Archives by month/year

Björk – Vespertine

Label: One Little Indian Format: CD

Vespertine - sleeve If, at any point in the last six or seven years, you had only taken the time to ask, then I would have told you, dear reader, that Björk Gudmundsdottir was THE Great Pop star of the 1990’s, what Bowie was to the 70’s, and, I would contend, Prince to the 1980’s. I use the term great not in the term of these people selling the most records, although they all have done great business there too, in their time. What I am referring to is a certain kind of character who is the best example of their age, a unique voice completely of their times and yet somehow always outside of and beyond them, a genius at the peak of their powers, doing their best work (and here we come to the

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The Residents: Icky Flix – Live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London 9th June 2001 – Icky Flix DVD

Label: Ralph (America)/EuroRalph (Europe) Format: DVD, CD (soundtrack only)

The Residents singThe Eyeball ResidentMolly Harvey

There have been plenty of strange and powerful musicians and groups out there for many a long year. Captain Beefheart, Coil, Wesley Willis, Ken Nordine an so forth, each extending the realms of taste and disrupting the boundaries of what exactly constitues music and art . Then there are The Residents.

The Residents play Third Reich'n'Roll

Through thirty years of wilful obscurity and cutting-edge innovation, they have maintained a largely successful anonymity, one of the features about the group which is at once integral to their mystique and irrelevant. The eminently ridiculous sight of a Resident in a tuxedo with an eyeball for a head is at once silly and sinister, a

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Current Ninety Three/Antony And The Johnsons (live)

The Bloomsbury Theatre, London 6-7th April 2001

Johanna ConstantineJohanna ConstantineJohanna Constantine

Antony And The JohnsonsPerhaps if Billie Holiday had received nuptial visits from the spirit of La Cage Aux Folles and produced an offspring, that might explain how the universe has been blessed with Antony Hegarty. Perfoming live for two nights in London in support of Current 93 and the David Tibet Show, Antony And The Johnsons provided us with a glimpse into the nature of that blessing. And like a book is always better than the movie, Antony live was far better than even the CDs would let on. He poured himself onto a stage before a bedazzled audience, swathed in pink chiffon, as elegant as an angel, and sang like a violin. With the most beautiful voice of all time, ethereal

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An Interview with Mr Bobby Conn

November 2000

Mr. Bobby ConnBobby Conn does his very best to be the model of a post-Modern underground superstar. His two albums to date, Bobby Conn and Rise Up!, have placed him somewhere in a grey area between parody and genuine adulation of crooners, cabaret singers and all-round stars of the spangly stage. This interview took place after his New Orleans gig in November 2000, and as Bobby remarked “I could talk for hours about my favourite subject – myself!”. Fortunately, what the creator of the Continuous Cash Flow System has to say in person is usually as entertaining as his remarkable songs.

FREQ: What was the main motivation for you to start out portraying this particular image you have, as Judeo-Christian Edutainer, as a sort of Antichrist cabaret singer?

Bobby Conn: Egomaniacal delusions that I’ve had since I was a

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Primal Scream – Exterminator

Label: Creation Format: CD,LP

“The time to rise has been engaged” – REM

Exterminator - sleeve It has occurred to me on more than just this one occasion that giving our seers and soothsayers money to throw about is often not the best thing for them. Witness the fate of Roxy Music and Johnny Rotten, Jefferson Airplane, Sly Stone, The Rolling Stones, Kurt Cobain and (most recently) Van Morrison and Prince. One of several things almost invariably happens. Either they dry up, they compromise their vision, trying to recreate past glories, but with a more commercial spin on it; more catchy, more popular. Or they get a taste for all the money thrown at them, and want more. Or else they spend it all on drugs. Some of them just can’t handle it at all, the machinations now surrounding them, the

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People Like Freq talk to People Like Us

June 2000

People Like Us is Vicki Bennett, a resident of Brighton on the South coast of England and creator of extraordinarily witty cut-up film and music projects which take the cultural critique of Plunderphonics into new dimensions of layered reference and dissociated signifiers. As with like minded spirits such as Manchester’s Stock, Hausen & Walkman, Californian pioneers Negativland and cod-orchestral Sythetizers The Tape-Beatles, People Like Us recordings use found sounds, old vinyl of dubious value in its original kitsch state, TV snippets and general audio detritus to nag at the edges of what constitutes sampling, copyright avoidance and sometimes music itself. Interviewed by Freq at the time of her stunning Brighton performance in February 2000, sections of the interview were later completed by email.

FREQ: What’s upcoming on the People Like Us front next?


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Labradford’s Third Annual Festival Of Drifting

David Pajo; Robin Guthrie; Pole; Labradford Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank Centre, London 24th June 2000

This year’s Festival of Drifting sees each participant playing all in one night as a national tour, as opposed to the previous two years when performances were spread out over the course of 4-6 days at various venues. Labradford‘s idea is to bring together an artist-led festival featuring performers from the softer side of Rock/Ambient/Electronica, and piece them all together between a stich of writers and a thread of visual artistry, developing a tapestry of music, art and literature that all revolve and influence each other in this world of dark and calm atmospheric expressionism. Competing with Glastonbury this weekend, Drifting has attracted an impressive quantity of observers, even if many of them come out a little disappointed.

The first problem presented to festival goers was a schedule issue. The Queen Elizabeth Hall seems

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London Musicians’ Collective Ninth Annual Festival of Experimental Music

South Bank Centre, London 27-29th May 2000

Now semi-permanently established at the South Bank for the past few years, the LMC Experimental Music Festival has become one of the fixtures of the London Improv and New Music scene, struggling through into something approaching mainstream cultural acceptance – though that’s a relative position of course. This isn’t to say that its become particularly watered down, blanded out or easily commercial; far from it, and while not everything will be pleasing to all ears, it neither should be nor could be, and much on offer is is such high quality that a few dull spots can easily be avoided by those disinclined to favour one piece of Avant-noodling will soon find another of superb quality for their edification and enjoyment.

Ninth time around, and Saturday’s Purcell Room show has two extreme of that which can be described as experimental – Die Trip

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An interview with Jean-Hervé Péron

After The Deluge

29th May 2000

Jean-Hervé Péron is best known as the former de facto front man for Faust, a group he sometimes seemed to embody the group’s chaotic lunacy for in his onstage antics with chainsaws and naked painting sessions. Following his traumatic personal split with the band after their early Nineties re-emergence, Péron spends his time raising horses and children on his small farm near Hamburg.

For years there were rumours that he would return with a rival group, an Anti-Faust to seal the rancour; instead, his first London show as a live performer took place in May 2000 at The South Bank Centre as a surprise performer in the Ninth Annual Festival of Experimental Music put on by the London Musicians Collective. Before the gig, Jean-Hervé took time to talk to Freq about his musical career, before, during and after the legendary Faust years.


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An interview with Charles Hayward

May 2000

As impassioned and animated offstage as behind his massive drumkit, Charles Hayward radiates a genuine intensity. He first came to wide attention as drummer with the highly influential This Heat as the embers of Post-Punk simmered off into wilder experimental tangents. He has released a dozen solo and colaborative albums, and puts on rare solo live shows which pull the raw muscular percussion at the heart of Rock into new shapes with devastatingly powerful results. The Freq team quizzed him on what makes drives his particular brand of rhythmic intensity as the London Musicians Collective’s Ninth Annual Festival of Experimental Music drew to a close on the South Bank in May 2000. Interviewers: Lilly Novak, Antron S. Meister, Iotar and Deuteronemu 90210.

FREQ: We know about This Heat and all of that, but what you did yesterday in the LMC Festival, is that available on record?

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An interview with Old Time Relijun

April 2000

I arrived at this gig a little late and in much overdone panic. First of all we were in South London, and more importantly, I had forgotten to pick up a blank tape to record this interview on. As soon as I located Arrington de Dionyso, which took about twenty seconds in the dimly lit and tiny venue, he sweetly agreed to loan me a cassette and we got under way. Because The Vauxhall Tavern was no more than a small one room pub (with some truly , um, kitsch decor), we took our leave and went out to Old Time Relijun‘s van with the rest of the band – Aaron Hartman (string bass) and Phil Elvrum (drums) to find a little quiet to work in.

FREQ: OK, so the brief biography first-who are you?

Old Time Relijun: Arrington,

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Primal Scream/Death In Vegas/Invasian (live)

Brixton Academy, London 22nd April 2000

I had a T-shirt ready for Death In Vegas. It had the cross-sectioned brain from the cover of The Contino Sessions on the front, with a Levi’s logo stamped across it. Underneath was the quote from Bill Hicks about every word from the mouths of artists who advertise being like a turd falling into his drink. In the end, for better or worse, I couldn’t be arsed to take it and throw it to them onstage. I was there for Primal Scream and just wanted to enjoy.

Still, I just couldn’t summon any enthusiasm for Death In Vegas’ set. I loved The Contino Sessions – that was exactly why I was so offended that they saw fit to sell “Dirge” to fucking Levi’s. Do they have a legitimate excuse? Did one of their mothers need the cash for a brain operation? I suspect not.

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Cornucopea – Two South Bank Evenings With Julian Cope

Anal; Ash Ra Tempel; Brain Donor; Coil; Julian Cope; Groundhogs; Kid Strange; Queen Elizabeth The South Bank Centre, London 1st-2nd April 2000

Since this two-day festival in the South Bank Centre is essentially Julian Cope‘s entry in the venue’s largely excellent series of Mini-Meltdowns, it probably comes as no surprise that he is seemingly omnipresent, playing solo twice, and collaboratively in the guise of both Brain Donor and Queen Elizabeth. This could easily have been something of an ordeal for those not of the fanlike persuasion for this most eccentric and Rock of eccentric Rock stars, but thankfully there was much to be admired and enjoyed at Cornucopea – the brightly psychedelic esoteric symbolism on dispay in the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the first night (all too appropriately run on All Fool’s Day); the marvellously Tardis-sized starry-print, fake-fur Disco booth of the Miniscule Of Sound, a superb

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An interview with Edward Ka-Spel

Along the Dotted Line…

12th December 1999

The Legendary Pink Dots are a phenomenon, producing a seemingly endless stream of deeply intense records and genuinely spellbinding live shows for nearly twenty years, initially as a London-based group and for more than a decade now from their Nijmegen base in The Netherlands. While former days on mammoth independent label Play It Again Sam in Belgium produced widespread distribution for a series of classic albums, it also had all the negative aspects of association with the near-majors; the linking of sales to popularity and promotion to potential Indie chart success. For a while the band were in small-scale, own-label limbo, before the saving graces of Brainwashed‘s excellent LPD internet site and the support of first Staalplaat in Amsterdam, and then Soleilmoon in Portland, Oregon restored and replenished their status as one of the most strangely neglected of Britain and Europe’s true

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Daniel Miller’s Mini-Meltdown Festival

Irregular #5 The South Bank Centre, London 8th-10th April 1999

The last five to ten years have seen an exponential rise in the number of intriguing events at London’s premier Arts Council-funded cultural centre on the South Bank of the River Thames, thanks to an innovative booking policy and the success of the events themselves, expanding the venue beyond its associations with Radio 3 “serious” music concerts and other more traditionally high-culture performances into the staging of events such as the London Musician’s Collective’s Annual Festival of Experimental Music and the recent Atari Teenage Riot gig which resulting in the closure of the venue due to crowd over-enthusiasm. Following on from the Meltdown series of festivals held each year, with past guest directors including Laurie Anderson and John Peel (this year’s is Nick Cave), Daniel Miller, founder and head of Mute Records, was invited to draw up his wish-list for

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