Mar 26, 2012

Manhattanchester: Manchester In Residents interview and Photoshop fun

DJ, writer and party animal Gregling dropped-kicked some questions at me and I limp-wristed them back in the form of this interview on Manhattanchester.

In the interview, you will discover my views on Manchester, Alan Turing, Tories, the Beetham Tower, the city council and Gary Glitter. Oh and you'll find two pictures, one of which was photoshopped by me and another of which needs no photoshopping because it's the funniest picture in the universe.

A warning, though. After reading the article, you may not look Robin Gibb in the eye again.

Manhattanchester is worth a poke around: there are more interviews on there, and there is a great song about Northern Quarter dickheads by Saltylips.

Further Fats: There goes the hear - Manchester has enough gigs

Mar 23, 2012

Getting jabby with it and by 'it' I mean 'writing stuff'

The writing life consists of jabbing your pen into your eyes until you wee the shape of a complete sentence onto the floor.

As a result of the painful solitude of the writer, a job that is clearly way harder than being a soldier, a fire fighter or a martyr, I like to get out and meet people. And sometimes when I get out and meet people, I faff about reading my own stuff into people's faces.

Upcoming faffings about include:

- Faffing about at Word Soup this Thursday, March 29th with my writing posse. Preston here I come!

- Faffing about all around Manchester reading pop-up stories for Flash Fiction Day in May. This is going to be a bit silly and mental.

- Faffing about for Chorlton Arts Festival and asking you to enter our amazing writing competition. It's open to everyone who can string 500 words or less together in a way that doesn't make us vomit.

I'm going to be posting less about my fiction scribbling activities on this site from now on, so to keep up-to-date, follow Italic Eyeball. Meanwhile, my dear succulent reader, I have some jabbing to do...

Literary piddle!

Mar 21, 2012

Otters that look like Rustie

I'm sure you'll agree each and every one of these comparisons is convincing beyond dispute. Get half of these pictures and many more like it from yer Daily Otter.

Edit: it turns out that the rusted one has an otter as his profile picture on Twitter. This is, I can stoat-ally asssure you, is a complete coincidence.

2nd Edit: By the power of primark, I do think this is catching. Now there's Bunnies that look like bloggers...

Further Fats: Best electronica albums of 2011: number 1

Mar 18, 2012

Saturday night, I feel my brain is getting hot

I think my life is one entire, massive, super-destructive nervous breakdown.

Take normal people. On a Saturday night, they're snapping their heels on pizza-strewn kerbs looking for the nearest place to piss whilst brandishing a bottle of Ouzo and a handful of squashed fries. This is ordinary behaviour and is to be encouraged.

Problem is, I have the attention span of a. You see? Couldn't even be bothered to finish that sentence. And so rather than make the trek into town in my stilettos, I made a music video.

No-one gets so manic on a Saturday night that they suddenly make a music video. It's not right. I'm obviously not drinking enough bleach to euthanise my right-brain cells. I might snort Vim instead.

The sounds in the video are by Mordant Music, who have just released the shimmeringly ambient Travelogues 10: Sync Lair. The track here is a couple of years old and it's lovely. The video is my own work and probably comes from my love of Tomato's design aesthetic.

The Hounds Of Hulme track Don't Ask Me, the most successful* musical thing I've done, was also produced in a feverish panic. I'll probably career into another sudden project again soon. Perhaps build a scale model of a tram out of plug hair. Invent sky diving from paper planes. Jump into a phone box to become Super Biscuit Man. I'm not quite sure what that last one is, but it sounds amazing.

* the word "success" is possibly open to interpretation here

Further Fats: Chosen Words: D is for Design

Mar 15, 2012

In an annoying place out in the nether regions

"They are definitely working on new material, but there is nothing in the cards at the moment in terms of a scheduled release."

Not quite as pithy as "yes" but that was a statement Warp Records gave to Pitchfork yesterday about the huge speculation over a new Boards of Canada album.

Damn you Warp Records and your clear sense of facts and logic!

Boards may have "mis-spoken". We are now in what I call an "Aphexian scenario", which is a nether region of speculation between the bum of the last album and the genitals of the next one.

My campaign to popularise the phrase "BOCtastic" is officially on hold. I didn't tell you about that, did I? WELL, NOW YOU'LL NEVER KNOW.

(See my post from yesterday: Geo-giddy: Boards of Canada's one word Facebook publicity explosion."

Futher Fats:  2paW0r: The Warp Records anagram challenge

Mar 14, 2012

Geo-giddy: Boards of Canada's one word Facebook publicity explosion

Comedians don't normally break massive news stories about electronic music, but it was Peter Serafinowicz that mentioned a possible new album from Boards Of Canada.

The rubber-voiced comic has a long history of Boards love, and once took the band to the next level, Dr Dre style. But was he right about his claim on a BBC radio show that the duo may well have a double album coming out soon?


Or rather:


That was the single-word response from Boards Of Canada on Monday when questioned about a new album on their Facebook page.
Fan: "Rumours of a new BOC album are rife ? , any truth in this ?
BoC: "Yes."
As simple and as quick as that. Hundreds of 'likes' later, and Boards have achieved the briefest and most effective marketing campaign ever. It will be their first new album since The Campfire Headphase a million years ago. You'll know that album because you would have seen that awesomeballs skydiving video for Dayvan Cowboy. (Edit: See this update on the new album here.)

It's a shame the conversation didn't continue. We would have learned bucketloads...
"Will you embed in the music a complex spectral analysis map of your favourite toothpaste brands?"
"Will Jesus, the actual Jesus, guest star on the album on the bongos / trumpet / tubular bells?"
"As a result of this album's success, will you become judges on X Factor?"
"Will you become judges on X Factor with the specific purpose of bludgeoning everyone on that programme with a blunt stoat and unleashing a computer virus so eye-wateringly harsh, all digital, physical and anecdotal evidence that X Factor ever existed will be annihilated until the end of time?"
"Will that affect the text in this blog post?"
"What's your favourite prog rock band?"
"Aphrodite's Child."
Got to love Boards Of Canada.

(Edit: See this update on the new album here.)

Further Fats: Six, a musical review of 2006 featuring Boards Of Canada.

Mar 11, 2012

Here's Hounds Of Hulme's new track Don't Ask Me (free mp3 download)

Hounds Of Hulme are back with a one-off track of dour springtime techno called Don't Ask Me.

This one is free to download. It follows two EPs: Midnite in January and Vocal Minority in February. Don't Ask Me will probably get pulled because of the vocal samples, so grab it while it's hot.

The fourth member of Hounds, Michael The Dangerous Horse didn't have much input on this one. He spent most of the time pretending to be Dobbin from Rentaghost and stamping his feet in an effort to teleport. We told him no-one remembers Rentaghost and why doesn't he nip down to the shops to get me a Spira.

Further Fats: ounds Of Hulme's new Vocal Minority EP

Mar 7, 2012

Does Aphex Twin have a new album? (2012 update)

(See a 2014 album update here.)

As 2012 gets into its crotch-stretching stride, it's time for an update on that perennial concern: a new album from Aphex Twin.

Let's start with Yahoo Answers, in which someone called Adam asked if he was the "only one who has come to the conclusion that the perfect release date for the next album is the decade anniversary of Drukqs?"

He was the only one. The anniversary came and went.

And then we have a poorly translated interview with Richard D James in El Pais. Here Señor Twin says he has nearly twice as many albums of material than the half dozen he'd mentioned a year previously.

Also there is the tiresome speculation from yours truly, in which he does not have a new album (Feb 2009), he does have a new album (Mar 2009), he may or may not have a new album (Dec 2009), he has six new albums (Nov 2010), he does have a new album (Nov 2010), he doesn't have a new album (Nov 2010) and he distracts us with teddy bears (May 2011).

Three years of speculation. Three years of cattle plop.

And so I asked Grant Wilson-Claridge, the co-founder of Rephlex Records and a man to whom us electronic music buffs owe a great debt. Loads of people hit my site looking for the latest on a new album from Aphex, I said. Where are we at?

"90% of chat and news on the internet is speculation and assumption, some of it sticks and is wrongly accepted as fact by many, a little bit of it may be fact, some of that pure coincidence," Grant told Fat Roland On Electronica this week.

At this point, I wondered if I should attack my site with a massive eraser. I try to be responsible but sometimes I need to watch what I say, such as in the sixth point on this post about Rephlex here.

Grant continues: "Richard, as with the other 60-odd Rephlex artists, continues to record and has tons of unreleased tracks.

"There is tons of great music around but it generally requires hunting out, some by celebrities, some not, some by celebrities under pseudonyms."

And there you have it. Rephlex Records had three albums in my top ten of last year. More than any other label, they are pushing what it means to be bleepy. I'd encourage you to dig around on the site for stuff you haven't heard before.

In conclusion, then, let's not be lazy, let's ignore the speculation and enjoy the sparkly new music that's all around us.

Wait a minute.


"...some by celebrities under pseudonyms."

I think I have my new blog exclusive. I can reveal, for the first time on the internet, that chatty comedian Alan Carr is Rephlex artist Dave Monolith. That Kerry Katona is the brains behind Wisp. And have you ever seen Richard D James and the Hairy Bikers in the same room together...?

I think we should be told.

*locks away the Aphex album file for another year*

Further Fats: The Gospel According To Aphex Twin

Mar 6, 2012

Catching the 'Tube to the moon

If you survived February's Bleep Years series and your lungs weren't burst from the stinking deluge of soggy nostalgia, then you can revisit it again on this YouTube playlist.

'Tuber Kreecm was kind enough to compile all the videos (bar one frustratingly absent Loop Guru track), which not only was a nice thing to do, it also means that someone is reading. You know what that means, don't you? This blog has gone mainstream and therefore should be mooned at by Jarvis Cocker.

(Except he didn't moon, did he? Why does everyone think he mooned?)

Anyhoo, in other web news, I've given Fat Roland On Electronica a new masthead. That's a fancy name for the big bit at the top. That's Aphex Twin on the left. That's Justin Biebpipe on the right. Yin. Yang. Heaven. Hell. Chocolate. Cat rape.

Happy 'tubing. Here are the Bleep Years blog posts too.

Further Fats: Top 20 electronica tracks of 2010 (kind of) so far (sorta)

Mar 3, 2012

Bert And Ernie Bumper Car face mask Euro fury

Having Engeljames Blunterdinck represent us in the European debt crisis can only lead to one thing: the actual day that music died.

We all remember the Eurovision classics. Boom Bang-a-Bang by the Justified Ancients of Lulu. Save All Your Kisses For Me by early 90s hop hop group The Brotherhood. And the dance routine from Making Your Mind Up, where Cheryl Baker ripped the skirt off Roy Castle.

But who's Friedrich Engels Hump Backed Whale? He's not even real, like Nicki Minaj, Rizzle Kicks and someone whose name is whatever Scrabble letters remain once you've spelled Nicki Minaj and Rizzle Kicks.

Bert And Ernie Bumper Car, who these days looks like he's wearing a mask of his own face, killed John Lennon or something when he stopped Candy Flip's Strawberry Fields Forever from getting to number one. In the Eurovision, Engelbert (number of Vanilla Ice collaborations: none) will go head-to-head with Ireland's Jedward (number of Vanilla Ice collaborations: one).Why can't we have Jedward instead? They're a shaved Zig and Zag, which means they're brilliant.

The Eurovision, which this year is in a country far away from everywhere in the world, like Australia or Aberystwyth, can only be a disaster. Let's hope Engelbert updates his performance by(un)dressing up like Rihanna and performing fellatio on an umbrella like she probably did on X Factor once. Engelhumpy Brollydonk.

Even Sun readers, who have had to learn to read on Sundays, are furious:
"To get anywhere in Eurovision in this day and age is difficult for this country.  Look at Blue??  Popular boys in the UK and Europe, good looking, young and can sing... but didn't win.  Old Humperdinck has no chance... I do wish him well but it will be "nill points" for you lad X"
...says a reader who hasn't bought a Blue poster since the early noughties, can't spell a three-letter made-up French word, and blows passive-aggressive kisses.

We should get back to the days where we voted for our Euro entries. Bring back Andy Abraham, Scooch and Gemini, each of whom have won the contest seventeen times (verification needed). Jump-start the virtual corpse of the 200-year-old Cliff Richard (mummification needed).

We haven't got long before Scotland invades the UK. This is our Europe moment: our final countdown.

In short, if Angle Grinder Oompa Loompa doesn't win the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, let's all kill ourselves.

Further Fats: The key change: cheesy elation or pop diazepam?