Sunday, 18 December 2011

Arrodillarse

Agathe Max - This Silver String (Xeric)
Demdike Stare - Elemental (Modern Love)
Astral Social Club - V.E.N.U.S. (ASC)
Boddika - 2727 (Swamp)
Loop Haunts - Ark (Black Acre)
Pinch & Shackleton - s/t (Honest Jon's)
Ashtray Navigations - Dedicated To The Sensory Armarda (Memoirs Of An Aesthete)
Jonas Reinhardt - The Prime Revealer (The Great Pop Supplement)
Land Of Kush Egyptian Light Orchestra - Monogamy (Constellation)
Distance - Repercussions (Planet Mu)
The Necks - Mindset (ReR Megacorp)
Charalambides - Exile (Kranky)
Elektro Guzzi - Parquet (Macro)
Skullflower - Carved Into Roses/Infinityland/Singles (VHF)
Flower/Corsano/Hejnowski - The Count Visits (Hot Cars Warp)
The Last Hurrah - Spiritual Non-Believers (Rune Grammofon)
Renegade Scanners - Hands On Future (Lal Lal Lal)
Forma - Forma (Spectrum Spools)
Jenny Hval - Viscera (Rune Grammofon)
Robert Lippok  - Redsuperstructure (Raster-Noton)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Bestia Excelente Dieciséis


The rare transcendence-seeking coypu* contemplates the nature of vegetable before eating.

*Or nutria, as you insist on calling them in America. Nutria is a fucking stupid name for an animal. Sounds like a fucking energy drink or some sort of revolting dietary supplement.

Bolas De Colores

Right. I'm back. Again. I should have known that would happen. A week or so after the 'flu fucked off, my immune system kicked seven bells of shit out of me. Not the full-on fucking evil of a few years ago, but enough unpleasantness to require some serious fucking painkiller/trank administration. Now I've never really hidden my fondness for temporarily rewiring my brain, but tramadol and temazepam is not a recommended combination. Not if you want to hang onto yr grip on reality anyway. I spent a week or so in a deeply weird state, bordering on hypnopompic* at times, and it wasn't nice**, not really able to think coherently, thoughts (such as they were) sliding out of my grasp like eels, the weird disassociated feeling that my conscious mind was just about alert enough to watch, but too fucking knackered to do anything, content to let the reptilian part of my brain take over unless absolutely fucking necessary. Not nice people, not nice at all. But I am properly better (and conscious) now, just in time for the appalling levels of gluttony and debauchery the next week or so will hopefully bring forth. And now I'm going to roll a fucking huge reefer and listen to Coloured Balls*** very, very loud. More shit later...

*I specifically mean hypnopompic here too, not hypnogogic. No matter what anyone says, they're qualiatively not the same. For as long as I can remember, I've experienced really long periods of both on many, many occasions, and nothing on earth, with the possible exception of DMT, can compare with the sheer fucking weirdness I've experienced getting stuck between being asleep and waking up. Getting stuck going the other way is nowhere near as strange.

**Ok, it was occasionally enjoyably mongy, but most of the time it was fucking unpleasant. Not as unpleasant as the pain and a complete inability to sleep tho.

***Early 70s proto-punk, proto-metal hard psych Aussie lunatics featuring Lobby Lloyde, one of the meanest fucking guitarists you've never heard, and a man who, like me, has a penchant for ring-modulating his guitar into oblivion. Not all their stuff is good, but when they got it right (the early shit), they got it so fucking right. Check out G.O.D. from Summer Jam with it's fucking magnificent Hawkwind vs Stooges riff and you'll get the rough idea. Oh wait, here it is:

Friday, 9 December 2011

Bajó Las Chimenea



Come to this good people, and revel in the excellent earfood served up by two of the Kosmische Krewe's finest whilst imbibing freely from The Mucky Pup's rather excellent selection of quality ales and other marvellous alcoholic treats. It's got to be better than the office party...

Saturday, 3 December 2011

La Música De Diablos

I've found the perfect accompaniment to the whiskey. Go here, and feast yr eyes and ears upon four episodes of the BBC's landmark late-70s series, The Devil's Music. I don't really need to tell you what it's about, do I?

Oh, and Alexis Korner's* sideburns are really quite something...

*Thankfully he's presenting, not singing.

La Gripa

I've been a bit slack as far as posting goes. So it goes. I've been really fucking ill and in a right poxy mood (the two often skip along hand in hand, you may have noticed), too much stress and worry about stuff that I'm not going into here took it's toll and left me somewhat discombobulated*, but now I'm in a better frame of mind and body and capable of more than going to work, sleeping and being sick, I thought I'd pamper myself a bit. Which is why I'm sitting here with a very large tumbler of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, a single malt which has spent 10 years in white oak bourbon casks, then another couple hanging around in ruby port pipes, and judging by the outrageous levels of depth and deliciousness this has imparted, it's certainly enjoyed it's time in the wood almost as much as I'm enjoying it slipping down my throat and filling my nose with spicy wonder and my belly with extremely boozy warmth. This stuff is fucking heavenly, sweet fire for the soul and a very good match for skunk and Skullflower, not to mention the epic bastard of a steak I devoured a little earlier, all of which are adding to my much improved mood no fucking end. Well, that and something that happened on Thursday which I'm not going to tell you about yet.

So yeah, I've had a really shitty month or so, (in fact this year's been pretty fucking hard work to be honest), but things are improving. I think. At least I fucking hope they are.

*Without a doubt, one of the finest words in any language, ever.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Club De Jazz

I suspect most of you out there are familiar with the Jazz Club sketches from the Fast Show. For those of you aren't, go and look it up on youtube and then come back, otherwise you may not giggle as much at the following as you might. Last weekend, on Radio 3's Jazz Line-up programme I heard the following announcement, delivered in the traditionally hushed Radio 3 jazz presenter style:

"...and tonight, we feature performances from Empirical, Trish Glove's Tangent, and Aquarium."

Nice.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Bestia Excelente Quince


The geometric llama with the very tiny head. Excellent for wool and checking yr shelves are level.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Siniestro

Goth. The influence that dare not speak it's name. I'm not talking 90s-onwards gloomy sub-metal bollocks here, but the proper stuff, yer Bauhaus, Nephilims and, most gloriously of all, The Sisters Of Mercy. I may have mentioned my penchant for the Sisters before, but I'll say it again; when they were good, they were fucking brilliant, a lo-fi concoction of equal parts Suicide and Hawkwind with a dash of early Stooges for bouquet, which is a damn fine cocktail in my book. The reason I mention this is that the latest, and possibly greatest, Robedoor LP, Too Down To Die (Not Not Fun) is pure, unadulterated proper goth worship*, and yet not a single review I've read picks up on this. Maybe because the reviewer doesn't want to damage their hipster credentials, or maybe they're just too young to remember when goth was actually a vibrant, musically distinct offshoot of post-punk less concerned with a certain look and attitude than creating a (then) modern reconfiguration of psychedelia, a darker vision which nevertheless sought to offer some escape from the rotten, decaying state of Britain in the early 80s.


But, just for a change, I've wandered off my own point, which is that Too Down To Die is the best goth album of the last 25 years, bar none. Imagine crossing Blood On The Moon/3rd From The Sun-era Chrome with early Sisters and you've got a pretty fucking good idea of what this record sounds like. Spindly, endlessly flanged guitars coiling round a super-mechanical rhythm section, icy synths slowly rise and fall, creating an ever shifting landscape of bad-trip dread, minor-key spacerock bass leads you by the hand through this shifting, monochromatic haze as the low, deadpan voice whispers and croons things in yr ear you don't really want to know. Beautiful, epic and happily, wallowingly world-weary in a way I haven't encountered for a very long while.

Note to hipsters: If y're gonna rip off the 80s, at least try to do it as well as this.

*See also the latest Religious Knives album, Smokescreen (Sacred Bones). I think they should just be fucking blatant about it and cut a split 7" with Robedoor doing "Lights" and Religious Knives doing "Kiss The Carpet"** (both from The Reptile House EP, the greatest goth record ever). Just a thought...

**It's always good to see the penny drop when an over-serious goth finally realises what this song is about.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Hecho Jirones

I know I haven't posted much except other people's music lately. Sorry about that, I've just been in an up-and-down frame of mind which isn't that conducive to (relatively) linear thought processes, but there will be more ranting soon, I promise. In the meantime, try not to piss yrself laughing watching the clip linked to below (the uploader disabled embedding for some reason), which is the funniest fucking thing I've seen and heard for a while, with the exception of the Lou Reed & Metallica album*, which I can't even begin to take the piss out of as much as it deserves in my current mood. Soon tho, when I can listen to more than a minute without needing my inhaler. Meanwhile, go here and enjoy...

*Worth the price of admission just for the moment where James Hetfield yells "I am the table!", for reasons best known to Lou Reed.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Dique Para Detener El Agua

And speaking of the late, great Jack Rose, here's the man himself knocking the shit of Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground. This is the fucking version*.



And to follow, some fantastic live footage from 2008. This is what acoustic guitars are for.



*Yes, even including the Blind Willie Johnson original. Don't even think of mentioning Ry Cooder.

Flipado Suplemento

If the video below whetted yr appetite for more of Dr. Shankar's magnificent slide playing, the get yr arse to this here website, where you can stream the whole of her (only, as far as I know) album*. It's pretty fucking stunning, to say the least, and has the added advantage of a tabla player who doesn't drown out the fucking lead instrument. Jack Rose would have fucking loved this.

*If anyone, anywhere knows where I can procure a copy, please fucking tell me, because I'm stumped and that doesn't happen often.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Flipado

Continuing my twin obsessions of slide guitar and Indian classical music, here's an absolutely stunning performance by Dr. Kamala Shankar on the Shankar veena (her own design, essentially a hollow-neck hawaiian guitar with 12 sympathetic strings and two drone strings*) which contains some of the best slide playing I've ever heard in my life, and I've heard a fuck of a lot, believe me.



Fuck I wish I could play like that. There's another three parts to this performance at youtube which are also very good, but the tabla player is too fucking loud which is why I haven't posted them here.

*Yes, of course I want one.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

El Color De Ruido


Oh fuck yes. I'm really looking forward to this. It's a documentary charting the rise and fall of Amphetamine Reptile Records, and I don't think I really need to point out the esteem in which I hold AmRep. Currently in production, you can watch the trailer here, and follow it's progress here.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Comida Para Orejas

Astral Social Club - Generator Breaker (Dekorder)
Decoy & Joe McPhee - Oto (Bo Weavil)
Cian Nugent - Doubles (VHF)
Nirmala Rajasekar - Song Of The Veena (Innova)
Skullflower - Fucked On A Pile Of Corpses (Cold Spring)
Ashtray Navigations - Electronically Rechannelled Band & Street Choir (Apollolaan)
Truant - The Truant Accord (Memoirs Of An Aesthete)
Barn Owl - Lost In The Glare (Thrill Jockey)
Eric Carbonara & Jesse Sparhawk - Sixty Strings (VHF)
Debashish Bhattacharya - O Shakuntala! (Tugboat)
The Haxan Cloak - Observatory (Aurora Borealis)
Prince Rama - Shadow Temple (Paw Tracks)
Up-Tight - The Night Is Yours (Sloow Tapes)
Robedoor - Too Down To Die (Not Not Fun)
Hey Colossus - RRR (Riot Season)
Whitehouse - Bird Seed (Susan Lawly)
Human Eye - They Came From The Sky (Sacred Bones)
Richard Youngs & Simon Wickham-Smith - 20 Years (VHF)
Birchville Cat Motel - Came A Great Stallion Whose First Leap Sparked The Celestial Star (Don't Fuck With Magic)
The Piss Superstition - A Themepark For Whatever Happened Before (Memoirs Of An Aesthete)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Quiero Una Veena

Ideally I'd like two, a vichitra veena and a rudra veena, but then again, I'm a greedy fucking bastard sometimes. Anyway as I don't own either of those two fucking astonishing instruments, and would probably do something deeply fucking wrong with them if I did, here's some proper masters of Hindustani classical music giving it the beens* on those venerable instruments. I should say, if you lack patience you may not want to stick around for the alap sections as they can make Earth sound like speed kings, and fast forward to the fireworks in the latter stages of the performances as they are quite long... Me, I love the snails pace abstraction of the alap, and chance it gives the musicians to dig deep into the sonority of their instruments and the chosen raga before the slowly accruing acceleration and increasing density of the playing and almost telepathic interaction between the musicians makes the listeners head explode at the level of speed and invention on display.

First up is Gopal Shankar Misra's** beautiful rendition of raga Multani on the vichitra veena, the ultimate acoustic bottleneck/slide instrument (on this planet anyway), and the one I covet the most. One day... Anyway, sorry there's no actual footage, but all the vichitra veena videos I can find are pretty short, and this is music so fucking good I can't justify just posting a little bit.



Fortunately, youtube is a little more forthcoming with fantastic rudra veena performances, especially these fucking beauties from Bahauddin Dagar*** and Asad Ali Khan, who both approach the (insanely unwieldy) instrument in very different ways, but both share a fondness for an almost motorik intensity and drive when things get fast.

So here's Bahauddin Dagar playing raga Kousi, one I'm particularly fond of ripping off as there's something inherently spacerock about it when you really go to town on it, and also because, well, just listen to the sound of that fucking thing, the man is a fucking genius. And he does sport a superb gentleman thief's moustache. This is in three parts unfortunately, and whoever uploaded it missed the end, but fuck it, this is way too fucking good not to post, and I couldn't be arsed to download 'em and stitch 'em together.







And finally, the late, great Asad Ali Khan playing ragas Asavari and Dabari, and presenting a more percussive, jawari laden approach than Dagar's almost feedback-like use of resonance and low end. This is also fucking jaw-dropping, I mean, I am in total fucking awe of all three musicians I've featured here, but this is scary fucking good.





I hope you enjoyed the first episode of Yes, I Am Obsessed With Veenas, What Of It? Coming next time, southern India and, wait for it, more types of veena.

*This is both the shittest, and most obscure pun I've yet used in a post. I'm not sorry and I'll do it again.

**If you like this, get his only album, Out Of Stillness (Real World). Yes, it's on Real World, and yes, the cover is a truly horrible 90s oversaturated "spritual"/new age cackjob, but the music is truly fucking sublime.

***A surname in Indian music which pretty much guarantees that the music will be astonishing, regardless of instrument.

Esforzarse Más

Noise (as a genre) is so often for me an example of a really fucking good idea done astonishingly badly. Even though an awful lot of my favourite artists get lumped with that particular label, the reason I tend to love their music so much is because it almost never conforms to the expected norms of what noise bands are supposed to do, noise being an ingredient as opposed to the aim, process as opposed to result. Making a fucking racket is a piece of piss, creating something meaningful, emotionally resonant, beautiful even, from such ingredients is a little harder. The musical counterpoint to Abstract Expressionism if you like, anyone can splat a load of paint around, but it took a Jackson Pollock to take that method and apply it in a manner which elevated his anti-technique (for want of a better term, I know it's clunky) beyond simple negation or refusal into a communicative, interrogative art.

Which is exactly what Noise should do, transcend it's obvious role as a genre of transgression, actually strive to be more than just a sonic middle finger, a dumb, meaningless roar of impotent fury, because that's too fucking easy and it isn't fucking 1980 any more. I'm so fucking bored of gigs that sound like nothing more than the sound of a ZX Spectrum tape loading at 160 decibels played by a Linux developer with a laptop and a chip on their shoulder, and I'm even fucking more sick of "shocking" titles and cover imagery*. Oh goody, Pissflap Deathcamp have a new cassette out? In a limited edition of 23? Fuck off you morons. Admittedly, I'm exaggerating for effect, but there's still enough of that mentality left around these days to rankle. As I said, it ain't fucking 1980 anymore, and imagery that worked as an immature, teenage roar of disgust at what was a fucking shitty country to be that age in at that point in time looks pretty fucking silly when it's still being employed 30 years down the line by socially retarded fuckwits who once heard a Whitehouse record and got completely the wrong idea.

Noise is no longer the supposedly clandestine, esoteric genre it once was, and so many musicians are using it's methods to create stunning music. Think of Campbell Kneale's wonderful Birchville Cat Motel and Our Love Will Destroy The World projects, where the squalling and scraping walls of noise don't just sit there but are corralled into huge, ascending psychedelic vortices cut through with subdued barely shifting clouds of minimalist tonefloat. Or the many guises of Matt Bower, a man capable of running the gamut from the beautiful, starlit, folk and kosmiche-tinged Sunroof! to the most furious, mind-destroying walls of guitar lunacy ever fucking heard, I mean, if it's sheer fucking noise you want, recent Skullflower is absolutely untouchable, because behind the (at first, seemingly) stuck-throttle intensity and total fucking amplifier obliteration lurks a fucking brilliant musician, who knows exactly what (and why) he's doing, is actually capable of channelling such brutal base material into something both beautiful and forbidding, dragging you in as opposed to just smacking you round the ears. These are just two examples, but there's so much more good shit out there, it's just that you often have to wade through huge piles of crap to get to the gold.

And don't fucking get me started on Merzbow...

*It also totally devalues music which actually explores uncomfortable or disturbing themes in an intelligent manner. I fucking love Whitehouse, and their last three albums in particular represent a pinnacle in this area, barbed, vicious and harrowing they may be, but they're a whole lot more than that because they take you somewhere difficult, somewhere you didn't necessarily want (or think you were going) to be, make you actually think and feel something as opposed to just bellowing in yr face, which in the end is no different than pissing in the wind for all it communicates.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Uno Más Para Dr Christensen

One more from Greeny (ignore the Nigel Watson credit, there's a good reason Greeny's family took that little shit to court), from the acid-drenched years just after he left Fleetwood Mac, around the time he recorded the greatest record no one has ever listened to properly (The End Of The Game), and before he went totally batshit. I don't agree with the lyrical sentiment, but Greeny's take on animal rights is certainly a little more clear-headed than Morrisey's self-righteous ham-fisted proselytising*, especially given his deeply fried mindstate at the time, (he's still woefully misguided tho)** and the guitar is to fucking die for.



*The Smiths. How much do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. Don't fucking get me started on his solo efforts. Straight-edge cunts can fuck off right now as well. Grow up you pious little pricks***, if you want a clear-headed perspective on man's relationship with animals I suggest you read some John Gray.

**If you want a row about eating meat, fucking bring it on, I was a vegetarian once (many, many years ago), and due to my myriad allergies it almost fucking killed me. Several times. No prizes for guessing why I went veggy, you've already guessed right, but fuck me, she was worth it. I know, shallow bastard. But, as I'm fond of saying, goddamn it, a man's gotta have a hobby... I will never go without bacons again though. I was young, I was stupid, I was in love...

***More on baiting sXe wankers soon. Really, do what you like, I don't care, believe what you like, I still don't care, but don't fucking preach to me or you will get a smack.

Mi Cariño, Te Echo De Menos Mucho (Du Ved Hvem Du Er, Og Det Er Din Tur Denne Gang, Or, If Britain Was Still Joined To The Continent Like It Was 15000 Years Ago Life Would Be So Much Fucking Simpler)

I'm a bit pissed, and in a somewhat mixed-up frame of mind for a number of unsurprising reasons. And when I'm this sort of mood only one thing'll do. Blues. Now, normally I'd post some obscure Maxwell St. live recording or something, but today, only one man's guitar will do. Yup, it's Peter Green time again. 'Cos when it comes down to it, no one nails heartsick like Greeny. There are very, very few musicians who can a. beat the Kings (BB, Albert and, king of the Kings, Freddie) at their own game, and b. reduce me to a tearful wreck with two or three notes. So without further ado, here's Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac*.





Yeah, I'm an incurable romantic (in the proper sense of the word), and a fucking sentimental ponce sometimes. What of it? But fuck it, ignore me, just revel in the absolutely pin-sharp beauty of Greeny's leads, and if it's not yr cup of tea, then may I suggest you seek entertainment elsewhere and leave the comments section alone 'cos I am not in the fucking mood for playing nice right now.

Normal service will be resumed in a day or two when I will be posting a huge essay on why 99% of everything is shit. So, no change there then**.

*Stevie Ray Vaughan fans take note. This is how y're supposed to do it.

**Humour. Or is it...?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Una Cosa Más

This is the fucking shit, simple as that. Turn this up really, really fucking loud...

Procede El Weedian

I spent most of last week asleep, and then spent the whole weekend awake*. Now that I'm once more functioning on something approaching a human circadian rhythm and my pupils no longer look like piss-holes in the snow, there will be posts aplenty once more...

The other reason I haven't posted much is because I (huge shock coming here) bought a new guitar, a Gretsch Baritone Jet to be precise, which is actually a 6-string bass which thinks it's a guitar and can be seen modelled by (a somewhat dishevelled) yrs truly in the blurry photo below...


It's a shame the photo's so blurry, because you can't really see the outrageously sparkly black and metal flake finish, or the fake abalone** pickguard, which look sorta like the materials the toilets in a over-fussy middle-eastern restaurant would be made of, but the person who took the photo was frankly having trouble focusing their eyes, let alone a fucking camera. But I digress. It's fucking awesome, looks like the epitome of 60s trash, sounds like the bastard offspring of a Gretsch guitar and a Rickenbacker bass, and with that Bigsby tremolo and a bottleneck, has opened up a whole new vista of low-end wrong in my never-ceasing quest for the most outrageous, disgusting guitar sounds known to man, and every time I've meant to come online and blog something, I've ended up playing the fucker and forgetting what it was I was going to bang on about.

And I'm truly sorry to any of my neighbours who have been disturbed by my playing along to Sleep's Holy Mountain, but it was inevitable as soon as I realised I could get the patented Al Cisneros sproing sound, heard to best effect of course on Dragonaut. Which gives me the perfect excuse to post this again (it was on the old blog, now it's here too, don't tell me y're surprised)...



Fuck, I love that song so much. Sleep had a loping, lazy magic to their music which I've just never really heard in another doom band, plus they gave the world Matt Pike, who would now like to explain to you exactly what the fuck heavy means...



And believe me, he knows that of which he speaks. And that, of course, is an excuse to post this, the finest piece of metal (in any subgenre) ever fucking recorded. I speak of course of Devilution, by High On Fire, wherein Mr Pike demonstrates his theory of heavy to somewhat devastating effect.



So yeah, that's why I haven't posted lately. Sorry if this post is a load of rambling bollocks, but it's quite hard to think when y're listening to Dopesmoker and have been getting into the spirit of the track so I'll bugger off now and stop wasting your time and I'll write something that actually has some kind of purpose to it in a day or two...

*I do realise that these statements probably require some clarification...

**Mmmmm. Abalone...

Thursday, 25 August 2011

El Hombre De La Puerta Trasera



I don't really need to add anything, do I?

El Peso (Uno Por Señorita Levy)

Two sounds that you just can't fucking touch, Aretha Franklin's voice and Duane Allman's guitar. Combined, you've pretty much got perfection, and everyone needs a li'l perfect something in their world. So, without further ado, here they are...


You gotta love the way Aretha just destroys that poor microphone. The engineer was probably shitting 'emselves.

Monday, 22 August 2011

El Toro Arenoso Pt.1

Sandy Bull. One of the finest and most original guitarists America has ever produced, and for my money anyway, by far and way the best of the first wave of the so-called "American primitives*". "Blend", the appositely titled opening track to his first LP, Fantasias For Guitar & Banjo (Vanguard) is a twenty-odd minute dialogue between Bull's extraordinary acoustic guitar and the unstoppable invention of Billy Higgins' drumkit and assorted percussives, which manages to absorb modal jazz, blues, Indian, Middle-Eastern and Nubian influences into it's untouchable whole, at times coming on like a psychedelic acoustic Bo Diddley jamming with Can in a souk. And this was in 1963.

Yes, you did read that right, 1963. In the same fucking year as the fucking Beatles wheedled and whined their insipid way into the world's consciousness, and Coltrane was still a year or so away from A Love Supreme and tentatively dipping his toe into freer, more turbulent waters, Sandy Bull was... somewhere else, somewhere new, somewhere better. It's one of those records that's just too damn early, too fucking far ahead of the pack, that it seems to sit outside of the normal timeline, like a digital watch accidentally dropped in 1920 by a careless time-traveller. If this had fuzz on the guitar, it would be the exact music that Jerry Garcia and Jorma Kaukonen were trying so fucking hard to make in 1968. Those free-flying raga-tinged freakouts that came a few years down the line? They started here, and very few have ever come close.

More on the eclectic, erratic, eccentric genius of Mr Bull very soon, for now, I'll leave you with the full version of Blend for yr delectation, delight and other words beginning with "d".



*What a fucking stupid term for playing the acoustic guitar. I can't decide what I hate about it most; it's utter meaningless in the face of the sheer harmonic and technical sophistication that musicians like Jack Rose or (in his early days at least) Leo Kottke employed to conjour such dense, complex clouds of sound from their instruments**, or it's semantic and lexical dubiousness, reeking as it does of such lovely concepts as "noble savage" and the like, the term's implied presumption that music rooted in folk, blues or early country is somehow backward and unsophisticated. I don't care that the sainted John Fahey himself*** coined the term, apparently in homage to the French Primitive painters, it still rankles with me, with it's aura of condescension and it's unwitting borderline offensiveness. It displays that same fucking patronising 50s/60s attitude as all those sniffy white folk fans who got all up in a froth when black people dared to play the blues on electric guitars because it wasn't "authentic". It's all fucking folk music, get over yrselves, and yr silly fucking ideas.

**Go and listen to Jack Rose's Raag Manifestos and tell me there's anything primitive about this music. Well, you can if you like, but you'd be wrong and I'd probably just tell you to fuck off.

***Sarcasm. Of the heavy handed kind.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bestia Excelente Catorce


The armadillo, nature's Transformer. This one has the astonishing ability to transform itself into an unconvincing giant walnut. Larger specimens should be approached with extreme caution as they tend to roll up into minature Death Stars and destroy rebel planets. 

Not all armadillos are Transformers though, some of them are mates of Mick Farren.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

La Resaca

In lieu of being capable of saying anything even vaguely coherent or sensible, due to a severe lack of sleep over the previous few days, I advise you to follow this link and immerse yrself in the wild and wooly sounds of this years Tinderbox Festival, which can be found here.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Vuestro Prado Va A Morir

Let's face it, the words "bass solo*", don't really inspire a feeling of deep joy, conjuring up either lengthy, complex, wildly self-indulgent prog-wankery, or lengthy, complex, wildly self-indulgent fusion-widdling, and worse, names like Chris Squire, Stanley Clarke**, and (sorry, I feel sick) Jaco fucking Pastorius*** spring into my head, and I don't want them there. To precis my thesis, bass solos, in the main, are fucking shit.

There are exceptions of course, not fucking many I grant you, but there are. And here's one of 'em, courtesy of the one and only Lemmy. It doesn't go on for fucking ever, it isn't ludicrously complicated, but it does, and this is crucial, rock like a fucking big limestone block, which as far as I'm concerned, is the whole fucking point. So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, once again I give you Motörhead, with one of my personal favourites, Stay Clean.



*I specifically mean bass guitar here, I have no fucking problem with double bass solos, which is a whole other, tastier kind of cake.

**Who can be one hell of a double bassist, as his work in tandem with Cecil McBee in Pharoah Sanders' bands proves. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of his electric playing which is just horrible and sounds like a completely different musician.

***Possibly the single most overrated musician in the history of music.

Jueves Oraciones



Oh yes, this month's Outer Church looks rather fine, as does it's rather progtastic flyer, so you should come down and have yr brain kneaded until yr head feels all bendy with that squiggly sonic soup glooping in yr ears. I'm djing too, and fuck knows what kind of head-wreckery I'll dig out for this one, but I can promise sounds to delight the many-angled ones who dwell behind the higher-dimensional curtains...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Mirar Y Aprender



I don't really think I need to add anything, do I?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Esto Es La Mierda

Oh yes, I kid you not, this is indeed the shit. If you like early Hawkwind*, but crave a little more fuck you and a bit less cocking around, if you think that Comets On Fire went downhill from their first LP onwards until they disappeared in a cloud of FM rock wank, if Circle are a bit too clean, a touch too metal and prog for you, and, like me, you worship at the altar of The Heads, then this is the band for you. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Men, a band whose spacerock riffing is shot through with a scum-encrusted viciousness redolent of the finest Amphetamine Reptile bands. Pigfuck in space if you like, and I know that you do.

Anyway here's () from their latest LP, Leave Home (Sacred Bones), in which they stomp all over the grave of Spacemen 3's Revolution, and therefore, by default, the MC5's Black To Comm**, and leave a glorious, blown out mess of fuzz in their wake. More later, I've just realised I missed Torchwood and the iplayer beckons once more...



*You should also go to BBC4 iplayer and watch Hawkwind: Do Not Panic as soon as possible. You may notice small objects, such as ornaments, oscillating...

**I love Spacemen 3, but let's face it, originality was never really their strong point...

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Hola Amigos

Right, I'm finally comfortably ensconced in the new Wommm HQ, and rather fucking nice it is too. My interweb will be up and running in a few days (I'm typing this on my bloody phone), and then normal service will be resumed, emails will be replied to, and the posting of music and beasts and all the usual randomness will recommence then. I just thought I'd post this to let you all know that I didn't eat my own leg due to the frustration of moving*, and to say hello.

*Although I do have food poisoning, probably due to an extremely dubious, albeit tasty, burrito.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Música En Movimiento

Chrome - Red Exposure & Blood On The Moon (Lilith)
Sandwell District - Feed Forward (Sandwell District)
Aril Brikha - Deeparture In Time (Art Of Vengeance)
Módulo 1000 - Não Fale Com Paredes (RPM)
Cut Hands - Cut Hands (Susan Lawly/Very Friendly)
Shackleton - Deadman/Fireworks (Honest Jon's)
Elemental - Messages From The Void (Runtime)
Haxan Cloak - Haxan Cloak (Aurora Borealis)
The Necks - Silverwater (ReR Megacorp)
Africa HiTech - 93 Million Miles (Warp)
Red Square - Thirty Three (FMR)
Clare Cooper - Hammeriver (Mikroton)
Honkeyfinger - Invocation Of The Demon Other (Hoarse)
Vladislav Delay Quartet - Vladislav Delay Quartet (Honest Jon's)
Electric Wizard - Black Masses (Rise Above)
Optical*8 - All Over (God Mountain)
Moon Duo - Mazes (Sacred Bones)
Richard Youngs - Beneath The Valley Of Ultrahits (Jagjaguwar)
Berg Und Talfahrt - A Night In Sana'a (Armored)
Shifted Phases - The Cosmic Memoirs Of The Late, Great Rupert J. Rosinthrope (Tresor)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

El Yesquero

Two outings for the Morgen & Nite roadshow this month kids. On the 11th we'll be playing at the Tinderbox Festival, a celebration of noise, improv and experimental musics, which is in the lovely village of Cropredy in Oxfordshire, although I don't think we're going to be ripping out any Fairport covers, and on the 18th we'll be at Apiary Studios at 458 Hackney Road where we will be making an absolutely ungodly racket in the comapny of other people who enjoy that sort of thing. More when I'm in a better mood, i.e. tomorrow.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Cabróns

Ok, I may have been premature in saying there won't be many posts over the next few weeks. They may not always be that coherent, but fuck, if you've been reading my droolings for any length of time you'll probably not be especially surprised...

Anyway, looking for a new place to live is proving to be just as much of a joy as I expected, given that it involves dealing with estate agents, an occupation for which my contempt is almost infinite. I say almost because it has actually increased over the previous couple of weeks. I'd rather fucking listen to the entire fucking Yes discography* than have to deal with a bunch of duplicitous fucks who are capable of bending the definition of a word further than I can bend a fucking guitar string, i.e. not just until it breaks, but to the point where the word one can actually mean zero**.

But fuck it, I'll find somewhere.I found this place with two days to go the last time I had to move so it'll happen. I just hate the process and the stress it engenders. Bleh. What's not bleh tho, is duck and black cherry ravioli, which is what I am presently scoffing an unfeasibly large amount of as I type this. Fuck it's good. Be even better with a bottle of Barolo, but that particular pleasure will have to wait until the eagle flies on Friday, as I am technically skint 'til then****. Back in a bit, I need a spliff.

*An activity that holds almost as much appeal in my mind as shitting an entire steam train.

**Fuck, maybe they're all secret chaos magicians***. They're certainly arseholes of the first order.

***If you haven't encountered chaos magicians before, well. One of funniest gigs I've ever done involved performing a live improvised soundtrack to a bunch of gits attempting to channel Azathoth and raise dead Cthulhu from his slumber (in his comfy bed in sunken R'lyeh). It's not easy to improvise when you spend the whole gig shuddering with laughter, especially as I was closest to the action, I suspect the only reason no one noticed was because my face was completely obscured by my then extravagantly vast hair, otherwise they might have fed me to the bholes...

****Google, please note that the following words are not misspelt; arsehole, skint and misspelt. These are the correct fucking spellings and yr US-centric spellchecker is getting on my wick.

Bestia Excelente Trece


 Of all the excellent beasts our magnificent planet boasts, the most insouciant flâneur of them all is the giant anteater, whose winning air of absolute nonchalance and fantastic trousers set it apart from the average anteater, I think you'll agree.

Deres Nødsituation Marmite Er Undervejs!*

4 jars of XO should do you for a couple of months...

Keep it yeasty, yeah?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Descanso

Just so you all know, I won't be posting very much for the next few weeks, what with having to pack, move and all that shit, and I'm a little frantic at the mo', so, unless there's gigs or DJing, don't expect to hear much from me till early July. See y'all on the other side of the fucking move (whenever and wherever that's gonna be)...

Monday, 16 May 2011

La Discotecas

I just thought I'd let you lovely people know that I'm DJing twice this very week. On Wednesday I'll be at The Outer Church, where I'll be in underground/psych/whateverthefuckIfeellikeaslongasitfeelsright mode, and it looks like a good'un this month, even the flyer's a fucking beauty...


See what I mean? If you like the flyer, you'll love Old Apparatus, because they sound like that picture looks. And on Thursday night I'll be doing a set or two at The Birds Nest in Deptford Church St in, oddly enough, Deptford*, this time wearing my techno/dubstep/juke/acid/electro hat. More details can be found here, and it's a piece of piss to get to, there'll be other DJs and live electronic shenanigans and it's cheap as fuck, so come on down, ve haf vays of making you dance...

*That's SE8 for those of you for those of you who live north of the river and find it hard to grasp that there is life south of the Thames.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

¡Eso Son Gilipolleces!

Cunts. I had a lovely little surprise waiting for me when I got home today. A letter with "delivered by hand"* emblazoned on it from the owners of the building in which I currently dwell informing me** (and everyone else who lives here) that we have two months to get the fuck out. No reasons given whatsoever, although it doesn't exactly take a genius to work out that they finally realised they can make even more money by kicking the long-standing tenants out, and bringing in new ones at inflated rents. Not that I'm a cynical man, oh no, not me...

So yeah, great, I finally start to put the last few months of stress and aggravation behind me and now this fucking shit. Argh.

*Which, over here anyway, generally means trouble.

**Not personally you understand, a fucking form letter, signed p.p., gotta love that individual touch

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Para Saber Tocar, Hay Que Saber Escuchar

Before I post my huge, rambling article about the gig below, I highly recommend that you go here and listen to the fucker courtesy of the lovely people at BBC Radio 3. It's up for another six days.

I don't normally translate the titles of my posts, but this one deserves it, as it roughly translates as "in order to know how to play, one must know how to listen". Never a truer word said.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

El Ruido Alegre

Frank Zappa once said something along the lines of "the best thing about free jazz is it's capacity to annoy". That's because Frank Zappa was a fucking idiot. What free jazz expresses better than any other music is pure fucking unalloyed joy. The joy of love and life lived, of music and the power of communication and real fucking empathy, of deeply shared experience and emotion and knowledge, raw and beautiful and intense like no other music on this fucking planet. I know this because I've just witnessed the fucking glorious explosion of the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet in full flight, and it was truly fucking righteous, astonishing and profound like no other music I've experienced for a very long time, if ever. Fuck, I'm high as a kite and I've had nothing stronger than a beer or two, and tomorrow I'll try to explain why in a coherent manner, 'cos right now I can't, because I've been steamrollered in the best possible way by a force of fucking nature that burned like a newly born star. Damn. I wish everyone I know could have been there 'cos this was so special, genuinely extraordinary, just everything music and art should aspire to be.

Cerveza Afrutada

I like beer. This is probably not a surprise to anyone. I love wheat beers, particularly spiced ones. What I don't like tho, is when the barkeep puts a fucking slice of lemon or orange* in my bloody pint without asking. Now I can sort of see the sense of putting a lime segment in a bottle of Corona or Sol**, 'cos let's face it, that type of beer (and I use the word in it's loosest possible sense) has slightly less taste than tap water and the lime kick might just trick someone with no sense into believing that the insipid piss they're drinking has some vague flavour to it, but good wheat beer is already chock-full of yeasty, banana-y and citrusy goodness even without the optional coriander, fruit peel and whatnot that goes into some of 'em. As far as I can tell, all the citrus slice achieves is a dulling of the spicier notes and the delicate nose of a good wheat beer, because it just accentuates the already present citrus flavours at the expense of any subtlety or depth, and because of the citric acid, decimates the lovely fluffy head characteristic of these brews, and destroys the inherent slight creaminess that many examples of this style possess.

I don't drink beer just to get pissed**, and I certainly don't drink beer to show off my exquisite fucking taste to those around me or because said beer is "the thing to drink" according to whatever shadowy cabal decides these things. I drink beer because I love the fucking taste and if I'm paying four quid a fucking pint I expect to have that beer served to me the way I fucking want it, and not the way the marketing department of the brewery says I should be "experiencing" it. So please, when a thirsty Wommm comes into yr pub, and asks for a pint of Blue Moon, and then politely asks you to remove the offending piece of fruit from the glass, please don't sigh and make a face like you've suddenly got a faint aroma of shit in yr nose, and when I buy a second pint, specifically ordered without the orange, please don't tell me "it tastes better with the orange", just pour the fucking beer, please. You may prefer the taste with the fruity addition, and that's just fine. I don't. If I wanted a fucking alcoholic fruit cocktail I'd have ordered Pimm's for fuck's sake.

I may take the piss out of America occasionally, but if there's one thing they get so right over there, it's customer service. It's really easy, just be nice, respect the customers wishes, and you'll probably sell a lot more beer. And people will come back instead of going elsewhere, they'll have a better time, your job will be less stressful because you haven't aggravated yr customers (never really the best idea), fuck me, it's not exactly rocket science...

*I believe the lemon slice was originally Hoegaarden's fault, and Blue Moon are responsible for the orange. At least Blue Moon have had the decency to admit it's a gimmick, albeit a fucking stupid one.

**Well, not usually. We all have our moments...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Bestias Excelente Diez Y Once


Check out those mutton-chop whiskers*. Meet Wing Commander Pietrain and Squadron Leader Mulefoot, pride of the RAF (the 110th Flying Bacons to be precise**).

*I know, I didn't take the opportunity for a really shit pun. I do have some self-control you know. Well, sometimes. 

**Also known as the Hambusters. I'll stop now, I promise.

Buen Tiempo Para Cuero Negro

As you may have gathered from the last post, I'm feeling considerably better than I have done of late, not that it doesn't still hurt and get in the way of doing/planning shit, but I feel so much better in myself, now that (after a deeply unenjoyable and gruelling day of tests)* the good people at the hospital have found out what's going on**, knowing that there's no more nerve damage, that I'm just having a reaction to that poxy virus that did the rounds a few weeks ago and that it will pass is a weight off of my mind. It means I can begin to plan stuff again, to stop being Mr Unreliable-pain-in-the-arse**, and actually start to have a bloody life again, because I was wondering for a while there (yeah, I know, overdramatic, but it really does feel like everything's falling apart sometimes), and I'm royally pissed off that this unhealthy fucking hiatus robbed me of the some of the musical momentum I'd manage to start building up in the earlier part of the year. Now tho, I can channel that anger into motion (slow motion at first, but hey), as opposed to stewing in my own juices, which is not a good thing for me to do, as we know...

So give me a month or two, and The Larsen Effect will hopefully be (dis)gracing a stage near you soon, I can actually start putting cds out (like I said, when I grind to a halt, I really stop dead, that's why there's been nothing about the album etc. lately - but I digress), and I can enjoy the process of auditioning drummers*** for the as yet-unnamed clattering psychedelic sleaze monster I mentioned in the previous post, and hopefully, more awesome M&N stuff will happen too§. Plus I had some other irons in the fire before the stoppage, which hopefully are still glowing hot enough to get back on the anvil and work into shape (yes, I am being deliberately mysterious; my blog, my prerogative).

Seriously though, you know what the worst thing's been? Not the pain, or the weakness, or the depression it engenders, but the fucking boredom. I hate being bored, being forced to do nothing. Being lazy on my own terms is great, in the right (wrong?) mood, there's nothing better than having a bone-idle day or two, but when it's out of my control, when I have no choice but to be indolent, it's the most frustrating feeling in the world. I've missed too many fucking gigs and events over the past few weeks, missed seeing everyone as often as I usually do so fucking much. Last weekend was the first time I've actually managed to go out and enjoy myself for an entire day for far too bloody long, and it made me so happy I actually thought I might cry. Daft? Yeah, maybe, but I don't care.

So here we go again. All I want is a few weeks clear air, and finally, it looks like the fog's almost melted away.

*I cannot believe how many test tubes full of my blood were lined up in a row on the doc's desk. Looked like the bar at a really dodgy goth club.

**I know 95% of people around me know I can't help it sometimes, but it doesn't stop me fretting about it. It's been a rotten few weeks to be honest, and once again thank you, thank you, thank you to all the usual suspects.

***Oh deep joy. How I love the process of auditioning.

§I haven't posted any of the last gig yet, not because I didn't deem it good enough for these hallowed halls, but because in my bleh state, I haven't even heard the bugger back yet. It will appear at some point.

Se Busca: Una Batería

I need a drummer. Badly. Someone who's equally happy locked into a krautrock/frogprog groove and clanking out off-kilter greasy Chromesque psych-damage* with a side order of mucky garage, a Trashy Liebezeit if you will**.

The reason being that I thought I'd treat myself to a new guitar, as I've been having a shitty time of it, and, breaking the habit of a lifetime, I bought a Fender***, a Duo-Sonic to be precise, and it's a rasping trebly snot machine par excellence which makes me want to blast off into sleazy motorik space every time I pick the fucker up. So yeah, I need a drummer, any takers?

*Think Damon Edge as opposed to John Stench. Owning a 50lb bomb casing is optional.

**Sorry, can't help myself.

***Yes, that was a flying pig that just streaked past yr window. Contrary to popular belief, I don't hate Fenders, I just hate Strats.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Terapia De Electrochoque

I fucking love this song. For so many reasons. Chrome's finest pop moment. So wrong, and yet so very, very right.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Muy, Muy Alto

Ok, here's some proper damaged brainwrong, and something I didn't expect to turn up on youtube. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, from the grey depths of 80s Britain*, the excellently freaked-the-fuck-out fuzzbomb that is Get Stoned Ezy by High Speed & The Afflicted Man.

Warning: this record contains extremely long guitar solos. Really, really fucking long ones.







*1982, not sure whereabouts they're from exactly tho.

Revolución

I know this is Mudhoney covering Spacemen 3 ripping off the MC5, but fuck it, I love Mudhoney, and this kicks the crap out of the original(s). I just wish the last 30 seconds or so went on for much, much longer.



Turn this fucker up.

Lo Siento Señorita Christensen

I make no apologies* for posting this masterpiece/monstrosity of 80s metal from Denmark's magnificently named Evil. I know it's shit, but, and this is crucial, it's also fucking brilliant for exactly the same reasons.



I am now imagining High On Fire covering that. Fuck.

*Except for the one in the title.

Ya Estamos Otra Vez...

Okay, I'm back. Not 100% yet, but feeling slightly better in myself, a little more level after the last months constant battering, and more able to take care of shit instead of wanting to run away from it all. Thank fuck for that, and I'll say no more about it*. I'm going to listen to Red Exposure at ludicrous volume, have a big coffee and a bigger spliff, and then I may just write something that doesn't involve moaning**.

*For the mo', anyway. You know what I'm like.

**Well, not much...

Friday, 25 March 2011

Hola

The sun has finally come out again, which is nice, however, it feels like someone is very slowy sawing my foot in half with a rusty hacksaw, which is not. I am in a phenomenally fucking bad mood at the moment, and I am sick to fucking death of being in pain. It really fucking gets me down sometimes, and I've not been coping as well as I normally do with it lately, which is why I haven't posted, or emailed or whatever. Sorry, I'm just all up and positive one minute then plummetting downward the next and I really don't like feeling like this. So again, sorry for not emailing/phoning/whatevering you if I said I would, I'm really sorry, I'm just not exactly Mr Reliable at the moment and trying not to let this crap take over my life is taking up most of my energy and brainpower at the moment.* I'll be fine soon, I know, I just needed to vent some, as I'm storing up vast quantities of excess bile and it's going to have to come out somewhere, and that somewhere will be here.

*It's not just the pain that's getting on my nerves, there's other, far more personal stuff that eating away at me at the moment, but I just can't talk about that here, I'd just like to say, just for once, can that bit of my life please just go smoothly or in a vaguely normal manner? Fuck's sake.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Atropellamiento

I know I've been uncharacteristically quiet. I'm good, just had a really fucking exhausting and needling time at work last week, and I didn't really want to inflict that shit on you lot, because if I start ranting about last week I might actually have some sort of online freakdown, and lose it completely. And we don't need that, believe me. It would get fucking ugly. The week was topped off by having to spend the entire bastard weekend flat on my back in a Syndol induced haze, because I caught some bug that's been making the rounds, and therefore my immune system decided to kick the crap out of me in no uncertain terms. I still feel faintly shitty, but I am in a much, much better mood now, so a bit of residual wobble is bearable.

It's census time again here in the UK. Now, apart from the joy of finding out what percentage of the British population will lie their arses off*, and the moment when you come across the mysterious question encountered on every single government form in this country, the "this question is left intentionally blank" question**, what I really want to know is this; why, in a country which has been successfully carrying out a census every ten years for the last two hundred, and many times before that in the previous thousand, have our fuckwit-filled government, that coalition of cunts, employed Lockheed-Martin to print the fucking thing, run the call-centres and handle the data capture and processing? What. The. Fuck?

As far as I'm aware, there's an enormous government agency, the does-exactly-what-it-says-on-the-bloody-tin Office For National Statistics, that exists to do all that stuff, and has been doing it perfectly well for fucking donkeys-years. And as far as I'm aware, Lockheed-Martin mainly specialise in the production of very exciting and futuristic ways to kill people, with either as much sturm und drang as they can muster or as stealthily as possible, like a jet propelled ninja, and not in collating statistical data or running call centres.

Maybe they do excel at call-centres too. That would make Lockheed truly evil. But seriously, I am confused, and everyone else I've spoken to is as well. Why have we paid 150 million quid to a defence contractor for this? Any thoughts?

*In 2001 we discovered that the 4th largest religion in the UK were the Jedis.

**Why? Why is it blank? Why is it there in the first place? Why is it called a question when it isn't a question, but a remarked upon intentional absence of one? Is it just there to fuck with people? Move along, nothing to see here...

Monday, 28 February 2011

Soplar Mi Propia Trompeta, Y Salchichas

At some point this week I will, assuming it's any good hehe, be posting an or some excerpts from M&N's universe-new-arse-tearing-of set from Oto last week, in the meanwhile, here's a rather nice review of it and some other Oto-ness from The Liminal, although I must warn you, it does feature another prehensile toe wrongness* action shot.

I would also like to recommend this excellent and informative blog**, catering as it does for all yr top quality tubular meat product needs:


*"It's disturbing... like watching Christy Brown". Actual quote from an audience member.

**Good call Joe. I became instantly hungry after clicking that link.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ella Tiene El Cabello Rubio

I'm not in the best of moods today. Work shit mainly, the usual getting paid late crap that completely scuppered what should have been a fucking good weekend, plus other bollocks which I can't even be arsed to go into, 'cos I'd just end up in a worse fucking mood, and you'd be really fucking bored. Apart from that tho, things are pretty good. Friday night was fucking great, I think our set was pretty damn fine, especially given that M&N have been hiding out in the drone cave for an extended period of time, it wasn't a bad way to get back into the live swing of things at all. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but then again, when is it ever? Lots of people said good things afterwards, the sound was great, the PA didn't die* and Mick and Neil were fucking brilliant, dropping the sort of white-light one chord ramalama fuzzbombs that put a massive fucking smile on my face. A good time was had by all, and goddamm it, I've got to fucking play live more this year, be it M&N, solo, whatever, because there really isn't much else that gets me quite that high, even if I'm stone cold sober**, so yeah, another killer night at Oto, and it was a bit good to share the bill with two of the musicians who inspired M&N in the first place.

So, a slightly bad mood, tempered by the above goodness, the knowledge that I'll be solvent again tomorrow, and some really nice Laotian weed***. And in the next couple of days I really will do all the emails I was supposed to do last week because I didn't do them the week before. I know, very slack, but I've had shit on my mind, had to have the twice-yearly battery of tests unpleasant to check my nerves still work and all that crap, plus my head's been a bit up in the air for the usual reasons... Anyway, this is an apology to anyone I said I'd email and didn't. Sorry about that. I do get there in the end tho.

And by way of a musical offering to appease those I haven't got back to yet, please enjoy this exquisite piece of Spanish psychy frug by the wonderfully named Albert Band...


*A couple of hacking coughs, but nothing terminal...

**No, seriously, I was driving. Still came off stage feeling like my brain had done a moebius twist tho. This is a good thing.

***As Gilbert Shelton once said, "dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope". Sometimes hippies get something right. Not very fucking often tho.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Remolinos Del Sonido Eléctrico



OK people. get ready for this. Two (count 'em) of the UK's finest blugmongering duos will be psychedeliciously slicing their way through yr heads and hearts at Cafe Oto next friday. Headlining will be those whirling dervishes of ever-ascending radiant modal clatter, Mick Flower and Neil Campbell, ably supported by Morgen & Nite in laser-guided brain-burn synth'n'guitar gut-rot mode. Oh yeah.

Six quid in advance, eight on the door, details and directions at the Oto website.

And yes, it is now officially "&" instead of "und". Because we like ampersands. That's why.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Música Hielo

This week I will do all the emailing people and other things I was supposed to do last week. Stuff ran away from me a little last week, in a very good way mind, you know how it goes. But I'm a little bit the worse for wear today. Hanging in rags, to be honest, but fuck it, it's all in a good cause. Anyways, in lieu of writing anything vaguely coherent except to say Thursday night was seriously fucking good, I'd like to point yr attention to this excellent Radio 4 programme on the extraordinary, beautiful music at the Geilo Ice Festival in Norway performed entirely on equally extraordinary and beautiful instruments sculpted entirely from ice. It's up on BBC iplayer for a few days more I think, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Ciudadanía De Brighton...



Obviously, I was going to be going to this gig anyway, what with it being at The Outer Church, and featuring the mighty Demdike Stare for only a fiver. Bargain. But lovely people, I'll now be DJing before the worlds finest DubTechnoPersianAstralJazzSoundscapingOccultists do their not inconsiderable thang. This pleases me immensely, and I hope you'll be there too because it's going to be fucking brilliant.

Monday, 7 February 2011

La Casa Del Ácido

If you don't like acid house, you really won't like this post. Seriously. I just got the new Tin Man 12", Acid Test 01 (Absurd), and it just fucking kills, and so, in celebration of this lysergic magnificence entering my life and probably annoying the fuck out of my neighbours, here for yr pleasure are a couple of his choicer cuts from years gone by.





Damn I love this shit.

Terapia De Venta Y Curry

I was overcome with the need to buy some new threads a couple of days ago. Specifically, a(nother) suit. Because as we know, I'm a complete fucking tart* when it comes to that sort of thing, and I have a ludicrously specific concept of what looks and feels right when it comes to the tailor's art, probably due to the preponderance of modernist DNA in my sartorial genome. Which is how I've come to own a beautiful severely-cut fucker of a purple tonic suit**. Yes. Purple. I know. I'm a sick man. But I'm a sick man with a fucking killer purple suit and therefore I WIN.

Although the win is balanced out by the lose engendered by the massive fucker of a hangover I'm nursing this morning. The weekend was a bit good to say the least and I have had approximately three hours sleep since friday night so I can't get really pissed off due to the entirely self-inflicted nature of my current state. And it was most definitely worth the brain dehydration which I'm currrently attempting to counter with the aid of syndol, an enormous bastard bucket of outrageously good coffee and a brace of bacons sandwiches (hehe) the size of paving slabs***, beacuse it really was a very, very good Saturday night (and Sunday morning). A marvellous combination of magnificent home-cooked Indian food, a large selection of delicious IPAs and assorted vinous goodness, great fucking music, and some of the very best people I know. Plus, any gathering where the blokes are outnumbered by about 3:1^ is just fine by me...

Anyway, the reason for this completely pointless rambling is just to say hello everyone, my computer is working again, my broadband is back up and behaving itself for once, and I will finally get round to answering everyones emails and all that stuff as soon as I no longer have a furry tongue and can think just a little straighter than at this present moment.

*A word which, in south London, has a large number of other connotations in addition to it's more common colloquial usage as a slightly less offensive synonym for slag. (Yes, very amusing Ms Apostolou, I can hear the cackling already.)

**Palatinate and Regalia purples, for all you colour fiends out there who may have been wondering. I also snaffled a pair of shoes so shameless that I'm not sure I can describe them without having my (already questionable) sanity bought into question. Bear in mind that I have no compunction whatsoever in wearing electric green leather shoes or pony skin loafers, and you should get some idea of the mental processes which make me go "ooh, look at the shiny" when I spy footwear that most people would just shake their head at and say "what kind of pervert would wear those fucking things?". That would be me.

***Mmmmmm bacons. There is a reason I often write bacons instead of bacon, and we call her Mang! (I can't remember why we call her Mang!, but I do know it's my fault). We have to go out very soon you loon, it's been too bloody long.

^Especially when one of said guests looks like a cross between Louise Brooks and Claudia Winkleman and has a smile like a searchlight...

Monday, 31 January 2011

Bestias Excelente Ocho Y Nueve


The mountain goatelope isn't keen on those who take the piss out of its very rectangular head, fortunately its chief method of retaliation is to look shocked in an exceedingly camp manner.


I have no idea what this tapir is doing. I can only surmise that it's just seen Alien for the first time and is practising its xenomorph impersonation. Breaks the ice at tapir parties.

Bola Ocho, Esquina De Bolsillo

I'm so fucking bored. I'm stuck in the fucking office today, I have absolutely fuck-all to do, but for office-political reasons I have to be seen around today, even though it's a massive fucking waste of my time. Oh well, such is life. I wouldn't mind so much if I could have a fucking fag, or even better, a really fucking big spliff, but I can't and I'm beginning to get the arse. Two more hours of solid tedium then I can go home, get stoned, go out and have some fucking fun instead of staring at this poxy screen.

It's not that I dislike doing nothing, and I'm certainly not averse to a little skiving, but on my own fucking terms people, my own fucking terms. I've got fuckloads I could be doing right now, useful shit too, not just cocking around and getting high, at times I've even been known to be a productive member of society*, but not at the moment. No, I'm hunting down obscure 12"s and looking for photos of excellent beasts and unusual curry recipes and that's as close as I'm going to get to fucking work today. Fuck I need some coffee. Then I may even manage to write something sensible. Although to be honest I doubt it. See you a bit later when the boredom-as-altered-state-of-consciousness has passed and I no longer want to gnaw on my own leg, tasty as it is...

*I know, shocking isn't it?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

La Vuelta De Hombre Plástico



Polyrhythmic acid* techno clusterfuck is the term that springs to mind when listening to the title cut of Richie Hawtin's latest Plastikman 12", Slinky (m_nus). Which, if yr inclinations lean even remotely in the same directions as mine, is a description which should have you at least slavering, if not in a state of total arousal. This is most definitely not the more introspective Plastikman of Consumed or Closer. Oh no, because as you can see, this has a white cover, the old stretchy geezer on the cover and the wibbly red and black lettering of his earlier, more lysergically inclined slabs of plastik, and that sort of cover on a Plastikman record promises one thing. Squelch. And fuck me does it deliver. The 303s on this record are just sopping. Protracted dripping sawtooth ooze liberally slathered (all in completely different time signatures) over the best goddam drum programming I've heard in a fair while, rhythm and leads entwining and disentangling simultaneously like evolving organic knotwork, nothing staying still, hats and snares and 303s slipping and sliding round the loping flickering groove the whole thing pivots on. It's essentially the sound of machines fucking, and by far my favourite fucking track of 2010.

The b-side's pretty good too.

And that's about as close to a 2010 music roundup y're going to get from me.

*House, in this case. Although...

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Prensil Dedos (Del Pie)

Thursday night fucking ruled. I can't believe I've waited this long to start playing solo gigs, but I'm extremely fucking glad I have. I don't think I've ever known the time on stage to pass so fucking quickly, forty or so minutes felt more like five, and I could easily have carried on*. But enough about me (for a bit anyway), because I'd like to say a very big thankyou to Joe for asking me to play, and putting on such a fucking excellent night**, to Jade for the fantastic visuals which just nailed the atmosphere I wanted to create and inspired me to go way further out than I expected, to Mirna for the fastest soundcheck ever, the brilliant sound and for not batting an eyelid even though my amp volume had quadrupled by the end of the set***, and to all the Brighton/Hove contingent (you know who you are, you lovely people) who turned up despite the foul weather. Haxan Cloak played a blinder, and the film (I Can See You) was fucking amazing, but I'll write more about them next time when I'm a bit less frazzled. In the meantime, here's some rather good photos of The Larsen Effect in full flow§, and I apologise in advance to anyone who feels vaguely nauseous at the sight of my prehensile toes in the bottom picture...





*Then I could have played two tracks...

**I'll treasure the sound of almost the entire venue muttering "it's only a movie..., it's only a movie..." for a long time to come. Fellow gorehounds will know exactly what I'm referring to here. For those who chose not to spend their time watching lurid 70s/80s trash, an explanation will be forthcoming later...

***This is not an uncommon occurrence. I like it loud, but I love it louder.

§Cheers Sarah!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Por Una Sola Noche...

Damn, first solo gig today. I am somewhat excited. Especially now I've seen some of Jade's visuals for this evening, which look a bit good to say the least. All I have to do is to buy about 400 batteries for mission control and I'm all fucking set. And have a fucking enormous fry-up. That's important. I'm vaguely nervous, purely because this is the first time I've played totally solo in front of an audience, but fuck it, a little adrenaline never hurt anyone and at times I find playing the guitar to be slightly easier than walking, and I'm quite good at that after years of practice, so I think tonight (the whole night, not just me) should be rather fine. And AC, Ønsker mig lykke, and if someone remembers to record it*, I promise I'll send you a copy, because I would have loved you to be here for this.


*I can't. I'm not allowed near portable digital recorders, they die.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Bestia Excelente Siete


A very, very small, but extremely irate Burrowing Owl. Look at it's face. Not happy. In fact it's so fucking angry spacetime has begun to warp in it's presence. That's no stone it's hiding behind, it's a bubble of tormented universe stuff. Back away. Slowly. Do not antagonise the tiny owl.

Desde Copenhagen A Greenwich Via Mongolia Y Pub

I will be posting part 2 of the literary rant on Friday or Saturday I suspect. I would have done it yesterday, but to be honest, after last weekend* I wasn't really capable of stringing a legible sentence together and I accidentally ended up in the pub and then listening to (Tuvan? Mongolian?) throat singing at three in the morning whilst very, very stoned in lovely Croydon. Still, these things happen. At least I'm home now. Still can't write properly but I don't care because I'm grinning like a cheshire cat and I feel vaguely strange after viewing some horrifyingly compelling prog synth-sax-kettledrum outrage the Morgen sent me** and which I unwittingly watched after smoking the day away (to quote May Blitz) and failing to heed the hippie warning bells that should have been going off. Any band with an ultra-parp sax synth thing have to be experienced at least once tho, and watching them reminded me of this, the worlds most stupid musical instrument fucking ever, and the reason I piss myself laughing every time a certain mascara advert comes on. Ladies and gentlemen, behold the Millioniser 2000:



I should probably go back to bed. Or have tea. Tea. Yeah. Strong tea is what my brain requires.

*Which was fucking fantastic thank you very much...

**Cybotron, in case you were wondering. Not to be confused with other Cybotron.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Espacio Es Profundo

One more thing before I bugger off. Feast yr eyes upon this beautiful image of the International Space Station transiting the Sun during the recent partial eclipse.


Just flat-out awe-inspiring. The original, along with all the technical details can be found here.

¿Dónde Está El Invierno?

Where the fuck has winter gone? It's not even bloody cold out, and I need some freezing air to cut through my fuzzy wine head. It's January for fucks sake. Oh well, it's nicely chilly in Copenhagen so I can get my icy jollies there*.

And yes, I did find my passport. Otherwise I'd be really, really fucking pissed off. See you next week lovely people.

*Yes I am aware exactly how that reads. It's meant to.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Escribir Borracho

I haven't really written about books on this blog, which given that if I'm not eating or drinking, fucking or sleeping, working or musicking or talking bollocks in pubs, then I've probably got my nose buried in a book. Possibly because so many of my friends are writers, proper ones that is, I've tended to steer clear. But I've got a bit of a cob on about certain aspects of literature at the moment, I'm onto my second bottle of Arrogant Frog Tutti Frutti Rouge (stupid name, great wine, he also makes one called Ribet and another called Croak...) and I feel like shouting my mouth off...

Science fiction vs speculative fiction is probably the second* most boring literary debate I can think of, especially as the distinction tends often to be drawn by authors worried that their "highbrow" audience will run a fucking mile from the talking squids in space** because of the massive snobbery displayed by much of their audience and severely blinkered critics towards the geek ghetto in the dark corner of the bookshop, an attitude which, as any regular here will know, I have no fucking truck with in any sphere of endeavour (creative or otherwise). I couldn't give a flying fuck where the book gets filed, what matters is; is it any fucking good?

SF is the heavy metal of the literary world, in that it contains some of the most stunning, original creations you could wish for, but like metal, lots of people steer clear because of the sweaty-palmed loner image surrounding it. And that bugs the fuck out of me, because it's a crying shame that books like Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren or John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar*** are titles that most people haven't encountered, purely because they are consigned to the SF dunce's corner. Dhalgren has more in common with William Burroughs at his peak than Star Wars, and prose-wise, knocks El Hombre Invisible into a cocked hat, and Stand On Zanzibar should be mandatory reading in any English lit course as far as I'm concerned, an example of a genuinely successful experimental novel with a heart and a level of insight rarely encountered in the most feted "literary" masterpiece.

And it's not just the New Wave lot, SF has I think, contrary to what many seem to believe at the moment, entered another golden age. I can't remember a previous time where half of what I read comes from one single area, because there's so much fucking goodness out there at the moment to be devoured. Writers like Charles Stross, Peter Watts, Justina Robson, Ted Chiang, Tricia Sullivan, Ken McLeod, Liz Williams, John Clute, Alastair Reynolds and Philip Palmer (among others, I'll be writing about them and more in part two), all of whom can write rings around pretty much all of the authors on the Booker longlists of the past ten years, but don't get their due because of the sphere in which they choose to write.

More on Monday. I'm now a little inebriated and will become completely incoherent quite soon, plus I need to find my passport otherwise I'll have to do a fucking panic tomorrow, and I can't face that and a hangover.

*The first has to be genre fiction vs literary fiction. Witness this astoundingly one-sided piece of lit-crit wank (and some of the astonishingly misinformed comments from both sides that follow) for a typical example of the crap spouted by self-important arseholes in the ongoing and massively pointless debate. Docx's targeting of lowest common denominator genre fiction (crime/thriller in this case) speaks volumes I think. I don't deny that Dan Brown is an appalling writer, but using Steig Larsson as an example is unfair in this case as he's talking about writing in translation, as I very much doubt he's read the books in the original Swedish, because, judging by his tone in the article, there is no way he wouldn't have made a point of telling us all that he'd done that very thing. Raymond Chandler vs (one of Docx's favourites) Martin Amis? No contest, whether you compare them on the merits of their prose or psychological insight. I don't really need to tell you who I think wins that one do I?§

**Margaret Atwood has (somewhat) distanced herself from that particular standpoint now, I only use it because, as a phrase, it sums up the attitude of an awful lot of authors, critics and readers towards a genre which they probably have very little, if any, deep knowledge or experience of. Doris Lessing has never given a shit either way and just gets on with writing beautifully in whatever genre (or non-genre) she feels like.

***To name but two. See also Hothouse by Brian Aldiss, The Death Of Grass by John Christopher, The Heat Death Of The Universe & Other Stories by Pamela Zoline, anything by Octavia Butler or John Varley, A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller. I could go on. For hours.

§Just in case I do, I'd rather eat a bowl of my own fucking snot that read one more turgid fucking paragraph by Amis.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Tontería


The book above is the reason several people in a very quiet secondhand bookshop glowered at me when I cracked up laughing upon seeing its title. It had been a fairly ridiculous day*, and consequently I was in a somewhat skewed good humour, but to be honest I'd probably have ended up giggling like a fool even if I'd been depressed because it's such a beautifully silly example of the old adage that Britain and the US are two countries divided by a common language. Now try reading the wikipedia entry (especially the plot summary) on this book without pissing yrself. I especially like the fact it took 30 years for someone to tell Jack Vance what it meant in Britain and elsewhere, upon which all Wankh references were changed to Wannek.

*For reasons I'm not going into here, except to say that if you believe in synchronicity, or don't believe in random coincidence, it was the sort of day that would have made yr head spin.