16 April 2014

Fennesz - Paint it Black

It's one of about three Rolling Stones songs I like and doesn't go any of the places you'd expect it to go. Seems respectful and irrevererent at the same time (which feels right for this song, or this kind of canonical murmur) and has a kind of lurching, conjoined-twin groove which keeps it sane.

13 April 2014

Asva / Burning Witch

Mostly, metal acts like an off switch to my Central Nervous System ("Es tanzt das Zet-En-Es,tanzt das Zet-En-Es, tanzt das Zet-En-Es tanzt! etc) but occasionally I dig some out and let it fly. Well, I say fly...

Actually, choosing a drone / sludge / doom supergroup feels wrong now that I think about it. A Partridge choice.

Asva - Caprichos 180

11 April 2014


Lots of the ASC stuff is excellent (full of ravebits & savaged and dried and boned machines and loose wires and broken wheels / wheals) but this one is like you're dying and falling off the edge of consciousness and wondering where the buggery all these bunnies came from.

10 April 2014

Farmers' Markets / Hacker Farm / Boreddrillard

Well it was a little mini apology on the endnotes of an article on Spring Breakers that appeared on the comments of this via the increasingly filmic Reykjavik Sex Farm that got me thinking...

Certainly the term "Farmers' Markets'" and their associated direfolk - the Mumfords, the AlexBlurs - has now become an dreary code for a new form of hatred; the one shared by Hipsters, the accepted one and, until fairly recently, this seemed odd for someone living in a rural(ish) location, surrounded by ACTUAL EXISTING FARMS (TM) on all sides, for a number of reasons:

1) farmers' markets as I knew them were scruffy, broken affairs, punctuated by people who couldn't spell or count with frightening 'Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight in a canoe' expressions...

2) they were cheap ways to buy vegetables

3) chilli-jam was sold, but only to those who's taste buds had been blasted with cigarettes and

4) they mostly just sold very cheap scrumpy and, er, calvados, which flipped yer eyes inside yer head (and which was probably just cast-offs and bad pints from the Babycham orchards)

Now the irony, of course, is that even these farmers' markets are starting to become "Farmers' Markets" and this seems almost too Baudrillardian to be true. A quick look at some of the prices in a market I used to go to all the time because it was cheap and you can settle on the terrible inexorable march of progress capitalism - now dirt on carrots signifies 'authenticity' (as, indeed does the term Earth itself, which seems to have nothing to do with earth), now the distortions in shape are Art, and Art is anything structured to not look like Art.

Digital tics are bonfires, of course. We all fall for it. IX Tab crackles are fire crackles AND sampled fire crackles. There's a Merry Go Round that you can't get off because it refuses to accept it exists at all.

Once the last ACTUAL EXISTING FARM has been flooded out the market (replaced by a Bangkok style floating market - *quick clap* how niche!) the simulacrum will have taken over entirely and places like Somerset will themselves be flipped over into a Hyper West Land, perhaps even using and accommodating IX Tab and Hacker Farm et al as a new sign of the Old-E West.

It's exhausting keeping behind the game.

06 April 2014

Spring Breakers

The really odd thing about this minor dayglo, dangling little softporn is how lacking in excess it is. It seems to be about excess - spring break foreva, an endless mantra, a slow-witted prayer - but continually shies away; this is less excessive than the computer games that inspire the girls, wrench their volition, besmirch them. There's almost a scary lack of sex itself; it feels like the end of the world because no one is actually bothering to abandon themselves in coitus.

When Alien and the girls say "I think I might love you" or whatever this isn't just a qualifier; they genuinely have no way of knowing...

This is about articulating the (deliberately, motivated) inarticulate and laughs at and with gangsta culture (and reminds us that the difference between Scarface and, say Goodfellas or The Corleones was culture itself), thus having its cake (Cake) and eating it.

The non DUB dubstep of Skrillex, with its pastel whoops, it's attenuations, it's breakdown down downs is apt.

It feels like a baby Noe film (a No! film). It looks like one, wants to be a bigger picture. It could be as desolate as that, you sense it wants to lose itself in the neon (it almost does; it's beautifully photographed) but whereas Gaspar Noe drags us slowly into black-light (and no one watches his movies twice, surely?) Spring Breakers feels itself sucked back towards the whirlpool of breast-indifference where Piranha 3DD et al (and before that Girls Gone Bad trailer trash) dwell and decides the only way is to dissolve the tragic logic in time, to fracture the relentless drive towards gamifying life into distinct chunks, glimpsed like a trailer.

If this was a trailer, or a collection of out-takes on the 2 disc collectors edition, you might not notice and this is ostensibly its Art and its commentary; the fragments are real, that is how time is. This is ADHD slowed down on Ritalin (that old paradox - speed making everything slower). It's a slow slap in the face, a wake-up call to no one at all.

An email isn't a communication; it's someone shouting alone in a room.

The girls look beautiful, of course and they spend the entire film in bikinis, which are beacons, which are strip lights. I'm not sure how anyone BUT me is supposed to feel about this. This feels like the film maker is my age (he is). This is for me and against me. I wish their African American lecturer had chased them to Florida, harangued them in situ, understood what it was that He and they were up against. I wish he'd turned into Travis (Bickle, though the Scottish Brit band would have been even better) instead of them. This film didn't need these avenging angels. Their vengeance is lost, is trickling, is already apparent. There doesn't need to be realisation. The real isn't needed at all.

05 April 2014

Kate Noizu

CE-トワークGmbH (ブードゥ想女日本) - モンスターゾンビガール【OST 『noise(ノイズ)』】 by Kate Noizu「ノイズ・ケイト」 on Mixcloud

Kate Noizu does (excellent) gabba spazzed-out digital hardcore/dark, glitchy techno assaults on Mixcloud (or that's how I know her work) but this one is slower, quieter and gently odd. It acts as a kind of dark cousin to all those dayglo vapourwave mixes that clog your arteries with capitalism and commodity goo.

The Implicit Order / The Antemyst

Which is a soft and sustained howl, beautifully done.

found via The Black Box

03 April 2014

Monroeville Music Center

Partly because a long long time ago (circa these sounds, perhaps) I used to live in Calgary, Alberta, home of the Monroeville Music Center and thus this music feels like a ghost from the present, haunting my past. Which is as it should be.

02 April 2014


in the Summer of 1986, me and a group of friends found a video shop that would let you take out 18 Certificate movies, despite the fact we were at best mid-teens and probably looked mid-tweenie. Masses and masses of badly dubbed italian horror movies. Lots of odd little films with drawings on the boxes. Rutger Hauer. This was a few years after 'video nasties' but that kind of nonsense didn't travel well to Somerset and you could still take out many of the banned list so, of course, we did. In amongst all the mongy horror and the right-wing rubble (Red Dawn et al), Suspiria stood out and still stands out (which is different to standing up - it doesn't stand up at all). We weren't horror theorists, simply gulped and swayed from one peak experience to another, one wide-open eye at a time but we still knew Suspiria was different; there was still a malevolence that creeped out of this film into you. It was silly but even the silliness was sublime. It was badly dubbed but that just added an extra level of ambiguity and a feeling of general loss.

The plot was a non-plot, a sub-plot, a series of asides and afterthought of course but that didn't matter because Suspiria is all about the music and the light. And the music and the light shines through blood red.

Here's the theme, which starts with bells and celeste and adds unspeakable whispering and hums and ends up with a full-band sprawl of verging electronic spazz-prog daftness:

Goblin - Suspiria

You're welcome.

29 March 2014


Digitalis just keeps finding things under excellent rocks.

28 March 2014

Messiaen - Oraison

There's somethings that just pull your throat out.

Messiaen - Oraison

Fax and Silence

There were many and this was one of my favourites. It was difficult to say which was the best - I think I played the Dreamfish one more than any of the others - but they were all there and, for a few years they seemed to keep on coming, a beautifully slow thrash, a denuded techno, a series of lost chords which could only find a home on Fax. Plus I loved the cover. The (great) I Am The Center compilation of New Age things ought to release the memories of some of these brittle beauties. But maybe people are doing the wrong drugs now.

Peter Namlook & Dr Atmo - Garden Of Dreams

27 March 2014

Emilie Simon - Alicia

I'm a sucker for French pop and Emilie Simon just keeps giving out great French pop; simple but unusual arrangements, sometimes chirps and drones and big chorded keys or tinkles; sometimes, as on this one, there's drums that sound like they were made out of wood and charged clouds of heavy heavy strings. This isn't trying to be something other but it is other. I like that.

Emilie Simon - Alicia

24 March 2014

Bauhaus - Jelly and Marmalade

I liked that these intense Goth guys sang about jelly. Funny, actually, how serious / not serious Bauhaus were. Lighter shades of pale. There was noise and white-light (my cousin went to see them and was blown away) but this Goth still had comical slices right the way through it. In fact, was in part defined by it. In retrospect, like TG / Leonard Cohen / even The Smiths, the humour seems mostly forgotten; perhaps it's a dirty secret, best underplayed, best forgotten because its doesn't fit well / sit well with this classic Rock continuum or other but...

I liked that these poetic skinny white boys, in all their methedrine dread, sang about jelly. In the same way that I like Throbbing Gristle liked Marmalade. Conserves are more important than you think.

Bauhaus - All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

17 March 2014

Eva Bowan

Marking Philosophy essays - on whether its reasonable to imply that discussions about the nature / substance of the world are actually discussions about the nature of ideas - and listening to lots of Eva Bowan stuff. Elegant and beautiful and wispy and not afraid to actually defend itself from the incoming drone and play out... there's a twinkling, human quality to her stuff which I don't hear in most similar things... and it's faerie as hell, too. Fantastic stuff. Don't know anything about her - will dig around later - but it's all thoroughly recommended and possibly wonderful for marking, walking through the forest and slow fucking with a beautiful partner...

15 March 2014

Soundtrack To Pasolini's Canterbury Tales

Well, this blog is dead now but the links are still working and, besides, this is what the internet is for. I vaguely remember seeing this film around the time I was studying Chaucer at school but can recollect nothing except a sense that one day I'd want to watch it again, properly... by which I mean I think I mean I would watch it when I was actually having sex, just to see.

And the music must have had some effect because FOLK.

Oh, just look at the poster and download the tunes here

12 March 2014

Jesus & Mary Chain - Never Understand

Because I don't need any excuses, you monsters. I was 14 when this came out and for people like me, this was The Sex Pistols.

The Jesus And Mary Chain - Never Understand

11 March 2014

Kemper Norton - Working

Well, we at An Idiot's Guide To Dreaming (it's mostly me now, tbh. I don't know where other guys have gone) have been awed by the presence of Kemper Norton ever since the heady (ahem) 'silver-age' of Blogs (well, before that; me and Kemper go waaaaay back, heh) when many people even questioned his identity - it was assumed he was Joanna Newsom, for a time* - and now, of course he needs no introduction, having thrust himself into the front of a pack of very hungry avenging folk angels. But still, whether he needs it or not, we'll keep the promotions coming because he's one of us and in this increasingly antagonistic and fuck-everything time that;s gotta mean something...

Plus, he's getting better and better, the crafty little spanner...

*by no-one, no-one at all

10 March 2014

Metamono - Warszawa 7" mix

No one needs another Bowie cover version but this is a great song (a fave of 3yr old Littlest Loki) interestingly rendered; just the right amount of reverence, just the right amount of melodic mangling, just a flavour of plunderphonic beastliness. It sort of works and interests me in ways things like that rarely do. It doesn't even exactly mess with the DNA of the original but it does offer something, I think.

Don't really know much about Metamono. I like the fact they have a manifesto, even if the content of it is a bit daft (perhaps because the content is a bit daft):

Metamono Manifesto

All sound is now available to all musicians everywhere
Music has become a flaccid shadow of the social power it once was
metamono will restrict and limit the sound sources and techniques available to us in order

TO LIBERATE the imagination
TO ECHO the struggle society endures
Our restraints will be our liberties
Our limitations will be our aesthetic

We will kick against the pricks

metamono will never

- use a microphone
- use digital sound generation or sampling
- use mechanical sound generation
- use digital sound processing
- make overdubs
- remix
- be afraid of mono

metamono will only

- use analogue electronic sound generation
- use analogue electronic sound processing
- use digital recording and basic editing when no alternative is available
- compose and mix simultaneously
- build their own or play used instruments

Better this, I think than that terrible, sticky nothing that most bands give up, even when squeezed. Better this than the terrible heartless void.

08 March 2014

Nurse With Wound - Soresucker

Nurse With Wound was going through an odd, clockwork phase of their (his) music at the time. There was the crinkly toy music of the Creakiness split LP with Spasm and this odd little 12" which was funny, insignificant and arresting all at the same time.

Nurse With Wound - Journey Through Cheese

07 March 2014

David Thrussell - The Plastic Wars (Part 1)

I love his voice, even if it's a voice not meant to be loved, even if we are supposed to scorn. It feels a lot older than it is; I always have to remind myself that this isn't some lost gem from the 70s, some weirdo psych nugget, some lost classic that crept under the radar. It's just not meant for those times. I guess it's broadly in the genre of things like The Tape Beatles or Negativland except... it's nothing like them, doesn't feel remotely punk, or DIY; doesn't seem confrontational or overt. It's clearly meant for something but it seems like a gentle reminder of how things are and what they could be.

04 March 2014

The Dead Flag Blues

The late 90s seem simultaneously just a freckle away and long long ago. It's my age, of course but it's also the music itself; so much music has come since 1997, so much that would've seemed impossible before that time, before the 20 became 15 became 10, before Godspeed entered into their punctuation war.

This record (the eff sharp eh? sharp infinity) roared quietly into existence, and in its way paved a hundred new paths, new places to go... For many people, this was their Velvet Underground, this finally stopped those velvet bores in their tracks. A million slowly revolving, evolving instrumental bands started up, some of them are only just coming to light. This record, even the final infinite loops, was something. And in this time there was almost nothing. It appeared in dead time. It appeared when all we had left was some DJ Spooky records to cling to.

There were records a little like this one before but none that encapsulated so perfectly a growing sense of anomie, the North American drift, the feeling that this really might be The Fukuyaming End Of History.

Godpeed You Black Emperor - Dead Flag Blues

03 March 2014

Leslie Parrish / The Manchurian Candidate

The snake bite bit of The Manchurian Candidate is one of my favourite utterly-sexy-but-entirely-sweet-girls-removing-their-shirt scenes ever. That Angela Lansbury calls her the "communist tart" helps a bit too.

I like that this memory is where Raymond Shaw is rooted, and where he's utterly lost.

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