The Switching Yard – Yet Again

yard

(the bloke behind the wheel looks like my mate Dunny)

What do you do when you ate your shoes and you need to walk to Gallards Hill? You can’t walk barefoot or they’ll lock you up, using a criteria that they purposefully fit to you, even though it’s not fit for purpose, and now no longer are you. Enjoy the pills, tell us what’s in them, and hopefully we can see you when you survive.

It’s an ice age, an intellectual and spiritual ice age, where the insecure perpetuate their demons. So it’s not about the selfish gene, the selfish gene has been outflanked by the sociopathic demon. Tell me, have I got demons? Do they too have demons? And where are their demesnes? Enough to believe that demons are forward thinking – roughly 20 minutes, after that they hit a wall which you can’t drive through but the wall is not real but then neither are you, so we still can’t drive through. I’ll real you. I ask you, if this is all some quantum dream, what has the quantum been eating?

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Mixpost 5 – Nostalgia, Flipdog style

When I was doing my degree in psychology, one of the ‘facts’ I was spoon-fed was that the music taste that someone has when they’re twenty defines their taste in music going forward, like that moment is frozen in time and and people don’t deviate from it because. The same bloke who ‘taught’ me that went on to say that he was certain that there would be a scientific explanation of creativity, a statement of faith if ever I heard one. I’m still waiting, Dr North…

Of course, that’s bollocks, like an awfully high percentage of stuff that gets giddily reported from the social sciences. I can think of at least two different interpretations of those observations although they tangle up in the following sentences to seem like one, but there are probably many more.  Twenty is the time of many people’s ‘golden age’ before they get trapped into the drudgery of working for a living day in and day out, possibly with extra domestic responsibilities too, and unless music is some kind of huge passion, they’ll just stick to what they know. Those of us who are consumed by music don’t ever stop listening to the new stuff, but it actually takes an effort because if you stick to the mainstream gatekeepers of taste then you will come to the conclusion very quickly that you’ve checked out all the possibilities, so shallow is the pool from which they select; a pool that is only getting shallower in these times of fear and insecurity where people want comfort blankets in every aspect of their lives.

But anyway, here’s a selection of tunes that I liked when I was around that age. My taste has proper moved on now – if you’d have told me then that an older version of me would like some jazz, for example, that version of me would have told you to fack right off – but I still love these. Very little commentary is necessary, except to say there is no order to this list.

Can you believe someone wrote a pop song in the 80s that only had 1 chord? Maybe my love of minimalism and repetition stems from this:

and finally…

Nudity is God’s creation

isgodscreationRoughly some time ago, I and my friend Gareth swapped music via the then quite new method of the USB memory stick. He glanced through the list of folders on my 4 gig kingston and said, ‘blimey, I’ve only heard of about 5 of these and I thought I liked obscure music…’ Also, he could not get over the name of Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat. Also, he discovered Appliance, who were wonderful and really deserve a long devotional post from someone.

Bantering a couple of years later, he said to me ‘the thing about you is you like albums so obscure that even the band who made them forgot they did it!’

Which made me immediately show him Nudity’s Last.Fm page:

lastfm

(sidebar: go on, do an internet search for ‘nudity.’ I dares ya).

Now, since the above exchange, I think munikate has actually edited the comment, because it worked even better in context originally than it does now, although it still works a bit. Can you enlighten, munikate?

Still makes a good story though. Also, when I wrote my comment, Sons of Itto were in the similar artists. That may have been because Nudity’s listener count was barely higher than ours, and I was caning both at one time.

I was caning the ‘Winter in Red’ album in particular (which munikate seems to have called the nightfeeder’s album), and this thing makes up the latter part of Nudity is God’s Creation, released lately on Cardinal Fuzz. The first part is made up of Nudity’s self titled debut, and there’s a couple of unreleased tracks separating them. The albums were initially released only on limited CD-R runs, and my exposure came via another swap with someone of various files. Remember, kids: home taping is killing music.

Both releases were and are fantastic. The first is more roughly recorded and produced but has a wonderful energy about it. The second section of This Man may have predicted the emergence of the rather good Narcosatanicos, whilst Moon Druids is just batshit crazy in the best possible sense – imagine pastoral psych done in a NWOBHM style.

The latter part of the album, which I shall insist on calling ‘Winter in Red’ until someone from the band tells me not to, has a mere three tracks but will take a lot more of your listening time than the self titled. Naturally, I love it! Most deffo is this music my brother would not like. Take a groove and/or a riff and just keep playing the fuck out of it. If finale Le Premier Voyage du Captaine has you drifting off, I can promise you that the way they end it will wake you up. Also, it’s more than a bit like Parson Sound, which I usually consider to be a good thing.

The overall mashup is probably best described as a psychedelic mashup between AC/DC and Thin Lizzy, with hints on some tunes from Julian Cope, particularly in his Jehovahkill era.

If you like this, they are still around and putting stuff out – check out Astronomicon from 2015.

Horseback – Dead Ringers

hbdrJenks Miller brings us the first Horseback release since the really rather good ‘Piedmont Apocrypha.’ Dead Ringers sees a natural evlution in the Horseback sound, which is to say, he’s carrying on down the road that he was going down.

What this means in practical terms is that the rifftastic, droney, atmospheric, groovy, noisy mashup that is Horseback continues to be a rifftatstic, droney, atmospheric, groovy, noisy mashup. He’s kept his vocals exclusively clean this time out, which I think works for the better. There’s also quite the sonic crossover with one of his other projects, Jenks Miller & Rose Cross NC, lending proceedings an alt-country air.

Listening to it last night again I was reminded mainly of the wonderful Appliance, who probably fitted few of the descriptors I used previously – it may have been partly the crystal clean production (a feature of all Horseback recordings), partly the drum machines which feature on the early parts of the album. The night before I found myself thinking of Julian Cope, particularly on the tune most likely to have slotted onto his earliest releases, In Another Time, In and Out of Form. Before that it was the HP Lovecraft band from the late ’60s. It is entirely possible that this album will remind me of a different artist every time.

There is a minor imperfection in that the last tune is about 6 minutes too long for my money; he could have kept the post-dubstep experimentation down to a mere 10 minutes and it would have been fine! But this is an otherwise minor quibble, as this is otherwise my favourite Horseback album.

The Telescopes – Harm

Which must be one of the most inappropriately named albums ever.

teleSee, I’m not going to try to convince you that this is easy listening. It isn’t, far from it. What we’re hearing here is essentially feedback and noise, with an added spacerock type of pulse in the second track. Human voices are there, but a distinct message – or even word – is not what they deliver. These are some very abstract musics.

If you read the quotes they have on the page, you’ll notice one of them calls it ‘harshly constructed noise.’ It’s the only quote which, for me, misses the point of it, seemingly equating this type of composition as being harsh because of its very nature.

Because I don’t find this harsh at all. I think it’s almost ecstatic, certainly the most celebratory sort of feedback driven soundscape I’ve ever heard, and having spent time with academic notions of ‘interesting modern compositions,’ I’ve heard quite a lot in this category. There is much to be said for harsher stuff – it can be strangely cleansing when the moment is right, but this is a different thing entirely. I don’t think its even in the same park. So this is not ‘harm’ for me. (Compare it to one of their other albums, which I could only stand for about 5 minutes…)

So here’s where I tell you that this thing syncs up somewhat with one of my upcoming changes. After I put out my next album, I was planning on doing a switcheroo on all my tunings. Now, if you’ve looked down the bottom of the bandcamp page, you’ll see that this album is performed in Solfeggio tuning, which is one of the tunings I’m going to use (the other being the 432Hz variety). This album turning up in my consciousness at the time that I was about to make the transition is a pretty surefire nod from the universe, as far as I’m concerned. (By way of hat tip for this album, I should point out that I finally got round to going through the final ‘Address druidons‘ on Julian Cope’s website, and it was via this that I also discovered the wonderful Inutili).

But anyway, there are all sorts of claims made about the Solfeggio tuning. If it’s the tuning system itself that makes ecstatic, celebratory sounds out of feedback and noise, what else can it do?