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VIDA DE-sign by Michael Buckingham, aka Mick Muttley

Dear friends (yeah really, one of those) I have become a women's wear designer for VIDA! http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/ ...

Saturday, 23 February 2019

SubVersion Stop 322: FTAL - For The Ambient Lovers Winter Digest 2018

Hey Ambient lovers and newcomers,

What is ambient music? Music as ignorable as it is interesting, if you're Brian Eno. Sound that fills the gaps between somatic timbre, if you're me.

Living and breathing, heating and huddling, all these kind of things come into play for listenership.

Here are a few records from 2018 that I overlooked that have cropped up in my private registry.

To the top - Thursday 2nd May, start of Spring time proper

...Brings with it a good deal. Dennis Huddleston, the man behind the 36 (www.3six.bandcamp.com) moniker, is using Groupees website (sign up by email) today to sell off his entire digital and physical catalogue. With exclusive items, rare tapes and signed test presses from Ryan ASIP, all funds go towards the Crohns and Colitis UK Foundation charity. For: just $12 or offer price separately!

Definitely sounds like a good deal. Take advantage, yo.

On Eilean Rec

Oh, the ever reliable eilean rec. Unlike Jeremy Corbyn, they are a powerful and clear winner.

Leigh Toro's latest, "The Eternal Navigation", released in September 2018, and "Silfra" by Dronavinile, or similar artist (at least I remember the title because it's in front of me, ha) should be investigated immediately. Opinions are irrelevant here, I'm sticking to recos, IIKI Books next.

On Constellation Tatsu

4 new releases on 26th Feb. Curved Light sounds very good.

On Simon James French BC Sublet

Some rather extraordinarily beautiful, eviscerating soft sounds from Derive Soundscapes Episode 2 here, the creator of 2010's "Misery" ambient masterpiece. Equally melodic, this stuff is heavily subdued, dreamy without dissonance, and big on reverb and delay trails, with a hardware sound. Rather analogue, gluing itself to your ears like well-tacked bands in big concert rooms.

I actually had to purchase this one and download it - it's so good! Well worth supporting.

On Foci Left

Longformacus sees a Droneworks Vol. II release, a collection of soft and dark ambient beds.

In this chronology post, where you follow me with top-down scrolling updates for what's next like TDD then Facebuke, the ultimate aim is to present choices for inquisitive listeners, as well as broaden my horizons, getting away from the looming 250k plus viewed "black wall" of subvert FTAL.

It can be depressing viewing black text environments that are like the festering corners of the web.
In addition you can end up attracting some crazy misunderstandings about where you stand. Like I do.

Anyways, here's some of the lesser sung things that happened partially ignorably in Winter 2018. :)

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

SubVersion Stop 321: SV Eoyre (end of year registry entries)


Summing up at least five subverts charts is like onomatopeia. One can never get it. But that's not the point, is it really? The content these fellow operators divulge is refreshing and interesting . So go have a long rest with a good read of this project, encapsulating 2018.

Peace and quiet

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

SubVersion Stop 320: Wire Chart 2018

Okay then, here's my sixth (2018) set of acquisitions, all according to the criterion “buying one record reviewed in The Wire each month” – plus three more to make up a proper Wire 15 chart. For reference, the previous five years’ were: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

The # marks denote the issues in which the records featured.

SubVersion 2018 15

#407 Ariadne - Stabat Mater (Auris Apothecary)
#408 Joan La Barbara - The Early Immersive Music of Joan La Barbara (Mode)
#409 John Cage - The Works for Percussion 4 (Mode)
#410 Susana Santos Silva - All the Rivers: Live at the Panteão Nacional (Clean Feed)
#411 Eva-Maria Houben - Breath for Organ (Second Editions)
#412 Kamaal Williams - The Return (Black Focus)
#413 Pierre Henry - Polyphonies (Radio France / Decca)
#414 Angélique Kidjo - Remain in Light (Kravenworks)
#415 Serena Butler - We Want Neither Clean Hands Nor Beautiful Souls (Stroboscopic Artefacts)
#416 Gazelle Twin - Pastoral (Anti-Ghost Moon Ray)
#417 Puce Mary - The Drought (Pan)
#418 Guttersnipe - My Mother the Vent (Upset the Rhythm)

+#407 Godflesh - Post Self (Avalanche / Hospital Productions)
+#408 Terre Thaemlitz - Deproduction (Comatonse)
+#418 Black Replica - Dreams Versus Reality (Metaphysik)

Compiled by Jonathan Tait, subvertcentral.blogspot.co.uk

Of those, Puce Mary (Frederikke Hoffmeier) now has the very great (!) distinction of being the first artist to make into my yearly lists twice (her previous LP The Spiral featured in 2016). But my favourite record of 2018 is Angélique Kidjo's reworking of Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, which in itself is one of my favourite LPs, and yet Kidjo's version makes it sound comparatively tame. Check out The Great Curve, for instance. And notice that lyrics like “the world moves on a woman's hips; the world moves and it bounces and hops”, which sound pretty naff coming from David Byrne, take on a whole new power when sung by Kidjo. I love this record :)

Saturday, 8 September 2018

SubVersion Regression 319: Lyrics

Like, don't hate
Dislike, don't love
It's the way to reach the clouds above

Likes and dislikes
Over love and hate
That way you'll find solace, get through God's gate

SubVersion Regression 318: Important Records 100CD DAT Crate Press Release Stickers

Derek Walmsley in The Masthead of 2016-2019 area wrote about CD stickers. And also, how anti-disposable they are starting to become.
I thought I would do a little promo sticker repository for John and Maurice who sent me this disc collection.

Here is one of those, by Roberto Opalio, on a very Coil-like release:

Roberto Opalio - Chants From Isolated Ghosts

"Roberto Opalio is half of the Italian space duo My Cat Is An Alien. Chants From Isolated Ghosts is Roberto Opalio's full-length debut album recorded November 2004 at home in Torino, Italy, and originally released on his own Opax Records label in a very limited handmade cd-r edition of 100 copies. Don't forget to pick up the brand new My Cat Is An Alien full length titled Leave Me In The Black No-Thing also on Important Records.

Mudsuckers - Mudsuckers CD

Pete Swanson, Gabe Salomon (Yellow Swans)
Tom Carter (Charalambides) & Robert Horton

Swamp noise drone. Feedback is layered like mud on the carcass of song structure. During the torrential rains of 2005 Mudsuckers formed to jam at Robert Horton's place in El Cerrito. After a few sessions, and a whole lot of rain, a band was born.  

SV Progression 317: December's main fight attraction; Tyson Fury Vs Deontay Wilder

On Deontay Wilder Vs Tyson Fury: a heavenly heavyweight matchup which could go the distance. Tyson is walking the talk, so don't condemn him! Even if you don't like Fury (there are subjective reasons not to) he is putting the work in, while some of his so called fans are trashing the comments on social media with inane claptrap. "Crack smoker, washed up, fights bums" - so what, you little trolling gremlins? These gremlins troll boxers and celeb personalities all over the internet, so I wouldn't worry. Many whom have never fought at least amateur in a ring before. Get your facts straight before you rant on to a professional boxer about how bad he is, unless you're joking. You never know, you might just get lucky and get a punch on the nose yourself.

Tyson Fury has two options, he knows it and so do the watchful eyes. He can do to Deontay what he did to Klitschko: hit and not be hit for 12 rounds. Or, he can try and wear Wilder down, and force a stoppage in around rd 6. I've analysed Deontay's resume, he starts open, goes into his shell around rounds four to seven, wakes up again if his opponent is still there (Luis Ortiz could have TKO'd him in round 7 of their pairing), and then uses training smarts to try and close the fight. The problem with trying his usual game plan against someone like Tyson Fury is 1) Tyson for once is the bigger man, two inches taller than Wilder, and 2) Throwing windmills, as Anthony Joshua put it only gets you so far. Once you're put in with fast fluid and stronger opposition than Wilder (he's only 16 stone) then he's going to have problems. The only issues for Tyson Fury are ring rust and motivation, but Deontay could be argued to have had those throughout his entire career. Of course, Wilder's right hand is dynamite, but he only uses his jab as a paw, and to set up a right hook, also noteworthy.

Deontay's been defeated 5 times in the amateurs, and knocked out once in the pros. The KO percentage on his undefeated record is just that: boxers, if they feel undefeated (ie not back to the drawing board) still win their fight, because they won an opponent to fight. This is part of the bookmaker's journalism fix. Deontay's been knocking out people who either never got going, so he capitalised on it (see: Audley Harrison) or low level opposition, regardless of WBC rank (see Dominic Breazeale, not yet fought, whom Joshua jolted into submission). I make a prediction that Tyson Fury wins this fight on points, taking Wilder the embarrassing distance for the first time proper in his career. Bermane Stiverne did it to contend the WBC title he lost, and going the full 12 is also the only official way that "the fight" inside the ring is controlled enough for Tyson Fury to win for a full twelve rounds. Only boxers or martial artists who have fought will understand that bit - if a fighter is cut, i.e the action is cut because they get stopped or KO'd, but both boxers want to continue, then the match is halted, the film reels are sown up, and like after editing, the remainder video for the big screen is a stitch of the best bits.

Personally, I'd also like Fury to win more, just because despite all his controversial remarks over the years in the media, from anti-Semitism, racism, evangelism, bigotry, you name it, he's less of a corrupt dickhead. Anyone (Deontay Wilder) who can throw barbs like "I hope your son will be at the fight [to Dominic Breazeale] so he can look me in the eye as the man about to cripple his Daddy" on social media and in real life, with only a "forgive me for all I may have caused hurt to" on his Twitter after he got called out, presents him as a class A moron who needs his head examined at all costs.

This could be fight of the year, or it could be most disappointing brawl of the century, who knows. Or Wilder will just deck him.

Your choice, Tyson. Go get wilder, or get a career screwdriver.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

SV Digression 316: Muttley's Deli 1st July 2018 - A Frashen Ambient Reresher

Muttley's Deli - 01/07/2018 - A Frashen Ambient Refresher

Originally all published by Daniel Crossley editor on www.fluid-radio.co.uk.

The Declining Winter - Belmont Slope LP

"You show me what's wrong with [being] happy", "it's the rain and the cold" and the "long days that turn lonely".

Whether those lyrics were misheard on the second track here, The Declining Winter certainly are poetic to the core of their musical style. Throughout, there is a rich range of focal points and seemingly intentional miss-hit emotional nerves; skirting around a problem to find a bigger lure - the unknown. It's no less prevalent than on the driving Love And Money-esque fourth track here, with its cut-ups of the realm Slowdive would later create for themselves, the very pigments of post-"Pygmalion".

Generally, The Declining Winter's music travels at a stately pace, and does not be so laid back it falls over. I also detect vocally traces of Piano Magic's Glen Johnson: that husky, rich baritone, clear and sharp, with a soft centre, a Grenache cake carousel. Instrumentally, the guitars have simple patterns to play, and these are also stately, a majestic free float. There are no orchestral dervishes like Elbow, but the voice is also poppy like them, and retains a certain anthem quality down to its boots.

I like the album very much. I remember checking "Home For Lost Souls" in 2015 when it was released. I liked that too, but this record to me is better realised for my interests. There's just so much going on in the layers, all the categorisations fly out the window. It's simply good music, that does not fit into a specific category. That is a success alone; to transcend time and space so effortlessly. And the need to appeal has always been pop music's influence, but here, the Belmont Slope just takes pop in the form of an anorak, a coat-hanger, and hangs its own influences upon it. Quite wonderful - an essential purchase CD fans!

Mark Templeton - Distorted Tourist

If you're familiar with the work of Mark Templeton, you'll know he likes to miniaturise and extemporise a context on top. In terms of musical chops, he chooses sounds that fit the rustic ambient palette, and uses contextual signposts to impression something deeper out of the material. This is what academics mean by extemporising, as far as this layman knows - what I do know is that "Distorted Tourist", a fifteen-minute travelogue into the realms of Herzogian theoretics, is a mighty fine artefact to have, here presented as a book stroke disc operation, and without all the philosophical asides, stands without inebriation.

On its own steam the music could dissolve into the aether too quickly, but this is Templeton's knack: he manages to surfeit the purpose of a worthy riff to continue and bubble-build throughout each recording, so that by the end of each phase, we're left with a general happiness about how things have been going, hearing, et cetera and so on. The music is impossible to pin down to a certain few elements, always evolving without nascent unease, and always purposeful. This is the key strength of the release, whereas other producers might leave less brush daubs on the material, and let the potential decelerate into an arcadian decay.

Stylistically Templeton has always been in the same sort of cache as modern composition composers, such as Deaf Center (Huw Roberts and Otto A. Totland) and James Leyland Kirby (The Caretaker). But there's greater urgency to his work than those artists and a revolvent absorbancy on the factors that can make musique concrete so delectable (see Michael Chion, Trevor Wishart, etc). The fact that over the course of five tracks so much is communicated - without the rusticness becoming chokingly soft - this is the compositional genius. I genuinely think this EP, call it that if you must, deserves to be heard by everyone, and if you were a fan of 2008's "Standing On A Hummingbird" LP. Likewise, it's a superb little nugget.

Federico Dal Pozzo - Untitled V20

Federico Dal Pozzo's latest Krysalisound recording is full of minute pleasures, a ice race avoiding the pinnacle of an all out avalanche. Instead, the sound waves are condensed drone designs based on sound design in its purest form: hum and counterpoint.

Much of the music relies on driving ground fissures, trips to metropolis, and like being stuck in a bunker, a firm grasp of the natural architecture of buildings. So in all, the music is wide ranging with all the experimentalism of a electromagnet inside a complex tape loop studio. One just has to tap on "play" to drift off to the hums of wonder within...

My favourite thing about "VZ0" is its concentric circles, its eddies and loops. These loops transform your sonic environment and offset any energy required to listen to them, meaning they are positively enveloping. I find nothing negative about this record, it's very pure, and succinctly put in its stylistic symbolism. It seems to enact a constructed set of poles that keep tessellating among moving waves of dozy sound. And there are washes of rhythmic passivity too, nothing aggressively done, just true float, real drift and weaving, like a spellcasting, mischevious witch, sunning herself in a weather mirror. These sounds move slowly over the lands like rays of the sun, forever sparkling and coming from a much deeper, encrusted whole.

Perhaps one's true intent becomes known from drones like these. In the searches for deeper meaning, and in general deep thought about life, the mirror reflects back on itself to a projection of powerful musical dualism to soothe the soul. A just exercise, given that the music is only heard when humans choose to listen. Krysalisound label is this under the radar that you can afford to give a unassuming drone suite some companionship, and possibly an endorsement, because this particular experiment is very fine indeed. So yes, not an avalanche of white noise, rather some of the quietest yet most ruminative music I've heard in the last 12 months. Recommendable lusciousness for Steve Roach and Robert Rich fans alike, it's sure to put a wry smile on the sleep ambient scene's brow. 

Nadine Byrne - Dreaming Remembering - Ideal Records

Nadine Byrne's latest, "Dreaming Remembering", is a fascinating document. Documentation never glances, constriction never gave us torture. In a way, the prim and proper spared merit of Nadine's curatorial style - short sharp and sweet - is its artistic license to interpret dreams. Like the Antonymes title of that nomenclature, there is much dolallying over thoughtful enterprise here: solid music, melodic integrity, interlocking parts, highly metatarsal movement from the feet up.

Feet or feat? Toe in the water or honeyed experiment? It's the latter, a fortunate answer surely for fans of this label. The lineal direction of the album is to walk a tightrope of strapping synthesiser pads, an atonal sense of harmony and the most sparing use of vocal, that it literally sounds dragged out the other sides of a desert plain. These lyrics, mostly motifs of the titles themselves, deploy a willing, questioning gravitas to the whole operation, as one starts to ponder the gap between dreaming and remembering. Is it just a magical flummox? Something that doesn't make descriptive sense like that comment. Or is dreaming, and remembering, for that matter, further embalmed into the regeneration of the life/death/life cycle than we thought?

Whatever, this is a puzzling dichotomy as musical artifact. Nadine Byrne uses her synthesisers and the placation of musical theatre - a Freudian slip here, an announcement there - to woo her audience in wondrous tapestry, befitting for a time where, in post-apocalyptic trauma exercises of possible third world war over Brexit, is all the more welcome. I enjoy how measured the metres are between each 16-bar phrase, and how metre is often forgotten altogether in favour of random selection. The noises are totally anti-predication, unpredictable, like stepping around an accident waiting to happen put to sound. The only criticism a human could levy here is that there is no glorious mess at the end of the experiment - Highly recommended!