whereas the physicality (ha-ha, that's what they say about vinyl) of the jewel case is something else...more...demanding. Yes, ironically, when people compare the effort needed with vinyl to the ease of mouse-clicking the third (seemingly forgotten?) way is the disc in the case and the medium it requires, the hi-fi (I think that's what they're still called). Nowadays I regularly burn files to disc to lighten the hard drive's load but more to the point hear music on a better system.

Talking of physical, yes, this morning's purchase was Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti, the vinyl version of which I sold last year. This CD double is a suitably hulking (for CDs) thing. Of course it doesn't have the charm of the original card sleeve's clever images-in-windows design but I can live without that.

The case is ugly, but then, so too is the music, in a way. Playing it again, I was reminded of what a monstrous beast Led Zeppelin were. I mean, the sheer excess of mid-70s Rock behaviour, matched by the grossly overdone riffs and solos...the slow drag of In The Light...the folksiness and the clunky funkiness. But then, the grotesque weight of it appeals to me, as does the production, which is both raw and somehow...grimy. 'Originally recorded on analog equipment...to preserve, as closely as possible, the sound of the original recording' it says on the back. I thought the idea of CDs was to improve the sound! Confusing, isn't it? Crisp, clean digital precision versus 'the original sound'. So which I'm hearing is a mystery. That's alright. The best of it still sounded great, played loud, of course.

Again, what was said in a charity shop: this morning, as I paid for Physical Graffiti, Velvet Underground were playing on the sound system. I couldn't resist sharing my admiration for them with the girl behind the counter. She replied by saying she could only play them because the manager wasn't there and went on to explain that her boss regarded Nico as a racist, therefore banned. I suggested that presumably Wagner's music could not be appreciated either before a quick summary of my thoughts on politically vetting artist. She smiled, not wanting to engage in a deep discussion, which I didn't either. I'd said my bit and walked out, thinking about all that.

Firstly, I had no idea Nico was 'racist', but having since read a little about her and it seems she made a few suspect comments. Secondly, if anyone wants to shun an artist for comments made off the record (literally) that's their business. When they make racist records that's another matter. Of course, I can easily ignore what artists have said because I'm neither Jewish nor black. Neither am I gay. As a pro-feminist gesture, should I start researching my favourite artists' attitude and behaviour towards women? If I should ban those who are guilty of misconduct, how much music would I have left? That may seem like a selfish attitude, but so be it. If you wish to politically cleanse your collection, feel free.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Shit and Shine - Some People Really Know How To Live




Shit and Shine. Some People Really Know How To Live. Editions Mego. Available now.

You want more? That's enough.

Unless you're unconvinced of Shit and Shine's genius, brilliance ability to pulverise your skull so bad it's good, not like Noise, not like that kind of terror - terror that comes to dance...on your grave - what larks, Pip! And so on. Shit and Shine party like: it's the end of the world, like nothing else matters, like...it's 1999 only better, but I can't remember music from 1999, can you? Instead, imagine a future where right-thinking maniacs have distilled the essence of bastard hip-hop DJs, Autechre's evil brother, Alec Empire circa Hypermodern Jazz...imagine what you like, I don't care.

In case you think Shit And Shine are all bluster and boulder-sized beats, they can be more minimal, as on Girl Close Your Eyes, which is still sinister.

Unless your computer speakers are shit hot, don't think you've heard things properly. The things here demand proper speakers. With bass. Make them wobble. Get a car with a bass-heavy sound system...you know, like the kind that annoy the fuck out of you when they drive past, but play this Shit And Shine album LOUD instead...and drive them mad. It should be a crime, foisting your music on others like that. Unless your music is this album.

If you don't like it, as the sample on Raining Horses says: 'Get out of town'. Editions Mego



And this here's the best music video I've seen for a long time...



Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Not Moanin' About Mingus At The Proms


Ah Um, RTomens, 2017

Watched Beneath the Underdog: Charles Mingus Revisited at The Proms on Friday night with some trepidation, as I'm sure many Mingus fans did, but thankfully no crimes were committed in His name. Black saint and occasional sinner Mingus is not to be messed with. At times the orchestration veered towards over arrangement but never crossed the line between remaking tunes and totally ruining them. As you know, Mingus was a masterful arranger without ever losing the blood, guts 'n' blues born in fingers that can sound as if they're ripping the very soul from the man in order to express himself. 

But who's the crazy dude with the pink hair holding a baritone? Leo Pelligrino, actually, as I found out later. His hi-energy ass-wiggling, comedic and sometimes sassy intro to Moanin' was a delight. Mingus might have been turning in his grave but I loved this as pure entertainment which injected spirit (albeit the spirit of both a clown and great Texas R&B honkers of the past) into the night. 


Leo's in a band called Too Many Zoos. Their Bandcamp page is here. More of my art here.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Sote - Sacred Horror In Design / Philippe Petit - Buzzing But Not Hung Up On Hip


Ata Ebtekar aka Sote with Arash Bolouri's santour (Persian hammered dulcimer) and Behrouz Pashaei on the long-necked, four-string setar. That's the technical information. What else? It's an astonishingly good electroacoustic album which perfectly fuses tradition with synthesised treatments expertly rendered so as to frequently blur the boundary between both. Yes, that good. Opal Tapes




Phillippe Petit is, as I'm sure you already know, an artist worth following. An artist, that is, in the deeper sense of the word. Few can rival his track record over the last few years and Buzzing But Not Hung Up On Hip simply strengthens his position. Clunky title aside (we hardly need reminding of the superficiality of modern 'hip') the album is a fine antidote to all that is fashionable and the sonic 'bearded' efforts (eh? hope you know what I mean, because I don't, not knowing what music 'hipsters' prefer).

Petit has no truck with fads, preferring to not only forge his own supremely talented compositions but bring on board collaborators. Mind you, I'm not happy with the 'rockin'' Second To Last Thoughts, but at least it confirms he's human (therefore, can make errors). It stands out like a sore thumb. Si Parla Italiano is much more like it, if 'it' exists in Petit's world since he is eclectic. It's an excellent hybrid of tape manipulation, 'free' sax and Jazz trumpet with an increasingly frantic electric bass rhythm. 

As with Sote, Petit conjures fantastic electroacoustic forms, but in a different fashion. Sounds and the shapes they form constantly shift and there are too many instruments featured to mention. Suffice to say it spreads out through dark space to the superb Cymbalomentums (imagine John Barry on a bad trip) and many other points.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Martin Hannett - Homage to Delia Derbyshire



If you buy into the idea of Martin Hannett as a 'genius' producer then this is definitely the master at play rather than work. And why not? I hear there are tapes of Lee Perry's homage to Phil Spector knocking around, but perhaps that's just a silly rumour.

It's makes sense that Hannett would be into Delia Derbyshire and all things Radiophonic even if whilst he was crafting the atmospherics that make many Joy Division tunes so amazing most listeners would have been oblivious to both. Thankfully the wonders worked in the tape-splicing lab by BBC sound scientists of the 60s have been revealed to more of us in the last decade through compilations and file-sharing sites.

I'm more of a Daphne Oram fan but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying this compilation of spare time doodles by Hannett. It's actually a mixed bag regarding styles. On some tracks he blatantly mimics Radiophonic lite with melodic little outings whilst others have a more improvisational 'jamming' feel. The 'meat', however, come in the form of Track 9, a ten-minute salvo of deep drones, cuts, beats and speed variations. Elsewhere there's Easy Listening and library-music-goes-Rock.


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