Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Coming Soon...

Lots of burbling, ranting foolishness including a couple of regular series of articles. I need to make myself write more than I have lately, and also just fucking post it as soon as I've written it, like I used to, instead of worrying about everything (then again, life's been a bit of a fucker lately to say the least) because there's an awful lot of shit I feel like yelling my head off about, 'cos I'm an angry fucker at the moment, and I might as well use the surplus bile in a constructive manner, i.e; writing an endless parade of riffs that make you want to bite yr own ears off and gleefully jumping up and down on the sacred cows of the avant-garde (see below), as opposed to whingeing about being single again and letting shit fester like I used too. So, like I say, constructive bile. Obviously the usual idiocy culled from the ether will, with a good deal more regularity than recently, still be posted here for yr edification and illumination. I'm not going to turn Dr Serious on you, my dear readers.

Anyways, the new regular articles are going to come under the following broad headings:

1. "The Most Over-rated Musicians On The Planet". Pretty self explanatory really. I get really fucking riled by the fawning attitude displayed by certain quarters of the music press* towards certain musicians and (god I hate this term) scenes. Keiji Haino's first up, expect the article in a few days. I need to buy more red wine.

2. "Journeys Through The Psychedelic Hinterlands". The first one of these is on the old blog here, but I never got round to finishing the next three parts I started, which I feel bad about, because there is so much fucking amazing music from the psychedelic side of things that only about three people have ever heard and it's just wrong. I've never understood people who jealously guard their little musical fetishes as just for the initiated, if it's good I want others to know the wonderment too, share the fucking love people, if you don't y're a weird little freak and I'm not sure I want to know you.

3. or possibly 2b. "La Galaxie Sensuelle". In most people's heads, the phrase "Frenchman with a synthesizer" tends to conjure up revolting visions of Jean Michelle Jarre. I understand this. As a child I remember being subjected to Oxygene Part 197 on the car radio***, particularly on long drives to Cornwall. Along with ELP's Fanfare For The Common Man, Oxygene provokes an atavistic loathing in me because of their ubiquity in the mid-70s. But I digress. For me, the phrase "Frenchman with a synthesizer" conjures up vistas of cosmic fucking awesomeness even the Germans never approached.

Go and listen to a Heldon album. Good ain't it? That's just the start. Neu!, Cluster, Popol Vuh, Can etc are bands that get mentioned in record reviews in the fucking tabloids these days, but what about Lard Free, Spacecraft, Pôle or Archaia? Or the astonishing Vertø, who may just be my favourite band ever after Chrome. Not mention the glory of Catherine Ribeiro's early stuff, the 2-Bis album sounds more like Pelt than anything else, except it's 40 fucking years old. Then of course there's Magma and Zeuhl, and that's a whole other fucking bag of awesome, but much more widely known than the wubbing womming insanity of the synth and guitar contingent. "La Galaxie Sensuelle" will be my attempt to rectify the balance a little.

Anyways, more soon. Oh, go here and enjoy the bass thunder! Then have a wash. You'll probably want one.

*This started as a footnote but, possibly because of the extreme goodness of the Barbaresco I'm currently drinking has become a rant. Bear with me, I like a tangent;

The Wire, supposed beacon of truth and beauty and artistic purity in a world gone tits-up, is particularly bad in this respect, often ignoring (for years on end in extreme cases) what's going on right under their noses in favour of musicians who talk a good game, or are perceived as somehow "exotic" in manner which frankly smacks of colonial-era orientalism, or use the "trangressive" template to excuse some deeply fucking unpleasant undercurrents/ideologies/whatever in their work.

There's a peculiarly unquestioning attitude often displayed towards the artists who fall under the latter two categories especially, an unwillingness to pull people up, which seems to either come across as 'they don't know what they're saying really, they are foreign after all' patronising crap that I'd expect from the late 1800's - the idea of the "noble savage", the displays of "primitive" music, society and culture at the Paris Expo that so enthralled Debussy at al - when applied to the first category, and an absolutely unforgivable unwillingness to call artists of the second category out on their views or material when it's presented under the banner of questioning taboo, or "pushing the boundaries" (ugh). Witness the relatively recent embrace of the music of Whitehouse or Ramleh, against the many appearances in the magazine over the last couple of decades of Non. Groups who, to the casual observer, may seem to share some common ground in aesthetic and imagistic terms, but as people** couldn't be further apart. William Bennett (Whitehouse) and Gary Mundy (Ramleh) are intelligent, articulate musicians, liberal realists who understand the value of disturbing imagery as a means to make the audience think, to feel, to question, to engage with themselves, and the world around them, as it really is and they really are. Boyd Rice (Non) on the other hand, is a self-confessed fascist, an oedipal misogynist whose neo-social darwinian aesthetic comes across loud and clear in his music as a sonic attempt to subdue, to subjugate, to establish (his idea of) order through volume and density. Yet who's had the most column inches in The Wire over the years? Just an example. But one that truly grates.

**And in my opinion, artists. More soon on this and why most "Noise" is shit.

***This was mid-70s England. The most popular colours were grey, brown and beige. And orange for the hopelessly overoptimistic. Companies had electricity for 3 days a week. Only really rich bastards had a cassette player (or 8-track!) in their car. And, dear American readers, British radio is not as eclectic, shall we say, as US radio.