Oct 29, 2008

Badger badger badger set

Nexus Art Cafe is hosting a bash for people in the Northern Quarter (Manchester) this Saturday from 7pm (see picture for details).

If you're not going, basically you don't exist. Literally.

I'll be doing some art type co-ordinating stuff with Nexus over the next few months, so I hope they let me win the tombola.

Nexus, by the way, is home to the wonderful cascading rabbits. I'm not sure they'll still be there on Saturday, so shuffle down to the cafe as soon as you can.

Oct 26, 2008

Time again for mulleted monkey-man Guru Josh

December 2015 edit: gone too soon. My thoughts are with Paul's nearest and dearest.
Forget Obama. Cast the credit crunch from your mind. History was made tonight when Guru Josh (pictured) secured an impressive comeback to the singles chart.

Former nightclub entertainer Paul Walden hit number three with a new version of his 1989 classic Infinity (1990s... Time For The Guru).

Apart from a wee handful of cover versions by Stockport's heroin-hazed noise-blender V/Vm, Guru Josh's post-89 career has received little public attention.

Until now.

I fear the new version lacks something by editing out the 1990s references in favour of a Basshunter-style house vocal. We don't get Guru's 'ooh ah' monkey noises for a start.

Here are both versions for your consideration. The first is the original 1989 single, with mullet on full show. Below that is the un-mulleted single that's currently riding at number three under Walden's new guise, the Guru Josh Project.

Oct 23, 2008

Just one creamy falsetto (warning: contains nauseating levels of false modesty)

Musical comparisons are a dish best served pithy, with a generous side-helping of originality.

That's why, sometimes, my blog makes as much sense as a Lego pipe-wrench. I'd rather describe something in a way you haven't heard before than rely on the usual journalistic cliches ('Tricky is like Morcheeba... on heroin.')

But I'm afraid, Piccadilly Records have whupped me at my own game.

Following my post about Max Tundra and the Sound Of Music, I spotted this description of Tundra's new album in Piccadilly's weekly email guide:

"It sounds like Yes playing glitch techno with Pharrell Williams, fighting Todd Rundgren at the controls while Green Gartside offers his creamiest falsetto."

I never pretend I am the best writer on the internet; I am barely in the top, ooh, four. But I wish I had written that, darn damn'd it.

Oct 19, 2008

Exploding wheelchairs: how to explain Squarepusher to normal people

I'm fed up having to explain Squarepusher to drones who are too busy bopping to Pink to succumb to the clanky magic of drill n' bass.

And so it goes:

My boss: I need to get into your log-in. What's your password?

Me: Squarepusher.

My boss: Square pusher? That sounds like some sad kind of dance.

Me: No, he's a, er, he's the guy that does... erm... you can't really hum his tunes but...


For my own future reference as much as anything, and in celebration of his new album Just A Souvenier (in shops next week but already in at Bleep), here are a list of ways I shall refer to Squarepusher from now on:

1. A nail-bomb thrown into a skip, which in turn is being humped by R2D2.

2. An iron bin full of iron filings being rolled down a hill made of iron.

3. Six hundred beards trapped in the Large Hadron Collidor.

4. Exploding wheelchairs.

5. A jazz bassist being attacked by a wasp.

6. A wasp being attacked by a jazz bassist.

7. Spiders scurrying over your face while you're dreaming about fluffy penguins.

8. An army of hammers. Laughing.

9. Protesters throwing Amen break samples at a Chris De Burgh concert.

10. A bit like Aphex Twin but not very.

I should point out, for career reasons, that my boss is a very nice man and has never bopped to Pink in his life. He does, however, have cacking awful music taste.

Oh and the cheery Squarepusher design above is a great poster from Standard Motion.

Oct 15, 2008

A good week for old LPs - and if you say 'what's an LP', I'll set fire to your mp3 player

808 State (pictured), Manchester's third greatest band after Together and Swing Out Sister, have reissued a glut of old LPs.

Firstly, Quadrastate, the one with Pacific State on, is out on CD for the first time.

And secondly, a quartet of old 808 albums have put on a bit of slap and come out to play again: 90, ex:el, the astonishing Gorgeous and the cock-themed Don Solaris.

As if my joy wasn't unbridled enough, record label ZTT are also planning on rereleasing MC Tunes' The North At It's Heights.

MC Tunes, if you recall, was the lizard-tongued rapper that had an "only rhyme that bitessss" back in the dying months of Thatcher's Britain.

Speaking of Prime Ministerial gay icons... Back in Ted Heath's day, there was a collosal jam session to end all collosal jam sessions.

King Crimson lynchpin Robert Fripp was meant to be laying down some phat guitar licks for the god-voiced Robert Wyatt, when he bunked off to lark around with Brian Eno.

You remember Brian. I did a Bri Chart of him once.

Anyhoo, the resulting session between Fripp and Eno was the historic 21-minute opus Heavenly Music Corporation. This rich, mesmerising wash is a highlight of their No Pussyfooting album, which has also, like the 808 State albums, been released back into the wild.

Which means it's a good week for old LPs. Go find a record shop, virtual or otherwise, and reminisce your guts up.

Oct 12, 2008

Max Tundra does Prince while, by the look of the picture wot I edited in Microsoft Publisher, the Von Trapps do LSD

The bejewelled crowd bustles and hums in a room glistening with gold carvings and low-slung chandeliers.

A woman in white announces, "Ladies and gentlemen, the children of Captain Von Trapp wish to say goodnight to you." She raises her hands in awkward invitation and the hum foams up into chatter and gasps.

Down the stairs of the grand hallway descends a music sensation that will be remembered for generations.

It's a topless Max Tundra balancing a huge tooth hat on his head.

Yes, the master of bizarre pop and lord of the 8 / 16 / 4 / 0.5-bit opus is back with a busy electro-fuzz single (see the video featuring the tooth hat here) that boasts the Sound Of Music's So Long Farewell as a b-side.

He's done well: he's gone for the obligatory cowbell, but I'm not sure how that thumping 808 snare would sit with the delicate Von Trapp kids (pictured).

It bodes well for Tundra's third album next week, Parallax Error Beheads You. Expect the usual suspects saying it's messy and as busy as an OCD bee, and there should be the usual stampede of comparisons to Nintendo / Sega / insert generic bleepy video game console here.

Time for an mpSunday, where I give away my record collection (but only on a Sunday, mind). This track was the first glimpse we had of the potential brilliance of Max's new album. It's him doing an uncomfortably straight approximation of a geeky Prince.

mpSunday (right click and save as): CRAASH! This mpSunday has now expired.

Which reminds me. If anyone is hoarding an mp3 of Tundra's version of the KLF's What Time Is Love, cyber-slap me. And yes it is okay to use the 'cyber' prefix again.

Oct 5, 2008

"Vincent Gray. I do remember you. Quiet, very smart, compassionate. Unusually compassionate." "You forgot cursed. YOU FAILED ME!" Bang.*

Bogling on down to the Warehouse Project last night was a bit like-- hold on, my blog-writing lamp has just blown.

Crikes, I've so many bulbs. Why on earth did I buy those coloured bulbs? Oh, there we go: a pack of small Ikea bulbs. Let me just screw this in...

That's better. I can see now.

As I was saying, snooking on down to the Warehouse Project last night was a bit like popping in on an old friend. It was keeping much better since it packed bags and left the cavernous Boddington's Brewery site, and in a snuggly way, it felt like home.

That is until about one in the morning.

You see, the line-up was strong on paper. And there's no doubt that The Whip (record cover pictured) rocked the roof off the place, and Late Of The Pier were head-noddingly spiffing. The DJs, including Simian Mobile Disco, were nothing short of phatasmagorical.

But the rot set in with a dull set from Tricky which was so mired in muddy sound and fearsome feedback, it was just unlistenable.

And then, a terrible thing happened. I can't even bear to write it.

Deep breath.

Reverend And The Makers played. The exact thing I didn't need last night was a cacophonous brew of macho posturing held together by a lead singer who wants to be Tom Cruise in Top Gun but is really just that dribbling guy in his underpants who shoots Bruce Willis at the start of Sixth Sense.

My ears bled. Hammer-headed lyrics. Blundering rhythm. Audience interaction that barely rose above swearing, shit-faced football-chanting moronicism.

Everyone who likes Reverend And The Makers is a crass, sputum-eared simpleton. Oh, I'm angry now.

I've just smashed my lamp. I'm going back to bed.

*that's the guy in Sixth Sense shooting Bruce Willis, by the way. Did you know the underpants guy was played by New Kid On The Block Donnie Wahlberg? You do now.