Thursday 25 August 2016

Bubblebath Episode 01 ft. Mat Dryhurst (for RBMA Radio)

Art by Kim Laughton
The first episode of my new monthly show for RBMA Radio aired a few days ago, and is archived here. Bubblebath is a two-hour show all recorded and edited by me, featuring new, typically lesser known tunes that I'm interested in, segments going for some deeper analysis, and interviews with various people from underground music culture. For the first show, I looked at the pseudo-humanistic style of James Ferraro's Human Story 3 and some other records, and talked to Mat Dryhurst about some of the problems facing underground culture today and his platform Saga. The playlist is below.

People in the US won't be able to listen to the archived version of the show for various legal reasons I'm afraid. If that's you, you might try using a proxy server, especially with different browsers. US listeners can listen to the show live without any problems, though, so I'll make sure to forewarn people in future.

· 00:00:02 – 00:02:41 Julien - Alpha Beat – Calm (from Calm 2

· 00:02:41 – 00:05:28 Alfie Casanova - 4 Play – Calm (from Calm 2

· 00:05:28 – 00:10:16 NKC - Salon Room – Her Records (from Hague Basement

· 00:10:16 – 00:13:03 仮想夢プラザ - 秘密 – Plus 100 Records (from Balance with Useless (extract, background, and again throughout )

· 00:13:03 – 00:18:17 Julien - Day Racer – Orange Milk (from FACE OF GOD

· 00:18:17 – 00:23:52 NV - Bells Burp – Orange Milk (from Binasu

· 00:24:50 – 00:29:57 Easter – Leda – own Bandcamp page (from New Cuisine Part 2

· 00:29:57 James Ferraro – various tracks from Human Story 3 – own Bandcamp page ( (extract, background)

· 00:32:04 - 00:37:32 James Ferraro – Individualism - own Bandcamp page (from Human Story 3

· 00:39:19 – 00:40:31 John Adams – Lollapalooza – Nonesuch (from I Am Love Soundtrack) (extracts)

· 00:40:55 – 00:41:20 Steve Reich – Eight Lines Number 1 - RCA Red Seal (extract)

· 00:41:36 – 00:42:30 Aaron Copland – Allegro from Appalachian Spring - Sony Classical (from Bernstein Century: Copland) (extract)

· 00:43:05 – 00:44:32 Jeffery L. Briggs – CivNet Opening Theme – Microprose (from CivNet Soundtrack) (extract)

· 00:44:48 – 00:45:24 Oneohtrix Point Never – Problem Areas – Warp (from R Plus Seven) (extract)

· 00:45:52 – 00:46:11 Kara-Lis Coverdale – AD_RENALINE – Sacred Phrases (from Aftertouches (extract)

· 00:46:30 – 00:47:04 Giant Claw – DARK WEB 005 – Orange Milk (from DARK WEB (extract)

· 00:47:25 – 00:47:51 Metallic Ghosts – University Village – Fortune 500 (from City of Ableton (extract)

· 00:48:58 – 00:49:59 Torn Hawk – The Romantic – Mexican Summer (from Union and Return) (extract)

· 00:52:12 – 00:55:08 Subaeris – Shadow Portal – Nirvana Port (from Transcendent God

· 00:55:08 – 00:58:23 Subaeris – Beating Heart – Nirvana Port (from Transcendent God

· 00:59:08 – 01:01:16 Klein – Babyfather Chill – own Bandcamp page (from ONLY

· 01:01:16 – 01:03:45 Klein – Make it Rain – own Bandcamp page (from BAIT

· 01:04:49 – 01:47:38 Valentin Silvestrov – Diptych - ECM (from Valentin Silvestrov: Sacred Works) various tracks from Valentin Silvestrov: Silent Songs – ECM (extracts, background)

· 01:49:09 – 01:54:25 Swimful – Atop – SVBKVLT (from PM2.5

· 01:54:25 – 01:58:45 Swimful – Bounce (Simpig Remix) – SVBKBLT (from PM2.5 Remixes

Wednesday 24 August 2016

'Joy 2016' (essay for 3hd festival, where I'll be in October)

Art by Sam Lubicz
3hd festival is back for its second year in Berlin this October, and its website has gone up (click here). I'll be there lecturing and participating in discussions over various aspects of their theme 'There is nothing left but the future.' In the meantime, I wrote an essay for them (click here to read it) sketching some initial thoughts about some of the problems facing musical futurism and musical sarcasm after a summer of violence and Brexit, through the lens of the 'Ode to Joy' from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Wendy Carlos's electronic version of it particularly (incidentally, Jeremy Corbyn, something of a lightning rod for various kinds of political tumult whatever you think of him, recently mentioned listening to Beethoven's 5th).

Beethoven's Ode to Joy has accumulated cultural and political baggage of apparently every different kind, and, especially, in extremes. It has played the role of humanity's highest and most noble achievement and an incitement to horrifying violence both. And it is the anthem of the European Union...

Who needs dehumanising machine music when you have Trump, when you have the rise of hatred the world over?

There is an important difference, of course, between the future and the futuristic. The futuristic is a costume, a thrill, a performance, a caricature, all from within the safety of the present. The future is what actually happens to you and at some point, whoever you are, it will hurt you. What can art and music help us to do and to say before that point?