Sunday, 29 September 2013

The 90s Again....

I am back in the 90s again (and a little 00s) and wonder if I'll get back to now at any point before the end of time. I don't know how I ended up here again perhaps it was those recent Demdike Stare 12"ers or the return of Manix, Woob, Ultramarine etc...I must admit over the last 4 or 5 years Woob's 1194 has been getting a spin quite regularly since I rediscovered it. Air Liquide however have been unlistened to for a very long time.  Air Liquide's Neue Frankfurter Electronik Schule an acid classic from 1992 has been gettin a spin recently and I'm diggin on it.  It's an underrated experimental sci-fi ambient techno trip, get on board.  I've discovered some DJ mixes/mixtapes this year of early 90s gear which are primo. Black Dog's FACT mix from earlier this year is a beauty for Bleep heads.  I found another early 90s gem over at blog to the oldkool DJ Milf's 92/93 mix which is on the hardcore tip and is gonna be hard to top as it's incredible stuff.  blog to the oldskool is absolutely killin it this year. Who'd have thought they'd be goin stronger than ever after 5 years on the blogosphere?  Over at Sonicrampage there's Orange Dawn a fabulous mix from Pearsall of choice tech-step that includes the likes of Ed Rush, Dom & Roland, Nasty Habits, Trace & Nico etc.  Another crackin Pearsall mix from this year but featuring mid 90s soundz is Actual Pirate Material this time containing jump up jungle and drum n bass. There's plenty more where that came from at Sonicrampage.

I pulled out Rhythm & Sound's self-titled LP from 2001 a few weeks ago and ever since I've been on a Chain Reaction, Basic Channel trip.  This led me to an excellent article on the Basic Channel milieu over at Your Heart Out. The lines between label and artist were blurred with Basic Channel. Basic Channel was a record label and a group. Rhythm & Sound were the same dudes who were Basic Channel etc.   In the mid 90s this was all a bit unknown and confusing as the duo of Moritz Von Oswald and the other guy refused media attention for many years. Originally they gave no interviews and refused to be photographed.  I was always big on Basic Channel, Porter Ricks, Monolake etc. but never really rated Elevations by Vainqueur until now (I thought it was ok). Elevations is a mind melting hypnotic technoid dub goes to the disco jam of the highest order. It was released on Chain Reaction which was a Basic Channel offshoot label of which they had about eight. Been diggin Hallucinator's Landlocked and Rhythm & Sound's two instrumental cds as well.  Then there's Pole whose first 3 albums of crackling electronic dub I never tire of. The dude from Pole I think used to master the Basic Channel releases. Listening to Pole has led me back to London's Burial whose first 2 records, Burial and Untrue I always liked but thought they were a little overrated. A reappraisal is perhaps in order as now I'm startin to think maybe they were rated that highly for a reason. Burial also used the basic Channel blueprint of no photos/interviews for a while as well as being indebted to them sonically.  I'm not sure what's become of Burial since Untrue which was released in 2007.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Audrey Horne

Just to cleanse your eyeballs after that last post 
here's the one and only Audrey Horne.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Miley Cyrus' Disney Sex

First we were made to imagine  Miley being penetrated by a giant finger (did I have to imagine that? She pretty much was!).  I read a great quote about this performance at the vmas, which was along the lines of "Unfortunately I can't unwatch that performance." I'm not sure I need to be upset or outraged by it though. It is what it is.

Then we were made to watch her playing with a giant anal bead. I'm not sure what her intentions were but its definitely not sexy, perhaps the opposite actually. In a way it kinda fits with Disney (who I assume she is trying to distance herself from) as its all a bit cartoon. Courtney Love thinks its punk. What's next?

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Random Thoughts On Pop Culture

How fucked up is American pop culture? For an example of this look no further than the family entertainment of the Disney corporation. Talk about Babylon burning. What happens to all these child stars who were once mouseketeers. It seems like you'd be an outsider if you came out of Disney as a child star into adult life and weren't fucked up (more on this in future blog).

Why have Mumford & Son been allowed so deeply into toady's pop culture? What the fuck is wrong with the kids? The re-release of Devo's Hardcore Volumes 1 & 2 put this in perspective for me. I thought why the fuck would you want to listen to this Mumford shit when you could buy those two LPs? Would it be a bad starting point for an anti Mumford manifesto? C'mon kids. Mr Agreeable is on board as well here.

Why didn't more records sound like Iggy Pop's The Idiot? You can hear the air on that record. Has there been a more singular sounding record ever? Speaking of Mr Pop surely his next step in his retro career replay project is to get the gang from The Idiot/Lust For Life era together and do some concerts then maybe a record and perhaps start using heroin again. Is anyone looking forward to when he gets around to Blah Blah Blah and American Caesar again? What happens when he gets round to The Weirdness again does he start the replay again? He might as well just keep the loop going till he dies. Imagine if he never dies? That got me thinking is there anyone whose career was so awesome you wouldn't mind it being replayed over and over again? It's just not a very good idea at all is it? Leave a comment if you can think of someone.

Is pop culture as we know it dead or dying? Catching an episode of Letterman a few months ago I was struck by how uninterested Dave was in his alleged pop icon guests. He's sometimes been like that in the past but he was having fun with it. He seems to get that talking to actors or whoever is a waste of time and why would anyone care? He lights up more when he gets to talk politics. The talk show format does seem to be moribund. Watching the Australian talk show Adam Hills Tonight or something like that I just thought it was tired and a completely pointless.  Everyone- Hills, the guests and the audience know this but they don't want to admit to it because then what? There's no new paradigm. Why did people ever think talking to actors or musicians was interesting? Name me a recent episode of a tonight show where you thought 'Gee that guest was great!'

Morcheeba & Woob are the latest couple of groups who are returning from the 90s in 2013. Who's next? Well I saw Omni Trio's Rob Haigh has a record out as well. To be quite honest I can't recall a single Morcheeba track. They were like trip-hop johnny come latelys as I recall and the genre was probably past its use by date by the time they arrived. 1194 the debut LP by Woob however was a 90s ambient classic, which I loved. Still do in fact.

Chillin' out..

Thursday, 19 September 2013

I was in Ballarat the other day.....
Ballarat Bitter...never had it, didn't even know it existed till I saw this.

Not big on the iphone camera. This is just random effects. They should call this hipstamatic effect The Boards Of Canada. I hate the way it framed this one. I liked my $50 phone better, at least I'd mastered that. It used to give me the vision I wanted. I was in synchronicity with that device.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

90s Nostalgia

Am I gonna get swept up in nostalgia for the great 90s 60s nostalgists Mazzy Star and their new LP? Probably. Which is a bit weird considering I never bought their 3rd album. I mean I loved those first two records, She Hangs Brightly & So Tonight That I Might See, played them to death. By the time of the third record it seemed their time was up but 17 years later it seems perfectly acceptable to give Mazzy Star's Seasons Of Your Day a listen. That says more about our relationship to time in 2013 than it does about me. Mark Fisher has some interesting thoughts about time over here.

Now here's some more nostalgia but this time for the future, well when 'ardcore was like the future in the 90s. Manix have a new record out called Living In The Past as pointed out here at Blog To The OldSkool. Pete from said blog is swept up in the nostalgia and has ordered a copy. Now why does Manix's comeback seem more naff than Mazzy Star's? I guess because Mazzy Star were always living in the past and you never thought Manix would ever be. In their time Manix, 4Hero, Reinforced Records et al were the antitheses of nostalgic revivalist culture. Like the Sex Pistols reunion Manix's comeback seems contradictory to their original intent. Living In The Past though is guaranteed to be more modern than Seasons Of Your Day.  We've all gotta eat I suppose.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus 7

Remember when you just wanted to play Daniel Lopatin's records over and over again because they were lovely, atmospheric, epic and sometimes anthemic. Rifts (Oneohtrix Point Never), Days Of Thunder (Skyramps), Artificial Midnight (Infinity Window) and Returnal (Oneohtrix Point Never) were all classics and you thought they'd never stop coming. Now his records are just ok and interesting. But are they though? If a record was interesting I'd wanna keep dropping the needle on it wouldn't I? I want to love R Plus 7 (and the previous album Replica) more than I can. When S Club 7 is on its fine I don't wanna smash the stereo in but at the same time it doesn't fill me with the desire to rewind or add it to my I-Pod. There was a good few years where Oneohtrix was the sound in my eardrums. Particularly in the morning on the train, on the platform, on the escalator and walking the windswept and rainy streets. But he's moved on and Lopatin is not giving me what I need any more. Lovely has turned to slightly irritating, serene to jittery (not in a good way) and neo-kosmiche to pretty much vapourwave.  Then towards the end of R Plus 7 with tracks like Chrome Country and Still Life there's a flicker of the Oneohtrix I once knew which keeps me hangin on a little longer hoping for a full blown return to form next time.

These tunes also included on
the compilation below.
Artificial Midnight-Infinity Window
Serene Atmospheres. Lopatin in
collaboration with Human
Teenager's Taylor Richardson.

Essential compilation. Includes
the above record.
Days Of Thunder-Skyramps
Scintillating collaboration with
Mark McGuire from Emeralds.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Melbourne IV - Primitive Calculators/Whirlywirld/The Little Bands...

Is this the best song ever to come out of Melbourne? It doesn't get any better! 
'I had a boyfriend, his head was ugly.....'

But hang on...This is surely the best version of Hey Joe ever recorded. Fucking brutal!
"I'm gonna head through Gippsland, down to Omeo,
I'm gonna go where a man can be free!
Ain't gonna hang from no Coolabah tree!
Ain't nobody gonna make no Tom Dooley outta me!
Ain't nobody gonna push too hard on me!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Melbourne III - Real Life

Melbourne II

AC/DC in Melbourne goin up Swanston St!
There's even a lane in Melbourne called AC/DC Lane.
I know they're not a Melbourne band.
Didn't they live here for a couple of years though?

Melbourne I

I'm leaving Melbourne soon which is a place I have lived for the last 22 years!  I thought I'd give the world a little hint of what Melbourne is like in regard to pop culture. I have a list inside my head about this city which will make all you internationalists realise either shit Melbourne what have you done? or thank you for the music Melbourne

Let's start with the 60s

My fave Aussie song of all time! Produced by Molly Meldrum & written by Johnny Young!
 I am the Real Thing!

Into the 70s

A much shorter version than the one on the Ball Power LP.
Ball Power being the best Australian Rock Record ever recorded.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Tim Hecker - Virgins

Was It Hemingway or Forster who said 'I write so I know what I think.' Anyway I feel I've got nothing to say but sometimes putting pen to paper reveals what is really going on in my brain. It's not like I'm not listening to a lot of music, maybe I'm listening to too much. I'd like to just focus on one or two records to write about but maybe nothing is outstanding enough. I am enjoying Tim Hecker's new album Virgins. Its got more exquisite drones that sometimes go berserk. Virgins is a fine proper follow up to his 2011 classic Ravedeath, 1972. I feel like this is music about architecture, skyscrapers and progress. Is it a paean to the 20th century's man made technological triumphs yet tinged with sadness that those heady days are behind us? It could be about nothing. I don't know maybe its about poverty in the 3rd world or mobile phones. It might be holy I mean check out the title. Perhaps this music is made for the joy of its own sonic delirium. Anyway its definitely monumental, its big, its urban and full of vibes I can't quite put into words. There are pianos, other acoustic instruments, synths and electric currents. Occasionally I'm put in mind of Maryanne Amacher along with other drone-ologists. Do I have to use the word decay somewhere in this paragraph? I don't want to! Abstract is a much overused term in music discourse of the last 20 years but on Virgins and Tim Hecker's other work it actually fits like a glove. This is a sound world I want to be part of again and again. Play it again Sam!

There you go who knew I was gonna write a review of that album.