Wednesday, 22 March 2017

More shit, Bre**t, Punk/New Wave & Sleaford Mods' English Tapas

The bigger the headache, the bigger the pill...

...............................not only was I almost physically sick at the sight of so much shit in the form of CDs and books (I was actually puking in my mind! - a torrent of vomit flooding my neurons) yesterday I'm now sick to death of the B-word (Br***t) (and the silly fucking snowflakes bleating on about boo-hoo it shouldn't have happened not-in-our-name blah, blah GET OVER IT AND STOP WHINGING!) which gets mentioned every night on the news on the telly and so I've boycotted the news, or at least will always mute it until I think it's safe and more entertaining subjects are covered such as what Donald Trump has been up to.........

..........this morning I felt sick again flicking through the forthcoming supposed musical highlights of the year according to the London listings mag Time Out, which used to actually contain a lot of listings until the internet killed off that idea, although City Limits was a better listings mag, NOW Time Out IS A PERFECT FIT FOR SOCIETY AND LONDON BRAIN-LITE TWATS WHO WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH THE TICKETS ARE AND WHEN SOME USELESS CRETIN IS WARBLING ALONG WITH WHERE'S THE BEST PLACE TO EAT PERUVIAN FUCKING FOOD OR WHICH SHIT NIGHTCLUB PLAYING MUSIC FOR MORONS THEY CAN GO TO AND WAVE THEIR HANDS IN THE AIR PRETENDING LONDON'S STILL GOT A 'COOL' CLUB SCENE. 

"But, Robin, you're into music so why don't you admit that just because you've never heard of an act doesn't mean to say they're shit", you say.
First: FUCK OFF.
Second: I'm awaiting the Second Coming of His Holiness John Coltrane, all right? And not going to a gig until then.
Third: the contemporary music I listen to is mostly made by blokes twiddling knobs in their rooms, or staring at screens and I've no intention of going to watch them doing the latter 'live'.

I haven't seen bands regularly since the Punk/New Wave thing so, for instance, I saw Stiff Little Fingers at their best and you probably didn't - SO THERE. I saw a lot of bands and they were all brilliant because I was young and drunk. That's what middle-aged men of the future will be saying about this era only they'll be lying, obviously - not subjectively, objectively, because it's impossible to see anything more electrifying than The Ramones, Clash, Jam thrashing out tunes amid showers of phlegm from a pogoing pit of snotty young Punks.

I was reminded of all that when coming across a John Peel broadcast from 1978 this morning and listening to it in the office yes little tears of nostalgia trickled through the alleyways of me noodle, dear reader, even though at the time an underlying terror/dread of my life ensured I was miserable most of the time having not long left school to do factory work from which I could see no possible escape (I was so eager to leave school to do this?!). The Peel show was essential listening (yawn, you've heard all that a million times since he died, I know) and this episode reminded me why what with The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, Gang Of Four and great reggae tunes (including a dub which reminded me that door chimes were once the fashion in dub tunes - crazy times).


If, I said if the spirit of all that is at all alive to day it surely resides in Sleaford Mods, those luvvable scallywags who are old enough to know better and do so they make records to prove it. Jason Williamson's absurdist nonsense verse mixed with social observations and verbal phlegm is still a great thing as their latest, English Tapas, proves. 'Punk's not dead / Well, it is now or does no one care about you?' (Just Like We Do). Since I last spoke to Jason they've got big, as big as they can get, perhaps, but don't worry, I'm not saying that to prove anything just making the point that no matter how popular they get they'll probably always be this, what they are - they've been what they are too long to change and even money can't seem to alter, put a gloss on, the anarchic, haphazard-but-knowingly-crafted image/sound of jumbled lyricism (which still has more actual depth, probably, than what most other lyrical lamebrains can muster). Never too obvious yet unafraid of cliche or even trying to pack too many words into a line, therefore sounding gloriously amateurish. 'Given half the chance you'd walk around like a twat just like we do' - the perfect riposte to anyone who dares criticise them for being successful, the admission that, well, they might be twats whilst they're at it. Still the most basic rhythms, best suited to let Williamson's lyrics shine and amid the abstract mindstream ourpourings poetry like: 'Let's go back to corridors of mine and also yours / Where the dust lays on the shelf in this the quiet hell / Of cigarettes and trains and plastic and bad brains / And heartbreak lays upon the self of this the new born hell, well' (Time Sands). English Tapas isn't the nation's favourite dish by a long stretch but every year since I saw them I've noticed friends discovering Sleaford Mods and that's a good thing.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Vispo/Art/Children Of Alice/The Seeds



Where have I been? Nowhere much.
What have I been doing?
This....


...and that...


...you can see some artworks of mine over here

Meanwhile, in the world of music, how about that supergroup of James Cargill, Roj Stevens (Broadcast) and Julian House? Supergroup? What am I talking about? There's not a double-neck guitar or permed hairdo in sight, as far as I know. Still it's a 'super' group, isn't it? Maybe not. Anyway, the pooled talents of Children Of Alice in theory should make a great album...and to my surprise, have. I say 'great', although the common tropes (admittedly mostly created by House) of the haunty thing are well-worn by now. That said, Children Of Alice is still a charming trip down the rabbit hole of magical absurdities that's skillfully stitched together and skips around the toy shop of sounds designed to evoke funfair horror and frolics.

In the Oxfam shop this morning, browsing through the 50p CDs, I thought 'There must be something here' - there had to be something...I wanted some new music...come on (flick-flick)...so much music I cannot bring myself to pay even 50p for...it seemed ridiculous, but there it was, proof that of all the hours of recorded sound packaged up and presented (having been rejected) before me it was all useless...nothing but a parade of has-beens, never-beens and never-should-have-beens...not even albums I once owned but lost enthusiasm for....and there are plenty of those. Anyway, here are The Seeds...

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Satanica: Demonic Electronic Music




If Dennis Wheatley made electronic music...or a video about how electronic music can be either the tool of the Devil, or become possessed by Him...it might look like this superb film by People Like Us...

Album: REVBJELDE by REVBJELDE


Fusing Folk, Jazz and Rock without sounding like a Canterbury Folk scene revivalist band is no mean feat but Revbjelde manage admirably on their new album for Buried Treasure....otherwise I wouldn't be writing about it...'cause I ain't too keen on that kind of music; none graces my collection at least. I'm assuming some members of what is really a collective-with-guests band do have extensive Folk-Rock collections, along with some Miles Davis and Muddy Waters? Hear the influences on Buccaboo, for instance, featuring a slowed down version of what sounds like the Baby Please Don't Go riff, topped by trumpet (OK, perhaps more Chet Baker than Miles Davis) and buoyed by up by a nice fat acoustic bass.

So rather than play straight genre games, Revbjelde mix things up, which is their forte, you might say, as on the opener, The Weeping Tree...all so New Folk for a while until the inclusion of a harmonica which lends a totally new feel to what already feels like a 'soul' version of Folk, if you get me. Dolly Dolly adds his poetic magic to Reading Abbey and For Albion, the latter being the longest track and one that sums up the band, sliding as it does from the plaintive to mutant Disco and Folk.

I'd like to hear the band test the experimental twilight zone more because they're clearly capable, as parts of this album prove. As things stand, though, you'd be hard pushed to find a better genre-bending album than this.


Monday, 27 February 2017

Scald Rougish - Idioal Oifrmech


What can I say about Idioal Oifrmech? That question has been plaguing me for the last few weeks. Now I play it again...to try and 'understand'. Understand what? Shouldn't music be easier? It should not be hard work...

...but this album is not hard work...

...unless you choose to write about it, which I did, or rather knew I would as soon as it arrived...

...by now your finger is poised to click the mouse, to get away from my...confused musings...perhaps because you expected a review, a normal review (which suggests you are not a regular reader of Include Me Out). Still...

...something...disturbing...is coming out of my speakers...not just coming out but writhing inside them and erupting...escaping a kind of hell on my hard drive...the track is Id¬“≤iøß–oal, the first on Side B...is that a cello being scraped in amongst the digital storm? Perhaps...

...I listen hard...

...listening hard is a requirement if Idioal Oifrmech is to mean anything...no, not 'mean'...if you are to gain anything....yes, 'gain'...there's a lot to gain...the attention to detail by Chris Douglas is astounding, as usual, although to say 'as usual' of anything he does is a great disservice to his art...

...I fear that no amount of well-chosen words can do this album justice...not from me, at least. To make matters worse, there are no sound clips available, rendering the usual reviewer's get-out clause of 'just listen for yourself' impossible. I suggest you find other examples of his sound art and decide for yourself whether you wish to invest in Idioal Oifrmech. Should you know his work, you will probably do so anyway. It's on the Ge-Stell label. I can say no more. This music speaks louder than words...


Friday, 24 February 2017

Group Zero - Structures And Light / Kim Myhr and Lasse Marhaug - On The Silver Globe


Cold Wave/New Wave/whatever kind of electronic music you want to call Cathal Cully's Structures And Light album as Group Zero it's simply satisfying from start to finish, completely lacking in pretension and redolent of, yes, those much-loved 80s lo-fi tapes that get shared these days. Whilst the boundaries aren't tested, Cully cleverly plays inside the limits, making the most of a restricted set up and proving that simplicity is no bad thing. The largely stripped back rhythms are given weight on tracks such as Vernissage and the final 12min-plus Zero Symphony (digital only), which builds up a good head of steam(punk) (sorry). Available soon on Touch Sensitive.



Pure atmospherics from Kim Myhr and Lasse Marhaug and no worse for it, by which I mean the 'ambience' here is of cold distant planets imagined by Tarkovsky, perhaps - all shimmering textures, extremely rough around the edges as if solar winds have eroded much of the structure - hold on, what do I mean? 'Space' albums are ten a penny. This is worth more. especially good is the way the pair craft evolving movements and rather than settle for common 'space noise' break it down to mysterious rattling on Part 4 before the final drift into the void where bass pulse heartbeats are all that remain. Quality. On Sofa


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Zeitkratzer performs songs from "Kraftwerk" and "Kraftwerk 2" / Christian Bouchard - Broken Ground


Reinhold Friedl's Zeitkratzer start their 20th anniversary celebrations by interpreting tracks from two Kraftwerk albums...but you can tell that from the title - I need more coffee -

No surprise that this is another impressive addition to their canon of covers which have previously featured John Cage and Stockhausen. Friedl's arrangements perfectly tease out the possibilities inherent in the originals, although I have to say that the opener, Ruckzuck, initially gave me cause for concern. It naturally lacks the bite, or edge or Kraftwerk's original rhythm and reminds me of common orchestras covering Rock (you know how awful that usually is). But they're only working, structurally, with what's there and you know that breakdown is coming; so how will they handle that? Brilliantly, with great great piano-smashing chords, before see-sawing off towards the end in fine style. The 'mood' pieces, such as Spule, work best, transforming the original 'ghosts' in the machinery into breathy tension accompanied by scraped strings, cymbal splashes and forceful bass notes. Atem is another treat; what sounds like an extended heavy breathing exercise coloured by minute sounds from other sources. I look forward to things to come this year from Zeitkratzer.




Commissioned by Derek Besant by accompany his 2012 exhibition, Broken Ground, Christian Bouchard's album of the same name features remixed versions of the original pieces and they're exquisite in the attention to detail he pays throughout. You might expect that from someone who studied at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and was awarded First Prize in electroacoustic composition. 

As I've said before and no doubt will again, to these ears, the technical aspect (the science of electroacoustic music) is but one (necessary) step towards realisation that transcends the study of sound to create sonic wonders. Hear Voids Patterns, for example, it's treated bell chimes (?), perfectly weighted against static crackle and electric whine. Throughout the works Bouchard shifts the emphasis from a relatively 'light' tonal palette towards occasionally stable rhythmic patterns along with bursts of guttural noise. The overall balance is towards weightiness but always there are counters, the kind which differentiate this music from, say, simplified Industrial electronics with which you could say this shares some common ground. I might call it 'Industrial music with a degree'...but that could sound stupid. Another superb release from empreintes DIGITALes

Monday, 13 February 2017

rkss - Cutoff Ep / COPPICE - Preamble to Newly Cemented Dedication to Freedom





Checking to see if the new Nochexx album on Alien Jams has been released I find rkss' Cutoff Ep and to my surprise I also find I like it - which surprises me simply because I'm not easily pleased. These four tracks, however, embrace what's good about techno and without completely de-constructing it shift the additional components into interesting shapes.







Coppice's Preamble to Newly Cemented Dedication to Freedom is another very good release. I apologise for not sounding too excited; I've been up since 5 to go to Work, had a busy morning, wrote about this exhibition, now flagging...none of which concerns you, I know. Meanwhile, here are Joseph Kramer & Noé Cuellar as Coppice. This stands out as a very smart configuration of sounds involving subtle hints at rhythm but more than that assembling extremely interesting noises in the grand acousmatic/electroacoustic tradtion (without sight of an acoustic instrument) yet totally revelling in the spatial possibilities of, as they put it: 'physical modeling synthesis, modular synthesizers, and custom built devices' - amen to that. I'm deeply impressed! Have a listen...


Friday, 10 February 2017

The Irony / Gone in 60 Sec Vol. 4


One great thing about these days is...Chelsea FC being top of the league, very top...another is the fact that you can choose to exist, or not, by which I mean that being on the social network of global info spillage is deemed a necessity yet should you wish you can be off it and therefore not actually exist you can...now this third thing I'm not sure about, initially believing it to be good but reconsidering at this very moment....the thing is...irony...

...as prompted by the I Heart Noise label, it's name and the t-shirt shown on its Bandcamp site which distances itself from the normal red graphic heart by featuring a diagram of a real one followed by 'Audible Disease' to make the point that if possible they would infect your essential organ via a sonic virus - the nasty people. Yet the very use of 'I Hear't is, of course, an ironic one. Being ironic is almost inescapable in this post-truth universe. After all, wear your heart on your sleeve and you're at risk of looking foolish. I can look foolish in other ways, thanks. Still, there's currently a push'n'pull fight between irony and sincerity; one side urging you to bear your soul (it will endear you to everyone!), the other scoffing...at everything - shrugging too because to shrug, scoff, sigh (in resignation) is to appear wiser than those who take everything (and themselves) so seriously. It's not worth it!

I wanted to tell a friend who said he had 'Trump worries' to do the exact opposite and not give a fuck (he's English, living in Scotland, by the way) but after some consideration didn't want to appear patronising. If old notions of Left and Right are disappearing, side-taking certainly isn't. You only have to whisper a brief political opinion these days to be branded as something. So it goes...

But what about Gone In 60 Sec Vol 4 on the I Heart Noise label? Music is one thing that can help, if not save us from the worries of the world - mind you, if you want a sonic representation of today's political chaos you should look no further than Wirephobia's 3,258,629. Thankfully, despite it being my kind of Noise, ie very brief, it's not representative of what's going on here. The noise isn't Noise as you might know it. The collective effect is more akin to plunderphonics, with more or less everything chopped into one-minute portions including skroky geetar, vocal samples, ambient drift, shortwave cut-n'paste, glitchiness and unclassifiables. A very good comp.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

pHarmerz - 20 Acid Clonk Greats


Sheena is no longer a punk rocker, she's an acid casualty suffering severe Ramones flashbacks ('one-two-three-four!') - I know the feeling, not that I've ever taken acid, but I did see The Ramones in their prime - so, surprise, surprise, with titles like this, the 'spirit of Punk' (though I'm loath to use that term, too late) pervades not just this album by Farmer Glitch and Ekoplekz, but the whole DIY ethos of the Eastville Project.

Nothing new there, you say; true, but that 'spirit' is harder to capture than merely doing it (independent music) yourself. Where much Techno (and current mainstream variations) takes pride in smooth, clean production values, pHamerz, along with the whole West Country New Thing, rejoices in raw feeling, improv attitude and stressed fidelity. None of that detracts from this duo's desire to wrench rotten, fonky grooves from the machinery. As you probably know, Ekoplekz has been doing that for years, rarely straying off the rhythm track, albeit a wobbly one of his own making.

The title and cover suggest a parody of/homage to Acid Trax compilations but the music is better than that; witness My Human Gets Me Acid as one example of how it's possible to stick a genre's head in the shredder, leaving a body with thrashing arms and legs. Even more so on Skronky Acid Party (parts 1&2) and, yes, another pun title, of course, this time with reference to a guiding light in Nick Edwards' music, Lee Perry.

Across the 8 tracks 'acid' FX do battle with skronky, wonky rhythms as the beat goes on being mashed up, dented and distressed. The result is a flashback to the most mental rave you ever attended, in your head.

Monday, 6 February 2017

The Music of Marcel Duchamp / Film: The Dark Mirror (1946)


A Twitter notification from Boomkat this afternoon informed me of a new vinyl version of the music of Marcel Duchamp, for which I'm grateful, not knowing that any such recordings existed, or that he even wrote music, if it can be called written since, like John Cage's notations, I think they're open to interpretation. If you don't fancy the vinyl, an earlier CD version can be heard at Ubuweb.


***


Watching lots of films these long Winter evenings. Recently, Robert Siodmak's The Dark Mirror (1946), featuring Olivia de Havilland as twins, one of whom is a nasty piece of work. Thomas Mitchell as Lt. Stevenson gets a great line as he enters the psychiatrist's apartment to find him playing Classical music: 'I don't mind ordinary music,' he quips. 'It's the wonderful stuff that bores me.' 'That's snobbish, you know,' replies the doctor. I doubt the cop would have had much time for Marcel Duchamp's music, or art, for that matter. I recommend the film.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Cut-Up: Eurotrash Dreams



Immortality? RTomens, 2010


Working on cut-ups again not having done so for a few years. I've submitted three for a forthcoming magazine to coincide with an art exhibition in March. More on that soon. I don't claim to be able to match the master, William Burroughs, but even so interesting word juxtapositions arise from these experiments and, as He said, it's something to do here and now. This one, Eurotrash Dreams, was left over...



I have work in this book. Highly recommended for lovers of cut-ups and William Burroughs.


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Splitter Orchester / Felix Kubin - Shine on you crazy diagram


Yes, Pink Floyd pun-tastic title but don't be fooled into thinking it's a comedic, lighthearted affair. Berlin-based Splitter Orchestra deliver again; it's good to see them getting into the recording studio more often. Right from Diagram 1 a tone is set, for a while, only to later be reworked by Felix Kubin - but what is the tone? The Orchestra mangle/craft/fuse all manner of things/noises into a whole, if not wholesome melange of low end theory bowed cello, high-pitched electronics, furniture-moving...continued on Diagram 2 (but a Diagram of what? The neural network of John Cage superimposed over one belonging to the AMM/Sun Ra - I give up). As unsetlling as the soundwaves are, such is the level of integral composition it feels like total sound, albeit improvisational in spirit and multi-faceted in substance. On The B-Side, Kubin first strips the sounds back to an altered, bleepy state before crunching, reducing, totally transforming the elements leading to a sonic hailstorm. The bonus Splitter Orchestra on the digital version consist of brilliantly downbeat, dark orchestral manoeuvres. Excellent release

Gagarin Records

Monday, 30 January 2017

The Necks - Unfold





The Necks unfold g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y...almost Zen-like, this trip with the monastic trio, yes, very Alice Coltrane at times, especially on Overhear...reminiscent of her lengthy electric keyboard excursions....The Necks living, if not literally, then...spiritually and metaphorically in the mountains...high above and beyond the rat race of commercialism, urgency in rhythm (the urban rush), instant gratification via melody (consumerism?)...not drifting, but travelling in a relaxed fashion...Unfold is mesmerising, akin to 'spiritual Jazz', minus either righteous fire or religious overtones and instead of, say, Pharoah Sanders' rampant afropercussion, loose drumming and constant jangle of bells. Unfold is contemplative...and would be little more than idle noodling, jamming, if not for the intuitive interplay between the three players, enhanced at time by deep bass rumbling.

Ideologic Organ

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