Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A Tale Of Two Jukeboxes - Boomkat & The Green Man Pub, Aylesbury

Album reviews using the Boomkat Jukebox facility...

Intrigue & Stuff - Leyland Kirby
Kirby specialises in elegiac titles such as 'Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was' and (as Caretaker) 'An Empty Bliss Beyond This World', making 17hr long ambient works based on the ballroom scene in 'The Shining' to express his total isolation from mainstream culture and in the process becoming a one-man Grateful Dead for the new electronic era. He probably has a beard too, a long one, which proves he was growing it way before they became fashionable. Track 2 is surprisingly perky for him, and for that I like it. But only in the context of his mostly sonmanbulistic oeuvre.

Replica - Oneohtrix Point Never
This was reviewed in The Guardian. That's how With It they are. Like Kirby, this character has never touched either my emotional or intellectual bone, accepting that no such bone exists. The title track features a mournful piano designed to evoke the Essence Of Melancholic Contemplation Whilst Waiting In The Queue At A Supermarket Checkout, I think. 'Up' features an incredibly annoying loop of someone saying 'Up'. I'm bored now.

Time's Arrow - Prurient
Ooh, a Martin Amis reference. Some geezer telling a story. Music. More music. Oh christ, now he's shouting and you can't make out what he's saying. Sort of 'hardcore' electro' noise. I'm not going any further.

Redsuperstructure - Robert Lippock
Starts promisingly...spooky ambient minimalism...'Nycyle' is a bit 'glitchy' is 'Sugarcubes' that it? You know, this may not be the proper way to get the measure of masterpieces which take more than a minute or so to unfold from relative simplicity to vastly complex structures of power and significance...but I think I've got the measure of this album and doubt that it contains such tracks. Next!

D.o.A. The Third And Final Report Of Throbbing Gristle
Abstract. Some geezer shouting like Prurient. Another one talking, and swearing. 'Dead On Arrival' is good, though. Now I'm speeding through...'Wall Of Sound' - what a racket! Phil Spector will be turning in his prison bed. 'We Hate You'! A bloke screaming how much he hates 'you', or 'us'. I don't think this mob has much of a future. They have a legendary past though. Yes, I'm aware of TG. I like and dislike their stuff in equal measure. I think there's a Holy Church of Psychic Porridge in Scunthorpe, a bit like the one in honour of John Coltrane in 'Frisco. They scream 'We hate you' from the pulpit whilst watching horror and porn on VHS. I must go sometime.

The Falcon And The Pod - Atelecine
Who's this then? A bloke just said 'Fuck me' - ooh! American Suicidal post-New Wave Electro-Punk junk, like, they're really wrecked, you know? Reading the blurb, I see that there's a 'mesmerising clarity' in here somewhere. It's bloody horrible, and not in a good way.

That was stupid idea, I know. It benefited neither you nor I. In fact, it made me quite depressed.

You know, I'm old enough to remember real jukeboxes. They were machines that held seven-inch singles. You put money in, selected what you wanted to hear, and as if by magic the arm picked it out, the needle dropped and the whole pub could find out what you were into. Isn't that amazing? I used to work with a guy who chose the music for his parents' pub, The Green Man in Aylesbury. You can see what was happening on the little flyer to the left. That was one hell of a jukebox. I'm tempted to compare the digital version with the real one, but that would be stupid. I go misty-eyed recalling the old communal experience of choosing 'London Calling' or 'Stepping Razor'. The downside was that it also held 'Stairway To Heaven'. As you can see, the 2 Tone thing was kicking in to live alongside classics like 'Tumbling Dice'. I'm sure Throbbing Gristle appeared too, but don't recall them specifically. Those days of energy generated by tribal allegiance (plus alcohol and pills) seem as ancient as the birth of Rock 'n' Roll. Well, taste and technology move on (you noticed?), and I couldn't have imagined that one day I'd be sat at a computer (a computer!) using a digital jukebox. It sounds very space-age even as I write, and so does much of the music featured on Boomkat. Unfortunately, some of it also sounds like a bad impression of Suicide. Music doesn't always change for the better. You may have noticed that too.

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