Archives by month/year

Joe Banks – Rorschach Audio: Art & Illusion for Sound

Disinformation/Strange Attractor Press

I love the dead before they rise, no farewells, no goodbyes.” Alice Cooper’s “I Love The Dead” is surely the definitive romantic ode to the dearly departed, but he was by no means the first to spend his time romanticising those now six feet under.

Nikolai Federov was one of the most radical thinkers in Russia during the Nineteenth Century. For a man who lived in the Victorian era, Federov’s brand of kooky futurism encompassed such far-out and far-forward notions as space travel, colonisation of the oceans, the perfection of the human race and immortality. But as well as being impressively visionary, he was also madder than a soup sandwich. One of his core beliefs was that in order for the human race to truly become

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Sylvester Anfang II – (untitled)


In the pagan world there are important times of year called the solstices and also various moon and planetary cycles that affect mankind on his journey around the shining orb of the sun. Sometimes musicians from ancient tribes would tap into these energy patterns and create music to conjure up atmospheres, forms and shapes of the elder gods who once resided here. Sylvester Anfang II’s music over the years has locked itself on to these thought forms to create occult psychedelic freeform improvisations to the gods of the earth and sky.

This album was recorded over one long jam session during the late harvest moons of 6 November. The five pieces present different moods and feelings of that day’s occulation and is a

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Non Ferric Memories – aW hOOn hAw / aW bOOn pAr


“It sounds like someone flushing a magical toilet over and over” – this courtesy of my dear partner. She then mimed flushing a toilet for a bit, did a puzzled face, then decided it was the Victorian style of toilet with the flush you have to stand up for, rather than lean towards the cistern.

Which piques any of the adjectives I could throw at it. I was going to say something about it sounding like Can being done over by NWW, but ultimately, magical toilet wins out. It’s a 40 minute one-track, one take improvisation (from what I can gather) and it’s probably the best thing I’ve heard from them thus far (though

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Can – The Lost Tapes


Problem the first: a month or so really isn’t enough time to deal with this. What I really wanted was a properly stodgy, fagend cash-cow studio slurry. Selfish, but it’s much easier to go ‘while there’s highlights on discs 2 and 3, ultimately it’s for the Can fanatic’. The review writes itself. Of course, that’s not the case, and I’m left with an album that’s better than EVERYTHING EVER because, of course, it’s Can and Can are better than EVERYTHING EVER.

Problem the second: this isn’t really something I want to be reviewing on my own. This is the sort of thing that demands listening groups where people of a certain type (dodgy haircuts,social awkwardness, preference for ale but not quite racist enough to

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Liars – WIXIW


The turn of the century saw an explosion of underground musical activity over in the states( especially in New York, and Brooklyn in particular) The bands that were part of this supernova also seemed to defy expectations by shape shifting at a rapid rate (think Black Dice, Animal Collective, Gang Gang Dance), and it was almost impossible to predict what an outfit’s next album or EP would sound like. The only thing certain is that it would be daring and that it would have journalists throw terms such as ‘cutting edge’ around with reckless abandon. It was an exciting time for underground music with new, young bands delivering gold standard work.

These bands have matured now and are, one can say, old hands and part of the avant-establishment. Some

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Janek Schaefer and Charlemagne Palestine – Day Of The Demons

Desire Path

Totally loving the artwork for this one, starring into the complexity, that smokey hair appearing to be shifting with the drone, a mild perfumed aroma slipping your nostrils as the sound cascades like some oriental music box fringed by minimalist chimed sentinels. The sombre pace is totally captivating, lingering on the sustain, that Shruti box’s constant reverberation digging deep in your consciousness lit by pin-pricks of bell; then floating you further out on that seraphim of a voice. A timeless swirl cultivating the unknown, strangely devoid of gender. Charlemagne Palestine dazzling in his dexterity as the drone and human mystically fuse together, the multi-tracked chromatics producing weird schisms in the fabric. Thresholds from which

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SunnO)))/Nurse with Wound (live at Koko)

Koko, London 12 June 2012

Been wrapped up in the awesomeness of NWW/SunnO)))‘s collaboration [post=sunnnww text=”The Iron Soul of Nothing”] since New Year, so naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to see both groups together. I was secretly wishing for a stage collaboration of sorts, but it was pretty clear, as Colin Potter, Steve Stapleton, Andrew Liles and somebody else I didn’t recognise on bass (was that Mr Waldron sporting hair!!?) filled the stage, that this was going to be a game of two separate halves.

The proceedings started quite sharpish, with none of the usual waiting around that London gigs seem overly keen

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Eugene S Robinson and Philippe Petit – The Crying of Lot 69


The pairing of Eugene S Robinson‘s voice and Phillipe Petit‘s sound manipulations draws on the film noir rule of human nature red in tooth in claw as much as on Thomas Pynchon for this six-part tale of inhumanity and death (of which this is the first of a planned three instalments). Atmospheric and brooding, the conversational delivery of Robinson is laconic, with an underlying menace present throughout, while Petit’s processing splutters, flitters and drones in grim emotional counterpoint which complements the unfolding story perfectly. Add in Rhys Chatham‘s spluttering trumpet work and Helena Espvall‘s cello for extra shades of cinematic chiaroscuro, and the ominous pulp opera unfolds with an avant sense of dread and unease.

Listening to

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Guitar Wolf/Atomic Suplex/Los Pepes (live at The Garage)

The Garage, London 3 June 2012

Image copyright 2012 by Emerson TanImage copyright 2012 by Emerson Tan“I refuse to believe that Hendrix had the last possessed hand, that Joplin had the last drunken throat, that Morrison had the last enlightened mind.”

Patti Smith

As Patti said “Everybody says it’s finished … art’s finished, rock and roll is dead, God is dead. Fuck that!” As Neil Young said, “rock’n’roll will never die”. And as Guitar Wolf says, “BABY BABY BABY!!! ROCK AND ROLL!!!”

But I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s the Queen’s jubilee, a date more significant to most of us

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Jagwa Music – Bongo Hotheads

Crammed Discs

The sleevenotes talk about this band being derided for being from the poor part of town; the sleeve is shouting luridly at my hangover and I think I’m going to go blind. I can’t help but feel that this is Tanzania’s answer to Happy Hardcore. Moreover, all the songs are towards the pulmonary-antagonising side of tempos, and tend to get faster.

They’re also handsome swines. And they appear to have a dancer with one leg. And they look cool as fuck. And they have dancers. And they look like they’ve not long been able to grow beards. Basically, entirely awesome and correct behaviour.

The promo flappery talks about them being similar to Konono No 1, but that feels like

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