'Everyone dances to his own personal boomboom'

Shoot Straight, Look Curved


1943

...girls...advised...gun-toting is good...especially if you're 'curved'....? although, come the zombie apocalypse, those who aren't will also be very useful...


The Third Incarnation Of Barry White


Barry White born again for the second time, today, for some reason (when you say to yourself "Oh, how about ---------- ?" for no particular reason, other than the random swoop of the arm in your memory jukebox making the selection).

I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby was in the singles box during my DJing years. Even then it felt like I was being a little brave playing it - I mean, Barry White? It usually worked, though - well, that opening section...who could resist it? OK, you, perhaps. But it felt so-o-o- good...the slow break, piano riff - kind of 'kicking' in a laid-back way....then "Give it up" and the way it washes into the chorus...


First incarnation was back in the day when Barry White tunes were new - disco, gum-chewing, larger-swilling post-suedehead youths that we were, our fantasies orchestrated by someone who actually knew what it was all about....sex, that is...and we'd liked to have loved the girls of our choice a little more physically than we actually did....but...the title, though not the lyrical content of this tune, is more apt...



Collage, Julian Cope, Kreng & King Mob



Why Must I Be Cursed? Full picture over on the art blog here

***

...................................yeah, yeah.......what? Someone just asked for fiction recommendations but I couldn't help because I haven't read a great novel in ages and her asking made me realise the fact......'though I've just started Julian Cope's One Three One, only because I found it in a charity shop for £2....'One of the most brilliant, serious, funny, life-crammed novels any reader is likely to lay their mitts on' said The Guardian - I doubt it, but judging by the opening three chapters, it won't be dull...........................................................

***

.........as the cheery month of January gradually dies (perhaps we'll all wake up soon) I listen to the new album from Kreng, The Summoner, on Miasmah...it's not helping...shedding any light onto the cold slab of earth that is my life...but it suits this time of year perfectly for there are icy, deep, orchestral manoeuvres embedded into this very dark album - actually, most of it is just that, the Strings of Doom as soundtrack to the endgame in which we all sit in dustbins waiting to be fed crumbs of hope - "What time is it?" "Zero time", to quote, or paraphrase, Samuel Beckett. The first four tracks feel like a long build-up to one that lasts for over 15mins in which something like a melody from Hell (Pepijn Caudron exorcising every Horror soundtrack he's heard and more) culminating in a Death Metal finale complete with Satanic screaming before the final, peaceful piano refrain.........

***

'Rated slightly above the run-of-the-mill consumers of traditional culture is a sort of mass avant garde of consumers who wouldn't miss a single episode of the 'revolt' churned out by the spectacle: the latest solemn 80 minute flick of 360 variegated bare arses, the latest manual of how to freak out without tears, the latest napalm-twisted monsters of air-expressed to the local Theatre of Fact. One builds up resistance to the spectacle and, like any other drug, its continued effectiveness demands increasingly suicidal doses. Today, with everyone all but dead from boredom, the spectacle is essentially a spectacle of revolt. Its function is quite simply to distract attention from the only real revolt: revolt against the spectacle.' - King Mob, 1967


Collage That Went Wrong


Proper title: When Collage Goes Wrong and Girl Can Barely Watch Whilst Crowd Tries To Escape From Being Trapped In A Visual Disaster




Shirley Clarke's Bridges Go-Round

 
Take it to the bridge(s)...Clarke's 1958 double-take...first version of the indie-modernist montage features archetypal New York Jazz by Teo Macero; the second is scored by Louis & Bebe Barron in an electronic mode...lending the film a new perspective, perhaps that of an alien camera/eye fallen to earth...
 


Searching For The Perfect Beat


'Play All' in shuffle mode and 'delete', 'delete', delete' all the beatless/rhythmless tracks - not because I use the portable player for jogging, mind, although I'm sure that strange breed who insist on running through the city streets need those beats to maintain energy levels...


...remember pictures in the press of celebrities jogging with their Walkmans? Usually Madonna...as I recall in an imaginary sense...along with every other California-minded active type she must have been listening to any ol' crap with a beat, surely. Isn't that what they did and still do? Perhaps there are joggers in Birmingham (England) listening to Surgeon, I suggest as if Anthony Child has any credibility - sorry, he was the first to spring to mind and in the course of some quick clicking I found that he'd performed with Lady Starlight (I'm not making this up - I wish I was...I wish I'd never watched a whole 1.27secs of it) supporting Lady G*g*.

So I was tempted to look for a 'proper' Techno person who hadn't sold out and that would have been easy because the net's full of those who simply haven't had a fat cheque waved at them by a celeb but I didn't bother because this demonstrates something...guess what? What do you think? (it's a screengrab, I won't soil these pages with the actual footage)...


...'Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil' is what it says on Tony's t-shirt and there he is, sticking it to the Gaga Army! Tell 'em Tony! No, that's right, you didn't sell out, you took the opportunity to subvert the mega-showbiz Pop Star process by playing them bangin' beats and wearing that t-shirt which, obviously, will subliminally convert the screaming hordes to deep music - yes it will!

I wish I'd had the chance to sell out when I was a DJ, but who would want a support set from someone playing UR, Coltrane and Lemon D? That's right, no-one. Perhaps if, like Tony, I went with my partner to actually see a Lady Gaga concert...

I didn't start this with a view to mentioning Surgeon...or 'her'...so I'll jog back on course by saying how bored I am with what I'll call 'ambient' music, for want of a better term and knowing that to start naming sub-Hauntological/Field/beatless stuff would take ages...and I couldn't do it. What I mean is that nearly every album I'm sent and loads of new stuff I see is ambient. "But there's loads that isn't, you twat!" you cry. That's right, it's just an impression...and what is life but a series of impressions we get from what we see? It isn't 'reality' (whatever that is), it's what constitutes our individual reality, made up of feelings, impressions, right or wrong. Ain't it? Is this philosofee? Surely not...

I get sent ambient albums because...er...because I don't mention too many genre-bound  sometimes mention 'listening' music which, you know, might be considered 'deep'...I suppose...or 'left-field'...or....'experimental'. Not just that; I keep seeing new albums containing sound that supposedly represents...er...you know, something other than music-to-jog-to, or dance to and that isn't always more interesting than good Techno, is it? 

Perhaps it January's fault. A stinking month which nobody likes. I need a boost. Don't we all? I mean either a boost of energy or mental stimulation derived from interesting sounds. Oh, that's subjective, I know. Like most listeners I'm lazy and guilty of quickly searching albums for something that will perk up my ears. Those 20-odd (not odd enough, usually) minute tracks-z-z-z-z-z remind me of what an artist once told me regarding lack of direction. He said: "If in doubt, go big". Go big! Well, he's right in one sense. There's nothing like a massive canvas to fool dumb viewers into thinking they're looking at a masterpiece. It's massive! It must be good! Perhaps some musicians make the same mistake having cranked out (sorry, meticulously toiled over) a 23-minute 'journey' consisting of pointillist micro-sonics on a nicely textured 'canvas' (sound of needle craving through dust and scratches on vinyl). It's an epic! 

They need to go back and listen to Pierre Henry again (assuming they already have) and try and learn something. 

Hold on...

No, I don't want to criticise the efforts of those who obviously(?) share my distaste for all that shallow Pop nonsense. I don't want to. I'm just letting off steam...because it's January...and as dark as the days soon get what I mean is I can't handle being put to sleep, not just yet, already feeling halfway there for most of the day.

The Monster as a Metaphor: Godzilla Takes Back Japan

Guest post by Beth Kelly...




With the 2014 release of Godzilla, Japan's most famous monster from the beneath the sea commanded the silver screen once again - though in many ways, it was as if he’d never left. The fears represented by Godzilla, known in his homeland as Gojira, remain ever present and menacing, and when we take a look at the monster's history it is easy to see why our fascination with this mythic beast remains strong.

The first thing to understand is that the Godzilla films are just one piece of a greater genre. Godzilla taught the west the word 'kaiju,' but in Japan, these strange creatures (also called ‘kaiju eiga’) are a large part of many monster movies. Godzilla is a known as a ‘daikaiju’, that is, a monster that is an enlarged and ferocious version of a regular animal, and in many ways, this makes his role even more interesting – the name Gojira means, literally, half whale and half gorilla.

Godzilla's origins have gone through several permutations since he was created. The later Americanized versions of Godzilla resulted in an almost ridiculous beast. To Western audiences, the creature in a monster suit was hardly fearsome, especially since many of the original Japanese scenes were replaced with English speaking reporter Raymond Burr in the 1956 version, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Western audiences were highly amused by the campy feel of this version, which led to increasingly comedic sequels, such as Godzilla 2000 and Godzilla vs Destroyah.

However, it has always been clear that Godzilla was a monster that was sleeping at the bottom of the ocean, who was awakened by the effects of nuclear testing. His awakening and his first subsequent rampage against the modern city of Tokyo are due specifically to the actions of people attempting to use nuclear energy and weaponry. Every indication in the plot states that without the nuclear testing, Godzilla would never have awakened in the first place.

As a daikaiju, Godzilla has always been a natural creature. There is no indication in the original that he was made by the tampering of men, the way that the story occasionally reads in modernized versions. Instead, Godzilla is a natural animal of immense power and fury whose hibernation was disturbed by men, and within the Godzilla narrative we often see this conflict between the natural world and the world of weapons created by human beings.

Given that the first Godzilla film in Japan premiered in 1954, along with the presence of obvious  nuclear parallels, such as Godzilla’s radioactive breath and burned, scaly skin, there is no doubt that the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were very much on the filmmakers' minds during the movie’s creation.

The attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were devastating to Japan. Two entire towns were flattened in the nightmare of fire, and the few survivors fell ill from radiation poisoning. The effects of the two bombs dropped on Japan left an irreparable scar on the nation as a whole. In most cases, the original audience members would still have clear memories of the devastation caused by the bombs, dubbed Fat Man and Little Boy, resulting in a viewing experience fraught with traumatic reminders of the country’s recent experiences. There are echoes of the destruction of the atomic bombs in the fury and the devastation of Godzilla's attack, and it’s understood that his destruction is a result of man's mistakes.

Toho, the company that originally produced Godzilla, is rumored to be approaching the property again, and in many ways this is very timely. With the specter of global warming and faster, deadlier and even more destructive weaponry at hand, Godzilla reflects a darker side of our so-called progress. In addition, given the recent interest in the beast – El Rey network, available with Xfinity or DirecTV, has a Godzilla movie marathon running through January, for example –  and the release of the 2014 US Godzilla movie, which catered heavily to special effects and a typical Hollywood-style, shallow script, it is a clear sign of Japanese movie makers finally reclaiming a diluted cultural legacy that goes back more than half a century. Hopefully, Toho’s newest rendition will return Godzilla to his previous, politically-potent state.

@bkelly_88

Aphex Twin - Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments Pt2 (Warp Records)


I wasn't too impressed with Syro, a fact that Richard James (Aphex Twin...like you didn't know) was quite upset about, I'm sure. This, though, I do like and my approval will go some way towards letting him down regarding my response to the last effort. It's not easy being a much-respected music critic, so they tell me. The responsibility of assessing a piece of work, knowing that many readers take what is said very seriously and may even be put off buying an album because of what's written. I hear people can actually listen to albums, or segments, before buying, but I can't believe such amazing technology exists. If it does, perhaps the job of the music critic is in danger. That would be awful.

"So what's it like?" You wonder. Well, my first thoughts were 'Aphex Twin channels Can via a prepared piano in the mode of Mr John Cage before adding some funky (breakbeat-type) drumming - hurrah!'. Then I thought 'Hold on, I'll check my John Cage prepared piano CD to make sure I'm right', so I did, and I was. Then I considered listening to so 'funky' Can tune, but didn't. Diskprept4 is very Cage..ian (?). Not to be confused with Cajun music. Although there is a track called disk prep calrec2 barn dance [slo] and I think there must have been some Cajun dances in a barn. Not that they'd be able to dance to this, it's too slow, but plucking the depths as it does, I find it most rewarding. Diskprept1 features a double bass, I think, but one never knows, the way these modern musicians manipulate sound. Either way, it's one of the very good spacious acoustic moods, barely sounding computer-controlled at all. On Snar2, all 19secs of it, he revs up a drum until it sounds like, um, a motorbike...being revved up - wonderful! Those expecting electronic complexities might be disappointed with the relatively limited palette here, but that's what I like about it.



Dream landscape...




Ontario Hospital - Future Ready (Opal Tapes)


Blue Monday - bollocks - blast this loud - "Fucking shit you out!" - that's what they do - consumer ready - past ready - future ready for snotty electro Punk boys pissing on the corpse of whatever you want destroyed - by numbers Dance Music House Music Techno Music pre-fab Industrial Music - like angry Lee Perry - KIL-L-L-Ler-R-R-R! echo vocal void snub-nosed beat boxing ears - your perfect skin blistered, your manicured nails ripped out, your sculpted eyebrows burnt, your orange tan peeled to reveal an inner plastic shell, your shitty values scorched - your iLife stripped bare in a vat of acid - a syringe in your vanity mainline train line tunnel and there is no light at the end - at the end the just the BOM-BOM-BOM-BOMB bleed down and out...


We Are All The News




Now that we're all news....

Have you noticed?

Everyone's The News. We want to transmit. That used to be the job of the media. It still is but...now we're all the media. We're all eager to broadcast what's happening as soon as we can...and we can very quickly because we all have the means...quick! Tweet that! Post that on Facebook! You take extra pride if no-one else you know has broadcast the event...it makes you feel important and...on the ball...you posted that before others...

Bad news is particularly satisfying...someone's death...not just anyone, but someone famous...perhaps someone who's only famous in a minority way. Disasters...they're good...spectacular transport crashes...natural catastrophes...mass killings...shootings...the media told you and you're compelled to relay the news to your online associates...

Before all this there was simply the news on TV and radio. Perhaps people didn't hear about the terrible thing that happened that morning until 6 o'clock at night...imagine it! Some of us remember it. We weren't the news then. We were just people going about our daily lives...oblivious to what was going on that day.

Here in the 'information megalopolis' (McLuhan) 'everyone has the best seat' (John Cage) from which to view the world...this medium (the computer) massages our egos by allowing us to feel like important contributors to the dissemination of Real Events...not just thoughts, ideas or even interpretations of events...but the events themselves...without comment, perhaps. To comment may be to soil things...stain events with our own impurities.

What is this doing to us? Is it changing the way we see the world? Are we wiser? In this electronic information environment 'We have become irrevocably involved with, and responsible for, each other' (McLuhan)...the social network...we feel a responsibility to let each other know The News? Or do we feel as if we must broadcast simply to prove that we are alive to the world? We are not only involved with each other but with The World. It is no longer enough to simply be alive; one must be alive to The News.

Broadcasting, with additional interpretation, is a substitute for action. Broadcasting is the action. We have done enough. We relayed the information. We demonstrated that we know what's going on. Ignorance is not bliss; it is ignorance of Life as portrayed by The News. To remain 'out of touch' is just that. Your finger is not on the pulse or, in many cases, the absent pulse of those involved in the latest terrible news.

Video nasties were said to desensitise the viewers to violence. Today we appear to be sensitive to all horrors happening in the world. That is how we wish to appear. And yet...from our best seat at the atrocity exhibition the good, clear, immediate view we have of it all renders it unreal. The clean medium (the lens, the filter of information in text and images) is a protective one, even in the form of film. We see, but do we feel? Briefly, perhaps, we empathise...before the next piece of news distracts us from the previous story.

Now that it is possible to appear sympathetic and caring at the touch of a key we can easily transmit that impression to others. Perhaps we feel that we should in order to appear human, as opposed to cold, heartless automatons.

We're all The News...24/7. There's little time to process what we see because more news is happening all the time. By reading this you may have missed some news. That would be disastrous...




Music Shuffle 1


Putting the player on shuffle mode is one of the pleasures of modern listening, isn't it? The surprise combinations that work, the discovery of long-forgotten tracks and the opportunity to delete that 20-min ambient drone thing you thought might be good but is in fact extremely dull and you never consciously choose to play it. So I thought I'd post the results of my machine's selection. Only ten, although that's probably more than you'll want to wade through. I've omitted stuff that isn't on YouTube which, in this first session, was about five tracks. Each time I'll upload one such track. Here it's Johnny Hawksworth's library gem from the Lunar Probe comp, Journey to the Unknown. As it turned out, this batch all more or less relate to each other but I've no doubt there will be stark contrasts in the future, such as Miley Cirus rubbing shoulders with Charles Mingus...ha-ha. You might even find something new that you like.











Magnetic Memory Man


1959 advert....from a time when the future was bold, bright, brilliant...and life was a series of science fiction fantasies made real by the ad men...whilst the Cold War created possible futurist dystopian nightmares...and perhaps, in time, people would also be able to recall thousands of facts in a fraction of a second...unless commonplace domestic technology offering an endless stream of information overloaded their sensory receptors...rendering remembering more difficult than before...


My Triptych In The Museum of Modern Art


Yes, folks, it's happened at last. After years of toiling away at Art and enduring the psychological traumas that go with such activity ("I'm a failure - give up!" etc) my triptych is in the Museum of Modern Art. Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, proved to be most amicable, saying she wanted to embrace digital art more in 2015 and, in her own words "Not that Glitch crap or Richard Prince appropriation shit!", at which point I couldn't help leaning over the desk and hugging her but her response was to recoil in horror because you're not supposed to do that sort of thing, apparently. Anyway, she was all right....until she asked me about my working methods, which I never reveal, as you know. Then she got a bit arsy. She didn't like me rolling a fag in her office either, but using her cup as an ashtray I shrugged defiantly, saying "I'm a fucking artist, lady, you're just a curator" with a knowing smile. I could tell she liked that rebellious artist routine.

Here I am in the street outside (just to prove to you that I was there).



And here's the triptych. It's collective title is: Untitled 1, 2, 3, or Subtractive Abstraction of the Soul in the Digital Age. Despite what you may think, this photo has not been tampered with. I don't know how to use Photoshop. 


You can see the pictures better here
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