Monday, 20 November 2017

Colin Webster vs Tape Loops / John Sladek

Improvising to tape loops may sound implausible, or rather, contrary to the spirit of Improv, but who cares about that, eh? Not you. So here's saxophonist Colin Webster doing just that and the combination of his chops and repetitive sounds works very well. You can almost hear Webster thinking 'What shall I do with this?' in the unaccompanied sections, which adds to the intrigue. Being capable of creating many varied sounds from his horn, Webster has no trouble finding the 'right' tone for each loop (well, perhaps he did, but the released versions all succeed).

On impulse I called in Daunt Books today to see what sci-fi they had. I asked the girl if they had a section for it, she said they didn't because they 'specialised in travel'. "What about space travel?" I asked..."I know," she replied, almost smiling...

Bought this John Sladek collection the other day, having decided to read more science-fiction. The genre has promised more than it's delivered as far as my needs in recent years are concerned. Those needs have changed since I started reading sci-fi a long time ago, of course. 

After the early-teen experience of space adventures I progressed to the biggies such as Asimov and co.. It wasn't until the late-70s and discovering William Burroughs that my view of the genre changed completely; in short, he ruined it regarding everyone else, except JG Ballard, who I still rate highly and read regularly. That's no coincidence considering Ballard's opinion of Burroughs despite their very different writing styles.

Burroughs even gets a mention on page 79 of this Sladek collection from a stoned character trying to get to Morocco. Published in '68, the first novel, The Reproductive System, reflects the era in a good way rather than a 'dated' fashion, covering paranoia, anti-authoritarian, secret agent, science-gone-mad cynicism in the spirit of adventure that reminds me of both Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius and Wilson and Shea's Illuminatus! Trilogy. So far so good and since I will finish it that's a recommendation from someone who's a serial non-finisher (life's too short, isn't it?)


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