Sunday, August 31, 2003

Planetary # 16
after who knows how long the 16th issue of planetary is on the shelves. damn it has been a HELL of a long wait. in some ways, it is disappointing, how can it not be when we've waited so long for a single issue? but it is good, no doubt about that. the flashback fight scene at the start of the issue of course looks pretty impressive. but its that appearance of jim wilder at the end of the issue which really takes my breath away, which reminds what planetary is all about, which makes it all worthwhile!

Red # 2
of warren ellis' recent spate of 3 issue serials i have to say i am enjoying red the most. mek had it's moments, but somehow steve rolston's art disappointed, which is weird cause i liked the queen and country and pounded stuff he did, but rolston/mek didn't do it for me. reload was decent enough, but didn't really excite me to any degree - the art was decent, writing decent, but no flare. ministry of space, first issue bored me senseless, didn't see any point buying any more. red however works. ex-government agent is responsible for 40 years of sanctioned killing but is now retired. he checks in every so often - status green. the CIA get a new director, it is felt he should know about this agent. so outraged by the horrors this man has comitted over the years he feels that he must be killed. however it isn't as easy as that - he wasn't their best agent for nothing. this hit breaks the agreement they made. and now his status is red. and he will kill every single person that knows of his existence if that is what it takes to ensure a peaceful retirement.

haven't a clue what issue this is. but the point is - the cover features john constantine without fail, and yet strangely he isn't really in this issue. oh sure there might be a couple of scenes in flashback where he is standing there. but still for him to be on the cover? it might have been better for it to be more relevant and it would be a nice piece of variety, without doubt!

-hmm. i think it is probably time to come back to planetary and write more than those comments. no time today. perhaps tomorrow.

Friday, August 29, 2003

random quotes - two recent quotes i've come across and noted for the sake of noting....

"like it or not, everything means something. like it or not we live in a world of encoded messages"
-peter milligan - human target #1

"then i should have told him that people put bombs on trains because they're looking for god?"
-umberto eco - foucault's pendulum

Once a year, in mid-June, tens of thousands descend on the city for Sónar, a festival of advanced music and multimedia art.

-this is a decent review of sonar/barcelona which i just found on the guardian site while looking for something else. it is included in their travel section, so it isn't entirely focused on the idea of reviewing bands, but it does give a good over view of the festival and everything else going on in the city at the same time. it is an event i've often thought about going to, but never actually got round to. the idea that it has attained this size and as a result there are all these other little things going on at the same time adds to the appeal. the level of techno influence on this year's festival did put me off a little, but the fact that there are things like the wrong festival going on at the same time does provide other options. the mix and match and the general atmosphere of the city tempts me to give it some serious thought next year.

Vromb Mémoires Paramoléculaires
- just thinking about the new vromb album rayons being considered as his fourth full length i wonder how the CD Mémoires Paramoléculaires fits in there. Jeux De Terre would be the first album, Le Facteur Humain the second, and Episodes the third. though Mémoires Paramoléculaires is limited to 700 copies, so perhaps as such it does not count as an album?

-regardless. for years vromb had only released jeux de terre and le facteur humain (along with a few long gone 7"s). which established an elusive and seductive reputation for the french canadian musician. his distinctive industrial rhythms, slow and throbbing with a certain trance inducing property. with that news of a new vromb release became cause for celebration. something that was entirely anticipated.

-the problem then became reversed. vromb instead of teasing us with rare albums has flooded the vromb market with 3" CDs, 10" vinyl, and interstitial releases of all kinds. so that a sense of saturation is in some ways attained. particularly with an album like episodes, which is presumably regarded as the third full length release, there is too much material - the album has its moments, but it becomes such a glut, that it is actually a little tiresome.

-which makes things problematic when it comes to le tourne-disque and mémoires paramoléculaires. let alone the even more recent split with Szkieve and the locomotive 10". i've always meant to give mémoires paramoléculaires more time, but after episodes it has been diffcult. though i always felt it wasn't as bad as some people perhaps felt. though it does have to be said mémoires paramoléculaires is a more difficult release to some degree.

-mémoires paramoléculaires is the stripped down vromb sound, perhaps more suited to the experimentation of hushush than the expectations developed for his releases on ant-zen? to be sure all the vromb trade marks are there, throbbing strobes of helicopter blade rhythms, forming a kind of industrial trance. but the sound featured here is more minimal, as though there has been more use of filters employed. the sound is more airy, more diffuse, with an element of particulate/granular impressions washing through the body of sound. the result is that mémoires paramoléculaires is more subdued, less about the overt moods, and more about the subtle atmospheres that result.

Suddenly the world comes back. With a stench of desolation. It smells like a backed-up toilet in an empty house with broken windows. Out of the corner of his eye Max sees something following him. Is it a dog? A cat? It’s a little man, black as ebony, long body, very short arms and legs, large head, big ugly baby-face. He’s inching along on his belly like a dog that’s been run over.

Her Name Was Lola is the latest novel by Russell Hoban, set for publication in hardback in november. which is a little frustrating. i'm doing my usual, random surfing for extracts of books. i've picked up one or two of hoban's books in the shops out of curiousity, but never actually bought and read any of his work. just one of those things you do, a cover catches your eye, you glance at it, and return it to the shelf.
but i've just read this extract and i am hooked. the ideas that hoban is using here work with things going on in my own head, with ideas i am enjoying in other people's work at the moment. a good extract can be readable as almost a short story in it's own right, and can be a good picture. of course some folk chuck out random extracts for anthologies, and those can often not work, disorientating instead of catching the reader; but that is a tangent.
max is a writer of books for adults and children, a lot like hoban himself. he meets a friend every week, they have food, a few drinks, exchange videos to watch. but on this occasion max seems to have picked up a passenger - a dwarf that clings to his back, a dwarf that no one else can see. as the day goes on he realises that someone has done something to him, and it relates to that CD that was slipped through his letter box.
i don't think i can wait till november, and it is unlikely that i would buy in hard back anyway - for the most part i never do. so it is probably just as well that hoban seems to have an extensive back catalog - i had a look in the bookshop last night, having started reading the extract - i think it is only a matter of time before i am exploring something there.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

- the CD by surreal satirist Steve Aylett - is now available to buy from CDbaby.com. ... easy to order at last ... ;8/

Aylett does stuff from Toxicology, Atom, The Inflatable Volunteer, Bigot Hall and Only an Alligator
(& bits of others) all interwoven with intense stratospheres from Beerlight city, Accomplice and the
trippy etheric worlds of Shamanspace. Like a field recording from a toxic spill being cleaned up by

Aylett has recorded with H3llb3nt and was a Philip K Dick Award finalist for the book Slaughtermatic.

‘Aylett deals prose that belongs on the Class A drugs schedule’ Grant Morrison


Bigot Hall
The Velocity Gospel
The Crime Studio
Only an Alligator
The Inflatable Volunteer

And all these things sing constant, the machines and the sirens, the cars blurting hey and rumbling all headlong, the hoots and the shouts and the hums and the crackles, all come together and rouse like a choir, sinking and rising with the turn of the wind, the counter and solo, the harmony humming expecting more voices.

this is the first chapter of "If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things"
By Jon McGregor, and i struggled to reduced what i read to a single and reasonable quote. the whole first section brings a city to life with the description of sound. as the chapter progresses the characters are introduced and we are presented with just enough to get us hooked. damn. i want to know what happens next!

Quicksilver: Volume One of The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson

-an extract from quicksilver, the first in a trilogy, by neal stephenson. it is described as being set in isaac newton's time, with some suggestion, i'm sure that it involves the ancestors of the characters in cryptonomicon. to be honest reading the extract, it doesn't actually do very much for me. with this kind of extract one doesn't really get any impression of where it is going to go. so no doubt i'll still read the book, based on past experience with the author.

Monday, August 25, 2003

We’re stop-starting around the ring road. I’m normally out of the village by seven-thirty and beat the rush hour. How odd it must be to do this every day, to play these shadow dodgems. To lurch and brake and stall, create motional syncopations. An improvising, automotive orchestra.
-this is the first chapter of Wake Up By Tim Pears, which i have just read. two brothers have turned thier father's greengrocers into a successful business. not content with that they have been experimenting with the genetic potential of the potato. unfortunately some people involved with the trial have died. rather than take the turn off for work and tell his brother the narrator decides to just keep driving round the ring road.

Title: 8 ½ Women
Cast: John Standing, Matthew Delamere, Vivian Wu, Annie Shizuka Inoh, Barbara Sarafian, Kirina Mano, Toni Collette, Amanda Plummer, Natacha Amal, Manna Fujiwara, Polly Walker
Director: Peter Greenaway

storey emmenthal is working in kyoto when he gets a phone call from his father philip, his mother has died and his father is quite upset. returning to geneva storey finds his relationship with his dad changed now that his mum is dead. persuading his dad that he needs to get out storey and philip go to see the fellini film 8 women. which is where philip becomes inspired with his son's encouragement to start building his own collection of women.

storey has found himself in an arrangement with a japanese woman, who is in so much debt in the pachinko parlour that he is responsible for. this works as the template for the set up that follows, as well as making her the first of the women. at each step they find a woman who is in a situation - debt to the bank, stealing a horse, making too many babies - then offers them a solution and a deal. so that before they know it they have 8 and a half women living in their swiss mansion.

of course there is a certain madness to such a plan anyway, but the fact that each woman has her own agenda also makes things more complicated. so just as quickly as the pair have their new harem, they also have a whole new set of problems. just as things are looking perfect it all falls apart.

peter greenaway is reknowned for his arty approach to film. in some ways he acknowledges his intent with philip's comment about how many film makers are just bringing their fantasies to life. which to some degree one gets the impression this is, as well as being a tribute/remix to fellini's 8 women. in comparison to something like pillow book, greenway is reasonably restrained with 8 1/2 women, there are scene headers and overlayed text and a few visual tricks here and there. but those are much more understated, almost token gestures, and several of the blocks of text aren't really readable anyway. which pretty much leaves the film and the tongue in cheek that must be involved in its realization. with the result that there is a definite sense of humour involved with 8 1/2 women, and there are several parts that i definitely found amusing.

while 8 1/2 women is initially slow, i did find that in the end i quite enjoyed it.

This hotel was bleak. The lobby smelled of roach spray and wet carpet. A wheezing Pekinese with an underbite tottered out from behind the reception desk and snuffled Peyton’s beige leather suitcase. The old lady behind the reception had a bristled chin — an eighty-year-old sack of boiled meats covered with talcum powder, with the same pop-eyed glare as the dog. Once, somebody must have fucked her senseless: how was such a thing even possible?

"Peyton Amberg" - Tama Janowitz. the cover to this caught my eye on the shelves of a book shop the other day. reading the extract from the publisher's site is curious, it seems to be the story of peyton who is fleeing an unhappy marriage, but the resulting journey would seem to be a harrowing one, with a definite darkness if this piece is anything to go by.

Title: Water Drops On Burning Rock [Gouttes D'Eau Sur Pierres Brûlantes]
Cast: Bernard Giraudeau, Malik Zidi, Ludivine Sagnier, Anna Levine
Director: François Ozon

water drops on burning rock is a small scale film really, taking more of a play form, where everything takes place in a handful of acts and all in the same couple of rooms. there are only 4 characters and the whole drama is restricted in scope. the result is that there really isn't much going on, and especially to start with there is a certain dragging sense.

franz is 20, he has been going out with anna for 3 years, despite the fact that he thinks he will probably marry her, he somehow isn't entirely happy with the relationship. so when leo, a 50 year old man, hits on him in a bar, he finds himself back at leo's flat without much persuading. act 1 starts with the arrival in the flat and how this launches their relationship.

6 months in and franz does work around the house, waiting for leo to come home at the weekend, having been travelling all week. leo is difficult, and psychologically manipulative, weakening franz by making it seem like everything he does is wrong. in the first act leo has talked of a previous relationship, where all they did was fight all the time. it quickly becomes clear that is his style, and that he is mirroring his relationship with franz on that previous one.

act 3 sees the arrival of anna. franz's ex-girlfriend who still loves him. her arrival is planned perfectly, with franz increasingly conscious of the friction between him and leo. anna wants him back. of course things become complicated further in the last act, leo returns from his business trip to find franz and anna together, then leo's ex turns up as well. putting all 4 characters in the flat together.

this is really a story about leo. charismatic enough to get folk hooked. but a user and abuser, so that it seems he will suck the vitality out of someone while he can, then cast them aside. to be honest, of the francois ozon films i have seen this is the one i enjoyed the least. though it is interesting to see ludivine sagnier again, having watched swimming pool the night before.

Thought for the day: the perfect soundtrack to being stuck at a shitty temp job while everybody else is enjoying their vacations. if only the boss would install a turntable next to the water cooler....
-the end errata. 12"

[for anyone who didn't catch that impression
from the block of press releases just posted.]

new releases from ant-zen/hymen

vromb. jeux de terre. cd/2lp. ant-zen act161
introduire la terre (comme lieu et matière), dans la maison, tremblement,
l'effet blatte, bunker/les abeilles, chrysope hydrocéphale, contamination -I
(l'eau et la terre), interlude libellule, virus annaxe, gigantisme,
contamination -II (radio et télévision), le vol de l'anach empereur.

until 1993, hugo girard's only appearance on record had been on a canadian compilation cd (adolphe présente), but these new ambient industrial sounds caused enthusiastic reactions in europe and canada. the first full length
release was a canadian / german label collaboration: 'jeux de terre' . this cd was beautifully packaged in a 7"x10" cover and the disc was in a hand numbered paper sleeve. also included was a postcard and several large prints
of nicely drawn insects - the text was in both french and english. the original 'jeux de terre' has been deleted for years. now there is the opportunity for vromb addicts to get it again on cd and for the first-time on vinyl. this re-release is in celebration of the ten year anniversary of vromb.
the concept behind 'jeux de terre' (earth plays) was of a journey through an imaginary world of insects. insects that had not been identified yet - as you can now read in english for the first time. 'insects, go for food or discovery, warzone, life purpose at the insect dimension' as girard explains it.
the sound on this disc is less beat oriented than later vromb releases, but nevertheless it is partly rhythmic. drones and basses create a hypnotic and sometimes threatening atmosphere. you might seem to hear natural, even
sampled, insect sounds but there were no samplers used. just 'strictly analog and digital synthesis'. you can hear what makes vromb's music unique even on his debut. a soundtrack to a film yet completed.
the ant-zen re-release contains one unreleased extra track which was intended for the original version and an 8 page booklet which includes a modified version of the original artwork.
official vromb website:

vromb. rayons. cd / 12" lp. ant-zen act151
klinikum, premier générateur, éclairs, rayons, la rayure, boulevard,
perpendiculaire, non-réel, circuit imprimé, deuxième générateur.

hugo girard's (a.k.a. vromb) input has grown enormously during the last few years. it started in 1993 with the release, 'jeux de terre' (now re-released) and then continued with only a few releases over next six years. but since 2000 there have been at least two records a year. in 2003, after his first split release with szkieve and a 10" vinyl, the fourth full length vromb album on ant-zen, 'rayons' (rays) will be released on cd and vinyl.
girard's intention on 'rayons' is to translate several kinds of rays into music - ranging from sunbeams to optical rays. so, 'rayons' can also be seen as an aural sight-seeing tour. the 'speed' factor is that of a person moving (whether by foot or in different vehicles). this movement was transformed into rhythmic patterns. imagine the aural equivalent of taking a walk during a thunderstorm ('éclairs') or feeling the sun peaking through a clouded sky while window shopping ('boulevard').
all sounds were generated with analog and digital synthesizers. the listener might believe that they are hearing modulated samples but this is not true. it is once again, an example of girard's virtuosity in creating 'naturalistic' soundscapes with pure electronic equipment.
for the images on the album cover, girard gave the photographer, alain gauvin the basic audio tracks for inspiration. the final musical structure on 'rayons' is based on inspirations from gauvin's pictures which were taken in the montreal area.
so close your eyes, let yourself go and feel the rays coming out of your speakers. also, look forward to vromb's live appearances in europe and canada at the end of this year!
official vromb website:

ambre. le mensonge. cd. ant-zen act140
le déclin, raz, sebkra, erratique, derrière la nuit, hiatus, hourvari,
étique, vernal, la vie est belle, plaisir et moisissures, l'appel.

written & performed by olivier moreau, john sellekaers and c-drík fermont.
www.ant-zen.com/imminent . www.metarc.com
. www.syrphe.com

ambre's second full length release explores a new direction in sound - this will be especially evident for those who are familiar with 'enclave'. however, there are still no rhythms in this aural universe, but it is still mighty cold and extremely dark in there. even in this cold and dark place, life forms (creatures, not machines) are created. you can hear them celebrating their rituals, you can hear them talk and you can hear them sending greetings to zoviet france's parallel universe (perhaps even a small postcard is sent to pierre schaeffer). but you can never hear them dance - never. these strange life forms don't need a purpose for what they do. do you need a purpose to exist? neither do they. what do you mean... it's all a lie? turn up your stereo. put on your headphones. turn off the lights.
this cd comes in a folded embossed heavy cardboard cover.

cell auto mata. the devil is in the detail. cd. ant-zen act155
fallen dice, aus558, esa unit, gws hearse, huevos de oro, ign558, ish galil,
sem kern, sauvée, hipsters, trisol dot grey, rip rozz, we met under concrete, trisol swap.

after six years and several releases on different labels, matthieu maire decided to cancel all activities that were executed under the celluloid mata moniker. but it wasn't his intention to end his musical activities - something just had to change. as a member of the ant family he was in contact with philipp münch (synapscape, ars moriendi and a solo artist (rorschach garden)). mata decided to exchange musical ideas with philipp and a new project was formed. a project that would include the creative output of both musicians. hence, cell auto mata was created. maybe you heard the first result on ant zen's 'daruma' compilation and maybe you wanted to get some more - well, here it is. we proudly present cell auto matas first full length release.
the first impression you might have while listening to this cd is that these are songs - not just "tracks". for instance, 'huevos de oro' or 'ish galil' are based on a 4/4 beat, melodies and even vocals - in other words they are
structured like a song. but this isn't pop; the industrial and technoid influences of both members melt together and deliver music that is beyond a listener's expectations and previous listening experiences.
the cd's mood seems to be quite dark and serious at first, but as the title implies: the devil is in the detail (and behind the surface). you need more time for this record than you might initially think (also you need time to check out all the nice little photos on the cover).
those who are familiar with both of the artist's previous releases might be able to identify the musical roots of this cd. such as the 'synapscape-ish' sequencer treatments in 'gws hearse' or the 'surf-organ' on 'hipsters'. nevertheless, this cd is an original and should not be seen as 'just another collaboration'. it should be heard as the debut album that it actually is.
cell auto mata on the web:

hecq. a dried youth. cd. kaleidoskop kal003y. 2003
01: intro 02: untitled01 03: nor nar 04: holo 05: numb woods 06: sake falls 07: tahoe 08: brake01
09: cicle 10: kolics 11: sun ricq 12: reptile prog 13: ...her skinny hips towards the sun...
14: vault 15: brake03 (long version) 16: pegas 17: brake two 18: fat starving data 19: untitled02 20: untitled03

well, what the heck is hecq?
hecq is not beefcake, and hecq is not lusine icl - but hecq could be a
phantastic listening experience for those who are into these artists.

actually, hecq is benny boysen from germany, and 'a dried youth' is his debut album.
in his' own words, "cold, functional elements are combined with organic, 'natural' ones, the result is a hybrid between different styles and moods". as many artists, hecq uses his' works as a 'link' between artist and 'reality'. his' music is the aural reflection of the artists' daily life. abstract beats combined ambience samples and sometimes melancholic melodies merge into a musical portrait of a non-conformist's daily life.
'a dried youth' is ambient-electronic soundscape music for the open-minded listener - enjoy !
additional info:
kaleidoskop - a division of minuswelt musikfabrik - www.minuswelt.com
distribution via ant-zen · info@ant-zen.com · www.ant-zen.com

lusine icl. condensed. september2k3. cd. hymen records ¥734
in flight, risa, chao, rabblerouse, dr. chinme, shin, rushhour, chao (crunch rmx), cascade, vacate, mojave, lullaby, neon.

since 1999, jeff mcilwain (a.k.a. lusine icl) has explored and combined a mixture of electronic music genres (and even some genres which do not exist yet). these explorations have ranged from experimental ambience to danceable
rhythmic treatments. his fanbase has grown with each release, and lots of open minded listeners have enjoyed albums such as 'iron city'. each release has spotlighted mcilwains variety and virtuosity in merging several styles.
this cd includes various lusine works which were available only on vinyl or only on compilations -except for the unreleased track, 'cascade'. none of these tracks have been released before on hymen records. although
'condensed' is actually a compilation, it has the aural impression of a regular full length album.
cd addicts can find the entire 'chao ep' ,released just a few months ago, on mental industries. also included from mental ind. is the track 'mojave' (which was taken from the 'bored ep' compilation 12"). 'in flight' appeared
for the first time on the debut delikatessen records 10", 'sustain'. 'rushhour' and 'vacate' are 7" vinyl tracks which were published on zeal records and awkward silence. 'risa', 'shin', 'lullaby' and 'neon', are cd tracks, but from compilation only releases - originally on !k7, tigerbeat6, eatthis and u-cover. this is a fine collection of lusine's work from the last 4 years. highly recommended.

official lusine website:

end. errata. 12". september2k3. hymen records ¥044
necessary fictions, the image economy, society of the spectacle, torschlusspanik, the culture industry (black lung rmx), theatres of memory (mehmet irdel rmx), society of the spectacle (xanopticon rmx).
photography by seze. www.seze.net
artwar by salt
thematic companion and stop-gap follow-up to last year's science/fiction, end is back with another batch of post-glitch soundscapes and futuristic nightmares.
errata reprises a few of science/fiction's dj-friendlier tracks (the shuffling plastic beats of the image economy and the hip-hop dirge of society of the spectacle) and offers some new essentials: necessary fictions is all icy melodies and a hypnotizing staccato groove while torschlusspanik is a ferocious scatter-beat number complete with hard bleeps and 70s theremin. all topped off with stellar remixes by black lung, mehmet irdel, and xanopticon.
the perfect soundtrack to being stuck at a shitty temp job while everybody else is enjoying their vacations. if only the boss would install a turntable next to the water cooler....
end website:

neutral. caller id . sept2k3. cd. hymen records ¥733
answering machine #1, cut paper, bird in the air (xingu hill remix), silent, hey ash (atlas' anthem remix by solenoid), carbon (end remix), paper boy (main post boy remix by telepherique), answering machine #2, 180 (cientos y ochenta remix by chango feo), carbon paper, j. doesn't do acid anymore (gridlock remix), jazz interludes for looney tunes, desire of (p.a.l remix), february and march (burning rome version), answering machine #3.

for caller id, nicole turned over tracks from her debut album, 1999's font translation errors, the 2001 mini album driving backwards, and her critically acclaimed second album, 2002's motion of, to a diverse group of remixers. among them are well known ant-zen and hymen noise arbiters xingu hill, p*a*l, and telepherique as well as newcomers like the cinematically-driven end. and since caller id, like motion of, is a joint release with mad monkey records, it seemed fitting to bring in mad monkey labelmates burning rome and chango-feo for this finale. rounding out the remixer list are oregon's best-kept electro twiddling secret solenoid and famed digital break stylists gridlock.
but caller id isn't just remixes. fans of her music will find three unreleased tracks woven into the release, adding a cohesiveness to caller id that makes it more than a simple collection of diverse remixes. caller id feels like a new album, much like mad monkey's first release - on which neutral appears - the legendary enter the monkey compilation. fittingly, caller id closes the loop for not only neutral and her first creative incarnation, but for mad monkey as well.
beginning with font translation errors - which mad monkey first introduced in an edition of 23 wooden cages with a stuffed monkey - neutral's sound charted the sonic territory between fat industrial rhythms and dense, imagist lyrics, all at a time when most electronic musicians were crawling up their own asses with laptops and plug-ins. nicole's unique sound caught the eye of planet-? impresario mike paradinas, who subsequently released her 7-inch beef bouillon/my sweatshirt after playing with her at the inaugural safety in numbers festival in new york.
neutral's vinyl-only mini album driving backwards appeared as mad monkey's first joint release with hymen just a few months later, pounding out more evocative sound for her growing fan base. but it took nicole over a year to find the feeling she wanted for motion of. simultaneously heart wrenching and subtle, motion of shed the artifice of electronic music's go-go attitude with a remarkable combination of traditional instruments and masterful songwriting. again, neutral's music was hailed as an antidote to the cold, calculated music produced by her software-laden peers; neutral's music persevered through the torrent of glitch and clickpop to produce a juicy warm fruit for everyone's ears.
the succulent nature of neutral comes out crystal clear in the remixes that make up caller id. one of the more startling inclusions is xingu hill's radical dissection of "bird in the air." xingu hill's john sellekaers carves out the steamy guitar flesh of the original, substituting a complex machination of static pops and digital effects, forging a metallic facsimile true in spirit to the original. telepherique applies a chilled salve of industrial effects to make "paper boy" a most relaxing, contemplative track.
mark kolmar of burning rome reconstructs "february and march" from driving backwards into a bass-driven pop instrumental that's simultaneously somber and invigorating.
verily, every track on caller id is a work to be savored. mike cadoo, who as part of gridlock turned "j doesn't do acid anymore" into a velvety synth dirge, muses on this a bit, noting that neutral is intriguing "because her tunes are far different than that of the usual suspects we remix."
"nicole is really genre-less," he continues, "and we thought it would be good fun to mash up her stuff."
with an artist of such expansive talents as neutral, it's a unique challenge for remixers to produce something that adds to the original instead of detracting, suggests end's charles peirce. "well, you know, there's always this weird balance with remixes about how far you take it away from the original, and i definitely wanted to preserve the original character of ('carbon') - that nice heavy groove in particular and i really appreciated that she had bothered to put some vocals on things."
"it's one of those remixes that i actually overworked quite a bit, really approached from a lot of different angles," he says. "i had even written a whole long keyboard melody for it at one point -- but then found it all worked better once i stripped that all back and just let it be the original rhythm and voice, albeit through some filters."
for the hymen and mad monkey labels, the release of neutral's caller id marks the end of one collaborative chapter and the beginning of another. in particular mad monkey records wants to pass along a message to everyone who has supported the label and neutral since the start: so long and thanks for all the bananas.
neutral on the web:

www.ant-zen.com . info@ant-zen.com
www.klangstabil.com/hymen . hymen@gmx.net
hymen / ant-zen. p.o. box 1257 · 93135 lappersdorf · germany

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Headphone Science – We Remain Faded
-I have to say that this CD, “we remain faded” by headphone science, took me by surprise. Often the first time I listen to a release there will be a certain amount of randomness involved, unless it is an artist I am reasonably familiar with. headphone science are a new name to me, and while I would have read the record label blurb, by the time I listen to the disc it is a random choice off a pile of new CDs.
-the disc has 7 tracks and starts with the title track “we remain faded”, which while it is a reasonable enough piece it doesn’t really say anything about the album that follows. It is a piece of melodic idm, with those clock work beats. The sound is ok, though not really striking as a first impression.
-however from that first impression the album is pretty much up hill from there. Delving into the territory of modern hip-hop/electronica hybridisation. Tracks like “larcenous” and “air bubble” are pretty striking, a mix of cut up vocal snatches and beats with melody. this current trend is one that leaves me with mixed feelings – for example pre-fuse 73 haven’t done much for me so far, while machine drum made more of an impression. With that in mind, my reaction to these tracks is similar to that with my first listen of machine drum. Perhaps even more so. By the end of a first listen I am very much enjoying this album. Which manages to get some nice, strong pieces in there, and includes a degree of variation. One piece, I’ll need to check which, includes a certain level of trumpet styled sound mixed with what takes me a moment to recognise as dialogue samples from Ghostworld.
-it is my intention to flesh this quick response out when it actually is ready to go online. But for now, headphone science have this album available through no type, and it comes recommended to fans of the genre described.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

recent listening
meanwhile. i've been listening to:
oil 1O - "arena"
EU - "warm maths"
takagi masakatsu - opus pia
frank bretschneider & taylor deupree - "balance"
jello - "lungbone EP"
xela - "for frosty mornings and summer nights"

Francois Ozon
i've just looked at the tv for this week"water drops on burning rock" is showing tonight, on channel 4 1.35-3.10am. the name rang a bell, though it is not a film i have seen. a quick check and it is known in french as "Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes", and is a film by francois ozon. ozon could well be one of my favourite french directors, responsible for films like 8 Women and Sitcom. looking further into the week i spot that there is also "under the sand", which is "Sous le sable" in french, and is also by francois ozon.

by coincidence i am thinking about going to a see a film in the cinema tonight, the most likely choice being Swimming Pool, which is Ozon's latest film and his first in english. swimming pool stars Ludivine Sagnier and Charlotte Rampling. Ludivine Sagnier being one of the 8 Women in that film which preceded Swimming Pool, and Charlotte Rampling being the lead in Under The Sand.

out of curiousity i was just looking up the details for Marina de Van, and was taken aback to see her listed as being related to 8 Women! it turns out that she was one of the co-writer for 8 Women as well as one of the lead actresses in Sitcom. another connection! i should probably pay more attention, and would spot these kind of things a lot quicker!

anyway. most likely i'll go see swimming pool tonight, and tape water drops to watch another night.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Title: Sorted
Cast: Matthew Rhys, Sienna Guillory, Fay Masterson, Jason Donovan, Tim Curry
Director: Alexander Jovy

Carl comes to London to put the affairs of his brother, Justin, in order. his brother having drowned in an accident, at least so it seems. but it quickly becomes clear to Carl, in the big city for the first time, that his estranged brother kept many secrets. one of those secrets is his girlfriend sunny, who doesn't know that Justin is dead until she bumps into Carl in his flat.

to some degree between the two of them they piece together Justin's life. his role in the club world and his drug habit. with this they seem to have uncovered a considerable drug scene and the people responsible for the manufacture and distribution of those drugs. this builds up the thriller element of the story, making it more than just a film about the club scene that Justin was a part of.

overall the film sorted is a mixed bag. the plot really isn't that deep and is at times predictable. however for the most part it is watchable, especially in the first half of the film. as momentum is gained and the film feels the need to be something more things become exaggerated - people start to over act and the soundtrack goes over the score. but regardless of that there is something with a lot of potential in here.

the cast is not that well known when it comes to the leads. a truly token cameo by children's television presenter turned actor Tim Vincent as Justin. Tim Curry being a cliche, by playing the part of Tim Curry and bad guy - he becomes like watching CGI in a live action film sometimes. then there is Jason Donovan Australian soap star, turned pop singer, turned back to actor again - playing dragged up DJ and one of Justin's best friends. Sienna Guillory and Fay Masterson play the two female leads, and are familiar to some small degree, offering the sides of the potential love triangle with Justin, and being very much opposites of each other.

sorted is currently available as a budget price DVD, with no extras.

Thought For The Day: "you live on the surface", lia told me..."you sometimes seem profound, but its only because you piece a lot of surfaces together to create the impression of depth, solidity. that solidity would collapse if you tried to stand it up"
- "foucault's pendumlum" - umberto eco..

Title: All the Real Girls
Cast: Paul Schneider, Zooey Deschanel, Shea Whigham, Danny McBride, Maurice Compte
Director: David Gordon Green

all the real girls is the second film by david gordon green. the first, george washington, was one i had mixed feelings about. again there is a young cast, but at least this time the characters being in their 20's it comes over as more believable than the hyper-angst of george washington's teens.

paul and tip are womanizers. they have been through most of the women of the same general age that they can. drinking, fucking, having a good time without much concern about the consequences. to some degree this film is about those consequences, and finally having to face up to the real world.

noel is tip's sister. she has been a boarding school since she was 12, but now she is back in town and all grown up. paul is immediately attracted. tip is immediately defencive. tip knows how he and paul have treated women over the years. but now that it is his sister in the firing line he can't let her be hurt. strangely though paul seems to be genuine, seems to regard noel as someone special. with that paul actually does turn down the first chance he gets to have sex with noel, but it isn't enough to stop tip falling out with him. meanwhile this is the first relationship noel has ever been in, having been in a girl's school all this time. so she is quickly caught up in the rush of emotion, but also confused.

inevitably things can't go well. but rather than paul being the problem it is noel. which brings paul's life to a car crash halt. leaves him reeling in the wake of his emotions, feelings that he has never really felt before, realisations he has never made before. the flounderings and turmoil that result from this is where the film's conclusion lies.

all the real girls, like george washington before it, is small scale, small town drama. there is a scene where paul and tip and friends are walking along the railway line and i get such a flash of george washington that i am taken a back. the scenery often lingers on the nature of the place, but also the factory, the industry, the heart of this community. the dialogue is personal, at times hesitant, and with that there are some casual gems thrown out there. lines, which in other circumstances could so easily have been cheesy, but here are striking and important.

all the real girls is entirely understated, and quite memorable with that.

Title: Nymphomation
Author: Jeff Noon
Publisher:Black Swan

it is 1999 and the city of manchester has been chosen for a year long trial of a new lottery game. the game is put forward as a version of dominoes - players buying a domino which goes through random pattern changes all week long. on the friday night there is the big televised "draw", where cookie luck does her luck dance with the chosen domino appearing on her dress. all the dominoes that were bought all week now stop on their final pattern. the person gets the same domino as cookie wins a million punies, those that get a half domino win a 100 punies.

manchester has been going mad for the game, it is incredibly popular. the blurbverts see to that, bio-organic advert that flies round the city shouting the domino companies slogans, primarily "play to win". however the increasing corporate presence, the swarming blurbflies and the jealous killings are starting to make some people uneasy about the nature of the game.

as noon works through game by game we are introduced to the cast of characters. daisy a young student, studying maths at manchester university. she lives above the golden samosa, a curry house, which brings her into contact with jazir, son of the owner and a keen hacker. meanwhile there is the trio of sweet benny, DJ dopejack and their mentor joe - the three involved in black math rituals. then there is celia, a teen run away, living with the homeless, until they realise that she seems to be just a bit too lucky with the dominoes. before she knows it everyone is after her for her winnings.

the characters all seem to have seperate story lines. but as noon turns manchester upside down and delivers it to madness he ties the stories together. reveals the links to a mysterious math teacher and the pupils who became brilliant and are at the core of everything. professor hackle who has written on nymphomation and math theories which are the basis for the dominoes. the man who brought the trio of dark fractals together for their math rituals, the tutor to daisy, who was in that same class with daisy's father.

the pieces of nymphomation fall into place as noon builds up momentum. but those familiar with his other work, like vurt and pollen will also see the clues that connect the three togehter. vurt was the first of noon's vurt-punk, his dream-punk works, sequeled by the equally elusive pollen. with nymphomation we suddenly have the instigation, all the factos that made vurt happen are telegrpahed through the matings of nymphomation.

on the whole i enjoyed both vurt and pollen after an initial disappointment with automated alice. however for me at least, nympomation is the one that really does it, enough hooks into reality to make it something that can be related to, and enough steps into the flipside, the dream engine that it messes with the head.

Title: Cowboy Be-Bop
[Tengoku No Tobira]

Cast: Steven Blum, Beau Billingslea, Wendee Lee, Melissa Charles, Jennifer Hale
Director: Shinichirô Watanabe

when one of the crew of the cowboy be-bop tries to collect the bounty on a hacker she ends up witnessing a terrorist attack instead. this accidentally gives them an advantage when it comes to trying to collect on the unprecendentedly large bounty put on the terrorist's capture by the new martian government.

this is the set up for the cowboy be-bop movie, based on the popular animated series. other than in comic form, i'm not really aware of cowboy be-bop having really filtered through to the UK, so the week long run of the film is the first contact i have had with the concept.

with the pursuit of terrorists and hackers the film covers some classic thriller/sf ground. each of the bounty hunters has their own character, and speciality - setting them off on their own paths trying to find clues. jet black is an ex-cop, using his contacts to know what the police know about the attack. spike spiegel is something of a cowboy, with yakuza style, and tries to track down the virus that was released by the attack, finding some link to a big chemical company. faye valentine has big breasts and few clothes, and erm some other talents that allow her to track down the man that she saw at the scene of the attack? Ed and Ein round out the group, one a child hacker, the other a preternatully intuitive data dog. the official site has character summaries which flesh out the group, though much of the depth of who the people are doesn't come across in the film.

through the course of the film we have a dark and mysterious villain, conflicted femme fatale, explosions, space ships, nano-tech, terrorism, moroccan bazaars, martial arts, secret conspiracies and loads of other stuff. so that the film is filled with mad detail which is on the whole well animated. the film is in japanese, with english subtitles, though many of the captions and on-screen text of the film are in english. as is the soundtrack, which starts to become quite annoying at times. the soundtrack being song orientated, and overwhelming at times, so that it is perhaps the only real problem with the film.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

production note: i seem to keep managing to post things twice or partially, in theory i should catch these with regular checks. but if you are reading this and see a semi/duplicate post then it is not intentional, feel free to give me a heads up.

-what is going on? started watching the DVD of "nowhere" on tuesday night, but thanks to phone call interruption i didn't get it finished till last night. typically there hand't really been much of the film left, so that left me still in the mood for watching something - so i followed that with "8 1/2 women". after that i finished the last 30 pages of "nymphomation" by jeff noon, final verdict - yeah its a good one! that done i was trying to decide whether to return to "101 reykjavik", but not really in the mood for that just now, though i am advancing by pages here and there. so i decided to go on to "foucault's pendulum" by umberto eco, seeemed like a good idea as follow up to the themes of "nymphomation", we will see. was listening to contagious orgasm · the cause of the flow on my way home last night, and asche · distorted dj on the way in this morning. the contagious orgasm is pretty good, fractured and directionless at times, odd tangents abounding. it was the remix disc, disc 2, of distorted disco that was on this morning - which really has it's moments, but i do find that it deterioates into one dimensional techno as the disc goes on, which is pretty boring.

i have a list of things that i want to write about right now. but i've got that unsettled directionless thing going on, so this note will need to do for now...

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

naw - the resound of a foggy autumn dawn

"the resound of a foggy autumn dawn" is an 8 track CD release on noise factory records, with a running time of about 40 minutes. in comparison to other artists on noise factory that i am familiar with - k.c. accidental, sparrow orange, and beef terminal - this release by naw comes across as something of a departure for the label. those other bands could probably be summed up by the idea of "post-rock", all coming from the slow guitar background. in theory mood wise naw is playing with the same kind of emotion to some degree, just as down beat and understated as other releases on the label. in rough terms though, naw's background could be described as techno with an element of dub perhaps. more accurately naw present a form of minimal techno, all very mellow and stripped down, beats playing along against pulsing bass lines. the result is that this album is reasonably pleasant sounding. the problem with that i suspect, after a couple of listens is that, while it is easily left on in the background, there is nothing on this album which really excites.

While I practise close encounters with cooked-food stalls, sex traders and oncoming traffic, wheel spins, split-second lurches and even one hand-brake spin, I try to remember what Dao Phrya Bridge is famous for.

-from the same site as the extract from cradle song, i am reminded about bangkok 8, which i have mentioned before elsewhere, but as yet haven't posted here. so here is the extract from this novel by John Burdett, there are a couple of short chapters from this thriller which is set in what is described as a "surreal bangkok". this is currently in my "too read" pile, need to work my way round to it soon!

They beat him unconscious with lengths of timber, and then continued kicking him as he lay on the ground. The girls had lured him into the building with the promise of sex; it was what the man had come looking for and what he had found.

-i have just read this extract of Cradle Song by Robert Edric, it strikes me as one to watch for. there is something about the tone of this crime novel makes me curious. described in the blurb as the first in a trilogy set in hull, a series of dark and modern crime novels. it came out in hard back last month in the UK, i suspect that if i do decide to buy it i'll be waiting for the paperback.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Title: Slaughterhouse 5
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Publisher: Vintage

the vintage crucial classics print is a selection of 12 classic novels produced in a limited edition format. these books are being sold at a special price of £3.99, including work by graham greene, angela carter, iris murdoch, and mikhail bulgakov. of the dozen i have so far bought bulgakov's the master and mararita, and kurt vonnegut's slaughterhouse 5.
despite the reputation of vonnegut i have never read any of his material till now. starting off slaughterhouse 5 i get impressions of philip k dick's work, a writer from the same general time, who at least initially seems to have the same kind of vibe. though as i work my way forward the difference that makes vonnegut who he is starts to come through.
there are a couple of interpretations of slaughterhouse 5 available. one is that billy pilgrim is a unique individual, who has come unstuck in time, travelling from moment to moment over the course of his life without warning; including being kidnapped by aliens and made to live in one of their zoos. the other interpretation is that billy pilgrim is barking mad, a man thrown into world war II at the deep end and living with the repercussions for the rest of his life.
as far as billy pilgrim is concerned it all makes sense. he studied to become an optometrist. was sent to germany before he could finish his study. was soon captured by the germans and made a prisoner of war. as a prisoner of war he was witness to the catastrophic bombing of dresden. upon returning home he finished his training. married and had children.
the flow of slaughterhouse 5 however is not that straight forward. just at the life of billy pilgrim would seem not to be that straight forward. vonnegut cuts the narrative up, propelling us on with a certain tongue in cheek effect. one moment billy is on his honeymoon, the next in a prisoner of war camp, the next in an alien zoo. through which he has to maintain a certain outlook so he can keep going, his motto becoming - so it goes.
the bombing of dresden is what slaughterhouse 5 is really about. the first chapter accounting for vonnegut's own experience as a prisoner of war, who witnessed the bombing himself. he explains how this is a book about those events, how it is not a big book, because only so much can be said. a comment which is true, this is not a big book, just over 150 pages, but even with that dresden remains a presence. something inevitable and dark, which can't be shifted, and reflects throughout the real tragedy that is billy pilgrim's life. even if he manages to shrug everything else off, we the reader are left with the effect of vonnegut's story; his distinctive and memorable voice.

Title: Goodbye Lenin
Artist: Yann Tiersen
i picked up the soundtrack to the film goodbye lenin, which i commented at the time was by yann tiersen. yann was also responsible for the soundtrack to the film amelie, which was a big hit, and no doubt raised his profile considerably.
with yann's soundtrack to goodbye lenin there are undoubtedly comparisons to be made to the one for amelie, i swore at the time that some of these pieces in the film are the same pieces. listening to the CD itself, it seems that there are no pieces included on both soundtracks, which may mean there was no overlap. though as suggested there are similarities between the works, several of the pieces on goodbye lenin have very similar sound elements - familiar structures and chords being played with enough of a variation.
initially while listening to the goodbye lenin soundtrack i am conscious of how much i like it, but also of those similarities, and with that comes a fear that yann could become repetitive with this kind of work. the slow and striking melodies, primarily in this case with piano have a definite style, a definite mood, which suits these soundtracks well. at times the amelie soundtrack could perhaps be described, a certain infectious accordion toned up beat mood. goodbye lenin contrasts that with more of a brass/wind influence on some pieces, going for the familiar structures, but with different tones and textures.
both amelie and goodbye lenin soundtracks suffer from the soundtrack symptom, which is that the pieces have specifically been taiolred to suit a film. this leads to a definite repetition dealing with a narratives recurring themes/characters, but also a wealth of short pieces which fit a scene here or there and are then done. this makes some soundtracks unlistenable, regardless of how striking they seemed when you actually heard them as part of a film.
yann tiersen however is different, his music has such a stirring strength and makes such an impression that these soundtracks manage to flow into a whole, that is a pleasure to listen to.

Monday, August 18, 2003

alva noto/scanner - uniform
- for some reason when i originally read the blurb about this release i thought it would be longer. uniform is primarily a live recording of a collaboration between these two artists which took place in san francisco's modern art museum. the material saw some editing by carsten nicolai before release, which i had some read as being to provide extra material on top of the live material. but the reality is that uniform is one track, lasting about 25 minutes or so. the sleeve fits in with the other alva noto releases i have (prototype and transform, and possibly another one that is slipping my mind riggt now) - which is a two tone digi pack, with squares and shapes as cover design, in this case the colours are shades of green. the track has mostly the characteristic style of carsten's material, maintaining those trade marks which make alva noto - deep throbbing bass pulses mixing with clipped sine wave signals. entirely striking, listening to this in the car you get that whole body shaking sound effect. robin's scanner in put seems more understated than some of his material, adding more textural scrabbling of sound. this provides a certain contrast to carsten's purity, but also compliments the sound well. as the piece develops we get more of a scanner impression, voices filtering through to some degree. the scanner material i have heard to date has seemed decent, but alva noto impress every time, and uniform is definitely not an exception.

-thanks to kenny for this link, market-o-matic is a generator for press releases, with which the following press release has been created for this very blog:

Work of Meta-Art in the Age of Symbiotic Reproduction
The vortex creates, the chaos permeates. In the synaptic artifice, art objects are reproductions of the iterations of the vortex -- a vortex that uses the chaos as a zeitgeist to deconstruct ideas, patterns, and emotions. With the synergy of the electronic environment, the vortex is superseding a point where it will be free from the chaos to consume immersions into the ejaculations of the delphic artifice. Work of Meta-Art in the Age of Symbiotic Reproduction contains 10 minimal shockwave engines (also refered to as "AI modules") that enable the user to make recontextualist audio/visual compositions.

measuring chains, constructing realities
putting into place forms
a matrix of illusion and disillusion
a strange attracting force
so that a seduced reality will be able to spontaneously feed on it
remote voice's work investigates the nuances of surveilance cameras through the use of jumpcut motion and close-ups which emphasize the Symbiotic nature of digital media. voice explores abstract and insightful scenery as motifs to describe the idea of hyper-real artifice. Using strobing loops, non-linear narratives, and slow-motion images as patterns, voice creates meditative environments which suggest the expansion of culture...

Friday, August 15, 2003

the city, the pulsating city, alive with rain and the colours and the stench of nymphomation. mathmedia.
-still reading nymphomation, jeff noon, i'm getting the sense that if pollen was a sequel to vurt, then nymphomation is a prequel to vurt.

Occasionally the rumours take a bizarre twist into reality. We receive a phone call that someone is trying to burn down the offices of a minor opposition party, which claims the election was rigged. When we arrive in front of the offices, a bunch of kids wave us to stop, wait till we get the cameras out and then petrol bomb the wooden guardhouse in front of the party property.

- tom vater is a sound researcher and writer, who travels round asia. his writing of his experiences is often included in the updates for the horse hospital in london. while many of the events aren't really relevant to me, being so far away, the inclusion of these snap shots of asia make them worthwhile. vater has a definite style, which gives us a different view point - that of someone on street level, someone who is seeing the curious and the dark. the quotes included here are from the latest horse hospital update, unfortunately this has not been added to their site yet. though the link above leads to the archive or writing by vater, which is currently on there. at this point in time tom vater is my favourite "travel" writer.

In a recent NGO survey 73% of Khmers said they had witnessed a beating of someone who had deserved it.

new listening: - new material, just in for review, plus the release notes and links that come with them.

ANNE WESTPHALEN - Everything Else

Everything Else is the second release of Anne Westphalen on SueMi. Her first record Of Loops and Quotes (2001, SueMi06, 7 inch vinyl) contained a number of interview samples from young women the American artist Justine Kurland had been collecting over years. These interviews were conducted as part of the photo series from which both Westphalen covers were taken. As a result of this close collaboration, many of Westphalen‘s first releases were being distributed through Kurland‘s gallery in New York.
The pool of tracks which built the foundation for Of Loops and Quotes consisted of seven tracks, from which only two were released on vinyl. During Westphalen‘s work on the record Everything Else, it became clear early on that this release would be more than a continuation of her previous work. Westphalen created a new, self-sufficient and self-contained universe for Everything Else where the track Gleisdreieck is a link to the previous work, using the remains of the sample pool of interviews.
In comparison, Everything Else is a far more entrancing record, trying to reach places with its minimal sounds and long loops the shorter 7 inch format could not go. All tracks on Everything Else were conceptualised and created jointly for this release. Drawn into the deep. Drawing into the slowly evolving rhythms. Everything else seems to be somewhere else altogether. Anne Westphalen writes her own poetry, echoing on the sound is a sound is a sound. And as time slowly progresses and the rhythm thickens beat by beat, it is hard to tell if you really move or the world just moves around you

BOOKS ON TAPE - Hey Typical!

Collector-friendly, 120 gram blue 10" release for North Los Angeles' own Books on Tape. * Todd Books (Books on Tape) calls his style 'beatpunk'. His music combines the energy of rogue rock with the instrumentation of electronic music. * His first CD, Throw Down Your Laptops (on Burbank CA label Deathbomb Arc) was the 7th most added record, week of 12/3/02 on the CMJ. Peak positions: #68, #58 (CORE), #24 (RPM). In Canada, TDYL started at the #1 position on !Earshot's electronica chart in April 2003. * Books on Tape's Canadian buzz continues with a further 3"CD on Toronto's Piehead records, Winning Record.

COIN GUTTER - All Your Dreams Are Meaningless

Up-and-coming Canadian duo presents their debut CD following impressive critical acclaim for their previous self-released CDRs. * Coin Gutter is an extremely active live act, touring constantly all across Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Montréal and elsewhere...) * Fresh style, new approaches, involving sounds * Inspirations range from early '80s Industrial to late '90s glitch, but they sound like their own thing! Coin Gutter makes experimental electronic music interesting again! * This CD is the 2nd release (after Magali Babin's well received debut CD) in No Type's "abstract" series, highlighting the best in new experimental/art music in Canada. A forthcoming CD in this series (by Max Haiven & Jon Vaughn) is announced for October 2003.


Oeuf Korreckt is Quebec City-based Frederick Blouin, expert Internet programmer by day, dextrous computer musician by night. * His debut CD, Podweek, follows four acclaimed online releases on No Type which even led him to be mentioned in Spin, a rare feat in itself for a musician who has never released a CD. * Podweek is made of 15 songs which read like a greatest hits of Oeuf Korreckt's underground period. Every song is catchy, memorable & violently addictive. The album happily mixes together elements of IDM, synthpop, rock, and even some happy hardcore to create songs that are quite simply timeless and never tacky.


Oakland, CA resident Dustin Craig's first CD under the name Headphone Science, following a number of succesful webreleases with No Type, Subverseco & Observatory. * Fresh, personal IDM style, highly melodic & catchy, with hip-hop & film soundtrack samples.


Daniel Menche, a warrior from the West drawing his strength from ancient spiritual codes of the far east. 'Invoker' is a work inspired by the age old ancient practice of sound being used to call upon higher dieties for strength and guidence and how mankind continues to use sound as an "invoker" in modern times. The whole aspect of "invoking" within and past the whelms of the divine is an strong interest and inspiration for this recording


Texturizer: Athens based duo of Nikos Veliotis and Coti K.
Nikos Veliotis, an experienced improviser of the European scene, armed with his cello, and electronics guru Coti (recently appearing on Antifrost's 'Suffer/Enjoy' compilation project) are long term collaborators. The different directions that each of them has chosen for their solo work, perfectly converge in Texturizer. Texturizer spent a day at the Agios Georgios Church in a suburb of Athens creating a tense volume, a magnetic state of captivating layers of acoustic sounds, field recordings and electronic drones full of subtleties.


For some time already, Eric Aldéa had been mentioning his will to work on an adaptation for machines and strings of "Spiral Insana", a track recorded by Nurse with Wound in 1986. Thrilled by the first extracts he had sent us, we soon committed ourselves to produce it.
At the same time, his encounter with Ivan Chiossone, a talented multi-instrumentalist who was then working on his first recording, induced him to broaden the scope of his initial project. This encounter has indeed quickly become a close collaboration for Ivan Chiossone has taken part in the creation and the development of the project. Finally, Narcophony is a piece of work of its own, inspired by "Spiral Insana" rather than a mere adaptation of it. 2 of the 5 tracks are co-signed by the two musicians and the third track, called "Leo", is Chiossone's own work.
This symbiosis, shared with all the guest musicians (including Franck Laurino and Francois Cuilleron, two former members of Bästard), enabled the duo to produce a magnificent record, alternating soothed atmospheres and the symphonic gushes of strings and organic sounds (oud, clarinets...). A superb voyage at the crossroads of contemporary and electronic creations. Purely and simply beautiful music.

GEL: - Dolce

Gel: is the alias of Julien Loquet from Normandie, France. His first album "-1" (originally from Artefact) was a tremendous hit among the experimental electronic music scene in Japan. He also records under the alias Dorine_muraille and has recently released from the UK's great Fat Cat label.
"Dolce" (a word for "softness" in Italian) is his second album under this alias and you can hear influences from post-classical music but something totally different. He recalls this album as his most delicate work ever using many live instruments like acoustic guitars and piano. The recorded instruments are processed and combined with electronic tones and glitches in his laptop and stirred up and arranged over and over. The results are melodic layers flowing with constant changes disrupted into caos and on and on to another scenery... Incredibly dense tracks full of numerous colorful fragments.
The artwork painting and the design is by Cheason from Fonica who has recently released a highly acclaimed album from Plop (licensed to Tomlab for the world).

MAPS + DIAGRAMS - Polytuft-Tech

'Maps + Diagrams' is Tim Martin. born in 1972, Tim spent most of his childhood whizzing round Nottingham on a bmx and listening to his friend's dad's collection of Kraftwerk, Talking Heads and punk records. A love affair with electro and hip hop then followed and ensured that he never looked back. When Tim got his hands on a clapped out keyboard in the early nineties, he soon found the sounds he imagined when he was younger and his childhood memories came flooding back.
'Polytuft-Tech' is the sound of Maps and Diagrams in 2003, it strikes a complex and intricate sound but retains all the warmth and melody of Tim's earlier work.
In his own words: "I prefer to create simple melodys that tend to bounce off each other and try not to get too distracted with the over-production that we hear in some music now days. I've always been into electronic styles of music and influenced by technology. Polytuft-Tech for me was a step up in that sound which i had developed from a few years back with my debut lp Free-Time on Pause_2. With Polytuft-Tech I kept similar melodys and developed a warmer more advanced structure to my music with more emphasis on the percussion and underlying sounds that carried the music deeper."
As Maps and Diagrams, Tim has also previously released music for Neo Ouija, Tundra Music and Endorphin. In addition, he runs his own label, Cactus Island.


8 Guitars is a totally absorbing and trance-inducing work of psychedelic beauty. Here eight guitarists are patched to a computer; recorded and manipulated live with no overdubs. Each player observes strict, unchanging rhythmic patterns over the course of the recording. However, the dense, shifting rhythms in 8 Guitars are derived not from the physical attack of the performers, but through the complex interaction of the overtones and harmonic characteristics of the instruments themselves. This makes for one of the most unique and compelling works for electric guitars in recent memory.
8 Guitars is a finely balanced exploration of restraint and delicacy and is at the same time a full-blown raucous electro-catharsis. The sort of work that will satisfy not only the chin-stroking lovers of abstract electronica but also power-chord enthusiasts.
8 Guitars is the first album by Scott Horscroft from Sydney/Australia.

ULTRA-RED - ¡Amnistía!

Los Angeles collective Ultra-red (previous releases available from Comatonse, Mille Plateaux, Fat Cat, and Beta Bodega) come forward with an intense, playful and urgent commentary on the rights of undocumented immigrant workers. Using the May Day 2000 rally which took place on Wall Street in New York City as the sound source from which the group craft this suite of compositions, this 20 minute EP energetically brings the immediacy of the workers' situation to the fore. Ranging in style from finely detailed minimal house to precise and focused soundscaping, these recordings mark a stylistic departure for the collective while merging to create a seamless listening experience complete with repeating motifs, both verbal and musical, throughout the release. The use of field recordings of the rally (vocal house?) to create the sense of protest through atmosphere and rhythmic urgency is more effective and complex than to be found in Ultra-red's previous works. Includes an essay by Ultra-red, presented in English and Spanish, on the situation faced by undocumented workers in the USA.


What do coffee machines, neon tubes and gameboys have in common? They can all be found as the creators of sound on the CD Hearings.
Everyday objects as instruments and unconventional approaches as a principle: this premiere CD from Transacoustic Research's newly founded label offers, along with the reinterpretation of language samples into musical material, also the sound of the Jew's harp as the basis for electronic music, homemade laptops, and sounds from hard drives' writing heads.
The individual tracks, which range from pieces that are nearly dance rhythms to calm contemplative stretches, prove that these unconventional approaches can lead to impressive musical results.
Hearings, events organised by the Institute for Transacoustic Research, offer presentations of experiments and projects displaying a transacoustic character.
The hearings make a significant contribution to the more precise circumscription and investigation of the field of research. The experiments and projects presented are mainly from the area of audio art and experimental music. Also appearing, however, are collaborations and individual contributions from the fine arts, literature, humanities, dance, musical theatre, performance, electronics-technology, etc.

thug track of the day: sudafed x2

-and its another morning of driving to the station. still working through "volvo". so the next flash back track to some quality tunes is sudafed x2.

for more info:
tim koch
tundra music
surgery records

Thursday, August 14, 2003

"please don't tell me that's your volvo" - tim koch
-i've thought about buying this album for ages. but as an australian import, the price tag has tended to be a little steep. i've picked up a few other bits and pieces by tim anyway, so thats cool (mine is yours, volume ep, shorts in alaska, and island tones).

-but really it was the MP3 material on monotonik, where tim recorded under the name Thug, that caught my attention. the track werdan being one which does the rounds regularly on my MP3 playlist.

- so anyway i just picked up "please don't tell me that's your volvo" in a sale. so i didn't have to pay that whole extra import cash that kept putting me off. it is one of those CDs i've thought about for so long i couldn't even have told you what the track listing was. it didn't really matter. so this morning as i got into the car, i slipped the disc into play. and it was then i discovered the first track was werdan, and that totally set me up for the day! i felt all blurry and vague, its 6.40 am forsake. and then there it is werdan! and i'm happy. so that puts me into the thug space, and thats what i've been looking for since i first went for a bit of koch, regardless of how much i've come to like a bit of koch, part of me always wanted that thug sound.

7f No such outburst by present day winners shall be permitted, except during the first ten minutes after the result.

-last night i finished reading slaughterhouse 5, i suppose for such a small book it took me longer than expected, but it has been one of those weeks. really. whatever, i'll come back to slaughterhouse 5 later.

-i wasn't really in the mood for 101 Reykjavik at the moment. so i decided to move on to the promise i made myself earlier on this blog. which is to read Nymphomation. it seems like ages since i read any Jeff Noon, and i'm really enjoying this.

"The 10 million lovelies of a domino's kiss, delivered by Cookie Luck herself. The curvaceous ghost of numbers, coming out of nowhere, coming out of television, to drag you down, screaming with pleasure."

- manchester has been chosen for a trial run of a new form of lottery.
- manchester has become addicted to the dominoes, the bones.
- manchester is determined to play to win!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

new stuff
1. added to the "to read" pile:
"slaughter house 5" - kurt vonegut
"underworld" - don delilo
"the body artist" - don delilo
"twenty-seventh city" - jonathan franzen
"the master and margarita" - mikhail bulgakov
"tokyo doesn't love us anymore" - ray loriga
2. added to the "to listen" pile:
"urmula" - beyond sensory experience
"now you know" - machine drum
"please don't tell me that's your volvo" - tim koch
"wanna buy a crap rak?" - car park records sampler
"lungbone" - jello
"voile" - jello
"Silicom 2" DVD- silicom
"cenny crush" - kettel
"opus pia" - takaji maskatsu
"for frosty mornings" - xela
"uniform" - alva noto/scanner

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

101 Reykjavik - Hallgrimur Helgason

a couple of years ago i saw the film 101 Reykjavik directed by Baltasar Kormakur, which is based on the book 101 Reykjavik by Hallgrimur Helgason. i quite enjoyed the film, bought it on DVD not that long ago, and watched it again. i bought the soundtrack, which worked quite well with the film. i also intended to read the book. but somehow. i never got round to it. at least till now.

i'm maybe a chapter or so in, early days yet for sure, and it is a good sized book - not too wee, not too big. but straight off i am noticing differences from the film. some of which might be considered to be major. for starters in the film lola is a flamenco teacher who arrives in reykjavik to teach dance, in the film she is straight off an icelandic lesbian, who works with alcholics anonymous, and is known as lola despite it not being her name. quite a difference! less significantly, i am pretty sure that the main character is younger in the film than the book.

curious. i wonder to what degree other things have been changed. of course book to film adaptations are always going to be a kind of fuzzy logic, taking part for the parcel, rather than the whole. some remain closer to the original than others, while some become entirely unrecognisable, for whatever reason.

no doubt more to say the further into the book i get.

Dual are special guests at the Polish AMBIENT '03 festival. Dual are the only UK artist's to be invited to play at this years festival with other artists including Kouhei Matsunaga (Japan), Daniel Bloom (Poland), Marcin Bocinski (Poland), Aquavoice (Poland), Angelicus & Cybernail (Poland)...
Dual will headline the first evening of the festival on Friday 15th August '03 and will preview a new film shot on location in Japan in June 2003. The festival takes place on Friday 15th August and Saturday 16th August 2003 at Center of Culture, Gorlice, Poland.
Full details are available at the official AMBIENT '03 website: http://www.mpm.prv.pl

Dual - Pace EP
3" cdr
CEE Recordings
The first in a series of cd ep's features the debut live Dual performance at The Carny in Manchester UK, 1997. This 3" cd with exclusive hand made artwork features three tracks; Auxpin, Chpst:k and Pyrhhic with a total playing time of 21 mins. Beautiful subtle textures intermingle with pulse bass, scratchy backwards clatter and atonal guitar drones. This release is ltd. to 100 individually numbered cd's on the CEE label and also proudly distributed by Coombe Records. Available as always through the Coombe records distribution network and available from exclusive Coombe Records / Dual stockists listed below... SELLING FAST (final copies)

Other D U A L releases...

Keimar Sty CD
The latest Dual album Keimar Sty is now available. Keimar Sty features five brand new tracks and is the first release on the label Coombe Records. As always all the sounds on this release are from the guitar and this second full CD release features Dual exploring rhythms and percussion coaxed from the guitar while applying various treatments and manipulation. Although some traditional methods of playing the guitar have been employed on the recordings of this album the finished mixes show no real sign of a plucked guitar string. Drones and textures are interwoven with clicks, pops and buzz from the electronics with subtle bass rhythm to create a soundbed of drifting melancholic ambience. All Coombe Records releases are available through good record shops and the selected outlets and mail order distributors listed below.

Pylons and Telegraph Poles - various artists
A brand new compilation CD featuring an exclusive Dual remix of Crain (KRNY-M) taken from the Dual Caste CD album originally released on CEE recordings in 2000 cd-r featuring: iD, Culver, Dual, Arabella's Parade, Rob Galpin, Johann Wlight, Amberlight, Nixxos Lexxos, Karina ESP [individual Polaroid covers, with full colour sleeve in jewel case] more info at the Evelyn Records website

::: Fear Drop magazine :::
Dual are featured in the latest issue (#8) of Fear Drop magazine. The magazine includes a four page interview with Dual as well as articles on Panasonic, Muslimgauze, Biosphere, Fennesz, Nurse With Wound and label features on Raster-Noton and Dorobo. There is also an accompanying compilation CD with an exclusive Dual track 70dN. Other artists include Panasonic, Porter Ricks, Piccolo Saxo, The Infant Cycle, Darrin Verhagen, Rob(u)rang, plus others.
Further info from feardrop@wanadoo.fr

Other releases now available from Dual
DUAL - info@dual.co.uk
DUAL c/o 13 Clarence Avenue, Doncaster, DN4 8AU. ENGLAND
please include return postage with all postal enquiries to guarantee a response.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Title: La Reine Margot
Cast: Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Vincent Perez, Virna Lisi, Asia Argento
Director: Patrice Chéreau

-one christmas years ago, i think it was bbc 2 showed a series of french films over the holiday period. during which i half caught la reine margot, which caught my attention enough that i though i should see it properly. for years i would pick it up on video and look at it, then put it back, because it was far too expensive to buy on video. however i finally found it for a reasonable price on dvd, and sat and watched it saturday afternoon.

-religious tensions threaten to tear france apart. to this end margot has been put up for marriage. the catholic king's sister is to be married to a protestant in the name of peace. the idea comes from the king's mother, who is a ferocious conspirator, determined to retain her power regardless of the costs. so while on the one hand she conspires to bring this marriage about she also plans to kill another prominent protestant and fresh adviser to the king.

-caught in the middle are margot and henri of navarre, margot a pawn in a marriage she doesn't want and her new husband henri a paranoid man that doesn't expect to survive the days that lie ahead. with the assasination attempt on the king's new adviser tensions rise, paris is filled with 1000's of protestants there for the wedding. revolution could errupt at any moment, and to prevent this the catholic powers decide on a massacre.

-in one night 6000 people are slaughtered. through this margot makes a wary alliance with her husband and falls in love with one of his fellow protestants. with the massacre done these survivors must walk carefully to survive the continuing plots.

-the film is lavish, detailed and evocative costumes are worn throughout. but it isn't too shiny like some period pieces can feel, there is a certain edge of squalor at points, and a definite brutality and bloodyness to the violence. la riene margot sweats with paranoia, informed by a sense of intrigue and potential for betrayal.

-to go with the look and feel of the film it has to be said that isabelle adjani, who plays margot, is stunning. a quick check to see what else adjani has done would seem to suggest that she was 39 when she made this film, which i find difficult to believe! daniel auteuil as henri brings to life the part of a paranoid man, a man on edge for a reason, a protestant caught in a catholic man trap. i was also bemused to spot asia argento in a small role, one which had passed me by on that previous half viewing.

Title: Lili
Author: Annie Wang

I grow suspicious. I have heard that Western journalists often interview Chinese by treating them to lavish dinners and shows and then prying information out of them. Such Chinese "sources" usually get into big trouble afterward and are punished for "breaching national security."

i read this extract from annie wang's lili ages ago, since then i have intended to read the book, the first from this chinese writer to be written in english. something which she found to be a considerable challenge, learning english in the writing process! for some reason the novel is published in the US by random house, where the above extract is located, and in the UK by picador, who don't supply an extract (which is a pity and negligent in my opinion!). of the two, and is often the case i prefer the british cover to the book.

it is 1989, lili is a 28 year old chinese girl, fresh out of prison for being a hooligan. times are changing some what in china, but for a single chinese woman, with a "past" things remain difficult. when lili was a child her parents were sent away to be re-educated, being intellectuals at the time of the cultural revolution. with no one else to look after lili, she ended up in the monkey village as well, where she was neglected and uneducated. raped at the age of 12 by a party official she ran away and returned to beijing for a life on the streets. as a gang member she earned safety and food with her body.

with this past she has little options and has pretty much closed down, taking little interest in the world or the politics going on around her. but when she meets an american journalist she is still conscious of his american naivety when it comes to understanding china. regardless a relationship forms between the two and we follow the sides of how the look on china, and how those compare to the realities as they visit rural villages and witness real poverty beyond that of beijing itself.

to some degree the first 200-250 pages are really a set up. fleshing out lili and her relationship with roy. so that it is the last 50 or so pages where things really start to get under way. student protests start to occur in tiananmen square and despite the fact that lili doesn't really understand the concepts of democracy she is still drawn to events. at the same time she is foreced to confront who she really is, and what the concept love really means.

on some level lili is described as being a love story. and in some ways it is. on some level lili is described as being a novel of tiananmen and the events which happened there. and in some ways it is. but in so many ways it is about both of those things - it is about love and democracy and so much more. however, overall lili is a novel about china, reflecting on the history of a nation and a period of flux within that history, which goes some way to account for the life of the author who experienced some of those events, and for how that nation became what it is now. personally, i really enjoyed this book.

Friday, August 08, 2003

demo pdf preview

-demo is a 12 part series by brian wood and becky cloonan, the team behind the sequel to brian's channel zero, jennie 1.0. the series is intended, i believe, to be 12 seperate stories all sharing the same theme. demo is a response to the failed NYX title wood and choe were supposed to be doing for marvel, launched from his time with their generation X title. an alternate and adult view on the idea of super heroes, which isn't to say soft-porn, rather more realistic view on teenagers discovering they are different in some way and dealing with that.
the above pdf file contains the first 7 pages from the first issue, and it looks pretty decent from that. the plan at the moment is for brian and becky to get at least 6 issues ready to go before the monthly publishing starts in november. that should allow for a steady run to happen, avoiding many of the problems with deadlines that can plague titles.
publisher larry young, responsible for AiT/plaNETlar, who is responsible for putting this series out there, along with much of wood's other recent work, stresses that this series will depend on sales - if the sales aren't there a collection will NOT appear.
more info:
brian wood

Fugitives and Refugees by Chuck Palahniuk

The next thing I know, I'm choking. My throat is full of something soft and dry. I'm gagging, and my mouth is stuffed with something chewy and matted. Some kind of fibers. Or hairs.

strangely palahniuk seems to have followed up his run of successful novels with a non-fiction book. described as essays and travelogues. as far as i am aware it hasn't been published in the UK yet. though, being non-fiction means it would get filed somewhere stupid and not with the rest of his books - i guess.

it would also appear that chuck has recently started an audio blog, looks like two entries online at the moment. of course i don't have speakers on this machine, so i'll need to wait till i go home before i can listen to those.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

symphony #1 for dot matrix printer - commentary on the original release by [the user]

bruce sterling - grow thing
"I'm ahead of the curve, Dad. I already hate everything else."

-an online short story from bruce sterling which i am reading as i type...
-not read this one before, unlike the other two that i found at the same time.

symphony for dot matrix printer 2
The orchestra is 'conducted' by a network server which reads from a composed 'score'. Each of the printers plays from a different 'part' comprised of rhythms and pitches made up of letters of the alphabet, punctuation marks and other characters.

-[the user] return with a follow up to the previous symphony for dot matrix printer, with this longer composition. the intent is to harness redundant technology for a new effort. the site above describes in more detail the means and intent of composition. the disc has been getting listened to quite a bit over the last few days, i just love the sounds that have been generated. you have to think there is a lot of planning to get the printers to produce the sounds just so. obviously listening to the disc you are aware of the source material, it is obvious, the intent is not to hide it! but the movements of parts and the patterns being typed out from instructions all come together, sometimes quite slightly and understated and at other points with real definition and force.

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