14 October 2014

Buckets of Stuff

Buckets of stuff, great stuff out there... and it just keeps coming. There's an ocean, a slew of new releases (mine is one, mine is one! IX Tab is coming, IX Tab is coming!) that keep things interesting and keep things frighteningly NOW... this is an exciting time folks; a time when everywhere you look (and plenty of places you probably don't) there's something going on, some product to latch onto... everyone's making stuff and it's all stupidly, annoyingly, fantastically essential...

I'm at a space now when I almost want to find something a little dull; something that fails to hold my interest but everything I settle to seems to spark a new vein. I'm like a Leibnizian sculptor, finding AHA! moments everywhere at the moment, finding Hercules inside the marble block, waiting to come out...

For instance, the latest Kemper Norton, Loor, is exactly where you'd want Kemper to go if you'd listened to his releases as they've developed over the years. I think I'm his first fan, heard (t)his stuff back when he was too shy to let it out, back when we all where, even Nick Ekoplekz*. Loor gives us a little insight into Kemper's acid past; just a little insight; he's hardly Astralasia or Shpongle but... there's a little of that creeping in, a kind of trace that now seems associated with Lee Gamble or V/VM or someone but is really just associated, in every sense of the word. He's fucking with folk still, of course and even if he's making slurtronic a thing; Fucked-folk is what I'm always going to call it because, if anything, the great thing about Kemper Norton is that he came late to folk (from afar, from Prog, from Prince, from Coil) and clearly doesn't know what he's supposed to be doing with it. Highest praise ever, in my book. Christ, as if we need more folk experts.

He's a revivalist, I suppose but he clearly has no clue what to revive and so meshes with the folk ingredients and sprays shit everywhere. This is, of course, Folk in it's purest sense because it is engaging with the tiny worlds of actual folk and it works so beautifully because it's utterly transparent that, well...


He's doing it wrong.

And how wonderful it is to be wrong; Loor is worth going back to and going with. It's a calling and a call-out. All Through The Night. If you need to spend your pennies then you will do much worse.

fizzle, crack...

And then there's Hacker Farm, who have a suddenly bewildering amount of stuff out... now these guys are mates too but the tape they released on Feral Debris is just perfect; distilling every performance I've seen them play into two sweeping sides of sometimes awkward, off, sometimes beautiful electronics... with spoken words and whooshes and bleeps that out-think and outrun all the tapes you bought in the 80s that wanted to be this one...

Silver Street is typical by not being:


They're doing it wrong too

Hacker Farm are the nonPop That Eats Itself; a conscious headshake at all that's good and proper and neat. I really love the line from Kek apropos the Crass In Africa Cd:

In 2012, the groups Hacker Farm and Libbe Matz Gang were offered the chance to score a new soundtrack for the 1922 film Haxan, which was to be screened at a small underground festival in London. The groups both declined the invitation, reasoning that rescoring Haxan was lame, boring and careerist – the sort of thing a black turtleneck sweater-wearing group would do.

Because, really, rescoring Haxan is perfectly, unambiguously a lame thing to do, unless you intend to rescore it and then invite your mates around to watch and then make them all take part in a cleansing / summoning ritual, which ends up in some fugged West Country lyncanthropic deluge of skin and hair and eyes and a whole new appreciation of how to destroy angels (yeah, in every sense, even the Reznor one).

So, yeah, I love these guys and the fact that they're doing every fucking thing wrong and the fact that one day there'll be lots of people pretending they were really into Hacker Farm back in the day (I'm getting my pretence in early - hate this shit but, man, it's cool!)

And, of course, back in the day isn't ever possible and they know it and this is really what Hacker Farm is all about... occasionally there's glimpses in their work: Faust, Throbbing Gristle, Coil, Factrix, Plastikman, whatever but there's never a hint that this is knowing and the music is very much theirs, before it is ours... a wonderful thing in this whorl of platitudes and harbouring and currying favour and wishing.

Hacker Farm keep giving. Suck it all in folks...

crackle crackle fizz


and there's more coming... great stuff exuding from Libertatia Overseas Trading (enjoying the dementoes of Degenerate Waves, for instance, which rolls and hums in all the right places and seems to find new organs to grind on every listen - it's also got my favourite sleeve art for a long time; silly, tragic and disturbing and immediately redolent of a very long presentation I was given about Health and Safety in Dry Cleaning... we didn't invest.


and kind of Hacker-related there's also a great album by Concrete/Field which intersects all kinds of interests and almost sounds like stuff you'll have and like but somehow does them better and deeper and with a real sense of being behind it; these waves won't just sweep right through you, they'll try and be you for a little while and then they'll try and show you something interesting and then they'll sweep you away again...

This is music, then, that sounds like places but places where humans have been, sound trails of where things have lived and played... not in a Stone Tape way, not remotely hauntological** but in a... oh for God's sake, it's not that dear; buy something for someone you love or, if you really can't afford it, write in and engage and some fucker will sort you out... this is a community and the product is the process is the product... these are real, beautiful things made by real and beautiful people and engagement of any sort is all they are asking...

Have to say, the way this is recorded is lovely too... really wish I could get IX Tab to sound so pristine. Nurse, I need more power...

And more and more and more. I've got stacks of stuff I haven't properly listened to yet so don't want to comment on but will comment on because it needs to be out and about and needs to be heard by everyone, perhaps, or else just kept, hooked, in these brilliant little circles of influence...








*who now releases like he's going to die soon (really hope that isn't true, Nick!) and just keeps making and making and playing and playing and getting better and better at most turns he takes and must be near to a bona fide superstar these days and I feel bad about not mentioning his records and performances more but there's just so much I've already written about him and I'm waiting to hate something he does so I can write something different... :) Okay, that's probably not going to happen... He's come a long way and yet a lot of his stuff is as raw and bloodied now as it was when it was just a little CDR sent to mates...

**and on that note there's a CD coming from Concretism, who works in a pretty strictly hauntological vein but does so in such a perfect way that his music feels completely right. I understand that most of the stuff I've been rambling implies I don't like right but I guess that isn't quite all the picture because I love the music that hauntology loves and Concretism gets it beautifully; adding a slight new to the very old and thus bringing the old back into focus... i.e. does what hauntology is expected to do in a way that most of this genre no longer does. It never feels like pastiche, always feels like it's meant and felt. Incorrigible, as Hume would say. More on this when a CD happens because I can't really be done with downloads only. Give me the thing, the product, the artefact, the artwork. I need to feel you.





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