Friday, 31 December 2010

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Yep, it's that time of the year again. Happy New Year everyone, and Godt Nytår og se dig snart min skat to one person in particular. I forsee whisk(e)y in the very near future...


If you get the chance before the 16th of January, go to the Wellcome Collection and immerse yrself in the mesmerisingly beautiful Sound Seam, a breathtaking short film by Aura Satz, then wander back downstairs and check out the equally brilliant and fascinating High Society exhibition, and gaze in wonderment* at the cannonball sized sphere of opium (sensibly kept behind very thick glass) before buggering yr eyes up completely by looking at one of Brion Gysin's Dream Machines for too long, and filling yr brain with the deeply bizarre history of intoxication and our species somewhat skewed attitude to it. Then buy Mike Jay's equally fine book that accompanies said exhibition. Truly excellent and mind expanding stuff.

*And lust, if you share my predilections.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Tridimensional Psicodélia

If y're in or around Brighton on the 13th of January, I suggest you get yrselves down to Komedia, for the first Outer Church of the year as it's going to be rather fucking fantastic. This months theme is Psychedelic Campfire Tales, and the musical entertainment comes courtesy of the rather fine Haxan Cloak, and The Larsen Effect. Oh yes, my first solo gig and I can't fucking wait, especially as my string mangling will be accompanied by visuals by the brilliant Jade Boyd, whose work I recommend you check out immediately, if not sooner. Plus there will be a screening of two films by Graham ReznickI Can See You, which looks fucking excellent, and a 3D short entitled The Viewer which sounds quite mental, and therefore also excellent. Plus you get to look around the venue and see everyone wearing anaglyph glasses, which is inherently amusing in and of itself...

I'd write more, but all the info you need is on the OC blog and the other links above, and my brain isn't functioning at peak efficiency this morning (thank you Zivania) and I think I'm going to go back to bed because it's nice there and I don't have to put any effort into keeping my head vertical.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Bestia Excelente Seis

Behold the mighty Quackhenaten, pharaonic master of spacetime and conqueror of the reptile masters.
I for one welcome our new Anatidaean overlord.

Yes. I am very, very drunk. But not as fucking drunk as the person who took this photo.

Happy Christmas everyone, and I hope whatever y're drinking is as good as what we're drinking.

And also, obscurely but very importantly,
Glædelig Jul Smukke xxx

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

La Ranatoro Blues

In a 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, Jimi Hendrix was asked "how does it feel to be the best guitarist in the world?" His reply? "I dunno man, ask Rory Gallagher." He had a point there.

On watching that clip, the word effortless springs to mind, closely followed by the word fuck. The next clip is a fucking lesson in what a bottleneck is for. Pay attention, you will learn something.

I would fucking kill for that rhythm section. Although I wouldn't be able to look at the bass player onstage because I'd be too busy laughing to play the fucking guitar. Here's a couple more slabs of slide magic, an unaccompanied electric version of Gambling Blues from the Isle of Wight festival, followed by an outfuckingrageously shameless version of Bullfrog Blues live in Paris in 1980. The man was a fucking god.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Precio De Saldo

Go to Marks & Spencers immediately and buy this wine. It's around a tenner, and a fucking steal. I freely admit to being slightly addicted to Piedmontese wines and their leathery awesomeness, but this really is so damn good, and about half the price it should be, that you owe it to yrself to indulge. I would review it properly, but to be honest, I'm a bottle and a half down and can't be arsed. So trust me on this, you know the Dr wouldn't lead you wrong when it comes to the red stuff.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Escuchar A Través De Mocos

Richard Pinhas - Metal/Crystal (Cuneiform)
Demdike Stare - Voices Of Dust (Modern Love)
Barn Owl - Ancestral Stars (Thrill Jockey)
Factums - Alien Native (Siltbreeze)
Shed - The Traveller (Ostgut Ton)
Ascend - Ample Fire Within (Southern Lord)*
The Pink Noise - Dream Code (Sacred Bones)
Moon Unit - Hell Horse & Heady Stratus (Blackest Rainbow)
Newworldaquarium - The Dead Bears (Delsin)
Borbetomagus - Live At In-Roads (PSF)
Shackleton - Fabric 55 (Fabric)
Orthodox - Sentencia (Alone)
F - Energy Distortion (7even)
Magda - From The Fallen Page (m_nus)
Cabaret Voltaire - Mix-Up (Mute)
Bitchin' Bajas - Tones & Zones (Important)
C.H. District - Conclusion (Tympanik Audio)
Effi Briest - Rhizomes (Sacred Bones)**
Downliners Sekt - Hello Lonely, Hold The Nation/We Make Hits, Not The Public (Disboot)
Hey Colossus & The Van Halen Time Capsule - Eurogrumble Vol.1 (Riot Season)

*I've had this record for ages, but hadn't really given it my full attention. I have now, and wish I did earlier, as it's probably the best thing Greg Anderson has ever fucking done, and one of the most original doom albums of the last few years. Seriously fucking brilliant.

**Yes, I am aware of my occasional goth tendencies. Don't care. I will love Bauhaus and early Sisters until the day I die, unrepentant and proud.

La Iglesia Externa

Bleh. I have a fucking sinus infection which feels like evil imps have been pumping cavity wall insulation into my skull and a few of the nastier miniature demons are making a concerted effort to push my eyeballs out of my fucking face. Still, on the bright side, it's got me a few days off work, and a prescription for amusing painkillers, so I can't really complain too much. Not that I've ever let that stop me before.

But complaining isn't what I'm going to do today, well apart from the above small moan of course. I have some Larsen Effect news, namely that because I bought a new pedal that's turned my guitar into a whole new fucking instrument, I'm almost done recording a second disc of material, so the album will now be out in the new year, and it'll be a double cd. Yes I know that's self-indulgent. It's a bloody solo guitar album for fuck's sake, what did you expect? Plus it'll still be nice and cheap, after all, blank cds are cheap as fuck, so why charge more unless y're some form of bastard?*. More LE news soon, as the first gig is being sorted at the moment, and as soon as it's all finalised, I'll post the details.

*Not that I'm not, sometimes, but you know what I mean...

Sunday, 12 December 2010

El Tiovivo

I haven't posted for a few days for a variety of reasons, as the last week has been both shitkickingly brilliant and foot-gnawingly fucking awful in almost equal measure. So, consequently I haven't really been feeling that chatty, particularly as the main reason for the brilliance is also the main reason I feel like chewing my leg off and that's no recipe for clarity of thought, believe me. I'm ok, it's just taking up more of my brain than I'd like it to at the moment, and consequently, haven't been able to muster up any coherent writing. Next week therefore, will see a veritable flood of new rants, reviews and random shit as this emotional roundabout decelerates and I stop feeling quite so bloody dizzy.

In the meantime, I'd like to say this: Borbetomagus are still, 30-odd years down the line, the finest fucking noise merchants the US has ever fucking produced, a kaleidoscopic all-consuming wind tunnel roar of a band, who, using nothing more than a fuzzed out guitar and two enormously loud saxophones, produce a cascading life-affirming racket that makes me want to bounce up and down like a psychotic Zebedee, and live, as they proved beyond all doubt at the Luminaire last week*, they're a fucking force of nature, and so the first big piece coming next week will be about that, them and why they should be forced-listening for everyone who thinks they know how to make noise.

*Gig of the fucking year, by a country fucking mile.

Friday, 3 December 2010

¡Mis Ojos!

Could someone please explain the logic behind this to me, I thought I was a fairly intelligent person, but I'm obviously missing something here...

I wear contact lenses, have done for fucking 20-odd years, and it's such an ingrained habit now I haven't bothered getting a pair of glasses for almost that long. I've run out of lenses, because I wear daily disposables, and my fucking optician is using the snow, and this country's frankly hilarious response to it, as an excuse for a few days off*. So I need to go elsewhere to enable me to fucking see. Now if I bought them online (which I would have done had I had the foresight to know said optician would be closed for the duration), all I have to do is fill in my own prescription, pay and wait for a box of lenses to pop through the letterbox once a month. But I need some lenses immediately, so I went to another optician, who sell lenses online in the above manner as well as being on the high street and was duly informed that they cannot sell me any lenses, even though I have my empty cases with the prescription spelled out on the lid, because it isn't a written prescription from my optician. Same company, one rule online, another in the actual shop. Work that one out. I know it's not of earth-shattering importance, but this sort of petty crap really gets my fucking goat.

*Not that I blame 'em, we're all skiving a bit...

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Hablar De Cerveza...

The other thing I'm going to treat myself and whoever's lucky enough to drink it with me to is a few bottles of Brewdog's ultimate stout, and probably the only beer ever inspired by Space Invaders: Tokyo - Intergalactic Fantastic.

An 18.2% (yes, you did read that right - and it's not even close to being the strongest thing the 'Dog makes) motherfucker of a beer, brewed with 5 (count 'em) different malts, jasmine and cranberries in the kettle, dry hopped to hell and back and then aged on toasted vanilla French oak. It may be pricey, but sometimes you need a bit of luxury, and this stuff is just so decadently fucking delicious I couldn't care less how much it sets me back. Godfuckingdammit I'm dribbling already...

So if you like yr stout and y're feeling decadent too, I suggest you join me and my drinking companions in tasting the most gorgeous fucking dark beer it's ever been my pleasure to get down my extremely discerning gob. We'll be raising a bottle to yr health and good taste, wherever you are.

Delicia, Embotellada

Normally I wouldn't write anything praising Tesco's, not because of snobbery, I'll shop almost anywhere that sells what I want, but because they seem to be attempting to beat Starbucks at their own take over the fucking world game but I have to now, because they seem to have gone completely mental as far as booze is concerned, getting some of Britain's finest independent breweries to come up with some seriously special beers for their "Tesco Finest" range, including an excellent porter from Harviestoun, the people who bought us the fucking magnificent Old Engine Oil, one of the best beers I've ever tasted, but more importantly (for me anyway), they've got the mighty Brewdog to make an astonishing double IPA for them, under the very unBrewdog name of American Double IPA*.

9.2% of fermented fucking hop heaven, with a Seville orange marmalade nose and backnotes, a simultaneously resinous and floral bitterness from the huge hop load and an wallop of ginger biscuit sweetness which is fairly unusual in a double IPA like this. It's also deceptive in that if you didn't read the label, there is no fucking way you would know this was 9.2% until you wondered why you were twice as pissed as you should be and then actually looked at the ABV. Seriously though, it's amazingly easy drinking for an ale of this strength and character and an all round killer beer, if not quite as awe-inspiring as Brewdog's Punk, Hardcore or the much-missed Chaos Theory IPAs. Then again in the world of beer not much comes close to those for me. Take into account that it's only four fucking quid for three, and you have whatever the fuck you have when you go through bargain and come out the other side. I'm going to empty the shelves in my local branch tomorrow when I've been paid, because I ran out on Friday after sorely underestimating the addictively delicious nature of this marvellous brew, and I don't intend to make the same mistake twice. I suggest you do the same.

*I know Brewdog are from Scotland, but Double IPA is originally an American craft brewing style, so I'll let 'em off.

Bestia Excelente Cinco

The Horniman museum walrus. Perhaps the ultimate badly-stuffed winterbeast. 

En Invierno

My immune system is fucking insane, as we all know now. But, aside from all the horrible shit I have to put up with at completely random intervals, one good thing seems to have come out of going through Guillain–Barré, namely an outrageous resistance to whatever cold and flu viruses happen to be knocking around the air. Before I got sick, if someone so much as sneezed near me, you could pretty much guarantee that I'd have that cold pretty fucking quick. I dreaded flu season, because nine out of ten times I'd fucking catch it, and real flu* is fucking awful. But since I contracted GBS (more on that in a bit), nothing, and it's not like I haven't been exposed to it since, I mean, during the swine flu outbreak, my then girlfriend caught it, and we were basically quarantined for a week so the flat was full of piggy virus and I didn't catch it, not even a twinge, and I was slightly shocked by this given my history with flu, I fully expected to be flat on my back within a day of her getting it but somehow remained immune.

And as for the flu jab, get fucked**. Although the doctors always urge me to get the jab every year (which lead to a spectacular argument with the same idiot doctor who neglected to tell me about tramadol withdrawal), I always refuse now, because I've had the jab precisely twice in the last 15 years, and on both occasions ended up with the worst fucking flu I'd yet experienced, the second time being the (probable) trigger that caused the GBS, (I say probable because to be frank, my neurologist told me we have no real fucking clue what causes GBS, it just mainly seems to kick in after bad viral infections). So if one good thing seems to have come out of my immunoinsanity, and believe me, it's the only fucking good thing to come of this, it's the fact that I can now enjoy the winter without experiencing it through a haze of snot.

Which is nice, because I happen to love the winter, the sharpness and clarity of the light and the way it seems to reveal hidden detail in the world around you, the heightened contrast of land and sky, the shock of breathing in freezing cold air which wakes you up better than any coffee or powders ever could. Not that's it's got anything to do with my abiding love of hot women in sharply tailored winter clothes. Well, maybe just a touch. What can I say? I have a thing. And in this fair city, there's a lot of people who know how to fucking dress, and the winter brings out the best in stylish*** people, blokes too, but I'm not really looking in that direction am I?

So what I want now is snow, a hipflask full of excellent brandy or single malt, and my inner flâneur will be in hog heaven, because I fucking adore randomly wandering for miles until my feet go numb through London and its fantastic parks in this weather, and the snow just makes a beautiful scene all the more wonderful.

So yeah, winter rocks, and not just in a black metal way.

*Not man-flu. I may have many faults, but I don't indulge in that particular form of wallowing, and find people who do really annoying. As I said to the office prat a few days ago when he was whinging about having flu because he had a cough and a few aches, if you can think straight through the whole-body ache, let alone actually get up and come to work, you do not have the fucking flu, you have a cold so stop fucking moaning or go home and drink brandy. Flu hurts, and hurts everywhere, enough to knock me onto my arse for a week or so and I have a fucking high pain threshold. So stop fucking whining you knobs, y're making the rest of us look bad.

**Not that I'd advise anyone else not to have it, it works for an awful lot of people, and to be honest, I wouldn't fucking take health advice from me, this is just my experience and no one knows how they'll react to a particular illness, or it's associated vaccine.

***Note to anyone who doesn't know me that well. When I say style, I do not mean fashion. I mean that innate sense of ease and rightness that exudes from someone who knows exactly how they want to look, and exactly how to pull it off.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Rareza De Rana

On the bright side though, Otobahn II was another very good night, and M&N's frogprog dj set seemed to go down nicely, and it's always good when someone comes over to say thanks for playing Archaïa, which given their ludicrous obscurity and completely batshit music, (imagine a cross-pollination of Heldon and Magma and y're sort of there, but somehow they manage to be even odder than that implies) isn't exactly an everyday occurence. I must write about them at great length at some point, because even by the standards of 70s French lunacy* they're genuinely odd. But I'm off on one again, and was just going to say that now there's been two, there should definitely be a third and it really should become a permanent fixture. I know I'd be one of the regulars because it's just such a nice way to spend an evening, drinking fabulous beer in such excellent surroundings, and I'd really fucking like to do a Larsen Effect gig there, because I reckon it might go down quite well. Here's hoping.

*Which sets the weirdo bar way higher than their more celebrated German contemporaries.

Mal Momento

Bugger. I really fucking wish I'd been paid on time. Then I could have gone to see Palehorse this evening. Because I'd quite like to get drunk right now and bury my head in a wall of unbelievably loud bass-driven sludge, but because this month has been somewhat hard on the finances I'm fucking skint until Monday, and so you find me chainsmoking fags listening to Effi Briest at fucking stupid volume and writing bollocks on here in a doomed to failure attempt to not think too much about the phonecall I had earlier, which delivered some news which I knew was on the cards, and which, in the abstract and for the person concerned is fantastic, but for me less so, because it means that something brilliant will end in a few weeks time. So I'm simultaneously selfishly pissed off and happy for them at the same time. Oh well, life's been somewhat complicated, if enormous fun (in the main), lately, and I can't complain really, but it would be nice if certain areas of my life could proceed in a relatively normal manner for once. Then again, knowing me, I'd probably get worried if everything was too fucking simple, and it's often been pointed out to me that I almost never do anything the easy or normal way*.

On reflection, it's probably a good thing that I can't afford to get pissed tonight, but still. Arse.

*I was once told that if you cut me in half, I'd have the words "contrary bastard" written through me like in a stick of rock.

¡Explosión Inmensa De La Levadura!

I do like my food, as you may have gathered, and I've been hopelessly but happily addicted to Marmite* for my entire adult life. I love the stuff to the extent that I reckon I could go longer without tobacco than Marmite. Which is why I was extremely happy to discover the product pictured above, which is to normal Marmite as crack is to caffeine. Military grade salty yeasty gorgeous gloop that, coupled with some outrageously strong cheddar in an enormous toasted sandwich** creates a flavour explosion so intense that it makes the skin inside of yr mouth feel like it's peeling away, and actually makes you sweat. This is a good thing, by the way. Fuck it's good stuff. Looks like an industrial lubricant, tastes like heaven.

*Vegemite is rubbish though. Sorry Australia.

**Marmite, cheese and mixed herbs. Still untouched as the stoner's snack par excellence 17 years after I was first introduced to said sandwich by a certain Ms Levy the first time we got completely battered and now nothing else, short of a very expensive steak or 18 bowls of Shreddies can banish the munchies. It's all her fault.


Goddammit where's the fucking snow? We were promised and I demand snow*, otherwise there's no point in it being this fucking cold and I can't injure myself by sliding down Observatory hill on a dustbin lid** unless there's fucking snow. Also, why do I work for a company who are incapable of fucking paying me on time? Bastards. How hard can it be?

*I do actually mean the weather and not coke. Just to make that clear.

**Again, the teenage skater lurks below the surface ready to make me injure myself when the opportunity arises. It's fucking great fun, that hill is seriously fucking steep. We did this last year when the country froze to a standstill and I highly recommend it if y're that way inclined.

Friday, 26 November 2010

El Acero Sagrado

And now we move from the devil's music to the lord's. I may not be a god-fearin' man (don't go there*) but good Gospel just nails me to the floor, and when you get into the Sacred Steel stuff, well, there ain't much that gives me the shivers like the Campbell Brothers. Think you know what a slide can do? Watch Chuck Campbell and learn.

*I come from a mental Irish family, and by birth I'm half orange and half green. For some reason this helped put me off religion for life...

Tiene Que Moverse

If Homesick James wrote one true classic it was Got To Move, covered by Elmore and Fleetwood Mac* to name but two, and he probably recorded it about 400 times throughout his outrageously long career**, but if there's one version which just nails it, it's this live take from 1978 which is a fucking lesson in how to fucking rock the bottleneck, especially give that he was around 70 when he pulled this particular rabbit out of the hat. 70 years old and he still just killed. Listen and learn kids, and by kids I mean all of you who think you know how to play the Blues after playing along to yr SRV or (lord fucking preserve us) White Stripes*** records, you really fucking don't.

Homesick James - Got To Move

*When they was good, i.e. when Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer were up front.

**Depending on which date of birth you choose to believe he was between 94 and 101 when he died, and the fucker played live at least once a week right up until his death. What a man. The proper Homesick article will turn up soon, this should keep you going 'til then.

***Jack White isn't a bad guitarist, but he can't play slide for shit. Don't argue with me on this one, you will lose. Badly.

Demasiada Información

How the fuck did this band escape my attention 'til today? The band in question being Factums, and the reason I ask is because this lot seem to have absorbed the lessons that Chrome tried to teach us back in the 70s while almost everyone was too busy drawing mucky doodles on their desks to listen to Mr Creed and Mr Edge. I'm fucking stunned, this truly is the real fucking shit. Creepy, sleazy, buzzing, clanking, crashing, bad acid-drenched goddamm motherfucking awesome trash beamed in on alien shortwave radio. Deeply, beautifully warped and wonderful. So that's another lump of this months pay taken care of, because I need to own everything they've done immediately. Seriously, I love this music more than I lust after Kari Byron*, and I can think of no higher praise at this moment, so if you like psychedelic punky muck, do yrself a favour and get some Factums into yr lugholes right now.

*The reason I was once asked by an ex to "stop drooling" while watching Mythbusters. You know those lists of (normally famous) people that you'll be allowed to shag should the astonishingly remote opportunity arise without ruining yr relationship that get drawn up in drunken conversations with yr better half? Top of the list, closely followed by Eve Myles and Grace Slick (circa 1967 - I know, I'd need a time machine, but a man can dream...). Although I always like to add "yr sister" to the list just to see the appalled reaction. I know, really bad joke, but it always makes me giggle, even if it does generally earn me a slap. I think that's enough of an insight into my skewed mind for now.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Polvo Mi Escoba

It's been one of those weekends again. My brain still thinks it's Sunday night and wants to carry on. My body disagrees and wants to move as little as possible and eat stuff. Which is why I've just wolfed down an enormous, and extremely fucking delicious pile of rigatoni with gorgonzola and walnuts, and am thinking of having some more. When I can move again. In the meantime, I'm doing the sensible thing, sitting here with a spliff as large as a very large thing, an even bigger gin & tonic, and Elmore James* blaring, which is exactly what my brain needs to calm the fuck down. I've been simultaneously tired and wired all fucking day, and the only music that's going to work right now is the Blues, preferably served up with huge amounts of bottleneck guitar.

You might have noticed I'm quite keen on a bit of slide, in a similar way to William Burroughs was occasionally partial to the odd dab of smack, and you'd be on the money. It's a lifelong obsession, and my favourite sound in music, bar none. I grew up in a house surrounded by fucking great music, especially Chicago Blues, my dad having a seriously fucking amazing record collection, and the stereo being on a lot more than the telly, I was absorbing the sounds of Elmore, Muddy, Wolf and the rest from before I could fucking walk**, and I can never remember a time when the sound of the bottleneck didn't make my spine jellify. Especially if it's electrified. I mean, I love Country Blues, and count Son House and Bukka White as two of the greatest fucking musicians I've ever heard, I play a National for fucks sake and listening to those two taught me more than anyone, but it doesn't rip my fucking heart in two the way Elmore's guitar does.

People talk a lot of shit about guitars wailing. You want to know what a crying guitar sounds like? Listen to Elmore James. No one plays bottleneck like he did, no one. The fact he had a raw blowtorch of a voice didn't hurt none either, and The Broomdusters were a shitkicking backing band (when he remembered to pay 'em anyway), but when that slide hits those strings and that beautiful, treble heavy crystal scream comes slashing out, fuck, nothing quite comes close. Listen to this. If you don't like Elmore James, you are officially deaf.

For further proof, check here.

*The Complete Chess, Chief & Fire Sessions, if you were wondering. You don't get better than that. You just can't. Although, and I know this will be interpreted as heresy by some, Homesick's version of Crossroads (see previous post) just smokes Elmore's. More on Homesick James soon, he was erratic as fuck, but when he was good, he was fucking amazing, and he had a deeply odd guitar sound. Possibly because he used to tune down to B quite a lot. Which is lower than most doom bands.

**Not an exaggeration. My earliest memory is hearing The Sky Is Crying whilst lying in my cot.

Friday, 19 November 2010


Oh yes good people, it's bottleneck time.

De Gama Baja Lujuria

Want. Need. Must have. Well, I haven't bought a guitar for fucking ages. Not for 3 years*. I'm having withdrawal symptoms. And I don't own a bass at the moment because I flogged my old Thunderbird ages ago in a fit of madness (or skintness, honestly can't remember, it wasn't exactly the best time of my life). But, fuck me, look at it. That thing is fucking gorgeous. And the bastard sounds even fucking better than it looks. I foresee a rapidly emptying bank account on payday next...

*I know that's not that long. However, I have a bit of a... problem, and 3 years is like a lifetime for my instrument lust to remain unsatiated.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Al Azar

The thing I really like about the stats that blogger gathers about yr readers is that it tracks the search terms that lead unwitting fools into my world of stoned foolishness. I'm amazied how many people get here by searching the word "fucking" and I suspect they're seriously disappointed by the content herein. But the reason I mention this is because I was extremely pleased to discover someone came to this blog by searching for "largest ever big fuck off wombat".

Whoever this person is, I like the way they think.

And yeah, I'm in a slightly better mood now.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Diversión Con Melvins

So, seeing as fun and the Melvins at appalling volume go hand in hand as far as I'm concerned, and I did promise that this post would be more fun than the last post, I present without much further ado, their entire set from some festival in Belgium in 2003, featuring probably my favourite line up; Buzzo and Dale Crover, obviously, with Kevin Rutmanis* on bass. If you don't fancy the whole thing, may I recommend part 3, a psychotically brilliant version of amazon/AMAZON whose bendy slow riff is one of the greatest examples of that noble art known to man, and part 6 where they absolutely grind The Bloat and The Bit into the ground in a truly fucking glorious manner. See you when I'm in a better mood.

And as a bonus, an unbelievable live version of Honey Bucket recorded live in Amoeba records in 2008. This is the fastest, nastiest version I've ever heard them do, so sit back, and prepare to be beaten senseless, in the nicest possible way, by the greatest double drummer pile-up y're likely to hear in a good long while.

*Bit of an unsung fucking basslord is Mr Rutmanis, not least because of his fucking fantastic slide bass playing. See also Cows (AmRep).

¡Vete A Tomar Por Culo Guillain–Barré!

You don't have to read this post if you don't want to. It's not particularly pleasant reading, nor is it very coherent, but I really feel like fucking breaking something right now and yelling at the internet is probably the safer option. I am in such a poxy mood. I've got fucking unpleasant GB damage issues right now, I can't fucking eat without tears pouring out of my eyes, or fucking dribbling, talking isn't too fucking easy either, I can't smile, and I can feel the dead fucking nerves and inactive muscles as a useless absence and I fucking hate it. Loathe it with a passion you wouldn't fucking believe, because when this happens it just stops me dead in my tracks because I'm constantly aware of it, I just cannot fucking ignore it, the pain, the numbness, the effort involved in actions that are normally unconscious, involuntary, just fucks me up when it kicks in like this and makes me want to withdraw. And I really don't fucking want to feel that urge anymore, especially now I've conquered that particular demon in practically every other sphere of my life.

Sorry. I'm alright, just seriously fucked off with this shit*, it just gets really, really fucking boring after a while. I'm going to listen to the Melvins** at appalling volume (again). That always helps. As does shouting my head off on here. The next post will be more fun, I promise.

*And some other shit***, but mainly this shit.

**The finest fucking band America has produced in the last 30 years, bar fucking none. Prove me wrong...

***To be honest, the other shit is more confusing than anything, but it's not exactly helping either. Then again, I'm probably tying myself in either imaginary or unnecessary knots, possibly because I feel like shit because of the above. O joyous fucking circle of fun...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

La Lata

I am a little blurry today, due to last nights single malt and free jazz overdose, meaning I must listen to krautrock at punishing volume to realign my brain cells, and Can at their most singleminedly metronomic is just about the only thing that'll do do the trick. So I thought I'd share, because deep down, everyone loves a damn good motoriking, and also because if y're still not convinced Jaki Liebezeit is the greatest fucking drummer ever, these videos provide incontrovertible proof of the absolute wrongness of yr opinion.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Mirar Esos Muslos

Oh yes, more Cosmic Psychos for y'all. An old Australian TV recording of (She's A) Lost Cause, memorably covered by the wonderful L7*, actually, fuck it, here's both versions, and sorry about the shitty sync on the CP video, not a lot I can do about that**.

I'd write more, but I'm a little frazzled and incoherent at the mo', so the Cosmic Psychos article proper will have to wait a little while.

*Ah, Smell The Magic...

**Actually there is, I just can't be arsed.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Psicópata Cósmicas

Before I leave this place to go to another place where bad behaviour will undoubtedly ensue, I'd like to leave you with one of the high points of Australian culture, Dead Roo by the Cosmic Psychos*, from the magnificent LP Blokes You Can Trust (Amphetamine Reptile). Just be thankful there's no video for my top CP song, Hooray Fuck...

*Another band who've never really had their due, their influence on a bunch of bands associated with a fairly well-known Seattle record label was quite profound to say the least... More on the Cosmic Psychos soon.

Vela Pasar

BBC Radio 4 is one of the broadcasting wonders of the world, and I am, and have been for years, totally addicted to it's peculiar and unique mix of programming*, particularly its amazing documentaries and site specific audio portraits, its peerless coverage of science, history and the arts**, but also because where else in the world could you possibly hear Dame Joan Bakewell learning to beatbox?

*Except the Archers. I hate the fucking Archers. And its stupid fucking theme tune.

**And the Shipping Forecast, obviously.

Oooh, Reluciente

I'm enjoying a much needed few days off work, so I thought I'd use that time constructively* by mastering the Larsen Effect album, and knocking up a suitably lovely cover for the (occasionally) howling madness contained within, the fruits of my design endeavours being displayed above and below. The actual album itself will be available in a week or so, as soon as I can get away with abusing the expensive printer at work...

**Well some of it anyway, I s'pose it depends on what you consider constructive... But more on that later. Possibly.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

¡No Hablarás En Serio!

Go here. Read it. Read it again, because you really will not fucking believe what you just read. These people actually wield some power in this country. Fucking hell, I don't know whether to piss myself laughing or shit myself with fear. Although on reflection I think the laughter wins. And if ever there was an argument for an elected second chamber...*

Checks and balances my arse, I wouldn't trust that shower of shit to put their trousers on the right way round without a fucking instruction manual.

*You know, like in the rest of the civilised fucking world.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Viaje, Viaje, Viaje En La Otobahn

Oh yeah, it's back. We didn't know if it would be, but it is. Told you it was a good thing. And this time you've got Morgen und Nite on the decks, and no fuckers do tag team frogprog/krautrock/uk underground/psychedelic muck DJ sets quite like us. If that, plus Cafe Oto's delicious range of world ales and ciders aren't enough to tempt you, not to mention all the other good music and stuff that be there, then you are very boring and probably shouldn't come.

If on the other hand you are tempted, and you should be, it's only £2, then the hipster express to Dalston Junction will deliver you almost straight to Oto's door where you can relax in the company of like minded people of taste, class and distinction. Like me.

Sunday, 31 October 2010


I should probably explain what all this Larsen Effect malarkey is all about. Seeing as I've alluded to it a number of times, mentioned it a couple of times and now posted a track. It's my slightly foolishly, but aptly named (I'll tell you why in a bit) solo guitar thing, project, whatever. Basically it's me on electric guitar with mission control at my feet and an amplifier which will take any amount of frazzled grot that I chuck at it. Sometimes just one guitar, as on the track posted, sometimes masses of the fuckers, but not necessarily doing what you might think I'd do with that many screaming bastards. Because I can be subtle when I feel like it. Which is occasionally. It runs the gamut from almost ambient massed bottleneck blues choirs to howling psychedelic chaos sucking kosmische mung and frogprog blug into its droning, gaping maw and, along with whatever the fuck else feels right to chuck in the pot, gets cooked up, chewed up, spat out and mangled to taste and comes out sounding like a huge drug filled multicoloured curry or a massive burning magnesium sphere or ...insert ridiculous psychedelic metaphor of yr choice here...

So yeah, that's The Larsen Effect. Or rather I am. And as for the faintly 60s sounding moniker, well the reasons for that are twofold, because, for one, it's the scientific term for audio feedback and as we all know, I'm fairly fond of that lovely gooey screamy stuff, and for two, because it sounds like a long lost Swedish psych band, and no one has ever quite hit the same astonishing mung levels as the Parson Sounds/International Harvester etc. family, and so the name is also a backhanded tribute to those droning fuzzed out Scandinavian lunatics, and my love of their utterly singular vision.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Uñas Afilada

There seems to an accidental 90s volume war going on in the building at the moment. Whoever's recently moved into the flat next door is listening to Smashing fucking Pumpkins at full whack, and given that I only got home an hour or so ago, and am a little the worse for wear*, the last thing I want to hear after a night like last night is Billy Corgan's reedy fucking wailing. And still being in an AmRep kind of a mood, I've been countering the horribly whining sound with lots of God Bullies et al. As you do.

Well, you do if y're me. Then again, most people would probably disagree that listening to death metal on MDMA is a really enjoyable thing to do, personally I think it's fucking great, but there you go, I've got some funny ideas about what constitutes fun**. Last nights fun consisted of, amongst other things, fantastic Mexican food, great wine, better cocktails, not to mention a little extra and very unexpected something that made the night sparkle in an extremely geometric manner, if you catch my drift, and just the right company and music and surroundings to fuck off the last residues of the previous few days in the most pleasant manner possible, and so, because I feel like inflicting my somewhat addled good mood on you all, and because I said I would, here's that Larsen Effect*** track I mentioned earlier, for yr listening pleasure or otherwise...

Uñas Afilada by The Larsen Effect

*In a wooly stupid grin kind of a way, as opposed to Trotsky's Icepick.

**Or so I've been told. More than once.

***My guitar only solo project. Probably should have made that clear earlier. But I'd forgotten that when I posted that I was recording a solo guitar thing, I forgot to mention the name of said project. When I mentioned I was going to post an LE track, I neglected to point out that's the name the solo guitar thing goes under. See the next post for more details. I'll also explain the slightly foolish name later, but rest assured, it makes perfect sense when you know why.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Seriamente Aunque...

You may have noticed that this post looks a bit different now. That's because I reread what I'd written, and although I stand by everything I said, I also realise that I wrote it in a much more cuntish tone than I meant. Not surprisingly given what had happened earlier that day, but still, it was unnecessarily harsh and crossed my own line way too far. Sorry 'bout that. A minor lapse of judgement, which I think is just about excusable given the circumcstances.

Música De La Casa

My devotion to techno is a given. We all know that. But what most people don't get about me is how much I fucking love proper house. Not acid, again, that's no fucking secret, but full on, straight down the fucking line Chicago house. I still love the early Orb* shit too, and Mouse On Mars' first few records are beyond compare. So what happens when you combine those three fantastic ingredients?

The new Space Dimension Controller 2x12", Temporary Thrillz (R&S)** is what happens. Along with Impassive Skies by Patrick Pulsinger and the last Actress LP, this record oozes that old fashioned 80s house feel which seems to making a comeback in terms of influence and sound once again. We're in proper fucking E2-E4/Sueño Latino territory here, that fabulous (pre) Balearic krauty electronic sound smacking headlong into slow 4/4 Chicago loveliness, and I mean slow, like house used to be, there ain't much over 120bpm on this, and it's all the fucking better for it. It's 1979, 1986, 1994 and 2010 all at once, and it's just beautiful. Electronic fucking soul, in the true sense of the word.

I haven't heard a record which pushes these particular buttons in quite this way a long, long time. You can chuck in some early Jimi Tenor/touch of Prince too, given the utterly shameless keyboard solos contained within, and y're still only halfway to grasping the fucking goodness of this release. The drums on early house have a rawness to them that you don't hear very often these days, and damn, the bass. The fucking bass. It's wonderful. A funky sawtooth fart that's been absent from this world for far too long, and I for one welcome it's return to our stereos and dancefloors. In a just universe, this would be huge. It won't be, but it fucking should. It's even got vocoders and people whispering the word "ecstasy" in the background. And it's pressed on lovely splattery purple vinyl too.

Buy it. Dance like a cock. You'll thank me.

*Anything up to and including Orbvs Terrarvm.

**Yeah I know. An artist name like that, on that label and y're thinking bad trance. Couldn't be further from the truth.

Escapar De La Suerte

No more being perturbed for the good Dr, finally some fucking resolution. Nice to have the smile back on my face*, even if the reason for it probably isn't the one y're thinking of, in fact, it's precisely the opposite. And no, I'm not going to elaborate other than to say translate the title. Right, what's next?

*Even if it has taken a somewhat more wry aspect than usual.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Enjuagar, Espuma, Repetir

Terminal Cheesecake. Lovely. There's mung, and there's Mung. I do so miss the dirty bastards. Where are the fucking reissues? Someone needs to fucking sort that out.

And if anyone was already wondering what to buy the Dr for xmas, I'd really fucking like a Periodic Tablecloth Of Swearing.

¡Enfermera, Traer El Espéculo!

I remember what I was going to ask. How the fucking hell did I end up with an excruciatingly painful dented coccyx, not to mention a whole host of mysterious, randomly located cuts and bruises last week? I don't remember getting involved in a game of violent Twister, I haven't injured myself at work, and I didn't get so pissed, even last Tuesday which was fairly messy for want of a better word*, that I had any memory gaps (I always know if I've drunkenly forgotten, if that makes sense, there's a horrible hungover hole in my brain which was completely absent), or sense of lost time**. So how in the name of all that is fucking unholy did these injuries occur? Particularly the coccyx. That fucking still smarts now (ooh DFs, excuse me for a sec...), and it felt like I was growing a fucking tail last Wednesday morning. Still, shit happens. Any ideas? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

And no, there were no handy bits of cardboard to surf on or anything like that. I know I can't help myself after a few, but that always results in the same injury if I go arse over tit, namely a lumpy bruise on my left elbow that's a dead ringer for a cartoon bump on the head, and I didn't suffer that specific indignity. It wasn't a Thors rehearsal night. So how and why does this weird shit happen? How did the disco damage occur? Because this is definitely a case of DD...

On other, more sensible matters, TIME were fucking great at Oto last week, and I will post a proper review when I'm more... compos mentis. Because they were very good indeed, and I'd like to do justice to their music with my words as opposed to just blatting wine & opiated idiocy all over this post. I know it's a fine line sometimes, but even so...

*One of those nights which starts with the seemingly innocuous words "fancy a quick pint after work?" and ends several hours later in quadruple*** rum-soaked carnage.

**All alien abduction scenarios involving so-called lost time can be traced back to a single cause. A one-toothed banjo playing motherfucker who got so fucking arseholed on corn whiskey they forgot Thursday happened, and needed a really, really fucking serious excuse...

***They were supposed to be doubles, the barman was pissed too, and couldn't find the spirit measures, so he poured them by eye, and erred on the somewhat, shall we say, generous side. Blue Cheer and Mudhoney were blaring out of the jukebox. Said jukebox is free. Guess the pub...

Intimidación De Dios

It just occured to me that this song, previously posted on the old blog, has exactly the right level of joy-at-wrongness that sums up exactly how I feel right now. If you know me at all, you know exactly how much I love the God Bullies, and especially the two minutes of absolute grotty genius that is Cemetary. Altogether now:

"Let's rock'n'roll, and worship Satan,
 Get born again girl, 'cos time's a-wastin'"*

Fucking love it.

*Such a brilliant lyric. It could have been worse. I could have found a video of Helios Creed doing Hideous Greed live, which is what I was originally looking for, and then the lyrical excerpt would have read:

"I see you in spike heels on the craters of the Moon,
 Tie you to my rocket and give you sonic boom"

Which is probably not an image anyone really needs in their head, but one I thought I'd put there regardless...

Y Relajarse...

You know what? Not angry anymore. Still a little off-centre, but talking to good people* always helps, especially when they all point out (for varying reasons) that y're worth more than the ridiculous fuck-around which seems to be occurring at the moment. Sure, we all have our problems and shit to deal with, we're all busy, of all people you don't have to fucking tell me that, but the trick is not to fuck other people over and use those things as excuses, and have the fucking balls to say what you really mean/feel. I know I do (well I try), and yeah, sometimes it gets me into trouble, but more often than not, even if it causes ructions in the first place, it turns out to have been the right thing to do in the long run. Plus I couldn't have dealt with this foolishness in a nicer, more even handed fashion than I have done, and the way I see it, this problem really just ain't mine to solve.

Plus those same good people have pointed something out to me, that I have options, if you get my meaning, and if you don't, well, I wouldn't worry about it, you probably weren't meant to. But it's true, I do now**. Breaking down that fucking wall was the start of something important, very important, because for the first time I can genuinely take on board, without my stupid underlying scepticism-bordering-on-paranoia interfering, the positive things people have said about me, compliments I've been given, whatever, just as well as I've always been able to absorb the negative like some kind of depressing sponge.

Don't worry, I'm hardly going to turn into a raving fucking egomaniac, that's so unlikely it would fucking rip time a new arsehole if it happened, but I do like the fact that I can, to a greater extent, see myself as others do, instead of only through the somewhat distorted prism of my slightly warped headspace. Because it turns out I'm the opposite of my long-time self-image in an awful lot of ways, and mostly for the fucking good I'm pleased to say. It's like I've been looking in a fairground mirror all these fucking years and suddenly I've got a nice polished, level one to see myself in, and you know what? I scrub up ok.

So positive Wommm isn't just happier, more level-headed*** and more confident, but also no longer content to sit on my arse and take other people's crap and blame myself for it, or sit on the aforementioned and let the world fly past, hoping it'll stop for me, actually willing to take a fucking leap and not run away crying because I've sprained my metaphorical ankle, and I hadn't been able to do that for many years. So we'll see. I have a sneakin' suspicion the next few weeks are going to be a whole fuckload of fun, because I suddenly have irons in the fire§ and a whole fucking spectrum of possibilities at my fucking feet, and now, I only have myself to blame if I don't take full advantage. Fucking screw it, life's too short, I've wasted enough of it as it is and I've had quite enough of the world taking advantage, so I've taken it back. Big fucking time.

*It's always the same people, and they are fucking brilliant, and they know who they are. And thank you, the truffle metaphor as a riposte to my mushroomedness was a very, very good way of telling me something that was exactly what I needed to hear.

**I know, I know, I always did. Difference is now, I actually fucking notice, and am actually capable of doing something about it. So M, you don't need to play me the dictaphone loop anymore. I've finally got the fucking message.

***Obviously it's all relative. But you catch my drift.

§And you can read what you like into that statement. I do have just one question though: What does an Art Psychotherapist actually do? Guess I'll find out soon enough...

Una Noche Con Amphetamine Reptile

I'm just in an AmRep frame of mind at the moment. 20 records any self-respecting muck fiend should own and which have been on extremely heavy rotation all week. Yum.

Helios Creed - Boxing The Clown
Cows - Peacetika
Today Is The Day - Supernova
Surgery - Nationwide
Hammerhead - Into The Vortex
Tar - Jackson
Halo Of Flies - Music For Insect Minds
God Bullies - Dog Show
King Snake Roost - Things That Play Themselves
Helmet - Strap It On
Lubricated Goat - Psychedelicatessan
Boss Hogg - Action Box
Unsane - Scattered, Smothered & Covered
The Thrown Ups - Seven Years Golden
Cosmic Psychos - Blokes You Can Trust
Vertigo - Vertigo
Casus Belli - Tailgunnrageles
Love 666 - American Revolution
Melvins - Honky
V/A - Anything with the words "Dope, Guns 'n' Fucking..." on the cover

And talking of muck, my idiot ISP informs me that uploading will actually, definitely be working by Saturday. So then you can drool at my guitar godliness/throw stuff at the speakers shouting what does this cunt think he's playing at? More crap later. I have wine...

Monday, 25 October 2010

El Efecto De Larsen

I'll say one thing for my fucking mood at the moment though, it means the guitar is getting an even more severe kicking than usual, because when I'm in a frustrating state of mind, there are only two other activities than can more thoroughly pull me out of myself, and allow me to, if not relax, then temporarily circumvent the idiot circuit in my head, neither of which are practical or feasible when I'm home on my own at four in the afternoon, but as I say, guitar mangling comes a close third, and it's made me feel somewhat more levelled than earlier, plus I recorded it on a whim, and it sounds rather good, even if I do say so myself. And I do. A little bit like Neu!'s slower stuff, melodically* speaking, but ground up and spat out through my usual assortment of mung devices, and as soon as my fucking broadband will actually let me upload the fucker without pissing me around (hopefully tomorrow or the day after, according to Virgin's amusingly named technical department) I'll post the bugger for your edification and/or mortification, and also as a taster of the forthcoming (now all done save the mastering**) Larsen Effect album.

*I know, not often you see me use that word...

**Which will be done as soon as I can concentrate properly without the... aura of uncertainty interrupting.


I'm not in a particularly pleasant frame of mind today, my mood is essentially limbic pink noise, a random combination of all emotional frequencies decreasing steadily in power as you go up the spectrum, all whacked through a puzzlement filter on the edge of self-oscillation forming a particularly aggravating drone buzzing round the edge of my thoughts. All for reasons understandable if I was going to go into them here. Which I'm not (well, not exactly), but that probably doesn't surprise you given the generally oblique way I refer to certain aspects of my life on this blog. I mean sure I'll bang on about how I feel and slag myself off and roughly allude to the background of whatever's occurring, but situations, specifics and the actual people concerned? No fucking way. I try not to do my dirty laundry in public, athough this post is as close as I'm willing to get to breaking my own rules. Not that I haven't wanted to in the past (fuck me have I wanted to, and on occasion, would have been fully justified in doing so), but bitter experience of having been on the receiving end of that kind of shit before, and my own deeply-rooted views on what should stay private always stop me, well, at least before I hit publish anyway.

Not that I'm fucking perfect, not by a long shot, it's just that seeing my ridiculously over-the-top 2+2=fucking5 assumptions and offensive leaps of illogic staring back at me in stark black and white, is a: catharsis enough, and b: makes me realise just what a fucking knob I can be when I've got half an idea and the bit between my teeth, which is what happened about 10 minutes ago when I read back what I'd written and deleted everything save the first sentence. You want to know why I'm pissed off? All I'm saying is look at the title of the last post. For those of you who don't speak Spanish and can't be arsed to translate my foolish titles it means I am a mushroom. And I don't mean mushroom in it's psychedelic, or fungal meanings, but in it's classic metaphorical sense. And I really, really fucking hate it when people do that to me, because it really isn't that fucking hard to remedy.

So please, pretty fucking please with fucking sugar on top, sort it out.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Soy El Hongo

At least that's how I feel at the moment. But fuck it, because tonight I shall be returning to the comfy confines of Cafe Oto, to see the rather fine TIME, the Morgen's other band, because as I say, they're excellent, and I keep missing their gigs, for a bewildering variety of reasons, so Michael Rother and cohorts are going to lose my custom tonight, and much as I adore Neu!, I suspect I know exactly what's going to happen at the Hallogallo gig, and much as I fucking love that motoriking loveliness, I'd rather see something new, and vital, and not an exercise in fucking 70s nostalgia. Plus Dean McPhee and Lichens are playing too, and Dean's stuff sounds quite, quite lovely, and I seriously fucking need some lovely this evening. Lichens I'm in two minds about, some of his collaborations have been excellent, but I've yet to be totally convinced by his solo stuff, I'm always open to persuasion tho, and a lot of people who's opinions I respect deeply seem to really enjoy his music, so we'll see...

Also, contrary to what it says on the Cafe Oto site, rumours of Morgen Und Nite's demise have been sorely exaggerated...

Monday, 18 October 2010

Helios Creed: Lactantes Púrpura

Even though Lactating Purple was the last of the three records under review here to be released, I've decided to put this up before the Boxing The Clown article, because these three records (massive pretentiousness alert!) feel like a triptych to me, and the centrepiece which is BTC is best viewed in the light of, and between the outer panels, namely The Last Laugh and this glorious bugger of a record, the exceedingly bizarre, yet curiously catchy (by HC's standards anyway) Lactating Purple. It's the most traditionally (again, I'm using that word advisedly here) song-oriented album of the three, and the first to feature what would become his (almost) regular band for the next few years, but it's recorded before they'd settled into the more fixed style his records would display for the next few years.

It's the first with a four piece line-up as well, instead of the previous ever-changing power trio, consisting of the man himself (obviously), Paul Kirk on bass, Paul Della Pelle on drums and Z Sylver on synths and sampler, the slightly higher emphasis on synthesizer lending the record a more Chromeian feel than the previous two, as reflected in the cover art which is a fucking dead ringer for one of Chrome's magnificent sci-fi collage sleeves, yet still retaining that totally fried atmosphere of the previous two LPs, just contained within some of his more coherent and concise songwriting as opposed to the more freewheeling feel of much of the previous LP. 

In that, it feels more like a sequel to The Last Laugh, especially as it launches off with another triple header, beginning with the sublime title track, a mid-paced monster featuring some his most densely effected vocals ever, something of a hallmark of this particular release, the (for HC anyway) guitars not quite so prominent, but still squallingly fucking odd spiralling together with the synths to create an tapestry of sublime oddness where it's hard to tell what's what, and we all know how I love that shit. This leads into Flying Through The Either, a piece of psychedelic, weirdly ambient chicken scratch funk smothered in some of the most filtered guitar imaginable and underpinned with that almost ancient feel that creeps into his music courtesy of Z Sylver's droning synth overlaid with seriously fucked with spoken word that smacks into one of those whirling backmasked Chrome jump cuts and launches into Ub The Wall, where that lysergic angle grinder guitar finally roars in with a fucking murderous intent pushed ever higher by the fucking hurtling rhythm section and an hysterical vocal just on the edge of feedback until the whole thing unexpectedly flies backwards again, only to return with increased aggro. I love it so much, just one of the finest ways to open a record I've ever heard.

Next up is the whirling maelstrom of Nebuchadnezzar, another middling speed track featuring yet more astonishing guitar/synth interplay that rides in on some of the best vocal fuckery I've ever heard, then the slower, darkly melodic Modular Green which boasts a vocal so heavily flanged that you may well be sick and acts like this album's parallel to Nirbasion Annasion. The next real standout though is track 7, The Radiated, two minutes of angular spacerock that harks back to the rhythmic complexity of BTC, contains more great guitar than most fucking albums, ends with a fucking big explosion and sets the tone nicely for the next song, Spider. A genuine so-fucking-wrong classic, which crawls along on a bed of profoundly fucked riffage, a spinning, almost Fripp like guitar line and a completely screwed and pitchshifted vocal which tells a warped tale of fuck knows what kind of cosmic degradation before ramping the speed up into a rolling muted riff driven groove that eventually just flies out of orbit before dropping you into the most fucked track on the LP, the gloriously titled Martian Sperm & Bagpipes*, which seems to be an attempt to beat the world record for the most gratuitous flanging and phasing, the vocals pitched even fucking lower and every sound circling and twisting round every other in a desperate attempt to communicate... something. The LP ends on an elegiac note with Amenti, all slow motion synth and guitar held down by the minimal rhythm section, slowly bring you back down to earth in a quite wonderful manner.

*Probably best not ask. 

Sunday, 17 October 2010


Before I go to sleep, I have to post this, because Kraftwerk's criminally unavailable early LPs* haven't been heard by nearly enough people, and I've just found this beautiful live on TV version of Tanzmuzik from Ralf & Florian, a gorgeous record that deserves a rerelease so fucking badly. Anyway, this is the best music I can imagine listening to as my brain turns to cotton wool and I fall blissfully asleep.

*For some reason, Kraftwerk will not allow any of their pre-Autobahn LPs to be reissued. Shame, because  Krafttwerk 1 & 2 (and Tone Float, by their pre-Kraftwerk band Organisation) contain moments of sublime genius, and their 3rd, Ralf & Florian is probably their most utterly lovely record.

Helios Creed: La Última Risa

Now my devotion to Chrome's masterpieces Alien Soundtracks and Half Machine Lip Moves isn't exactly a secret. But it occurs to me that I've never written about Helios Creed's solo stuff on here before. Which is a little odd given that he's probably my favourite guitarist ever, I'll freely admit that sonically he's influenced me more deeply than any other musician and is certainly the one who opened my ears further than anyone before or since to the infinite possibilities of using a stupid amount of effects pedals*, and crucially, possibly even more so than Matt Bower et al, branded into the core of my musical being that going too fucking far is a damn good place to start.

There are three albums in particular (out of many) that will always be the killers as far as I'm concerned, the untouchable triumvirate of 1989's The Last Laugh, 1990's Boxing The Clown, and 1991's Lactating Purple (all on Amphetamine Reptile)*. A trio of albums that fused together every disparate strand of psychedelia and spacerock, filtered through a vicious hardcore/punk sensibility, occasionally refracted through an angular proggish prism, sometimes infused with a deeply unsettling almost mediaeval ambience in their (admittedly rare) quieter moments all wrapped round a noiserock core of unswerving viciousness and nailed to the fucking floor by whatever rhythm section the mad fucker had got on board for that particular album. Helios Creed used to go through rhythm sections like Spinal Tap go through drummers or the Melvins through bassists, and weirdly, his records were all the better for it then. He never seemed to attain the same heights of ultrapsych lunacy once his band actually coalesced into a stable unit.

The first of the three, The Last Laugh, featuring the rhythm section of Jason Finn (drums) and Daniel House (bass) starts with a three part blast that recalls the disjointed structures of Alien Soundtracks and Half Machine Lip Moves, kicking off with the straight-for-the-jugular Some Way Out, a careering piece of psychedelic hardcore, powered along by that fucking guitar sound, that stuck wah'ed chainsaw that just cuts through yr brain like a monofilament garrotte with the heavily distorted and filtered vocals of Mr Creed insanely gargling through the maelstrom and then suddenly, with no warning, cuts straight into the unsettling ambience of The Dream, all heavily reverbed backward and acoustic guitars, massively detuned chant and and atmosphere of real hypnagogic dread before slamming back into The Diplomat, a mid paced spacepunk cut with some fucking astonishing guitar that sounds like a writhing psychedelic hydra during the solo. Track 3 (I'm not going to go into all the tracks here, I just want to whet yr appetite if you've never heard this shit), Nirbasion Annasion, is one of his greatest moments, like spacerock turned inside out, beginning with a wonderful persian sounding guitar line, it's rolls into full power on an insidious, sinuous bass line and minimalist drums as the man himself unleashes a torrent of just fucking amazing acid guitar lines forwards and backwards (and as ever with Helios, it's sometimes hard to tell which is going which way, or if it's one, two or four guitars), intertwining with each other and the bass to create a philosophers knot of a track, with his relatively buried, and as usual, heavily processed vocals adding to the glorious confusion. It's just brilliant, and deeply weird. It's everything spacerock promises to be, but almost never quite becomes, except when this man pulls his acid soaked finger out of his arse and gets it right like he does here.

Side 2 is just as fucking good, leading off with Late Bloomer, a track drenched in the same paranoid Ballard/Dick atmosphere that was soaked right through Chrome's Third From The Sun, before kicking into the deeply unsettling Where The Children Are. One of the most traditionally structred songs on the album, yet one of the most disturbing, (along with Road Out Of Hell which ends side 1), it's a seemingly innocuous slowish rock song, well, at least until the guitars really get going. The phasing bandsaw is back with a vengeance, allied with a howling, crying solo line that splinters and recombines as Helios deadpan intones the lines "As you wish upon a star, wondering where yr children are" and other lovely sentiments, it's not a song you necessarily want to examine too deeply, there's an undercurrent of reined-in violent perversity to it that's never explicit, just felt as a deep unease in the back of yr throat. The tension built up by that piece of masterful freak horror is perfectly defused by the next song, the most playful track on the LP, The Rant, which is sort of what would happen if you took a fast 60s r'n'b or soul number, preferably one that tells you exactly how to do the monkey, or the watusi, or the boogaloo, and rerecorded it with a Venusian harcdore band. Fantastic madness, and it contains some of the best fucking guitar you can imagine. There's not a duff track on the album, and it would be a stone cold motherfucking classic if it wasn't for the LP that followed it, Boxing The Clown, a record which I can safely say, that if The Last Laugh blew my mind, then Boxing The Clown gave it the single best musical fuck it had up until that moment, and which will be the subject of the next post in this series.

So yeah, part two will be coming when I have the time as I suspect this week could be a bit chaotic, and I can't be arsed to write any more this evening because those lovely blue valium tablets someone very kindly gave me last week have just kicked in and I'm starting to giggle at everything, so yeah part two very soon. And yes, I'm much less discombobulated now, and that's not because of the valium, but because I now know what I really needed to know before. Cryptic? Yeah, but you know me.

I wouldn't normally post anything from youtube without any visuals, but I don't have Nirbasion Annasion on any digital format, but the man himself has posted the bugger up there so I'll make an exception as it is such a fucking amazing piece of psych. Enjoy. Or run away...

*A live engineer once sneeringly asked me do you think all those pedals are really necessary? To which he received one of my two customary answers to the fucking stupid things some live engineers come out with, that is to say a look of withering contempt coupled with a skull fracturing blast of phased to fuck feedback, followed by the one word answer "yeah". The other answer is just "oh fuck off", it depends how much of a cock the engineer is, and what sort of mood I'm in at the time.

** The preceding LP, Superior Catholic Finger (Subterranean) is fucking excellent too, as were the two  LPs that followed these three on AmRep, Kiss To The Brain and Planet X, but that's for another day and another article.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Un Caso Dudoso De Obsesión

I know. I'm obsessed. Don't fucking care. You love it.

And finally a fucking killer version of the immortal Tush, the sound's a bit quiet on this one so fucking crank it.


I'm somewhat discombobulated today, for reasons I'm not going to go into at the moment, so forgive me if I wander off on all sorts of ridiculous tangents and nothing makes much sense. Although let's face it, that wouldn't exactly be a first for this blog.

Last night was spent in the most civilised surroundings of Cafe Oto, at a night called Otobahn, which turned out to be the perfect place to decompress after a day of wildly oscillating moods, none of which were particularly pleasant, not that I'm falling back into my old ways, it was just one of those days that needed a good end to it to shave off the spiky aggravated edges of my overactive brain, and spending the evening with a couple of my favourite people, drinking excellent beer** to the accompaniment of some rather fine music, live and dj'ed, seemed to be exactly the right solution. There were a couple of live acts, a solo analogue synth set by John Chantler which started slowly and hesitantly, but grew and evolved into a deeply thrumming krauty deep space mung out with tickly arpeggiations. I wasn't that impressed at first, but like I said, when he got into his stride, the billowing ambience of the modular synth provided just the right sonic tint to the night, an enveloping, yet unobtrusive warmth that coupled with good conversation and the aforementioned ale calmed me right down, and allowed my racing mind to catch up with itself and let me think clearly again.

The second lot, Regolith, laid down a very enjoyable, but for my tastes when it comes to this sort of stuff, slightly too quiet set of droning psych blues with two electric guitars and laptop***. I really wish it had been louder, and the mix a little more balanced, especially towards the end when one of the guitarists cut loose with a fucking great solo which was almost swamped by the muddiness of the mix, I mean, this was proper Quicksilver shit, and I want to fucking hear that. I could understand it if they were going for the subliminal thing, but it was too high in the mix to pull that off, yet still too low to make the impact it should have. Not their fault, and we all know my opinion of a lot of live engineers§, so I know who I blame. But even with those shortcomings, they played some beautiful music, and I'm a sucker for e-bowed slide guitar, which their set contained in bucketloads, and the laptop processing etc. was so tightly enmeshed and integrated into the whole weave of sound it never came across as gratuitous technological icing, which is the impression I often get from laptop musicians in a live context. Not here though. Good fucking stuff. Louder next time please.

There was some great, eclectic dj sets from Mapsadasical, Radioolio and others too, a nicely random mix of sounds electronic, acoustic, freaky and beautiful, again, not at full club volume, but at just the right volume to fill the room without anyone needing to shout, and the conversation never obscured the music either, like I said, a civilised night out, and it's the only night I've been to that had its own cryptic crossword. Which you can have a go at here, although it might prove impossible to crack if y're not a krautrock junkie...

So yeah, a really nice evening, and one that I really hope won't be a one-off, apparently it was put on in place of a cancelled gig, and I for one am really glad they did, because a space like this, that's not a full on club night or a full volume gig, isn't in a grimy pub or dingy venue§§ for once, but in a good place, full of good people and fine sounds, with great food and drink, is something that's been sorely fucking lacking for a while, somewhere that's almost as much about being social as it about the music. It was pretty damn packed too, so even though it was free entry, I'm betting Cafe Oto did alright last night. And with that in mind, I'd like to be amongst the first to humbly request the lovely people who run Cafe Oto to make this a regular fixture, and not just because I want to dj there, but because it was a genuinely excellent night in exactly the right venue§§§. It even had a rather nice flyer:

Fuck me, no tangents, I must be feeling more relaxed. Oh wait, here comes one.

I must also recommend that you get hold of a copy of Nigel Kneale's utterly fantastic, and unintentionally hilarious, 1976 series Beasts, I actually thought I might rupture something laughing, fucking awesome television. The rats...

*No, not the Valium...

**Particularly the Kernel Brewery's excellent IPA Citra. Fucking fantastic stuff.

***Which for once, didn't bug the shit out of me. I have a slight issue with laptops on stage, for many reasons ,some of which are deeply irrational, and none of which I can't be arsed to into here. I will at some point in the future when I next get pissed off by the sight of someone staring at a screen on stage.

§For those who don't, it's not particularly nice. To put it very mildly.

§§Not that I object to those things, as you've probably gathered, but it's nice to have somewhere to go where you can just fucking kick back.

§§§Like when Kosmische was Upstairs At The Garage. It was never quite the same anywhere else. Good, but not the fucking joyous pill fuelled great rush through space Kosmische could be when it was UATG. Probably because most other venues wouldn't let us get away with half the shit we did there. Like crate-skating, which I'll explain one day, suffice to say it's a very specific method of dancing which you should never attempt when y're off yr fucking tits, but also something you just wouldn't attempt even vaguely sober, fun, but with the risk of injury ever present. Yeah, sure, UATG was a shithole, but dammit, it was our fucking shithole for one night a month for a fucking killer few years. More on Kosmische soon...