Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Richard Hell: The Past & Present of Destiny Street

Monday, 29 March 2021

David Asher: On-U Sound Sunday Roast (3/21)

Peter York (On This Day BBC 1983)

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Evgenia Kovda on David Cronenberg and procreation horror
And the brand played on: Bob Dylan at 80

Roxy Music - Re-make/Re-model Ladytron & Grey Lagoons (Full House 25/11/72)

+ Would You Believe? (Live At The Bataclan Paris 11/72)

Bitcoin is Punk Rock with Keith Levene

Martin Rushent & Clare Grogan (Riverside BBC 1982

DevHool Presents A Hitrun Records Mix

Hitrun Records was a pre On-U Sound label run by Adrian Sherwood
A new power has risen in Australian politics - and it's not coming quietly
Stream DJ Muggs & Flee Lord’s New Collaborative Album Rammellzee

Snakeman Show – In The '90s (The Adrian Sherwood Remix)

Discogs Snakeman Show

Lo Mismo - Everything In The Way


ReKall - Rhythm & Sound in 100 Minutes

Paul St. Hilaire/Tikiman Tribute Mix 1 Tracklist 
Paul St. Hilaire/Tikiman Tribute Mix 2 Tracklist

Richard Lowenstein: Unabridged 'Dogs In Space' Script (1985)

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Rick Morton on Love and Trauma

The journalist and author was diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder in 2019. In this recording of Guardian Australia’s monthly book club, he discusses his book My Year of Living Vulnerably, which explores how trauma affects the brain, and how part of getting better is through learning to love 

Helmut Newton - The Bad and the Beautiful (2021)


Wednesday, 24 March 2021

He Had an R.V., a Camera and a Plan to Document America. Was That Enough?
How Jamaica shaped the creative spirit and evolution of music production
Venus Flytraps Have Magnetic Fields Like the Human Brain

Good moaning

Scott Walker’s Eleven Kinds Of Loneliness

Sunday, 21 March 2021

And another thing...

It goes without saying that you should be following Joan Cornellà

Great. Just when I'd learnt how to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull

The Common Breath has a great interview with one my favourite Scottish novelists Alan Warner and there is an excerpt from his new novel 434 here. White Rabbit founded by Lee Brackstone ex of the Fabre Social (the music and culture side of Faber has now been integrated into Faber Books itself ) are certainly getting a formidable catalogue together in my eyes at least and Lee has been offering great metal WR logo badges (the Tufty Club for deviants) completely free no matter where are you are in the world so do follow him on Twitter An interview with Alan here at The Guardian and their review by M John Harrison

Glasgow writer James Kelman's site is also worth checking out espacially in the media section where interesting articles, essays and interviews are posted.

I posted an old set from Crown of Thorns the other day here's a video I shot at the local pub in Fairfield where Chris was brought up and this song below was based on a real incident at the Alphington 7/11 many years ago Here's the wonderful Live At The Continental album with Shane O'Mara on guitars and Jex Saarelaht on piano and organ with Chris on vocals and harmonica Here's a documentary about the album 23 years on  

Jason Lee's film journal is also worth checking out

A new interview with Jonathan Richman at Aquarium Drunkard

Why America fails at gathering hate crime statistics 

Following on from the On-U Sound posts here's ten minutes of Prince Far I & Creation Rebel backstage in Zurich 1983 and here's my x-wife's memory of the man with the 'voice of thunder':

It was Wednesday, so it's reggae night at Dingwalls and the night was just starting, no one in yet. This guy comes up to the bar and orders a Snowball, which is advocaat and lemonade. I may have rolled my eyes, but I might not have done anything at all either. I was usually polite to customers. The liqueurs are at the other end of the bar and, I mean, it's a Snowball-messy to make, generally a pain.
I bring it back to him and he orders another. Couldn't he have ordered both at the same time? Then he orders another, then another, until there are seven Snowballs in front of him, all ordered one at a time. I'm well pissed off by this time. It's obvious he's winding me up and he gets more cocky with every order.
I tell him how much it's going to cost and he says, "I don't pay," in his Jamaican accent, deep voice, slow and deliberate. But I didn't know that he was "someone," unlike us plebs bar staff. Seven bloody Snowballs there and this guy isn't going to pay.
I'm so pissed off that I start to climb over the bar to have a go at him (not sure what I would have actually done. I've never actually fought someone. But I came close to getting into my first bar fight that night.) Probably lucky for me that Kevin the bar manager was nearby and he grabbed my collar to pull me back, telling Prince Far I that of course he doesn't have to pay and whispering to me that he's tonight's star attraction and its part of the rider.

I never have forgiven Prince Far I for those Snowballs. When Tim plays his music now I still remember that night. RIP.

Finally raise your glass of whatever to the man who turned 85 yesterday

Andy Fairley - System Vertigo

A poet and recording artist prominent on the 80s post-punk scene in Bristol, Andy's only credited 'solo' album was the underrated 1992 "System Vertigo" set (ON-U LP61) - essentially a collection of his writings set to solid rhythms built by Sherwood et al. at On-U Sound
Crazy Dreams and High Ideals: A Guide to The New Age Steppers

New Name Logo & Letterhead

My thanks to ChrisH for the potatoshopping

The Stooges (Hordern Pavilion Sydney 3/4/13)

David Bowie is The Man Who Fell To Earth (Redux: A Nacho Documentary 2021)

This is a film about a film – Nic Roeg’s 1976 esoteric science fiction movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring David Bowie and Candy Clark. This is a 2021 revised version of the original 2017 documentary, released now to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the movie’s premiere at the Leicester Square Theatre in London, on the 18th of March 1976. 

Say Their Names

Via Futura

Friday, 19 March 2021

Jesse Rae & The Strange Parcels - Jacob's Pillow

Jesse Rae & The Strange Parcels - Victory Horns

As we are having a bit of an On-U Sound day here at Exile Towers I thought I'd play one of my favourite Adrian Sherwood productions. Every note is perfection in Victory Horns


Jesse the proudly-Scottish singer and songwriter, renowned for his fondness for traditional battle-dress, discusses his 1995 ISDN Compression album with Wendy E. Ball, recorded during his time of collaboration with Adrian Sherwood: "How the idea started was that, coming from the Borders [***Ed.: ...of Scotland, specifically St. Boswells...***] and then going away and living abroad in the States for many years, I always wanted to come back, have a family and live here again. But I was concerned that there wasn’t a music industry in Scotland and I was hoping, twelve years ago, that there was at least the start. So I thought I'd come back having timed it right. Just shows you how wrong I was! "So I had to figure away and was thinking, "How do I still hook up with my friends who were thousands of miles away?" I’d heard a story from a friend of mine, who was an engineer in New York, that Capitol Records in LA were doing a recording with Frank Sinatra in his house and he was having guest artists coming in through the telephone line. So I thought I’d find out more about it. I was really desperate to make this album with my friends before they all dispersed all over the place. "I hadn’t the money to go back out and live there for six months to do it and I couldn’t get a record company to pay for it so I contacted BT [***Ed.: ...a big phone company in the UK...***] and I found a really good bloke called Ray Pritchard who was into my music and stuff. He said that they were trying to launch ISDN in 1992-3. I said to him "Look, I’ll make you a deal. You install the ISDN lines here and I’ll give you my music to promote so that you can show off what it’s capable of doing." That’s really how it came about." 
 So when did this, this come out? 
 "1995. It took about a year. The whole ISDN system was just up and running and so, for instance, we did the first [link] through to Africa and rhino and all sorts of things would run over the lines and they'd be out! So there were things that were kind of difficult to get back on line quickly. You know, until some, some wee lad goes out there with a pair of wire clippers and puts it back together again, you know? So, eventually I managed to install ISDN lines in a studio which I’d used in America called ‘House of Music’ in Orange, New Jersey. That’s the home of the P-Funk - the funkadelic lot of the top black musicians that inspired Prince and all that other stuff. They were my pals there and so it was easy for them to come in and do some stuff." 
Would it not need a lot of logistical organisation, you know, when it’s sort of midnight in New York?
"I had a huge phone bill to begin with. Now ISDN is a penny a minute or something and it’s really cheap, you know. At the time it was quite expensive. It was like, a pound a minute and we were on-line for eight hours sometimes! They [BT] paid for that just 'til we got to the stage where we'd got the recordings done. After that, then I had to try and finance the thing myself. "It was interesting to say the least that, you know, I could sing Umhlaba Jikelele with someone in Africa and they were singing with me. I also organised this live television shoot with ISDN as well, so that I had a TV monitor here and I had a cameraman running out with the long cable that went about fifty metres back to the studio. They had a PA out in the streets, and I was speaking in real time, telling him the shots I wanted and telling the girls to sing, when to come in on the beat and stuff. This was amazing. There was a real friendliness about the thing and that’s what really pleased me - because then I realised the potential of that and especially sound quality ... you could hear everything so clearly." 
 Has it been repeated, the experience?
"There was this group Future Sound Of London. They got a lot of glory for it but we were actually first because I put the ISDN lines into On-U Sound. On-U Sound with Adrian Sherwood was doing the big dub. They did a lot of reggae and they were a purist kind of dub funk lot that had a lot of respect in the industry but weren’t, like, the big commercial end of things. Future Sound Of London after we had done it brought out a record that they had done through ISDN but not to the extent we had." 
You were talking about the track Braveheart?
"Yeh, Braveheart. I did a live ISDN show in Glasgow. I really don’t think people knew what the hell I was doing to be quite honest. But I had the video screen up, we had the video, we had Doug Wimbish from Living Colour, Skip McDonald from Tackhead and the heavy duty lads playing live in London." 
What about the relationship between the audience and the performer? Is that not lacking a bit? 
"Well, you see, what I did was to compensate for that. I stuck a mike up in the room and I stuck a mike up in Glasgow so the, the audience could shout along and, shout things to the bass player or the drummer and they could respond to it, which is really the whole point of communication doing a live gig. If the audience were just sitting and watching a screen and listening to incoming sound, and they weren’t actually able to participate, but if they whistled and they clapped and they shouted something for Keith LeBlanc, he'd lifted his drumstick and he waved it at them and he played something. "It allowed that contact element that maybe might not have been there unless I’d done that. But I was aware of that and I thought, "Well, they’re just going to think they’re watching a tape. How are they going to know it’s live?", I mean one bloke was heckling away there and he was adamant about it, you know. And Doug just turned round and said, "What the hell’s wrong with you man. Sit doon!" You know. Well, he’s American but he said it in those terms and the guy was just sort of dumbfounded that he could see them in the club in Glasgow and was telling them to sit down! So no, the potential of it is amazing and I’m glad I’ve done it."

(Re-edited extracts from an interview originally transcribed in the Scottish Borders Memory Bank)

The first time I played Compression I got the shock of my life as there was the distinctive tones of my old PE teacher in Glasgow blaring out of the speakers. A man who had just had to give up his rugby playing because of injury and seemed to delight in terrorising us kids that had absolutely no interest in that game. He was a bastard then but he went on to coach the British Lions and is famous for one of sport's most motivational speeches. 
Nearly 50 years on I almost forgive him but I still can't stand rugby. There's a new version of Compression due out soon called Global 95 which I'm looking forward to hearing

Here's Jesse Rae backed by Tackhead's Skip McDonald and Doug Wimbish playing 'Inside Out' which Jesse wrote but became a big hit for Odyssey

An update from Jesse:

High Ideals & Crazy Dreams

Mutant Dub Files - Episode 2: Adrian Sherwood's ON U Sound Label LP 1-20

Memories of New Age Steppers playing their only gig at North London Polytechnic back in May 1981

New Age Steppers: Stepping Into A New Age (1980-2012)

An anthology set of the group that launched the On-U Sound label with the first album and single, New Age Steppers were a collective with an evolving line-up, built around the driving forces of Ari Up (The Slits) and producer Adrian Sherwood 
Their records featured contributions from several singers and players from the UK post-punk vanguard such as the Pop Group, The Raincoats and The Flying Lizards; colliding with established movers from the reggae world such as Bim Sherman, Style Scott and George Oban. 

Adrian Sherwood & Ari Up (Photo by Kishi Yamamoto) 

1. Fade Away 
2. Radial Drill 
3. State Assembly 
4. Crazy Dreams and High Ideals 
5. Abderhamane’s Demise 
6. Animal Space 
7. Love Forever 
8. Private Armies 

1.My Whole World 
2. Observe Life 
3. Got To Get Away 
4. My Love 
5. Problems 
6. Nuclear Zulu 
7. Guiding Star 

1. Some Love 
2. Memories 
3. 5 Dog Race 
4. Misplaced Love 
5. Dreamers 
6. Stabilizer 
7. Stormy Weather 
8. Vice Of My Enemies 
9. Mandarin 

1. Conquer 
2. My Nerves 
3. Love Me Nights 
4. The Scheisse Song 
5. Musical Terrorist 
6. The Fury Of Ari 
7. Wounded Animal 
8. The Worst Of Me 
9. Revelation 
10. The Last Times 
11. Death Of Trees 

1. Aggro Dub Version 
2. Send For Me 
3. Izalize 
4. Unclear 
5. Singing Love 
6. I Scream (Rimshot) 
7. Avante Gardening 
8. Wide World Version 
9. Some Dub 
10. May I Version 

Black Circle Records

Designing The New Age: The Art Of Andy Martin

Today is the day the 'avant-gardeners' arrive

Sun City Girls - Gladtree Festival (Amherst MA 10/4/04)

Alan Bishop (Sublime Frequencies) has a monthly radio show archived

Once Upon A Time in the Maghreb

Jason Isbell - Cover Me Up (Austin City Limits)

Peter Brötzmann: Tree on Hill 2 (Ink and instant coffee on paper 2009)

Peter Brötzmann Paintings & Objects

Peter Brötzmann: Along The Way (Artwork from 2010 - 2020)

Being on the road so much, the time-space between the tours is not long enough for preparing big canvases and starting oil-paintings. You use what’s on the table - paper, cardboard, an empty cigar box, pens, felts and brushes, ink in a glass or a Chinese ink stone. You use what there is and that’s what we musicians call improvising and that’s what the works in this book are about [and my life too]: IMPROVISATION 
Peter Brötzmann, Wuppertal, October 2020 

Texts by Brötzmann, Stephen O'Malley, John Corbett, Karl Lippegaus, Heather Leigh, Sotiris Kontos, Thomas Millroth, Markus Müller 
228 pages, in English, hardcover, first edition 2021

Thursday, 18 March 2021

My eldest kids thirty odd years ago...

No Opinion (Anti-Thought)

Richard Hell by Martyn Goldacre (London 1994)

...Oh But man these are all about THAT jacket!

Kevin Richard Martin - White Light / Red Light


Kevin Richard Martin confesses he has "always had a love/hate relationshipwith the saxophone.". "After you hear Pharoah Sanders, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler or Peter Brotzmann even, you just question any possibility of finding a fresh sound or approach, due to the instant connotations the sound has.." Having given up professionally playing the instrument since 'Curse of the Golden Vampire's 'Mass Destruction' in 2003, he may have temporarily lost the will to blow the horn, but he hadnt lost the long term aim to "reduce its sound to pure gulf stream air" by other means. So for both 'White Light' and 'Red Light', Kevin decided to resample his old sax recordings, and additionally explore various sound libraries/vst instruments as the departure point, to see just how heavily the instrument could be chopped, screwed, stretched and dubbed in his lab, to try and locate his "own sound". Martin informs me enthusiastically, "there were no other sounds or sources utilised on these albums, other than saxophone or additionally, specifically synthetic sax, filtered through layer upon layer, wave upon wave of fx..." 

More on White Light here and Red Light here

Mark Stewart's Booker's Dozen

Mark Stewart answers thirteen questions 

'I don't do nothing' (1911 Census Glasgow)


James King & The Lone Wolves - Fly Away & Fun Patrol

Nick Cave: Things I’m Not Happy With (1978)

'I wrote that when I was very young … and confused. I’m very glad I didn’t implement some of those changes. Mick, for example, became my chief collaborator, completely indispensable, for twenty years, and Phill, well, I always had a real soft spot for Phill, he was a lovely guy, but his drumming was ultimately at odds with what the band wanted to do, I think' 
From ‘Stranger Than Kindness' 
Photo by Ashley Mackevicius