Sunday, 29 August 2010

The Lowest Form Of Music Event. 2010.

Just come off the 'phone with Steve Underwood, and it is less than two months away to the "Lowest Form Of Music" event in London. I have managed to get a ticket for the Saturday night. The night of John Duncan, Paul McCarthy and Mark Durgan. (OK Mark is from Leamington Spa not Los Angeles - L.S. not L.A. - but his style/sound is in the LAFMS approach).
Really looking forward to this one...strange that TG are playing in London the same night...someone shoot their booking agent!!

See you there?


Just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest (to my ears) Prurient single "Crossbow" on the DotDotDot label. This is the beautiful sound of violence. Both sides have a similar spine, a threatening drone and electronic shuffle mixed in with acoustic chaos - sounds like household furniture being thrown about a room and doors slamming. One side has the voice of Prurient (AKA Dominic Furnow) screaming a manifesto of sorts, a violent onslaught diatribe. The other side leaves off the vocal track and has a taped voice, the drone is less dominant and it has a feel of a crime scene investigation. As a single (I'm playing at 45rpm, I hope that is right)! it is a beauty - like a Con-Dom single of old.
I am uncertain about the label. I know it is based in Cork, Eire and I have another DotDotDot 7" by Nate Young (both items given to me by Andrew of Aurora Borealis - thanks). There is no sleeve, just coloured vinyl in a poly-bag. Personally I like more information with my releases. But like Apollolaan Recordings they release in limited quantities and sell out quickly.

Back in 2006 Dieter Muh played on the same bill as Prurient, at The Old Angel Inn in Nottingham. Also on the bill were Burning Star Core, Bologna Pony and Consumer Electronics. I sat and chatted to Dominic for a while about the state of noise in Europe (a few days later I was off to play the WGT Festival in Leipzig), but I remember nothing of the Prurient set. I'm afraid it was one of those gigs where we played second, then moved to the bar and got rat-arsed.
I think Dominic has put Prurient on the back burner to concentrate on the synth-rock band Cold Cave. (I could be wrong).

1: Single.
2 Prurient Live at 2010 No Fun Fest. New York.

Andreas Brandal #2

This week saw the arrival of 160 copies of the CD "Bacterium" - a long awaited release that should have been released back in early July but due to various minor hiccups finally reached Hartop Towers a few days ago, the same time as the new album by Andreas Brandal. The CD player has mainly been spinning the "Bacterium" apologies to Andreas there.
At the start of 2010 I had never heard of Andreas. His work has been a great discovery. It is nice to see that the UK label Apollolaan Recordings have picked up on his sound too - it fits the label perfectly. The last album I heard by Andreas was the cassette "Shipwrecked" on the German Licht Und Stahl label; this release sort of fits in with it - am I seeing a "trilogy" concept or something? "Sunken Gardens" has the same familiar resonance, far away calls and bells. Creaks and clicks. There are moments where I am put in mind of Popol Vuh's "Agape-Agape" and "Dead-End" piece could have been an out-take from Tangerine Dream's "The Sorcerer" LP with its dark drone and synth sweeps.
What I am liking about this album is that it puts you in another place. It has a very visual sound.
Well recommended, although looking at the Apollolaan website I see that it is now sold out! Limited to 50 copies with wrap around sleeve and insert - this is why I joined their mailing list, Apollolaan are releasing gems now and then.....

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Bacterium CD

CD compilation featuring:
The Psychogeographical Commission.
Column One.
Praying For Oblivion.
Josef Nadek.
Dieter Muh.
Maison Close.
Full colour sleeve, 12 page booklet and limited numbered postcard. (300 copies only).
Available from Adeptsound soon. Enquiries taken here. (Get In Touch)!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Disembraining Songs

Received a package last week from Toronto based genius / polymath William A. Davison. It contained 3 releases from his Disembraining Songs label.

Backstory: Early 2008 and Tamsin and I decided to spend a couple of weeks in Canada. Toronto as a HQ and a camping trip on Lake Ontario. I put a notice up on a couple of forum boards asking advice on secondhand vinyl/CD stores in Toronto and two folk replied. Andy Nolan (AKA Joshua Norton Cabal) and William A. Davison. On arrival Andy was busy, but William and his partner Sherri both offered to show me the sites of Toronto. Kensington Market, Queen St. West, Chinatown etc. We took in a couple of bars, even went to a show...and of course shopped in beautiful secondhand vinyl stores.

Before my Toronto trip the work of William was unknown to me. I had never heard of Songs Of The New Erotics, Gastric Female Reflex or Six Heads. I had heard of a couple of groups he had worked with in a live capacity though; Nurse With Wound and Phycus.
Whilst in Toronto I picked up a Gastric Female Reflex LP for a few dollars, secondhand vinyl over there was so cheap compared to shops in the UK. Let me state at this point - I could quite happily live in Toronto.
So. Last week William mailed me a batch of new releases. All three (CDr's by the way) are live recordings from improvised performances in three separate venues in Toronto. The M.Stactor project is William performing solo. "Thrombling" is taken from a performance at Ossington Space Port in 2009. I have no idea what Thrombling is, or even if it is possible to thromble. The sleeve lists"instruments" used. Motorless turntable, dictaphone, balloon mic, contact mic, spring board, cassette walkman, Boss RC-20 Loopstation. Intriguing stuff. The sound of thrombling is a kind of low key looped rumble. Very inviting. Very "industrial" in an old school sense - if that makes sense? Six Heads are a group project. "Snuffles" is a twenty or so minute piece recorded at "The Most Horrible Night Of Your Life", The Smiling Buddha Bar in 2009. The sound is very similar to the M.Stactor release, I played them straight after each other and it seemed seamless. Sounds rumble and creak and loop and build and satisfy the ears. Again, invocative of old "industrial / DIY" sounds from the early 1980's. Very clever stuff, which cannot be said for Magic Tits. Another group project featuring some but not all members of Six Heads. This 5 track 3" CDr was recorded live at Teranga in 2009. Magic Tits is an ensemble of cheap Casio + Yamaha keyboards., so there is that cheap tinny keyboard sound. The opening track "Insufficient Macaroni Anxiety" even has the obligatory "Greensleeves" playing on the rhythm box. It's not good - or at least does not work for me. Waltz + Bossa Nova rhythms over keyboard doodles. Interesting as a document, not as an entertaining release.
I will hunt down Six Heads and M.Stactor stuff in the future.
Besides the music projects William is involved in he is also an artist - most sleeves carry his artwork. Visit to find out more.

1: Myself, Sherri and William, Toronto 2008.
2: M.Stactor "Thrombling" sleeve.
3: M.Stactor live.
4: Six Heads "Snuffles" sleeve.
5: Magic Tits "Stit Cigam" sleeve.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Rough Trade : Document And Eyewitness

Just finished my "summer read" of 2010. "Document And Eyewitness:An Intimate History Of Rough Trade" by Neil Taylor.
Rough Trade Records, along with Small Wonder, Mute Records and Factory Records were the bulk of my collection back between 1978 and 1983. Swell Maps, Cabaret Voltaire, Young Marble Giants, The Fall, Scritti Politti, Pere Ubu, File Under Pop, Metal Urbain, Doctor Mix & The Remix, Chris & Cosey, Virgin Prunes, Cult Figures, Slits, Spizz Oil/Energi, The Pop Group, The Gist, Delta 5, Subway Sect, The Monochrome Set, Wire, The Prats, Blue Orchids, Essential Logic, The Raincoats, Kleenex. Most of the catalogue ('78 - '83) still sits upstairs in my "gimp room". No Stiff Little Fingers or Count Basie though. can't stand reggae!
It is a fascinating book (to start with). The story of a young enthusiastic Geoff Travis going to Cambridge University then off to Canada and USA and collecting vinyl along the way collecting like minded souls to help realise his dream of opening up a record shop in London. London, mid 1970's with it's bulging pub rock scene and squatters paradise. It is written in a first person narrative, from the horse's mouth as were. Contradictions are therefore rife and that is one part of the appeal of the book. The characters come out too. Geoff Travis, Scott Piering, Daniel Miller, Jo Slee, Jon Savage - a whole list of names with stories to tell.
For me the book became un-putdownable when the shop opened and "punk" took off. Well, not necessarily punk - but the whole D.I.Y. experience. The likes of Daniel Miller and Richard Boon and Green Gartside and Danny Wigley come in to the book to relate a history as yet (and as far as I know) untapped. Then the penny drops that Rough Trade should be a label as well as a shop and Rough Trade Records is born with Metal Urbain's "Paris Marquis" 7".
I think the first Rough Trade record I bought was "Extended Play" by Cabaret Voltaire. I have a vague recollection of buying it on a Saturday morning with my "paper round" money, and cycling 4 miles back to home to play it repeatedly until the football results came on TV.
My favourite Rough Trade Records release - if there can be such a thing - is Robert Rental + The Normal "Live At West Runton Pavilion 6/3/79" (ROUGH US 2).
It does exactly what it says on the tin.

I was fortunate to see Robert Rental + The Normal live on the same tour at The Drill Hall in Lincoln. They were supporting Essential Logic (with William Bennett) and Stiff Little Fingers, whom apart from "Gotta Gettaway" intro I never liked.....Out of a crowd of 200 or so there was only a half a dozen or so who appreciated Robert Rental + The Normal that night. The sound, the frequencies, bass tones and pulses at such ear splitting volume. I was at home.
1976 and the birth of "Rough Trade" which in my ignorance I never knew was gay slang, through to 1983 is brilliant - and a few good photographs to boot. Then comes 1983 and The Smiths, and the setting up of The Cartel distribution outfit and chart success and dissension amongst the workforce etc. The book then becomes more like a trade manual or text book on accountancy, names of managers, middle managers, transient managers, companies, organisations, departments, more managers, more companies etc and it all gets bogged down in legal talk and litigation - and at the same time the music has switched from interesting characters to Johnny Marr and Johnny Marr alone. I don't like The Smiths. Never did, never have and probably never will - in fact I didn't even know they were on Rough Trade Records.
Looking back (hindsight alert) I lost interest in a lot of music in 1983/84, priorities changed, sounds changed.
This is all about halfway through the book and it carries on and on. My mood switched from un-putdownable to: I must finish this so I can start a new book! A label that brought me Cabaret Voltaire, Swell Maps, Pere Ubu, File Under Pop is now giving me Duffy, Pete Docherty, The Strokes, British Sea thanks.
Rough Trade lost their integrity and became a major label satellite. They got greedy, but then I suppose that was "Thatcherite Britain" at the time and they just fitted in like a piece in the giant jigsaw puzzle?

I visit London a few times a year but I haven't been to a Rough Trade Record shop in years. Maybe 6 or 7 years. Back in the late 1970's/early 1980's (along with Notting Hill Record + Tape) it was the only place to go and spend the savings. Now it is just like a Sister Ray or HMV. A few years ago I was in Bavaria, and the guy from (the band) Operation Cleansweep asked me what I was doing the next day so I said I had plans to visit Dachau and he told me not to bother because "It is like Disneyland" and I suppose that is now what I think about Rough Trade Records shop.
The first time I went in to Rough Trade I stood next to Genesis P-Orridge. I'll keep that memory.

So, is it a good read. Yes. I am an avid reader of music biographies, histories etc and this one has some good stories and twists - and does - like all modern music biogs mention Chrissie Hynde. The only thing that is stopping me from writing my memoirs is that I have yet to meet, play with or fuck Chrissie Hynde.

1: Book cover.
2: The greatest live LP ever released.

Jean Noel Rebilly et Cedric Lerouley

Firstly apologies for spelling names without accents / punctuatives - I know not how to insert graves or umlauts on my text.
Just spent a pleasant while listening to the 2008 CD release by Jean Noel Rebilly and Cedric Lerouley. Entitled "Leaving" and on the Paris based label; COmmA.
Years ago...2002, I became aware of Cedric Lerouley. He remixed a Dieter Muh track that appeared on the CDr "Eponymous", released on the French label Naninani Recordings. "Eponymous" itself was a strange album. Shortly after our return from Belgium in late 1998 Dave and I started experimenting in the sound / direction of Dieter Muh. We were busy recording photo-copy machines, machines from the crisp factory I was working at, slow bowed cymbals, as well as sampling old films and TV programmes.....just finding a sound and working on it. It was late 1998 that we got a letter from Jose Leseur wanting to put out a Dieter Muh cassette - extremely limited (30 or so) - and we said yes and mailed a master of our "work in progress" then we heard nowt for 4 years and suddenly there was this CDr called "Eponymous" with Jose artwork and a Cedric Lerouley remix track to (I suspect) fill the disc. I liked it - so started a correspondence of sorts with Cedric. It lasted a year or so. Long studied letters from Cedric and the first 4 releases from his label COmmA.

At the end of last month I received an E Mail from Jean Noel. He spotted on Discogs that I had a Cedric Lerouley CD that he was desperate for and offered cash. We traded. I got the Andrew Chalk CD mentioned in an earlier entry and a copy of "Leaving".
From listening to early COmmA releases I get the idea that it is a label for "modern classical" music. Art Music, Ambient, Soundtrack - that sort of approach. Certainly the packaging from the first few releases by Cedric and Vincent Bondet are like miniature works of art.
"Leaving": 3 tracks of beauty. A short experimental abstract piece sandwich by two long drone style workings. The listening experience put me in mind of two other albums. The long pieces are certainly a homage to Nurse With Wound's "Soliloquy For Lilith", they have to be! There are edges / touches of Lustmord circa "Dark Stars" but it is very close to feel of "Soliloquy". An extension of .... The small interlude put me in mind of the Pink Floyd LP "More", don't know why, just sat there reading and the LP popped in to my psyche.
I think COmmA have a website. If you like the ethereal, the all encompassing sound then google, dig and discover.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Night Science

Got a copy of the latest "Night Science" magazine through the post last week. Two or three years in the making, but worth the wait. There are very few magazines dedicated to "outsider" sound (call it Noise, call it PE, call it Freakzone, call it what you like...perimeter music...I just made that one up) that are worth a read nowadays. "Special Interests" and "Terror" are good ones and "Night Science" stands above both of them.
In depth interviews coupled with honest reviews. No pandering to friends or advertisers. The guy behind the mag - Chris Groves - writes it like it is. I like. Another aspect which makes the magazine a necessity is that it comes with a CD featuring the bands interviewed/profiled. Like Freak Animal mag used to. Excellent, because chances are, I have never heard the project I am reading about but now I can listen to them whilst I'm perusing the pages.....
Recently I got a similar magazine "Archive 1" from Germany - interviews, overviews, artwork and CD. Indispensable.
"Night Science 4" kicks off with interviews of : Hum Of The Druid, Daniel Lowenbruck (Raionbashi), Golden Serenades, K. Endo, Dieter Muh, The Haters, Halthan, Posh Isolation + live event overviews of KK Null and Dave Phillips before launching in to pages of reviews, and like I mentioned before the reviews are honest and prove that at least Chris has played the damn CD (record, tape, DVD whatever)....
The Dieter Muh interview began at the start of last year and took a strange turn when Dave left in September 2009 - but I completed the interview. Chris (as interviewer) came across as very learned about Muh activities and such like. Great interview!
The CD kicks off with a track by Hum Of The Druid. "Endless Leadership" is crunchy noise attack (could be anybody) very American - in the vain of Slogun or Solotroff. Raionbashi track is like a performance art piece. Bells, balloons and bodily functions. As beautiful as it is abstract. Golden Serenades is noise and was fast forwarded. Nothing new. Kazumoto Endo - who gives a great interview - provides a track of random chaos. Synthy noodles, metal scrapings, resonant springs all enter and almost as quickly leave the aural arena. "Iruka No Misoni" is akin to listening to The Hafler Trio on speed. The Dieter Muh track is an extract from the "Equinox Festival" performance. 14/07/09, and is the final release of Muh with Dave Uden as a member.
The Haters (again, great interview) sound like The Haters. Halthan - a band I have never heard of - provide the PE by numbers track. It's not bad but has appalling vocals where if they had left that out and stuck with the tape looping it would have got an 8 out of 10. The CD ends with a slow ambient piece by Hum Of The Druid called "Gammadion Rotates South". 51 minutes of good stuff (OK, forget Golden Serenades) to read the magazine to...
Printed matter is important. I don't read online magazines and I don't listen (much) to online music - the odd YouTube or MySpace tune but I certainly don't download or burn shit on to CDr - I listen to vinyl, tape, CD and I read printed matter. "Night Science" is a jewel and should be supported. It is produced by Chris Groves at Cipher Productions in Tasmania. Google and buy.

The world awaits "As Loud As Possible"

1: Bad picture of "Night Science 4". (sorry).


Just spent a pleasant while listening to the new Putrefier LP "Solar Dragging" on Noiseville Records. (Noiseville #88).
Putrefier is one of those people on my (ever growing) list that when I see a new release by, I have to buy. Not always successfully, what with ultra limited stuff coming out over the past 20 odd years, but when it is available I try and hunt it out.
I first heard Putrefier back in the late 1980's when I contacted his Birthbiter label (more than likely after some Whitehouse or Esplendor Geometrico stuff) and got the "Beyond Scathing" (1986) cassette, then came the superb "Pray For Fire" (1992) 7". I was hooked.....
I was fortunate enough to support Putrefier in 1994 in Nottingham ( a set he did with Bolus of Evil Moisture) and then play a few dates in London, Bristol, Finland and Germany over the next few years I have heard the work of Putrefier loud. Putrefier needs to be heard loud. "Solar Dragging" is no exception. Released by Noiseville as part of their "Outer Bounds Of Sound" catalogue and limited to only 300, this LP explores both studio and live work by Mark Durgan. Three tracks: The very short "Horst" which is a rhythmic hammer leads in to "Thicket Clearing", a 15 minute piece of circuit bending electronics which builds to find a loop, ultimately to collapse and try again. There's also sound of a kitchen pan being struck hanging about in the background, that came a s a surprise! Side two is a warhorse of a live piece called "No L.A." recorded in Boston, Mass (not Lincs) last year. I smiled all through this piece. Crystal clear electronics create patterns and weave. loops are caught and played with before being discarded and thrown back in to the morass of electronics from whence it came. Again noises are stretched to their limit and sometimes do fall flat on their face, but it is all suddenly picked up again to be thrown out of the speakers. Excellent stuff - and play loud!

Putrefier differs from the solo work by Mark Durgan, the time I saw Mark play under his own name it was more organic, more concret than the awesome noise of Putrefier - but both recommended. If you see this LP - BUY.

1: "Solar Dragging" sleeve. (On my old piano)!

Aaron Dilloway #2

Just spent a pleasant while listening to Aaron Dilloway's "Hatched Eggs" LP/CD package. A concept release. I have kids (I've got three), and of course I have kids toys and I think I heard a few being used on this release.
The release is more like a document from an exhibition / installation. It certainly sounds like it was recorded in some art space ( a garage springs to mind). The LP starts with crackling sounds and soon develops in to the cries of animals. It is the sound of the animals that remind me of Farmyard Toys. Bleating, Cawing, Mooing all processed through effects. Over both sides of the LP and the 3" CD the sounds loop and build to a wonderful wall of noise. It is like walking round Paignton Zoo at feeding time. My mind then got to thinking, if this was a recording from an installation are the sounds being triggered in someway by the audience or artist?
It is a fascinating and compelling piece.
Packaged in a sleeve of pencil rubbings of a beetle eaten tree by American artist Brian Schmidt and limited to 15 - yes 15! - copies (I have #8), finding a copy will take some doing.

1: Hatched Eggs Package. (Hanson/RRR Records).
2: Close up of sleeve.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Manaton Show And Fair 2010.

Hidden away in Dartmoor, behind Haytor, past Becky Falls and in the shadow of Hunters Tor lies the sprawling village of Manaton. Not a cluster village, but a road of houses, off set farms, a pub and a cricket field. That is Manaton. There is a village hall next to the church, but this is not a village with a centre - a heart - just a village where the road passes through....
Every year there is the Manaton Fayre (now called The Manaton Show & Fair), this was my third time. When I first went back in 2003 I was captivated by it all. It was like time had stood still in 1963. Half expecting Doug McClure to appear from behind the cricket pavilion. There were old moorish activities like ferret racing, tossing the sheaf, tug o' war, best marrow competition, wellington boot tossing etc. (Alot of tossing). Farmers roamed the field in their burberry waistcoats and corduroy. It really was a step back in time.
In 2006 the fayre had gotten bigger with more bric-a-brac stalls and charity stalls like Devon Air Ambulance and St. Johns Ambulance raising money. The Dart Valley Stompers walked the perimeter of the cricket field playing trad jazz. There was still the tossing and the tugging taking place. It was bigger and to an extent better.
This years fayre. Now called show + fair was a disappointment on my previous visits. The event has got a little more "downmarket". Less like a little parochial summer fayre raising money for the village / parish needs, more like an excuse to rob me of my money to line the pockets of profiteers. Firstly it cost £3 PER ADULT admission. 3 fucking quid for something that should have a 20p entrance fee. There was still the tossing and tugging and ferret racing but the stalls had grown in size to include rip-off merchants who prey on the unsuspecting (children) to part them with their cash.
"Every one's a winner" cried this old hag during the minutes silence for a fallen local. Sat in a chair surrounded by inflatable tat she charged 30 bob for kids to "hook a dolphin" - which she did herself and then told them to get a 3ft inflatable hammer from the bucket. Rip-off. There was a similar stall "selling" (every one's a winner) toy guns if you rang a bell or something. Oscar had a go on the bouncy castle. £1 = 5 minutes, and to make sure it was 5 minutes a guy stop watched every child. He would rather have an empty bouncy castle than a child spending seconds more enjoyment than they have paid for. And who runs these stalls? Locals? No. Before I get in to libel or hauled before the PC committee may I bring in to your mind the song "Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves" by Cher and concentrate on the former and latter in the title.

I did find a copy of "Dead Elvis" by Greil Marcus for 50 pence worth the trip....

1: Manaton Show programme.
2: The First World Salad Eating Championship.
3: Punch & Judy.
4: Classic Car show with an Isetta. (Brought back memories)!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Andrew Chalk

Just spent a pleasant while listening to the CD "East Of The Sun" by Andrew Chalk. I have the re-issue CD on the Faraway Press label.
I have had the CD for two days now and each time I have played it at the end of the day on the downstairs system at Hartop Towers and it has filled the room with a lovely warm glow and encouraged reading and conversation within the walls. An absolutely beautiful CD.
Tones drift between light keyboard tinkering and a bowed bass guitar. Notes hang in the air creating an encouraging aroma.
It has been a while since I have sat and listened to Andrew Chalk. I have a few bits and pieces. Ferial Confine and his collaboration with David Jackman, but they're all filed away...a friend from France mailed this and I am eternally grateful. I will have to rediscover Andrew and his work.

1: Andrew Chalk.
2: "East Of The Sun" CD Sleeve.

Nexus, Phoenix Exeter. 2010.

Whilst in Exeter last week I took time out and visited the exhibition "Nexus" at the Phoenix Arts Centre on Gandy Street. I was intrigued, as I like the word "Nexus". It is like when I see a Ford Fiesta, or a Ford Escort I think who's idea was it to name a car after a porn mag? Is there a Rapier? I think so..... So, Nexus. A contact magazine from the 1970's. A5 (some would say pocket size - I would say bloody big pockets) size contact magazine full of blurred black & white photographs of women sat with their legs wide open displaying their wares but their eyes blacked out by a small strip of masking tape. Men dangling their six inch penises (is that peni)? and still with that same strip of tape carefully placed at the top of their noses. A bizarre world was had back then. The last chance to gaze upon the body of Rosemary West. Strange literature accompanied the pictures too. A code. A Polari of words that I could only fantasize about and grow harder..... As a young teenager I was familiar with Nexus. It was hedgerow pornography - a Sunday afternoon pastime for those who grew up in the wilds of Lincolnshire, and slightly off topic to what I saw in Exeter last week.

The main draw of the exhibition was the piece "The Difference Between Big And Small And Near And Faraway" by Felicity Shillingford + The Durds. It was their response to a book that was sent them by the curators of the O2 Gallery in Oxford called "The Principles Of Quantum Mechanics" on which they had to create an art "space".
I have known Dan of The Durds for a few years now. He is a wordsmith, a poet as well as a producer of quirky pop tunes. The Durds used to be called The Duds before an American band of the same name wrote and threatened a legal suit.
So...the exhibition. The Shillingford/Durds piece was interesting. It was what I was there to see / experience, and I enjoyed. A small television set encased in a wooden bird box showed this looped film of a lady trying to inflate an inflatable bed whilst (on headphones) a new Durds song was singing the praises of cheese from Emmental to Jarlsberg. A complicated piece. There was a chair to sit in and a copy of Virginia Woolf's "A Room Of One's Own" nailed to the wall. For 5 or 6 minutes the experience was very pleasurable.
This is only the second piece of "installation art" I have seen by Felicity Shillingford but her love for the minutiae accompanied by the soundtrack of the mind of Dan Cray at this moment in time is spot on. I am not an "art" expert, but I enjoyed this exhibition.
Google The Durds or Felicity and find out more.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Paris, France.

Have been invited to play in Paris next month.
"In Paris, France". As Wasted Youth used to say -a band that was always better live than on vinyl, but that is another story....
I have never played live in France before so this is a great first. Hopefully see you there!!
Full report to follow.

1: Poster.
2: Flyer.
3: Praying For Oblivion poster.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Alchemy Of The 20th Century

Just spent a pleasant while playing some old stuff that I haven't played in years, stuff released on the French COmma (2) label and Alchemy Of the 20th Century cassette "Birth Of A Lifeform" which Kaos Kontrol released in 1999. I think it's limited to 50 copies....could be wrong.
Alchemy Of The 20th Century is the "ambient / organic" side of Noise Artist Mikko Aspa. Also known as Grunt, Clinic Of Torture, Nicole 12 and owner of the Freak Animal product. Prolific chap and all round nice guy!
The sounds on this release are all organic, manipulated through effects - some times sped up, some times (Like on "Swarms") reversed. It makes for pleasant listening, like a Drone release of old. I had forgotten just how good this tape is. I'm going to have to listen to the "Liquid Metal" 7" now!
I have met Mikko on a number of occassions and he has never failed to entertain and amuse.
Hopefully Alchemy Of The 20th Century is not a finished project.

1: Mikko Aspa.
2: Sleeve to "Birth Of A Lifeform". (It is transparent and a bugger to photocopy) .

Dieter Muh #41

I was invited to support Silver Apples at Exeter Cavern a few weeks back. I said yes, of course. It is always nice to be asked. I like the venue, and although I was not too excited by Silver Apples last time I saw them live (1997) I was looking forward to what they/he were up to in 2010.
This was the fourth time Dieter Muh had played The Cavern equalling the amount of times we/I have played The Red Rose in London. Like I said; I like the venue. It has the same feel as a punk club of old. Like Nottingham's Ad Lib or Lincoln's A.J.'s or Retford's Porterhouse. It is small, it is dark with small alcoves and recesses. Lovely place. Dave, the owner, is always chatty and the guy behind the sound board is a top guy - nothing is ever too much trouble.
I was limited to thirty minutes so I expanded on the set I played at the Ivy House (Nunhead) earlier in the year, using Schuster's track "Bacteria 2" as a spine, mixing in textural sounds of scraped cymbals and violins, smashing glass, grinding teeth and the voices of Lon Milo DuQuette, children playing in the street and Buddhist chanting....I introduced the piece as "Hanging A Blind Dog Part 1", followed by "Part 2" and ending on "Part 3". I enjoyed it. Enjoyed it immensely and will take it all a bit further in Paris next month.
I used the Tim Bayes animated film "Armenia 1915" as backdrop. It fitted the sound well.
Silver Apples atrracted a fair few folk, maybe 60 to 70, and in a club where the maximum capacity is 200 it wasn't too bad. Simeon had a table bedecked with strange looking boxes filled with valves and levers. He had a good sound, got the crowd dancing. It was good to play to a Silver Apples audience. Dieter Muh was well recieved.
There was another band on. New Years Evil. 3 kids with instruments, I caught the last 5 minutes.

When I first moved to Devon in 2001 it became an ambition to play The Cavern. For reasons stated above and the fact that if you do play The Cavern you get your name on posters that are stuck up all over Exeter on strange circular pillars and obelisks. I wanted Dieter Muh to be up there! The other three times we have played The Cavern either myself or a chap called Dave P. Myers have organised the gigs - so no posters.....but this time.....

1: Poster Pillar with Silver Apples / Dieter Muh poster.
2: Post Gig drinks with (L-R): D.P. Myers, Jack Trevillan (Enraptured Records), Dave Goodchild (The Boss), Simeon Coxe and The Sound Guy.
3 + 4: Dieter Muh in action.

Monday, 2 August 2010


Just spent a pleasant while listening to the latest release by Belgian (self proclaimed) industrialists Militia. I have been listening to Militia now for the fifteen years, although I haven't bought anything since their split 7" with Laura Maes and Con-Dom and that was in 1997. First I got the split release cassette with Con-Dom back in 1995. It came recommended by Mike Dando himself and I remember playing a lot. This was before I heard Genocide Organ or Anenzephalia mind. This cassette release (limited to 100 copies) jumped out to me as a must have. It is a recording of the first 2 live radio performances of Militia when the line-up was purely Frank Gorissen back in 1989.
The sound quality isn't that clever, not as bad as some Swedish tapes I have been buying lately, but certainly not Burial Hex "Fantasma" quality. Some of the bass tones and metal percussion are muffled, but then I suppose at releasing from a master cassette that is over 20 years old there can be no complaints. Echoed walls of tonal feedback meet the clattering of junkyard metal. Tapes of Aleister Crowley and Throbbing Gristle play along and interrupt delayed vocals. It is the template for Power Electronics, around this time both Genocide Organ and Con-Dom were operating in the same area, and that is where this release fits in.
Released by Destructive Industries of Natchez, Mississippi the tape is now sold out.

1: Militia "Live Provocations 1+2" package. 2010.
2: Militia / Con-Dom "Scorched Earth Policy" cassette package. 1995.

Burial Hex #2

On the strength of a mesmeric performance at last years Equinox Festival in London and the latest vinyl LP "Bagirwa Hymn" I have started collecting the work of Clay Ruby / Burial Hex wherever I can find it. My latest find is the 55 minute cassette release "Fantasma Di Perarolo" on the new Brave Mysteries label. A treat to find as only 100 were made. 20 with a gold sleeve and 80 with a gold and black sleeve.
Here is some research: (I don't just knock this thing together y'know)....
Pipe organ sonata by Clay Ruby featuring liturgical medleys and elaborate funery improvisations with accompanying electric atmospheres by Giovani Donandini, Ricardo Mazza and Nico Vascarrelli. This performance was given on the mid 18th Century Pipe Organ at Chiesa Di San Nicolo Di Perarolo Di Cadore and recorded on December 23rd, 2009 at the inauguration performance of Nico Vascarelli's exhibition in Perarolo, as curated by Daniel Zangrando. A crowd from all over Italy travelled North to join curious villagers, all huddled together in the warmest winter clothes to witness this performance, which included a 3 hour funeral procession and memorial within the massive, candlelit, unheated church which is the centre of a tiny village lost high in the frozen Dolomites of Northern Italy. Two elderly natives furiously pulling ropes to pump the bellows of the ancient organ whilst Clay conjured up decayed hymns, modal improvisations, spiralling tone clusters and utterly supernatural voices out of its' spluttering pipes. This tape captures 50+ minute excerpt of the lengthy proceedings, documenting the howling organ, the cryptic electronics and the frozen spirits singing in the pulsing and surreal environment of the centuries old church.
All the above information comes c/o "Brainwashed" web site.
The sound reproduction quality on this release is superb. No tape hiss! Quality recording. A performance with such gravitas should (though) get a better release than a 100 copies on a cassette....perhaps Clay has something up his sleeve though? A 4xCD Box Set of the whole 3 hour affair? That would be nice.
The sound is as above, Heavy pipe organ sound a la Hermann Nitsch with mysterious clatterings and electronic drones fitting all around. An improvised work on a Church Pipe Organ - it has to be heard! Whilst playing my mind wandered off in to thoughts of those picture discs LP's that Jordi Valls/Vagina Dentata Organ used to put out in the mid to late 1980's. This is very similar in atmosphere.
I found this cassette advertised via Troniks board. I shall keep searching.....