KID SHIRT

Friday, January 28, 2005

PIRATE DRONE

Finally got me e:mail sorted out...so slowly catching up w/ a monstrous backlog of 'fan-mail'...1st up: a big Hi to Pirate Drone over in Aus. Any blog that uses the phrase "mind altering frequencies and erosive ragas" is okay with me...

Plenty of Conan Doyle ectoplasm action and Roxy/Rex references on dis blog. Da Pirate left a comment about Girls Aloud deep in my archives that caught my attention: "May Bacchus help us all, these 'Girls Aloud' seem to be carving some sort of niche - no, more like a blowhole - in the collective contemporary psyche. I have never seen them in [non]action, not being resident in Britain, but since stumbling across your page yesterday my brain has been straining to synthesize an image of this pretty, bubbly, narcoleptically bored gaggle of girls, to the point where I actually *dreamed* them last night, my brain introducing them to that dream world where gravity is about double that on earth so they fitted in well. I suppose they hit the mark between ideal consumer citizen and actual consumer citizen, which is to say, co-ordinated in the latest crappy fashions, and purged of life-force by over-exposure to both cerebral and visceral stodge..."

Glad to hear that GA are now hitting a spot with people that have never even heard of them. This sort of Subliminal Pop Action may be the way to go...(perhaps GA's doziness is acting as an unconscious reverse-broadcast of some sort...) if only record companies would, er, wake up to the fact that people no longer even need to hear their acts. The very fact that they exist seems to now be enough for them to filter down into The Mass (Un)Consciousness. (Kirby predicted this sort of nonsense in The Eternals with "The Uni-Mind" (his quote-marks, not mine)...) Or: maybe Girls Aloud just satisfy some deep-seated mass neo-existential need that was previously fulfilled by the likes of Bruce Lee (ie if they didn't exist then someone would've had to, er, manufacture them)...

Either way, let's hear it for the Global Hive Mind...

Well, okay, Pirate Drone probably isn't going to buy their new LP (which is on constant rotation in our car), but that's not the point...perhaps we've somehow stumbled on the concept of subliminal global branding. Imagine the reverse of Remote Viewers: instead, you have people who are psychically magnetic and who suck subconscious consumerist angst towards them on hitherto unknown telepathic phrequencies...

Still, I love the fact that they've managed to inhabit Non-D Idea-Space so quickly...devolving and de-accelerating down though Psychobabble and Marxist Theory into the White Trash Conspiracy Vacuum w/out even lifting a false fingernail. Considering their state of near-inertia, I'm frankly amazed at the rapidity of their descent into Pure Concept; though, perhaps, it was inevitable...

I was serious about seeing them in Bristol in May...wonder if I can talk Psychbloke or Dom-Z into joining me...

DUBSTEP CORNER

A couple of new twelves turned up for me in Acorn Records today (no doubt months after you city-slickers got 'em, but that's one of the joys of living in a small town...)

"The Knowledge" by Toasty starts with ominous voodoo drum-loops and an evil white-noise wind that seems to blow in from the soundtrack of Victor Halperin's 1932 film "White Zombie". An electronic storm slowly rises until you can almost feel the ions crackling in the air. "I seek knowledge," says a woman's voice and a metallic snare crashes in, riding a blurred undertow of sub-bass. For a moment, it's like someone's hammering on the Gates of Hell.

The soulful vocal interjections might not be to everyone's taste, but the track somehow succeeds in being both uplifting and brooding. The B-side "Like Sun" sails a lush and languid dub-wise ocean of echo, occasionally disturbed by militaristic snare-rolls, distant air-raid sirens and detuned submarine bass-throbs. "There's someone out there," warns a voice, suddenly, just before the bass drags him beneath the surface and into the realm of Dagon and The Deep Ones..

It's on Hot Flush Recordings, the label that brought you "Candyfloss" by Search & Destroy, and the utterly fantastic "L'Amour" by Slaughter Mob. The label also seems to have their own blog which is worth checking out for Insider Scene Info, as well as links to the usual suspects like Kode9, Hyperdub, Terrorhythm, etc and to some nutter called Silverdollarcircle...

"Ghost" by Vex'd is a heavy-weight dose of futuristic Beat-Physics that sounds as if someone broke into Cabaret Voltaire's Western Works studio in 1983, detuned all their keyboards and grafted them onto a malfunctioning exo-skeleton that has been left to randomly lurch forward, barely able to support its own weight. Eerie parrot-like squawks, hisses of steam and scraping sounds seem to accompany its erratic flight-path, as if steaming cybernetic entrails were leaking from its guts and dragging on the floor behind it. This is fucking thrilling stuff; beautiful in its broodiness. Thoroughly recommended.

B-Side "Lion" is more lumbering, off-kilter abstract beatmanship that begins with a timestretttttttttched howl of Afro-Robotic anguish. Self-replicating machines emerge from polygonal-hives somewhere in the heart of the scorched, disease-ravaged remains of The Dark Continent...they scan the horizon in infrared mode, rearing-up on a complex interlocking mesh of hydraulic limb-spindles before they head out into the desert to do battle with a rival machine-tribe.

I think this might even be a re-release...did "Lion" come out earlier last year before "Canyon"/"Pop Pop"...? Dunno, but both singles are out on Subtext. Nick Gutterbreakz has a pre-release promo of the forthcoming Vex'd LP on Planet Mu, which I think he said includes "Lion". If the LP is anywhere near as good as the singles, then I think we're in for a treat...

And, yes, before anyone complains...I know, Vex'd aren't actually Dubstep; they came, I think, out of the Bristol Breaks scene, but their stuff has a brooding, angular, skunk-addled, Grimey feel...I'd certainly have no problem playing out their tunes along-side some Dubstep or even instrumental Old School Sheffield Thug-Funk B-sides eg Hula, Chakk, etc. The Anti-Group revival starts here...