Oct 3, 2018

Feel the breeze with Vessels

This is Vertical by Leeds band Vessels, a bunch of post-rockers who went techno. Readers, meet Vertical. Vertical, meet my readers.

This is old, from, like, 2015 or something. I know, they made music even in the old days.

Get up to speed with this track's slow-build, enjoy a deliciously wet bassline at the three-minute mark, then watch the whole thing soar. You can feel the wind in your hair with this one.

Sep 30, 2018

Ten things I did in September

Listened to Heart by the Pet Shop Boys twice in a row.

Wrote a short short story AND installed a toilet floor on the same day.

Saw a brace of magpies eat a dead bird.

Went to a space-themed takeaway complete with videos of meteors.

Went to Didsbury Pride, which was a bit like a church fete but with more rainbows.

Upgraded my internet, which is very dull, but it's going to make a big difference for my creative / work gubbins.

Had a baby squirrel climb up my leg then look up at me confused.

Did gigs in Cumbria, Derbyshire and Burnage, the holy tryptich of entertaining places.

Went to a reconstruction of Princess Diana's funeral and had the Daily Star on my back digging for info.

Rediscovered Sun Electric's 1996 album Present (pictured), which mostly passed me by at the time - it's a corker.

Sep 27, 2018

You are enough

Here's s sign that has popped up in several places around Manchester. This one was tweeted by @uomlib_nick. You are enough, it says.

It's an important sentiment, and maybe something we all need to hear. We have nothing more to give than ourselves, and there's nothing greater to give.

The design is the work of Micah Purnell. He's a lovely bloke who seems to have an 'adbusters' chip in his brain: he has a particular talent for subverting brand imagery. He once designed one of my stories, a frame I still have on display in my living room.

So why the serious post, Fats, and what's this got to do with anything?

You know when you see something differently? The vase instead of the faces? The blue dress instead of the gold dress? It's happened here. I cannot unsee this poster's unintended double-meaning of ambient musician disgust.

You see it too now, right? You are Eno, ugh! Poor Brian.

It's doesn't erase its original meaning though: actually, that quirk has now made this one of my favourite poster designs. If you want some Micah Purnell Design Studio merch in your life, including this poster, head to this website. You should - he deserves the coin.

Because, y'know, maybe you're NOT enough and you need merchandise to complete your life. Dammit. I've missed the point, haven't I.

Sep 24, 2018

Too long, didn't watch? Jon Hopkins' new video for Singularity

For those who are simply too busy to watch a whole video, here's what happens in the new Jon Hopkins promo for Singularity, directed by Seb Edwards.


Bloke comes back from the newsagents. Stands in a puddle for a bit. A woman listens to his leather jacket. They pretend they're Torvill and Dean and she's like, shut up, I'm that Peep Show guy doing Flashdance. And he's like, let me go into this other room to see what's there. He checks the radiator's on. We never find out if the radiator's on. After a bit of a spin, they pop into the woods for a fag.

I think that covers it.

Sep 22, 2018

Is Aphex Twin's Collapse EP any good?

Yes. Of course it is. Don't be stupid.

Considering he's been splattering out tracks like the biggest nosebleed in the universe, Aphex Twin's latest Collapse EP seems to have clotted enough to catch plenty of attention.

Lead track T69 Collapse seems to squidge together his skippy Syro style with the cascading Windowlicking of his earlier work, and it does it to great effect. The insectoid dice rattle on 1st 44 is a real ear-tickler.

And keep an eye on the clattery and insanely melodic MT1 t29r2: it's one of his cheekiest tracks and may well end up being a live favourite. If it's not already.

The whole EP is jittery, certainly much more than 2016's Cheetah EP, but never loses its groove.

Strange, isn't it. You blast out over 200 tracks on Soundcloud, and all the beat-geeks rake through the material, with nothing getting much attention beyond forums and the occasional thinkpiece. You package up a few tracks with Warp, slap the dizzying artwork around a few tube stations, and everyone's abuzz. It's nice.

He's come a long way for a dancing teddy bear.

Sep 5, 2018

Pop-up Fat Roland - some upcoming gigs

Hello there, internet. I've done another video. It's a bit like a serial killer doing another murder but, er, you can subscribe to my nefarious feeds.

You'll never catch me, rozzers. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha etc...

This one's about some upcoming gigs, but it's not just bland promotion. Honest. It's got spiders in! Actually, I lied, there are no spiders but watch it anyway. Thanks.

Aug 31, 2018

Listify my Spotify: Sun Electric, Moderat, Surgeon & morr

Here's what has been plopping up on my Spotify recently.

As you know, Spotify has a "random" function, where it chucks all of your mp3s into a tombola. It picks them out one by one, and no one gets a prize at the end. Here's an arbitrary chunk of ten (see picture) 

I've deleted all the duplicate artists in this list. Also, I nixed a Transglobal Underground track because I really wanted to get Skee Mask in there. It's cheating. Sue me.

What should I add to my Spotify playlist? Hit me up in the comments below.

Aug 26, 2018

Back to the Edinburgh Fringe

I went to the Edinburgh Fringe and it was good.

My previous visits have been frantic, either because I was only visiting for a few days or I was doing a show. This year, I went for a full week which gave me time to go for meals and drink with friends and be a normal human being.

That said, I did see a lot of shows. My highlights were:

> Garry Starr fully standing on my lap and making me do a lady-and-the-tramp with spaghetti

> Barbara Nice's wonderful show Raffle which is, er, a raffle

> Lou Sanders mentioning 2 Unlimited and totally losing it

> Competing with Abby Oliveira in the Loud Poets game show and just having the best time

> Having Brian Gittins asking me my top 50,000 types of horse and being prepared because he asked me the same thing in last year's show AND I'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT IT ALL YEAR

> Recounting my time at a racist guest house for Tales of Whatever (pictured above: me and the Tales chaps)

> And so many other good performers: Foxdog Studios, the Delightful Sausage, John-Luke Roberts, Sean Morley, Sheeps, Beach Hunks, the list goes on, except it doesn't because I've stopped typing it

I didn't bring my Seven Inch show to this year's Fringe because the set design, which is rather integral to the whole thing, is too complex and/or bulky for touring.

That said, I've got some big ole live shows coming up (check my live page), so I'm currently formulating a new hour of material. And with a week full of Fringe audiencing still rattling in my head, I'm not short of inspiration.

Aug 13, 2018

Top Four Tips Of Writing Good

Do you like words? Do you like making words with a pen, or perhaps with a keyboard?

Here are some writing tips in the form of a brand new video I've recorded and edited (below). It's only two minutes long and it's hardly sophisticated, but it took me about six weeks to make. Lawks. Please, Gods Of Simple Animation, make the next one quicker. The music you hear in the background is also by me, using my magical musical fingers.

It's all a load of stupid, but for people doing creative writing, there are pretty solid tips in here. I'm your mother, sneaking in vegetables with distraction techniques.

Open wide...

Aug 4, 2018

Cain's Savan comes with dashings of Delhi

Back in early 2015, when all this was just fields, I praised the "epic playfulness" of Cain's Savan EP. Cain is a Scottish DJ who's played with Amon Tobin and Mike Paradinas, so my blog comment must have been, er, just the boost his career needed.

I recently revisited the EP and now I'm obsessed with it. I'm playing it over and over again. I don't know what it is - it's so tuneful, so fun, and drizzled with dashings of Delhi-style melody. Nagan is especially brill.

It's funny how a record can reappear from the past and grab you more than ever before .The same thing happened with Death In Vegas's Dead Elvis album. Have a listen to Cain below.

Incidentally, Cain is back with a new extended play. The Eshu EP came out a couple of weeks ago and is positively tribal.

Jul 31, 2018

A special message from thingy from the Prodigy

Hello there, I am Kevin from the Prodigy or whatever my name is. I would like to tell you about Need Some1, my brand new single wot is out on gramophone.

Need Some1 sounds like Jilted Generation on spice, and it's got guitar riffs, sirens and an extended kazoo solo.

Excuse me, I just need to get the phone. Hello? Oh hi Tarquin. We're losing the kazoo solo? That's a shame. Okay bye, love to Elspeth.

Where was I? Oh yes. My brand new single contains a sample from Loleatta Holloway. You might remember her from being the shouty voice from Black Box, or from being the shouty voice from Marky Mark, or from being the shouty voice from that time I hid in her garden pretending to be a gnome.

I like being in the Prodigy and when Fat Raymond (it's Fat Roland - FR) asked me to write this, I was dead excited. I created a new Word document and began to write because I'm a file starter, a twisted file starter.

Thanks for reading everyone. Yours sincerely, Steve from the Prodigy whatever his name is really must google it before publishi--

Jul 30, 2018

From ammunition tunnels to veganism: it's Orbital's PHUK

Yesterday, I flapped on about ancient techno titans Underworld's new single. On a related note, Orbital are back with a track called PHUK (see video below).

According to this interview with Consequence of Sound, PHUK is about:

> bankers
> demons
> Brexit
> empire
> ammunition tunnels
> the 1990s
> middle age
> veganism
> inclusivity
> trousers

I may have made that last one up, although I'm pretty sure PHUK stands for "Paul Hartnoll, Underpants Killer."

Their new album Monsters Exist is out in mid-September. It features the voice of Professor Brian Cox, which I presume is him just going "wow, these synthesisers are amazing, they've got buttons, look at the buttons".