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Wilden Times – A song

By way of Jay Griffiths, Wes Anderson, Rosie Swale Pope I’ve been working on an album of songs under the name Solar Violet for a number of years and the sound element has been finished for a good while now. While the album has been mastered by the peerless James Dunn of Cafe Oto, there […]

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Neon Now

Images of the city cycle One of the unanticipated impacts of Covid and lockdown has been to change the relationship with the spaces of the cities where many of us live. Like so many people, when Covid first hit and the UK went into lockdown in March for the next few months I was stuck […]

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Future fluencies – Yoyoka Soma, Rage Against the Machine

Encountering the videos (mostly drum covers) from gregarious 10 year old Yoyoka Soma has definitely been one of the turn ups of lockdown for me, especially as it is often a treat to read comments from middle aged drummers agog at her displays. What they seem particularly struck by aside from her obvious technical prowess […]

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BLU ART

I was lucky enough to have this shared with me today by Folders Arrangements. Its a 2015 mural ‘Spirale‘ from Italian street artist Blu in an area; Ponte Mammolo in Rome. An Italian street artist living in Bologna who began and flourished initially with a group of other street artists, beginning around the turn of […]

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Shawn Smith (October 28, 1965 – April 3, 2019)

As I do not generally keep up with music news, it came as some surprise to learn that Shawn Smith singer with bands such as Satchel, Pigeonhed and Brad (as well as a solo artist) had died 11 months ago. I first became aware through listening to ‘Shame’ by Brad, a 1993 album from a […]

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Atoms of Escape, Drones of Realisation – Steve Reich

’18 Musicians’ and facets of the music of Steve Reich I realised a new version of the album Music for 18 Musicians had been released on vinyl in December! A live recording from Tokyo in 2008 and despite one or two minor sonic hiccups, it is a fabulous release, prompting intensive re-listenings and this piece […]

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French Wilds – The Cevenne

‘We’d been walking in the woods, with a real bounce to our step, in these most beautiful of days, with the light catching every breath and drifting cell of woodland being… We are entranced by the gentle strobing of the light between the trees, its funny so we laugh, the sound echoes in the trees, […]

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On Vanishing Land – To materialise

Hyperdub sub-label Flatlines to release Fisher and Barton’s Audio essay / sonic fiction I’ve mentioned On Vanishing Land a few times, not least recently in the piece that began with Will Abberley’s BBC Radio 3 documentary about the eerie, which features excerpts from the 45 minute sound work. Originally staged as an exhibition at the […]

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Beyond symptoms of rebellion – A Black Flag film and Nirvana at the horizon

Watching this really wonderful documentary on the US harcore punk rock co-progenitors, By Any Means: A Brief History of Black Flag. A charming and well told story, mostly as a documentary film about the band, while also being about the attempt by its film maker Aaron Michael Thomas to make a documentary film – about […]

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Super Fa Realities

A return to some SFA lyrics and riding an unicorn Its been easy over the years to return to the work of the Welsh music trailblazers Super Furry Animals and love it. Although for a while (as with many of the 90’s bands I was in love with) I felt they might have lost something […]

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cracked urban – past the gapped apparitions of our conurbation

It was relatively easy to be taken by these boardings, that conceal the functional brutality of urban building and which is in this case, subterrenean in nature. Traditionally these things have paid no heed to any visual or aesthetic considerations, but in recent years – constructors have begun to modulate their barriers to reflect different […]

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Things that dreams are made of… Norman Wisdom?

When I heard this song recently at a venue, I was absolutely mesmerised by the main refrain. It’s one of those things that has a personal dimension which you know is also connected to a cultural force or instance (like a song and a particular time, the feeling of its uses and what it evokes). […]

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Cross-hairs all over the borderline – Jose Gonzales, The Knife, Andreas Nilsson

I adored the song ‘Heartbeats’ when it first came through in the early 00’s.  Attached to a particularly artful ad for a television.  Jose Gonzalez wasn’t just breaking out with an artful acoustic song (a ‘sensitive’ song, Neil Young might call it), he was breaking through with a sound and a body of work (namely […]

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Getting free of snares and nets – Atoms for Peace

It felt like quite a singular gesture, coming from the art assemblage when i realised about the name of Thom Yorke’s alternate band ‘Atoms for peace’ as a kind of repositioning of the atom in state-power terms from its symbol and locus as science-militarism’s apogee of destructive scale.  To now be speaking (as it were) […]

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The deep-song looking glass of the world – Lee Mavers and The La’s

By the end of writing this piece, I had the feeling that my entire being was thrumming, vibrating with a kind of singular joy of being and feeling that really only the most special music creates.  It was also that the feeling included a sense of luck, that to live in the same world as […]