Friday, 30 November 2012
Thank you for listening - I will give a full playlist & report and "Mixcloud" upload details when I return from the Schimpfluch-Gruppe weekend in Bristol .... if I ever get there! How does the song go?...."Outside the trains don't run on time" ...
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
The 'zine is essential reading. It has a kind of "Idwal Fisher" attitude and a "toilet reading" air. Not irreverent and not snooty - "I know more than you do" - like some 'zines I could name just a damn good read. Easy, informative and not that serious as "Eraciator's History Of Harsh Noise" proves. That piece made me laugh. There's a recent interview with Nigel Ayers and Libbe Matz Gang...I've seen their name pop up a few times now in various 'zines and internet boards, might be time to dip the toe so to speak. There's a piece by Jupitter-Castrol GTX on revolutionary noise anthems and the obligatory record reviews .. also some live reviews, which is coming uncommon in the printed 'zine....good to see. The cover did promise knitting, but I have scoured the 'zine from cover to cover and there's no mention of knitting! As a subscriber to "The Knitter" and "Yarn Wise" I was very disappointed.
I am saving some of this fanzine to read on the train to Bristol this coming weekend ...
"Turbulent Times" is A5 sized (pocket porn) and about 50 pages..and like I said at the start...essential. It costs £2.50 postage paid in the UK from www.uncarved.org/blog
The back cover features an excellent picture of a guy trying to shove his shirt in his ears at a Rehberg & Schmickler gig at Cafe OTO.
Saturday, 24 November 2012
Plans to spend time at the John Court eight performance were ruined by the weather today. Public transport between Torquay and Exeter was not good so I had to ask Tamsin to drive me through storm conditions to get to the Spacex Gallery. I experienced around thirty minutes of an eight hour performance. The performance marked the end of John's first UK exhibition; "The Work Between The Lines" which I reported on in September. Silence filled the Spacex as John slowly rotated clockwise supporting an absurdly and surreal sized table with his right ear, occasionally writing on his arms. Compelling.
Another triumph for the Spacex and I just wished I could have spent longer in the atmosphere.....
Friday, 23 November 2012
This release is a great "album as memory" for me. The full and complete recording of Psychic TV live at The Ritz in Manchester, 6th of November 1983. There is (of course) a vinyl version of the gig...the first Psychic TV live gig EVER!...it came out as part of the live series of albums, but this is the full gig spread out over two compact discs. I have the live vinyl (of course) and it is a great album - not as good as the "NY Scum Haters" of "Gottingen" LP's from the same series ... but still a great album. I don't play it as much as I should - perhaps because it is edited? I don't know..but now Northampton based Cold Spring Records have put it out in a warts and all stylee and Thank E for that.
"It was a rainy day in Manchester". Probably was, I can't remember...I can remember a lot about this night, this unforgettable night. I travelled from Lincoln via Hulme to get to The Ritz. Sean (my Dark Companion) and I were first there. The demonstrators were just setting up, getting their chants and placards ready .. probably waiting for the coaches from London, but Sean and I just flashed our tickets to the lady on the door and walked in. Members of Psychic TV were sat across two tables drinking cans of Carling Black Label (white tins with a black stripe back then ... always reminded me of the Crystal Palace away strip, but I digress). A passing smile and nod and we headed straight to the bar.
Originally the first ever Psychic TV live gig should have been at Prestwich Mental Hospital with Nico as support, but local council complaints meant it was hastily moved to a nightclub just off the Oxford Road. With my warm pint of lager in a plastic pint pot in hand I spent the evening front centre. The stage makes a good table and the monitors a great place to throw the coat. No Nico at The Ritz. Looped footage of Jim Jones in action on a makeshift screen stage right. The place slowly filled, the coaches from London arrived. Members of Test Department came to check the on stage equipment. Anticipation. There was a strange climbing frame on the stage, Genesis used it during the performance.
"Don't Forget Ken, Make It Hurt". I have never forgotten those words. The sound quality on the CD's is crystal clear. The performance is magnificent. It hits a lull in the middle, and if I remember rightly this was down to failing equipment. Gen's bass guitar and Sleazy's Emulator...but the power of the performance of the material is still quite stunning. "Roman P" and "Oi You Skinhead" shine on CD1. During "Oi You Skinhead" Gen leapt from the stage and started accosting the audience. Frightening moment. Do you remember going to gigs and being scared, scared of the performance and the unknown? Great days.....There are Genesis's stream of conscience poetry bits that are a little cringeworthy. Moments where he tries to embarrass John Gosling for wearing a leather skirt and rambling on about straining "for a poo"....Alex Fergusson's sub Velvets guitar meanderings in the background...but these moments pass and the power builds. CD2 ends with a cracking "Unclean" into "In The Nursery".
A great release for us old T.O.P.Y. heads and fits in nicely with the recent Psychic TV four album release by Vinyl On Demand. Would have been nice to have this as a double LP (vinyl) but cheggars can't be boozers.
Once again there is no mention of Paula P-Orridge who on the night played vibes, percussion and flashed her breasts to those lucky enough to be stood front centre even though there is a small stamp sized picture of her in the accompanying booklet. Forget about the shite ramblings from a guy called Simon, just look at the pictures. Cover by Val Denham is poor too - reminds me of an old Splintered record for some reason. But do not let that put you off....buy this CD.
After The Ritz I must have seen Psychic TV a dozen or more times (not quite 23 though) and they always did great / powerful performances in Manchester. I would love to hear (crystal clear) recordings of the Guy Fawkes gig at The Hacienda in 1984 and when they appeared at The Royal Northern College Of Music a year later.
Thank You Dad.
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Nesa & The Nestikles provide "Salamanteri" ("Salamander"), a quite little laid back number with sluggish cocktail lounge drums and a melancholy (lazy) casio tune and space invader type electro bleeps. A lovely intro to the EP and to the sound of Nesa & The Nestikles. Kanttoripoika bring us "Menestystarina" ("Success Story"). A deep Finnish newscaster's voice is spliced in with randon percussion that suddenly makes complete sense as the last beat is the final piece of the (audio) jigsaw and the piece moves into a sound that is somewhere between Aavikko and Renaldo & The Loaf. It is fantastic - oddball motorik electronica (OME). Iltasyntsa is a name new to me but they've already released material on Finnish labels cdrl and Tajours-Edit. Their track "Totti" is a style, a genre called Chip Tune. Bleep and Booster electronics. A spastic with a stylophone. A style that I have heard before and always reminds me of very early acid house - around the time 808 State started (1987/8) and were producing stuff like the "Newbuild" LP, back then the sound left me in disbelief. "Totti" has an annoyance and just doesn't "go anywhere" and ends on a lock-groove. It is a shame as after repeated plays of Nesa & the Nestikles and Kanttoripoika this EP was becoming the finest 45 of the year (only it plays at 33rpm).
A single that is worth having for side A alone. Limited to just 200 copies the single is available via Discogs or by contacting Plaa at Hyster Tapes.
Sunday, 18 November 2012
Back at Plainmoor, home of Torquay United FC to see them get thumped 4-1 by Southend United. My son Oscar was invited by the club's Community Football coaches to spend a day with Torquay United .. he plays football for his school. It was a great day out, especially for me the football mad dad. It may surprise some to know that I did use to play a bit back in the day (that day being the 1970's) and that I even made it to play at county level. But this was Oscar's day and he fully enjoyed the trip round the ground, the meeting the players and coaches, watching TV on the big screen in the VIP bar etc.
Last time we visited Plainmoor we stood in the freezing cold of a January afternoon, this time we were granted a seat (near the bar)! Joy. The match itself was entertaining for the neutral (me). Southend United were in the lead within ten minutes, an impressive goal by ex-Torquay United striker Gavin Tomlin. For Torquay it was downhill from thereon in, they were in all honesty bloody awful and quite appropriately playing "schoolboy" football. Kick n' rush. Southend United on the other hand were a well organised unit who seemed to have a game plan. It was easy to tell that they were managed by a top (and seasoned) coach in Paul Sturrock. Although (and indeed despite) losing heavily two of the best players on the pitch were Torquay United defenders; Brian Saah and John Osatler, but the Torquay United right back Kevin Nicholson had a 'mare of a match.
Oscar and I shall return again when the weather gets a little warmer ... it's great fun!
1: Oscar with Brian Saah and Damon Lathrope. (Pre match team talk)!
2: Torquay United warm-up.
3: The Mascot - it's a seagull...not a chicken.
4: Oscar has a half time read.
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Friday, 16 November 2012
Tonight's Muhmur broadcast featured sounds and noise from the performers taking part in the Schimpfluch - Gruppe Carnival that is taking place at The Arnolfini in Bristol later this month .. see elsewhere on this blog for details. I did slip in a couple of folk who are not performing per se at the event, but they are artists whose work is heavily influenced by Schimpfluch Art. (and I think it is Jordi Vall's voice on the Psychic TV track). Murder The Disturbed slipped in as "Classic from the new-wave era" - I hope you enjoyed. Next programme is on the 29th and will feature a session from Filthy Turd (amongst other things). here is a playlist for tonight's programme;
1: The New Blockaders : "Manifesto (1982)" (Vinyl On Demand) 2006.
2 : Germseed : "Angelcode:Two" (Omcore Recordings).
3 : Con-Dom : "Calldown" (Noisopoly) 1996.
4 : Sudden Infant : "Giving Trash Ritual" (The 7.17 From West Wittering Is Late Again) 2011.
5: Dave Phillips : "They Live" LP (side b) (RRRecords) 2008.
6: Vagina Dentata Organ : "NK Projekt Performance, March 2012" (Tochnit Aleph) 2012.
7: Aaron Dilloway : "Final Play (For GX Jupitter-Larsen)" (Helicopter Records) 2012.
8: The Haters : "Clic-Clic #19" (Helicopter Records).
9: Henrik Rylander & Leif Elggren : "Gottesdienst #2" (Ideal Recordings) 2006.
10: Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock : "Those Necrophile Birds" (Vinyl On Demand) 2006.
11: Raionbashi : "Tar" (Hanson Records).
12: Germseed : "Black Bright" (Not On Label) 2012.
13: Sudden Infant : "Untitled Piece From Sidewalk Social Scientist" LP (Tochnit Aleph)
14: GX Jupitter-Larsen : "Norge Om Polybolge" (Old Europa Cafe).
15: Philip Julian : "B 3" (Entr'Acte) 2011.
16: Murder The Disturbed : "Ultimate System" (Small Wonder Records) 1979.
17: Psychic TV : "Catalan" (Some Bizarre/CBS Records) 1983.
I hope you enjoyed the listen. Big thanks again to Dave the Engineer, always there to press a button and help when needed. We listened to his "Oima" programme on the way back from Dartington to Torquay..it sounded really good...worth a listen. Anyway, I will upload the programme onto Mixcloud as soon as possible and put the link underneath.
*** www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-soundart-broadcast-15112012/ ***
1: SoundArt on the radio!
2: Being prepared.
3: I am a DJ!!
Monday, 12 November 2012
Just spent a pleasant while listening to a couple of new releases from Scottish independents Sound Holes.
A Snake In The Garden is the solo project of Einfgall member Matt Mayer, who is based in Worcester, Massachusetts. Sound Holes bring us a C23 cassette called "The Shepherds Are Lost, The Sheep Are Scattered". Side A is the sound of rusty wheels rolling back and forth - little toy car wheels whilst an oil drum is beaten methodically, recorded from the inside and catching rusty resonance. An interesting sound that unfortunately changes into all out noise, a harsh wall of grinding noise with beaten pots and pans and it sounds like a poor New Blockaders copy. The New Blockaders (when they get it right) sound as if they are on the edge of collapse. Rupenus is a master at editing noise. A Snake In The Garden is a slight step back from the edge and the sound becomes less urgent. It is a pity as the beginning of the track is interesting. Side B with its Whitehouse microphone to amplifier and junkyard noise is awful. Unlistenable. The tape is limited to 79 copies.
Journey Of Mind is a project from Tidal member Jimmy Billingham. A contrasting barrel of fish to the A Snake In The Garden. "Salt Rubber" is a C20 cassette. Two pieces of fascinating undulating / drifting gentle drone work. "Sea Soar" (ha) is a floating piece to calm to, very akin to the Andreas Brandal cassette "Shipwrecks" that Licht Und Stahl released last year. "Sun Spot" is simply a beautiful piece of music with clever voice manipulation .... this tape is unique and essential, and limited to 71 copies only. Both tapes can be bought from Sound Holes. www.sndhls.com
1: A Snake In the Garden.
2: Journey Of Mind.
With the release of "Impurities" by Thossian Process, Striate Cortex finds itself in the top three of all time great labels from Lincolnshire. Company Records (Fort Barnes, Rookery Lane, Lincoln) will always hold number one spot for re-issuing "A.C.C." by Robert Rental - probably the greatest single ever released as well as putting out Thomas Leer's "Private Plane" and "Red Planet" by Com-Sat Angels. Half Wombat Records of Gainsborough are in there too. The label run by Horrible Nurds. I was once fortunate to see Horrible Nurds live. They "ambushed" the 1981 Lincoln "Arbo' Fest", claiming the Arboretum Bandstand as their own and creating a sound somewhere between Gong and The Not Sensibles. Great stuff, I played the festival too as drummer for proto-politico-power-pop trio Total Strangers. Other great Lincolnshire labels include Dead Good Records, Don't Dance...Collide Tapes and Cathedral Records. I can't include Deleted Records or Stark because they were (at the time) in South Humberside.
Anyway. I digress. For the past few days I have been listening to Thossian Process and their 28 minute CDr "Impurities". Seven short pieces (sketches) that have the essence of early tape works by Glenn Wallis & NKVD, of Nekrophile Records, of O Yuki Conjugate and in some sounds of Throbbing Gristle and The Anti Group. That is not to say that the sound here is dated. Au Contraire - the sound is "fresh", complex and exciting. The pieces sound as if they are edited down from longer (maybe improvisational) sessions. Perhaps what Thossian Process wanted to get across is contained within the short three - four minutes pieces? It would have been an idea to patch the pieces together to create one 28 minute pieces (with seven sections) ... but that's just me! Because it is on Striate Cortex this release is immaculately packaged. Fuck Off downloaders! The CDr lies encased in a blood red folded piece of card wrapped in black mesh. There is a small booklet with photographs of decay. Information is in black type on black and grey background so I have no idea of track titles or recording history ...
From a letter from head Straite Cortex honcho Andy Robinson I know that Thossian Process is the solo project of Tim Mitchell. Tim was formerly a member of Crimson Rainbow Facility...of whom I know nowt about, but with a name like that I am not too surprised. "Impurities" was mastered by James Moore of Sapir Whorf so Tim maybe American. Just a guess.
"Impurities" is a compelling listen, a great release to have and one of the best releases of 2012. Within the sound I heard Tibetan bowls, resonating ampnoise, violins, trumpets, analog synthesizers, tape manipulation, tone generators and rudimentary rhythms. Hopefully there will be a follow up release soon.
"Impurities" is limited to 60 copies and is available direct for £6 UK/£6.50 Europe/£7.50 ROW from www.striate-cortex.blogspot.uk No Excuses!
1: "Impurities" Cover.
2: "Impurities" Card Insert.
3: Centrefold from booklet.
4: "Impurities" CDr.
5: Horrible Nurds "Consuming Passion" 7" on Half Wombat Records. 1980. I would stick up a picture of the Robert Rental 7" but my copy is on Regular Records!
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Out and about in the Saint Marychurch charity shops the other day (that's Thrift Stores for our American readers) and I came across the VHS Video "Scritti Politti" for ten pence..it had to be bought. I am partial to a bit of Scritti Politti, I have the first couple of 7" singles and the 12"EP "4 A Sides" is a classic, so I thought it worth a 2 bob punt.
Back in the late 1970's there was a documentary on BBC 2, some sort of "community TV" programme where members of Scritti and Desperate Bicycles talked about how simple it was to make a 7" single and get it distributed through shops like Rough Trade, played on the John Peel Show and the classified ads in the music press. Great programme, being community TV I could write in for a pamphlet with all the details discussed in the programme..all for the price of a stamped addressed envelope. I did (of course) and shortly afterwards formed the group ESP Disk~rd with my mate Dave. The cost of producing a 7"EP was still way out of pocket-money and saving was out of the question back then ... there were too many great records to buy and bands to see for goodness sake! Savings?
The programme proved Scritti Politti as an important force in DIY / Post-Punk music. Myth busters. File alongside This Heat and Lemon Kittens.
Then along came the 1980's and something happened to Scritti Politti, they decided to make money. This video is a document of that occurrence. It's awful .. like watching Adam & The Ants and ABC, two former giants in the 1970's post-punk sound, perform on "Top Of The Pops", and strangely enough I knew folk at the time who bought it - they actually went out and bought the records, liked it - or at least said they liked it - danced to it at gigs .. Of course I am sure they would deny it all now.
The video has the "Wood Beez" video - the one with Michael Clark dancing around some bee hives whilst Green Gartside sits on silk sheets and mimes. It is saccharine - the image, the sound, the lighting, all saccharine. All the other videos (all five of them) are incredibly static with Green either stood still or sat down. No movement...which I found strange seeing that they were producing vapid dance music. It is all very 1980's. Shell Suits and bad hair. Thankfully (like Adam Ant and ABC and Thompson Twins) it all went big tits up for Scritti Politti quite quickly...but this "Absolute" rubbish did spoil their (his) earlier work.
Nevermind. It was worth 20 minutes and ten pence and my three year old daughter liked dancing around the coffee table to "Wood Beez". Last year I bought a New Order video "Substance" a collection of their late 1980's singles from "Animals In Distress" charity shop (again for ten pence) and that was a waste of money...I would rather watch an animal in distress than that videotape again!
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Planning a radio show featuring sound and music from the artists involved in this months "Extreme Rituals" carnival. Please listen in to "MuhMur" on SoundArt Radio 102.5 FM (in the Torbay area) and on the Internet at www.soundartradio.org/uk The show will go out on November 15 at 21:00 (gmt).
Should be fun ...
Over the past couple of years I have picked up a couple of excellent cassette releases on Sound Holes, the independent label from Aberdeen. Releases by BBBlood and Duncan Harrison regularly make it to the tape deck, so I was pleasantly surprised when Daniel (head sound hole) posted me a box of tapes and CDr's to get my ears round.
Over the past 36 hours I have been playing / listening to some of the contents of that box, some may have noticed that I slipped in some Picasso Trigger on the last "MuhMur" radio broadcast. Picasso Trigger may or may not be the solo project of Endless Time member Kevin McEleney, the cassette "The End Of The Whole Mess" is certainly a tape of two halves. "Mind Field" is an excellent slice of low-end drone with sounds swirling and pulsating around and across the speakers, certainly a sound to drift away in. "Submissive & Willing" begins with atonal frequencies being pitched and then looped... interesting...then some electro-filigree creeps in before the track goes all cosmick and ends up sounding like a bad Greensleade LP from the mid 1970's. A shame.
I have to point out here that the dubbing of the tapes is pretty poor - the VU meter stays permanently in the red. Nuances are lost, which is a shame. The Roadside Picnic cassette is unplayable because of this - and the sound keeps cutting out of the left-hand speaker.
The David Russell Snake cassette; "Mirror Mirror" is messy plunderphonics and circuit bending, and hasn't made it all the way through side one yet...
At the start of the year Paul Watson (aka The Baron Bum Blood) recommended Lust For Youth - a band to listen out for. Sound Holes bring us "White Skin", a C23 with four pieces. Again the dubbing leaves a lot to be desired, but after listening to the "improv. electronic" sounds of Picasso Trigger and The David Russell Snake it is great to hear some structured pieces. My surprise is that Lust For Youth (who may or may not be Swedish ... could be Danish, I'm uncertain) sound like a band that should have been on Factory Records in 1984. They have the polyphonic keyboard sound of New Order, The Wake and Section 25 and the rhythms of Stockholm Monsters. "Never Looking Back" reminds me of early New Order and "The Curse" sails closely to The Wake sound. "White Skin" sounds like it is an extract from a longer improvisational piece and brings Section 25's "Key Of Dreams" to mind. I may be way off here - but that's what it sounds like to me. If only the recording levels were "slightly" better. When I get a chance I'm going to play the Lust For Youth track on the Utmarken triple cassette release from last year ... I don't remember Lust For Youth sounding like this!
I have a few more Sound Holes releases to play...looking forward..there is a sampler CDr available where Daniel has mixed in pieces from the last dozen or so releases to create a grand 45 minute track. Go to www.sndhls.com and bag some beauties.
1: Sound Holes poster.
2: Picasso Trigger, Roadside Picnic, The David Russell Snake & Lust For Youth tapes.
3: Lust For Youth tape cover.
4: Sound Holes postcard.
5: Sound Holes business card.
6: Sound Holes sticker.
Friday, 2 November 2012
Last night saw the third "MuhMur" broadcast on SoundArt Radio (102.5 FM), it was streamed live over the Internet at www.soundartradio.org/uk and a big thanks for all those who listened in. The programme featured an exclusive piece by Schuster as well as a dip into his archive recordings.It was (as always) great fun. Next programme will be on the 15th November at 21:00 gmt.
Here is last nights playlist;
1: Preslav Literary School : "Echolalia" (No-Fi Records) 2010.
2: Ashtray Navigations : "Monkey Music/Throw Money At The Monkeys" (Trensmat) 2011.
3: Burial Hex : "Our Rainbow" (Sangoplasmo Records) 2012.
4: Steve Roden : "Bela Lugosi's Dead" (WFMU) 2012.
5: Schuster : "Aggrieved" (Unreleased piece - Exclusive to "MuhMur") 2012.
6: Nackt Insecten : "Stenoch To St. George's Cross 15/02/08" (Memoirs Of An Aesthete) 2009.
7: Picasso Trigger : "Mind Field" (Sound Holes) 2012.
8: Schuster : "Aboulia" (Silencer) 1987.
9: Glaxo Babies : "Shake (The Foundations)" (Cherry Red Records) 1980.
10: Five Or Six : "Another Reason" (Cherry Red Records) 1981.
11: Simon Joyner : "After The Gold Rush" (WFMU) 2012.
12: Duncan Harrison : "Until Then #3" (Not On Label) 2008.
13: Petals : "Viaduct For Two" (Sheepscar Light Industrial) 2012.
14: Schuster : "Bellerophon" (Adeptsound) 2011.
15: Chop Shop : "In" (Banned Productions) 1999.
16: Die Form : "Sadia" (Normal Records) 1989.
The Glaxo Babies track was chosen by (my son) Oscar, and I did have a John Peel moment when I played the Nackt Insecten single at the wrong speed ... but it sounded OK, and I think I got away with it! Big big thanks again to Dave the Engineer who kept me laughing and wisely hid the bottle of red wine.
The programme will soon be uploaded onto Mixcloud, the link will appear below within 24 hours!
*** www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-soundart-broadcast-01112012/ ***
1: SoundArt Radio Banner.
2: A happy DJ!