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Introducing the diskant team #4 – David Stockwell

Posted: November 20th, 2006, by Marceline Smith

Dave used to be diskant’s resident obscurist, guaranteed to fill his columns full of unpronounceable unlistenable music that he still managed to make sound amazing. Since then, we’ve recruited a few other mentalists to keep him company, so much so, that Dave actually turned out to be the diskanteer who’d heard the most out of our Top Ten Albums of 2005 and thus had the fun job of writing up the article*. He’s also given us the enormously helpful guide to getting gigs and the highly entertaining Souvaris European tour diary as well as profiling swathes of labels for Talentspotter.

By day Dave works as a Project Officer for Children’s Centres Services at Nottingham City Council working with children and families in Nottingham’s most disadvantaged areas. By night he makes “guitars chime, churn and occasionally howl” in Souvaris, “what’s generally regarded as horrific noise and drone” in Bologna Pony, “sporadically mucks around with homemade lo-fi ambient things”, helps out with DIY non-profit gig-organising collective Damn You! and sometimes even finds the time to write a few extra esoteric reviews for Foxy Digitalis. Blimey.

Where do you live and what do you like about it?
Sneinton, Nottingham. It’s just outside the centre of a medium-sized but comparatively lively (read as: violent) city and I can get out to green space or nice places outside the city limits with a short walk. I also live just around the corner from HQs for three record labels: Gringo, Low-Point and Fire. Convenient.

What have you been listening to/reading/watching/playing recently?

Oof, where to start?

Listening to: The news of Relapse reissuing Harvey Milk’s Courtesy and Goodwill To All Men had me dusting off my copy and remembering quite how wilfully absurd/strangely brilliant it is. Ditto the This Heat boxset, which has to be my purchase of the year. Steven R. Smith’s new LP on Important is really lovely and comes in a beautiful woodcut sleeve. MV & EE w/ The Bummer Road’s latest album on Time-Lag might possibly be the best/most maddening new music I’ve heard this year. Birchville Cat Motel’s 3xCD live document Curved Surface Destroyer is appropriately mindblowing. The new (Chris) Clark album Body Riddle sounds sumptuous. Erase Errata were tremendous when they played live recently, but their new album doesn’t sound half as raucous.

Reading: Last things I’ve read have been Dodie Smith’s I Capture The Castle (lent by a friend) and Richard Hooker’s M*A*S*H (on which everything you associate with that title was originally based). Next up is a Bukowski biography, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and at some point finally tackling Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States of America.

I don’t watch television, and I’ve barely had time or inclination to watch any new films recently. I did get The Parallax View and My Own Private Idaho on DVD for dirt cheap not that long ago though. Both classy films. Seeing stuff in the flesh, I went to the Sunday of the Barbican’s celebration of Steve Reich’s 70th birthday and it was mostly brilliant: Konono #1 played in a free gig in the hall; Reich’s new piece (entitled Daniel) managed to be both emotionally charged and beautiful; seeing Music For 18 Musicians performed in the flesh is an experience I’ll never forget. Especially when Steve started hitting loads of bum notes on his vibraphone halfway through.

Tell us about your favourite local bands
Nottingham’s a funny old place for music: there’s always a steady stream of interesting bands but few seem to stay together for more than a few months at a time (except the terrible ones that refuse to die). Lords have to be mentioned as a premier live attraction, but bring your earplugs because they’ve gotten unbearably loud since they got their new amps. Gareth Hardwick may have the misfortune to be in a band with me, but I still love his solo ambient stuff anyway, and it’s getting better with every release. Designer Babies seem to have been in a period of transition for a frustratingly long time since they lost their frontman, but I’m hoping for exciting things when they play soon. The inimitably unique Hellset Orchestra are always worth seeing and I really admire their wilful absurdity and Queenesque stage antics. Apparently Love Ends Disaster! live just around the corner but never seem to play here. Orchards are a new proposition from members of many established Nottingham bands that I really enjoyed when they played their second-ever gig recently. Lovely melodies alongside American Analog Set-style keyboard throbs – it can’t be beat. There are loads more, such as Lovvers and the new-look Exploits of Elaine, that I really need to get around to seeing soon.

What are you planning on writing about next for diskant?
At the start of the month I managed to buy about 50 LPs for a quid from a fleamarket. I got some amazing stuff, such as Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, but also the first Dire Straits LP, The Fine Young Cannibals and a really fucked up Wagner sampler LP got in there too. I’m thinking about trying and write a two sentence review of every one.

What are your favourite articles/interviews on diskant?
I love Ollie’s infectious enthusiasm for anything absurd and/or highly offensive. Joe Luna has an incredible knack of writing about things that I was either thinking about buying or thinking about reviewing – keep it up Joe! And whatever Chris turns his hand to is inevitably going to be worth reading.

What are you looking forward to this year?
I really want to see Darren Aaronofsky’s The Fountain, which has been in development for about five years now and will hopefully hit the cinemas before the end of the year. I just hope it’s not the train wreck it could well turn out to be.

I’m also very much looking forward to Damn You! putting on Birchville Cat Motel early next year, and there are whispers about the possibility of Charles Hayward (This Heat, general drumming genius) coming up shortly after that have got me in a real spin.

Lastly, I’ll be excited on Friday because that day I have to post a completed mix of the long-awaited second Souvaris album (entitled “A Hat” for no particularly good reason) to Mr John Golden to unleash his mastering skills on. You’ll be able to listen to the results courtesy of Gringo Records early next year. Thank fuck!

What have you learned during your time at diskant?
That the advent of Web 2.0 means that you can no longer slag off a shit record with impunity. Someone’s opinion is always going to be more important than yours, especially if it’s the artist’s.

* Although I see I have actually credited the article to myself. Oops.

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


1 Response to Introducing the diskant team #4 – David Stockwell

  1. Anonymous

    Hey Dave,

    Just for you Love Ends Disaster! are playing Nottingham Rescue Rooms this Friday (12th January). Come along and say hello.

    Much love,

    Jamie Disaster! X