Dead Sea Apes – Night Lands

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Dead Sea Apes and The Myrrors? (Well, Nik Rayne from The Myrrors). Get listening!

You’ll be horrified to know that I’m going to riff on the notion of subjectivity in the forthcoming words, both future and what is to come.

The reason for that is because subjectivity is brilliant, innit? After all, I thought of an answer to why it is that it isn’t just me that thinks time is speeding up. Everyone I speak to anywhere ever always agrees with me, isn’t time just whizzing by these days? I mean, the other day, I woke up, brushed my teeth, had a cup of coffee, played my guitar for a bit, had another cup of coffee, read a bit of the superb Latro in the Mist by the incomparable Gene Wolfe, had another cup of coffee, nipped to the shops to get lunch stuff for me and the kids, did lunch, washed up, did some drawing/doodling in preparation of my next album Influx Arena, did dinner, drunk tea, washed up, played guitar, programmed some drums, got my daughter to bed, played Civ for a bit, and before I knew it, it was time for bed! Just like that! Why, I mean, I barely even had time to blink!

Anyway, here’s the reason why everyone else agrees with me on this – you are all figments of my imagination. Therefore, if I think time is speeding up, then you’ll all think the same because why wouldn’t you?

Of course, you could all, and with just as much legitimacy, make the same claim towards me. And the annoying thing is, we’d all be equally right.

Solar Corona – Saint​-​Jean​-​de​-​Luz

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That Julius Gabriel fella just keeps on delivering, no?

There aren’t many artists that predominantly produce instrumental music who nevertheless keep me interested. It’s a very difficult approach to music to do consistently well (albeit quite easy to adopt a phone-it-in approach). Whatever well he’s tapped, it is one deep well. I was very regularly feeling that ecstatic feeling I get when I listen to music that is so perfectly put together that it could be thought of as a self contained universe in its own right, albeit – and not actually paradoxically – also open-ended. Like life.

As is always the case when I sit down to do a post, my words dry up and lose any sparkle that I might have thought they had when they raced around my head. It’s not all bad, though. Just press play and enter the trance enfolded into the music – all the sparkle you’ll need is there. And we all need sparkle in these times.

 

 

Vanishing Twin – Dream by Numbers EP

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There’s just so much music out there, and all of it makes sense to someone, even if only the creator (hello, me). Sometimes you just have to accept that you’ll never have time to grok it all and just give thanks for the nuggets you find that resonate with you. This one resonated with me.

I like their description of ‘dreamlike’ in their small paragraph that accompanies it. Neptune in Pisces and all that, and despite it being released three years ago is still just as accurate a description with the added bonus of the extended Capricorn season. (You’ll need to listen to the mammoth podcast linked if you want to know what that means, unless you already do).

I discovered this via Black Impulse, which I’d forgotten about and started to play catch up the other day. There’s an episode with guest presenters Robbie Judkins and Mia Kukathasan where the tracklisting is woefully incomplete. If anyone out there can tell me who tracks 1 and 3 are, I will be so grateful that I’ll, I don’t know, sing a song in celebration for you, or something. Those tunes are wondrous.

Related to how much great music there is, I had a thought a day or two ago about how great ideas so often get co-opted or (more usually) ignored, yet that is no reason not to keep having them. Indeed, there is no reason not to keep having them. I’ve found personally as I get older that the more I create, the more I create. That is deliberately tautological, but once you turn that tap on, it will keep flowing. So here’s my tip for 2020 – always keep your tap on. And obviously be good to each other but I know you’ll all do that, right?

Big Blood – Deep Maine

deep maine

Big Blood return with a rather mellower offering than usual, but one still infused with their specialist production techniques (Caleb has the fortune to possess synesthesia).

I’ve just finished reading Last Call by Tim Powers. It’s another best book I’ve ever read. I’ve lost count of how many best books I’ve ever read, but they’re all the best, and no mistake.

The Jaymo migrated away from the Republic of Newsletters into the blogosphere – or maybe returned? – but has many ideas worth looking into.

from the aformentioned Republic, I recommend Kneeling Bus.

You’ve been hankering for a blog that specialises in a picture/poetry mix? Or maybe you didn’t know you’d had that hankering.

 

 

Meadowsilver (self titled)

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A younger me would probably have reacted with disbelief at the thought that folky music would end up comprising so many very favourite releases as my life went on, although hopefully said younger self would have had the sense to imagine the gradual opening of the mind, both musical and otherwise (well, the one usually insists on the other following it).

So Meadowsilver join with Espers, Horse Cult, Laughing Eye Weeping Eye, Haress, The Iditarod, etc in making really good folk inspired hypnosis. I like being in a trance.

It may be that they or some of them used to be The Hare and The Moon, not an artist I was previously familiar with so I’ll probably hunt and listen at some point.

2019 was also the year I rediscovered a love of fiction; a well told story is just as trance inducing as the best in hypnotic music, albeit in a very different way. I dislike having to have favourites, so this is just something that is really bloody good and I’ve never read anything better, ever, and I’ve read a lot of Bloody Good Things in my time – The Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is 900 pages and frankly it isn’t long enough. Actually, it probably is because it’s so well written and so well judged in its execution, but I could have just kept on reading and reading.

And who’d have thunk it [/sarc]? Plants have feelings too. Actually, this isn’t news; there was a book in the 1970s called The Secret Life of Plants which was all about this kind of thing, but nobody in the mainstream took them seriously. What is actually notable about the link is exactly what publication I’ve linked to, materialism’s Weekly Gospel. I think we’re in the midst of paradigm shifts, people, and I bet our cultural cosmology in a century will be unrecognisable from what it is today.

Subduxtion – The Black Point

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As I have a very rare Sunday afternoon to myself in the wake of last nights shenanigans, I had been planning to record some acoustic guitar parts. But I’m a bit hungover, so instead here’s a couple of albums I’ve been saving up until that moment when I feel like posting something.

Subduxtion are on Aagoo Records, and Aagoo have form here on Soundbergs; the marvellous Zulus and Inutili, to be precise.

This thing sits in my head under the category ‘doom-dubstep.’ Probably it’s nothing like dubstep since my knowledge of dubstep is very superficial.

A good thing or two to read whilst you listen to this: Groupname for Grapejuice‘s most recent posts have been right up my alley, philosophically speaking.

2019 has had many reasons to pretend it never happened, but one of the best things for me was the discovery of newsletters from interesting people. Probably the most academic one is the Jain Family Institute – this weeks features something on the financialization of American Higher education, and since I work in UK Higher Education, this may be a visualization of the future if the Muppet gets elected this week.

Notes on a brief reunion

ittos last stand

I’ve probably mentioned before but I can’t be arsed to go through my old posts looking for the references but I played bass in a band called Sons of Itto between 2005-10, and had a lot of fun in so doing.

Anyway, the guitarist/singer, who shall henceforth be called Milo, is engaged to a lovely lady called Jenny who I hadn’t met until yesterday. A few weeks ago, she is alleged to have said words to the effect of ‘I really wish I could have seen your band play…’

SO yesterday, she had a surprise birthday party. Milo had rounded up myself and drummer Colette (who played in the latter incarnation of the Itto) for a quick couple of jams to remind ourselves of stuff and to dust off the cobwebs, and last night we played 8 or so songs in front of an invited audience at The Chameleon Arts Cafe in Nottingham.

It was an absolute blast. The force was with us last night. The Chameleon is a great venue, it most reminded me of the much missed Attik in Leicester, perhaps a bit larger but much harder to find.

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Colette, Milo, Flipdog: Sons of Itto 2019

Also – Colette plays in two other bands, very different from each other. You Want Fox is a two piece that she does with Nat, and Punch Drunk is a three piece grunge-pop thing that, as I sit here typing and listening to it is putting me most in mind of late-80s Soul Asylum and also Husker Du. Keep an eye out for them wherever you put your eyes – I exacted a promise from her to get at least one of her bands to play Leicester so I intend to hold her to it.

But we may do another Itto thing again next year after the fun we had doing that, so I’ll pop details up if we do another one.