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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/ ...

Monday, 30 May 2011

SubVersion Stop 124: Foci's Left - Clearing The Air, Or Writing Letters To Ourselves - for www.futuresequence.com

Keep calling vultures, and we conspire to drag dead corpses up hills. Or we could be alien observers, in worlds that aren't ours.

A mix of two halves: one built on rustling music communications; the other poignancy fractures at the blend.

Foci's Left - Clearing The Air, Or Writing Letters To Ourselves

01 - 00:00 The Winterhouse - Clearing
02 - 01:34 Shivering In Static - Yearnings
03 - 04:28 Belong - Late Night
04 - 04:42 Michael Trommer - Pushing Through Gray
05 - 06:03 Sawako - It's Not On Purpose
06 - 06:54 Olaf Tonstein - Snow
07 - 07:20 Jasper TX - Stillness
08 - 07:55 Danny Saul - (harsh)
09 - 09:09 Rhys Chatham - My Lady Of The Loire
10 - 09:46 EUS - Transparencia
11 - 11:35 Clem Leek - Light Passage II [Grief]
12 - 13:08 Antonymes - A Light From The Heavens
13 - 13:09 Quosp - Blue
14 - 14:06 Foci's Left - Cradling [excerpt]
15 - 14:34 New York Philharmonic - Requiem For String Orchestra
16 - 15:02 Mono - Halcyon (Beautiful Days)
17 - 16:19 Beth Nielsen Chapman - Panis Angelicus [stretched reverb edit]
18 - 17:35 Grouper - Alien Observer [down-pitched loop edit]
19 - 17:40 ASC & bvdub - Symbol 02 #4
20 - 18:05 Arkhonia - GDLadyburn
21 - 21:21 Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd - Turn On The Moon
22 - 24:20 Claro De Luna - Quedarse
23 - 26:22 Christopher Willits - Colours Shifting
24 - 27:07 Bark Psychosis - Rose


All tracks were chosen by title, and soundtrack a personal survey. Is collated mood too obtuse, in comparison to what runs oblique?

Happy Birthday Mum.<3>

Sunday, 29 May 2011

SubVersion Stop 123: A Book Review

This book wound me up so much that I felt the need to write a review of it. Here it is:

The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and Rock'n'Roll
Simon Reynolds & Joy Press

"Gender, rebellion and rock'n'roll" – Ooo, gender theory and music, two of my main areas of interest combined, I'll give this a read.

And then the book starts like this: "Our argument is that, whatever the ostensible pretext or context, a large part of the psychological impetus of any rebellion is an urge to separate from the mother." Groan.

No, this isn't going to be a thought-provoking book about gender and music. It's going to be a first year psychology essay.

On the next page: "He can long for the womb and for an idealised mother-lover". Groan.

Going on, it seems the authors are going to examine their subject by concentrating on the lyrics. The lyrics! The lyrics are crap. Rock lyrics are almost always crap! Rock music isn't about lyrics.

We get to punk: "a sort of asexual relative of metal: cock-rock, with the cock replaced by a sort of generalised castration-paranoia". Groan. I feel like throwing the book in the bin by this point.

Flip on to the end of the section: "Could it be that the urge to outrage is a kind of severance rite, a re-enactment of the original disconnection from the mother's body?" Groan.

Flip to the end of the next: "What to make of the mother's boy? Is he truly androgynous? Are his passivity, his apparent acceptance and affirmation of castration, his womb-nostalgia". Groan.

But then there's the next section: "Turning our attention from what rock'n'roll has made of women to what women have made of rock, it's immediately apparent that (...) the ancestors of female rock rebellion are rather more elusive." Oh, thank god. No more Freudian claptrap. And yes, this part of the book actually examines music, how women have made rock music, found their place in rock music. It talks about politics, about feminism, about real and interesting subjects. What a relief!

In conclusion, this book is one third quality, two-thirds crap. Ignore the first two sections, rip them out, use them for toilet paper. But keep the third, because this is worth reading at least.

Monday, 23 May 2011

SubVersion Stop 122: The Caretaker - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World (History Always Favours The Winners 008)

Multiply 16: the youth leave school; you're pushing thirty; climbing middle age. While "On the eve of the twenty-first century" David Toop wrote in 1995, "we are seeing an era focused on the heightening of sensation - a development provoked by a more destructured use of language, but which will usher in a new harmonics." That was 'Ambient talk and imaginary worlds' opus Ocean Of Sound. Later for James Kirby, "Tomorrow's world never came". 'An Empty Bliss Beyond This World' uncovers nostalgia beyond rosy retrospection, horns, schmaltz. Lauded classic 'Persistent Repetition Of Phrases' (Install, 2008), its reflections on memory loss in sonic artifice, bear staticity resemblance. Advert-length pieces to timewarped Strictly Come ballroom episodes. In bookend of Kirby's 78rpm pile via Berlin, transcendental parallel to lovingly kept recording libraries worldwide.

Shifting monikers from Leyland Kirby to The Caretaker this Spring, the only constant is a Mediterranean health: one avoiding you coasting into post-sleep narcolepsy without batting an eyelid. "Moments Of Sufficient Lucidity" lulls its piano sea shanty left to right on the ol' Gramophone, the needle crackle permeating all 14 tracks surrounding. What I'm most impressed by is the fine art approach. Some people retain memories at certain points in life, where you were perhaps kicking walls and bouncing off, or picked up a frequency from less filtration mentally. And for mood translation, this can equal a rocky ride. Likewise immature personality shows in stencilled words that leap out the page at you, like a struck match in the dark. This relates to "An Empty Bliss..." threefold: the track names speak for developed internal dialogue spleen, one that throbs away until on the point of regulatory collapse; into "The Great Hidden Sea Of The Unconscious". This gravitates second to the cherry-picking attribute of so many great samplists, inc. Philip Jeck, where the cranium swells to absorb all those fine lines to cut, re-edit and paste your reel to reel ethic.

But then, as a third, Kirby has acknowledgement the music/ad discrimination is always rigid to intrinsic properties of spatiality - one's distraction via marketing ideology becoming pixel-flesh. You could pin down any piece of non-chorus Ambient 'Muzak' to a late night BBC 2 intermission (see Edward Barton's 'Life On Earth series'), paradoxically, as chosen to enact corporate thematics within internal esotericism. A riveting prospect, surely, for the television designer. When we get to sound archivism, there's The Radiophonic Workshop to give much praise to, and this is where Kirby excels at revealing worthy ghosts, rather than ghoulish horror movie pastiche when he re-spins them into sonic spectre waltzes. Fundamentally, he's not doing it to appeal to the moneyspinners, nor the 'hauntology' nomenclature. "An Empty Bliss" won't force the diggers to crawl from their furrows, and I can bet a dime you'll dance to your grave - even after spirit and showtime depart from the sublime.

Purchase Digital Subscription to James Kirby's 2011 catalogue (offer closes June 1st)

Monday, 16 May 2011

SubVersion Stop 121: Equinox / Nebula - SA 015 / 005 EP

'Choppage' & 'Jungle' subsumed Paradox's 'drumfunk' phrase for breakbeat Drum & Bass - towards meltdown, 2008-2010. Whereby Subtle Audio's credit is noble semicolon. Its Vol. II CD compilation received 4/5 and 8/10 ratings from RA and I-DJ in January; Mixmag upping the ante with a 9. This followed reception through Mary Anne Hobbs; an "original, exciting, inventive" soundbite on Simon Reynolds' Blissblog in 2007; Aphex Twin licensing Macc and dgoHn's "Some Shit Saaink" to Rephlex in 2010. These return releases see 90s percussive diablo Equinox, and syncopation star Nebula share kindred spirit with their sYncOpathic Recordings contributions, a netlabel run by Innsbruck's Sub, also in the Subtle Audio roster, 2007 respectively.

Marlon Equinox never sold out. Here he stands, over 15 years on, mangling his breaks into a shopping trolley to make Dale Winton turn maroon. Editing drums through analogue originally, DJing parties each month since his 80s upbringing, refusing to deny euphoric catharsis that he reins in perfectly on "Meecha" and "Your Love's So Cold". A Planet Mu audience-friendly two-tracker with an ingrained historical pathology to the Old School - those "ancient ways". A 1, 2, 3, hop skip jump. So turns beat, pad, sample. Through the years of Jungle Tekno, Hardcore and pre-1998 D&B, more publically raw, emotional, non-tainted vocals. Sometimes they're chipmunked like Bay B Kane, at others they're pizza processed: Foul Play, Steve C and Monita, Bizzy B. With the latter by Equinox, "So many people out here that make so many different styles of music / This music is something that they feel", perhaps a title referencing-metaphor for sad disruption. The pure 90s rave energy, an abstinence now splattering the walls with sweat, instead of getting vibed up inside as vibed gets.

Where new classes got stale, is when taking on too much past, or too little knowledge of roots, 3 matters: progress, love, partnership, invert themselves to squalor. This remains true of 90s heroes - it's easy to revert to the systematic benchmark - presets, toytown beats - if it saves you time. Not so of Nebula with "Astral Soul", where we're given a 35 minute pass to Jungle House Paradiso, thankfully without dodgy fish. There's such a fluidity to these five works, that they surpass the highs I obtained from Marlon's "Acid Rain" EP on Mike Paradinas' label. "Escapism", pick of the bunch, has strings streaming out a deadly buzz from the amygdala complex. "Hidden Oasis" hereafter, moistly slides back, forth, constant suspension and propulsion. They say astronomy is law of the stars, so what does Nebula think? From EDJ: "I thought I knew a lot about D&B until I met Equinox, then the history lesson really began." If that's the case chaps, Plato's on the other end of the line. He says he wants your ascendancy.


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

SubVersion Stop 120: SV Recommends Muttley - Through Silver Lining (May 2011)

50:06 - 320kbps - 144MB

Over decades of African dance
Any impulses through green trees
The rainforest wrings out dreamworld
So is life as moss sounds, just habitually?
We're all pecking at hawk eyes like a slide
As loss seems, it's long enough to know a day
I'll never have, is topsy-turvy until everyone flees
Through silver lining, I'll love my catastrophe in blue.


Through Silver Lining

01. Bing Satellites - You Were In A Dream (Twilight Sessions, 2010)
02. Steve Roach - The Green Place (Quiet Music, 1980)
03. The North Sea & Rameses III - Death Of The Ankou (Night Of The Ankou, 2004)
04. Tobias Hellkvist - Patience (Evolutions, 2010)
05. The Stranger - A Melody Drags Me Back (Something To Do With Death, 2008)
06. Laurie Anderson - My Right Eye (Homeland, 2010)
07. The Sight Below - Through The Gaps In The Land (It All Falls Apart, 2010)
08. Ibunshi - Apolune 4 (Unreleased, 2010)
09. Point 7 - Ous (What?, 2007)
10. port-royal - Deca-Dance (Afraid To Dance, 2007)
11. Foci's Left - Regurgitated Impulses (Spillage EP, 2010)
12. Formication - Catastrophe In Blue (Subvert Central Vol.3 EP, 2008)
13. Leo Abrahams - Anemone [Jan Linton remix] (Scene Memory Remixes, 2006)
14. Murcof - Cuerpo Celeste (Cosmos, 2007)
15. Boards Of Canada - Oscar See Through Red Eye (The Campfire Headphase, 2005)
16. Roger Eno - Hewenday (Swimming, 1996)
17. Foci's Left - Spring Rose (Unreleased, 2011)
18. Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd - A Minute, A Day, No More (Before The Day Breaks, 2007)
19. Last Days - Missing Photos (The Safety Of The North, 2009)
20. The Caretaker - Past Life Regression (Persistent Repetition Of Phrases, 2008)
21. Stars Of The Lid - The Lonely People [Are Getting Lonelier] (The Tired Sounds Of..., 2005)
22. Celer - What Our Mouths Make Them (Engaged Touches, 2010)
23. Boc Scadet - Lumen (Temporary Oceans, 2004)
24. Ian Hawgood - A Film By Hannu (Slow Films In Low Light, 2010)
25. Nils Frahm & Anne Muller - Long Enough (7 Fingers, 2010)
26. Cordel Killer - Untitled (Darkwinter release, Unknown)
27. Hildur Gudannotir, BJ Nilsen & Stillupsteypa - Arrival (Second Childhood, 2007)
28. My Brightest Diamond & R. Moose - The Most Unknown Fruit (Ziyalan Letters To Distant Cities, 2011)
29. Pilote feat. Lewis - Welcome (Kingfood, 2001)
30. Deaf Center - The Day I Would Never Have (Owl Splinters, 2011)
31. Kirill Platonkin - Strata (Strata, 2011)
32. William Fowler Collins - Dark Country Road (Perdition Hill Radio, 2010)
33. DJ Trax & Assorted Anonymous - Don't Sleep (Transmission 2 EP, 2011)
34. Leyland Kirby - Live For The Future, Long For The Past (Intrigue & Stuff Vol.1, 2011)
35. Murralin Lane - When I Told You (Our House Is On The Wall, 2010)
36. Kalgan - Subway Evening (Aesthesia, 2011)
37. Foci's Left - Eternal Sands [The Shapeshifter's Reprise] (Unreleased, 2011)

Monday, 9 May 2011

SubVersion Stop 119: Net Fusion Fables

Spring roses, rainfall, fruit ripening; delights surround - though endlessly, information age stream, we're still drinking from like no tomorrow. It leads me expressing three top netlabel offerings this last 6 weeks, subverting my radar; of stylistic compliment to Subvert Central members. First is DJ Trax & Assorted Anonymous' "Transmission 2" EP, a UK/US collaboration between renowned scratcher, musician et al Trax and the AA rappers.

SC Promo

Luckily these dudes ain't plugging it where the sun don't shine. Instead, rhyming over nursery MCs like Norton Antivirus. People Under The Stairs - comedic harpoon? Aye. Proper nice beats and skits, with that grit-heavy party attitude - recommended beyond Dave's Mixrace past. Tracks including "The Catalyst", rumble in: "...fuck Mahatma Gandhi, the world moves 'cause of you"; counter-triggers "Don't Sleep": "sleeping on your rhymes still I start to snore", take on organic hue. Despite being digital transfer, the sheer desire to rock, from Essex studio to London hoe-down, equates: assorted Bertie Bassets - every tune hits a sweet spot.

Netlabels, SoundCloud giveaways - tales they're 2D miner zones, equals: "Howdy partner, is that a megabyte medallion you're wearing?" To which "yes it is, and I'm proud of it" reaching climatic air pressure. Like clipped wings to fallen bird, Kirill Platonkin's drone music, featured on underwater imprints inc. Webbed Hand, needs acquired environment.

His "Our Eternal Alarm" LP was impressive, pouring out from the insular drone compound. On "Strata" LP, these soundwaves are not dependent of one another narrative-wise. Both a strength and schism enveloping EP/LP hybrid modes, lavish uneveness calls for palpable landscape. So high hopes "Strata" will converge its Grouper/Fabio Orsi cocktail into warmer headphase for Platonkin this year.

Tukuringra 04 Download

Final choice is Creation VI's "Planetary Nebula", surely amazing Young Ones' Neil if he's still tinkering guitar plectrums through Sugar Puffs packets. The Blade Runner-ish delay on "Astrosole" has Godspeed woozily down to a tea cup.

Lush layering continues for "Hydrogen", a Kettel detector with metallic phasers, wrapping up like cosmic refresher. Audio Gourmet, a kindred spirit to my SC Affiliated 15 Minutes Of Fame concept, sold out its Hibernate collaboration CD, featuring Machinefabriek & Nicola Ratti, in two weeks.

Personally it's no surprise: while many see the netlabel investment criteria as hollow, people start thinking payment as grander gesture, at the right time. That's before we get to sending, signing, pressing, promoting.

Planetary Nebula page

My humble pie slice: download, buy or support these superb efforts when you can, because when the meals' all gone, out goes the buffet.