January joys

January 27, 2009

BRIAN ENO/DAVID BYRNE – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today – already have audio files for this, but this limited edition circular tin complete with extra dvd disc, 4 extra tracks, dice, pill etc… is a little design joy.

SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU – The Black Book Of Capitalism – missed this first time round – eclectic, beautiful.

HENRI BOWANE – Double Take Tala Kaka – one-off genius of Congolese rumba. Mellifluous mmmmmm.

NURSE WITH WOUND – Man With The Woman Face – bought for its disc of remixes, including a stonking lengthy ‘groove’.

ELEGI – Varde – arctic soundscapes.

ERGO PHIZMIZ – Pie Hateaux – online free download.

VARIOUS ARTISTS/RUNE GRAMMAFON – Money Will Ruin Everything 2nd Edition – gorgeous book, not sure when I’ll get round to listening to the two audio discs.

LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY – Live At The Jazz Cafe – completists only.

and last but by no means least, the wonderful

TUJIKO NORIKO – Penguin 2009…

available from her website as a free download – get it before it’s gone



Stockholm & The Residents

January 2, 2009

Took a long weekend break to Stockholm in early December, primarily to see The Residents, but also my first visit to Sweden.

Had heard how expensive it is there, but nothing had quite prepared me for £8 for a bar of chocolate. A pub dinner (admittedly 3-course, an up-market bar, and elk & reindeer steaks scoffed) cost us over £100, so bread and cheese came into play despite the cold, grey and damp weather.

Residents show? Smallest venue I’ve ever seen them in, a theatre annex with a capacity of around 200 (it was jammed). A small stage barely big enough to accommodate personnel, equipment and the two basic ‘tent’ sets, but clear sound.

The Bunny Boy’s a curious album (and YouTube series etc….) and I’d looked forward to seeing the nascent mythology expanded upon. Disappointing in that respect as there was nothing on offer that’s not already available on disc/YT. Simple but effective presentation as the Bunny Boy himself lead proceedings, stalking the tiny stage and ranting throughout. It’s the music that fails to engage – the word ‘lumpen’ springs to mind, unfortunately.

A problem I’ve had with the last few Residents releases, imho not striking a good balance between spoken word, lyrics and musical inventiveness. The SandMan had superb musical backing that wasn’t allowed time to breathe, suffocated by spoken word that was insufficiently involved to stand repeated listening. Bunny Boy is the reverse – conceptually a more involving project, but hampered by music that doesn’t stand up to repeated exposure. What next for them, I wonder.

December goodies

January 2, 2009

Been a very slack month for new audio – and probably just as well too, with BAFTA screeners piling up to be viewed for the upcoming film awards. So, not much listening going on here this month, but plenty of viewing.

Nevertheless, have picked up a few goodies….

FM3 – Buddha Machine V.2 – having missed out the first time round, I finally cracked and bought grey and burgundy machines to play around with. Cheap but not necessarily cheerful, they’re less flexible than I’d thought they might be, and the sound quality from the on-board speaker’s poor. Part of the charm, I guess, but thus far I haven’t found them the immersive experience others have.

On The Hour Volumes One & Two – have had the episodes as audio files for a few years – but in a spirit of supporting the artists, and keen to hear the various extras, I shelled out for both 4xcd sets. Something for the car over the next couple of months.

SEUN KUTI & FELA’S EGYPT 80 – Many Things – prime afrobeat, with all the energy and venom of his dad at his best. Cracking stuff.

A COMPLETE INTRODUCTION TO NORTHERN SOUL – big 4xcd&booklet set that’ll keep out the winter chill nicely. Thanks, Joe!

FENNESZ – Black Sea – Erm… not even listened to this yet.

WINSTON TONG/STEVEN BROWN/TUXEDOMOON – live ICA 30th October 1982 (excerpt) – finally got hold of something that’s been a holy grail for me for over two decades! Only a 5-minute extract from the 40-minute performance though, so the hunt is still on for the complete show (it must be out there somewhere, surely).