Hello You. Howlround are kicking off a busy month and what’s shaping up to be a busy summer this weekend at not one but two mini-festivals at either end of London. Starting off on Saturday I’m returning to state 51 in Shoreditch after a gap of what feels like an eternity since playing there with Steve Beresford (and the tapes of Basil Kirchin) for The Trunk Records and Ghost Box Midsummer Night’s Happening back in 2019. For their 2022 Summer Party, I’ll be running a tape loop creation workshop and hopefully a performance too – provided I get enough volunteers to help me put the set together, as I’ll be working purely with whatever we can put together on the day!
‘Save the date! After a two year hiatus The state51 Factory’s summer party returns, bringing you phenomenal tunes and immersive experiences. We’ll have debut performances from two artists / collectives putting out incredible records with us over the next two months. Better Corners, Valentina Magaletti (Vanishing Twin, Tomaga, Nicholas Jaar), Matt Simms (Wire, It Hugs Back) and Sarah Register (War Bubble, Kim Gordon), will play tracks from ‘Modern Dance Gold: Vol. 1’ for the first time ever together – having recorded remotely – and Brood X Cycles Nik Colk Void (Factory Floor) and Alexander Tucker (MICROCORPS, Grumbling Fur) will bring their modular drone improvisations to grace your ears. We’ll also have a sneak live preview of new material from the inimitable AGAAMA as she moves from the expansive jazz of her debut to new electronic, industrial inspired follow up ‘Wandering Worlds Vol: 1’ as well as a first UK performance from Georgian electronic artist Anushka Chkheidze who’ll be bringing an hour of live electronics, moving through her eclectic output from chillers to bangers and back again. Also throughout the day we’ll host tape workshops from Robin the Fog, craft workshops from the state51 atelier, food from the state51 kitchen, records in our pop-up shop GREED and late night DJs including but not limited to Joe Goddard‘. Tickets starting at £5 available here.
Then on Sunday, I’m absolutely delighted to be returning to Iklectik as part of the all-day killer line up at the latest Boundary Connection event. Apparently Howlround are playing two sets, so that should keep me out of trouble. Might even make a few new loops there too if there’s time.
‘Boundary Condition engulfs the collective mass longing for a past that never was, through studies in its sonic materialization stretching across the hyper-romantic limbo of post-Lynchian Darkjazz, the flickering scenarios and found sounds of Musique Concrète, and inert cyclicality of hauntological loops, projecting the residue of all that which could have been, as prosthetic sentiments. Via post instrument instrumentals, permutated compositions, site responsivity, missing fundamentals, severe interdependence, and retrograding structures. In a hybrid of duo live-sets, TV installations, and immersive projections, this episode includes CV-controlled turntables, generative & interdependent performance, text-sound, percussive electronics, vocal compositions, augmented acoustics and mud-drenched drone, set up in a candlelit, projection-heavy sleeping seating within the AMOENUS 17-speakers quadrophonic sound system’. Tickets available here.
In other brief news, I was recently very proud to be the featured guests in two episodes of music and oral history extravaganza The Polyhymnal on Camp Radio (which broadcasts both ‘direct from our revolutionary arts facility high in the French Pyrenees’ and also on Mixcloud as well, for those of us situated further afield), reminiscing about my early encounters with sound and music, happy days on Resonance FM making feedback from a phone booth, working with tape, The New Obsolescents and the enduring impact of hearing ‘Out Of Space’ by The Prodigy for the first time. All of this is accompanied by the music of Whatever The Weather, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Emile Mosseri, Camp of Wolves and my old mucker Grey Frequency. Part 2 above was broadcast a couple of weeks ago and you can still find part 1 here. Listen to them in whichever order you prefer, my stories tend to be pretty jumbled anyway!
And finally, one of the most exciting developments of recent weeks has been my getting to grips with recorded cylinders at the British Library Sound Archive for the first time in my career. The image below was my second and is supposedly a completely unique and original item dating from around 1898 (as opposed to the mass-produced pre-WW1 Music Hall recording of a couple of weeks previously). What that basically means is that the voice you hear buried beneath a hubbub of hiss and crackle was standing pretty much as far away from the cylinder as you are when playing back. No electricity, no amplification, just a voice vibrating a membrane and being inscribed onto the cylinder – then played back a hundred and twenty four years later. Such a literal link to the past, I still haven’t stopped being amazed by it yet. Even if the cylinder is ‘fake’ as expert opinion seems to suggest, the fact remains you’re hearing a voice from the 19th Century. If I was Danny Dyer I’d be tempted to comment that it ‘freaks my nut’.
Fortunately I am not Danny Dyer. There can only ever be one…