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Archive for June, 2004

Don’t listen to them

Posted: June 25th, 2004, by Marceline Smith

I have a record label and I got my test pressings today so very very soon I will have an real record what is available to purchase in a fancy BOX and everything. It features diskant staff bands Uter and Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element and our friends in the USA A Roman Scandal and Denim & Diamonds. There will be some gigs happening soon in the honour of so keep an eye on www.askingfortrouble.org for all the info on that and more. diskant record label madness! (This is why diskant is never updated).

Much more importantly and excitingly, I have just returned from the Netherlands where we discovered a whole new trend which we have brought back in abundance – PARASITE PALS!

“One day Holly was a lonely girl with not the friend. The doctor tells of the infection of many parasites. He give the pills for removal of parasites, but Holly is sad. Why to kill the parasites?”

And thus meet her parasite pals, the most fun being Tickles the Tapeworm who lives in Holly’s unhappy tummy. This is the most insane thing I have seen in a long time. I really never thought I’d see the day when tapeworms were cool.

Okay this is definitely self-promotion

Posted: June 25th, 2004, by Simon Minter

But never mind.

I too have a new record label: Fourier Transform, with our first couple of releases coming out over the next couple of months. Please go and take a look!

It’s gonna RULE !

Hi

Posted: June 24th, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

I’m running the risk of self promotion with this one but hear me out. I watched the BBC documentary about John Coltrane last week and was really stoked. The docu itself was hippy dippy rubbish but it inspired me to try and work even harder. But I left the program wondering how I was going to do that exactly. I turned my PC on and there was something that was at least part way to answering my question. I got asked to play guitar for Damo Suzuki. Crumbs. Damo was in Can for the uninitiated. He’s on an endless tour right now playing with “sound carriers” of his or the promoters choosing and we got put forward to back him in Nottingham (we being Neil and Phil from wolves and Elvis from Twinkie and Lords). We have to improvise with him for an hour. It’s going to rule. September 14th.

Tomorrow also sees the first steps towards my own record label of a kind. No name as yet (so the first release helpfully has no record label on it) for the label but me and my bud Gareth are just doing small run CDRs of things that might be better served with a cheap price tag but some nice packaging and a little care. The first CDRs we’ve done are for our ambient-ish project EOM and thats a live to cassette album (36 mins or so). There is a also a CDR of a record I made on my own which is coming out in 10″ on Lone Hand (ltd to 77 copies!) and another solo CDR audio travel diary of Australia. All kind of throwaway stuff but hopefully relatively devoid of commerce and hopefully therefore fun.

Been investigating modern composition too and the work of Gavin Bryars who has further convinced me that I am not pushing hard enough.

I move house on Monday too.

xx

Nina Nastasia

Posted: June 23rd, 2004, by Stuart Fowkes

I must have been one of the hundred or so people in the country not watching England sort-of-convincingly sweep the Croatians aside on Monday, ‘cos I was at the Queen Elizabeth Hall checking out Nina Nastasia, plus ‘rare guests’, whatever they are (robot guitarists? Thurston Moore on French horn?). Well, as it turns out, they were, in addition to the already-impressive backing band, two fellas from Tuva (near Mongolia, geography fans) called Kaigal-ool Khovalyg and Sayan Bapa, wielding a formidable array of Tuvan instruments like the igil (cello thing using horse hair), doshpuluur (a long-necked lute) and, er, their throats. And guess what? It was utterly wonderful.

The effect of what are apparently the khoomei (you’ll have to imagine some accents on this word – I’m not sure if Blogger will let me) and kargyraa singing styles was that of an ersatz string section. Thankfully, there was nothing ‘novelty’ about it – Nastasia’s been using saws, dulcimers and that for ages, and this was just a natural extension and a new way to hear her songs. Even better, none of that gorgeous open space that characterises her recorded stuff was compromised by (ahem) coruscating instrumentation – it’s just that when things picked up, it wasn’t just a case of upping the volume, but gradually building up layers of sound, underpinned by drumming that was fabulous in an understated sorta way. I won’t come over all encomiastic about NN’s songs (suffice to say all three of her records are great), but Monday night really was terrific and if you’ve not heard her before, do yourself a favour and have a listen.

Obligatory further information links for the ‘inter net user’:

Nina Nastasia

Huun-Huur-Tu

Contemporary Music Network

WANTAGE USA

Posted: June 20th, 2004, by Simon Minter

The most popular CD in my stereo right now is the double CD compilation, WANTAGE USA’S 21ST RELEASE HITS OMNIBUS. This is a compilation as they should be done – two CDs packed full of all kinds of exciting, quality music, wrapped in a nice-looking package with a substantial booklet containing full details of all the bands and how to find out more about them.

If you’ve any interest in the current underground music scene in America – and, randomly, the underground music scene in Latvia (where Wantage mainman Josh lived at the end of the 90s) – right now there, you should check this out. The music on here is that kind of punk/hardcore/’fractured noise’/indie-heavy-metal stuff which always seems so far ahead of what we’re doing here in England (to me, anyway). An inspirational introduction to what seems like a very healthy scene.

More info here – there’s 47 bands on this double CD, including The Fucking Champs, Oneida, Noxagt, Dub Narcotic, Stars of the Dogon and Early Humans.

Art School Cliches

Posted: June 18th, 2004, by Marceline Smith

I’d forgotten the one terrible thing about living next door to the Art School. The annual Degree Show Street Party which takes place right outside our house. Cue booming music all evening interspersed with the sound of car alarms being set off by the vibrations. I’m getting a real education in art school hipster music tonight and it is exactly as you would expect – lots and lots of Franz Ferdinand and The Rapture. Don’t they realise what a cliche they are being? But they’re just playing the full length version of Blue Monday and it sounds amazing. If they want to play this outside my house at high volume every evening that’s fine by me.

Last night I did two monumental things

Posted: June 4th, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

Last night I did two monumental things. I took my girlfriend to the airport to fly to Australia, probably forever. I then sped across London, Cannonball Run style and saw The Pixies.

Let’s not go into the first thing but The Pixies were grand. Any fears that the goofing around they do when they come on would mean any fire in songs like Tame would be gone was quickly disspelled. Towards the end in Vamos after Joey had done the big guitar solo by just putting his guitar in its stand and having a fag, Charles/Frank/Black let out a scream that seemed to last a minute or more and was so gutteral that even Kim Deal seemed to break concentration. 3 encores, Wave Of Mutiliation played twice and me nearly crying in Hey and Gigantic. Wow.

No support (Graham Coxon? what happened?) save for Dave Loverings magic show – “I did this show opening for Frank Black & The Catholics on tour last year…much smaller halls”

Sadly I ran over a bunny on the A52 on the way home. A slight dampener.

May I also take a second to advertise the Norwich Pop Underground Convention taking place, shockingly, in Norwich over the weekend of the 19 June. Playing are Twinkie, Quickspace and Wolves! (of Greece). In NORWICH. Like, NORWICH. Where am I from, kind of. So if you’re an eastern type you have no excuse!

Just a quick note

Posted: June 3rd, 2004, by Dave Stockwell

With regard to Joe Morris’ excllent new column: Markus Archer, who sings on the new Alias record, is a member of The Notwist. So now you know.

In addition: The Parts & Labor half of the split album Simon Minter talks about is great! Tyondai Braxton is awesome too, but in a totally different, head-spinning kinda way. Looking forward to P&L’s cover of ‘Sugar Kane’ on Narnack’s forthcoming Sonic Youth tribute CD too…

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Posted: June 2nd, 2004, by Marceline Smith

I’ve been too lazy to enthuse about the new issue of Loose Lips Sink Ships but lucky for me, Stereo Sanctity have done the work. I’d like to agree with everything they say. I mean, show me another magazine that manages to feature Sonic Youth, Kevin Shields, Weird War, Blonde Redhead and Lightning Bolt all in the same issue. And the photos! And the funny smell the paper has. Mmmmm.

I got mine in Virgin so you should be able to find a copy easy in your local record store/Borders etc. or find out more here.