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Illustrations For Russian Children's Literature

'We repudiate all morality taken apart from human society and classes. We say that it is a deception, a fraud, a befogging of the minds of the workers and peasants in the interests of the landlords and capitalists.' - Lenin

Thank John Coltrane that the dark days of landlords and capitalists befogging the minds of workers and modern peasants are over, eh? In the 20s, things were different. Lenin and his people were convinced that capitalism was evil and the enemy of the proletariat. Children were prime target for propaganda, naturally, but their books were beautifully illustrated, as Inside The Rainbow proves. With the likes of Vladimir Mayakovsky, El Lissitzky and Vladimir Lebedev contributing, the message and it's art was made even more powerful. 

Since capitalism won the battle, the world now knows that the Russians were wrong. Children are encouraged to embrace/accept all forms of religious brainwashing organised religion, for instance, and become good capitalists by either exploiting employing workers, or simply working hard so that they may reap such material rewards as 42-inch flatscreen TVs and designer clothes. They may own their own homes when they grow up and becomes slaves to benefit from the banking system which, as we know, rips off governs the world completely. They will be made frequently miserable happy from not attaining the rewards capitalism brings and grow into frustrated and dissatisfied well-adjusted adults. Rejoice!



A. Yakobson, Let Us Take The New Rifles, 1927

Dmitri Bulanov, How They Build, 1922

El Lissitzky, Adding, Subtracting,
Multiplying and Dividing, 1928

unknown, How The Capitalists Are Armed, 1931

Vladimir Lebedev, Suspension Points, 1929

Vladimir Lebedev, Suspension Points, 1929

The Museum of Digital Fine Arts Exhibition



Three pieces of mine in this online exhibition. See them here

Dalglish - Dorcha Aigeann / Brandon Nickell - Skyline (Ge-Stell)





Two superior releases from new label Ge-Stell. Superior to what? you ask. Pretty much everything else that's contemporary, with very few exceptions...I imagine. Forgive me becuase I haven't heard everything. I don't want to hear everything. Can you imagine what kind of hell that would be? How John Peel did it I don't know. The advantage, the only one I can think of, in having to endure all that new music would be the resulting ability to gauge, in relative terms, what stands out, I suppose. To be able to say 'This is superior' with authority...forgetting, for a moment, that little spanner in the works called 'subjectivity'.

Thank Charlie Parker I don't have to plough through all the new electronic music in order to ascertain what's best. I literally don't, but also don't need to when listening to Dalglish's Dorcha Aigeann and Brandon Nickell's Skyline. No-one else, to my knowledge (that again) sounds like Chris Douglas (Dalglish), in a league of his own...in a lonely place, perhaps, but that is our gain. The fibrous nature of these mechanised textures alienates and entangles...each piece a structure of microscopic elements...particles colliding, detonating yet cemented within the confines of their allotted time by a master's hand. The gathering intensity of Onair is hair-raising...the spatial organisation of Uisge a marvel to behold...all six tracks constitute a creaking, groaning, sparkling sonic kaleidoscope. Outstanding.

Nickell's Skyline may be easier to comprehend in it's use of beats in regular time, but that in no way diminishes it's effect. Right from Bayes a marker is laid, a crisp, weighty rhythm drives it, but it's what sits on top that matters, the persistent upper registers of organ-like droning, sustained alongside many other components which constantly push and pull the piece. Norvig Trajectory's predominant mood is darkened by a deep, wavering drone, but Nickell knows how to create contrasts that work and does so here by using the bare bones of percussive rhythm. Stripping away common elements of Techno/Electro/Ambient (oh those inadequate tags!) to rebuild something far greater, Nickell announces a braver, newer world, where the things that once were exist as echoes in this vision. Perhaps even serial music, on the longest track, Tesselate, comes into play, the seemingly self-generating line of motion played against a whip-cracking beat. 


Bela Bartok Vinyl Experience



Bought this Bartok album today for £1 because as you know they can't give away classical albums on vinyl these days...trouble is I rarely find Modern, as in 20th Century 'classical', on vinyl because...I don't know why, but have theory that it's more collectable/desirable to an audience that will pay a lot more than a pound for it and charity shops are wise to that so they stick on eBay...the buggers - how dare they try and make more money for their cause! Anyway, I couldn't resist this cover. The music's good too...typical modernist swagger of Bartok.... 


 ...so I stepped away from this, the Infinite Music Machine and source of all music ever made wherein we spend most of our lives searching the back alleys of YouTube, Spotify etc and our own files, of course...


...and walked over to this...it's called a record player...


...the zone's a bit of a mess, actually, so messy that an Astrid Gilberto CD was lost there two years ago and has never been found...and exactly what is on the recordable CDs that I forget to write on remains a mystery, even after having played some...


...so here's the record in motion...isn't vinyl wonderful?...



...look!

In case you're wondering what Side 1, The Miraculous Mandarin, sounds like, here it is...

 


Fabulous Art (detail)


......sometimes you just want to make screaming bloody mess.....so I did.........not Bodies, a face...........................Fabulous Art......................'seemed like a lot of money'...........



The Living Cells and Viruses Operation


From an ongoing project, as yet unnamed, although affiliated to the Shadows cut-up word horde...
Control Headspace - Rewrite Humans 


Erased Words: New Lands


Tearing pages from a novel (sacrilege?) for collage I had the idea to erase some words to form a new message. It's not a new idea, I know, but it was an interesting experiment in reconfiguring text. 


Hacker Farm / Libbe Matz Gang - Crass In Africa (No Label)



We don't need organising
Or politicians being patronising.
We don't need their leadership,
Trendy lefties being hip.
Don't need their condescension
Or their back to root pretension.
We've heard it all before,
Politicians saying "No more war",
Pulling wool across our eyes.
We don't need their dangerous lies.
We won't accept capitulation,
It's just manipulation.
They want the smooth without the rough,
But words and gestures aren't enough.
We've got to learn to reject all leaders
And the passive shit they feed us...
- You're Already Dead, Crass

Anti-petrochemical brothers Hacker Farm and Libbe Matz Gang clamp an oil derrick to your head to drill your brains out with power electronics - and you'll love it - well, I do. A Crass typo homage cover, yes, but more than just a three-chord wonder mess of sound, Crass In Africa cut deep with devilishly good music. Agbogbloshie's post-hoover dominant bass drone, Uganda's skipping beat and relentless razor counter-rhythm, Transnationaale's remote horror evoking the post-exploitation wasteland...brilliant. It all makes Vatican Shadow sound like Enya. These eight short tracks of electro fire are something Red Adair could not extinguish. Only 100 copies pressed so be quick and go to No Label.



Objekt - Flatland (PAN)


No surprise, PAN coax the best out of Berlin-based producer TJ Hertz, whose earlier tunes showed the promise that's fulfilled on Flatland. It starts with a BOOOMPF! but instead of continuing that way in a bid to pummel you into early submission it's a paced-out repeat signal punctuating near silence as a form of intro.

Flatland is 'a world in which any scene can be seen from every angle at once' according to Hertz; a prismatic city of glass, then. Futurist speculation in electronic music about tomorrow's urban world may be nothing new but Hertz fashions his with aplomb. From One Fell Swoop onwards we're gliding over and through gleaming towers, neon-lit, in a sleek ship, surrounded by Coke and Pan Am video adverts, no doubt. The teeth of Rachet click into place relentlessly - perhaps it's the mechanism that drives the city, or a metaphor for the industrialisation of every brain, who knows, it's a good slab of Electro moderne anyway. Agnes Apparent has the feel of spotless sci-fi sound imagined by Vangelis for that film, as does much of the album, but Hertz sprinkles it all with details that make the difference. Bleeps and padded hammer blow motifs run throughout, adding continuity. First Witness suggests as loose crime storyline, followed by Interlude (Whodunnit?) and Second Witness. Who dun what we can only imagine, but non-specific thematic linearity is no bad thing and this is one good album.

Stream Flatland here


Back Into JG Ballard / Janek Schaefer's Inner Space Memorial (for JG Ballard)



Mmm...what to read?...go to the shelf in the hallway...JG Ballard - The Complete Short Stories...yes! Just about manage to get it down without damaging my back - it's a beast...1189 pages...all of which I know I haven't read but there's no marker in it so...where did I get to? The stories are presented chronologically, which is great....The Terminal Beach from '64? (page 589) - I know I've read it, but...trouble is the spine is creased all the way, so no clues there...you know what? I'll start from the beginning. Yes. I will, in 1956 with Prima Belladonna...so I did, last night (you want to know what else I did last night? Mind your own business)...it's a brilliant tale of musical plant mutations and a mysterious woman...but you know Ballard's brilliant and this book is essential. My copy is the Flamingo one from 2002 but another has since been published.

Here's a great tribute to Ballard by Janek Schaefer...

$.99 Dreams - Spei Res (Draft Records)



Space in your face of the cosmotechnik kind with go wiggle electronics, fat drums and planet-rockin' beats. 
A satis frigida, distantes-de-synth breakbeat album. What? Well, $.99 Dreams are have gone Latin on your ass so why shouldn't I? The title, Spei Res, roughly translates as "thing of hope". 

There's much to enjoy about this interplanetary musica from Adam Diller (synth, sax, production) and Matt Crane (drums); on the groove level, for starters, because although the mystic moods are cosmic they're usually earthed by Crane's percussion. That said, what elevates it above your average funky beat record is Crane's freer, Jazz-influenced playing which develops on such tunes as Machinator.

Elsewhere, there's Supergredi, which starts in a Jazzy mood before diving into a deep down dirty trench where you're immediately knee deep in nasty funk. The same's true if Disparitas, which tails off brilliantly in free fall with the appearance of timbales sounding as if that jam went on for some time. Brevity is no bad thing, but some of these tracks sound as if they could have benefited from being longer. I'm not complaining, though, because it's better than self-indulgent muso sessions, the like of which only unedited Miles Davis could get away with.

Spes is a stand-out track, starting in open form as an off-kilter drum/synth conversation before settling on a rhythm, but Diller's synth layers drive it forward and far up into the realms of the stars, just as they do on Coegi, another highlight. Whilst we're not exactly in deep space here as far as Out There audio travel is concerned, there's enough outward bound activity going on to keep it interesting 

$.99 Dreams have been around for some time in various formations and made some damned good albums along the way. You can hear most of them here on Bandcamp. 

Cut by Rashad Becker. 400 vinyl copies.
Draft Records

New Site For My aRTwork


I've created a site for my aRTwork. Even if you're a regular here there's much that you will not have seen.
Include Me Out will continue, of course. New visual work may appear here as a detail but the complete picture will be on this new site.
Hope you enjoy it and if you do, please spread the word.
Thanks
(Click on image to go there)


Out Of My Head







I blew the dust off my mind and peeped inside - what a mess! As usual and of course. What else could it be? People like to 'get out of their heads' (minds) via drink or drugs. I don't blame them; it's not easy being trapped inside all the time with nothing for company but your own sober thoughts and worries. These days I can't escape via drink, being unable to consume that much. I get a headache eating wine gums.

Perhaps making images is my way of getting 'out of it'. Although it involves thinking, the focus is on something external.

Untitled (detail)

Titles For Whatever You Like


Song titles, perhaps? Or chapter titles? Write a novel based around them. Essay titles? Band names? If a band emerges called 'Particle Hat Committee' my lawyers will be in touch...and we can settle out of court...

Chrome Twist Leg Marathon

Anti-Gravity Adding Machine Equation Tornado

Sketch Breath Cauterised Enigma

Inside Porn Table Leg Defence

Tottenham Hale Religion 41 Escape

Versace Creed Angina

Cloud Torso Debate X5

Ant Sand Airline Disaster Manifesto

Particle Hat Committee

Multiple Osmosis Warning Door

Hair Flesh Anxiety Marathon

Trigger Pen Nausea Whiplash Catalogue

Mock Tudor Skull Jukebox

Plastic Water Bored Momentary Lapse

Blood Cake Mission Statement

African Time Jog Auto-Breath

Dead Bend Stetson Time Trial 

Artists Don't Worry About Job Security



Copyright RT 2012

Discussing the use of commas with my work colleague today, as you do, we agreed they were important, or rather, that the absence of one can change the meaning of a sentence completely. Yes, you know that, but we were also discussing the shocking illiteracy displayed by some people on 'the social network'.

......................now, as you may have noticed, I'm not obsessive about 'correct' english......................

I
like
to
play
with
words.............
                      now
                      &
                      aggen............................................

When I see the literacy level of some people I feel sorry for them. I do. They must have paid even less attention at school than me. Not that I learnt wot I know about grammer at school. No. I picked it up by osmosis, by reading books. I suppose. 

I could always write an essay, though, even if they got bad marks half the time because I was moaning about the books we were forced to study. That's my excuse. The teacher couldn't give a top mark to someone criticising the curriculum, could he? Or some of them were just crap. That's possible. The one that sticks in my memory is a scathing criticism of Jane Eyre because it bored me to tears. How else would a 14-yr-old boy respond? Unless he could appreciate the novel's qualities. In which case, this hypothetical pupil is probably a professional literary critic today. He could be nothing other than hypothetical because such boys didn't exist in my school. Or perhaps they did but I wouldn't have got to know them well enough to learn about their love of Charlotte Brontë because I hung around with idiots who would have burnt books given half the chance.

William Burroughs' Naked Lunch should be taught at schools. Perhaps it is at places run by ex-hippies who allow their pupils the freedom to smoke pot and paint all day. Do those places still exist? Places like this one?


I like to think so. But it was a boarding school. Of course. The state wasn't going to fund it, was it? 'Run by a Cambridge graduate'. Pre-Hippy, since the clip is from 1961. So it was a hippy training camp. On second thoughts, I'm not so keen on it. I don't hold with the Punk slogan 'Kill All Hippies' but, you know...

Where was I before things lead to school............oh yes, the comma and it's usage. Yes. In the image at the top you'll note it's a statement of fact: 'ARTISTS DON'T WORRY ABOUT JOB SECURITY'. I can't recall where I got it from; probably an advert for one of those Art correspondence courses that seem to have been popular at one time. It's assuring potential customers that artists will make a living. Funny, eh? They do, of course, if they get jobs where Art is a good thing to have on your CV. Art studies as a career path, now there's an alien concept to me. I grew up (it's a work in progress) thinking artists were special, a bit mad, wildly imaginative outsiders starving in their hovels. Until they died. And their work sold for millions...or got thrown away by relatives who kept it for a while but, you know, how long do you keep that stuff for?

It could read: 'ARTISTS, DON'T WORRY ABOUT JOB SECURITY', before continuing to clarify why. Such as: 'GET A PROPER JOB.  DON'T RELY ON YOUR ART TO EARN YOU MONEY. JUST DO IT AS A HOBBY. MEANWHILE, JOIN OUR INSURANCE BROKER CORRESPONDENCE COURSE AND EARN BIG MONEY OR WE PROMISE TO RETURN YOUR FEE!' Sensible, yes? 

I didn't get where I am today by paying attention to career advice at school, that's for sure...

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