Saturday, 31 July 2010

Mi Aerodeslizador Es Lleno De Anguilas

Moritz Von Oswald Trio - Live In New York (Honest Jon's)
Demdike Stare - Liberation Through Hearing (Modern Love)
Astral Social Club - Happy Horse (Happy Prince)
Iibiis Rouge - s/t (Not Not Fun)
Moon Unit - New Sky Dragon (Krayon)
High Wolf - Ascension (Not Not Fun)
Actress - Splazsh (Honest Jon's)
Growing - Pumps (Vice)
Pelt - Heraldic Beasts (Eclipse)
Total - Here, Time Is Space (Majora)
Sunroof! - Reborn In Jets Of Rainbow Water (Giardia)
La Otracina - Reality Has Got To Die (Holy Mountain)
Fire! - You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago (Rune Grammofon)
Carl Craig & Moritz Von Oswald - Recomposed (Deutsche Grammophon)
Autechre - Move Of Ten (Warp)
Eleh - Location Momentum (Touch)
Scuba - Triangulation (Hot Flush)
Isolée - We Are Monster (Playhouse)
Pan Sonic - Gravitoni (Blast First)
Virgo - Virgo (Rush Hour)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Literatura Barata

Found here, along with this one below, featuring the shittest walrus fiend I have ever seen. Not that I've seen many, but the Mickey Mouse nose does not convey evil in any way. Best not to even mention the tusks. So I won't.

And this one too, "A Thrilling Publication" according to the bottom right corner. I'm not so sure. Captain Future looks like he might be a bit of a cock.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Perfección Psicodélica (Ligero Devolver)

Because I am lovely, you no longer need to search for the song about which I waxed rhapsodical in my previous post. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Stereo Shoestring with On The Road South...

And, as a bonus, here be Defecting Grey by The Pretty Things. If you don't want to skip around spangled paisley gardens with a flower in yr bum, the good bit starts at around 53 seconds...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Perfección Psicodélica

40 of the greatest seconds in psychedelia begin with the moment in Defecting Grey by The Pretty Things where the hippy nonsense abruptly transitions to one of the most savage freakbeat/garage psych riffs of the 60s, replete with one of Phil May's snottiest deliveries ever and a viciously treble heavy lead guitar that'd take yr face off at twenty paces. It's fucking fantastic, but, as I said, only lasts 40 bloody seconds before the flower children reappear and piss all the good work up the wall. Which is why On The Road South by The Stereo Shoestring is my favourite moment of blatant rock thievery ever*, not to mention one of the greatest fucking tracks of the psychedelic era. They took the few brilliant seconds of an otherwise hopeless piece of 60s folly, and turned it into 2.16 of the most balls-out speed-driven acid mayhem, giving even Blue Cheer a run for their money in the fuzz overload stakes, and outdoing everyone in terms of wah wah abuse until their ears bled. The singer doesn't quite reach Phil May's level of spitting disdain, but with the fuzzgun explosions detonating all around he doesn't really need to, he's a little more melodic, more flowing, interspersing the original riff with frantic spoken word during the one part of the song they actually wrote to break up the repetitions of the original. It's a total fucking drag race of a song, encapsulating an awful lot of things I love about the music of the 60s with none of the fucking shit and I urge you to seek out it's magnificence forthwith.

*cf. Can's Father Cannot Yell and the Velvet Undergrounds' European Son.

Usted Consigue A Veces El Extremo Incorrecto Del Palo

And sometimes, someone else gets the wrong end of the stick. Sometimes you both do, and instead of awkward and weird, it's actually funny and doesn't matter. Sometimes you don't get what you want but end up somewhere really good anyway, and why has it taken me 37 fucking years to realise this?

Ah, fuck it, who cares, all I know is I've knocked a permanent crack in a wall that's been standing for two damn long, and one good crack is all it takes to make it start to crumble and fall, and that makes me so damn happy, and calm in a way I haven't felt for a very long time.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Jarabe De Aire

It's really fucking hot. Anything involving more movement than going to the kitchen is frankly not on the agenda at the moment. The air is like fucking syrup today and there's not a lot of wind to stir it around, which is why I'm listening to appropriately gloopy music. Which can mean only one thing. Not Krautrock, either too sleek or too spacey for a day where the atmosphere appears to be clotting. Not even my beloved Swedish mong-warriors, Pärson Sound/International Harvester et al are the right kind of blug for weather like this, no, what you need when yr head feels like it's full of treacle, is mad French people with synthesizers and drugs and no sense of taste or shame whatsoever. In short, Frogprog is the shit. Lard Free's debut LP is a case in point. It's wrong on so many levels you need new dimensions to measure the level of duh that's embedded in its grooves, it's also utterly fantastic.

Take the first track, "Warinobaril", the drummer sounds so stoned that he could fall off his stool at any moment, a fruity bass guitar wanders around a deeply pedestrian riff, whilst seriously fucking parping saxophones call to each other like slightly rubbish whales. After a cosmic oompah eternity (2 minutes), the guitarist, of whom nothing has yet been heard has obviously finished his spliff, and crashes into the song at three times the volume of everything else with a clanking atonal chord and then hurls notes around like a chimp chucking it's shit at tourists at the zoo. The rhythm sections takes apparently no notice of this fact, apart from the bass playing increasing in fruitiness, but eventually the sax player gets the idea and blurts his lungs out for a bit as well, soon though, the sax returns to its pervious parp incarnation and the guitar slowly dissolves in pools of feedback. It's ridiculous, but executed with such solemn seriousness that you can only admire the balls of people who thought this was a good way to introduce their music to our ears. It shouldn't work, it just shouldn't. But it does.

Things on the next track get even better, five minutes of tweaking metronomic synth action with a rolling foghorn sax accompaniment that culminates in a ludicrously wibblesome analogue freakout, then abruptly turns into three and a half minutes of gooey guitar led electric free jazz mayhem. The rest of the album is just as schizophrenic, going from the wronger than wrongdom can be of "Livarot Respiration" with its unspeakable combination of sub-Popol Vuh Fender Rhodes, truly horrible guitar* playing and a sax solo that sounds like Pharoah Sanders mellow stuff played by one of the aforementioned rubbish whales, to the cosmic idiocy of "Acid Framboise"**. A return to the stumpy drum world of the first song, with a synth bass line played by someone with no sense of rhythm and who's just discovered the filter, and is determined to let everyone know it while the guitarist slowly morphs from Manuel Gottsching to Ray Russell over the course of its 6 or so excellent minutes. Truly an album with something for everyone who appreciates the finer points of psychedelic wrongheadedness.

Amazingly, the second album, "I'm Around About Midnight" is even better***. And not just because of the appearance on guitar, bass and synth, of Richard Pinhas, shameless feedback lover and leader of the mighty Heldon (who if you've never heard, you really fucking should). Beginning with the Terry Riley meets Goblin minimalist zone of "Violez L'Espace De Son Refrigerant" that leads beautifully into the amazing "In A Desert - Alambic". Again we're back in the land of looping rhythms and saxophones, but this time, they sound tighter, more focused. They're not mucking about this time. Mr Pinhas makes his entrance on guitar on this song, letting loose a stream of seemingly infinitely sustained notes that just sail through the rock formations of the beat. There's the metronomic, apocalyptic "Pale Violence Under A Reverbere" which prefigures the gothic future threat of Chrome's "Third From The Sun" by a good few years and the beautiful, transcendent piano and fucking big moog of "Even Silence Stops When Trains Come" which ends the album in an almost Alice Coltrane space.

The third album, the inventively titled "III" is also fucking ace. Beg, buy, borrow or download them all, and the next time the air turns to jam, you'll have the perfect soundtrack to a muggy mind.

*Seriously, it's fucking revolting, like smack-era Eric Clapton just wandered in and plugged in.

**A Morgen Und Nite frogprog favourite.

***I know. Hard to believe, but nevertheless true.

Cuatro En El Planto

God damn I fucking love this record, the first LP by the downright extraordinary Austrian trio Elektro Guzzi (Macro Records). Seriously, I am in awe of this record, and I really don't say that very often. Elektro Guzzi have done something I've always wanted to do. They've made one of the finest techno albums I've ever fucking heard, using nothing but bass, guitar and drums. No synthesizers*, no samples, no sequencers, no drum machines, no overdubs. And no attempt to disguise the nature of the instrumentation, the drums sound like drums, not a drum machine, you know y're listening to three people playing live, not something pieced together on a sequencer grid. Don't think for a second this makes EG's music any less precise than if it was created using the traditional, electronic methods, this isn't a band, it's a fucking organic machine, a twelve limbed group mind with a metronomic drive that makes Can sound sloppy.

They'd been together for 5 years before making a single recording, (a 10" on Macro with, as on the album, Patrick Pulsinger co-producing and running the desk), and you can tell as soon as you hear the opening track "Hexenschuss" that they probably didn't get out much in those 5 years, so finely honed is the telepathy between these three musicians, a slowly evolving filtered bass riff and astounding straight down the line four on the floor drumming pushing the track ever forward, as the cymbals skip just like they should around the beautiful, chiming, clanging guitar stabs and swipes and it just builds, almost like the Necks at high speed, squelching bass and spiralling echoes rising in intensity and frequency and five minutes later it's over. Far too soon. You want more, you are now completely hooked on Elektro Guzzi.

I am anyway, hopelessly addicted. Any band that can take two of my favourite, and seemingly diametrically opposed, things in music, the simplicity and flexibility of the improvising power trio and the machine funk precision of proper fucking techno and marry them in such an utterly convincing manner, to produce something this taut, this composed, this arresting, is worthy of my love and my money**. I love the fact that there's no attempt to make the bass or the guitar sound more synthy, bass guitars have a very different kind of low end spank than synths do, the initial attack of finger or pick on string can produce a real gutpunch in a way that synths find hard to match, no matter how low they go, a synth can massage yr liver, but a bass guitar can kick a hole in it, and there's no mistaking Jakob Schneidewind's bass sound on this album, no matter how filtered or fuzzed it is, for a synthesizer. It drives the music forward in a very different way than a synth would, even playing exactly the same line, because that very physical part of how the sound is produced is readily apparent on this record, you can hear the fingers, the string, the impetus, in a way no synth can ever quite seem to emulate convincingly and, along with Bernhard Breuer's jaw dropping drumming***, it gives the music a distinct physical presence that's very unusual in a traditionally electronic genre .

Bernhard Hammer's guitar though, is what really surprised me, no riffs as such, no melodies as such, it often functions more like tuned percussion, soft, almost Sonic Youth like bell chimes, gamelan and steel pans in a hall of mirrors, pops and cracks and whirring machinery, bowed harmonics swelling like clouds growing and the sound of rulers pinged on desks, there's more so-called extended technique on display here than on the last 400 fucking free improv records I've heard, and all of it far more convincingly utilised. When he finally does play something vaguely "normal guitar" like on "Franz", the LP's final track, it's an almost shocking moment because you've spent the last hour immersed in this glowing, shifting rhythmic landscape you've almost forgotten y're listening to a trio playing live and it's jolting, the most traditional guitar sound on the record becomes one of the oddest. Very few musicians can pull that off, to take a listener so far from their traditional expectations of an instruments role, that the sudden reversion to type makes yr brain double take, a perceptual backflip which makes everything seem upside down.

Fuck it, what else can I say? Well, getting Patrick Pulsinger to mix the fucker was a masterstroke as well, the album sounds fucking fantastic, somehow warm and sparkly, and most definitely live. Just go to their myspace and watch the videos, download the live set on Resident Advisor, a single 47 minute beast of a live set, buy the album, and come join me in my new habit.

As Nice Pete would say,"good music, well played by men"§.

*Like it used to say on Queen LPs.

**And my bad pilled-up dancing.

***Seriously, the man is un-fucking-believable, like a funky orrery.

§From Achewood, the brilliant cartoon strip by Chris Onstad, which gave the world my favourite fake book title ever: Deconstructing Hawkwind Mythology.

Bestia Excelente Dos

Emo cow

Friday, 9 July 2010

Sí, Soy Colocado, Or, What Would You Do If I Stuck My Cock In The Warp Drive?

Of course I'm fucking stoned, otherwise I wouldn't be urging you to stop reading this and go and watch the revoiced/re-editied Star Trek clips on The Dayjob Orchestra's youtube channel. The Next Generation clips especially are puke-inducingly funny, the Enterprise's crew reimagined as a group of thick as pigshit, sex-crazed intergalactic drug traffickers with appalling taste in music. That so much care (the voices are almost fucking dead-on, and the choice of words to fit the lipsync so good) has gone into something so unbelievably childish, peurile and aimed squarely at an audience of stoners brings me great joy. A word to the wise tho, don't listen to DJO's music unless you really, really like Dream Theater.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Hynpnagogic Jerks: Part One In An Occasional Series

According to wikipedia, a hypnagogic jerk is "an involuntary myoclonic twitch which occurs during hypnagogia, just as the subject is falling asleep. Physically, hypnagogic jerks resemble the 'jump' made when a person is startled, often accompanied by a falling sensation". Which is odd, because I thought a hypnagogic jerk looked like this:

Yes, it's James Ferraro, purveyor of badly recorded half-arsed quasi new-age 80s-lovin' iron-pumpin' wankery masquerading as a portal to another zone*. I can't believe how many (otherwise sensible) people think this guy is some sort of psychedelic genius. He truly is the fucking lo-fi Stephen O'Malley**.

*a crap one, with VHS colours and a very, very thin atmosphere.

**Coming from me, this not a compliment in any way. O'Malley is a huge fucking talent-vacuum who talks a good game, but consistently fails to live up to his own hype, let alone the adulation showered on him by his cloth-eared devotees.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Bestia Excelente

There will be much new stuff up on the blog in the next couple of days or so, but in the meantime, why not enjoy this picture of a capybara with its excellent face.