Friday, March 26, 2004

Really liking...

1. Plasticman - Be There Or Be Square : very very cold
2. Bedsit Bomber - Kangxi Radicals (live mix) : cluttered and ace
3. Ty - Groovement : POP SINGLE! POP SINGLE! brilliant.
4. Chicks on Speed - Wordy Rappingood : either crap or genius, not sure which. It'll be huge.
5. Kano - Boys Love Girls : blimey, another tune with a tune.

Great article

Guardian Unlimited Arts Friday Review Amateur night: "Some say modern classical music is so difficult that only professionals should attempt it. Nonsense, says Tom Service - a child could play it. And it's high time they did "

squarepusher / sinfonietta gig

Agh, I haven't got tickets for this in Brighton tonight. I wish I had.

Torygraph Arts Hailstorms of sound

MusicMath, a free audio calculator

I want a tempo-tappy computer program so that I can do some snazzy beatmatching stuff (well, really I want a groovebox with tempo tappy features, but failing that: MusicMath, a free audio calculator will do for now)

Rap Pack index

There's a great article on hip hop cover art here, but it's dissapointingly brief - this is one that could run and run...

Guardian Unlimited Arts galleries Rap Pack index

some nominations of my own:

I hope your ears don't bleed

Apart from the enduring freak show car-crash appeal of the ever entertaining Genesis P. Orridge, you never heard much of Throbbing Gristle over the last ten years or so. But they seem to have undergone a bit of a critical rehibitation recently. The Re-TG festival, at Camber Sands, is on shortly, and the Guardian has a feature on the band today, who are reforming for the event. Here it is:

TG feature / 26 March

It reminds me that Alexis Petridis did a much more interesting feature on TG a while back. I may have linked out to it at the time, but here it is again anyway.

Throbbing Gristle were pioneers of industrial thrash. What sane person would listen to their 24-hour box set in one sitting? Step forward Alexis Petridis

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Grime / Rephlex Records

Okay, so I'm going to collect together some of the links I've been visiting and try and do one post on Wiley Kat and Eski/Grime and leave it at that, as these links probably aren't of much interest to that many people. Nevertheless - counting down and we've only got 12 days 'til Wiley's 'What do U Call it?' is finally released. And the album, 'Treddin' On Thin Ice' follows it on the 25th April. There's an interesting interview with the man himself here.

Eski Beat: An interview with Wiley

Stayed up listening to Femme Fatale on 1extra last night, hoping she'd play some tracks from 'Treddin...', but she didn't get round to it (despite saying she would). Still, she did have Plasticman on, who was talking about the forthcoming 'Grime' compilation that him and Mark One are working on... on Rephlex Records, which is just brilliant - the darker, dubstep side of 2step has definitely got as much in common with techno and the likes of photek as it does with UK garage.


And Rephlex is the perfect home for any kind of experimental, innovative dance music. And as Rephlex put it:

"Grime. Sublow. Dubstep. It's Music. Different people call it different things, depending on when they discovered it. In the 80's, maybe it was House, Techno and Electro. In the 90's it was UK-G, Drum and Bass, Breaks or whatever. Now there are so many terms for it that the journalists can?t pidgeon-hole it any more. This is a good thing - it's music. Moody music. Multifunctional, multifaceted music created by Humans with Brains, Hearts, Machines & Electricity. Music that?s great for dancing to in clubs, or submerging yourself within your headphones, your car, your home, wherever. It's instrumental dance music, but it's the perfect forum for the best MC's and vocalists. We at Rephlex call it Grime to publicise to the people at large, outside of the specialist world of it's producers. The purists might debate the name, but while they do that, crews around the globe are uniting in this strong & fresh dance movement. In this age of Information Technology, people are able to easily find real quality that they actually want, without being spoon-fed compromised product. Now, it is a time of change and the soundtrack is Grime"

There's an excellent blog-feature on the Grime/Rephlex interface here:

more on grime / rephlex

and an absolutely massive overview of grime in 2003 here:

skykicking grime review 2003

And finally, because I'm conscious that apart from Dizzee and Wiley not much of this stuff has hit the likes of radio 1, a quick guide to beginners, and I'm stopping right...

(what is grime?)


David Stubbs [Mr Agreeable]

Following in the footsteps on yr man Simon Reynolds, his fellow Wire contributor and MM's very own Mr Agreeable, David Stubbs has joined the (cough) blogosphere. Not even had time to look at this site yet - but I'm guessing it'll be quality.

David Stubbs [Mr Agreeable]

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Micro House

Some proper Assistant news to follow shortly, all, and the last word from me on Eski, and - briefly - a quick sidestep into the world of Micro House.

Can anyone tell me why I can't find Afuken records anywhere!?!?

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Macintosh Newsweek advertisement

retro fun for Mac fanciers...

Friday, March 12, 2004

The weekend has crash landed

Can't tell you anything about this beyond what's already there, but Andrew passed on this link to the website of a Mr. Matt Gunn, whose two MP3s are well worth a listen, if you like dark analogue electric stuff, like I do.

Elsewhere, should I buy the new David Byrne album?? Will have to try not to. Since we moved house my broadband has been disconnected, so, shocking though it may seem, all of a sudden I have to start thinking about buying music again. It's a funny old world. Been listening to lots of hip hop for the last few days, and really enjoying it. When I was about 19 I really chased after new releases and really kept up with US rap; now I doubt I could summon up the energy to get back into it. I'm certainly never putting myself through the pain of reading The Source again.

Jonathan's off-the-top-of-his-head hip hop top ten (not in order)
1. Big Punisher feat. Black Thought - Super Lyrical
2. Biggie Smalls - Party and Bullshit / JUICY
3. Capadonna - '97 Mentality
4. Boot Camp Klik - Heads are Readee pt. 1
5. EPMD - Who Killed Jane?
6. Mos Def and Talib Kwali - Twice Inna Lifetime
7. Slum Village - Raise it Up
8. Ice Cube - You Can't Fade Me
9. Blackalicious - Lyric Fathom
10. Masta Ace - Who Ya Jackin'?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Squarepusher and Books

An entertaining article about Squarepusher in the Guardian today, although one suspects you wouldn't want to be stuck in the pub with him.

"The number '0' will never be boring to me because in it I see the infinite, the string composed of the addition of all other numbers, stretching beyond sight in both directions"

Hmm. Still, I must get round to getting tickets to see him (performing with the London Sinfonietta as part of the ongoing warp-records/classical backslapping festivities. Still, music from Cage, Reich and - best of all - Varese, so I want to go. And SP himself, obviously.

Not much band activity at the moment, as Anne-Sophie and Sam are off snowboarding (yes, I know - the Nouveau Riche...) and Pete is acclimitising to life in his new flat up the road. Meanwhile, not much happening with me; my compulsive habit of reading the comment pages of the Guardian has been replaced by obsessive book reading over the last few weeks. Just read

1. The Honour's Board - by Pamela Hansford Johnson, which was excellent, although not her best: a story about a private school and the headmaster's impending retirement.
2. Tim Parks - Shear / Tim Parks - Goodness; both quietly brilliant, if not as grabbing as his recent stuff. They're both menacing and, in the latter case, riveting.
3. Maggie Gee - The White Family - my big discovery of late; not come across her before but excellent reviews of her new book, The Flood, persuaded me to read this 2002 novel. It's superb, a lively, involving tale of domestic trauma and racism. But fun.
4. P.G Wodehouse - Quick Service; only just started this one, but if you're feeling tired and not looking forward to work, then there's no-one better than Wodehouse to read on the train.

One book I've not read, and probably won't, is the (much promoted) story of Andrew Collins' (get this) happy childhood - "Where Did It All Go Right? Growing Up Normal In The 70s". Nevertheless, it deserves a mention, if only because the tag-line in the advertising is 'They tucked him up, his mum and dad'. Genius :-)

Sunday, March 07, 2004

planting seeds

Jay-Z Construction Set

Thursday, March 04, 2004


I just read that camp German pop idol contestant Daniel K had a car crash when he was hit by a lorry carrying gherkins. One of the paramedics on the scene is selling the gherkin he found on Daniel's leg:

eBay-Artikel 3277830143 (Endet 04.03.04 17:14:10 MEZ ) - Orig. Gurke aus Unfalllaster von Daniel K.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

A good rehearsal on Sunday, if only because we finally got round to playing some new songs for a change, which was really nice. Pete was up in Oxford for the weekend and the stuff we still need to do for the demo can be done at home, so we thought we'd use the opportunity to play some new stuff - we dragged our melodic, indie-ish song without any lyrics from a few months ago back from the dead and played around it with it, and tried two of my new songs - Don't You and What it Means. Only the latter we did in any detail, but both sounded good.

For What it Means we started playing along to a pre-programmed tune on the laptop, but pretty much abandoned that once we had matched the sounds ourselves; it's got a fast, monotonous bassline which I thought may be better on keyboard, but it sounded pretty good with Andy playing it live, and everything else just seemed to form naturally around that. I played the little guitar riff and sang, alternately, while we get ourselves used to it, but think I'll probably use the Novation to play a synth line once we get Pete back. In the meantime, I wonder if I've invented a fairly rubbish vocal melody for this one? Hmm - I fear I have. Might have to work on it.

Don't You came out very different to how I imagined it. Ali had a good laugh at the crap drum beat I had programmed, and we tried to play along to the acoustic guitar line I'd programmed - Andy pointed out it sounded a bit 'folktronica', which was true, but I couldn't help feeling it lacked depth and pace. Only towards the end, when Andy and Ali played a bit more obtrusively, did it sound like it could go somewhere, but this soon gave way to their ritualistic and gleeful custom of rocking out to annoy me :-) Still, it could get somewhere, I think.

Lastly, we improvised a little tune around some synth stuff which Anne-Sophie had worked out; basically just a processed waveform with regular hiccups; we turned it into something quite dark and exciting, although I fear we only played it for five minutes and may have forgotten all by the next time we rehearse...