Sunday, July 11, 2004


Just got back from DJing in South Petherton at an evening of laptop music, where, somewhat perversely, I only played vinyl. It was certainly the most diverse audience I've ever played to: mainly Forty/Fiftysomethings, a couple of 7 year old girls and an 11-month old baby. Sounds more like an evening do at a wedding than an evening of experimental music. The audience looked shocked and awed by a seamless set that included classics by *zoviet France, The Hafler Trio, Milton Subotnik and Angus MaClise. And yeah, I got to mix some early SPK into a Wolf Eyes track. A bit later, I cranked it up a bit with 'Acid Man' by Jolly Roger, a Moog version of 'Mouldy Old Dough' and some extremely cheesy Belgian New Beat (Remember New Beat: the genre that dare not speak its name...? It's weird but I feel strangely and inexplicably nostalgic for it now. Not sure why.).
Nothing remarkable about any of this, apart from the fact that it all took place in what is essentially a village hall somewhere in the arse-end of South Somerset. Twenty-Five years ago we were annoying rural audiences in Hinton St. George and Hazelbury with shambling punk and post-punk we're doing it with laptops. Mind you, in 1980, I would have killed for the cut-up DVD digital backdrop projections they were using last night. It would have looked like Voodoo Science Fiction to me back then. Bladerunner hadn't even come out.
And the acts weren't bad either. Maitreya (Simon Lomax) played some nice Pastoral Glitch that sounded influenced by Apollo/On Land Era Eno. You could've heard a pin drop while he was playing. I liked the way that background noise, like the baby gurgling, leaked its way into and became part of the performance. Re-Spray is Ivesy and Bristol-based poet Ralph Hoyte doing a cut-up Spoken Word/Laptop thang in preparation for an LP they're recording. Their best and most original gag was the Wordsworth poem done letter by letter. Poetry for people that don't like poetry. Machines from the Future is a Bridport-based Laptop/Punk/Art Rock thing which didn't quite hit the spot for me. I think they need to strip things down a bit, simplifiy it and rock out more: take their cue from Wire or Hawkwind...
But all in all, a good night and I've got the hangover to prove it. Got some great 7" singles at a stall at the Green Fayre this morning: 'January' by Pilot; 'Silver Machine' by Hawkwind; 'Judy Teen' by Cockney Rebel; 'Ghost in my House' by R. Dean Taylor and 'Rubber Bullets' by 10cc. I prefer 'Donna' personally, but that one will wind Flinty up nicely the next time I play out. He can't stand 10cc.
Didn't realise that the Pilot and the Cockney Rebel singles were both produced by Alan Parsons. Feel a strong and unfortunate need coming on to post something about Alan Parsons.
Also ate some spicy Portugese sausage this morning, which isn't half as rude as it sounds.


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