"My purpose was simple: to catch the feel, the pulse of rock, as I had lived through it. What I was after was guts, and flash, and energy, and speed" - NIK COHN - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "When the music was new and had no rules" -LUNA C
Saturday, April 30, 2022
dedicated 2 John Major
Thursday, April 28, 2022
Manchester pirates ahoy!
The writer and music historian Rob Chapman has been putting up some tasty pirate radio sets from Manchester in the early '90s. Like this one - the Revolution Crew on the station Love Energy from April 1994.
Rob is also an expert on the original pirate radio of the 1960s. Indeed he wrote a whole book on the subject, Selling the Sixties. So alongside the vintage jungalistic techno, he is also depositing some very rare slices of broadcast buccaneering from the '60s. Like all five and a half hours of John Peel's last piratical transmission, the farewell finale of his Perfumed Garden show on Radio London, August 14th 1967.
Check the full and growing Mixcloud motherlode here.
Sunday, April 24, 2022
going out on a Haigh
Robert Haigh has just put out a new album on Unseen Worlds - Human Remains. Apparently it's to be his last record.
And it's a beauty - one of the very best of his piano releases.
I'm hoping he'll have a change of heart at some point. But if not, he's going out on a high.
Here's my profile of Rob for The Wire from a few years ago.
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
rich E manic
(via Ian Wade)
Cheerful sod eh?
A tragically external perspective, someone too attached to his own negative affect - fatally attached
Someone pointed to this teasingly titled remix
Monday, April 11, 2022
shample shpotting shaddo
doth take a snippet from this
Mixrace + Pro-Ton-Isospace via Cardrossmaniac2's post on the trackige of the Hyper-On/JMJ&Richie/EZ-Rollers diaspora - but wisely steering clear of the Flytronix morass
although that said I did find a few Fly specks of niceness on my own not-so-long-ago trawl through said diaspora
Hyper-On the rmx tip w/ Pro-Ton
didn't realise that Parallel World was part of said diaspora though
"Tear Into It" is a tuff tune
dolphin jungle before that became a byword for boring
oddly another Moving Shadow associated artist, DJ Trax also went by the name Parallel Worlds
Saturday, April 9, 2022
beyond the bleep
raggatechno-ish tune off the terrific maxi-EP or is it mini-LP Energy on Vinyl
Rhythmatic is a unit with a lot of tunes
Like this - the Kevin Saunderson sound with monsta sublo bass added
Supposedly there was a "stillborn" attempt to do a full album - resulting in this sampler of what was never to come
But then there's Energy on Vinyl, which is '92 and features "Nu Groove" and does almost constitute an album with its 8 tracks - a short-ish album. And there is an attempt to go "beyond the bleep" with a bit of hardcore rave vibe there.
After that a long long silence from Mark Gamble & Leroy Crawford until 2012
And then in 2016 the Splatter EP
Rhythmatic contributed to Originators project too - bleep pioneers reactivated and reunited for a record pointedly titled The Adventures of A Warped Collective.
A lot of bleep artists struggled with where to go next once it was clear the bleep moment had passed
I am conducting an ongoing investigation into "late bleep" - twilight gems of a genre that's passed its historical window
but beyond the golden-hour phase, few of them managed to carve out a new direction
NoW went trip hop with dubby touches (nice enough on Smoker's Delight)
RHK went IDM / ambient, more or less - as Sandoz and as himself (that said, some of the most enjoyable late-bleep or edge-of-bleep-during-bleep's-prime stuff I heard in my investigation-so-far is all the Cabaret Voltaire albums of that time, which are essentially Sweet Exorcist with a bit of Mal on vocals here and there)
Who else? Well, Rob Gordon had a few leaning-towards-propah-techno bits (I have that RG Projects comp somewhere)
Nexus 21 became Altern-8
Ital Rockers became Iration Steppas, right? the dead end of digi-dub
Unique 3? Ability II? Ubik?
LFO, of course, did Advance, which... wasn't actually much of an advance on Frequencies, and not nearly as good, but a few nice moments... then much later Sheath was a return to what they did best, and very good.
Dance music is cruel, isn't it.... it's quite rare for people to prosper beyond their allotted Moment
The jungle bods actually did better than the bleepers or the Belgians.... had a longer run of it
Thursday, April 7, 2022
"LISTEN & LEARN"
Operating just that little ahead of everybody else....
Ever so slightly forbidding and coldblooded as a result
At times, anyway - for sure they had their manic nutty moments and sent-E-mental anthems, later on lush 'n 'sexy souljazzual
Recently been listening to this beaut a lot...
But there's also an overly mellow Talkin Loud-vibed version of the tune by 4 Hero, a warning sign - perhaps where the "LISTEN & LEARN" attitude can ultimately lead ("proper music")
[Some earlier thoughts on Reinforced's eminence]
Surely the greatest label of the first half of the Nineties.
Not just in jungle, but on all fronts.
The militant commitment to a vision-quest.... the sheer sustained strike rate combined with the relentless forward drive....
But what about Reinforced during the second half of the '90s?
I carried on loyally buying a lot of their stuff - not loyally, really, just genuinely excited by things heard in the store (by that point usually Breakbeat Science the NYC hub for the city's junglists)
However very little of it has stuck with me - in the sense that I literally can't remember it.
Part of it is that tracks by Arcon 2 or Sonar Circle or whoever, the tracks get so convoluted and dense with editing and processing, they actually defy memory.
Also they weren't things you'd hear played out, like, ever - so no memories got attached to them.
So the last thing from that camp that really stuck with me is actually not technically on Reinforced - it's the Jacob's Optical Stairway album, which came out on Crammed or something like that.
Reinforced proper, would probably be the Cold Mission stuff.
Wednesday, April 6, 2022
"Pom Mi Ru"
Always loved this track by Koh Tao - aka Jamie Bissmire of Bandulu, plus (if memory serves) his dad who's rippling this gorgeous cigarette-smoke-through-a-shaft-of-light electric guitar, that wafts somewhere between Manuel Gottsching's delay-play and John Martyn jamming with his echo-plex.
Off the Infonet label's Beyond the Machines compilation - Infonet being a sub-label of Creation, run by Chris Abbot.
Pukesome name notwithstanding, did also like Bandulu quite a bit.
The Wire, summer 1993
by Simon Reynolds
Last time round, 'fusion' seemed to be a good reference point for Bandulu. At its best, their debut LP 'Guidance' was jazz-trance, as if Joe Zawinul had ended up band-leader of Tangerine Dream instead of Weather Report. Tracks like "Tribal Reign" offered supple rhythms and musky, aromatic synth-swirls that opened up your senses like a night in a rainforest. This time, though, dub reggae seems to be the watchword. Thankfully, Bandulu avoid the crass, sterile replication perpetrated by most ambient dub bands, and approach a genuine dub-house merger.
On "Agent Jah", the groove-scape wavers and warps like a horizon through a heat-haze. "Shutdown" is even more minimal: it's little more than a beat in a reverb-chamber, the drums kicking up a slipstream of whispery particles and after-images. It's strangely, pleasurably reminiscent of early house classics like Royal House's 'Party People' or Nitro Deluxe's 'This Brutal House'.
What's cool about Bandulu is that their production isn't crisp and dry, like most techno, but the aural equivalent of vaseline-on-the-lens. In "High Rise Heaven", a synth-figure billows, buckles and bulges; it's as woozy and unfocussed as My Bloody Valentine's "All I Need". "Phase In Remix" is even more Op Arty, making you squint your ears and hallucinate patterns where none exist. Devoid of a beat, the track atomises melody and rhythm into a myriad motes of sound, a sussurrating and scintillating spangle-scape. It's like being swathed and swaddled in the Milky Way.
"Antimatters" has its fair share of non-events, like the train-kept-a'rollin' trance of 'Presence'. The best of the rest are those tracks which verge closest on outright dub. "Original Scientist" has echoey piano-chords, squelchifarious water-pumping percussion and a rootical synth-figure, but tempo-wise is still house music. "Run Run", though, could almost be a time capsule from the mid-Seventies--sonically, it has the slow'n'low sway and mirage-like, gilded glory-haze of King Tubby or Joe Gibbs, while the sampled chorus warns that Babylon's days are numbered, 'cos "revolution will come". Evidently the Bandulu boys feel that being dedicated herbalists makes them honorary Ras Tafari.
Like "Guidance", "Antimatters" is intermittently brilliant. As a CD, it's just begging to be re-programmed into a sublime six track sequence of edited highlights.
Sunday, April 3, 2022
RIP Philip Jeck / RIP Mira Calix
The left-field electronic+ music world received an upsetting double-jolt last week with the announcement in quick succession of two too-early deaths: Philip Jeck and Mira Calix (a.k.a. Chantal Passamonte).
I didn't know either of them well, but came away with a lasting warm impression of Chantal after interviewing her and the rest of the Telepathic Fish crew in the early '90s for a piece on ambient and the chill out scene. Several years ago, I spent a good bit of time hanging out enjoyably with Jeck and his friend Janek Schaefer in Barcelona (we'd all been invited to participate in a hauntology-themed event series).
Here's a piece by Philip Sherburne on the essential works of Jeck. And here's a piece by K-punk from back in the hauntological day that includes Jeck's work (Mark goes into more depth in Ghosts of My Life - as does David Stubbs in his book Mars by 1980). And here finally is a clip of a Jeck incursion into late-nights BBC arts teeveee circa 1992.
Here is a tribute to Mira Calix as person and musician from Jude Rogers, with a lot of interesting stuff about Chantal's forays into sound art / mixed media / installations. And here is a personal reminiscence from DJ Food - aka Kevin Foakes, also of the Telepathic Fish crew - from which I have borrowed the painfully adorable photograph below.
Oh and look here - a flyer for a Telepathic Fish ambient tea party, which I've kept all these long years.
Ghosts of our lives...