Friday, 30 November 2012

2am Driving Music For The City's Lost Souls

Another Emeralds review with and I quote 'a little more cruising the lonely cityscape at 3am' over at Tiny Mix Tapes. This time I suspect that this is perhaps a little deliberate baiting from Mr Parker. Pre-review I told him to add Dire Straits to their list of influences. He didn't know if I was joking or not, I wasn't. Otherwise it's a very fucking weird coincidence or he nicked it from that Wire writer. I'm going for the original idea. Anyway James didn't add the Straits alongside Ash Ra Tempel and Tangerine Dream in the similar to category.

Mark McGuire's favourite band?

*Just a side note on a completely different topic but still with Tiny Mix Tapes. Hey Ed Comentale was I supposed to read that whole Scott Walker review? I mean it was actually longer than the record!

Scott Walker: Prevaricator.

Enigmatic? You think?

In a recent interview by Mike Barnes with Scott Walker I read today Scott admitted being prone to prevarication. I thought I've never heard that word ever in my entire life and I've read some lofty shit and communicated with many users of unnecessary words just because they can. What was once called a showoff, you know before building ones self-esteem was invented. Now it'd be oh aren't you a clever little thing using such big words.  Anyway I looked it up and it means 'One who walks crookedly.' & 'One who departs from duty.' Now this could be taken as an oblique way of saying he's still quite hedonistic (although somewhere else in the article he said he doesn't drink as much as he used to) or just lazy when it comes to work. Or Both. I know that he is quite a keen traveller. He doesn't give much away and nor should he. Who cares what he does in his private life. Or is it part of some sort of mystique building?  I doubt it as he comes across as an affable and private gentleman. He's quite funny too as you would imagine because some of his songs are hilarious.

The above video was mentioned in that article. Wow it's dated badly or has it? Listen to it a couple of times. This could have been a subversive hit. In another dimension this is being played on Classic Trax FM. I love it. How about that quintessential 80s lead break! Now that's funny. In career overviews they always leave out a track he sang on the soundtrack of the Film To Have & To Hold directed by John Hillcoat.  Ironically it was written by Bob Dylan.

The Arrangement was done by Barry Adamson and produced by Bargeld, Jones, Harvey & Cave. I remember it being better. It must have been a thrill for those guys to work with Scott as I'm sure they are huge fans. Strange that this was recorded around the same time as Tilt. He is a massive film buff so I'm sure that's why why he did it. Not that it's bad but his head was in a totally different space for Tilt. Maybe this was the aforementioned producers projecting their version of Scott onto Scott & somehow they convinced him/got away with it.

Couldn't resist this great picture of the original
existential hipster heartthrob.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Ghost Box

I noted somewhere Ghostbox was getting a bagging possibly because it's old news or is it because that guy from LCD System is now rocking an old skool Librarian/Geography teacher look. I only just let Jarvis get away with it or did I? It was a bit weird after many years of beard wearing and being sometimes bespectacled that people started saying 'oh you look a bit like Jarvis.'  Maybe that LCD guy is gonna do a Hauntological album, then you'll know it's time to move on. If those GhostBox Study Series of singles, Belbury Poly's The Belbury Tales and that new Pye Corner Audio record are anything to go by GhostBox are in fine shape! I can't wait for a new Focus Group record.

*Also in other things related there is this new mix over at Pontone by IX Tab who I only found out about today. Choice cuts in this mix. Pontone have done it again by getting these guys to do a mix. Best Pontone Mix in ages.

**Also while in the ball park I found an old  Moon Wiring Club mix I'd somehow missed along the way. I've talked about all the other 4 or 5, so this was a nice surprise. It's called Bleep 43 or something? Click on the link. There's loads of film, radio and telly dialogue amongst the op shop records, library music and like minded artist's trax.

This is another fantastic Moon Wiring Club track. I've not seen that record anywhere in Melbourne and It's not on i-tunes. Was it only a limited thing? Maybe I'm gonna have to start ordering things via the Internet. Have I reached that phase in human evolution? Perhaps. On a similar note I haven't seen a GhostBox record in Melbourne since Synathsesia shut up shop years ago.

Omni Trio

Shadowplay from The Deepest Cut (1995)

Just because. I cant beleive I neglected Omni Trio's beauty for 17 years.
         This was my favorite track back then and it remains so today. Something about 
the production is just so unique. It has something to do with the silences
I think, you know a bit like in dub which I guess jungle was heavily
influenced by. Anyway this track really is like no other in jungle or in

Swans - The Seer

This convalescing thing does have its upsides. I may end up in The Guinness Book Of World Records for being the first and only person in the world to have listened to the Swans Triple LP from start to finish in one sitting. Twice! Of course post op pharmaceuticals don't hinder this kind of behaviour. The Seer goes for 1 hour and 55 minutes. So it was great to finally get to grips with the record as a whole. Instead of listening to snippets while out walking, on the tram etc. I wasn't even going to attempt a review or whatever this is because I thought I wouldn't be able to do it justice. Anyway fuck me what an epic it is in all senses of the word. It should be listened to as a whole. It makes more sense and really is how it is supposed to be listened to. People sit in a cinema for 2 hours to watch a film. Why can't we do the same with triple LPs. Now I wouldn't be saying any of this if it wasn't any good. Believe me it's up there with their other epics like Children Of God,  Soundtracks for the Blind etc. The previous LP was ok but that was just a warm up for the true power and brilliance of this magnificent ensemble's new masterpiece. There is less singing, perhaps his voice isn't what it used to be but it's still pretty darn strong, intimidating and powerful. Gira is also doing new things with his vocals. Swans could be the best reactivated band ever. 30 or so years on they are at some kind of unexpected peak. The instrumental passages which really make up most of the album are incredible, sometimes dark at others beautiful. There is psychedelia, repetition, electronics, noise, menace, prog, No Wave remnants and light but what we most want is that Swans intensity we all know and love. There's plenty of that too. It wouldn't be a Swans record without absurdity, perversity, experiments, hilarity and some going OTT. This is impeccable orchestrated noise of the highest order. My only qualm, and that's impressive for a triple LP, is Karen O(h no), why not Jarboe? I can always skip that track. Jarboe does however feature on many tracks. This is a real band effort and they are in rude form. This is unmistakably the Swans the same yet different.

Like the previous post about Mr Scott Walker I love how Mr Gira is still fearless and uncompromising. He's not getting soft or complacent in his old age. That's what your bores and Bobs are for. Still experimenting and lookin' for intense kicks. Gira's Laurels are in an envelope outside the boundaries reaching new edges.

Mick was always fond of a hat even when they weren't cool.
Looks like a fun party.

The Church - Heyday

It was the Heyday for those shirts.

So this is the fourth Church LP, which also means it was their fourth classic in a row. What a winning streak they had going in the 80s. Heyday was then followed up with Starfish another classic. The winning streak was then interrupted by the follow up to Starfish. Anyway I'm talking about Heyday because of those recent Scott Walker posts. It is an impeccably produced record with great songs and arrangements. It was Scott walker's main man Peter Walsh at the desk. This is the sound of 80s Australia in the best possible sense. I could bang on about the coolest sounding lyrics ever, the dual guitar interplay of Koppes and Wilson-Piper and the wonderfully intuitive drumming of Ploog. Also saying Ploog is great. Richard Ploog the coolest rock drummer ever! Anyway you've probably heard all that before what I want to highlight is the production and arrangements and how well Walsh and the Church got it so so right.

Night of Light
The strings and horns are arranged here by both Steve Kilbey and Peter Walsh. Can you believe this wasn't even a single. Incredible arrangements, so mesmerising up there with the strings and horns on Forever Changes.

Youth Worshipper
Horns and strings by SK alone this time. Some really weird and unexpected changes in this track. It starts off all nice and jangley then goes down some strange paths. Those horns are so fucking cool the whole thing still amazes me to this day. A high water mark in a career already filled with peaks. These are two of my favourite tunes from this classic album. I wonder why The Church never worked with Peter Walsh again? It's not like the results weren't outstanding or anything.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Buying LPs In The Old Days

First of all you had news of a record coming out sometimes many months before. You'd usually pre-order it. You would probably go into the record shop to see if had arrived yet. Then once I had the vinyl I would take it home and play it full bore on dad's Marrantz Hi-Fi. The vinyl would then be put onto a tape so I could listen to it in my bedroom as I didn't have my own turntable, just a crappy mono tape recorder. Which is featured in this video at the 2.55 minute mark.

Anyway I had it for many years till I saved up for an upgrade. Which I believe was some kind of Panasonic ghetto blaster. None of this double tape deck shit so I couldn't even dub other tapes. But hey it had detachable speakers. Wow - the spaciality of stereo.

Then there was the records. You'd put so much time and thought into your purchase so the odds of it being the goods was in your favour. Through those teenage years LPs went, I think from around $10.99 to $17.99 so that was a lot of money and you didn't want to waste it. So if an album sounded rubbish on first listen, you would give it another go. Then you would give it another go, then another and another up till at least 20 times. Usually the biggest disappointments were bands with a previously great track records so you didn't give a second thought about laying out the dollars for their new record. An example of this was The Models follow up to Out of Mind, Out of Sight which was Models Media. I really really wanted it to be good and probably played it over 25 times before I had to concede it was rubbishola! $16.99 down the drain.

Hoodoo Gurus 3rd LP Blow your Cool did have some great tracks (that Models one had about none) on it but over half was shite. So the endurance of putting up with that other half got annoying in the end. Should have known as the previous record Mars Needs Guitars was only 50% classic. I guess now you would just uncheck the shite songs on i-tunes. This is what I did with that Salem album King Night a couple of years ago. I love about 50-60% of the tracks that I kept checked and couldn't give a fuck about the unchecked ones.

With some groups you knew when to get off the fan wagon instinctively or if the first single off the forthcoming LP was lame. Thus no more INXS post Kick or Midnight Oil post Blue Sky Mining. Hey I was young & impressionable. Probably could have got off earlier with those two groups.

Then there were times when the investment music policy paid off. Take The Triffids final LP The Black Swan which I thought was the worst piece of crap I'd ever laid my ears on. Especially after the over the top, over produced and over budget classic Calenture. These days I'd just delete the file after maybe one or two listens in but due to my investment I played it many times. It is now one of my favourite LPs of all time.

I don't hate Strangeways Here We come by The Smiths but that would have been in the recycle bin straight away. Giving it the investment time made me like it more. Still I find it inferior to the rest of the catalogue, the runt of the litter. Still a good record mind you.

Royal Trux Twin Infinitives is a later example (not really in the timeframe of ths article anyhow) which was on CD but I paid good money at import prices for it. At first maybe for a year and I'm no stranger to noise I found it perplexing and annoying. I would come back to it intermittently after months at a time. Then one day years later it made perfect sense. The perfect noise.

My investment listening music policy couldn't help records which were no good. Jesus & The Mary Chain's Automatic had 2 great singles Head On & the real beauty Blues From A Gun. The rest of the LP however...Gold Afternoon Fix The Church's follow up to the classic Starfish couldn't be helped by repeated listenings. That Petrol Emotion's Chemicrazy very bad indeed.

Maybe recent albums by Black Dice, Maria Minerva and Laurel Halo would perhaps have benefited from the investment policy. James Ferraro's Bodyguard project got a fair airing around here but me no likey so goodbye!

I have touched on this before in a previous post. These are different times and we may now miss out on some things but you know what it's inconsequential as there is so much other stuff out there. Why would I care? No use wasting your time! You don't have that much.

More Moon Wiring Club

I just noticed on the Youtube that there is another new Moon Wiring Club clip. I don't have the new album yet so this will have to do till it turns up at the record shop. I'm resisting the digital download as their records are worth getting for the artwork. How long do I have to wait though? I'm still housebound convalescing after my op last week.

Body Switcher from the new Moon Wiring Club album.
Another top clip.
The Young People
Wow just found this ace track by Moon Wiring Club
in collaboration with Belbury Poly. Another great
clip as well.


Another bewdy!
Portals and Parallels.


RE: Scott Walker Bish Bosch

er...That's the cover.

Fabulous little look at some of the techniques used in this new record.
Master & Apprentice
The Classic Wickerman from Pulp's We Love Life LP.
As mentioned in the previous post produced by Mr Engel
 with Mr Peter Walsh assisting at the desk.
Found this while I was lookin for that Pulp track.
How weird is the Internet? 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Farmer In The City
From Tilt
Be warned if you've never heard this prepare to
have your mind blown. Surely one of the
greatest songs of the 20th century.

"I'll punch a donkey in the streets of Galway" 
Jolson & Jones
From The Drift

It's all happening now. Scott Walker has a new LP out 5 years early. I'm still processing/getting used to The Drift. Geez man give me some time. He must be going through a creative period I mean The Drift was only released in 2006, The one before that Tilt was '95 and if memory serves Climate of The Hunter was like 1984. Slow down man you'll give yourself a heart attack! Anyway I've had a quick listen to Bish Bosch and well it's what you would expect. How do I describe that? I'll get back to you on that. There did seem to be little cracks of light here and there. One track almost had a groove happening. Another had a little Bossa Nova/Tropicalia/Samba? interlude going on. Hang on am I sure? Diehards don't be disheartened these were very brief moments if they happened at all. It's the usual esoteric Walker walking into a future like no other. Some choice lyrics are 'Nothing clears a room like the removal of a brain' and another where he compares himself to a 'Wildflower Garden, an English Garden'. There are even some rock like textures on Phrasing with 70s metallic riffs popping up randomly amongst other little surreal psych bits.  One track Pilgrim has this great percussive backing while he he sings about a room full of mice and blowing bullfrogs with a straw. Then he sings about staring into the bullfrogs eyes before they burst, you know the usual kind of of lyrics for a song. On The Day The "Conducator" Died (An Xmas Song) the final track, the backing could be Slint on really strong painkillers with sleigh bells for percussion and then there is a mini Jingle Bells riff on the bells right at the end   I love these people who get more hardcore and don't become complacent and boring in their old age. It's definitely worth aspiring to this being an awkward renegade who doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks. I can imagine him now in his old age still drinking a truckload in the company of sophisticated women with maybe a little something else on the side to get himself going/not going, know what I mean. Or I can see him as being a quiet, solitary, studious and creative man in his abode occasionally going for a walk in the park. Maybe he's somewhere in between which could explain a few things.

Havin' a little sip old skool stylee.

Scott has a secret weapon in Peter Walsh his producer who also accompanied Walker on production duties for Pulp's  underrated but tremendous final LP We Love Life.  Walsh has been with him since The Climate Of The Hunter. If I have this right he also produced one of the greatest Church LPs ever Heyday from 1985. That was such a beautifully produced record that it is much to my amazement they never used him again. I always thought Heyday was produced by The Apartments Peter Milton Walsh until today. Anyway i thought both Peters were the same Peter so it made no difference to me. Maybe Peter Milton Walsh should get Peter Walsh to produce the next Apartments LP.

Boy Child from Scott 4
Couldn't resist some old School Scott from '69.
Who else was doing shit like this back then?

Moon Wiring Club - Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets

Ghostland and departed Buildings
I dig this video and by the looks its
shot on some very old taped over hundryd
times tape. Great synchronicity  between
sound & vision.
Anyway you know what that means there's a new Moon Wiring Club LP and CD coming out and this is exciting news. Doncha just love the whole aesthetic of the band, the music, the artwork and the film clips? They are in are in total control of everything and it works beautifully. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Turkish psychedelic Music 2 Blog

I keep forgetting to give a big shout out to Bilek from who has been back for a while now with his blog sequel to the Turkish Psychedelic Music Blog which I wrote an obituary for earlier this year and Bilek was kind enough to write some nice words to me. These can be found here on my blog. Anyway his sequel is a beautiful blog and a hell of an improvement on the old one. So good luck to his new venture and hopefully there will be some great new discoveries for me and the rest of the people in the blogosphere. The subtitle is Anadolo Folk, Pop, Rock, Jazz. Happy days.

Cheap Shots VI

Byron Bay in Black and White.
October 2011

This is my fave in this series.

This was an amazing white tree. I wish I'd captured it
better. It is only a crappy $50 phone though.

Looks like some kind of walking snowman emerging
from the sun's glare on the river.

My other fave in this series,