Sep 30, 2019

I lost my Aphex Twinginity

I think I've just popped a cherry. Not an actual cherry. A techno cherry. I've popped a techno cherry.

I went to see Aphex Twin. Despite me lapping up his oozing bleeps since his early days, it just struck me that I don't think I'd ever seen him live before. Call myself a fan? Pfffrt.

Maybe he never did that many live dates. Maybe I was too scared to go - the teddy bears! the teddy bears! Or more likely, maybe I was lazy. I also missed out on Underworld back in ye olden days.

I'm probably going to write about the Aphex Twin gig properly at some point. In short: he did 90 minutes and he was ace and the support acts were ace and everything was ace. For now here are some tweets I did on Twitter.

Sep 9, 2019

Happy 909 day

Happy 909 day, everyone. Here's a pair of hands singing cutely over some Roland TR-909 rhythms.

And if that's not enough, here's a video of someone jamming on the 909, posted earlier today.

What do you mean you want more? Oh alright then. Here's Daft Punk's 1998 single Revolution 909, which missed out on the top 40 in the week Brimful Of Asha made its debut at the top of the charts. Good track, but it's no Revolution 909.


Sep 3, 2019

Five things: from Spice Girls to Underworld with a bit of Toy Story inbetween

Here are five things I got up to this week.

1. Got proud

I went to Didsbury Pride, which is a celebration of LGBTQ+ people by Emmanuel church in Manchester, the church I went to for many years back in the olden days. It's a wonderful thing, and when I got there everyone was drinking spirits and dancing to the Spice Girls. I didn't recognise anyone, so I hung around awkwardly for ten minutes and then went home. Ah well. It's still a wonderful thing.

2. Got silly

I co-hosted Bad Language, the monthly spoken word night I run with Joe Daly. I'd missed the July one as I was in Edinburgh, so it was great to be back. And for some reason it was packed. Mid-week after a bank holiday weekend and everyone came out to party. Nutters, the lot of you. I'd been to a funeral earlier in the day, so it was just the tonic to be silly in front of an audience all night.

3. Got confused

This happened in a coffee shop:

Me: What drinks do you have that don't have tea or coffee in?
Barista: You don't drink coffee?
Me: No.
Barista: How about a tea?
Me: I don't drink tea. I'd like an iced drink.
2nd barista walking in: You don't drink coffee or ICE?!

4. Got annoyed

I saw Toy Story 4 and blubbed. I always blub at films. Oh and I started series two of Mindhunter, a grisly serial killer drama where you don't really see the grisly bits. It's such a good programme, although it fell for a well-worn trope. In one scene, like so many other programmes, they dubbed feedback over people talking talk into microphones. This doesn't happen unless sound is being mismanaged or it's an actual soundcheck. Stop doing it, programme makers! *squeeeals*

5. Got listenin'

I've been listening to things. Every other day on my Twitter account, I post a "you should be listening to" recommendation, old or new or somewhere inbetween. I've recently plugged Antwood, D-Shake, Underworld, Daphni and Jamie xx. To hear my nuggets of audio wisdom. follow me on the tweets.

Sep 1, 2019

An acid-tweaking return for 808 State

One of this summer’s bestest things is the return of 808 State.

You might know 808 State from that saxophone thing they did back in the olden days. They also helped define modern techno through the rise of Detroit house and the Hacienda. Wikipedia also says 808's Graham Massey was a member of the Barbie Girl Danish pop band Aqua, but I’m pretty sure they’re linking to the wrong Aqua there.

The band’s comeback album is Transmission Suite - their first for seventeen years. In the past, they’ve blurted out quite dense techno, but this new material feels looser. It’s acid-tweakin’ paranoid rave gubbins by grizzled Mancunians who get drug flashbacks when taking their Rennie’s. Sometimes old ravers slow down, but there’s plenty of improvisational energy in this new material.

They recorded it at the old Granada studios in Manchester, formerly home to TV broadcasts like Coronation Street, World In Action and, er, The Chase. The nicest thing is you can feel Manchester’s club history running through Transmission Suite like day-glo varicose veins: it’s giving me flashbacks of gigs at the Boardwalk and Sankeys Soap.

There's also a strong feeling of paranoia in their new work - very appropriate for our current times, I think. Have a nosey at their moody video for Tokyo Tokyo and you'll see what I mean.

Further Fats: RIP Tony Wilson aka "Mr Manchester" 33AD to 2007AD inclusive (2007)

Further Fats: How do you solve a problem like Madchester (and Fac251)? (2010)