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...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

No Tengo Cerebro (Temporalmente)

I am this far from passing out. Not that I'm ill, or on a comedown or whatever. I'm just fucking knackered. Not that I'm complaining, given that the reason I'm so fucking tired is the last few weeks have been so much fucking fun, and have made me come alive in a way I can't remember feeling in a long fucking time. So yeah, happy Wommm, but about to collapse in a black-clad heap. Which I would do, but I'm stuck in the fucking office for the next couple of hours, and they tend to frown on people who snore loudly at their desks. I also (sensibly) am not allowed to listen to music in the office, which is a shame, because some good ol' fashioned grindcore, or some really wiggly acid house would probably help me stay awake reasonably efficiently. I've already had the equivalent of 12 fucking espressos today, and the only effect they've had seems to be the urge to write this shit. The vast amount of caffeine hasn't fucking dented the desperate urge to curl up on my outrageously comfy sofa like a cat for a couple of hours one bastard bit. But soon. Soon I will be free and can allow my inner sleepy cat full rein for a couple of blissful hours. Well, at least until I have to go to the pub.

Mmmm, pub. Which is what I was actually going to write about in the first place. Well, beer anyway. And India pale ales specifically, mainly because it's by far my favourite style of ale. The problem with the term IPA, and one which tends to throw those less shall we say, obsessed, than myself is that those three letters are often appended to the names of beers which, whilst being perfectly good bitters/pale ales, are most definitely not true IPAs. Take Greene King or Flowers IPAs. Both nice, refreshing pints, sure, but they're pale ales, not IPAs. Because three things mark out a true IPA: 1. An alcohol content of around 6-7%, 2. massive, pungent bitterness, well in excess of a typical bitter, and 3. an outrageously hoppy nose. And both the aforementioned beers are around 3.5-4%, quite bitter but with a stronger malt profile (particularly Flowers) and a far more restrained aroma, making them most definitely pale ales. This is fairly typical of weaker beers with IPA in their names, so caveat emptor is the rule, if it's weak, it ain't gonna have the hop kick you want.

Which brings me to my main point. Punk IPA has a rival in my beery affections now. Jaipur IPA is almost as fucking good as Punk. Very similar strength (5.9%), a beautiful hazy deep straw apperance, and a lemony hoppy nose that makes yr mouth water as soon as it hits the back of yr nostrils. But obviously, the most important thing is the taste. And this has taste in bucketloads. It's not quite as dry as Punk, but the slightly higher maltiness is kicked into touch by the outrageously delicious grapefruity citrusness and an amazingly long-lasting hop explosion that makes me drool a little to just think about. Brilliant stuff, and widely available at the moment. Although The George in Croydon has run out. I know this because we drank all they had yesterday night*. So my apologies to Croydon real ale enthusiasts who'll have to go without for a few days, but we were very, very thirsty. Sorry about that.

*It was only half-eight as well, we had to go on to The Spread Eagle, and excellent as Fuller's Bengal Lancer is, when you've been on the Jaipur it just doesn't quite cut it. Get an extra barrel next time you bastards.

Monday, 11 October 2010

La Colina De Polvo

One more video before my eyeballs roll backwards into my head, 'cos this as fine a slice of ZZ Top as you could wish for, and the earliest live clip I could find of 'em, live in D.C. in 1976, with a fucking stunning version of Chevrolet. And check the fucking drums. Frank Beard is a motherfucker.


Christ, I must be battered. I've been listening to Thee fucking Hypnotics. Early shit obviously, I may be somewhat opiated but I haven't completely taken leave of my fucking sensibilities. Which, given that I'm going to post some Cows and Melvins videos as a sort of antidote to the last post (well for me anyway) some of you may disagree with. Fair enough.

That's a fucking hard song to argue with though, just the right level of wrong to make it perfectly disgusting in all the right ways. And now some Melvins, and yes, of course it's fucking Honey Bucket first up, I'm just in that sort of mood...

Followed by the fucking nastiest version of Revolve I've ever heard them crank out. And yeah, I'd love to post some early shit for you, 'cos it is even better I freely admit, but it's fucking hen's teeth to find on video and this, this is as vicious, if not as viscous, as their early shit, plus it segues into a really nasty We All Really Love Judy and then into The Brain Centre At Whipples, so what's not to fucking like?

Aventuras En Farmacéuticos Uno

I've just looked in the mirror, and my pupils are the size of fucking microdots (the real things, not the lovely old gelatin acid tabs, they're way bigger). Probably because of the two DFs I necked a couple of hours ago. Well, fuck it, my feet hurt like motherfuckers today*, like someone has driven electrified railway spikes through the soles of my feet, which is a little fucking inconvenient, to say the least. It doesn't happen for as long, or as often now, mainly because of the genius physiotherapy department at Lewisham Hospital, but it still hits me occasionally. The fucker is that painkillers aren't really that effective (they do take the edge off and put a dumb expression on my face tho), well, unless it's tramadol, and that shit is a. fucking weird, and b. gave me fucking evil withdrawal symptoms for over a week when I stopped taking it a few months after leaving hospital because my fucking GP** didn't fucking tell me how to come off the shit without actually going completely fucking cold turkey, and I was too fucking twisted to even consider that the SSRI and SNRI actions that are just two of tramadol's revolting bonus features would make stopping the shit even harder and more unpleasant than yr average opioid, and that fucker never thought to mention those tiny details.

Sorry, the reason I'm ranting about the tramadol withdrawal even though it happened ages ago, is that I've only just recently discovered this is what was actually going on, and it's pissed me off royally. Well, as pissed off as you can be in a dihydrocodeine haze, but fuck it, I really feel like ranting. Because when you've got a fucking patient who's been on the maximum fucking dose of fucking weird opioids for several months, maybe it might have been a fucking good idea to tell them that they need to cut down gradually, and that if they don't they will suffer the combination of opioid withdrawal and the added joy of the wonderfully named atypical symptoms (which, suffice to say, are shit), especially as said fucking patient is recovering from an already massively fucking horrible autoimmune freakdown. Because you really fucking need a serotonin crash (and all the fucking rest) in that situation, I mean recovering from Guillian-Barre is such a fucking garden of delights in the first place what with all the fucking fun of learning to walk again and wondering when you'll ever be able to fucking eat or talk or kiss properly, or actually be able to touch or be touched and actually feel it again, or even just play the fucking guitar, and all the fucking rest***. Bastard. Fucking irresponsible bastard.

I needed that. Like I said, I know it was a while ago, but it does explain a few things about how I was feeling then, my horribly fucked up state of mind at that point, and I'm also finally able to think, and write about that time without going fucking batshit, and I feel I need to now that I can. All I knew then was that I was in a bad fucking way, and got sicker, and even less able to cope around then. But now I know why. It was an awful time, and not just for me, in fact I suspect, ok, I know it was a damn fucking sight worse for those around me§, because I was an unpleasant cunt at the time (and believe me, I'm under no illusions about what a bastard I'm occasionally capable of being when I'm really riled under much less extreme circumstances than the above), but knowing why is important to (and for) me, not because it excuses anything I did or said or whatever, but because I finally have some rational understanding of some of the why, and have put enough distance between then and now to finally be able to look at the whole situation from a somewhat more objective viewpoint.

Sorry if I'm rambling, or if you feel like my therapist. All I can say is thanks for the comfy couch.

*Nerve damage, Guillian-Barre etc. etc.

**Not the one who actually diagnosed me, she was fucking brilliant. 

***I could go on, for hours, but I'll spare you that. For now, anyway.

§This is neither apology or confession. The people who deserved apologies and explanations have all had them and have generally been pretty damn wonderful about it, and the idea that confession is good for the soul, well, the soul doesn't fucking exist, and there's nothing to actually confess to. Catharsis is what this is, pure and simple, because although I've talked it out with the people concerned, there are still things I need to straighten out in my own head about that time, and writing it down as opposed to talking about it just seems to work better for me.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

¡Me Gusta Mi Hielo Extra Frío!

Watch this, this is the fucking shit. The mighty Vibracathedral Orchestra in full take the fucking roof off levitation mode, which is always a good thing.

And here's a rather beautiful track from The Telescopes (from their 2006 EP, Auditory Illusions) enititled Flying, which has a definite Empty Bell-era Pelt-y vibe to it's droning gorgeousness, albiet far more song-oriented than Virginia's finest but no less fucking lovely for that. Music you can drown in.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

El Pez De Plata

Oh yeah, this a piece of fucking music. Silverfish were fucking fantastic. And I fucking love this song.


As you know, I do love my techno. And I may have mentioned before how fond I am of the work of Marc Houle, which is to say very. The man is a fucking genius, whether as part of Run, Stop, Restore* or solo, there's a level of after-hours funk to anything the motherfucker touches that I just don't get from anyone else in the glorious world of techno. No one else can take the classic Detroit template, strip it down this far, and come up with something that just fucking moves like this. And when I say this, I mean his latest LP, Drift (m_nus). It's simply amazing.

Just fantastic. Pure Detroit minimal, but even less so, yet so much more. Sometimes all you have is a kick and bassline, evolving almost imperceptibly, with just a clap or a brief synth explosion every now and then, and not as relief as you might expect, but exactly the opposite, filtered and eq'd in such a way as to build the tension instead of relieving it, often allied to a slow burning drone or a sparse treated and repeated vocal reinforcing what's already there as opposed to complementing or completing it and making yr brain and body just wind up that little bit more before those hi-hats spin up to speed and the fucker just drops and you have no choice but to fucking move.

Any record whose synthesizers sometimes put me in mind of Reproduction-era Human League**, contains guitar playing that veers from Elektro Guzzi meets early Prince choppy funk to blatantly ripping off The Sisters Of Mercy circa Kiss The Carpet*** whilst mainlining that four on the floor staccato groove that I crave so badly, all helicopter hi-hats and kicks and bass slung so low they're actually fucking underground, ever accelerating down that mythical nighttime highway Juan Atkins discovered all those years ago is alright by me. To put it mildly.

Watch this:

*with Troy Pierce and Magda. It's exactly as good as that sounds. Possibly even fucking better. Both of their EPs are absolutely essential.

**Who penned two of the greatest lyrics in the English language:

"Dehumanization is such a big word,
 It's been around since Richard the third" (from Blind Youth)


"With concentration, my size increased" (Empire State Human)

If you don't own a copy of Reproduction, I suggest you rectify that situation as quickly as possible. It's fucking ace. The reissue includes The Dignity Of Labour EP, where for two and a half glorious minutes the League seem to be in telepathic communion with Cluster, and it has the 7" version of Being Boiled, the greatest anti-silkworm farming piece of electronic music ever.

***Two things. Early Sisters Of Mercy fucking rules.  And why am I seemingly the only person who heard that title, and the song itself, whose first thought was "ah, a song about an unpleasant cunnilingual experience". I mean for fucks sake, the chorus contains the line "Next time I'll look before I kiss the carpet". Which is sage advice indeed... I guess this is why I never became a goth. No sense of fun some people.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Desde Tejas...

Ever wondered what would happen if you crossed dirty fucking Texas blues and krautrock? This. A shitkicking live version of ZZ Top's Groovy Little Hippie Pad that clatters along like Can by way of Suicide playing the fucking stompy blues, and is simply fucking magnificent. So sit back, pour a big ol' fucking drink, and enjoy.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Bestia Excelente Cuatro

The rare inflatable pangolin doing its legendary artichoke impersonation. And yeah, I'm in a much better mood now thank you. More hungover foolishness later.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Cóctels 3: El Cabrón Amargo

Triple (or if y're like me Quadruple) measure sloe gin
One or one and a half measures tonic water
One measure Campari
Ice, lots of
Add great big fucking slug of blood orange juice*
Drink whilst listening to Mudhoney at appallingly high volume.

*Or possibly smaller slug of pink grapefruit juice and a little bit of grenadine to take the edge off. Just occurred to me.

La Boca Américano

There comes a time when you need a bit of George Thorogood & The Destroyers. Now is that time. Well, it is for me anyway, because I'm in a somewhat bad mood, and thought I'd help it fuck off with the aid of some dirty fucking bar blues, a very good cigar and some exceedingly sloe gin. For those of you who care about such things, said cigar is a Romeo y Julieta No.3, and the sloe gin is my own concoction made with a bottle of Navy strength* Plymouth gin and fresh sloe berries picked by own fair hand, which I'd forgotten about until this morning when I found it in the back of the airing cupboard where I'd stashed it to do it's infusion thing fucking ages ago. Consequently, it's (as I said) exceedingly sloe, outrageously smooth, headwreckingly strong and sits just nicely with a big fucking cigar. And this video is extremely amusing. George ain't joking, he drinks alone. And he does have the most American mouth (and face) of possibly anyone ever. Good shades too. I'll skip on the snakeskin jacket tho, a man has got to know his limits.

*57%, the lowest percentage of alcohol by volume which (according to British Navy lore) doesn't prevent gunpowder from being lit if you spill the booze rations on it.