Saturday, February 14, 2009


Okay, a few gentle stretching exercises first, before we start - something just to warm me muscles up. Wouldn't want to do myself a mischief.

Let's start w/ some recent stuff that's oozed into my in-box:

Black to Comm are from Germany and - you know what? - I really bloody like them. All those overlaid organ-pulses and the hysterical backwardsmasked monkeychatter on "Orange Record" has left a residual creamyness in my hind-mind. It's like listening to "North Star" era Philip Glass with one finger on the cassette fast-forward alien carousel spinning out of control, careening through the methane clouds high in the Jovian ammoniasphere - flashes of bemask'd Saturnian prossies in fin de siècle costumes speeding past, round and round, on grotesque enamelled horses, winking and promising you all sorts of naughty stuff...of course, as usual, you wind up paying for it later with your soul.

And there's something simple, but oddly compelling about the slow-orbiting dronelayers that cycle round the edge of "The Male Garden" - John Cale and Co. did this sort of thing 45 years ago in their NY lofts and garrets, but overdriven organchords are kinda timeless, don't you think? "Sleeep" is kinda nice too; there's a queasy somnambulance about it. I'm glad they describe th/r stuff as "tape music" - it's got that hissy warp-age; the sense of sounds stret-t-t-ching in slowtime around tape-spools, of moments unravelling, of microseconds being eroded by physical motion.

This album ("Fractal hair Geometry") looks interesting:

You can buy their stuff here.

Zerosum is a publishing-house with a difference. They're based in Liège, in Belgium, and they create some extremely beautiful hand-bound silk-screen books. Apparently they work with ink and peanut-butter. Mmmmmm: yummy!

De!nial are Japanese synth-punk-pop; they remind me of Plastics and that's not a bad thing. They sound like Devo with a malfunctioning flanger and Attention Deficit Disorder. If you like yr synthesiser-groups shouty, shrill and propelled by slappy, malignant-sounding hand-claps, then look no further. Break out the lime-green leg-warmers!

Cheers to Tom Peverelist for sending over the latest Punch Drunk release (number eleven!!) - and it's a real corker. I'm listening to this even as I type - see, men can multi-task!: "Orchestral Lab" by Guido is full of slippery synth-horns and slinky trumpet-stabs and pitchwheel-bent squarewave bass; a strange beast, this one - it combines mock-pompous orch-synth frippery with batchelor-pad smoooovery: "Come here, girl - n let's get busy!" But she skips off across the shag-pile rug, shimmmmaying past the weird-looking back-lit aquarium and does a teasy little dance in the doorway to the kitchen.

I really like this: all its edges are rubbed smooth and gleaming - all cocaine-chrome, recessed lighting and matt-black worksurfaces - cheeky, playful, a synthetic silk-shirt of a tune; it's like Dubstep finding its Dad's old records in the attic and trying them on for size.

(At this point I popped outside (it's about 9:30 in the evening over here) and had a translated/broken-english chat w/ my Polish neighbours - they're smoking meat over their fire-pit (twenty-foot sausages and whole carps) and drinking bottled beer - we're doing this weird fire-wood-for-smoked-sausage-n-chicken trade-bartering thing at the moment; I'll be posting more on this another day...n then my wife came home and we had a couple drinks, n then back to finish off the post....)

"U Make me Feel" starts with a nice stiff-legged, wooden-sounding clunkdrum - a helical synspiral corkscrews up to the ceiling; it reminds me of a car-engine ticking over - a weird bubblecar thing navigating the streets of some Second Life wireframe city; a world populated by soulboy avatars and neon lightning-flash motifs. The track quickly opens up; strings unfurl; pianos are, uh, tinkled... there's a sudden flurry of activity - sounds swirl upwards; it's like an ABC B-Side defrosting 100 years later in some cryo-unit to find cultural archeologists have already created some new 20-minute flash-trend based around it. Synthetic Grimesoul meets 80's android-pop. It's pretty wonderful - Poptastic, in fact!

Guido hails from the same weird Bristolian musical microverse as Joker. There's a mix here.


Poor little blog went missing...poor little blog got lost in the garden at night, like a cat with no sense of smell. The blog disappeared for a few days, didn't return when you rattled a box of soya-crunchies out on the patio or played its favourite record.

Where have you been, little blog? What happened to you? Are you alright? We put up posters with a picture of you on the local telegraph-poles.

An old lady finds the blog shivering under a bush. It looks sickly and unwell, its ribs protruding like sticks. She calls to it, trying to coax it out. "Are you alright, little fella? Don't be frightened - I won't hurt you."

The blog eyes her suspiciously. Something's spooked it, made it wary of humans - but what? I guess we'll never know. Did it spend the week locked in someone's garage or their tool-shed? Maybe it had a fight with next door's blog - did that nasty big Doppleganger blog chase it across the neighbouring gardens? Did that weird-looking blog up the road called Loki hiss and spit at it, send it packing off its turf? It looks round warily as the old lady tries to tempt it out with a saucer of milk and a plate of Kit-e-Blog gone well past its sell-by date. "Come on out - that's it, boy. Don't be scared."

You should never give a hedgehog milk. It can make them very sick.

Is that true or did I just make it up? An old-wives tale. Round our way the gypsies used to bake hedgehogs - wrap them up in a big ball of clay and roast them. When they were cooked the clay would crack open and you could pull out all the spines and get at the meat. For a while you could buy hedgehog-flavoured crisps.

I've been busy. Very busy. But I'm not going to protest too much, methinks, 'cos I get to do lots of things that I really enjoy and that other people would kill to do. So I'm not moaning, just busy.

And my poor ol' scanner is on its last legs. I've had to resusitate it a few times now, de-frib it: "CLEAR!" What do scanners see when they leave their physical bodies - do they travel down a long tunnel of light. Do they see everything they've ever scanned flashing past them at once? Is there an after-life for electrical appliances - where do the anima that sit at the heart of the allegedly inanimate go when they die? Do souls run on 240 volts AC?

Perhaps I'm just being cruel - maybe I should just let him go, you know? My scanner is 10 years old - that's 17 in cat-years, 114 in human-years and 3-and-a-half months in blog-years. But I just can't bear the thought of life without him. Sure, I could get another scanner, but it...well, it just wouldn't be the same.

But that poor ol' blog...take him indoors and give him a plate of food, let him settle down in front of the fire. We'll soon put some meat back on his bones.

More in a minute.