29 November 2015

The Black Dog - Spanners

I'm not interested particularly in adding to the canon - everyone loves Spanners don't they? - but in the spirit of revisiting it recently...

It is striking thing. It's a thinking thing. I remembered hearing it for the first time all over again & thinking that these guys were properly aligned with the avant-garde in a way that most of this era (every era) techno / IDM just weren't. I loved Aphex Twin and Autechre and Reload but The Black Dog were entirely odder & clearly unwilling to make commercial leans even in the vaguest of senses. The disco and techno bits of this album show they could easily be assimilated into (what would become) background music for Masterchef / Football Results / Home Improvement shows but the other bits were just so bowel-churningly creepy & psychedelically awkward that you can imagine advertising execs & music placers not being able to... place it.

There's bits on Spanners that make it exist in the world of Coil or The Residents rather than Hip Hop (or Kraftwerk, or Tomita, or Eno), bits that prevent a lay person wandering through the Warp catalogue keeping going....

Bytes was good but Bytes did attempt a theme of sorts; you had a clue as to what was coming next. With Spanners, the chimera / Cerberus is much more evident; this was the multi-headed techno beast in all it's directions, all at once...

I'm going back in. Bits of it our soundtracking our regular live action Angry Birds simulation (you hurl a 5 year old boy towards stuffed toys and pillow constructions) and it works perfectly: scary, silly, serious, soft. The 5 year old says some of it sounds like 'the pigs have gone crazy' and he's right; they really have.

23 November 2015

For Paris (Woebot)

Woebot in various iterations has been hugely influential on this blog and on IX Tab (and on my relationship with unicorns / small horses) and on the www's relationship to music in general and this is his mix for Paris:

For Paris by Woebot on Mixcloud

Plus, I have a Woebot t-shirt that I was wearing yesterday when I went to visit my Mum. So, fate.

22 November 2015


Fell into this via some wormhole or other. It's maybe not meant for me but I've been playing it a lot.

Actually, I'm not sure what is for me.

Not sure I really believe music is for anyone.

These days, I'm always awake, it seems.

21 November 2015

Oneirogen - Cinerum

Yeah, I think so.

19 November 2015

Hello Darkness My Old Sample

Some good stuff here about Voodoo Ray from Woebot on hardcore vocal samples. I didn't know it was Peter Cook but it seems perfect that it was. The best thing about those early acid / hardcore tracks was the entirely odd choices of sample material and the dullest thing about what came later was the insistence on 'obscure' horror samples or bits of Blade Runner - Tricky is the exception there, since the Blade Runner sample sounds like it couldn't have been absent... and in fact Tricky's use of Japan's Ghosts was one of the more interesting things about his first album; that kind of non-more-white(skinned) Newpop framework wrapped itself around Tricky in an almost sinister, post-colonial way... I like most of his stuff but none of the later albums seemed willing to disengage from the musical frames that Tricky ought to have been in (Specials, Ganja boys, Grandmaster Flash, Jungle)and so failed to sound.

And when we're talking about vocal samples, I guess this ought to be mentioned because I vaguely remember the moment I first heard this and started giggling uncontrollably for reason I mow really question:

In fact, Woebot's point about the odd nature of vocal samples very much affected my choices of vocal samples on the IX Tab albums - bearing in mind that most of the reviews of both albums focus on the avant-garde / occult nature of the music, the vocal samples are generally utterly prosaic (I can't mention all the sources, for reasons) seem many of them are utterly, and very deliberately prosaic: Dangerous Liasons, Hollywood after Oscar parties, Children's TV, TSW News, Gus Honeybun, Hal from 2001 (yawn!), ITV Drama Specials... It's a kind of occult banality that interests me. that feels truly occult because it's truly personal; it's the detritus of everyday lives that make it occult. I mean, I love all that Crowley / OTO / Hellraiser guff but using it as it is a resource seems totally beside the point.

Simon and Garfunkel, half-heard on my parents stereo on a Sunday is Bay-B-Kane and is darkness incarnate.

11 November 2015

Not Ekoplekz

Well, if there's any kind of avant - scene that I'm aware of (maybe even a little part of), Nick's the kind of Kingpin: playing on LP, on big boy's labels; undisputedly popular and critically acclaimed where most of us are (at best) critically acclaimed and resoundingly unpopular. He's been quiet recently but he's almost back. You'll love this as much as you loved the other ones. I'm never sure if there's a change in methodology / sound that goes along with a change in name when Nick Edwards / Ekoplekz is concerned but the Eko sound is very much here, give or take some IDM techno lashings, here and there.

He's probably not even using the Eko, anymore but the sound is a thing-in-itself now, has it's own logic.

Saisonscape: Decay

This is happening in Bristol at the weekend and it features Kemper Norton, who is always a delight to meet and watch and hear. I'm going despite the fact that I'm normally deeply suspicious of musical events that cross over into art. I love Art, love music but don't think anything about soundpoems or soundart (both deeply flawed concepts, as far as I can see). I loved it when Throbbing Gristle shifted out of the Art scene and into Pop (sort of) and didn't much care for anything they got up to when, in recent times, they got sucked back in. Coum seemed interesting, as Art, TG were much more interesting as music - and so it goes...

We should watch out for Art, creeping into our musical scenes.

We should resist.

The rules of engagement are different over there.
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