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Visions and Phurpa – Monad EP

Cyclic Law

Visions and Phurpa - Monad EPYou can never rely on the bloody British weather. Given that until last week April had been unseasonably cold and damp – a fifteen-minute walk from Brockley Station felt more like battling against the January elements than revelling in the joyous unfolding of spring – I was hoping that a small silver lining to such a meteorological cloud might be the right atmospheric conditions to bury myself in Monad and soak up at a physical, as well as mental, level.

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The Residents – Fingerprince / Duck Stab / Buster & Glen

The Residents - Duck Stab / Buster & Glen

Cherry Red

Ah, where was I? Oh yeah, Residents re-issues. Normally, I make a point of not reviewing the same artist more than once for this august organ. Mostly this is driven less by any terribly noble or high-minded critical rationale than by a blind fear of thoughtlessly repeating myself and being found out for just endlessly recycling the same half-dozen tired ideas.

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Zoë Mc Pherson – String Figures

SVS Records

Zoë Mc Pherson - String Figures“Tell me the story”, a sibilant voice whispers on the album’s opening track, “i. Sabotage Story (unknot opening)”.

Well, OK; you asked for it.

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Iannis Xenakis – Persepolis

Karlrecords

Iannis Xenakis - PersepolisMohammad Reza – better known to the world as the (last) Shah of Iran – was not a hugely likeable man. In 1979, as a youngster struggling to make sense of the images of the unfolding revolution that were flooding in via the BBC Six O’clock News, I remember my father explaining it to me

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The Residents – Meet The Residents / Third Reich’n’Roll

The Residents - Meet The Residents

Cherry Red

Twenty minutes into the future. Allow me a short digression:

He’s the toast of the town (lightly buttered). He’s the non-fattening sugar substitute in your tea. He’s a bon vivant, a gaucho amigo, a goomba, a mensch, and the fifth musketeer. He’s the apple of your eye and aren’t you glad he’s here? Direct from a wax and shine at the car-wash around the corner, it’s the man of the hour, or for at least a good thirty minutes…

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Laibach (live at O2 Academy Islington)

London 23 November 2017

Laibach live November 2017Dunkel. Dunkel ist die Nacht“.i

It is most certainly dark tonight, the evenings now well and truly drawn. The winter solstice approaches. And, as is customary for such astronomical phenomena, we are gathering together tonight to celebrate by watching the rise of the strange, intense sun that is Laibach.

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Trupa Trupa – Jolly New Songs

Blue Tapes and X-Ray / Ici d’ailleurs

Trupa Trupa - Jolly New SongsFor most people of certain age, the name of Gdańsk, Poland’s principle seaport on the Baltic, will forever bring to mind scratchy newsreel footage of world-historical importance: vast grey shipyards, cold hairy-looking men smoking furiously and wearing donkey jackets and, perhaps most vividly of all, legendary moustache-wearer Lech Wałęsa signing the Gdańsk Agreement of 1980

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Howard Jones – Best 1983-2017

Cherry Red

Howard Jones - Best 1983-2017

High Wycombe, 1977.

Thirty miles north-west of central London, famous for its illustrious furniture-making history,1 Wycombe has always been a voraciously music-hungry town. A strong local music scene took root some years ago, but viewed nationally, the town is still renowned more for its notable venues than for the visibility of its indigenous talent.

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Kraftwerk (live at the Royal Albert Hall)

London 22 June 2017

Kraftwerk live June 2017Hindsight can be a famously cruel opponent.

On the freezing New Year’s Eve of 1961, The Beatles drove all the way down to London from their native Liverpool amidst swirling snowstorms and treacherous roads. The following day, whilst the nation sipped delicately at some Alka-Seltzer and nursed its collective sore head, The Fab Four fired up their Vox amplifiers

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Marc Ribot live at Café OTO

London 11 May 2017

Marc Ribot live May 2017There’s a scene towards the end of John Carpenter’s turbo-charged 1982 creature feature The Thing when the titular metamorph – just before being blown to shit by Kurt Russell’s vengeful sticks of dynamite – writhes and transmutes in all its slimy, gory glory.

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SunnO))) / Hildur Guðnadóttir (live at Convergence)

The Barbican, London 21 March 2017

SunnO))) live at Convergence 2017The tickets. We purchased them, they came. Who are they? Explorers in the further reaches of experience — demons to some, angels to others. We bought the tickets, they came. Now we must come with them and taste their pleasures.

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Richard Pinhas – Reverse

Bureau B

Richard Pinhas - ReverseAllons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé.” When the musical “Marseillaise” is sung, there can surely be no more fitting embodiment of Gallic savoir faire than Richard Pinhas. Philosopher, guitarist, innovator, electronic music pioneer – his visage is perfectly placed to flutter aloft on the bloody banners raised above the barricades.

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Senyawa (live at Café OTO)

London 17 October 2016

Senyawa live October 2016It’s going to be very difficult to describe Senyawa in words. What follows will probably contain muddled metaphors, chaotic similes, idiotic expostulations, expletives, wild imagery, desperate comparisons, upholstery by Zachery, knick-knackery by Thackery, Terpsichore by Dickery and dickery by Dock. Younger readers – or those of a nervous disposition – may want to look away now.

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All Them Witches (live at The Scala)

London 4 October 2016

All Them Witches live at The Scala October 2016The Man Whose Head Expanded. Not in a good Mark E Smith kind of way, though. Oh no. Sadly not. In a kids-back-at-school, viral-laboratory, I’d-like-to-just-lie-down-in-this-ditch kind of way. Taking the bus down to The Scala, I wonder how long it will be until my eyeballs just pop out due to the pressure from my sinuses. But, Freq reviewers are hopefully made of sterner stuff, and so in a bravura display of stiff upper head, I marshal myself off the 73 and into the venue.

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The Master Musicians of Jajouka (live at The Barbican)

Milton Court Theatre, London 29 September 2016

Master Musicians Of Jajouka live September 2016A crucial international fixture, and Team Freq is in utter disarray: star striker Rodham-Heaps out of action, midfield playmaker Nickells injured (his silky skills laid low after a night of drinking at Acid Mothers Temple), and others all unavailable for selection. And so, in a bold decision, the Freqmanager1 decides to bring yours truly off the subs bench and into the starting line-up. Taking my inspiration from Ole ‘Super-Sub’ Solskjaer, my aim is to come on and change the course of the game decisively.

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