Sunday, 31 August 2014
It is very difficult to write about the 7" single - the perfect format - the ideal copy. Three and a half minutes of (in)disposable noise…unless you're releasing on Drone Records then it is six minutes of prime time (well…..) drones.
Proving that they're more than a one trick pony crudely shoved into your back pocket the Sleaford Mods have released "Loan Shark" on Felix Kubin's Apolkalypso label. I did (at first) think it a strange connection .. Felix Kubin the Hamburg based ex Klangkreig member and master of minimalistic tanz-a-techno, but I read that his Apolkalypso imprint is a seven inch label for "anti-hits". It makes sense. It makes more sense after repeated plays of "Loan Shark" with its electro lounge feel, the Sãhkȏ vibe, the ghost of Jimi Tenor. A great progression in sound for Sleaford Mods - the breakdown, the stumble in the middle of the piece is beautiful anarchy … turns to camera and smiles. The B-Side is "Slug Tub", and is more of a dance track, an album out-take. Stream of conscience lyrics punched and barked - a free guided tour round the backsreets of Nottingham. There's a hook line, a punchline a the two for the price of one line. Cracking duck.
Some pages say that's limited to 100 copies, some say 300, some say 500 - it doesn't really matter just go out and bag the fucker …
Friday, 29 August 2014
I have just spent a pleasant while listening to the debut release from Bulgarian project Deffektegg. I have no idea what the name means / signifies as no translation is available via my Google Translate! Deffektegg seems to be the project of sound artist and photographer Yasov Grancharov and "Weightless" is a conceptual piece brought from the influences of The Black Sea.
It is a tape of two halves. Side A is constructed of 4 short pieces, floating drones and undulating waves of sounds - the voices of a hundred sirens and drowned souls, lost transmissions from sinking ships are all there reminding me of early Maeror Tri recordings. Highly listenable construction that in parts is orchestral and other parts disturbing. Side B is a different barrel of fish with a ferocious beginning, a growling voice manipulation bouncing around the space, it has a poor recording quality and a live feel. Was side A the calm before the storm? The first two pieces don't quite seem to fit … by track 3 (all the pieces have Bulgarian titles which are lost on me) we have headed back into calmer waters. The final piece has a piano drifting and shifting along with a sliding drone - quite violent in parts, and then the tape runs out like the piece has been severed in its' prime. (Or sunk). Side A is excellent but I am struggling to pick up on side B. There are moments of this tape where "Shipwrecks" by Andreas Brandal was brought into mind.
"Weightless" is a C60 cassette and a co-release by two Bulgarian labels. Amek (operated by Angel Simitchiev from MyTrip) and Abandonment (operated by Nikolay Mitev from Nihilistic Front).
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Desperate for a book to read during my post-op convalescence I opted for the Chris Connelly autobiography "Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible and Fried:My Life as A Revolting Cock. I am not too au fait with the work of The Revolting Cocks, but I do like a good music (auto)biog and I know Chris had some history with Scottish post-punksters Fini Tribe, so I bought it.
About 25 years ago I walked into a record shop in York and heard the opening to the song "Beers, Steers & Queers"…I bought the 12" there on the spot. In reality a novelty record, but not that bad and the B-Side had a cover version of "Public Image", along with a track called "Stainless Steel Providers". I learnt there and then that they were a side project and off shoot of heavy metallers Ministry which should have been enough to put me off, but I just loved the song. I have bought no other Revolting Cocks records since and have off loaded the 12" years ago. I have a vague memory of seeing The Revolting Cocks live at International 2 in Manchester. Early 1990's. I am certain I saw Minister Of Noise support (I still have his debut LP on Peaceville), but I could be wrong. A friend told me recently that I saw Psychic TV at International 2 around the same time but I don't remember that either … Wire, African Head Charge and First Offence…yes…but the others - no. (The memory is going).
The book begins with the chance meeting of Chris and Al Jourgensen in a South London pub and heading to Southern Studios to do some impromptu vocals over a track Al was working on and then being invited over to Chicago to work on tracks by Ministry and The Revolting Cocks - two of Al's projects. This is all in chapter one. No back history of childhood life or time in Fini Tribe, just from day one his time as a Revolting Cock.
A few chapters in and I realise I am reading the story of half a dozen or so highly unlikeable and irritating characters where nothing happens - just masses of drug taking and having sex. Having wives, children,long term partners etc does not matter, it's all about sex with teenage fans and drug dealing "hookers". Chris has a love / hate relationship with Al and the rest of the musicians he is working with but never the less carries on taking crack, liquid LSD, Amphetamines by any means necessary, travelling around the US cheating on the relationship with his partner with any young girl who comes onto the tour bus. Repellent fellow. By the time I reached the end of chapter 9 - that's 9 out of 15 with an epilogue I realised I wasn't enjoying the book at all, it was all rather puerile, a story of someone who would take anything from anyone just because he can (or could), not a real talented guy.
Perhaps he repents by chapter 15, I doubt it and I don't care. A very boring book. One to leave on the shelf I'm afraid.
Sunday, 24 August 2014
I have been spending time with the sounds of Phil Julian. Phil has been rather busy of late with solo releases as well as putting out recordings with Jason Kahn, Ben Owen and Dieter Müh. He has also been busy on the live front with solo gigs and being part of the project The Seen and a series of "duo" sets at the Cafe OTO with Tom Mudd and Angaharad Davies. Quite the man of the moment, and there's more to come with a projected duo set with Mark Durgan at Harbinger Soundclash II later in the year.
I was fortunate to get hold of a test pressing for Phil's latest vinyl outing on UK's finest Harbinger Sound. "Trace" is three tracks of finely manipulated electronic tones and textures. I have no titles but side one seems to be two tracks. The first being all crackle and hum, in a very warm way - the whole of side one is very "warm" in sound. Track two starts off with a call to prayer, sustained gourd sounds broadcast from the top of the minaret. Relaxing, building a drone with subliminal Gregorian chants mutating to a symphony of horns a la Glenn Branca. There's a sustained creeping ominous surround that breaks and grinds down to a volume of gas. Side two is one long eighteen and a half minute piece. (I am a DJ - I time everything!). Again, I have no title to hint at the approach / theme but this side is much darker. It has that "mysterious sounds in the dark" feel. Out of the frying pan and in to the fire - on the edge - attempted communication with whatever is out there … as mentioned before, exploring textures and tones. Brilliant stuff - masterful construction that ends in desolation.
I do not know when this LP will hit the streets, but when it does it is well worth getting.
Also released this month is an eponymous C40 cassette on UK's finest Beartown Records. Side A is "Waveset". A track for the circuit bending harsh noise wall fans, full of radio frequency manipulation, about 15 minutes of it before it all ends with the sound of claustrophobia. Tight, anxious, grinding teeth sounds. Side two is "Co-Unterbalance" with more of the same. A great wall of harsh noise a la John Wiesse or the school of Vomir. It just gets to the point of unbearability when it settles down to some sinister low-level vibe like it is all resting, getting prepared for the second onslaught but instead it plays out on a calming peaceful tone. There seems to be a bonus track at the end of side two with more radio dial manipulation. "Waveset #2" hidden away??
The vinyl LP is an instant classic, the cassette release is OK but Phil has done better. If you are new to the sound of Phil and want to start - please get the LP.
Friday, 22 August 2014
This MuhMur Radio programme features a sneak preview of the soon to be released Konstruktivists album "Anarchic Arcadia", as well as a rifle through the back catalogue of Glenn Wallis. Please copy & paste and take a listen here: http://www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-soundart-radio-21082014/
I am uncertain about the next programme - due to be broadcast on September 4 as I will not be in Torbay but please take a listen as I am certain something will be sorted! (Or join the MuhMur Radio Facebook page to keep updated).
01: C.T.I. : "Hammer House" (Conspiracy International) 1984.
02: Konstruktivists : "Sin & Sinners" 2014.
(from the forthcoming album "Anarchic Arcadia").
03: Bushido : "False Prophets = False Profits (Concrete Mix)" (Third Mind Records) 1985.
04: Konstruktivists : "Is This You" 2014.
(form the forthcoming album "Anarchic Arcadia").
05: Vagina Dentata Organ : "Sex Dub" (Vinyl On Demand) 2009.
06: Portion Control : "Simulate Sensual" (In Phaze Records) 1984.
07: Konstruktivists : "Blowpipe Assassins 2" (Vinyl On Demand) 2009.
08: Konstruktivists : "Victim Of Evidence" 2014.
(from the forthcoming album "Anarchic Arcadia").
09: Bushido : "Question Of Identity" (Third Mind Records) 1985.
10: Konstruktivists : "Kon II" 2014.
(from the forthcoming album "Anarchic Arcadia").
11: Whitehouse : "Peter Kurten" (Come Organisation) 1982.
12: Konstruktivists : "The Waiting Room" 2014.
(from the forthcoming album "Anarchic Arcadia").
13: Konstruktivists : "Black On Black" (Vinyl On Demand) 2013.
14: M:S:B:R & Blazen Y Sharp : "Flax Black Spit" (MSBR Records/Gender Less Kibbutz) 1998.
15: Praying For Oblivion : "The Fear Experiments 1" (Final Judgement) 2000.
16: Bad Sector : "October 4, 1957" (Power & Steel) 2013.
17: Blind Amongst The Flowers : "Dementia Americana" (Snarling Red) 1987.
18: Spacemarker : "Impossible Geometry" (Sentrax Corp/Invisible Records) 1998.
19: One Gang Logic : "Alienate (Kafka Laughs)" (Stark Product) 1979.
20: Throbbing Gristle : "Five Knuckle Shuffle" (Adolescent Records) 1981.
Thanks for listening.
01: DJ in the chair.
02: A visit from the SoundArt bosses! Chris & Lucinda. (keeping an eye on proceedings).
Thursday, 21 August 2014
I have never purposely gone out to collect Culver releases - to do so would be nigh on impossible - but I seem to have a large volume of his work in my collection. Over the past few years Culver have released material on a variety of UK based labels such as Pjorn 72, Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers, Turgid Animals, Sick Head, Harbinger Sound, Blow The Reactors, Cosmic Slumber, Beartown Records, At War With False Noise, Blackest Rainbow as well as great labels such as RRRecords, Phage Tapes and Hyster Tapes as well as putting stuff out on his own imprint; Matching Head. Quite prolific.
The latest addition to my ever growing Culver collection is the biblically entitled C46 cassette "Prophecy Of The Black Spider" on London based Mantile Records. Two 23 minute untitled pieces. Side A sounding like a huge industrial spring vibrating through a myriad of reverb effect pedals, thus creating a bed of lo-fi low end bass rumblings. There is the random sound of a klaxon horn but all in all it is a bed of lo-fi rumblings and vibration. The piece just cuts dead too - no ending in site, just runs out of tape. I hate that!!
Side B kind of starts where Side A ended with a noise. A black thick syrupy sludge of noise which ( as you get settled in for twenty odd minutes of listening to a sound that is similar to trekking miles through swampwater) ends to be replaced by a crystal clear guitar, guitar playing backwards and forwards, notes being held and sustained, plucked and bowed building into an orchestral drone. It all becomes rather pleasant.
This cassette is devoid of information (as many are these days), but I do know it is limited to 50 copies and available through Mantile. http://mantile.blogspot.co.uk
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
It was way back in 2009 that I first came across the work of BBBlood. I saw an advert on some noise forum board for the split release with the American project Al Qieda. two new names to me and on a new label called Trans-Dimensional Sushi. I liked the artwork (by Stan Reed) so I bought the single and thus began my aural love affair with all things BBBlood. A year later I was supporting the chap at a venue called The Others in Stoke Newington (London) watching him fold contact mic's into bubble wrap and eat them. Wonderful and exciting stuff.
Releases have been few and far between these past few months, or perhaps I am just catching up with the output? But one thing is now apparent, BBBlood has become quite prolific and unpredictable in sound. It has been fascinating to hear the BBBlood sound diversify and progress.
"Untitled" (how original) is the latest BBBlood release on Beartown Records. A C30 tape complete with vellum insert. Four tracks are listed but each side plays like one long piece, Side one is like the onset of madness where everything is blurred yet crystal clear in thoughts, action and sounds … Quiet suffering, apologetic cutlery, the flicker of empty film spools, waiting for the night bus on Gunnersbury High Street … Hallucination Password.
Side two begins with junk noise played at high speed and very high volume. Train wreck electronics that come of the rails leaving silence and the sound of a Tibetan Bowl being struck in the distance. The sounds try to rise phoenix like from the wreckage not to recover but short circuit and continue along the wire ..
Wonderful stuff, both sides are totally attention grabbing. BBBlood runs a blog and Beartown have a website, both are easy to find via Google (or Bing).
I think it is only a matter of time that (like Putrefier is now Mark Durgan and Cheapmachines is Phil Julian) the Baron Bum Blood himself becomes Paul Watson. (Gut feeling……great song).
01: "Untutled" Sleeve.
02: Vellum Insert.
03: BBBlood in Islington earlier this year.