Thursday, 28 October 2010

Secondhand Record Shops #7 : Soho & Notting Hill Gate, London

It always seems to be the rule of thumb that when I am going to London I will be meeting a friend in a pub in Soho...or Covent Garden. No complaints as this always means a trip to the shops on Berwick Street. Berwick Street runs off Oxford Street (use the Tottenham Court Road Tube Station) and takes you deep into Soho...with its tacky sex shops, peep shows and prostitutes. "Sotosland" as we call it. Berwick Street houses three fine record shops and if walking from Oxford Street the first one you'll find (on the left) is Sister Ray. To be fair Sister Ray also sells new stuff as well, well mainly new stuff but it has a secondhand vinyl section. If this shop was in Nottingham it would be called Selectadisc. I have never bought from this shop but it is a fine place to browse for half an hour or so. Virtually next door is Reckless Records. Reckless Records used to be in Islington thirty years back and was a fine place for a bargain but now it is situated in the centre of town it has become a little pricey. I have paid £18 for a copy of Die Form "Photogrammes" LP here (with 7")! But, it'll probably have what you're looking for. If you are shopping for secondhand vinyl in London be prepared to pay its' worth and be even more prepared to pay above and beyond its' worth. No 7" singles on display here, you'll have to ask a counter assistant who can be surly at times. "Can I have a look at your seven inches"? (Always a favourite question of a teenager I loved going into record shops and asking if they had any Vibrators). Adopt bored tone "Yeah, what you looking for"? Now there's a question. "I don't know, but when I see it...I'll buy it...let's start in 1977 shall we"? Carrying on walking and you will find (on the right) Music & Video Exchange, formerly Record & Tape Exchange and to me shall always be Record & Tape Exchange. Again you will probably find what you are looking for in one of these shops.. I usually always buy something here. Friendly staff and open at 11am on a Sunday. Excellent shop. This visit (last Sunday at 11am) I found a copy of the first Splintered 7" "Nothing" for a fiver. I left a happy man.

Living in the South West of the UK the train (I don't drive) into London lands at Paddington. 20 minutes walk from Paddington is Notting Hill Gate. Notting Hill Gate is also 5-10 minutes on the central line tube from Tottenham Court Road Station. Notting Hill Gate is home to the finest Music & Video Exchange shop. In fact there are 5 Music & Video Exchange shops in Notting Hill gate. There's the book shop, the retro clothing shop, the classical music shop and the jazz/dance/hip-hop/techno techno techno notice shop - all of which I've never been in (apart from the book shop). The cream is the "Rock" shop. I have been visiting this shop for over thirty years and I have never left empty handed. I remember going into this shop and finding Ted Milton "Confessions Of An Aeroplane Farter" 12" with sick bag for a pound and a mint copy of the Liebstandarte SSMB LP with insert for 50 pence. That was back in the day though and now you pay its' worth. One good thing about Music & Video shops is that if the piece of vinyl is collecting a shelf life they do knock The price down a quid or two. Earlier in the year I bought an Eddie & Sunshine LP for £9 when it was originally £11. Small things make the mind think it has found a bargain. Huge selection of vinyl on the ground floor, upstairs the massive selection of 7" vinyl, and rare LP's. "It's Onomatopoeia"LP hung on the wall for £18 for years upstairs...gone now, wish I'd bought it! This time flicking through the "post-punk" 7" section I found a copy of "Nothing" by Rene Halkett & David Jay (1981, 4AD Records). £7. Been after this beauty for 27 years. The cry of "Got It" resounded across the top floor. In the basement is the bargain section. Poor quality vinyl for a pound type thing. Again, a good browse, nearly bought a John Foxx shaped picture disc 12" single, wish I had now...probably be there next visit though.

1: Sister Ray, Berwick Street.
2: Reckless Records, Berwick Street.
3: Music & Video Exchange, Berwick Street.
4: Music & Video Exchange, Notting Hill Gate.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


See You There?

The Lowest Form Of Music Event. 2010. #2

After last years "3 Day Event" of the decade in London a.k.a. "The Equinox Festival" comes this years "3 Day Event" of the decade in London : "The Lowest Form Of Music". I have been at both, I am a three day eventist.
Talk of this event has been going on for a year or so now (to my ears any way) so when the preliminary line up was announced I was quite excited...but then as the event started to gain a bit of momentum and names were being dropped as others were being added I decided to opt for the one night only. The event became arts council funded and was getting money from places like "The Wire" magazine so some names were added that were nowt to do with LAFMS in history, sound or attitude but had to be there to please the sponsors. Ah well, sic vita est.
I was there to see John Duncan, Paul McCarthy and Mark Durgan play live, having being an avid follower/fan of all three since the 1980's.

The day started early hundred of miles away in a borough of Torquay. I had left enough time to travel to the capital, find my hotel, refresh and cleanse the body and find a Pizza Hut before meeting up with friends and start the experience. Unfortunately the train was heavily delayed (a visit to the train bar) then the tube trains to Waterloo were all fucked up, meaning a late arrival at the hotel giving me mere minutes before meeting Simon Kane in a pub by Waterloo Station. Food became second priority...after Waterloo I made it to Lambeth (home of the event) to meet up with friends in a pub that only sold German Lager. Draught German Lager. Strong Draught German Lager. Bizarre, and sat in the German pub was a little corner of Yorkshire; Mark Wharton, Paul D. Knowles and Paul Walsh...very funny. (Sorry Phil, I know you were there, but yow from Dudley)! I mention all this just to explain that by the time I made it to the venue I was slightly worse for wear. (Exchange the word "wear" for "alcohol").

We entered en masse to watch Mark Durgan play live with Spoils & Relics. I must admit to not being a big fan of the Spoils & Relics split LP on Harbinger Sound, thought it had a very flat sound, but I was knocked sideways by the live sound. Imagine the smallest sound ( a click, a murmur) being slowed down and stretched and put through all manners of treatment whether it needed it or not. Insectual, Industrial. There were scrapings and acoustic noises but it was this stretched clicking sound that got to me. Excellent. Think Column One. Think Mark Durgan! They performed on the floor in front of the stage and I couldn't see a thing, but that didn't matter, to stand at the back and just soak in the sound was enough.
I have been a follower of the work of Paul McCarthy for about 30 years, like John Duncan. It was either through TG and their "Industrial News" or the American "N.D." magazine that first alerted me to their work. I had never seen any of them "live" before. The closest I had been to Paul McCarthy's work was the "Dionysiac" exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, 2005. Now I was a just a few feet away listening to this guy make the most amazing sound come from his body with two microphones and a band called Extended Organ.
It is hard to put into words the sheer joy I experienced during this set. The same can be echoed for the John Duncan performance. Whilst Extended Organ were shifting their gear off stage, I managed to squeeze side stage without being noticed, to enjoy the Duncan experience "on my own" and take a few choice photographs. 15 or so minutes later and the bugger decides to do a set from behind the PA mixing desk halfway down the room. Bugger. I sat on a table near the stage and again soaked in the experience/sound. John Duncan live - I have waited 30 years. Miasmic, all consuming and with a vocal track that you had to be there to made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
The big surprise of the evening was not the inflated price for a bottle of lager but Incapacitants. I am not a big "fan" of Japanese Noise. Japanoise. I have and play albums by Vasilisk and Contagious Orgasm and some Government Alpha on 7" vinyl that is crucial, but I am not an exponent or expert on the genre. For 20 (maybe 30) minutes Incapacitants filled Beaconsfield with beautiful noise, a kind of noise I had never heard before. It pulled me in. I stood at the back of the room and slowly drifted towards the stage - I wanted to see and physically experience more of what was happening in front of me. I was grinning! I have the CD on Harbinger Sound "Lon Guy", I will now play...I don't know if it will recapture those minutes but I'll pump up the volume and give it a go. One thing about Incapacitants - the audience seemed up for it too.

And then it was all over for me. A quick chat with Steve Noble and the urge to lie down in a dark room came over me and I staggered back to my hotel. I missed Airway but what had happened in the three and a half hours before I shall never ever forget. It goes with me to the grave.
There were times when I wandered about the venue and it was like a who's who of noise / experimental music but I was too drunk to chat! Sorry Juri, Mikko, Gaya, Duncan, Paul, Bill, Adrian, Daniel, Tamon, and folk who came up to me and got a slurring response..I was a man alone that night and in my own personal heaven. Maybe at next years "3 Day Event Of The Decade", eh?

1: LAFMS Security Band.
2: Front cover of the LAFMS programme.
3: J. Karpov + Idwal Fisher take a fag break.
4: Mark Durgan post performance.
5: Extended Organ.

Sunday, 17 October 2010


That time has come.
Five or six (great band) years ago I used to trade / buy on EBay. It was a way of getting shot of a lot of the techno electro dubtronik records / CD's I seemed to have amassed in the 1990's and a few of the shit noise I had been sent or bought by mistake over the past ten years or so. I got decent prices for what I thought was unlistenable pantery. In turn I too bid on stuff, mainly records that I lost in 1983 (the great burgalry of '83 that we don't talk about). It was stuff that through twenty years of record fairs, charity shops and second hand vinyl shops I hadn't seen or had a sniff of....I found myself re-buying stuff that I bought when I was 15 / 16 years old.Gems by the likes of The DP's, Gloria Mundi, Ultravox!, The Tea Set..stuff I never thought I would see again like the first 23 Skidoo 7" on Pineapple and the Last Few Days "Too Much Is Not Enough" 7" on Touch. The "From Brussels With Love" cassette and Burlesque's "Acupuncture" LP. For a couple of years I did this until my supply of shite to sell was exhausted and I found myself selling SPK Backstage passes from 1984 and original TG posters...just to get a TV Smith's Explorers "Tomahawk Cruise" single.....I packed in.
An old schoolfriend saw my rapidly growing horde of old records (or friends as I like to call them) and questioned if I would go back to my collection pre '77. No Way I would say!

Yesterday in Brixham, in the Pannier Market situated inside the Town Hall of Brixham that time came. I saw a mint copy of "Music Inspired By The Snow Goose" (with insert) by Camel. 1975. Decca Records. Later to be home to Adam & The Ants and Slaughter & The Dogs (they must like signing groups with "animal" motifs), but in 1975 it was home to prog rock stalwarts Camel. The LP cost me a pound.
Truth be told (and what's the point of lying) I never owned this LP back in the day, my big sister did. Julie was a record buyer back in the mid 1970's and seemed to have a penchant for keyboard based bands...Elton John, Supertramp, Murray Head spring to mind. Fair enough she did like T Rex, Bowie, The Eagles and had boyfriends who brought round their Deep Purple, Kiss and Black Sabbath to play. Liberal parents who let us play music loud and smoke fags. (Not that either of us did smoke fags, but her friends did). Any way, the LP spent more time in my room than it did hers....I think she preferred "Moon Madness".
An inquiring mind and a spare pound coin got the better of me and over the weekend Hartop Towers has been prog rock central! It's not a bad album, in fact it is highly entertaining and listenable. It has its' "prog rock by numbers" bits and the militaristic rhythm building to frenetic guitar solo and electric drums of "Dunkirk" took me back to old bedroom, I nearly unpacked my air guitar. Good stuff. In my defence (y'honour) the LP has a bit of synth noodling...some devilishly moogering and there's one sequencer part (I think "Preparation" on Side 2) that if it wasn't so over produced and glossy could have been on "Second Annual Report"..I kid not but may live to regret that last sentence. There will be times that I'll want to hear this LP again, and it'll sit proudly in my wife's collection! Hey! In mine it would rest between Cabaret Voltaire's "Drain Train" 2x12" and Neil Campbell's "These Premises Are No Longer Bugged" LP and I am too much a vinyl snob to let that happen.....

So, what next...others from my pre '77 collection I loved? Judas Priest "Rock A Rolla" & "Sad Wings Of Destiny", Pink Floyd "More", Tangerine Dream "The Sorcerer", Uriah Heep "Return To Fantasy"? No, I don't think so.

1: Me as a 15 year old Camel fan.
2: The Snow Goose LP Sleeve.
3: Camel.

BBBlood #2

Just spent a pleasant while listening to BBBlood. After last months mention Paul was kind enough to mail me a package of BBBlood and stuff from his Trans Dimensional Sushi label. Cracking stuff and after a while playing some slightly disappointing stuff I have got recently by Leif Elggren and Mothers Of The Third Reich, BBBlood (and Helm) played like a breath of fresh air. First on was the 2009 C30 release "Molecular Beam Epitaxy" (Epitaxy; the process of growing crystals on other crystals...I do do research). This tape was recorded in October/November 2009 and rather like the previous tape I have on Beartown Records sounds very similar to Putrefier. No bad thing. Two slabs of electronic chicanery both emanating from one source and taking separate journeys. Side 1 seems to start with a treated vocal clip whilst side 2 is from an orchestral sample. (To these ears anyway). The next tape I played was released by Sound Holes. I've got a Nackt Insecten + Abyss Whispers split CDr on Sound Holes that is excellent, this is only my second release on the label but I am going to have to discover more! BBBlood sound here is less urgent, more sonambulistic in approach and style. Again, it's a C30 which seems to be a perfect time length for Paul's work - although whilst typing this I am spinning (and bloody enjoying) the full CDr release "Experiment 50".
Google Trans Dimensional Sushi or BBBlood or discover them both on Discogs. Listen, support, is bloody good stuff.

1: Experiment 50 CDr Sleeve.
2: Molecular Beam Epitaxy package.
3: Lazar House sleeve.

Secondhand Records Shops #6 : Totnes

Totnes has been mentioned before on this site (February 2010), but this time I thought I'd mention the vinyl pickings to be had there.
Totnes is home to four record shops - yes that's right FOUR! Problem being all four shops don't stock anything released after 1976. OK, a little harsh but close to the truth. Totnes is a hippy haven, old men dressed like they were still in 1967 with grey-haired ponytails and rotten teeth. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Carlos D. Santana are all heroes to the folk of Totnes....The other day I was walking past a newsagents here in Torquay and they had a copy of "Mojo" magazine in the window, which had a picture of Jim Morrisson on the cover. "Mojo" always has a picture of Jimbo on the cover - if it's not Jimbo then it's Roger Daltrey or Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix or Rod Stewart in his "mod" phase. So, I thought (whilst passing) how the hell does this magazine sell when it just prints the same old guff about the same old fossils..."Unheard Joplin Tapes found in studio"....Reason to stick the dead dog on the cover and re-tell the story that has been told since 1970whatever...Who buys this magazine? Folk who still buy all the CD reissues of albums made in the 1960's / 1970's I guess. Folk who live in towns like Totnes.
Totnes is one street of shops, Fore Street...there is Ticklemore Street that has a cheese shop and a Balti House, but if you're visiting Totnes then you'll just be shopping on the one street...Fore Street. If you start at the bottom the first vinyl / CD / DVD shop you'll see is "Backtrax". I know, awful bloody name. Step into a seventies time warp and gaze at shitty LP sleeves whilst listening to Bob Dylan or Pink Floyd stop "Oxfam". This is one of those "Books + Vinyl Oxfams". This is a shop where you might just see records released post '76. On my last visit I bought a John Cooper Clarke LP for a tenner - this visit there was nought. They did have a copy of The Mob's "No Doves Fly Here" 7" for £12.99...yes £13 for a 7" in a charity shop. The whole shop has that "I saw you coming" feel about it. (Over the road there's an "Animals In Distress" Charity Shop with a Wire "Peel Session" 12"EP selling for £7.50. ("We were going to ask for thirty bob but...I saw you coming").
At the top of Fore Street and around the bend is "The Exchange". To be fair not strictly a vinyl / CD shop as it sells books, musical instruments, hippy paraphenalia and tie die skirts. There's a few boxes of vinyl, but again nothing after 1976. ELO or Jethro Tull fans could need a change of underpants whilst browsing. Over the road is "Drift Record Shop". NEW vinyl. World Music and shit. For Wire readers only. Drift past.

And that is Totnes. I came, I saw, I left empty handed.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Soviet France

It was whilst watching the video clip of Preslav Literary School I remembered a gig of 15 years back. Soviet France at the 1in12 Club, Bradford. What put me in mind was the array of cassettes on the table. Soviet France (To me they are called Soviet France ... not Zoviet*France, they are filed under "S") on this particular evening was just Ben Ponton. Down from a three-piece to a solo performer - I now know how he felt. Anyway. I was lucky enough to witness Ben set up and prepare for the live performance as Dieter Muh were support, it was our third live performance. I had seen Soviet France play live before and had written to Ben on various occasions throughout the 1980's so it was quite easy to casually chat whilst Ben set up his equipment. An eight channel mixing desk, a small keyboard sampler and an array of tape machines with a box of cassettes - all the cassettes were of previous Soviet France live performances. One cassette caught my eye: "Soviet France - Live In Whitley Bay". I so desperately want to hear that tape! Here is a group that have performed all over the world...and Whitley Bay. I love that idea and one of the reasons why I like the gig in Cleckheaton being on the Dieter Muh live performance list. By the way, if anyone has a copy (cassette or CDr) of Soviet France at Whitley Bay I am very interested to own.
I like the idea of playing past performances on tape and mixing them in to a new performance, Ben certainly "played a blinder" that night. It was a night that apart from an excellent set from Soviet France I remember very little about, I know I played pool against Dave Gedge and Mike Dando complimented me on the set....we even sold T-Shirts that night to two guys from Boston USA (not Lincs). It was a great night out of much drinking and merriment and non of us signed autographs...OK!!!!

1: Soviet France flyer.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Sunday, 10 October 2010

IBF (Ideas Beyond Filth)

Album for Hanson Records is slowly coming together...hang on in there folks!!

1: Taking a break from the studio.

Portion Control

Yesterday, I dug out some old Portion Control to listen to. I have not played Portion Control in years...well, probably 3 or 4 years since the last thing I bought was the "Archive" 4CD Box Set/Badge Set on the label. I plumped for the "Step Forward" LP. The sound took me back to the mid 1980's. The album has aged well, and had me dancing and Oscar waving his toy sword about on the landing.

I remember hearing Portion Control back in the early 1980's. Dan Plunkett of ND Magazine mailed me a copy of their "Gaining Momentum" cassette, and it was interesting synth noodling. It was around this time that Nocturnal Emissions, Bourbonese Qualk, Soviet France etc were coming into my orbit and SPK were coming out with their "Metal Field" / "Sandstorm Method" material.
A couple of years later I got the mini LP "Hit The Pulse" and I became hooked on Portion Control. They had almost re-invented their sound and introduced "hard electronic rhythms". Vocals - hard shouting sloganeering and abstract sentences mixing with crossing sequencer patterns that danced around the "hard electronic rhythms". An out of the blue album with a never heard of before sound. EBM / Gothic music as a genre was not invented back then, this was still Industrial. Industrial and hard, it was as confrontational as Whitehouse. Back then I could imagine Portion Control + Whitehouse sharing the bill at some subterranean dive in the Capital - instead I saw them support Blancmange at Manchester Apollo.
I travelled the UK to watch Portion Control live. Volume was everything. The first time was at a venue called "Diorama" near Euston Station in London. This was (I think) 1984. Illuminated Records evening. The last time was about 2 years later at Sheffield Leadmill (I still have the A0 Poster), by this time they had released the bloody awful "Psycho Bod Saves The World" LP on Dead Man's Curve. A very sad night and I don't think they continued much after.
I was surprised when I heard they had reformed. But a lot has happened in the world of electronic music in twenty years and now their hard electronic rhythms aren't as essential. I have not bought any of their new releases, I'll stick to the "Archive" Box Set. I trawled around You Tube and looked at their new stuff, and they looked like secondhand car dealers with Dean (vocals) shouting out his words like he was on his forecourt in Croydon.

If you see any Portion Control vinyl/tapes 1981-1986 buy and treasure (or get in touch)....

1: "Archive" Box Set Cover.
2: 1980 video I found on You Tube.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Dave Phillips

Just spent a pleasant while listening to the LP "They Live" by Dave Phillips. This is my first album by the man. I do have some Dave Phillips work on various compilations, but this is the only full length album I own. A fact that will need some rectification. I got this one from my good friend Steve Underwood who once or twice a year mails me a parcel of stuff.....thanks Steve.
The sleeve gives nothing away. The whole package is one of non information. Swastikas replace the stars of the states of America on the front and that of the stars on the flag of the European Union on the reverse. Nice touch, but probably damaging sales in Germany and Israel. The LP is called "They Live". Could be a soundtrack homage to the great John Carpenter film of 1988, or it could be a performance called "They" recorded "Live"? Could be neither. It's on RRR Records and carries no catalogue number...I tell you, information is kept to a grand minimum here.
I know Dave Phillips as a performance artist, a relative of Sudden Infant and a member of Der Schimpfluch-Gruppe. He was also a founder of the thrash punk band Fear Of God, whom I've never heard. It is sometimes a worry getting stuff (audio) by a (mainly) visual artist. Often the releases are documents and mean little to folk who weren't at or in on the event, so the disc went on the turntable with a little trepidation and a back up plan of sorting the washing out if it all went bland. No plan B needed, from needle to the record I was hooked. Attentively hooked. The start is of whispers and a struck bass guitar (amplified) - it reminded me of something. It was very Einsturzende ish maybe really early Laibach, the whispering turns in to chattering, in to straining, in to struggling. Passionate multi-layering of the voice. Very unsettling and in beautiful stereo. Side 2 and the bass is replaced for some time by the sound of (to these ears) a muted klaxon and the voices have become scratched and bowed violin strings. (Don't know why but Mauthausen Orchestra sprang to mind - not the Italian nolise outfit either). It all builds in to an orchestral sized cacophony, the voices return as does the amplified bass thump. It all ends on a beautiful lock groove.

I may have met Dave Phillips. I am uncertain. I was in Berlin in 2000 in the middle of the Harbinger Sound Travelling Circus & Freak Show Northern European Tour with Putrefier and Dieter Muh when we stopped off in Berlin and camped at Daniel Lowenbruck's flat for 3 days. (Berlin gig cancelled). One of the visitors that paid a visit to the flat was an English man who I think was Dave Phillips - we went for breakfast in a cafe and met people who could have been part of Column One. By this time the tour was in week two and time was spent being in an alcoholic fug. Beer was cheaper than water over there back then.

Hunt and find then buy this album.

1: "They Live" Sleeve.
2: "They Live" Back Cover.
3: Dave Phillips "Live".

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Andreas Brandal #4

After hearing the slightly disappointing Andreas Brandal album "A History Of Labyrinths" on Basses Frequences I thought to myself, right no more Brandal purchases this year..coffers to go elsewhere. Then I saw this album advertised on the Troniks forum board for only a fiver (£5) and I was in....Also I was intrigued to hear what Andrew Coltrane sounded like.
The album is called "AC/AB" (by Andrew Coltrane & Andreas Brandal). Released as a CDr on the Norwegian Twilight Luggage label. One thing that I did not know is that Twilight Luggage is Andreas's own label. The album has one of the worst sleeves in my collection, probably dislodging Ashtray Navigation's "Four Raga Moods" off the top! Information is slim on the cover, but the artist remains anonymous.
Andrew Coltrane supplies 35 minutes of muddy waters processed through a bank of effects. This may (or may not) be a sub-divisional genre of noise called HNW. HNW gets mentioned a lot on noise forums and is usually associated with folk I have never heard. Andrew Coltrane may be one of those names. I also have no idea what HNW stands for. Harsh Noise Workout? Heavy Noise Walls? Anyway. Playing the two untitled pieces by Coltrane loud I was taken back to the Sterile sound of Lustmord and MB and the Physical Evidence of Non. Real bass rumble noise with a lot going on under the vibrations. The second piece ends with the sound of a VL Casiotone rhythm box revealing what (through a bank of effects) was making the pulse. Good stuff. Andreas Brandal supplies 24 minutes split in to three pieces. The first two are of low key noise, quietly amplified metal scrapings, prepared guitar scratchings and tonal piano. The pace and noise picks up in the last piece taking some insect like scratching to the edge of hearing with an all surrounding ampnoise filling in the gaps.
A good pairing and an impressive release. Just a shame about the sleeve.
The CDr is available from Twilight Luggage - it is also free from them as a download but please buy a copy as all proceeds go to Andrew Coltrane's partner to help her with her medical bills...she has to have a brain tumor removed.
Worthy cause - excellent album.

1: "AC/AB" advert. (Including awful sleeve)!
2: Twilight Luggage logo.
3: Andrew Coltrane live.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Field Studies

Trawling the internet a couple of weeks back and a posting by Chicago based Field Studies label caught my eye. Once in a while I will go trawling, see what is out there. New sounds to be found etc. The Field Studies blog mentioned two new releases by Astronaut and Floating Gardens + Slag Heap. I knew nowt about any of these projects, but the descriptions (sound synopsis....or should that be synopsi in the plural?) intrigued. Astronaut being a "tri-synth kosmische mind lock" and the Floating Gardens split tape with Slag Heap is "Music of memory: The first descent below the canopy, resonant synths unfold in the garden temple of the lower level". So there y'go. I bought in the thought of hearing Popol Vuh meeting Neil Campbell or Cluster or some such. £9.50 for the both.
Astronaut are a New York based trio featuring Andy Plovnick (of Andy + Zeus), Dan Lopatin and Lee Tindall. "Prayer For Mitnick" 3"CDr is a re-release of a 2007 3" CDr on Antenna Alliance. This may or may not be a homage to famed computer hacker Kevin Mitnick, information is slim. The sound is of raw synth and ampnoise with the odd oscillation, nothing grabbed me by the ears I'm afraid.
Floating Gardens + Slag Heap tape is a different kettle of fish. I have tried to do research on Floating Gardens but have gotten nowhere. T(he)y provide the track "Tonefloat In Omni" - interesting title, maybe a nod in the direction of Kraftwerk or (as mentioned) Popol Vuh. No. The track is a slab of new age (almost) christian synth doodle. If this was released in 1973 it would have a sleeve designed by Roger Dean. Whilst playing I sat thinking "how near am I to buying some old Camel or Hillage"? Slag Heap is the solo project of Chicago based musician Connor Camburn. His track "Dope House" is a poor recording of cheap keyboard drone. I think the cassette is a C20.
I am in slight disappointment at what I have received, but when you dip your toes in to the waters of the unknown not everything is going to be jewel it?
I may try the Astronaut CDr again.

1: Field Studies logo.
2: "Prayer For Mitnick" by Astronaut.
3: Floating Gardens / Slag Heap tape cover.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Aaron Dilloway #3 (Live @ London ICA 2009)

Just found this little snippet of footage lurking in the bowels of You Tube. It brought back happy memories of a great day out in London ending with one of the greatest live sets I have ever seen. Look forward to seeing Aaron Dilloway live in Europe again....soon.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Muhviertel #2

I have been asked by a couple of folk if there are any pictures / photographs of Muhviertel. Simple answer - no. A camera was just one of things we never had back then.
I have searched through my tin box of old photos and found these three - the closest (to the time) there'll be of Muhviertel.

1: A:A:K.
2: N.T.R.A.
3: Rite