Friday, December 29, 2006


Nah, we don't do end-of-year lists on Kid Shirt; the 2 or 3 of you that actually read this bruised and swollen mess will have a pretty good idea of the sort of things that've been pumping up my balloons this year; however, there have been a handful of shameful omissions, for one reason or another (time, mainly) and one of those is this:

"Theoretically Pure Anterograde Amnesia" is a 6-CD deluxe box-set of glacial erosion: the sound of synapses being wiped clean by over-exposure to the hellish miasma we know as the post-millennial mediascape...if you can somehow shake off the shackles imposed on you by The Spectacle, and reassemble yr own fractured psyches, then I suggest you fucking buy a copy of this as soon as humanly possible.

The stategic conceit underlying the Caretaker's music is that it represents a series of possible soundtracks to a broken neural netwerk, a partially-erased set of memories that begin to degrade and collapse in on themselves beginning at the point in time where the physical damage actually started...the person suffering from this syndrome is unable to retain memories from that point on; because of physical damage/chemical imbalances, his memories cannot be encoded/transferred from short-term to long-term storage, thus the Past is always present, but the sufferer is somehow psychically excluded from fully engaging w/ Present Time (sounds like a few people I know)...tho new non-declarative motor skills such as carpentry or learning a musical instrument can be learned, though the affected individual cannot retain any memory of the actual learning process. Bummer, huh?

The music is startling; in places, ghostly and ghastly, giving glimpses of memory leakage as warped, phantom versions of old tunes drift in and out of focus; elsewhere, the sonics are fractured, splintering into shards that self-reflect images of themselves...there's a sense of being adrift, unanchored, as the world spins/swirls past us like smeary 8mm holiday footage from the's beautiful, yet horrible at the same time...the best tracks have a deep, physical presence that hints at absences, at gaps and (neural) voids that thirst for acetylcholine; while, conversely, on others, there are absences, holes in the frequency ranges, that paradoxically suggest the presence of blurred, spectral physicalities, like the stranded, wraithlike, out-of-time entities that once haunted an old episode of Outer Limits...

It's great stuff and, at some point, I intend to use this as a background soundtrack to write some upcoming prose stuff I've got planned: the idea is to use The Caretaker's music to trigger a series of false memories that then become the germs of new fictional worlds...the amnesia will be inverted to induce bogus rememberances that will then take on a life of their own. Heh: well, I can't write fiction when I'm playing anything with lyrics...

And, while I'm here, I'd also like to mention (once again) V/VM's totally fucking heroic 365 project, which is just a few days away from finishing...this guy has been creating and uploading music every day of this year, irregardless of whether he was ill, exhausted, travelling, has been a totally Herculean task and we here at Kid Shirt salute him. V/VM has created an astonishing resource of downloadable material across a wide spectrum of genres; go check it and spread the word...and please help support the guy by buying his shit too...if you make films or adverts, then contact him and ask to use his tunes...

(And, yeah, I confess, "Sabam" was one of my fave albums this year, too...)

In particular, I loved the "Death of Rave" series of tunes which I thought were beautifully hollowed-out exercises in erasure and auto-deletion: fading memories of Rave culture stripped bare of beats & texture by MDMA-induced serotonine depletion; this is the sound of 'Ardkore with Alzheimers...a party-hard past laid bare by neural lesions and dopamine droughts: bass-bins covered in cobwebs; Nouveau Ambient for the over-80s...

Anyway, as a tribute to V/VM's monumental 365 Project, here's

The Death of Rave (Kid Shirt's Qlippothic New Beat Mix)

I've taken one of his pale-fleshed Death of Rave variants and attached a couple of electrodes to its neck.

Obviously, it's not a patch on Vee's own work, but I hope he takes it in the way it was intended: as a well-meaning salute to his own endeavours. It was bashed out v. quickly in an hour or so this morning, in the percieved spirit of 365, and also because I wanted to make the end-of-year deadline, despite still feeling fucked w/ the Pox...if Vee's own versions are an emptying out of Rave's tropes and tics, then this is an attempt to reanimate the stone-cold corpse with some zombified quasi-Acid New Beat false-memory flavourings...a bit chucked together, with a first-take mix, but meant as an affectionate tribute to V/VM, a true one-off and an original.