They sure liven things up, those visitors. We don’t see much people around nowadays. The farms only employ robots, and most of the youth moved to the coast, where the connection speeds are way faster.
Those who have stayed work and live in the webs. They rarely leave their houses. Their bodies are here, but they, they aren’t quite here, do you see what I mean?
This doesn’t help the business with the petrol station. To be frank, it hasn’t made a profit since ’17 at least. I stay afloat selling old stuff in the webs, and also with the craft beer business.
Why do I keep the petrol station open then? Hmm, I dunno, I suppose it keeps me grounded, doing work here in this side of the frontier. I’m no Luddite, mind, but I don’t quite want to move over to the webs like those people in their houses, plugged in, with their faces blue, that’s the way Mabel went, further down the pipes, and one day, one day she just wasn’t there. I miss Mabel.
It is odd, or maybe I’m odd. There sure are more of them in that side, than there are of me over here!
But I’m rambling again, sorry. You were interested in the visitors, what’s with the visitors? I don’t know what’s with the visitors. I’m not even sure who is a visitor and who isn’t.
Let’s see, who drives through this road? We have the automated transports, those sure aren’t visitors – they bring petrol and the shopping, and take parcels with old stuff I flog in the webs, and the crates of craft beer for the people in the city and further ways. We sometimes have agribusiness engineers coming through to fix whatever hardware can’t be taken care of by the drones, even the odd tourist who hasn’t been completely scared away by folk-tales about mutant bumblebees and tribes of headhunting hillbillies. And finally, researchers like you, curious about us folks who cannot let go of the old world.
The rest, I think, are visitors.
The first one came through six months ago or so, a creaking monstrosity looming over my little petrol station, swaying from one way to the other, with a fiery looking man perched atop it, dressed in a fancy white outfit. For a moment, I feared some of those headhunting hillbillies stories may not be such horseshit after all, and put the security drone on standby, but this thing didn’t even register in the sensors!! Anyway, it ignored me. It just went past, down there and around the curve and that was that. I described it to the we, and it said that, with high probability, what had passed in front of my eyes was a steamer ship!
Many more have come since then. Some are old-looking like the steamer, others look like vehicles from a science-fiction film, some resemble the bio-engineered freaks and chimeras they show on TV, but much more graceful in how they move. Dragons parading in front of my petrol station, go figure!
I can’t imagine where they come from, and for the love of me I can’t fathom where they are headed. They are all different, but they are the same in that they are something else, there is a strangeness about them, an intensity, as if they were so intent on whatever they are doing that they got lost, and they ended up here. Perhaps this is because here we are as far away from everywhere else as you can get – a midpoint in all odysseys where the traveller forgets his origin as well as his destination, to soar above the path.
I can sure get poetic speculating about these Visitors, that is something else I owe them. But my words can’t make them justice, better see for yourself. Can you hear that, down the road? I think there is one coming right now, you are very lucky missus, here is a visitor, it should appear down the road any minute now, here it comes, hello, here it comes.
If Cloudface is going anywhere, it is to a party. The vehicle is a maglev gondola whose streamlined elegance reminds us of Moebius’ visions, and the synth-spliced organicism of Chicago’s famed cadre. Its fuel is not the misspent sweat of a zillion wastrels, but the sympathy & energy flash generated by the beat that takes all the dancers to the dance-floor (now that’s a collective journey).
The Devonian Garden EP for which this is the title track contains many other melancholy dance gems whose rough edges aren’t mistakes, but quanta of surprise encoding messages connecting human dancers with human makers.
Sometimes we think that driving & heartbreak & grim resolution & fire devils, zen introspection & bloodshot sunsets were all invented to provide a visual context for FWY’s motorik ballads.
Every track in ‘Any Exit’ is the segment of a route through ochre countries with hills populated by totems representing basic emotions connected to dynamism & acceleration. This sense of movement is shared throughout, with subtle shifts in mood. In 710 Again’s optimistic percussion, bass’ diesel growl & delicate but determined piano we find hope, the last boost before arriving to our destination, which may even be home, if only tonight.
Music is our alternate reality generator. It scaffolds the environments that we transverse and dwell on, splashing the masses with Romero red, Lang black, or Neo-Tokyo cell-shades, as we dodge them towards the toothbrush section of the drug-store.
The semiotics of the dodging are themselves altered – a Resident Evil evasion past corrupted vessels, or a smooth Miyamoto-an sailing through a sea of empathetic skin.
Music breathes a beastly heartbeat into the buildings that host us, entering them equals being devoured. It acts as a bridge between the everyday and the fantasies of literature, video and art to which we are addicted.
Perhaps the prominence of certain kinds of music, nowadays, is correlated with their ability to transform our world in such ways?
Our enjoyment of this visually altered status quo paints our reaction to Google’s forthcoming ‘Terminator Glasses’ with ambivalence. On the one hand, we fear that a blandly branded and surely AdWorded head-up-display may mess up with the hallucinated odyssey into which even our most banal excursion can be transformed.
At the same time, we are excited about the possibilities – the encoding of certain textures, peripheral mirages and cinematographic editing into future sound formats, Rez style sonic interactivity, apps that respond algorithmically to the collision between sound-wave parameters and our bio-metric chart.
It could be quite cool, but until absolute responsiveness to the subconscious flux is achieved (i.e. instant rendering and responsive animation of all of the potential outputs of our febrile imagination), we will keep going back the freestyle synesthetic bricolage on which we engage already, with a little help from our friends.
FWY again! Its trajectory is like that of the blind gunslinger Shalashaska who roams the desert in an arcane philosophical pilgrimage. He is ambushed by a band of rogues who demand his antique (and still operational) Jaeger LeCoultre watch. He draws a colt peacemaker, and draws a smiley face in the creaking sign of a petrol station at least 75 feet away. Having averted violence with his sleek demonstration of marksmanship; he heads towards the country of the heat-devils.
FWY is like that, grim determination & hits. The San Clemente tape may be his best yet (we say that every time). In Subdivision, he does for the high-tech North Californian sprawl what Basil Kirchin did for the abstracted industrial North, voiding it of all life and movement (except his own), to revel in its disturbingly reticulated, digital-dream haunted psycho-geography. All of our senses are transfixed by a gentle, sad warmth.
The tracks within NHK’Koyxeи’s* Dance Classics Vol.I are numerated like stars or software modules. Or barcodes cataloguing the original American Techno-Futurist’s panoply of visions. Perhaps packaged memories in the archive of a robotic psyche-design consultancy.
Maybe all of these things at the same time.
587 is an aural déjà vu, the muffled thump full of promise at the entrance to the discotheque, coming from a room which will disappoint you no matter what happens, for in our present reality, they don’t build discotheques at the foot of gilded Bauhaus towers that rise through a neon-impaled data sky, or populate them with angel-shaped drones programmed to perform the disciplined routines of the party bushido.
Whether your with Dunbar on music and dance evolving as mass social grooming, Darwin and his strutting peacock, or feel dancing and music is tickling the brain in ways nature cannot, dancing is a part of our humanity and has been for a very long time. 2011 was a good time for music you could dance too…
Lindstrøm : De Javu When you play a Lindstrom track in your dj set its always difficult to follow. It’s normally difficult to know what to play it after too becuase, lets face it, no one else makes records that sound like this. The new album Six Cups Of Rebel is out on Small Town Supersound in February.
James Fox: New Jack SwingJames Fox laces pristine mid-tempo dance with some silky new jack swing vibes, projecting us inside an utopia of white and honey which is to mainstream house music what romance is to porn.
We are believers in the possibility of a non-fucked up after-hours club where the tribes congregate to squeeze the last ounce of physical sweetness of the ephemeral night, rather than gurn their way into infinity. If that place exists, this is its theme tune.
SebastiAn: Love In Motion Feat. Mayer Hawthrone More Stones Throw related goodness by way of the loudest Banger on Ed’s roster pitching Patrick Cowley’s Lift Off Down to an unmistakably Purple Oneesqu slowed clap groove.
Machinedrum: Come1 Riding last year’s bubbling up of Juke and snapping it into a piano-house ghost-ballad workout. With an opening the hits right in the feet and then proceeds to gently let up over the next six minutes Come1 is the reverse of most dancefloor equations. Drawing you in with it’s hedonistic intensity from the off then taking you on a tour of its sorrow.
The whole album’s a near effortless reminder of how good dance albums can be. building upon a Footwerk foundation to deliver everything from a dancefloor Boards of Canada (Now U Know Tha Deal 4 Real) to one of the most cathartically maudlin pieces of music this year in Lay Me Down (which has the audacity to not actually be the last track on the album).
Graphics: Adjectival EWell Rounded are quickly and efficiently becoming a treasure of the Brighton Vs. Hove demilitarised zone. Graphics is the second release on offshoot, Well Rounded Individuals and is a towering example of Fractured British Dance Music. A sliced vocal looped and buried under fabric-thin waves of synth washes haunts the intricate drum programming and sweeping siren-calls that interleave and enchant. Which is not to say it’s adverse to a break and a surging refrain, that’d be silly.
Den Haan: Gods From Outer Space Bandying “macho disco” around like leather, sweat, and guitar riffs were about to go out of fashion Gods From Outer Space is probably more fun that you can actually ever have in a club, but with this as your soundtrack it would be impossible not to try.
D/R/U/G/S: Connected Connected doesn’t waste much time bringing its snippets of Techno and House to bear on the floor. Far too much has been written about ghostly reconfigurations of former genre glories and the pillars that this stands upon are amply described by the track itself in the opening minute and a half. Exercising aCraig-ian approach to the build, the drop finally arrives and the euphoria is suitably unleashed. Not ones to paddle in the pool of anti-intellectual hedonism, 20JFG are satiated by the wiring machine ballet that seems to underpin the ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE HANDS IN THE AIR PIANO HOUSE that forms the back end of the track.
Magic Touch: I can Feel the Heat Imagine a unicorn leaping out of an original pre-hipster/Urban Outfitters post-everything appropriation 1980s t-shirt, into a rainbow pond of everything that’s awesome about disco music, and out again into the garden of eternal delights that lies beyond, where it dries itself with an almighty shake, droplets of joy splattering all over in a kaleidoscopic rain which is photographed with minimum exposure, the ensuing images (or their emotional equivalent) are then pressed on vinyl for the whole world to dance to.
Ital: Ital’s Theme Ital soundtracks the muscular leaving party for a space marine squadron. A glimpse out of battered portholes onto the uniquely specular beauty of crystalline asteroids, for a moment…before the pounding of the room draws their attention back to the dancefloor with a heaving, looping ecstatic roll of wave after wave of 23rd century Italo instrumentals.
Death in Vegas: Trans-Love Energies Richard Fearless returned with a 7+ minute track referencing the soundtrack to New York’s The Loft and the UK Acid House scene featuring the considerable vocal talents of Katie Stelmanis of Austra, and we couldn’t stop playing it. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a 30min extended remix. The rest of the album wasn’t bad either.
Hans Tanza: An Audience with Hans Tanza Nutjob consultant extraordinaire Hans Tanza convenes a board meetingto discuss the quarterly impacts of psy-trance flotations on the futures market of electro-acoustic academia circa 1976
Mi Ami: Dolphins EP Mi Ami’s vessel plunges through a forest of cyclopean futurist hulks, its distorting, tape-bent beats pounding off the walls. High above Gavin Russom watches from a former car insurance office (now sans walls) and smiles to himself in the knowledge that there are others. Glancing upwards for a moment he catches the forms of Derrick May and Carl Craig huddling around a fire, lit on an equally exposed floor of an old financial institution. Down below the vessel nears the source of the sound as light cascades from the rising sun. Hundreds of people throb around a fire giving thanks to those who came before, those who provided us with such riches. A badly painted cloth hangs from an old piece of corporate art and reads: ‘Things should be made anew before they are destroyed again.’
Virgo: Resurrection (reissue) To call this life-changing is no exaggeration. Imagine the most intimate moment of ‘It’s You’ by ESP’ time stretched across a 3 hour movie about Jamie Principle floating on the ethereal plane and perhaps you’re getting there.
Daphni: JIAOLONG001 While we found Caribou’s recent album to be not as up our street as the previous few we did very much enjoy the Daphni remix project which re-visited the gratuitous psychedelic elements we loved about Caribou’s sound.
Wheez-ie: All Werked Up EP Texan Juke desperado Wheez-ie’s veers between hardcore footwork punishment and futuristic heartbreak – ‘Leave her Alone’ hovers above the battlefield like the X-Men’s Storm, convening from the summer skies a purple hurricane of emotion at whose eye spins a silver music box delicate ballerina.
Xander Harris: I want more than Just Blood/Urban Gothic If you like your drum programming hand built from the Dopplereffekt textbook of absolute rigidity, and your synth lines played straight from the pained claws of The Phantom of Paradise, then Xander Harris is the pick for you.
Innergaze: Shadow Disco Innergaze take us in a strut through a parallel land where mirrors, glitter and dances are the holy sacraments of a mainstream religion whose father is Liquid Liquid (on a dubby bender), the son is Daniel Wang and the holy spirit Arthur Russell. On its journey it collects a thousand scuzz tropes and redistributes them across a skeletal groove so lazy, it makes E.S.G sound like a clinical minimal techno project devised by the appointed keepers of metronomic purity. Spectral hedonism, that’s our new calling.
Factory Floor: Various 12’’ Factory Floor strip dance music down to its bare components, and configure them with the grim nonchalance of a murder squad retained by the black ops soviet. Synth loops blast like machine language glyphs straight off Nitzer Ebb’s and Front 242 body music usage dictionary. The motorik beats read like input-output flows in a 5 year programme of industrial production that measures results in terms of sweat. The shards of distortion are cruelly designed to produce collateral damage, demoralization and mass surrender.
Zomby: Dedication Zomby buries us in a frozen dead ocean, where we float surrounded by a constellation of discrete music molecules floating in stasis. They recall the past (massively compressed Jarre, blocks of primary colour which are the slices of a Jan Hammer gradient) but aren’t it. Rather, evolved echoes, nano-designed DNA blueprints for a future fauna of Cupertino Panthers and fractal wing dragonflies.
Lumpen Nobleman: Grusha Lumpen Nobleman’s (no link, alas) is all about the deepness, the abyssal and the sub-dermal, ochre drones awesome like the ornate dome of a defiled Orthodox monastery breaking through the mist, grim commandoes in ghillie suits pulling their best Snake moves up the snowy hill, an inhuman metronome ticks away at the heart of the ruins, counting down the time left for the start of the paranormal firefight.
FWY: Ventura EP We continue our love affair with Edmund Xavier and his FWY’s trucker techno-gamelan escapades. Watch out for the title track’s superb melancholy drone, like Cormac McCarthy’s existential cowboy gazing into a neuromantic dead-channel sky, a moment before stepping past the borderline.
The Passenger: \_| The Passenger’s\_| combines Armando’s optimistic bass rumbling, Orbital’s playful chimes, Wendy Carlos binary fairy-telling and the sort of acid riffs that Plastikman would have come up with if he had been commissioned to update Maurice Sendak’s bibliography, in collaboration with Paper Rad.
Pye Corner Audio: Black Mill Tapes Vol.2. The first post witch house record? Made by someone who probably never heard of witch house? Slow techno and radiophonic electronic passed through a hauntology filter to create one hell of an immersive experience. Why this isn’t on everyone’s albums of the year list is mystifying.
Where a bold pack of neutrinos slide in their custom-made, heavy weaponry packed DeLoreans, and accelerate from the sterile white surfaces of CERN towards the centre of the Earth. They have a bucketful of attitude, these neutrinos, they are the baddest-ass bunch of particles in this quadrant of the galaxy, only they would dare to go head to head against grimacing Einstein and the evil empire of light that shackles us in a 4-dimensional prison. Manly Armageddon vibes at the quantum level.
Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle precludes a visualisation of their trip, but we imagine a landscape of savage logic, Tron’s infinite reticules layered over a jagged post apocalyptic pastel topography, their linearity preserved at the differential level.
As our neutrinos approach the speed of light time grinds down to a halt, like the prologue to a Mexican standoff in a Sergio Leone western. They convene around a bonfire kindled with a handful of photons, stare grimly at the trans-dimensional tunnels that lay ahead, threatening and alluring like Ballardian overpasses.
Alternative scenarios cross their minds, Event-horizon style chaotic madness, cosmic babe illumination, possibly both. They are randomly allocated to each of these gateways in Schrödinger-like fashion, they speed into the big Other with FWY blasting from their speakers.
We continue our love affair with Edmund Xavier and his FWY’s trucker techno-gamelan escapades as unleashed within the Ventura EP. Watch out for the title track’s superb melancholy drone, like Cormac McCarthy’s existential cowboy gazing into a neuromantic dead-channel sky, a moment before stepping past the borderline.
As you may have expected, the lines of communication between vectors of information entering different dimensional gateways and the Grand Sasso underground laboratories which was their destination weren’t particularly reliable. Ultra-focused boffins have nevertheless been working hard at deciphering whatever transmissions were received during those strange stages of the neutrino odyssey. We have had a sneak preview.
Some of the transcripts suggest persecutions down interstellar trenches (‘trust the force’). Others haunt our nightmares like mantras from nameless gods (and make us fear the potential outcomes of further researches). At least one traveller appears to have entered a parallel universe where chromatic scales and chromatic gradations swap their sensorial roles. The neutrino jockey that ventured that particular way was caught in a kinaesthetic ecstasy that delayed his transit. He wasn’t faster than the speed of light, he wasn’t even faster than the speed of sound. But he reached the speed of love, the rest of the squad are so jealous of this guy!
So Prismic Delight is some LA 16 years old who puts together some incredible slow mo Balearic burners that make your abstract power-ballad obsessed scribes swoon like we hadn’t since the days of Neon Leon/early days Ducktails instrumentalism. We thought that you needed at least two psychedelic tours of duty and a handful of heartbreaks to be able to pull this kind of shit the way it is meant to be pulled, but then, experiential shortcuts can be achieved through constant exposure to the eternal Californian summer, and an instinctive communion with the liquid cycles of the Pacific Sea. Great stuff, you can listen to lots more at the bandcamp.
The machines awaken. Instead of transforming planet Earth into an ugly radioactive waste through the indiscriminate deployment of nuclear warheads, they simply turn technology off and watch mankind slide back into feudalism.
The ecological pyramid stretches one level further, into a pinnacle of superior intelligence around which hover silver machines of mostly indifferent grace, powered by sun, wind, sea and caloric effusions from the lower layers of the geological mantle.
Most of their processing cycles are invested on metaphysical explorations, with some marginal effort devoted to ensuring that the alchemist, philosophers, craftsmen and tinkerers outside don’t bring about another industrial revolution.
A few replicants are sent into human burgs and settlements to record the cultural expressions developing after the fall.
These are the songs these replicants reproduce (sing?) when they are back to the domain of Earth’s new wardens, they echo across vast data warehouses quiet like churches and automated factories where self aware robots perform a precise ballet.
Kompakt associate label M=Minimal have recently reissued Conrad Schnitzler’sBallet Statique, the soundtrack for a thriller that unfolds in the belly of transistor city, where different algorithmic factions jockey for control over the parameters that resolve a McGuffin equation/enigma set down by Karl Heinz Stockhausen.
In the new scheme of things that we outlined above, FWY’s mechanised motorik would probably blast off the latest functioning boom box in the planet, plugged into the steam powered engine of a teenage panzer cruising over the cracked asphalt of a ravaged highway network to smuggle medicines, banned literature and epic male oriented rock vibes across the ill-kept boundaries of warring fiefs. Fear not troopers, for we aren’t thinking of Kevin Costner, but Cowboy in Walter Jon Williams’ Hardwired.
Nowhere/Somewhere is included in the CA 80’s-90’s tape recently released by Brave Mysteries.
20jazzfunkgreats will be at Primavera Sound this week, documenting what goes on from the trenches (inc. Twitter psyche-ops). If you see us at the Neubauten/Suicide/Ariel Pink/Gang Gang Dance/Pissed Jeans/Prince Rama of Ayodhya/Lindstrom/Blank Dogs/Factory Floor/OPN etc etc. shows come and say hi/get down for a dance. We will be wearing the Augmented Reality inducing Cassette Playa t-shirt that makes us look like the avatars of some post-lawnmower man hallucination. Or you may be on drugs.
At this point in the evolution of sound and soul everyone must have surely realised that Hounds of Hate are hot shit. I Like Triangles was 20jazzfunkgreats tune of choice for cruising down the humming corridors of the Invisible Hand in search for alien relics in the periphery of the Great Slow last year. if music is tech, then we are DARPA.
They are now releasing Head Anthem in Conan’s wonderful Italian Beach Babes label. Purple Stuff sounds to us like an unabashed tribute to Joker, Ginz and all those other Prince obsessed heads jacking Bristol’s underground, if only their white labels were produced by the sorcerer of thick whose most accomplished apprentice happens to be Ariel Pink. The result is organic ghost machine music that circles the sleeping victim like a tribe of binary pygmies armed with ancient spells of compelling abstraction.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that we reported from the frozen mesas of the cold wave cowboy diaspora where Hostage Sex forage. Well, Edmund Xavier, the man behind such wonders has many other good things happening, all of which you can sample and acquire at the Burundi Cloud. We are, at this point, particularly taken by the existential roadside warrior trajectories of FWY– engulfed by its throbbing pickup truck motorik balladry we advance towards the vanishing point of a radioactive dawn signposted by an ensemble of dust devils, in the crosshairs of mutant snipers who forego the easy kill, overwhelmed by the poetic beauty of it all.