Saturday, 30 March 2013

Real beauty; balearic ambience from Francois Kevorkian

I cannot resist sharing this one.

This is so beautiful.

Reminds of '88 to '92 and ambient stuff and Balearic / Ibiza ambient stuff and also some British stuff engulfed in the ambience of that type of house, like Innocence and also some French ambient and deep stuff which I can't remember at all, but that Roger S and L Garnier played bits of them or more. (Saw Laurent last month at Stiff Kitten, Belfast. Very nice.)

It can always be annoying being ill so much of the time. Maybe I'm getting more used to it, emotionally, rationally. And then it can seem as if bad fate is just throwing something at you to annoy you further. Francois Kevorkian made a very rare Northern Irish appearance last month, in Londonderry. I was dying to go, but I knew well in advance I was just not well enough to make it there, alas.

The Time Is Now by Moloko, Francois K's Blissed Out Dub

BUY The Time is Now (Francois K's Blissed Out Dub) by Moloko

** ... even if you do end up at Amazon. Where else is there? I've gone through quite a lot of a web page listing supposed online record stores selling and posting C.D.s. But nearly all either have gone down or don't maintain a website for online sales.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Classic of our times: Todd Terje's "Ragysh", my Italo-Disco samsara & modern, norse, zen take on Italo-Disco

A break from Bowie for a while.

Just as old hometown (where I don't live anymore but spend a lot of time at, visiting mother at the old parents' shack) prepares to welcome Todd Terje (Limelight, Belfast, UK, Easter Monday) supported by the excellent local heroes Bicep and Space Dimension Controller ...

... here is what sounds to me like Terje's real classic of the times. Though it hovers easily around electro house environs, also electro disco register, maybe some would say norse electro funk house also (a more icey Daft Punk, I know I have to qualify that that may be a shallow comparison or others will think it), it also comes across as something of a techno classic to me actually.

From when the word techno meant, yes what would be identifable now to techno fans as techno - LFO and all that, but also this kind of thing too - techno-electro house. Meant a lot to what relates to what in the early world of Balearic house music maybe, I think.

A true classic of modern instrumental house, Ragysh.

Promoted in the video above is a recording of the vinyl pressing of Ragysh.

Because just because, I'm also sharing a share of the digital recording:

I think I'm going to miss Mr Terje. on Easter Monday - a few days away. Staying at my mother's, I've been trying to make it back home to the peninsula coast for weeks now, being ill. I tried to make it home to return for a hospital appointment (appointment was a few days ago). I happened not to be able to return home, stayed (as so used to, at home and not at home), and was not able to make the appointment for the procedure, not due to my ongoing illness, but an occasional sickness anyone can get which meant I couldn't have the procedure. Annoying. So now I want to go back as soon as.

Shine Productions, now the huge guys of the city's entertainment scene in most genres, once limited to a single house - techno club which became famous (Shine) have brought a lot of brilliant names to the city over the years. Especially in more recent years, opening up from just the large scale Shine club event, to The Stiff Kitten and in the last few months the redeveloped old city favourite, The Limelight (where I saw Simian Mobile Disco & Bicep before Christmas - unforgettable.)

While Belfast had not much of a regular, real house or dance music scene for many years, Shine Productions have changed that. It can seem strange to see numerous bookings in the same night. You can feel like someone might need to say to the promoters, this is Belfast, give us more of a chance. But I think it's just as much or more that things really may have changed.

On Easter Monday, while Todd Terje, Bicep & Space DC come to The Limelight, paces away Sasha is playing at The Stiff Kitten, and the Subculture team from Glasgow's Sub Club are lined up for the mega club at Shine itself. On the same night, from the same promoters. No lack of choice there for house fans in Belfast on Easter Monday. While, there is more going on (it may be hard to recognise the city, for those who knew it 15 to 25 years ago), for one thing something of good house in The Hudson I've forgotten, and DSNT present in Voodoo, for harder, minimal techno house fans (still not trance fast, I think, nor really trance, I think, but techno house, and not moddish d&b or snare-insanity-stadium-synth crap either maybe - would hope).

I had planned to go to see Sasha on Easter Monday. Though he's probably easier to find to see, by travelling somewhere, than Todd Terje. I still feel I owe myself seeing a Sasha show - since I went to see him with others at Shine a few years ago and missed nearly all of his set, listening to 808 State's set with SDC (in previous blog post "House, house, house, house house".) I was thinking I'm not ready for Todd Terje.

Some of his stuff, not just Inspector Norse, seems really some kind of close relation to Italo-disco (a very particular sensation of pre-"house" times, except if you mean early Chicago). Now, Italo-disco, well a whole set of it, can seem a strange beast for those who aren't prepared nowadays. It even could be hard going for those in the 1980s. The 80s, the main era of disco, and of serious, mature pop music, soul also being as serious as it could be true (very), R&B being serious, great, beautiful generally & better than previously, also with Adult Orientated Rock and Middle of the Road niches of grown-up music for pleasant but real, true times, minimalism getting well beyond lofts in modern classical circles. "Italo-disco could even be hard going in the 1980s?" That seems to suggest the beast is easier than it is. Those times with Italo were hard, they were hard, they were hard.

Yes, even then Italo-disco, a whole night of it, was something pretty specialist probably. It was serious, it seemed to me. One needed to take stock about consciousness. What it was (one's consciousness). What it was (Italo-disco). What the context / contexts was or were (going to a disco and all that meant, which doesn't really stop context wise in human life if you want to or can't help getting deep and don't have an automatic rear hill brake to stop you). What it all might mean. If these things may even come together in a meanginful or ordered or comfortable (that's really important) confluence at the one time. Or at least reserve themselves to do so later, after the event, rather than try to jacknife you existentially, even physically, off the dancefloor and off the globe.

(I know many might find themselves looking at me in a confused or worried fashion, thinking those are thoughts that might come up in life at times, maybe, yes, even with popular music appreciation. But Italo-disco? Isn't it just rather minimal, simple and fun?)

That's just my way of saying, you may need to be in the right frame of mind, or much more, the right existential vibrational level (even more, maybe), for certain music experiences. Italo-disco often struck me as one of these experiences. And with Italo, it seemed to have a cerebral focus for an existential identity, rather than just the tones and beats themselves. It was kind of seemingly logically daunting, suddenly ... about thinking lots and lots and lots of things. Things which, if you hadn't really thought them or concluded, need to be done extremely quickly. It could seem. It's not like an emotional requirement, or a feeling requirement - "I feel like this, like that". No, if you tried those options, you'd see how hard it was to be for Italo-disco.

I hope it's becoming clear this is (ahem, very likely) a personal angst experience description more than (um, probably, one doesn't know) any objective analysis of the general, particularly existential, significance in the essence of Italo-disco.

Disco should be fun. Italo-disco sounded serious to me. I could see fun, but only knowing it is serious first, and never discarding that.

To want to be serious fun, real, mature, grown-up fun. How can you push something serious to be fun, or something when you're trying to seem to be fun, to be serious then? Surely if you're even in a position that you're trying, attempting, maybe forcing somehow, the wise, wise Italo-disco animal is going to breathe down its nostrils violently quickly and blow you out of that cool little dancing shack quicker than you can say "Spagna knows", just for being in such bad faith in its presence.

But no, don't get so agitated and afeared and anxious, I suggest the Italo-disco animal does know, just like Spagna maybe. And would not blow you out of his or her magic, mature, sparsely glittering while linen and carbon lined realm of very worked out adults who seem to have a new Oriental style karma enlightenment of a sensible and loving and just downright successful kind, on and around the little dance floor.

No, he'd / she'd stroke you lovingly with his / her mature, benevolent, healing saliva dripping from his / her huge panting nostrils. (They're bigger than you. You wouldn't believe how tall and mature. ...seeming, anyway. ) As his dripping saliva intentionally massaged your sweating brow, he'd say, "O grab a cocktail, one. One can be as relaxed and unattatched as one desires. If I come to you, I come to you.". Then, after a pause that is enjoyable, "Do you think they know?", meaning the other dancers on the dancefloor, as one felt a nice, puffy feeling of love from the great, wise, mature animal, whispered somehow in a truly enlightened sounding fashion just before Italo-disco animal retreats swiftly, normally seeming, but I can't deny it, with a personal impression of importance to me, quietly, as if maybe engaged, as would be natural in one's life.

I loved Italo-disco. Yet wanted to love it more. Or me, I wanted to love me more directly in relation to Italo-disco experiences (and not really any other musical or disco experiences). Then I got over that second part: I was separate to Italo-disco, and I loved me as much as I could and I wasn't affected. Yet I wanted to love Italo-disco more, because the me, the subself or subselves whom I knew appreciated it most, flew away at the wrong times which ought to have been there and signifying at the right times.

Yet I wanted it, the kind of thing I thought Italo-disco was, to be less distinct from what the rest of life and the world was. Why should it be like this? It could even seem that Italo-disco, by not being a cultural phenomenon in what it is unintentionally, tragically made exactly just a cultural phenomenon. For the very reason alone that the rest of the world, the rest of the culture has flown away some time ago, it could seem. One learned in struggling with the normal seriousness of elements of life in Italo-disco and drowning over time in that struggle, that normal, strong, sensible, necessary seriousness in the rest of life, perhaps in the rest of the world, had diminshed, perhaps even disappeared. What ought to be a normal element of life, the Italo-disco outing, seemed may have been exposing the housing - the world and modern life - as a facade, a dying ember pretending to be in the time, alive, vibrant, natural, but, aaah, only pretending.

Perhaps within this awful, tragic, unexpected manhole or sticky, suffocating lacuna of life, I feel I need to invent that the Italo-disco animal significantly has a maturely compassionate, distinguishing, prising, valuing, even maybe encouraging nature, or at least impression.

In any case, however the animal may stroke you, in its saliva massage spa, or perhaps who knows what else, for me there could be no denying, if you take yourself and this life in this place fully seriously, Italo-disco seems serious. Not a mere passing of the time, unless you happened to be in a certain way. I used to believe I felt jealousy of imagined Italians, who I imagined either had this way available for most times, or could conjure it easily from far reaching climes to the here and now at will.

Quickly returning to my decision that I would probably try to see Sasha finally on Easter Monday, and not Terje who I was associating in good part with a new, nordic Italo-disco upated to electro house. Though I began to kind of subconsciously form into someone curious for this. When it had seemed I could never muster enough seriousness, I began to think both that it was coming and that it was not so required. And further, if a good deal of Terje's stuff could seem like a close relation to Italo-disco, it's kind of the best part, because it is Zen calm Italo-disco. Yes, Zen calm Italo-disco did exist in the past in small amounts, maybe rationed as if a nectar from the gods. If the artist is signficantly steeped in Zen calm in his Italo-disco relation, things should be all right anyway.

I want to add quickly, importantly, I know Todd Terje may not be an actual Italo-disco producer, really. (Added: Is that true, though? I've just bought a few more of his things, listening as I write, including Lanzarote, and in good part it sounds pretty like Italo stuff to me).

I know that some (or many) people won't find Terje's stuff reminiscent of Italo-disco much or at all. One thing is to say that what I don't mean by Italo -disco is euro poppy, maybe slower hi-nrg, typically pub night out guys crooning, 80s disco that was popular in many Italian discotheques. Another thing to say is that I think I'm thinking about a more specialist club 80s electro Italo-disco style - the Italo electro from before house (while probably including poppier stuff like Spagna, but Spagna was certainly steeped in a kind of esoteric Italo-disco ethos, it seemed, rather than just being a poppy disco queen). There definitely seemed an esoteric feel to the kind of music I'm thinking of (and I can't remember examples since most of 30 years, I don't really think I knew the titles then anyway) The last thing to say, which maybe ought to be the first, is that, perhaps, again as I have before and maybe do reasonably often, I take some notion - here Italo-disco - and go off on a personal tangent. I am thinking of what some of it meant to me, maybe ignoring the rest of it - maybe the most of it!!! I don't know.

"If it be now 'tis not to come, if it be not now, yet it will come."
Coping with life and Italo-disco.

If you want to hear one example of one kind of thing which could be found in old Italo-disco scenes, listen to Terje's Inpsector Norse. Of course, I think, from that track and maybe the odd other one, I must have partly worked myself up into believing something that isn't really so relevant. Of course, just to enjoy that itself and then make some kind of strange online blog post fest out of the willed nostalgic semi-neurosis, perhaps. It may be - if ya can't be a drama angst queen the odd time, if ya haven't mustered it once anyway for the year, ya have to drag it out somehow. If not all of the time.

A quick ending, so I thought I'd changed my preference, to want to go see Todd Terje on Easter Monday, and again, think about following Sasha somewhere else, still (after those years!). For what it's worth, I say, because I think I'm far too sick, and need to go home and spend 3 weeks in bed! And that doesn't bother me. I feel so bad, it sounds like heaven actually. And the thought that Mr Terje (who's stuff I don't know so well yet, I find any serious fandom hard nowadays) and Sasha (who I haven't really examined for a long time) would be happily playing into the night air when I am tucked up in bed beside the sea tantalising perhaps. Maybe it could be a rare night when the experience of the sea waves, having come to the highest point, may be audible and there is no wind to sound also to smother the sound of the sea, relaxes me, inspires me, settles me, gives me healing feelings. (Just when I know I am not well enough to try what could really harm me.) Something else happening in the night air.

Perhaps just the thoughts of the subtly, esoterically, but copiously benevolent, wise and caring Italo-disco animal (or the iced zen version) make well enough for to bring me around to some kind of life again, in some time, without the maybe splendid context of Italo-disco experienced itself, in an enlightened, mature fashion or not at all that. His / her care, I hope, sails me.

Conceptual portrait of Iced Zen Italo-disco animal, sex not known
(which is not the reason for the question marks)

Buy "Ragysh" by Todd Terje

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Bowie perspective, 'The Phenomenon' Part 2 - continued

I'm fairly certain that there are legions of Bowie fans out there who would scorn and spit at the notion that the man of the music, the music of the man (of the idea, I add) could be only a performance artist with the meaning of artist not of the same use as musician.

So I'm not going to force that one, the research for to make any more clear assertions in that direction is not there. I hadn't really intended to go further than making a bare suggestion alone, in any event. So there it is, I've made it, just the suggestion alone, mull over it, take it or leave it, see if it leads you anywhere. (Perhaps it's a foregone conclusion that hardened Bowie fans may be much more unlikely to go down the route of considering as seriously as more detatched others, perhaps I'm prejudging and quite blind to a phenomenon I don't really understand.) Yes, there is a lot of much loved music surrounding - or being surrounded by, I don't wish to exclude just now - the obsessive vision of personality cult.

What type of personality cult is it? In simple terms, the personality cult of the rather obessesively mad - not just pretty darn different - individual of legendary porportions. Indeed legend can also easily be analysed to be a good part of the starting points of the blueprint into cultural voyeurism within the framework of the notion of an individual. BOWIE: How big can you go? This is the cultural aspect itself. Another aspect one might consider could be elements of savant, visionary, chosen one, even serious jester or holy fool (remembering of one time, the mime elements of Bowie's act, and that he was taught by actor, dancer & mime artist Lindsey Kemp), Russian style Yurodivy. The Messianic pop star? Surely the limit of the familiar elements of this well known cultural position, the star, are taken to the limit.

I want to avoid going further where I know many would be feeling gradually more and more disappointed as if the music and the man of the music was being given less and less respect, inappropriately. I can't, anyway. I feel I'd need a major investment in refamiliarising myself with Bowie's work, of which I don't remember much from all of those years ago I made some foray in there, trying to remain as objective as possible. One thing I do remember feeling, and I was very young, is that it felt like relatively uncharted territory in the sense that one wondered just how many of the millions who loved Bowie had chosen or were able to remain so objective and judgement reserving in their experience of the legend. But this was not my time. It was of a different era, and young people naturally, typically seem to tend to make faces at these bygone eras in general terms, unless attracted by particular artists. I never thought of myself as someone particularly interested in 'the spirit' as 'the spirit of an age' where particularly 'the spirit' may come second to musical or identifiable elements, so I don't think that's why I would have been more sidetracked by the sounds and movements of my own age.

(I could be wrong, but I did wonder strongly if these rock music elements of the previous eras in popular music were much more defined by 'the spirit' of human energy spirit before content than the stuff of my era. Perhaps in a similar fashion to after 'my time', meaning these contemporary times. And perhaps that was why I wasn't so pulled there. But then, most people from before, during or after the prime time of 'my era' would hardly consider my real love, House Music, had any spirit, or any to much content of any kind whatsoever, anyway! Perhaps, I am actually a spiritilessly obsessed soul, someone happily ensconced by the drone of digeridoo or the beat of a shamanic, jungle drum, rather than the presented human, kind of gutsy, physical but also somehow, somehow potentially, or at least purportedly, cerebral energy of the modern pop eras. I am entitled to disagree but I feel it's more healthy for myself to leave my verdict open, at least for now. Take such thought contexts whenever available - they help, believe me.)

Recapping from last time, when suddenly compelled to think about it, I couldn't even find the context of viewing Bowie's musical catalogue as basic musical selections in themselves. The stuff did not fit conceptually into the category or contexts of musical catalogue for me. And I know this is because in my mind at the moment, Bowie is Art itself, not particularly the artist of musical performance (also that, of course), but the artist of performance itself. So self-contained, if there had been a Turner Prize in his earlier days, he'd never have acknowledged it appropriate to who he was! Hahahahahaha. And so, yet, while acknowledging my vision of Bowie could never be verified by the man or what his essential spirit embodies, I continue with the argument of my perspective, for better, for worse.

Perhaps it is time to mention the argument that an essential part of a blueprint for something which if ever spoken out loud, admitted in any slight way, would destroy the essence of what it is, of course, well, what can I say? ... ... shh ... Must remain a secret. If even a rather dramatic, seldom or never precisely voiced or identified, Pulcinella's secret (open secret). Perhaps it is also that I have a more fortunate (from one perspective) position than real Bowie fans, who could never see or be able to admit to and see at the same time what I experience. Granted, being outside the time of his works, the scope of the core pull of his fandom leaves anyone voicing what I have been voicing wide open to the knock down criticism, "It's only because you didn't get the music - it would be the same for any act you didn't like or become seriously affected by their music." But isn't Bowie different? Yes. Surely?

to be continued ...

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A perspective on Bowie: 'The phenomenon'

The V and A Musuem, London, which calls itself "the world's greatest museum of design and art" opened the David Bowie is exhibition a few days ago this March. It runs until 11 August 2013. The museum curators were given unprecedented access to Bowie's personal artefact archive. There is a lot of stuff in there from a Ziggy Stardust suit (etcetera) to attention grabbing multimedia including nine foot video walls, to original lyrics hand scrawled on note paper by Mr Bowie.

I was alerted to the exhibition by BBC's The Review Show (22 March 2013), and I heard the exhibition described as a collage rather than a chronological exhibition, and a very diverse journey. As you might expect for a discussion by critics who are really, mostly long term deep David Bowie fans, there was only a  little mention of the exhibition itself before they got lost into going on about the man himself and the past and the present. Evidently the exhibition inspires this.

I've often seen this perspective of David Bowie, not the full picture I know. For it is partly cynical and partly can't fully appreciate part of the core essence of what he did, but in ways it is also a full picture from a wider human sphere (that can't be fully or as drily defined or summed up, of course), as even intended. Even though it is a partly cynical perspective, it still was intended, is still inextricable from Bowie, I feel, and is a substantial part of the inherent truth of the essence of David Bowie as the man in his public work.

Here it is. Bowie is a definite cultural phenomenon and that is no accident. It is a deep phenomenon which this musician is. The phenomenon in large part involves the essence of the postmodern practise of receptionism (seldom used term, but central to some elements of postmodernism in culture).

What is this? What a thing is is substantially about the effect it is intended to have, or can have anyway where the effect is not so planned particularly. A thing is substantially about how it is received. With Bowie this is a cultural phenomenon that is to be, which is to be about being, a cultural phenomenon. "Spiders from Mars" sung to those notes told me this a long time ago. But this is more than just a cultural phenomenon that is about being a cultural phenomenon - it is the erection of a personality cult intentionally to be worshipped as a personality cult. As said in the BBC program, Bowie "permeates our culture" and "seems to be all round us". Even when he hasn't been active much, he is always very notably there somehow, or the notable absence of something large may register. I'm not saying this is the whole story, of course.

Of course, David Bowie himself might voice disagreement, saying he just is and performs. But I know he'd be lying really, of course. He can't not know. It's more likely he'd be laughing at me for even considering that last sentence.

In essence, Bowie is a cultural phenomenon precisely as a cultural statement, the statement being the phenomenon, the stating of this in itself. The phenomenon comes before what it may contain? Maybe, maybe not, but in any case it's inseparable. And I'm not suggesting that the content of the phenomenon itself is meaningless, drivel, pointless or anything like that at all, but the content is a separate consideration to the other inextinguisable element, the phenomenon.

The cultural statement in the cultural phenomenon speaks the embodiment of the personality cult, of the mad individual in society. There are, of course, elements of tradintional art obsessions such as the artist in society and the romantic notion of the society against the expressive, visionary or just sensitive individual - but in the cultural statement and phenomenon these have been designed to have gone to haywire proportions, intentially and from the blueprints, it seems. For the phenomenon, for the statement. "Love me in it", Bowie is saying in making the quite complex cultural phenomenon itself. (I wonder how close he gets to spelling this out. Not being a proper Bowie fan, it would take me some time to go through his stuff to try to see if there are times he gets obviously close to an out and out statement. My guess is he is so contained in character(s) and the phenomenon and the statement, he does not even envisage that he would allow himself to get close to "opening up".)

 That the traditional concerns of artists are made to really extreme proportions - again, the artist in society gone absolutely haywire - may be the only point of them within this cultural phenomenon. (In one sense, Mahler or Wagner may express the painful yet perhaps divine like notion of the artist in society but neither danced across a stage blaring it from their lungs, personally drawing you into this notion as it they were that and maybe significantly only that. The individuality of the individual is a major concern but as extreme voyeurism in culture, in peoples' faces, down their trannies, on their screens, in pubs, everywhere. And it is for the massess. This was mass appeal cult appeal voyeurism as if even in establishing in some artistically playful way a real sect, a real cult of worship as definitive in the cultural phenomenon. Interspersed in the man's career are definitions, elements, storylines of it, the voyeuristic, extremely distinguished individual as cultural phenomenon itself: The Man Who Fell To Earth, Starman (There's a starman. Yes a star, man. Guess who it is?)

It's distinct.

Regular BBC Review Show critic Natalie Haynes mentioned that her era was after mainstream Bowie, so after most of the real fuss, after much of the real phenomenon itself. (But it is something which can't really die to give way for a pure musician that was never bound up it in.) That was a more restrained, perhaps sensible and mindful area in culture - the 80s and 90s. It did not have so much time for the mad personality cult as art and cultural plan, being very, and gradually more and more, obsessed with the genuine cult of the self (whether part of the 'Me' era and generation or a purer, higher concern than what's now often seen as the time of greed, or the time for the development of greed). The genuine cult of the self has since become lost in the ingenuine, aimless anti-cult cult of the self pretending still to be a true, pure cult of the self. This modern, much more unfortunate reality, can appear like a certain American TV series involving a plane crash that went on and on and on - seemingly endlessly and without aim - as much as it was incomprehensible.

Now, in this post Lost age, an absolutely out and out, down and out, lost age which even yet still pretends we are allied to the genuine cult of self, there returns an obsession with a kind of personality cult (back since its diminution in the early 80s). This modern revision of the era of glam rock etcetera personality cults comes within the ingenuine cult of the self pretending to be a pure cult of self - in pretend obsessions with any and every empty cultural phenomenon instead of troubadors or minstrels in music. Pretend you like it. Just pretend. Don't mean it, naturally. (Just what did Bowie, Glitter and so on bring about?)

[How strange that Groove Armada suddenly insert the Blade Runner syth theme by Vangelis into their BBC mix I'm listening to as I write, at the very instant when I'm typing to describe this modern era in popular culture. I used to imagine the Blade Runner world could have pretend obsessions particularly made instead of music, for the masses to practise or merely enjoy their unparticular fauning on or something. But nicely. if that's possible, nicely - however personally misguided.Not with music that, if examined truly, is so unlikely to spawn any such attributable personality cults. -I remember from the early 90s, I liked very much Blade Runner and imagined I loved the world of Blade Runner. (Groove Armada 6 Mix, 15.03.2013, available free in].

In the post Lost age, even the good parts are defined by obsession with cultural phenomeons, making personality cults where possible, whether that be Bowie, Daft Punk or the constant recycling of The Rolling Stones, or a new boy band too insignificant in terms of what real culture means to actually listen to properly. (Unless you're 11 years old, maybe female, also for males, and just find attraction in the 'youth' spirit and energy of the age alone, regardless of what they do.) The latter is the more usual face of this fake era of pretend obsessions instead of music - from Lady Gaga to Perry, Eminem, Minaj, Beiber, things appear back with the obsessive cultural phenomenae of the era of Bowie and glam. But is there really anything serious in there now at all? Beyond the money and people somehow screaming at nothing, or to these ears, less than zero - whether they can control it or not?

Natalie Haynes mentions her era was that of Under Pressure, the Bowie collaboration with so-called rock gods Queen and that, that being the "worst of Bowie" and the "worst of Queen", she missed the opportunity to know the real phenomenon, what it had been all about, what it was, what it was like to experience, what it meant.

I felt myself seeing a clear definition of just what Bowie was (and, as said, must still be, this being inextricable), just how abnormal for such huge success in mainstream culture a year or so before he really established himself. Even how abnormal within a type of that time he existed within a clear set of - even though this kind of stance grew rather quickly. I found myself thinking about Haynes's remark that Under Pressure was the worst of both, and couldn't help quickly noting personally that it couldn't be the worst of Queen for me. To these ears Queen made countless abysmal records and their, to me sickening, sheerly attention seeking, theatrical paen in performance is every music hall show too far for me.

However, the point I want to make is that naturally I wondered if  Under Pressure could be the worst of Bowie, and realised there was no answer really. If I were being true to what I saw and felt. With Queen I coudl easily see a catalogue of theatrical musical releases, and subjectively make a preferential analysis that, though I loathed Under Pressure, I could listen to it for maybe 40 seconds before running to switch the radio channel. Where with most other Queen songs, generally this time would be less than a second before my legs would take to the air, running to the radio for as quick a change as possible. But, what Queen were, in essence were musical showmen, yes, performers, songsters, crooners, if you will, still the old minstrels in some way even if they raked around your head with so-called energy and surprise, rather than settled, soothed and inspired it.

Now Bowie. The distinction is it didn't matter with Bowie what it could mean that a song could be the worst of him. (This is not at all suggesting I thought Bowie 'worse' than Queen, far from it.) It made no sense to say Under Pressure could be the worst of Bowie - there was no clear way to see, it meant nothing. Because, from the vantage of decades of relative removal, even though I can appreciate some of his music a lot, that was irrelevant. I couldn't even see him particularly as a musician, distinctly - good, bad or indifferent, a heartfelt performer or nonplussed, genuine nor fake.

No, he's art. Art. (I mean the man in his public work himself, nothing to do with him being an exhibition subject currently.) Art, merely that and even perhaps with him, it's possible for many to cut through the music and see him only as art - performance art as cultural phenomenon.

to be continued ...

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Deep house classic, "Missing You" in two version, by Larry Heard.

Old one. Never to be forgotten.

(1999 / 2000 release, Trackmode Recordings / Alleviated Records).

Or two old ones, maybe, as the same song in a cool, jazz style mix can sound like a different track to the 70s electro soundtrack influenced original version.

I remember from a long time there are a few good mixes of this classic, cool cut.

I think I remember this is one particularly amazing very long re-edit, no idea who by, I hope I can find it and post it here.

The classic version is to be enjoyed, though:

... And here is the Jazz Café Mix (or "Larry's Jazz Café Mix"?) of "Missing You":

BUY: Either version can be bought and downloaded from, say:

Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Nu- Clear vision, the symbol of the times themselves, the ultimate, you are being issued to grasp it.

Talks for EDF Energy to build nuclear plants 'could fail within weeks’

Talks between EDF Energy and the Government over building Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation are at “crisis point” and could fail within weeks because of deadlock over subsidies for the project.

(The Telegraph online, UK, 4 March 2013.)


Good. The propositions really need to fail. This is a dim, dim government who, if they will be able to take a step back in the future after their term ends, each personally will feel very confused and ashamed at what they have been trying to do. They are sleepwalking in nightmares. I wonder if they'll be able to take a step back in the future, in this life.
I guess this well-known nuclear plant centre didn’t inform the public about very real elements of British nuclear power right on the site.


I’m always disgusted when governments, for example David Cameron’s current batch, despite the disasters such as in Japan recently, decide to go ahead facilitating new nuclear power plants. Then, though, you find out the more amazing truth that this country cannot even manage the sites it already has. It’s amazing how keen some people are to hide and make you forget the truth about nuclear power – the cancer, deaths, birth defects, torturous conditions of so many people who have lived within miles of nuclear power plants not recorded as ever malfunctioning.
I live at the seaside, on the coast of the world's most contaminated sea, the Irish Sea, nearly directly opposite Sellafield, in another quarter of the UK, on the coast of Northern Ireland. I can really, really feel things. I don't go swimming in there, myself. (I'm vegetarian, so anyway I avoid the fish.) When I was a boy, my family had a holiday home on the coast in the Republic of Ireland, a distance south of the Sellafield location in England. As the children around grew up, along with the adults, people started saying they weren't going in the sea anymore. People stopped bathing, because of the water and Sellafield. They made faces, their faces grew strange when talking about the last times they went bathing in the sea.



"Nuclear" or nu-clear, new reality, or issued vision. It's when - the time when - power is anti-power; power is destruction - power and destruction, power in destruction, destruction in power; destruction before power but in the abstract conceptual realm, on the actual timescale the destruction comes after the "power" or at least some of it.
(That is true with the home fuelling variety, the weapons grade variety is perhaps more honest, as you indicate. The power IS the destruction, they come at the same time. While, yet, even with that real, symbolic reality, the power comes free at a time from the full extent of the destruction, the destruction that happens closer to home with one bomb sent to the other side of the world alone, is not felt, and is hidden, until later.)

"Nu-clear" - the symbolic definition of much of the times. The new reality in the issued vision - it's unique - you're being told to seize it - where power is more than just power, where power goes beyond power, goes beyond what it possibly could be as it has become anti-power as well - the essence of destruction. Where now, with power, you really can, conceptually have your cake and still have eaten it, because power is both what it is and the opposite. This is the new world.