Friday, July 31, 2015

Consider Retromania  retracted forthwith - this genius nugget of recreativity makes it all worthwhile, the entire sorry era we've been living through.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Deze morgen was verdomde recht

all recorded at Studio Voor Elektronische Muziek Utrecht

released as disc 2 of this 


Pitchfork article on how playlists are curating the future of music

I'm curious how much this works towards atemporality - playlists that cut across time

Allowing one to exist even less in the shared now of new releases (ie. whole albums) and radio shows oriented to new and recent releases

What happens when the history of music gets so vast (and also eso easy to transect with personalised pathways) that the new to you effect can be created by something that isn't actually new

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Yvette Cooper hits out at 'startlingly retro' Labour leadership campaign"

"“We can’t go back to an old fashioned Labour party – not just back to the politics of the 80s but of the politics of the 50s – treating women as incapable of the top jobs, and a party led by two men,” Cooper said...
Personalising the subject, Cooper added: “It’s been a startlingly retro campaign debate. Andy’s campaign seem to be calling for Liz and I to bow out and leave it to the boys, or suggesting that somehow women aren’t strong enough to do the top jobs.
“Liz has been asked about her weight, I’ve been asked (on [BBC Radio 4’s] Woman’s Hour of all places) about whether I can possibly do this job because of my husband, and any talk about me being a working mum has been used as a sexist way to divide Liz and I and criticise Liz for not having children.
- from the Guardian
Is there any major political party in the UK that isn't engaged in retro politics?
Cooper is lke Romo in so far as it's too early for a NuLab revival

Thursday, July 23, 2015

got the moves like Swagger Jackers

cheeky! conceptual! - an article about "everything is a remix" and "steal like an artist" that steals and remixes the first para of my critique of recreativity in Slate from a few years ago  - and applies it to the world of business and commerce, inventions, copyrights, patents and what not:

"There’s a certain pleasure to be derived from swagger jacking an article about copying whilst writing about lack of originality – something we are taught is wrong from an early age. Whether or not copying is wrong per se depends an awful lot on how you view originality. One common argument is that there is no originality, as every new idea or expression is the sum of other influences. In other words, a remix of ideas that have been copied, transformed and combined to create something new. For hard-core fans of originality, this point of view is a shame to say the least, as it denies the possibility of a truly new idea. That being said, in taking a closer look at businesses and their products, everything seems to have been inspired by something.

"The fashion industry is one such example and is successful precisely because of copying, transforming and adapting ideas. As Ralph Lauren told Oprah Winfrey in 2011 upon being asked how he reinvents himself: “Forty-five years of copying; that’s why I’m here.” Fashion depends on the copying of good ideas, as that is what creates a trend. And trends sell. In business, more often than not, commercial success overrules the need to seem original.

"In the fashion industry, it is easy to reuse ideas and add to them, as copyrighting and patents rarely apply – merely for logos and brand names, and in the case of Christian Louboutin, trademark red-soled high heels (with the exception of Yves Saint Laurent, which may use the red sole for entirely red shoes, as ruled by a United States court of appeals in 2012). When trends die down, new trends appear – and often, they are just old ideas that have been “rejuvenated.” Take the shoulder pad: popular as part of the power suit of the 1980s, ridiculed and despised in the 1990s, it was part of a new trend in the late 2000s. When it made its comeback, the “new” shoulder pad was seen as a hard break from the softer looks of previous years and as a detail, not a statement. An old design, transformed to suit the new generation – a remix."

"While remixing has been around since the dawn of time, we are currently seeing an increase in the momentum and proliferation of remixes. Globalization has made the remixing process much simpler. Worldwide logistics have become faster, and, in turn, so have supply chains, meaning that products and ideas are more quickly and easily accessible to all."

"Naturally, digitalization has also done its part. Good ideas spread like wildfire, making it possible for engineers, entrepreneurs and product developers to copy, transform and combine ideas in real time. Business specialists no longer need to fly to Texas to see things for themselves, and lab researchers can save much time through computerized prototypes rather than building models themselves."

"The next step to speed up the remixing process could be “the Internet of Things”, which will see technology connected to and communicating with each other. "

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Instagram rock / Currents versus the concept of "current"

Tiny Mix Tapes's Will Neibergall on Tame Impala

"Instagram used to be strange. Before it became a “social platform,” it was billed as a single-purpose image editing tool, and even now it’s not difficult to remember how the filters (especially “Toaster” and “Kelvin”) were recognizable as poor approximations of what analog photography “looked like.” Instagram became ridiculous. Your parents and grandparents signed up, and the spontaneous aspect of the filters was all but completely forgotten as you saw them applied to so many pictures of meals and sunsets that the unchanging formula became transparent. It’s easy to see how Instagram might have once been useful for assigning affective sensitivity or a warmth of tone to an otherwise unspectacular unit of content, but now each post is a little bit of a parody. The filters have become vulgar to many, who stopped posting altogether or began posting without them. I don’t claim to understand why people want to replicate the aesthetic of instant analog photography well enough to offer criticism, and I’m definitely not elitist or naïve enough to ask that people buy cameras and film to get the “real thing.” Instagram is, to me, evidence of an obvious and banal truth: that if your understanding of the past is reductive or overly simple and you nonetheless attempt to put the past to work, productively organizing the past in the service of reframing the present, what you get is similarly reduced and simplified.
"Tame Impala is the Instagram of rock bands. I often wonder what the mos  tperfect iteration of Tame Impala would be to Kevin Parker or to fans of his music (would he just sound even more like John Lennon?). I know it’s unfair to take a piece of music to imagined logical conclusions — its logic is not necessarily mine, and there’s a reason that Parker released this record instead of literally anything else — but I’ve always felt a little intellectually insulted by Tame Impala albums because they confront me with a logic that really is that simple. As with Instagram, what appears to be the singular affective nuance ends up being a simple formula. Just add a particular guitar tone, lots of phaser and tremolo, and that Lennon affectation to any rock song and you’ve got it."

His final flourish: 

"Maybe music is just a commodity, and the vivid feelings of love and beauty and nostalgia and intensity and heartbreak we feel while listening to it are just capitalism playing surplus-value games with us. Even so, shouldn’t we be discussing an economy of affect in which even the commonest, basest commodity is worth more than the fleeting apathy of an Instagram double-tap? In which creating value requires more than the formulaic application of a filter, endlessly compressing the past into the same fixed signifiers?"
Another take on Tame Impala - with a great big quote from Retromania at the start of it - by Spencer Kornhaber at the Atlantic

"People have worried about nostalgia strangling pop culture for decades, but 2015 might go down as the year it revealed its dastardly plot. The remake and reboot craze that’s long afflicted the movie industry has spread to TV. The biggest book of the year was written about 60 years ago. In music, the mega-smash “Blurred Lines” was legally ruled to be little more than a Marvin Gaye cover, and the credits for the defining track of 2015, “Uptown Funk,” now include five members of the Gap Band for work they did in 1979.

To the extent that Currents is pastiche, it’s pastiche with a point of view, collapsing a few decades of psychedelic sounds into one lovely blur—time starts to sounds like a flat circle, and nostalgia starts to seem like a way of envisioning the future.

"When the album’s the most gobsmacking, which is often, is when the lyrical themes align perfectly with the musical ones. The first example: During an instrumental break in the opening track “Let It Happen,” the music gets stuck. Like, the song starts to skip; it sounds like the CD is scratched or your iTunes is frozen. But then some violins come in and the arrangement rebuilds itself, gorgeously, around the glitchy new groove. It’s a high concept gimmick that’s also moving—here’s reality moving like a stream, getting diverted by some obstacle, and making a new path."

In the past I have rather enjoyed Tame Impala's records, I must admit. Innerspeaker I first heard when my brother played it in his car;  after some mental struggle, I submitted to my enjoyment, wile still witholding my approval.  I remarked to my brother that "It's like they decided that "Paperback Writer' was the zenith of pop, it could not be surpassed, and they just decided to stay there, forever". 

Tame Impala didn't, though -  the next album Lonerism moved a little bit further forward in pop historical time, seemingly to when things got heavier in the late Sixties - well, at least, on this stompy blues-dirgey beauty which vaguely makes me think of I dunno, "Spirit In the Sky".

Only listened to Currents once on Spotify but it seemed unpleasantly denatured sounding to me.

The Tiny Mix Tapes riff about Instagram rock reminded me of something I learned at a party in LA last year. An old friend of my wife's was throwing it - she and her husband are in a psychedelic band that's been going for a couple of decades now.  Got chatting to the husband, who was hanging with some similarly inclined retro-rock types, people into power pop and psych-folk and so forth. Anyway at one point, somebody mentions how you can buy an app - pretty certain he used the word 'app', it might have been software, but 'app' is what sticks in my memory and it definitely added to the surprise effect of what he told me - that you can buy an app that will allow you to coat your home-recorded songs with the characteristic feel and vibe of the Abbey Road studio circa1965.  And moreover, there are separate apps for Abbey Road circa 1966, Abbey Road circa 1967, and so on. The palette of sounds that the studio technicians had provided for the Beatles at each stage of their developments -  the drum sounds and Leslie Rotary Speaker effects and phasing etc  --  can be applied to your music,  just like that.  Very much like an Instagram filter. That blew my mind, I must say. 

Always thought that retro in music was like enjoying the benefits of past breakthroughs without the aesthetic / conceptual effort or risk expended by the original innovators. But at least there seemed to be some work involved, in the craft of actually recreating those sounds. All the trouble that Todd Rundgren had to go to when he did his Beatles replicas on Faithful, for instance. But gradually that element - the artisanal graft, which must instill a workman's pride if nothing else, the pride felt by the reproduction antique maker or art forger  - that too has been whittled away. If these instant-1966 apps actually do exist, it's been whittled to zero.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


"It is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times."

A complaint applicable to any number of areas of the culture - including rock 'n 'pop.

But this is comics maven Alan Moore, talking about superhero movies in an interview at Slovobooks

"To my mind, this embracing of what were unambiguously children's characters at their mid-20th century inception seems to indicate a retreat from the admittedly overwhelming complexities of modern existence.It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite 'universes' presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times."

This is a remixed reprise of a point he made a year earlier in The Guardian.

"I haven't read any superhero comics since I finished with Watchmen. I hate superheroes. I think they're abominations. They don't mean what they used to mean. They were originally in the hands of writers who would actively expand the imagination of their nine- to 13-year-old audience. That was completely what they were meant to do and they were doing it excellently. These days, superhero comics think the audience is certainly not nine to 13, it's nothing to do with them. It's an audience largely of 30-, 40-, 50-, 60-year old men, usually men. Someone came up with the term graphic novel. These readers latched on to it; they were simply interested in a way that could validate their continued love of Green Lantern or Spider-Man without appearing in some way emotionally subnormal. This is a significant rump of the superhero-addicted, mainstream-addicted audience. I don't think the superhero stands for anything good. I think it's a rather alarming sign if we've got audiences of adults going to see the Avengers movie and delighting in concepts and characters meant to entertain the 12-year-old boys of the 1950s."

Monday, July 20, 2015

sounds of space

Are these really the sounds of space?

Not really.... these are waves that have been translated into something audible to humans

"The specially designed instruments aboard the space probes were designed to pick up and record electromagnetic vibrations. This information, when sent back to Earth and decoded, can be heard as intriguing and beautiful sounds from space. The real music of the spheres.
The sounds you hear are from decoded information on interactions of the solar ionic wind, the planet's magnetosphere, plasma wave phenomena and interactions between the planet's ionosphere and magnetosphere.
These vibration frequency recordings are all within the range of human hearing (20-20,000 cycles per second). These recordings have been specially processed, filtered, and spacially mastered in 3-D sound with frequencies for achieving deep states of relaxation.In order to achieve the best possible quality in audio reproduction, these tapes are processed on special high-end chrome tape, Coherence Technology� for removing all extraneous noise, HX Pro for super high fidelity, 3-D sound processing using the BASE System�, and our own BMR Processing�.The epic space flights of Voyager I and II soar across our Solar System. This unique series of recordings is created from original Voyager recordings of the electromagnetic "voices" of the planets and moons in our Solar System." [blurb for the Nasa Voyager Recordings CD at]

I wonder what sono-ideological assumptions and biases are lodged deep within these various supposedly neutral filters and processes that have been applied to the raw electromagnetic data? Concepts of "listenable" and "pleasantly eerie", perhaps? Possibly even marketing concepts seeped in there subliminally  -  a sense that the CD's prime attraction would be to fans of New Age and relaxation tapes.

You could imagine a different apparatus of filtering etc etc might have been applied if they had aimed to sell the record to....  fans of power electronics and noise.

Another source: "Strictly speaking, the plasma wave instrument does not detect sound.  Instead it senses waves of electrons in the ionized gas or "plasma" that Voyager travels through. No human ear could hear these plasma waves.  Nevertheless, because they occur at audio frequencies, between a few hundred and a few thousand hertz, "we can play the data through a loudspeaker and listen," says Gurnett.  "The pitch and frequency tell us about the density of gas surrounding the spacecraft.""

Still as doctored and constructed audio-productions go, these are pretty cool, aren't they?  They do  sound freakily rather like the intended-to-evoke-space sounds of mid-20th Century electronic, tape music, and radiophonia -  as well as the more uncanny-abstract zones of space music of the Seventies and Eighties.

In some cases they are more entertaining e.g. c.f. Charles Dodge's Earth's Magnetic Field - which seems like it's going to be really exciting but is a bit of a snooze.

Back to Voyager's eavesdropping on the cosmos....

(moon of Uranus, that one)

Now maybe you recall this - there was a lady composer/scientist who  took radio waves from a distant galaxy and turned them into music...  Dr. Fiorella Terenzi.

The results were cheesy as fuck - an insult to the universe. 

"In a new Island Records CD called Music from the Galaxies, Italian Astro-physicist and composer Fiorella Terenzi has used the most modern radio-tele- scopes and computers to convert the natural radiation from a galaxy designated UGC6697 into the audible range then add instrumental harmonies. A fascinating demonstration of human intelligence." -  I BEG TO DIFFER!

retro-quotes # 58586[44459849435894358345834583459345834583

retro-quotes: a series of germane remarks, by others, plucked from all over the place, and from all over the time 

"[Baudrillard's] vision of contemporary society exhibits a careening of growth and excrescence (croissance et excroissance), expanding and excreting ever more goods, services, information, messages or demands — surpassing all rational ends and boundaries in a spiral of uncontrolled growth and replication. Yet growth, acceleration, and proliferation have reached such extremes, Baudrillard suggests, that the ecstasy of excrescence (i.e., increasing numbers of goods) is accompanied by inertia. The process of growth presents a catastrophe for the subject, for not only does the acceleration and proliferation of the object world intensify the aleatory dimension of chance and non-determinacy, but the objects themselves come to dominate the exhausted subject, whose fascination with the play of objects turns to apathy, stupefaction, and inertia."
-- unknown writer, entry on Baudrillard, from Stanford Guide to Philosophy

Thursday, July 16, 2015

behind of his times

A strange wishful nativist counterfactual fantasy about how rock history might have turned out differently....

"Imagine that the British Invasion of the US never happened, that the Beatles’ three-night stand on The Ed Sullivan Show never aired, and that American popular music in the 1960s developed on its own, without the introduction of a viral strain from across the Atlantic. What might it have sounded like?

"Maybe the answer lies in the music of Bobby Fuller, self-styled “Rock’n’Roll King of the Southwest”, , who died on 18 July 1966, aged 23, in mysterious circumstances."

This Guardian piece on a biography of Bobby Fuller concludes with this claim by the author Miriam Linna (interviewed in Retromania ) that if he hadn't died before an upcoming UK tour then "I honestly believe today’s music scene would be vastly different.[Fuller] would have represented the second coming of Buddy Holly, who eight years earlier had toured Britain, inspiring everyone from the fledgling Beatles to those guys who ended up being in a band called the Rolling Stones.

To which writer Chris Campion adds: "And maybe, just maybe, the Bobby Fuller Four would have spearheaded an American Invasion of Britain."

(Who else would have comprised this American invasion? And what would they have instituted, as conquerors of an England crazily creatively Swinging at that point - a Britannia ruling the airwaves globally?  They would have pushed Time counter-clockwise, taking us back to the days of Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran?!? 

The logic is so tangled it takes some unpicking.... what they are saying is, if Fuller had lived, then the Bobby Fuller Four would somehow have taken Britain by storm in 1966 (despite sounding distinctly old fashioned in the year of Revolver / "Tomorrow Never Knows", Yardbirds at their peak, Pink Floyd's first single, whatever the Kinks and Stones were up to, which was a lot, etc etc etc)....

... And this success would have been so total, it would somehow have steered rock history back in the righteous direction - reset rock's clock  - it would have thwarted Sgt. Pepper's  (and also Cream, and Jimi Hendrix Experience, and "Eight Miles High", and The Doors, and Jefferson Airplane, and Pet Sounds...) from either happening or having the same degree of impact they did in our reality... 

But as Campion himself notes earlier in the piece, on the subject of the group's one-and-only  hit (I'd say, sole claim-to-fame), when "I Fought The Law" made the US Top 10 in March 1966:

"the Bobby Fuller Four... gamely performed it on TV shows such as Hullabaloo and Shivaree, in jailhouse sets or backed by hot-stepping cowgirl go-go dancers brandishing six-shooters. With their distinctive Jay Sebring haircuts, Beatle boots and tailored suits, the Bobby Fuller Four looked curiously out-of-step with their shaggier and more outre peers on the Los Angeles music scene."

So even at his and their moment of triumph,  Bobby Fuller and his Four were behind of his times, behind of their times...

The whole thesis is epigonic turning-point-ism way beyond anything even our own Carmody has ever come up with!

Apart from not being a particularly desirable counterfactual scenario, afaic

A restorationist fantasy, rooted in the same sort of nativism that Carducci also evidences in Rock and the Pop Narcotic when he insists that the British Invasion was no great shakes really ... that the pulse of rock'n'roll was still vibrantly throbbing in America between 1960-63....  albeit regionally: the Pacific North West (the Sonics), the South West, various other peripheral zones   - and also in sub-styles like the surf groups, shindig type groups, Link Wray type stuff etc etc... 

I guess it's just too big a blow to national pride, for some, to accept that a country's pop music could be turned around like that by a buncha dang furriners...    especially ones who speak the same language but in those annoyingly effete, hoity-toity tones -  who hail from a motherland whose apron strings you'd thought were severed centuries earlier roundabout the time of  the Boston Tea Party...

And doubly hard to take if it's the same country that more recently exported such unrocking atrocities as The Human League and New Order...

The comments to the Guardian piece include quite a few examples of such American-Firstism, the rock equivalent of the Tea Party ... but also a number of enjoyable comments taking sceptical and dissectional issue with the premise. My favorite was this from one Fletcherabbit:

"This critic and the author of the book forming the grab amen of the piece are akin to those historians who would set forth that John C. Fremont and not Abe Lincoln was most vital in the founding of the Republican Party, or that modern era is founded in Mascagni rather than Wagner!"

Never liked the Clash's version - because of its quaint stumpy foursquare song-iness - and also because of its seeming fatalism / defeatism

You couldn't imagine the Sex Pistols covering this tune, could you?

Hauntology Parish Newsletter July - Moon Wiring Club mix

lovely summer mix from Ian Hodgson aka Moon Wiring Club

"STRAP yourselves in and don those 4D glasses as MWC present an hour-long mixture of synth-spoken eeriepop-squash from outside the flickering Summer Window. REVEL to the sugar-swirly delights of old favourites, new favourites, new-old favourites and old-new favourites ~ all lavishly glued together with deftly-clipped voices and an overdose of fuzzed-up fidelity. Ideal for a warmish Friday evening in a beautiful metropolis after the cosy catastrophe..."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

retro-quotes # 556121211101111

retro-quotes: a series of germane remarks, by others, plucked from all over the place, and from all over the time 

"The art world presents a curious aspect. It is as though art and artistic inspiration had entered a kind of stasis - as though everything which had developed magnificently over several centuries had suddenly been immobilized, paralysed by its own image and its own riches. Behind the whole
convulsive movement of modern art lies a kind of inertia, something that can no longer transcend itself and has therefore turned in upon itself, merely repeating itself at a faster and faster rate. On the one hand, then, a stasis of the living form of art, and at the same time a proliferative tendency, wild hyperbole, and endless variations on all earlier forms (the life, moving of itself, of that which is dead). All this is logical enough: where there is stasis, there is metastasis. When a living form becomes disordered, when (as in cancer) a genetically determined set of rules ceases to function, the cells begin to proliferate chaotically. Just as some biological disorders indicate a break in the genetic code, so the present disorder in art may be interpreted as a fundamental break in the secret code of aesthetics"

 - Jean Baudrillard, talking about hyperstasis and glutted-clotted back in 1990, in the "Transaesthetics" chapter of The Transparency of Evil

"life, moving of itself, of what which is dead"  c.f. my phrase "necrotic vitality" from this 1999 survey I did of the Rock Book Overload"

"Imagine rock music as a beached whale's carcass. What seems like intense activity (all those bands!) is really necrotic vitality--a seething maggot horde living off the rotting flesh of a moribund culture. In their teeming tediousness, rock books exist on an even lower plane--microbial parasites who live off the maggots."

I thriftily recycled / adapted the metaphor for the distempered preamble to Unfaves of 1999

"Rock is like a fallen tree-- dead and rotting, it will surely sustain whole micro-ecosystems of bugs, toads, fungi, mosses, for years to come--teeming populations of miniscule critters  living off its moribund tissues (rock's archive of gesture and feeling and expression). Sure, you can focus on specific micro-scenes of rock (e.g. thrash/death/black metal, emo-core, whatever), and perceive bustling vitality -- but that doesn't mean that the tree, the overarching macro-myth, isn't dead."

Monday, July 13, 2015

digital lo-fi

Timh Gabriele at 555 Enterprises 2.0 writes: 

"Retro-fetishization, part a zillion. Zimmerman made the sounds on his new album The Baltika Years (on Daniel Lopatin's Software label) in a painfully slow manner throughout the 90s on a Tandy Deskmate computer.  An interesting look at that process in the film below

Not sure if this stuff is made using the same modus operandus, or during the same time period - cool stuff though


also "The Light At the End of the Tunnel" - 

retro-quotes #28475

retro-quotes: a series of germane remarks, by others, plucked from all over the place, and from all over the time 

"I think Shakespeare was greatly preoccupied with the loss of innocence. I think there has always been an England, an older England, which was sweeter and purer, where the hay smelt better, and the weather was always springtime, and the daffodils blew in the gentle, warm breezes. You feel nostalgia for it in Chaucer, and you feel it all through Shakespeare. I think he was profoundly against the modern age." - Orson Welles, Arena, BBC, 1982

this was tomorrow (kiddie concrete)

"John Paynter & Peter Aston – Musique Concrète by Children, from Sound and Silence: Classroom Projects in Creative Music, book+LP published by Cambridge University Press, UK, 1970.
From the LP’s liner notes:
Music made by children and students of: Burnt Yates Endowed School; Jessie Younghusband County Primary School, Chichester; Park Boys’ County Secondary School, Dudley; Moseley Grammar School, Birmingham; York Children’s Theatre Workshop; Bishop Otter College, Chichester; University of York; John Paynter, Peter Aston, directors."

(via Continuo's Documents)

retro-quotes #47777777774474747

retro-quotes: a series of germane remarks, by others, plucked from all over the place, and from all over the time 

“... Something that has obsessed me personally for a long time, is the idea of eternalism and non-existence of time. It’s the notion that everything that has happened and will happen and all parallel world outcomes are superimposed in one block time.... We’ve always imagined that the Ghost Box world is a kind of an ‘all at once’ place where all of the popular culture from 1958 to 1978 is somehow happening all at the same time. I think this is one of the reasons why each release we put out looks like it comes from a particular moment in this period and yet can reference much earlier and later events at the same time.”
-- Jim Jupp, interviewed for FACT by Mark Fisher, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2015

retro-quotes #2929834757

retro-quotes: a series of germane remarks, by others, plucked from all over the place, and from all over the time 

"The “web” is not a part of nature. It was not discovered; we don’t have to just accept it. The “web” is an infrastructural system that was built by people, and it was built very recently and very sloppily. It currently has the property that it forgets what must be remembered, and remembers what must be forgotten. It manages to screw up both the sacredness of the common record and the sacredness of private interaction" - Bret Victor, The Web of Alexandia #2,

Follow up to Victor's  The Web of Alexandria. which argued that "very stable and reliable media, DNA and print, owe their stability and reliability to replication and retention -- every reader gets a copy, and every reader keeps their copy. The web, on the other hand, follows the strategy used for books before the printing press -- put a single copy in an institution, allow readers to come visit, hope it doesn't go up in smoke."

"Every cell of every organism has a full copy of the genome. That works pretty well -- DNA gets damaged, cells die, organisms die, the genome lives on. It's been working pretty well for about 4 billion years.
....  going on the web today might feel like visiting the Library of Alexandria. Things didn't work out so well with the Library of Alexandria.
It's not working so well today either.
We, as a species, are currently putting together a universal repository of knowledge and ideas, unprecedented in scope and scale. Which information-handling technology should we model it on? The one that's worked for 4 billion years and is responsible for our existence? Or the one that's led to the greatest intellectual tragedies in history?"

"your music, turned back in time"

"Taste Rewind, a new interactive site from Spotify generates playlists of tracks from decades ago that you might like, based on your listening history and favorite artists. After you sign in to the site, you’ll be asked to pick three of your favorite artists. From there, it crunches your listening habits and generates sets of tracks you would have liked from each decade, going back to the 60s."

Time goes spongiform

the art of the future

Maurice Benayoun on Art After Technology
"The art of the future sounds like the title of a second-rate science fiction film, retaining the technology-hungry and optimistic flavour of the 60s, delicately nostalgic it is true, but pathetic even so. Defining the future of art might be close to a conventional funeral for the Art of the Future. The project is not very festive, but it deserves to be attempted, so that others may make fun of it, listing its imperfections and contradictions."

this was tomorrow (Judd for you)

(post mostly derived from DJ Food's blog and guest post by Johnny Trunk)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

this was tomorrow (reissue of the month special)

what the future sounded like on vimeo

"Peter Zinovieff is one history's most enigmatic and influential electronic music composers. The EMS Tapes is the first complete retrospective of his earliest experiments in 1965 through to the dissolution of his studio and the bankruptcy of his company, EMS Synthesizers, in 1979. This deluxe two-CD set includes extensive liner notes, exclusive photos, and Zinovieff's own diary entries compiled by Sonic Boom aka Pete Kember.

In 1964 Zinovieff sold his wife's wedding tiara to purchase the first computer housed on a private estate and converted his garden shed into the most advanced music studio in the world, housing 384 oscillators, as well as a collection of filters, noise generators, ring modulators, signal analyzers, and amplifiers. The center of the studio was the computer, which ran on on 8k of memory priced at £1/byte (£8000), allowing thousands of musical parameters to be sequenced several thousand times per second. Throughout the 1960s and '70s Zinovieff's studios became a place of pilgrimage for musicians looking to discover previously unheard sounds; Zinovieff's daughter Sofka recalls, "I'd be having tea in the kitchen with my two younger brothers, when people like David Bowie, Paul McCartney, or Pink Floyd would pass by on their way to the studio." Other visitors included Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, King Crimson, Alan Sutcliffe, Hans Werner Henze, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, to name but a few.

Electronic Calendar begins with "Chronometer '71," composed in the form of a graphical score by Harrison Birtwistle and created from recordings of Big Ben and the Wells Cathedral clock, sequenced by Zinovieff's computer to a pre-determined structure that controlled tape machines in a system resembling an early sampler. The piece was created in the second iteration of Zinovieff's studio, which was also home to the world's first series of narrow filter bands used as a sound analysis system, recording the response of each filter to the applied signal; Zinovieff had created the world's first vocoder.

The second CD opens with Zinovieff's interpretation of "Agnus Dei," followed by "ZASP," a collaboration with Alan Sutcliffe. In 1967 "ZASP" won second prize at the IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) Congress; Iannis Xenakis beat it out for first place. The CD closes with the last piece of music recorded in the EMS studio before it was destroyed by a flood in 1979; aptly titled "Now's the Time to Say Goodbye," it features interview fragments of Zinovieff fading in and out."

buy  buy

Monday, July 6, 2015

hauntology afterbirth

This lot seem to bear the same relation to eMMplekz / Clinksell, as Public Service Broadcasting and Scarfolk do to Ghostbox / Advisory Circle/ Clinksell

Imaginary Yorkshire villages, grottily-sensuous recitative (touch of Exotic Pylon  Weird Tales for Halloween too), retro-futuristic, nostalgie de bureaucracie...  etc etc

Owls, for fuck's sake! This is flashing me back on that Goldfrapp album.

 And witches - a bleedin' concept album about the Pendle Coven!


from a review of their latest album at Quietus

"Johnny Rocket, Narcissist and Music Machine... I'm Your Biggest Fan is the fourth album to land from The Eccentronic Research Council. It finds them now masters of their initially uncertain style - a blend of proto-electronic poppy synths, darkly gothic themes, confusing psychedelic atmospheres, and spoken word storytelling, for the most part spewing from the powerhouse of Peake. Adrian Flanagan, Dean Honer and Maxine Peake's first album, 1612 Underture, was a series of loose knit chapters following the story of the Pendle Witches along with the modern day North, while The Dreamcatcher Tapes strung together retold dreams from a series of uncredited guests (including a certain "John") in near-Blue Jam-esque style. Last year's self-released Magpie Billy & The Egg That Yolked (A Study Of The Northern Ape In Love) explored the goings on in a house inhabited by two 'apes'. The themes and tales have all been potent, yet at times, only roughly sketched. Johnny Rocket however, plays to the all of the ERC's strengths, and ties it all together with a single cohesive, and oddly compelling story. According to Adrian Flanagan in the ERC's recent tQ interview with John Doran, with Johnny Rocket, he "wanted to write an LP for the music fan in us all".
For the opening scene we find ourselves dropped in Valhalla Dale, a (fictional) town on the outskirts of Sheffield. We're welcomed by Maxine Peake's demonic narration atop blasts of synthesised brass and choirs, a snare heavy beat, and distant notes phasing like detritus from theForbidden Planet soundtrack picked up by extra-terrestrial lifeforms and beamed right back at us. 'Introducing The Moonlandingz' has a jaunty melody lifted straight from Look And Read school of murky synth wizardry. The angry meeting with Rocket on 'You Ruined My Chippy Thursday' has Flanagan and Honer rust up an aging pre-war big brass band sample and blur it into a slow-moving synth march. At times, it sounds akin to the likes of Pye Corner Audio and the Ghost Box Music camp, but the trippy journey the album takes, as the narrator grows increasingly disturbed, takes in a vast range of sounds. 'I Spy On J. Rocket & Other Lame Attempts At Leaving Him Alone' again contextualises those primary school synths with a mimicked techno beat, while several abstract instrumental interludes seem to mirror Peake's madness, with distant mellotron flutes, or the buzzing bleeping Radiophonic synth modules of 'Claptrap Dreams'....."