Category Archives: mahjongg

Gatekeeper Video Premier Day 4 – Giza

Gatekeeper day 4 marks a return to the bloodbath most grizzly. This one is most definitely not suitable for work, small children, vampophobes or hemophiliacs. If you are from New Line Cinema and you are watching this, rest assured that the original footage was taken from a movie called ‘Sword’ starring Wallsey Snips as a teenage slayer ridding his high school of a Vampire conspiracy, led by Christopher Lee as the Demon Headmaster. Enjoy!

Whilst on the subject of untimely demise, we would like to pay our respects today to the brothers Troutman, via this lamentable jam taken from a forthcoming Mahjonng/Chandeliers split on Captcha records.

Chandeliers – Whip the Gift

A cut from the lost Zapp album that was produced by Chris Carter, ‘Whip the Gift’ is ethereal, mournful robo-soul at its ghost-in-the-shell finest. A tragic tale of 2 brothers – one a flamboyant, sequined trouser wearing Talkbox virtuoso, the other a brooding power electronics-improv nerd, the fission of their creative differences impacted many fine works, until the day they fell out of balance and went into a Chernobylian meltdown. Recorded the day before the elder brother’s untimely demise caused by some suspiciously faulty wiring in his Korg VC-10, it is surely a beauteous thing indeed. But it is not all machine-grievance, the Chandeliers part of the EP also contains the guaranteed boogie-splice euphoria of ‘Sugarscoop’ – which is not leaving 20JFG’s bone encrusted DJ box for the forseeable future.

Upon the flipside, Mahjonng are also taking it there, maneuvering their Trans Am into a parking space once populated by Grabba Grabba Tape. We leave you today with the video for Running On Air. Mahjonng and Chandeliers ‘Roule’ EP is out on the 25th of next month on Captcha records.

A Phuture fair for all

Featuring : Group Bombino + mahjongg

We would like to think that any decision about the future of our ‘democracy’ would be driven by a greater hope for the improvement of our lot, not by fear for whatever might happen if the other guy gets chosen.

As far as I’ve heard, the discussions between candidates have focussed on who screwed things up the most in the past (go back 30 years and you have the frightful stormtroopers, go back 5 and you have pale & gaunt financiers sinking their fangs in the collective throats of the nation), who is likely to screw things up more in the future (‘we need to keep discipline in classrooms full of immigrants least we have to put them in jails and nuke them’), and, finally, perhaps even more depressingly, who will be better able to deliver some fuzzy vision of change that some times sounds like a yearning hallucination for past times that never existed (i.e. Hobbiton a couple of decades before the shadow of Sauron spread in the East), others like an upgrade of the present as exciting as the upgrade from Windows XP to Vista.

So we want hope and we only get a word, we get a promise of change which feels like a facelift. As usual, words lose their meaning when hurled around with abandon. Which leads to the question that should begin the debate, rather than be buried by it, viz, what is hope? What is a change for the better? Perhaps hope only becomes truly meaningful in more extreme circumstances than the ones we find ourselves in. In spite of the current difficulties, most are (or are assumed to be) content enough not to want too much change, so the appeal is to avoid things getting worse, or to undertake incremental readjustments.

Compare this to other places where change is the only way, and hope a condition for survival. Compare this with the situation in the city of Agadez, in the North of Niger, isolated from the rest of the country and flooded with refugees. Over the last couple of years, the Tuareg people have been fighting for their way of living, and they have sang, and played beautiful music, and deployed it as a political weapon. This has been documented by the ever-awesome folks at Sublime Frequencies.

After the wonderful Group Inerane release came Group Bombino at the end of last year. Most joyous and alive and hopeful stuff you are unlikely to hear anywhere, and it comes from a place war torn, with roads littered by road mines and peoples still disappearing. Which begets the question, who would be able to sing like this in our little island? And if someone sang like this, who would listen, and do something about it?

That’s the one who would get our vote.

Group Bombino- Imuhar

None of the candidates has addressed what in our opinion is another key issue- your right to party. We are not talking about a more liberal approach to drug prescription in the NHS, or opening hours for clubs. We are not interested in minor fixes for major issues. We are talking about something deeper: what can be done to create parties which work not as an escape from the drudgery of the real world, but as augmentation and complement to what should by rights be a fulfilling life? We are talking quality, not quantity, enlightened-and enriching- hedonism rather than binge gorging.

A lot has to do with the aims of party suppliers, and the industrial structure of the sector. As long as you have a purely profit motivated ‘leisure industry’ where investments in expensive capital needs to be recouped with high throughput, you will have a drive towards industrial concentration via economies of scale, and a disconnection between design and the local context of demand, resulting in homogeneity, alienation and a race towards the minimum common denominator, the dreaded ‘entertainment’. And of course, a rationale to encourage bingeing.

By contrast, a model based in networks of small locally embedded cultural units competing and collaborating with each other, and following a business model that emphasises sustainability, should encourage entry and the ensuing diversity of supply which reflects fragmenting audiences. This is happening as it is- the ethos of this blog is reporting such activities here in the UK and elsewhere- the question is whether this scene thrives in spite of existing regulations and incentives, by sheer enthusiasm and conviction.

Mahjongg’s spirit does very much represent what we are talking about here- they are a daredevil energy-charged proton hurling itself across the vertices of the network of goodness, scorching every node they cross with the righteous fire of party. They were there when we started this operation, and they keep going strong, dare we say stronger, as we grow.

They shall be dropping their new album in K Records in July the 20th, so we are giving you an early taster with Wardance, a muscular piece of future afrobeat which comes across like Oneida if they were produced by Maurice Fulton of ‘Let’s Get Sick’ fame- listening to it is like being shredded by the rotor blade at the heart of the progressive Ark mother-ship as it initiates its journey to distant stars, only to be immediately reconfigured as a better-dancing person. Mighty high five stuff.

Mahjongg- Wardance

When we told them that the post heralding the arrival of their new release was to coincide with our very own election, they gave us a word of advice which everyone would do well to heed, not just when putting their vote inside the decision box, but more generally: ‘Watch out for those BNP dudes’. And in doing this, do remember that the BNP is not a ‘political party’- it is a state of mind that I suspect lies hidden in the little souls of many other people running for election next Thursday, in some parties more than others. Don’t forget this, vote wisely. Vote for change

Regarding how we roll

Featuring : Gyratory System + mahjongg

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I was in the office on Wednesday and people were smiling more than usual. Many were paying an American girl who works there a visit, to congratulate her, and also to say thanks

What happened in the US Presidential elections wasn’t just the end of what will be probably remembered as some sort of dark age of imbecility and ignorance that has impacted us all, but also a reminder of what people can achieve when working together towards a vision of the way things should be, a movement of change, a hope that spills beyond borders and over vast oceans. The sun came out from the West on Wednesday, hopefully one day will also shine from the grey and jaded edifices of power of this old island.

The 20jazzfunkgreats are hardened cynics very aware of how the grim concrete walls of Realpolitik never fail to encroach upon the dreams of the rookie stalwart that lands in the public office. But right now it’s all about that warm feeling inside us, this was the way Wednesday sounded, this song goes to all our U.S. pals who have kept fighting the good fight, 4 years after we damned the second term of that man who shan’t be named with Sonic Youth’s ‘Youth Against Fascism’, we welcome the new guy with effervescent exultant gloriously off-kilter joint poppin’ disco funk of The Bombers, rejoice in the street kids, this occasion deserves a fierce dance!

The Bombers- Don’t Stop the Music

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That reminiscence of the days of yore (4 years!) has made me think about something I read in the last Wired, as well as a comment left in the Halloween post, which I reckon pertains the motivations why we do this thing. Exhibit A, our dear reader was wondering how could we keep our level of commitment in spite of the absence of comments or other ‘kinds of popularity’. Exhibit 2, The Wired article contended that blogs are dead and Twitter is the new thing.

Why? Because these days it’s too hard to earn sufficient attention through blogger, there are too many professional web-sites out there posting stuff constantly, monopolising the top spots of the ‘folksonomy rankings’ (what the fuck happened to those?), glimmers in the eye of our Google overlords. Twitter is where it’s at because it is in the 50 words snippet where the lone digital gunman has a chance to shine in a time (cost) efficient way. Of course we all know that Wired is rubbish this days, and that you can squeeze it out of content in the time you get from London Victoria to Haywards Heath (the rest is techno-babble and a gadget shop). But regarding their argument, I wonder if what the world needs is even more attention grabbing headliners and quirkiness devoid of substance. Most blogs (including this one) tend to be quite bad at in-depth analysis, so let’s move to fucking Twitter, totally natty.

But I am meandering here. Let us examine what connects exhibit A and exhibit B, this is, the assumption that, somehow, the motivation for running this kind of joint is a reward at the end of the pixelated rainbow, some twisted internet version of ‘celebrity’ at the top of the digital soapbox, glitz and fame. Yes, climb on the back of those artists whose music we are giving away for free and get a prize for it, the individualistic rent-seeking utility maximising posse scores again, it’s like Margaret Thatcher had never had that sharp stake driven through her putrescent heart (if only).

Well, I guess we don’t do what we do for those reasons, I have said it before and I say it again. We have day jobs. It’s not that we don’t want to be read, and we love it when people leave comments, but if I have to be honest I have not been to our Google Analytics site for years, I don’t know how many hits we get and how many hits our ‘competition’ gets, I don’t give a cat whiskers for the web pseudo-economy, if you have e-mailed us to swap links, you probably have received no reply, nada. If we ever stop doing this, it won’t be because we aren’t being rewarded by you, or someone else, it will be because we don’t have enough time or energy to put into it the effort that we think the artists we are posting, and you too, deserve, this isn’t about us, we don’t sign this thing.

Because what we are about is the moment of discovery when something that you didn’t know existed slides into your radar like some fucked up U.F.O. of psychedelic goodness and the whole emerald reticle folds itself into a pyramid at the top of which shines a field of a thousand weird flowers blooming glorious, a field of hope for the future and continuation of unbridled human creativity, ensuing pleasure and subsequent feelings of inspiration which are not individual but communitarian, sharing is caring, nuff said.

Believe it or not, my house doesn’t smell of patchouli, kid, and I have a degree on Economics.

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One example of what I am talking about are ridiculously awesome Gyratory System, one of those outfits who, when we heard them for the first time, made us think of strange configurations of alien technology known as The Process spreading across space to capture the sub-atomic vibrations generated by the spinning cycle of things that hide in the void, then reconfigure them into glorious progressive symphonies which are the sound of a total conscience playing with the colourful toys which are time life and matter beyond a black veil inside which our senses are not designed to see. This is the music of the Mahavishnu Orchestra captured by a SETI cluster, processed through a myriad deluded wobbly synthesisers and spit in your grimacing face, it shouldn’t exist but it does, we are always wondering about whether everything that can be created existed already, some time ago, and then holy shit like this happens, and we are re-energised, inebriated, joyous, exhausted, take a deep breath and go deep inside, keep searching.

Gyratory System- Party Unlimited

‘Party Unlimited’ is named after a disused shop underneath the Gyratory System headquarters in Bloomsbury, London. It comes from the album ‘Utility Music’. Hansard Records are their custodians. We await for more.

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And then, to start the weekend on a loop that tips our proverbial hat to all the Chicagoans who partied hard on Wednesday, here we have Mahjongg. We care so much for Mahjongg, they are one of the reasons why we started doing this thing in the first place, and we are very sorry we missed them when they played in Brighton, apparently they were totally incredible. But we are so busy these days…

Alas, their music blowing us away will have to do, and in what way, just check out their new Free Grooverider 7 out in K records, bizarro tropical waves like Gang Gang Dance voodoo loas riding a 2-step coruscating Arabian horse. Today we are leaving you with the flip, a haunted Jamaican remix put together by the mighty Selector Dub Narcotic, enough reverberation to blow a hole in the perception walls of the nation, bewitching melodica flourishes a la Augustus Pablo and a rattling percussive finale which sounds like an acid house aligator crushing your hips with merciless jaws of rhythm, there.

Mahjongg- Free Grooverider(Dub Narcotic Selector Remix)