on life, music etc beyond mainstream


On paper this film sounds extravagantly silly. Basically what it is, is a bunch of old people smashing things up.




And as much as I’d love to be able to do an essay on it and talk about how – not unlike William Blake’s „Songs of Innocence and Experience“ from 220 years earlier – its simplicity (or rather apparent simplicity) defies any attempt to nail it down with words. TRASH HUMPERS, like Blake’s fireworks-in-your-synapses work, is free. You’re free too, to ignore it or call it dumb. I call it fucking genius. I saw it at the cinema – and as you can see in the above pictures, bought the DVD and also the book. The book was an ex-display copy I got cheap from the (it has to be said: miraculous) Magma bookshop on Oldham Street, Manchester. The first few leaves show light wear but the remainder of the volume is in crisp condition. Also, being display copy, the shop had fitted the book with a heavy duty plastic dustsheet. There is a card insert someplace inside the book, with the publishing company’s address in Zurich. It is a good book – some of the pictures in it are actually removeable stickers although why anyone would pay money for a book like this and then stick the stickers to, like a lamp post or somehing is beyond me. The book doesn’t have much in the way of words, just very bare sentences surrounded by white space that say things like „They sleep in junk piles with sleeping bags“. I am guessing that these (fewer than 20) sentences form the film’s script/screenplay.


Quite soon:  Into Eternity

2016 24 Okt

Joseph Beuys in Edinburgh.

| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | 1 Kommentar


Joseph Beuys and Edinburgh go way back.

Walk around Scotland’s capital city long enough and sooner or later, Beuys will appear. A real presence. The most recent encounter: a late afternoon Saturday, late October 2026 (or 2016, my DeLorean is ****ed these days). I was on my way someplace else, passing through Edinburgh’s north-west side on foot. And it was nearly evening and the gallery this poster belongs to was closed for business.

But it was great to see a friendly face. So great. A comfort. And if you play Psychogeography, the two things you don’t get are: 1. a map; 2. an itinerary. Is Joseph Beuys really dead though? Art never sleeps. Even when the gallery is shut and you’re off someplace else, there it is.

2016 18 Okt


| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | 2 Kommentare

Assange and The Big Money
The Snowden reference Lajla made in the previous post provides me with a perfect link to this post. (Great Gabriel lyric there Lajla, by the way.) Anyway:

Yesterday I stood just ten metres away from Julian Assange. I didn’t see him. Maybe he saw me. Who knows? Thousands of people pass Assange every day, most probably unaware that behind a net curtain, there he is – on his exercise bike, or watching the news on cable, or both.

Whenever I go to Knightsbridge I always stand on that corner for 30 seconds or so. For a good while there was a uniformed police presence on the corner. Then for a few months there was a presence that didn’t identify itself. Now there is nobody. It’s not a part of the area you’d much notice – Harrods‘ loading bay is at the end of the short street, and the Ecuadorian flag flies from the bay window of the Embassy where, in a presumably small and airless room, a weird captivity plays out, at length, while – in a very real sense – history slowly unfolds around it.

From a pyschogeographical viewpoint there is something fascinating here. You have the unstoppable flow of people everywhere – and of money too, with One Hyde Park (or whatever it is called) just across the road. London’s most expensive new development, architected by the same guy who did the Pompidou.

In most new developments you’ll get a few retail units that house a coffee shop, a deli, things of these nature. At One Hyde Park the retail units are McLaren cars, a private Islamic bank, and Rolex Watches. In the walkway between the buildings there is a recess maybe ten feet square, unused, where for some reason the building’s wall isn’t flush. There are spikes on the paving in the recess, to deter anyone from sleeping there. They look like a large version of the spikes used on window ledges to deter pigeons. Pure JG Ballard.

Anyway, it’s totally weird to walk between these points so close together and on the one hand see the river of big money and the almost overwhelming amount of people passing through, while on the other, a window behind which the feeling of stasis can only be injurious to mental health.
Brockwell Park
No adventure in pyschogeography should have an itinerary. Psychogeography is not a narrative, although I guess there’s an element of narratives overlapping or colliding. A friend called, she said do you want to meet for coffee. I said yes, let’s meet at Brockwell Park. So we went to Brockwell Park. Which was remarkably free of Hundescheiße.

The coffee was good but the weather turned cold and it started to rain and I had to go to Stoke Newington so that was that. It’s an unremarkable park but it has that sense of South London invincibility.
The Isle Of Dogs
At some point prior to or after this, I was on the DLR and did what all good psychogeographers should do and got off at a random stop. Mudchute.

This used to be the real East End, the murder and mayhem end of town. But these days it has the feel of success. Not trendy enough to be trendy, not desolate enough to be London’s answer to Staten Island. Then before you know it you’re on a walkway under the Thames. Where in typical British fashion there’s an instruction: do not cycle. And a typical British response: the tunnel is full of of fucking cyclists.

Quick look around Greenwich, not in the mood for maritime museums, let’s go to Canary Wharf for no other reason than that it is there. I was looking for another walkway. One I’d seen photos of but couldn’t locate even with Google Maps. I asked a security guard. Got my smartphone, showed him the picture (expecting to be told it didn’t exist or wasn’t yet open). He said: go out that door, it’s above you. So I did, and it was.

Crossrail Place, One Canada Square. You could have a flight of stairs either end, easily, and not need the walkway. But it has to have been worth the money – it’s pure Kubrick.

„How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls“
„Now as the ladder of life
‚as been strung
You may think a sweep’s
On the bottommost rung
Though I spends me time
In the ashes and smoke
In this ol‘ wide world
There’s no ‚appier bloke“
„In the night we freeze
And you want me to tell
In London’s lonesome park

2016 22 Sep

Jerusalem is here

| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | Keine Kommentare



2016 16 Sep

Views, update from MM

| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | 2 Kommentare

I think Views will be my record of 2016. The NME’s review was written by someone who gets what the record is about, and said „hip hop’s king of whinge still reigns supreme“. Whinge is quite a funny word though – and I’d argue that whinge is the last thing Views presents us with. Yes, it addresses rains and shadows, millionaire ennui and the tribulations of living the dream – but what we have here is candour, not whinge. It’s something of a genius ability, to delineate the non-positive aspects of inner space without the work being a bellyache – but here it is. The lyrics don’t really make sense out of context (this being Toronto 2016, not being Shakespeare’s sonnets) so I won’t quote any here. The other thing about lyrics, of course, is that it’s their spacing and pitch changes that often imbues the meaning – you have to kind of like be there, y’know? Listen to how the final deployment, for instance of the sub-chorus on „Feel A Way“ is rendered via a sonic degradation effect as if it’s emitting from a discarded cellphone – while fat shards of synth cut in at angles like bits off a falling building. The effect is like so-called ‚forced perspective‘ in a cinema backdrop, except the perspective here is temporal. One moment we’re *in medias res* and then – boom – we’re looking at a faded Polaroid. Complete fucking genius.

„Drake’s sly sense of humour is one of the things that stops his constant moaning becoming unbearable“ said Alexis Petridis in The Guardian’s review. I’d have to agree with this – at one point Drake (or the character’s voice he is mediating) complains that a girlfriend wouldn’t/couldn’t/didn’t wait around for him, even though he’d only been off the scene for „the last few months“. Hence the title Views, I guess. You could take things at face value, or you could take the record to be what I take it to be – a work that is about perspectives, not all of them autobiographically based. Also, the record is full of word play – so literality is probably a broken cup here.

The thing I like best about Views, though, is the production. In some ways it is, if not minimal exactly, then juducious. Take the track Too Good – there are only maybe 5 or 6 elements going on here (including what sounds like electric guitar played backwards) but it’s the voice recording that’s the main thing. You could pull it apart though and the acapella would be a listen on its own, as would equally the backing track. But even at its most upbeat, Views has darkness at the edge.


In other news, DJ Mireia Moreorless emailed yesterday. She told me to listen (really listen) to Diamonds On My Windshield. So I said, „Okay I will, yes“. (Hadn’t listened to it in years.) Next day she’s like „what did you think?“. I’m like „I don’t know. It’s like a Raymond Carver short story. You think you’ve got it, then the central point of it moves off someplace else“.



I don’t actually know if this one qualifies as a lost classic, but it never crops up in lists of classics, so it’s going in the Lost Classics shelf.

The Buggles‘ The Age of Plastic is a remarkable LP for lots of reasons. While it’s a contemporary (roughly) of Kraftwerk’s Computer World, there could hardly be more difference between them, despite superficial similarities of theme. Computer World is brain food – a manifestation of an almost limitless intelligence. I am glad to be one of the many people who have made a pilgrimage to Mintropstrasse, Duesseldorf just to stand at the doorway of where Kling Klang used to be. Computer World is biting satire, its rhythmicism a necessary corrective, its darkness illuminating. I wouldn’t count myself as a Kraftwerk fan though beyond Computerwelt and the song Neonlicht. Why? Why not. Anyway, where the fuck was I? Oh yes, The Age of Plastic.

Computer World is sequenced, metronomic, swingless, nailed down with spikes. The Age of Plastic is uncomputerised. Computer World is – in a sense – neoclassical. A term that’d usually be pejorative but in KW’s case it’s not pejorative at all. The Age of Plastic is pop all the way through, with some proper prog bubbles fizzing at the surface. What both records have though – in bulk – is tunes: melos and structure.

1. The Plastic Age. The lyrics here don’t really withstand critical analysis. This is not a Ray Bradbury short story. Essentially it’s a brief evocative description of someone overcome by technology. Touch of the Jacques Tati rather than the Fritz Lang.

2. Video Killed The Radio Star. A 4 minute 14 second long operetta. Teh end of teh pop. LOL. „Put the blame on VCR“ – a slightly ludicrous piece of metacommentary, yes – but that’s what pop music is for. If we wanted something on the inextricability of sound/vision we’d have to pick up a Roland Barthes book and light up a Gauloises cigarette.

3. Kid Dynamo – this reminds me of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. For this reason: the music tells a better story than the libretto. A musical masterpiece with funny human larynx soundwaves on top. Odd but truly great.

4. I Love You (Miss Robot). This is the greatest song on the record. Somewhere in this gleaming cyborg fantasy is the trace of John Donne’s „The Sun Rising“. But the unruly sun is down, and the sky is nuclear, and the sour prentices are sardonic and made of metal.

5. Clean Clean. Very, very clever stuff. Starts off with funeral church organ not unlike John Cage’s „Souvenir“ (which it predates, time travel stylee) and the rest is a war narrative presumably from the POV of the dead, with media echoes in his head. „Lost a million in our very first attack. Clean clean. Don’t you worry ‚cause you know we’ll get them back“. A powerful, trenchant and understated comment on the deluded arithmetic of conflict.

6. Elstree. More media metacommentary. A snowstorm within a snowstorm. Love the juxtaposition here, against the previous song. „They made a field into a war zone/ I beat the enemy on my own/ All the bullets just went over my head/ There’s no reality and no one dead/ in Elstree…“

7. Astroboy (And the Proles on Parade). Is this prescience or is it just history? The lyrics tell of overprivilege and ennui. But there is heart here, as well as brioche.

8. Johny on the Monorail. Like track 3, the backing track transcends the lyrical content. Strip the track of its vox and watch a YouTube (or VCR) clip of the Chicago Loop with it instead.

2016 4 Sep

Visez vise Scotieni

| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | Keine Kommentare



2. Drake – Views (Young Money Entertainment)

2. Hieroglyphic Being & The Configurative Or Modular Me Trio – Cosmic Bebop (Mathematics)

2. YG – Still Brazy (Def Jam)

3. Idris Ackamoor, The Pyramids – We Be All Africans (Strut)

3. Bert Jansch – Jack Orion (Transatlantic)

3. Mireia Moreorless – Alwaysreturning (Les Disques du Crépuscule)

3. Africans With Mainframes – K.M.T. (Soul Jazz)

9. Bon Iver – Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar)

15. Brian Andres, Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel – This Could Be That (Bacalao Records)

Some cities lend themselves better to psychogeography than others. Maritime cities – seagull cities – do well in this respect. There are so many seagulls in Liverpool they have a representative on the City Council: Mr Squawk. He speaks in mystic aphorisms. He eats french fries off the sidewalk with dignity and nonchalance. His favourite book is „Preep, the Little Pigeon of Trafalgar Square“ by Milton Shulman. His favourite song is „Thorn of Crowns“ by Echo & The Bunnymen.

And you walk around this city-state pyschogeobubble and there is so much cosmos in there you have to ask yourself if you are in a dream. Wait for me on a blue horizon. Wait for me on a new horizon. Few are the places, said Mr Squawk, that make you question the aperçus of Raoul Vaneigem. I asked Mr Squawk what the fuck he meant by this. He said, “ … well Vaneigem said that to be rich nowadays merely means to possess a large number of poor objects but to be here, in Liverpool, is to be rich. Objects or no objects, ground or fucking sky. My only regret is that Manchester had The Durutti Column and we didn’t … „

But I digress. Or do I? Psychogeography doesn’t come with a map or an itinerary, just stars to hold and songs to sing. Yeah. An infinity of cups unbroken.



2016 27 Jul

Seven of cups reversed

| Abgelegt unter: Blog | RSS 2.0 | TB | Keine Kommentare


Silence, and symphony.

Manafonistas | Impressum | Kontakt
Wordpress 4.6.1 Design basiert auf Gabis Wordpress-Templates
77 Verweise - 0,168 Sekunden.