Friday, December 30, 2016


Public Information release / Ian Helliwell curated anthology of British electronic composer / instrument-builder Malcolm Pointon -  which came out end of October and got lost in the cataclysm-shuffle

"Malcolm Pointon was born in 1940, Stoke on Trent. He spent his life and career in tape, synthesizer and keys; academia, sound, music and machine. Here, for the first time, Public Information and Ian Helliwell present the rarely heard works of Malcolm Pointon. With permission given by Malcolm’s widow Barbara, Helliwell has compiled an LP of material taken from master tapes of home-recorded, never released electronic material. 
Following a period at the BBC, Malcolm joined Homerton College, Cambridge, in 1969 and it was here where he would discover his electronic-muse. Inspired by Stockhausen and the surge of avant-garde tape music, Malcolm began to build compositions at home using a 4-waveband radio and multi-speed tape recorder. His first piece using these techniques is the skittering “Radiophonie” which opens this LP.

After mastering tape-music, Malcolm began reading, and eventually contributing to, Practical Electronics magazine (edited by our own F.C. Judd no-less). He and engineer cohort Doug Shaw entered an “electronic music construction challenge” in 1973 – and so a battery powered, stylus activated self-build synthesizer was presented to the dedicated circuit heads of Practical Electronics. The Minisonic was born.

Many of the pieces on here were produced using the Minisonic, including the staggeringly heavy centerpiece of this album “Symbiosis” - replete with Malcolm’s own introduction. Elsewhere, Pointon takes us down pummeling arpeggiated rhythms (“Sonata Elletronica), mind-melting-inside-beehive tape pieces (“Poreira”, “Boogie”), freaked-out concrète trips (“Trojan Woman” “Then Wakes the Ice”) and shimmering noise works like the beautiful, “Study 2”.

Malcolm Pointon would be cruelly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 51. He became unable to operate his studio and so his rare gift to electronic music was gone, until now. Public Information and curator Ian Helliwell are incredibly proud to share Malcolm’s music with you. We will be sending all profits of this release to the Alzheimer’s Society, helping to support people with dementia and their carers on their long journey, right here and now.

2016 – 2017 will also witness a series of electronic music events raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Memory Dance. Look out on social media for more news forthcoming.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

mouth music - local edition

"Influenced by Polynesian vocal chants, gypsy music, Bulgarian women’s choirs, and New Orleans soul, Breadwoman’s songs strip away the baggage of coded verbal language to leave only unfiltered emotive ululations, finding an ocean full of creatures in her breath, and an orchestra in her kitchen" - Mikey IQ Jones on Los Angeles based mouth-musician Anna Homler and her album with Steve Moshier:  Breadwoman And Other Tales (RVNG Intl), which is #2 in Mikey's Top 25 Reissues of 2016 run-down at FACT

Background documentary

No end to the mouth music out there, seemingly

"Anna Homler sings in made-up languages that enable her to create remarkably expressive and exotic clusters of phonetics.Jorge Martin starting materials are sine waves, pulses, and sounds generated from the other person performing with him" 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

joke's lost on me

a band so so great, that became so so... camp

Laibach-levels of ludicrous, but without any irony seemingly

And somehow degenerated from the real menace of "Pssyche" / "Follow the Leaders" / Revelations to a sound somewhere between Judas Priest and Classix Nouveau

but when they were good. ooh..

(Jaz gone AWOL to Iceland , so a deep sea diver stood behind the keyboard in his stead)

I was a still a believer circa Fire Dances - and went to the see them for the second time (Dunstable, supported by Play Dead and UK Decay - the later excellent) (first time was Aylesbury Friars circa the first album, with I think the Prefects as support) - but in retrospect this album was the cusp between the real thing and the hammy sham

it's where the visuals / gestures get overstated, go from shock to shlock, but the musical muscle to back it up thins out a bit... not yet the full commercial crossover attempt of  "Love Like Blood" but less actual (f)ire in the sound....

the first thing that grabbed my ears ever, on Peel

i can hear a bit of SAHB "Faith Healer" in that slicing guitar


fast forward to the 90s - they were on TOTP again with the almost-back-to-form "Pandemomium"

a bit Rage Against for me but still wielding some bulk

acest lucru a fost mâine

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

(vor)haus is a feeling

also check out this video at me facebook  from the BBC Archive with DV in bearded, soft low-key post-hippie vibe that's most appealling (plus amazing sweater)

મોં સંગીત

me roots and me culcha (sort of)

well it's me ancestry, on one side, but in truth me roots and me culcha is really this

and this

and this

and perhaps this too

уста музика (New Wave twitter queen version)

somewhere in a triangle between Siouxsie and Dagmar Krause and Nina Hagen

but goofier

this one - the big hit (#3) has a mighty groove

the debut album

the second album

from the third album No Man's Land

from the fifth album

did you know she wrote the words for "Supernature"  and for other Cerrone tunes?

kev & bri

But here are a smatter of other favorites scattered across the discography,

musique de bouche - le retour

Monday, November 28, 2016

pub rock names

pub rock names are the worst!

Ducks Deluxe
Eggs Over Easy
Bees Make Honey
Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers
The Winkies
Count Bishops
Bram Tchaichovsky
Fabulous Poodles

only good ones
Dr Feelgood
Kilburn and the High Roads

Wreckless Eric

although that said probably jam bands have some pretty terrible names. see also psy-trance maybe.

zoltans!!!! (ez holnap special)

a different Zoltan!

massive organ

mouth music - the return!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

shack up versus shack up

surprised how faithful ACR's is to the original

although how it  actually feels to this listener, having heard ACR's scores of times - starting from the month it came out - is that it's the original that is being faithful to the cover!

those reedy horns, the parched sparseness of the production...

whole xolotl love

[via Sounds of the Dawn]

hosonostalgia (pt 1)

if this just stuck with the weird-groove of the first 19 seconds it would be amazing

it comes back intermittently, but then so does the less-good bit

and then an even less good section with a guitar solo in

still someone should sample the good bit

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

hypnagostalgia (part 2)

we're Lieven, Lieven here

and more recent offerings

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

hypnagostalgia (part 1)

flashing back to those late 2000s...  a little shy of a decade ago...

and more recent offerings

Saturday, October 29, 2016


1970 - when even MORock was funky

that smokey keyboard line

now what's the movie connection between this and the next up?

you're right

the three dog night song is just before this sequence starts i believe

underground # 2

21st Century underground

industrijski narodnemuzike

Serbian counterparts of Laibach - now with a book written about them by Alexei Monroe who wrote the heavyweight book on NSK

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Stone, immaculate

reissued by Unseen Worlds, who did the Laurie Spiegel release


the great katie gately's favorite film (via The Quietus interview with her)

space music

via Moogfest

Thursday, October 20, 2016

magnetic music

from the blurb:

Electromagnetic fields are all around us. Electricity is a living force of many kinds of devices and electric current flowing through an object that creates an electromagnetic field around it. Sensing Electromagnetics is a compilation of raw electromagnetic field recordings picked from submissions to an open call. Enthusiasts from all over the world have recorded electromagnetic fields using various tools such as antennas, guitar and telephone pickups and coils – “sensing” devices we use every day to connect with each other and the world around us, decaying equipment, but also complex environments such as hydroelectric centre or multiple flash installations. 

Listening to a field recording can give you a glimpse of a place where you have never been – by interpreting sounds through your references you are shaping in your mind an imaginary copy of the original field. Recordings of electromagnetic fields share this quality and add something more. With the freedom to re-create invisible fields, your mind is going to go all the places for which we have just very few points of reference.

On the first listen there is a striking consistency in the sound palette shared between the records, but on the second and further listens there is an amazing esthetical variety and contrast between the records presented in this compilation, as it takes you from hyperactive superhighways to delicate and detailed settings. There is no need to question if there is a ghost in the shell when you are transported to the imaginary landscape while listening to the machine from inside.


released September 21, 2016

Curated by LOM
Text by Andrej Chudý
Special thanks to Jol Bol

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

wrapped up like a douche

used to love this song as a nipper - what a production!

i don't think i've ever listened to Brucie's original

really different. i prefer the non-original, but yeah, it's alright

The longer album version

Manfred could pull it off live too

I have yet to investigate their albums discography, shamefully

One of them - 72's self-titled debut - is one of the very very few proggy things to make Greil Marcus's personal canon of the essential rock-era records at the back of Stranded.

late 70s

school TV programme from 1977 looking behind the scenes of the making of Rock Follies

late 70s starting to seem as a mysterious and as long ago as early 70s and sixties to me... even though i was aware and alert during them, actively following what was going

what was going on was a lot more and a lot different than what i was following i.e. postpunk / new wave

Friday, September 23, 2016

punk parody

including a character based on Caroline Coon

also Rock Follies gets mocked

see also

p p p p p p p p p pokerface

Old Wave New Wave switcheroo

Englishman Philip Lithman, pub rocker (Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers, before that in Junior's Blues Band) becomes ...

However it seems the association with Residents preceded the pub rock phase (he first moved to San Francisco in '71 and then moved back later)

Bluesology going Noo Wave - what i'm reminded of slightly is this

would you believe i read the whole of - and reviewed - the autobio by Bill W?

YouTube sidebar for "Je Suis" led me to lameness...

no lamer than this though

there are Chilli Willi videos i cannot post on account of the scarcely believable offensiveness of the cover to the LP Robot Rhythmm

Acid Reflux

anal ized 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

fLizzy miss fLizzy

they didn't only do cover versions, Flying Lizards

but mostly they did

(that one is Brecht-Weill by the way)

the joke.... wore.....  a bit....  thin, didn't it?

the original non-original's still the greatest

oh but this came before "Money" didn't it

the secret dub life album is a good listen - a companion perhaps to Jah Wobble's solo album In Betrayal

fascinating story behind the existence of this record, not what i expected to learn at all

he loved his echo, Mr Cunningham - this B-side to "TV" is a dubmix of the A-side

Well here's an odd thing, Deborah Evans-Stickland, who did the debutante-like "Money" vocal, went off and tried the own F-Liz deadpan classic-cover trick on her own - with this Dennis Bovell produced ditty

it did not get back on her TOTP

Debs interviewed

Deb 'n' Dave interviewed back in the day

Saturday, September 17, 2016

lean stodge

if stodge somehow could also be lean

if fare could somehow be plain yet tasty

if a band could somehow plod swiftly, nimbly

then the ultimate British decade-straddling scene-filler that's surprisingly filling would be

S-Quo seemed so boring and lame to me at the time but....

well, Phil Knight persuasively argued for the Quo fast-chug as a U.K. Neu! or something like that a mini-aeon ago...

still this one just is plod-plod-plod innit

it's a very thin sound.... the vocals are barely there

as though purposely designed for audience participation - sing along to boost them up in a matey sort of way

the sound is such a perfect homology-in-effect fit for bleached 'n ' faded denim

yes really it's only "Down Down" that is any kind of moment

like a "Silver Machine" that never takes off....

stays level....


postscript - my Hardly Baked semiotic breakdown of the video for "Something Bout you Baby I Like"

Thursday, September 15, 2016

strident purity / witchy 'n' commanding / That Voice, the Return

A band I always wanted to like more than I do, for some reason, Curved Air.

I mean, I like 'em well enough - the clean swagger of this one, frinstance:

overall quite enjoy the way the Curved Air sound is ornate and floridly frilled out but still quite tough and energetic

But in truth I've never felt the compulsion to delve too deep into their stuff, or go back to it after I've done the initial delve

so why would I like to like them more than I do?

well it's the name partly

also the singer, to be honest

Sonja K was one of a certain ilk of Euro songstresses whose voices had a strident piercing power and purity with few precedents in Anglo-American rock singing apart from maybe Grace Slick, and Dorothy Moskowitz of United States of America

now i think about it, I have blogged about that style of female vocal before, long time ago, calling it That Voice - with follow up blogs here and here and here  - containing the thoughts of other folk.

Actually looking at it again I did come up with a few other precursors, most notably Lynn Carey who did the lead vocal on the songs of the Carrie Nations in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. 

However apart from Sonja K I didn't in those 2007 blogs mention any of the Euro ilk really (Nico doesn't count because while ice-queeny she doesn't have the sheer belting lung power that is a prerequisite)

Here are some more Euro Queens of Strident Purity

Anisette Koppel of Savage Rose

Edna Bejarano of The Rattles

and my favorite out of this whole lot  - singer, maybe;  song definitely -  (although "The Witch" is not far behind)

Mariska Veres of Shocking Blue

Common denominator for all of them is a certain witchy dark beauty and commanding aura of imperious hauteur

Any more?


postscript 9/16

Anonymous in the comments has a couple of suggestions, both by "the mighty Earth & Fire" - another Dutch band

And Andrew Parker finds this little gem of a quote from Sonja K about the inspiration for "Back Street Luv"

“When I was 15, I used to skip off school and one day noticed a blond man standing on the steps at the local snooker hall. I became fascinated with him, and ended up chasing and seducing him. He looked like a pop star, although I found out he'd been in prison and had a wife and child. But that didn't deter me from my interest in him and also some of his friends. However, I could never think about taking him home as my father ran a borstal, and this guy had once been an inmate there. So my dad would know who he was.

“I got found out eventually, and was suspended from my convent school. But the whole episode gave me the idea for the song.”

postpostscript 9/17

Andrew P further points out there's a fair few modern exponents of the strident purity vocal thing, and directs me to the "Hail The Witch Queen" section of this blogpost by A.S. Van Dorston at Fast 'n Bulbous (scroll down a bit), which is dedicated to "female-lead psych noir"

These actually make me thing of Heart if anything! But then I think I included Ann Wilson as a potential That Voice-er in one of the original blogs.

Certainly the image is very much in the Witchy 'n' Commanding tradition

this group actually have the Wilson sisters look, if not the sound

Quite a lot of black metal strays into this zone, via paganism

Something I just stumbled on via YouTube - from Finland, Jess and the Ancient Ones

from Italy, imperious-femme-vocaled  "Occult/Stoner/Blues Rock"

perhaps a bit bluesy-raunchy (vocally and musically) to really fit the mold...

postpostscript - later on 9/17

ooeee -  with a shudder i discover that I already blogged, here, on this very subject, only four years ago. Senility, ahoy! Or perhaps it's just that Music History has simply become for me a series of inwinding and overlapping ever-decreasing-circles I traverse, such that inevitably I will retrace my footsteps, indeed the same mental tracks carved into my brain...   as i wander the Archives looking to kindle sparks of amusement/amazement out of often unpromising or already-used-up materials

postpostpostscript - 9/19

Andrew P suggests Renata Knaup

Definitely commanding, slightly screechy though

Now Knaup must be the same roots as Knapp, my mother's maiden name (one of the oldest words in the language - as in knapping flints, and also apparently, a word for a hill).

Monday, September 12, 2016

70s stodge

stodge, cos of the multi-track production / arrangements tend to gassy bloatation and starchiness

but stodge also in the hamburger-helper / meatloaf sense of padding out the music scene...  

see at any point in rock history there's a LOT more going on in terms of records being released and concerts played and radio plays and chart entries than what  History will subsequently tell us about an era

there's the picture it'll paint of what mattered and what counted and what Happened...

but that'll in reality only ever have been a fraction of all that was going on

there's always a lot of stuff that doesn't fit the narrative

there's the totally anomalous, off on its own path

or there's the stuff that's a lingering, persistently popular continuation from a previous phase of music

and sometimes that'll be earlier phase bands sticking doggedly to what they're about

other times they'll be slogging on but tenaciously adapting to the times.... proggers or pub rockers going New Wave.... punkers and postpunkers going New Pop.... shoegazers going Britpop

proving that there's a lot more fashion-following and a lot less integrity/consistency than we'd perhaps imagine in music

so let's hear it for some (not-so-)Great British Ballast, with a sampling this round from the late Seventies 

Pub-rock survivors Ducks Deluxe reformulated, or some members of the group at least, as New Wave-ish pop slags The Motors

Would you believe that tune was John Peel's #1 single of 1977? In the so-called Forgotten Festive Fifty (Not the listeners's choice, his own personal fave).

Touted in '78, this lot

Radio One deejays put their weight behind a lot of the ballast of the era, they seemed to have an unerring ear for what would be quickly evacuated from memory

Another group that were a sort of staple of the scene - passed over by a million glazed eyes scanning the music papers, the name tugging at your eyeball form out of those little boxed ads for individual concerts at the Rainbow or Marquee or  full pagers for their tours / new albums -

i think of these groups as a bit like the fish fingers or beans on toast, or shepherd's pie  .... staple stuff that pads out the family's dinners but nothing to look forward to... 

probably a lot of people went to see this sort of group on the off chance, as a second choice - or perhaps nothing else on in their small town in the provinces... nothing much else in the local record shop that week but you got the itch to buy something so you try something...

with all these sort of groups, pictures, unappetising pictures, swim into my mind's eye

roadies's hairy arses as they haul the PA through the back entrance of  mid-size concert halls in Leicester or Middleborough

 ... brown ale breath

...  the fug of cig smoke in a van cramped with gear and musicians 

...  a desultory blow job in a toilet stall 

...  greasy spoons on the M1 at 2 AM on the way back from a show up north

This lot were bringing back the blues... and sharp suits

"good live bands"

how Paul Young started...

Well, actually, there was this wasn't there...

Made me think of this for some reason

Now Brand X weren't stodge at all, in fact they were rather excellent  - bejewelled and spacious in their sound ... but very much against the New Wave grain... I remember their full pages ads in the music papers very well and not being able to get a fix on what they were, me not having the full map of music scene in my head yet .... was intrigued by the blank name... but not sure if I ever heard them at the time (they wouldn't have been played on late night Radio One)

Another kind of stodge is the kind of  hamburger-helper scene-filler that makes Change seem more total because, look, LOOK at the numbers

In fact you only really need the first-div stuff (generally more individualistic anyway) but all that second and third-div make-weight stuff (generally more standardised and conformist in sound) fills out the scene and helps establishes the dominance of the new musical episteme.

New Wave stodge

Punk stodge

Punk stodge #2

Punk stodge # 3

There's many many more from the late Seventies of course

Perhaps I should do the Brit 90s next - no end of stodge there