one faint deluded smile

Friday, April 29, 2005



Well, that's torn it completely - I've started to enjoy Jazz records.

And I don't mean the kind where Miles Davis blows cool in the 50s. And I don't mean the kind of Jazz that's been ripped apart by rock (Soft Machine) or drones (The Necks) or avant leanings (Carla Bley) or tampered with in any other way. I just mean the kind where talented, sometimes egotistical people take solos over beautifully complicated chords and melodies.

Interestingly, the ones that have brought on this brain explosion are piano trios (with some extras). I've got one other such record in my collection - Bill Evans at the Village Vanguard - that always felt rather delicious every time I put it on. (Even if the very name reeked of all things I should have abhored).

Now (via reviews in The Wire) I've heard 2 lovely releases from this year.

First off is Tord Gustavsen whose latest record, "The Ground", is just drop dead gorgeous with lots of empty space, stately chords and simple accompaniement:

mp3: Edges of Happiness

Then there's E.S.T.'s "Viaticum" which is a bit more group orientated and has a less staid nature but is still overseen by effortless piano playing.:

mp3: Tide Of Trepidation

I don't feel any great admiration or wonder for these obviously marvellous pianists. Isn't that what how you're supposed to react? Give them a huge round of applause after another lengthy solo, followed by another round of applause as the next member of the trio trakes the next solo, etc, etc, ad infinitum.

However, I do feel moved by the music they're making. Which is much more than can be said for approximately 90% of the stuff I'm hearing this year.

Or maybe I'm just getting old and I'll wind up with a 3,000 arcane live recordings of some be-bop sax player taking up space in my living room.

[edit] I've just been told by Ian (who should know) that EST aren't really proper jazz. And, no, I suppose they're not with all their slightly trippy rhythms and long sections of deeply ambient tinkling and occassional rock elements. So that's all OK then. I can now breathe easier.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


polyfusia cover image

I know next to nothing about Seefeel. They existed wholely within a timeframe when music was the farthest thing from my mind. But once I did discover them near the end of last century I was smitten (well, at least a tiny little bit).

I'd read somewhere that they made electronic music without the use of synthesisers! I have no idea if this is true (all the time) but the results are certainly electronic, flooded with effects and echo and reverb. And loops - don't forget the loops, will you? It may be hard to get them out of your mind once you've heard them. And 'dub' - you won't be forgetting that either as it's an omnipresent thud to underline it all.

Unfortunately, I can really only recommend their album "Quique" as the one you'd need to buy(if you still can - I got mine through CDUniverse in 1999). It has the standard elements that they use in all their recordings but the repititions are better and the chord progressions are wonderfull instead of being just slightly interesting.

2 mp3s from this album then:

Filter Dub (8mb)
Imperial (6mb)

The main seefeel page is here which has all the links you can possibly find and even more audio for your listening pleasure.

Monday, April 25, 2005

A Different Rip

Simon Reynolds has just released "Rip It Up And Start Again", his history of Post-Punk 1978-1984.

As I emailed to him:

in the intro he pretty much pins down how i felt, at least, about the possibilites that seemed to be in the air, ready to be caught by anyone who wanted to make the effort. there are paragraphs on end where my youthfull feelings and attitudes flooded back.

the writing's terrific - full of enthusiasm and ideas, extremely wide ranging and very easy to read (as his work normally is). i hope it goes really well for him.

ofcourse, i'm dissappointed that the Australian scene only gets a cursory mention but i can perfectly understand why he focused on the main cities and protagonists. i imagine that there must have been times when the mamouth width of the subject matter must have overwhelmed him. at this early stage of my reading it seems like he managed to fit it all in perfectly.

in any case, there's an acknowledgement in the book and there's an aussie section in the discography part 2 pdf file on the faber web site.

one thing i was reminded of : in the intro he mentions bowie and his saving of iggy with those 2 great berlin albums. my friends and i used to go and see radio birdman all the time 75-77 at "the funhouse", their grotty pub residency in darlinghurst. it was my first experience of stooges material and i've loved it all ever since. we knew all the fans and hangers on there to some extent - most went onto become members of the post-birdman bands who slavishly followed the early 70s detroit rock formula and reigned in sydney for years and years and years and years. so, a while after we stopped going to the birdman gigs, the voigt/465 crew were walking up sydney's oxford street one day just after "the idiot" was released and we met up with a bunch of these guys - all low slung jeans and manly physiques. they were carrying a copy of "low" and "the idiot" and were wailing about how bowie had ruined iggy, made him all un-rock. i think they went to a record store after that and tried to destroy all the copies of the albums they could find. they basically had the same stupidity as the UK OI! crowd, i think. we just couldn't believe that these people couldn't see how great those albums were. every friend we made in that time period had copies of those 2 records + this heat + pere ubu + scritti in their small collections.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Words Fail Me

Absencen Girl

Yes, words have failed me in the past week or 2. And nothing much has changed - I just can't seem to string together a valid commentary in my head so it seemed entirely pointless to post something here. But I have heard a lot of good music which I wanted to share...

mp3: Charming Hostess - Heaven Sitting Down - patchouli is rife in this band but, amazingly, this track is just so unlike hippy heaven
mp3: Kammerflimmer Kollektief - Lichterloh - slow burning jazz a'la Carla Bley but add some abience as well
mp3: Mahjongg - The Stubborn Horse - a Dandy Warhol's track wonderously appears amidst a stack of cracked electro songs
mp3: Shining - Aleister Explains Everything - Hatfield and the North take enormous amounts of cocaine
mp3: Stronen-Storlokken - Acrobat - mix the Residents with the Silver Apples and what do ya get?
mp3: Aimee Mann - She Really Wants You - loathed it / loved it / loathed it / loved it: no wonder Aimee isn't a huge star when even an avowed fan gets the shits with her
mp3: Madeleine Peyroux - Between The Bars - smokey blues vocals and an Elliot Smith cover - what more could you want: this century's "one for my baby"
mp3: Martha Wainwright - Who Was I Kidding - delicate and emotional: the best thing on her dissapointing album

Friday, April 01, 2005

More Ripping

new pic, new pic!

I've amended the web site and added all the mp3s to A Slow Rip