I’ve now attained the fortunate position in life where as soon as any kind of cultural event themed around the subject of ‘Fog’ appears on the social calendar (both the phenomenon of fog itself and any object bearing qualities that could be classified as fog-like or fog-related), my inbox becomes awash with messages from well-wishers alerting me to it’s imminent arrival. And so when word spread that John Carpenter’s soundtrack to his 1980 creep-fest ‘The Fog’ was about to get the deluxe reissue treatment thanks to the folks at the Death Waltz Recording Company, it didn’t take my confidants long to join the dots. After all, as one of them pointed out, it’s my nom de plume. But frankly, who wouldn’t be excited about a double-heavyweight vinyl featuring a veritable glut of extra cues that never made the original release and artwork by a certain Dinos Chapman? Even the discs themselves looks pretty gorgeous:
While not a quivering mass of anticipation, it’s fair to say I was pretty jolly bouncy by the time I received the weblink to where the freshly minted release was said to be waiting for purchase. But unfortunately it proved to be a bad link in quite a number of ways, whisking me off-course to one of those weird holding pages that simply list a number of ‘related’ search topics that in reality seemed tailor-made only for desperately amoral middle-aged men. The internet seems convinced that whenever hunting for obscure vinyl, tickets to the theatre or flowers for mother proves fruitless, an extra-marital affair, a cure for baldness or a Thai bride is just the thing to soften the blow:
…And so today as I return from an admittedly enjoyable week of elicit encounters in a Static Caravan with a group of over-50s Playstation enthusiasts (don’t tell my Ukrainian wife!) it looks as if the curse has struck once again: The new pressing appears to be sold out everywhere and copies already selling for ‘Bugs Bunny Money’ on Discogs. The Fog has rolled out. Damn.
However, all this excitement caused me to reminisce on the occasion a few years ago when I paid a visit to the lighthouse at Port Reyes on the Californian coast which served as one of the locations for the film. You might remember it as the location of DJ Stevie Wayne’s radio station (KAB, Antonio Bay) and I thought I’d include a few pictures here, NOT as a stroke of sulky hauntological one-upmanship, but purely because this particular part of America is one of the most staggeringly beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Alright, perhaps I’m sulking just a little bit…
As you can see, there would be very little room for a radio station in the lighthouse. I have a feeling those scenes were probably filmed elsewhere using the magic of editing. Inside there’s just about a enough room for the lamp itself and a nice lady in a US Parks uniform. I didn’t like to broach the question of cat-swinging, but in such cramped conditions I doubt we would’ve accomplished much.
Most exciting was the old engine room containing the fog horns. Despite the sunny weather the lighthouse’s horn was in operation when I visited, although of course it’s just a modern electronic tone these days. There’s no way I would’ve stood this close if these horns had been in operation. And of course they wouldn’t have been positioned in-dooors:
Oh, California, you really are lovely. if it weren’t for the earthquakes and rattlesnakes I would move to you first thing tomorrow morning. Perhaps some nice US promoter on the West Coast fancies booking Howlround for a live tour? Just a suggestion…
Speaking of Foghorns somewhat closer to home, I hope you’ll be joining me in attending the Foghorn Requiem taking place this Saturday at Souter Point Lighthouse on the North-East coast. A gigantic composition featuring three brass bands and a flotilla of vessels out at sea, all lead by the incredible voice of the Souter Point foghorn, one of the few remaining working foghorns in the UK (no longer operational, but maintained for special occasions such as this), it’s the work of artists Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway with composer Orlango Gough and apparently new technology has been developed to enable ships horns several miles offshore to play in time with musicians on the shore. The performance starts at 12.30 on Saturday 22nd June and I shall definitely be there in my capacity as a fan of foghorns and also in my capacity as a broadcast journalist. In the meantime you can find further information by clicking the link above and get a teasing glimpse of just what the foghorn sounds like by watching this quite charming video that I found on youtube:
I’ve also been raiding the BBC Sound Effects database for foghorns again and thought you might like to hear one of my favourites. This very short but somehow instantly familiar recording was made in 1968 in Southampton Harbour, and that’s pretty much all I can tell you about it. Absolutely wonderful,though:
If all goes according to plan, things are going to get even more Fog-horny on these pages in the coming months. I think I can safely say it’s going to be ‘a blast’.
A noisy great blast.
Welcome to my Foggy Lounge. Pour yourself into something comfortable and slip on a glass.
Yes, it’s yet another hand-picked selection of vinyl favourites, this time a more laid-back affair featuring some of my favourite library and easy-listening jams, designed to provide spiffing and leisurely accompaniment to an excitable crowd at a sold out show at Shoreditch’s hipster-hotspot Village Underground, waiting for an after-dinner set by those Public Service Broadcasting fellows. I would particularly urge you to savour this one, as many of these tracks are on LPs that are not normally allowed to leave the house and have now been filed back in my impenetrable vinyl dungeon. Indeed I spent the entire evening terrified that some sort of thievery (presumably by a telepathic crate-digger in a magic fishtail parka that gave him invisible powers) might occur if I took my eyes of them for more than a second, despite the fact that I was in a DJ booth surrounded by two sound engineers, a lighting guy and the chap whose headphones I’d borrowed. And of course not forgetting that speedy discrete getaways are quite hard to pull off when carrying a bag of records so heavy that you end up doing a pretty convincing impression of the letter ‘S’. That said, if I ever catch the fellow who swiped my pristine Urban Shakedown 12″ back in 2001 it’ll be the absolute worst for him. I haven’t forgotten, oh no…
Fortunately this event wasn’t really an Urban Shakedown sort of an evening. More of a Gentle Urban Tie-Adjusting.
Thanks again to Willgoose and Wrigglesworth. Both of whom looked dapper as hell.
I’m sure many of you will have spent countless nights fretting over just what is to be done regarding the matter of ‘The Illuminati’. You have? Yes, I thought so. Well, you are by no means alone and will doubtless be relieved and delighted to learn that there is hope – an evening spent wasting time on the internet rather than finishing off my new album has lead me to discover an answer of sorts to this age-old question from Wisbech resident and hard-dance maestro DJ Basshammer. Here it is in full:
What are your initial impressions on beholding this artwork? Perhaps you’re already trying to decipher it’s secrets for yourself? Is it an image of a mushroom cloud looming over a deserted nuclear wasteland? Or a large jellyfish holding an inflatable question mark? Or a skull crowned by a single black banana? Personally I’m drawn to the contradictory presence of both the ‘f-word’ and a parental advisory sticker, the latter’s arrival at the bottom right surely too late to be of much practical assistance after the former’s pride of place in the top left. A bit like warning someone to ‘mind their f**king language’. Or we could say it’s ‘f**king the stable door after the horse has bolted’. Actually, that doesn’t make much sense. Still, let’s stick to the matter at hand, shall we? F**k the illuminati. What do you make of it?
Perhaps you are wondering what this phrase could possibly mean? Some of you might even be tempted to ask just who The Illuminati are? And why should we want or need to ‘f**k them’? How does one spot Illuminati? Is there a uniform or secret handshake? Is one required to set traps? And more pertinently, is there a specific Wisbech Illuminati chapter upon which this Basshammer fellow is focusing his ire?
His biography is carefully worded and gives nothing away:
hi my names anthony steward aka bass hammer i have bin djing now four about 13 years now i haved played qwite a thew styles from house speed garage to trance hard trance hard house hard dance hardstyle hardcore gabba and drum and bass i love play all kinds stuf. [sic]
Not much help there. This mysterious and elusive fellow is certainly hiding something. You can’t claim to straddle the vast expanses that separate trance, hard trance, hard house, hard dance and hard style without at least implying a certain familiarity with the arcane and forbidden arts. Clearly more research was required, so I immediately asked my friend Victoria. I look to her in all matters of the occult because she once gave me an old reel to reel machine that came with a spool of tape featuring what appeared to be the voices of the dead. In the end it turned out to be one of Pink Floyd’s gloomier album tracks played at the wrong speed, but it remains closer to the beyond than I’ve ever managed on my own. Plus she once read a whole book by Dan Brown that wasn’t that famous one.
‘Who exactly are the illuminati?’ I asked her.
‘Essentially’, she replied after sighing and putting down whatever it was she’d been doing before I interrupted her, ‘the illuminati as we generally refer to them were the clever and ‘enlightened’ people of the Renaissance period, which marked a fundamental advancement in human knowledge that manifested itself in literature, philosophy, art, music, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry; and occurred roughly between 1400 and 1700′.
‘All that in a single afternoon?’, I asked, hilariously mistaking the turning of the centuries with the ticking of the twenty-four hour clock, itself a product of the enlightenment (I expect).
‘No’, she replied, affectionately slapping me across the face, ‘the Renaissance period existed roughly between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries and it’s movers and shakers included scientists, writers, philosophers and artists. They were called the Illuminati because light is associated with knowledge and these new ways of thinking incurred the wrath of the church who hastily imposed a window tax to hamper their efforts. Window tax stopped clever people from rebelling against church, government and the established order because the Illuminati would have found it very hard to read in the dark (though it remains unclear whether a lamp and bifocal tax was also instigated). Plus if you flip the word illuminati upside down it still says illuminati even though it is upside down, which is very significant. Dan Brown says so. The black death came just before the Renaissance, you know. That’s also important. Can I go now?’
Thanking her profusely before she made her excuses and sprinted for the door, I turned to that other great bastion of universal truth – the internet. According to a wikipedia article I scan-read while waiting for the kettle to boil, the earliest use of the term refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, a secret society of the enlightenment era founded to oppose superstition, religious influence over public life, abuses of state power, and to support women’s education and gender equality. It was founded in 1776 by the first lay-professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt: Adam Weishaupt:
All very well, but what possible chain of events could these wise, noble and historically significant Bavarians possibly have set in motion that might incur the wrath of a trance DJ in Wisbech? Well, stand by for a major revelation: In the 17th century certain inhabitants of this particular corner of Cambridgeshire became known as the ‘Fen Tigers’ because of their resistance to a plan to drain the local fenland (in spite of the scheme’s resulting in Wisbech becoming a prosperous and wealthy centre of commerce). Armed with this information and operating on a whim (plus about four hour’s sleep) I discovered that superimposing Adam Weishaupt’s face onto Basshammer’s artwork gives us our missing link:
We see now that Basshammer’s artwork is without doubt a carefully disguised image of Bavarian philosopher Adam Weishaupt’s head exploding into a giant nuclear mushroom cloud in front of a backdrop (if you squint) of devastated Cambridgeshire fenland. Clearly Basshammer still feels the torments of his ancestors most keenly, and like them, looks upon change, progress and the adoption of radical new ideas with the deepest suspicion. This is further proved by his championing of genres such as hard dance, hard trance, hard style etc., all of which have been in a state of terminal regression since about 1995.
Ergo, f**k the Illuminati.
My work here is done. I defy anyone to spot a single flaw in my reasoning. And to those of you quick to suggest I’m just turning a pice of inept Photoshoppery into a half-arsed and baseless conspiracy theory, I can only laugh bitterly at your profound lack of insight. I’d like to personally thank DJ Basshammer for showing us the way and if you’re feeling brave why not listen to a couple of his mixtapes here. I managed seven whole minutes. See if you can top it.
I’d also like to thanks the combined forces of Victoria and Wikipedia for helping me get to the truth. Perhaps we could collectively call them Vickypedia? Just a thought…
Next week I’m planning to investigate the ulterior motive and shadowy persuasions of the person who sent me THIS in the post. The dirty blighter:
Hmm, can’t remember what else I was supposed to be doing today. The new album? Oh, I’ll get round to it eventually…
Very excited (and rather late!) in announcing my participation (albeit in a slightly remote manner) in a special broadcast from Tasmania today (Sunday 2nd June at 16.00-17.30-pm local time – which for my UK posse is the moderately unholy hour of 7am).
RADIOPHONY : HAUNTED AIR is a programme of soundworks being broadcast simultaneously from the Cast Gallery, North Hobart, Tasmania and nine radio stations across the world; and is curated by Julia Drouhin, who you might remember as one of the masterminds behind ‘Radiophonic Creation Day’ a couple of years ago (alongside Coraline Janvier -also exhibiting here). Julia describes the event as ‘a call to think about the aesthetic issues of creative airwaves as a ghosted space occupying radio waves. We usually ignore that space even if it’s all around us. How dead air can be a wireless vehicle for the human psyche? Sound recording practice questions space and time perception, built on personal subjectivity, social schematics, and chemistry. Crossing fields of energy gives an opportunity to touch immateriality and invisibility. Listening to a space is not natural. We are used to seeing things, we can close our eyes, but we can’t close our ears. Permanently immersed into the sound of everything, our brain selects the noise. It’s interesting to learn how to listen : the inaudible becomes audible. RADIOPHONY : HAUNTED AIR creates a gap between live and dead air and will stimulate the magick but often forgotten radiophonic space’.
RADIOPHONY : HAUNTED AIR has invited 20 artists from France, UK, Brazil, Argentina and Australia: Frédéric Acquaviva (FR), Sébastien Béranger(FR), Dinah Bird (UK), Colin Black (AUS), Andrea Cohen (ARG), Beatriz Ferreyra (ARG), Michel Guillet (FR), Idiot Lust (AUS), Coraline Janvier(FR), Wayn Malm (AUS), NOUS (Annabelle Blin + Joël Riff) (FR), Joachim Montessuis(FR), Philippe F. Roux (FR), Gaël Segalen (FR), Aymeric de Tapol (FR), Dudu Tsuda (BRA), Valérie Vivancos (FR), Robin The Fog (UK), Gregory Whitehead (USA).
The programme will be broadcast simultaneously from the Cast Gallery and nine radio stations across the world: Edge Radio (Hobart, Tasmania), Radio Papesse (Italy), Radio Patapoe (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Soundart Radio (Devon, UK), TEA FM (Zaragoza, Spain), Radio Campus Paris ( France), Radio Campus Rennes ( France), Radio Panik (Brussels, Belgium), Radiolab (United States), Mobile Radio (workshop in Sweden), Radio ? (Ougadougou, Burkina Faso). That pretty much covers the globe as far as our purposes are concerned.
For my part I’m contributing a slightly remixed version of some of my favourite loops from ‘Ghosts Of Bush’ and I’m very proud to be in such fine company! What better way for my UK friends to kick off a Sunday morning lie in? Or for those of you further afield, perhaps something to enjoy with a nice Sunday brunch? More details including the full schedule and participant biographies can be found here. Thanks to Julia and the Cast Gallery for asking me to participate and apologies as ever for just copy and pasting much of this from their website. But time is not on our side! Plus I’m writing it while simultaneously trying to keep a BBC Cantonese programme on air and hoping nobody will notice. The very programme whose signature tune opens ‘Ghosts Of Bush’ and gives it those lovely bass frequencies. What marvellous synergy!
POST-SCRIPT: Synergy be damned, it turned out I was completely wrong about the timings as I noticed that UK participant Soundart Radio 102.5FM in Devon broadcasting it this afternoon. It would appear, then, that when they said ‘simultaneously’ they meant whenever your locality reached 1600 on Sunday 2nd June. Not to worry, though, I believe podcasts will soon be available for those who missed out.
You see? This is why I need a manager…
Recognise this handsome pair?
Why, it’s none other than Public Service Broadcasting, the brainchild of banjo-gutair-synth-n-samples-wielding maestro J. Willgoose Esq. (right) and drummer Wrigglesworth (left) who are currently on a whistle-stop UK tour promoting debut album ‘Inform, Educate, Entertain’, available now in all good record shops. You might remember that back at the beginning of 2012 they asked your humble scribe to provide a warm-up DJ set for their live show at Tooting Broadway Market. Well, the stakes have been considerably upped since then and I was recently delighted to receive a second invitation to provide ‘the grams’, only this time at a sold-out show at Shoreditch’s rather enormous Village Underground. The result was a carefully chosen selection of corduroy-flavoured jams (including a couple of requests from Mr. Willgoose himself) likely to appeal to an expectant crowd awaiting PSB’s high-octane mix of newsreel footage, public information films, thundering drums and sleek electronics. I’m posting it here for the benefit of those who missed it – you would also have missed these fellows subsequently tearing the roof off , but I’m afraid there’s not much I can do about that until the DVD comes out:
This was my ‘in-between bands’ set and while a couple of these tracks have featured in my online mixtapes before, surely nobody could dispute their collective status as party-rocking gold standard. I also have a recording of the evening’s much longer opening set featuring a more laid-back mix of vintage library favourites, but I thought it best not to saturate the market just yet. I’ll get round to posting it up at some point.
Speaking of teasing, though I’m reticent to lay bare the editorial processes of this website, a desire for full disclosure forces me to reveal that when searching for a nice press shot of Mr. Willgoose online, this really rather upsetting article was the very first thing to, quite literally, pop up. Displaying a morally ambiguous combination of sympathetic biography with cheap, titillating sensationalism, it’s the kind of thing you could imagine a guffawing Sid James reading aloud to Bernard Bresslaw in deleted scenes from ‘Carry On Being Objectionable’. I can assure you that my search criteria was merely ‘Willgoose’ rather than ‘handsome pair’, so heaven only knows what would have happened if I’d googled the title of recent PSB hit single ‘Spit Fire Bird’ – a flaming Barbara Windsor, perhaps? What kind of world are we living in where we can’t even find a sensible answer on the internet?
Curious times, my friends…
You might remember that back in December Mr. Joseph Stannard of the The Outer Church (not to mention The Wire and lots of other goodly works) kindly invited me to DJ at one of his regular live events, where I warmed up the pews for excellent live turns by Silver Pyre and Kemper Norton. I took the liberty of recording my set and the resulting mixtape became one of my most popular, receiving almost as many hits as that smutty one I did, but not quite, because this is Britain after all.
What you might not remember is that a few months previously I had also contributed to The Outer Church blog’s regular series of guest mixes. It was around the time that ‘Ghosts Of Bush’ was first gathering attention and given the nocturnal nature of that album it was decided that a mixtape designed for consumption in the small hours would be just the ticket. Despite it’s trim forty-odd-minute length, the resulting ‘Foggy Nightshift Mix’ was a labour of love two days in the making, as I agonised over the track selection (indeed at least three hours were spent unsucessfully trying to shoehorn Shut Up And Dance’s ‘Autobiography of a Crackhead’ in somewhere). But I have to say I was very proud of the results and am pleased to announce it’s now been uploaded to The Outer Church’s Mixcloud page, where it can be enjoyed along with many other fine guest spots by the likes of Time Attendant, The Geography Trip and more. The original post on The Outer Church site featuring my own detailed track-by-track commentary (containing one swear word and a couple of minor grammatical errors) can be found here. I’m not going to insist that you read it while listening, I’ll merely posit the suggestion and leave it up to you to decide:
Finally, to right a wrong and because they made some of the truly incredible dance music I’ve ever come across, I’ll let Shut Up And Dance have the last word:
Described by the writer Gary Mulholland as ‘F**k-the-man brave’ and possessing a social conscience that saw them tear the roof off at an early Resonance FM benefit gig for a fraction of what they would normally ask (‘we wouldn’t have taken more if you’d had it’, they said), Smiley and PJ truly are heroes of the hardcore scene. Having never indulged in crack myself (rather more-ish, so I’m told), I can only speculate as to what needing a fix might involve, but I love the panicky, itchy and claustrophobic feel of this track. In my original notes when I was preparing tracks for this mixtape, I remember putting something down about it sounding like a junkie being chased through an alleyway by the spirit of a disapproving Gregorian choir, something I should probably have kept to myself. They also took a completely insane hardcore re-interpretation of ‘Walking in Memphis’ to number two in the UK charts without asking permission, then reputedly instructed Mark Cohen’s indignant legal team to ‘f**k off’. Despite near-ruinous legal proceedings they never stopped putting out tracks and to this day they’re still out there ‘ripping up shows’, as they might put it. They made some pretty weird jungle too:
PJ and Smiley – I salute you!
Thanks to everyone who came down to Howlround’s debut live performance on the Resonance FM stage (or to be more accurate just in front of it) at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton on Saturday. The full thirty-minute performance will be aired on Resonance on 25th May as part of a full and generous line-up of all the performances that took place on their stage across the three days of the festival. You’ll be pleased to know that Monday 25th just happens to be a Bank Holiday, allowing you to enjoy the entire day’s programming uninterrupted, as I’ve no doubt you will.
As it happened my aforementioned trepidation at taking a number of heavy-yet-fragile, reliable-yet-unpredictable reel-to-reel machines and conducting an entirely improvised performance using a tangled mass of tape loops proved mercifully unfounded. While our previous day’s rehearsal had been an orgy of tape snarling and loops snapping, our equipment performed it’s duties on the big day competently and with a minimum of fuss. Indeed, after so many years of sitting forgotten at the back of studios, being used as door stops or catching fire, our Revoxes positively thrived with all the attention. All of which should bode well for our subsequent live performances later in the year, about which details will follow in due course.
Special thanks to Larry Gale for the marvellous picture above and also to the Resonance FM Sharpie, for being the most useful pen ever:
For those of you limbering up to accuse me of resting of my ‘BBC Resident Hauntologist’ laurels (in truth I have yet to be challenged regarding this, but it can only be a matter of time) I hereby present a small taster of a much bigger BBC-related hauntological study planned for later on in the year. It’s going to be a sequel of sorts to ‘Ghosts Of Bush’ but I can’t tell you much more than that, partly because I’m sworn to secrecy, but mostly because I simply haven’t got a clue how it will end up, other than a better idea of what it WON’T sodding-well sound like, thanks to some rather tiresome recent developments. But let’s focus on the positives – I have some nice new demos on my hard-drive and when the time is right and I’ve tweaked them to perfection, hopefully quite a large audience will get an ear-full.
Speaking of new demos, this track ‘The BNCS Blues’ came about during a quiet half hour alone in one of the studios used by the BBC Arabic programme ‘XTRA’. You might remember this fine show very kindly ran a feature on the Bush House record last year, so I knew they wouldn’t object if I borrowed their studio and used it to muck around instead of doing any of the remotely useful or sensible things that I’m actually paid for. And thanks to the BBC’s new ‘transparent’ policies, when I say ‘alone’ I actually mean ‘sitting in a glass box in full view of the entire building’. Great days.
Thrillingly, BNCS stands for ‘Broadcast Network Control System’ and consists of a computer screen containing a number of ‘shortcuts’ to lots of different things useful to the making of current affairs radio. A bit like a virtual patch-bay, you can assign different audio feeds to your mixing desk, connect to different studios, monitor different radio networks, have someone thousands of miles away read your headlines, or you can even scream ‘HELLO CAIRO, ARE YOU THERE!!!!!????’ at five o’clock in the morning. The choice is yours.
One other thing a BNCS panel has is a number of tone generators. To explain it to the small number of regular visitors to this site who aren’t impossibly geeky, a standard 1Khz tone (or sine wave – gosh, I’m even starting to bore myself) is used by studios to test sound levels, to send signals to each other and on rare occasions make weird ethereal noises. Everything here was made using a number of these tone generators and an automated time-check signal similar to the speaking clock, only better of course because this is the BBC, darling. Of course I have to admit that although BNCS generated every sound you’re hearing, most of the trickery took place in the edit. The tone generators only play at a single, unwavering frequency and volume, but as they are a ‘pure tone’ they can be sped up or slowed down to create pretty much any pitch you’d care to create, including that rather splendid low end. And although I pride myself on very rarely working with additional effects, unmodulated sine waves sound remarkably flat, so a little reverb here and LFO there helped give the piece some atmosphere. Not a bad evening’s work. Sound really is the most incredible medium when you stop to consider that everything here with the exception of the automated voice started out as this:
In other news, I can confirm that Chris and I are booked to play our first ever Howlround gig at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton.
This is partly thanks to Resonance FM curating it’s own area at the ‘Day For Night Stage’ (Brighthelm Centre, Queens Rd, BN1) on 16th-18th May, and I highly recommend coming down if you can make it to catch some of the very special performers spread across the three days, including Khuljit Bhamra, David Thomas, Jali Burama Mbye, Kinnie The Explorer, Birkwin Jersey, Beatrice Dillon, Fletcher, Ian Helliwell, Monster Island, Elle Osbourne Trio, Saturday Sun, Why I Onions and more. Pretty auspicious company to be mixing in, and I must confess to a certain amount of trepidation of taking our notoriously unpredictable set up on the road (or indeed plugging it in to the mains, as only last week we discovered that one of our machines had spent at least part of it’s career ON FIRE). It’s a total step into the unknown for us and the sort of thing that’s really quite hard to rehearse, as most modest three-bedroom houses aren’t really built to accomodate five tape machines, loops, mixing desks and PA systems without displacing housemates and upsetting neighbours. Fortunately we’re on at noon on 18th, so unless the proverbial one man and his dog file regular copy for The Wire, we should just about get away with it. Cross our spools and hope to die…
Are you in the mood for soft voices? Lovely hula hands? Let’s end our routine with the ‘leg-over’ movement. You are going to relax. You will relax. Make yourself comfortable. You are enjoying a massage, which is being skillfully applied. You walk naked. You get on this escalator. Down towards the floor. Gaze at it intently. Now don’t lose it. I don’t want you to be sick. Take it through the nose. Let the face go. Very soothing. You’re flat on the floor again. Blame the gypsies. Let them touch the body. Feels good.
(Or follow this link for the download)
To put it it in a nutshell, today’s programme concerns the fundamental truism that if one single deep and sonorous voice is thought to be relaxing, then simple logic dictates that FIVE deep and sonorous voices occurring simultaneously must surely be ULTRA RELAXING. I certainly hope it proves so, as I’m predicting a mass out-pouring of of costernation and grief after I drop the following bombshell: This is the LAST episode in the current series of ‘Looking Good, Feeling Great’.
I know, I know – you’re inconsolable, right? But just think of all the happy times we’ve all had together over the past four weeks. Indeed, I’d like to thank everyone for their support, in particular the owner of the email address “total****@resoNONCEfm.com” and the proprietor of the website http://upmyf******a**.com (one and the same, apparently) who commented that they ‘quite liked it’. Can’t imagine someone who refers to themselves as ‘total****’ ever using the word ‘quite’ can you?
Ah, we’re all the same…
Thanks to everyone who came down to Cian O’Neill’s excellent ‘Music and Paintings’ evening last week. I worked out that it was my first solo live performance for a good few years and although a pretty low-key affair (just me and a laptop) it consisted almost entirely of new material, including tracks from the Savamala project, a few rough demos from the preparatory sessions for Howlround’s live debut next month and even some outtakes from another rather large and shadowy comission-in-progress, about which I’m sworn to secrecy for the moment!
Hopefully all this new material will begin to surface in the coming months as I desperately try to finish off projects and make token efforts at meeting deadlines. But for the moment, this little extract is all I’m going to tempt you with. It features a number of tape loops created by myself and Chris Weaver during a feverish weekend spent in preparation for Howlround’s live debut at the Great Escape Festial in Brighton (further details forthcoming) and sounds rather good turned up loud, which bodes well!
Having had so many enquiries about the possibility of performing ‘Ghosts’ live, I must say that I’m beginning to wonder how closely such a performance is going to be able to replicate the very specific sounds and grooves heard on that album. Listeners expecting us to faithfully recreate the sound of those hallowed corridors on stage might well be disappointed, as the machines are already taking us off in strange new directions. We fed a few basic loops into our two Revoxes and suddenly we were off on a quite different path. As I’ve harped on about before, the beauty of working with tape and the thing that appeals to me the most is it’s unpredictability – you never quite know what you’re going to get. This can result in either triumph, disaster, or a weird combination of the two. I personally think it’s going to sound amazing, but how closely it resembles the original ‘Ghosts Of Bush’ album and whether you consider that lack of resemblance a good or bad thing remains to be seen. Only one way to find out, I suppose…