Category Archives: Mushy

Drop a gem on thick oil, fling a jewel into a gut of jewels

Featuring : Mushy + Sololust

mushy

So here is the thing: Brooding diva Mushy, who has darkened our days & made our nights blinding with poems of doom drafted in a crumbling ruin, that Mushy, she has constructed a music compilation from the bottom up. It is called The End of Civilization. Mannequin Label is releasing it in vinyl today.

What is the message in this collection then? If this Civilization is ending, what will replace it, if anything at all?

The diagnosis of the decadence with which the previous cycle ends is vintage cold wave. The technological forces that humanity has foisted upon itself result in an eruption. Beneath the gradient, splendidly UXd façade of cognitive-cultural capitalism coil the same old forces, manifested not just in modern-times alienation (although there’s still a lot of that going), but also enforced idleness numbed by a stroboscopic glare of industrial spectacle, and social platforms for envy, titillation and espionage.

This dystopia is described with bubbling synthesisers, numb romanticism, a broken rebellion of people so young, so cold, so painfully aware of that emptiness inside one, inside others, between one and others.

We cannot tell what is the Shape of the Things that Come After. If Mushy & her coterie know, they are not telling. At best, they reveal the blurry contours of a New Dark Order. The cartography of streets that make their own use of things, streets that spawned gems like Rosemary’s Blind Myself.

The medium is the message is the medium and so forth.

In this instance, the hub where a myriad emotional wormholes in the shape of synthesiser lines that shine like necklaces made of teardrops converge, the framework for a glamorous disco stomper Ida No would have used to kick off the party tonight, if she had grown during the siege of City 17, instead of that dream of New Wave New York its outsiders dream.

No stars in her eyes, because she tore them out.

Rosemary – Blind Myself

You can acquire ‘The End of Civilization’ here. You will be able to see Mushy playing live in London this week. More information here, and at the end of the post.

sololust

We have learned what the End of Civilization looks like. But what does it feel like?

Ask Sololust.

In his self/titled 12’’ in Gooiland Elektro, he takes us in a tour through the ghostly airports of quasi-authoritarian countries, penthouses fitted with surgical metal & haute vacuity, the designed euphoria and robotic antics of the fashion disco party. Snapshots of a pyramid that is fascinating and awesome in its artificiality (i.e. its super-humanity), also fragile because it is built atop so much suffering & boredom.

And then there is the Ennui at its apex, an unspoken awareness of how little is at stake, and hence, an obsessive refocusing on the craft through which the unerringly banal McGuffin is delivered. Think of the expectation in the set-up of each of the novels of the Bigend Trilogy, and the disappointment of their resolution.

Exposure is the immaculately produced techno soundtrack for one of those intrigues. A corporate knife fight/Intellectual Property rip-off/product feature leak procedural that could have (or already has, or will have) starred you, design-aware knowledge worker/ free agent of the Creative Economy.

Don’t be fooled by the beige office furniture, tile browsers & nouveau retro tortoiseshell glasses, this is as hardboiled, vicious, virtualised & uncanny as the scenario of any cyberpunk hallucination. People get killed in this place.

The infernal arpeggio kicks in, just as you press *click*, and send that e-mail.

Sololust – Exposure

You can pre-order the 12’’ from Enfant Terrible Productions.

Here you have some more information about Mushy’s London Visit this week.

February 14th (Thursday) Power Lunches – w/ Y and Apostille – Facebook event

February 15th (Friday) – Rough Trade East in-store – Rough Trade website

February 15th  (Friday) – Manero Bar – Belle Sauvage Fashion Week Party – Facebook event

Wandering Black Star

Featuring : Mushy + Thread Pulls

Stranded, we gawk into the shadows of the Lair of the Minotaur. The only colour in this ruin is the ghostly glimmer of a golden chain we uncoil behind us, it connects us to the outside, or perhaps, across the millennia, to romantic audiences gawking into the shadows in the front-cover of a 4AD record, a gateway into this eternal lair where they are tempted by the glimpse of this golden chain we uncoil, thinking that love awaits, and instead awaits the Minotaur.

This thing that we refer to as the Lair of the Minotaur has of course been simplified over the ages. Let us make one thing clear. It is not the collapsed cellar of a Mediterranean cult. It is not a labyrinth. It is a country whose diverse provinces have been visited by a mix of plagues  – Dante would feel at home here, and so would the silent knight which is the default icon for From Software’s interactive hallucinations.

This is Mushy’s place. Tonight (it’s always tonight here) we find her hunting for a dragon down one of the spokes of this hellish wheel. She calls a lightning bolt that flares in the black of this very black place, revealing the dragon she came here to slay, and what’s worse, that the dragon is in her, is her.

She is faced with the classic Lynchian conundrum: she is tainted, but clearly not guilty, for the dragon that was visited upon her could have been visited so upon anyone else. Slaying the dragon would mean slaying herself, which is unfair for she is innocent. It would also liberate the dragon to prey on others, which would make her guilty.

So she is doomed to wander forever in these moors of grief, hosting the dragon, singing, think of these songs as rituals of exorcism – she tortures the dragon with beauty, she appeases it by acting as a conduit to corrupt us, who are kept mostly safe by her sacrifice.

It’s a messy deal, for which we owe her.

Mushy – I don’t care

You’ll find some of these songs /episodes of torture/ritual purges/funereal marches/condensations of ambient evil into a human shape/summoning of the love to forgive them in Breathless, Mushy’s latest album, out now in Mannequin. Rough Trade just gave it album of the week, and they were right. Go get.

As an excellent bonus, here you have a video of the title track for Thread Pulls’ wonderful ‘You Melt Worlds’ 12. Which is like going into bullet time in a world where drums are guns. God lurks in this drone-space, we caught a glimpse of it,  wearing a This Heat t-shirt.

Best of 2011, part IV: Is it 2012 yet?

The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopaedias and dictionaries. There is an allure to enumerating how many women Don Giovanni slept with: It was 2,063, at least according to Mozart’s librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte. We also have completely practical lists — the shopping list, the will, the menu — that are also cultural achievements in their own right. – Umberto Eco

The 20jfg bestof lists attempt no such feat of greatness. We are as confused by the infinity of stuff out there as any being. It’s fun to look back at our best of lists in retrospect, and i guess in this way they are cultural documents for ourselves, which we hope you also enjoy.

 

This is our final bestof lists for 2011 – we probably missed some of the things we loved, and you loved so let us know any in the comments box.

 

Mind Over Mirrors: I’m Willing to Stagger Bursting forth with a droning, lackadaisical klaxon rippling through the heavens, I’m Willing to Stagger twists and distorts its tape delayed harmonium into something completely off-worldly. Mind Over Mirrors has managed to recreate that lost La Monte Young soundtrack to the birth of the universe. A huge pounding piece of processional music that locks you into it’s footstep grove as hard as any percussive track can ever dream. If the temple at the end of the universe were designed by Gaudi, its aisles measured in kilometres and its entire focus, an exposed space above the alter where the final rip in space will occur – this would play, as millions of dignitaries assembled among the alcoves and observed the refolding of the universe’s expansive fabric.

Mind Over Mirrors – I’m willing to stagger – Part 1

Buy: as far as we can tell it’s sold out

 

Pechenga: Helt Borte Pechenga is Rune Lindbæk and Cato Farstad. The story goes that after recording this album in 2007 at Lindbæk’s grandmother’s house they self released the record in Norway where it sold 57 copies. Evidently one to found its way to Smalltown Supersound‘s Joakim Haugland because that label’s just re-released it. Thankfully. It’s an incredibly beautiful ambient work, full of a sense of infinite blank vistas and silent winter light. Where Thomas Köner traverses beneath the ice, here we often soar above, watching our perfect black shadow dance along the white sheets below.

Pechenga – My Frozen Spirit

Buy: Helt Borte

The Advisory Circle: As The Crow Flies The cracks in our memory have always been open to the sounds produced by Ghost Box and 2011 was no exception with As The Crow Flies providing those fleeting glances out the corner or your eye of something not being quite right. Pastoral electronica pushed by undercurrents of the other side.

The Advisory Circle – As The Crow Flies

Buy : As The Crow Flies

 

 

Peepholes: Tunnels Having lapped up their last EP on Upset the Rhythm and it’s epic closer Carnivore we feel suitably prepped for the increasingly wide pendulum swings by the band, out and away from short bursts of kinetic drum/keyboard frenzy. New mini-LP Caligula opens with another long builder, a Mayan temple of an incline up to a plateau of the breathtaking and bloody.

It’s 3rd track Tunnels that stands out. Synths are no longer ripped apart oscillation by oscillation as they struggle against voice and drums. Instead they’re allowed to form the stem of Tunnels with an honest to god drum machine as accompaniment. They drift over plains and open up blue/black vistas for Katia’s mesmeric sing/chanting to roam. There are minor traces of early Techno floating around but these could well be the shadows of Techno’s own progenitors: the electronic minimalism of your pick of Cold-Wave bands.

Peepholes – Tunnels

Buy: Caligula

Bubble Club: the Goddess A balearic hymn to an unnamed Goddess that masters the art of gentle euphoria so completely, combines cosmic-disco tropes with such loving care, that it becomes, by the end of its seven minutes, one of the most moving things we’ve heard in a long time. Synth stabs, co-opted African rhythms, cooing male vocals under waves of arpegiated bliss: Bubble Club’s The Goddess is one of the very reasons we write this blog and we can’t praise it higher than that.

Bubble Club – The Goddess

Buy: The Goddess

 

The Stepkids: The Stepkids So your kid brothers stole your Hall & Oates tape that had Sly & The Family Stone on the other side, and got confused as to which was the cool in ‘Mojo’ terms side, cos lets face it you didn’t really know either. Dam-Funk produced the entire resulting jam and stuck it out on Stone’s Throw records. Yeh – this is kinda what happend.

The Stepkids – Santos and Ken

Buy : The Stepkids

 

Mushy: Faded Heart Faded Heart is the field recording of a night of slo-mo psychic bloodshed at a crumbling coliseum, a debut of uncanny mystique and ghostly enigma accomplished beyond the glummest dreams of most drag apprentices. It drenches pages torn off Zola Jesus’ grimoire in the thick waters of the swamp where Christine Baxter drowned, deep in the woods of a death country shrouded in thick ambient mist, roamed by shapeless beasts of Lynchian provenance.

Mushy – Losing Days

Buy: Faded Heart

 

Cult of Youth: S/T If Songs:Ohia read All the Pretty Horses, then Cult of Youth are into Blood Meridian. They make Appalachian black magic, a satanic barn dance where the damned spin in dervish-like abandon over pagan symbols carved with Bowie knives. ou can almost see the bald and sweating dome of the Judge towering above the filthy scalp-hunters, an archetypical Dionysian troubadour which recurs through the ages – Flipper, Neubauten, Throbbing Gristle, Country Teasers, GG Allin, now this – to enthral us with tales of beautiful massacre. They are doing it so that we don’t have to, and we owe them for that.

Cult of Youth – The Lamb

Buy: S/T

 

Drums Off Chaos and Jens Uwe Beyer: Magazine 3 In Magazine 3, Drums off Chaos (Jaki Liebezeit’s percussion ensemble) and Jens-Uwe Beyer channel the millennial wisdom of a shaman who stares into the sky and sees the future instead of the past, because the gods are up there, and through the rituals codified in this music, the tribe eventually becomes them. It evokes an alternative branching in the life-story of Gang Gang Dance, where, after God’s Money, they decided to kneel at the altar of DRUM with the Boredoms, instead of trotting down the shining path to become the best dance music band in the world.

Drums off Chaos and Jens-Uwe Beyer – Second Half

Buy: Magazine 3

 

Way Through: Arrow Shower Way Through capture the joy of the elusive English sun breaking through a sky which gives and takes away, to shine upon the communal procession by which the years are counted. It is rather fitting that it is Chris and Clare who are behind it, seeing as their wonderful London happenings bristle with the unfakable communitarian spirit of the true, archetypical festival.

Way Through – Salmon Patch

Buy: Arrow Shower

Prince Rama: Trust Now Trust Now is a prodigy of exo-transformation. Upon slipping into it, we witness the world around us shape-shift. Boarded up shops become desecrated temples, malls are replaced by golden Ziggurats. Where not a minute ago stood gaudy theatres peddling crass pantomime, we now see impossible coliseums premiering Alejandro Jodorowsky’s latest psyche-drama. Fractured glimpses of the alternative present that would have been if the high and beautiful wave had never broken.

Prince Rama – Portaling

Buy: Trust Now

 

Yacht : Shangri-La You don’t get many concept albums in these days of the mp3 download but Yatcht’s second album as a duo – Shangri-la – is a concept album in the very old school sense. Unlike Rick Wakeman’s The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table On Ice Yatcht’s Shangrila is less of an exercise in self indulgent wank, and more of an exploration of their record collection. No matter what you feel about The Gaia hypothesis it’s difficult not to feel a little more like we need some earthly care and fun while listening to Shangri-La.

Yacht – Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)

Buy : Shangri-La

 

Ga’an: Black Equus and S/T album Ga’an are a steel Hydra coiling and snapping from the undifferentiated sludge of contemporary music, an enigmatic troubadour staying for a night at the inn of this reality, regaling us with uncanny ballads about the chaos without so that we can writhe in gorgeous nightmares when we go to bed. They take off like Magma, into the heart of darkness like Goblin.

Ga’an – Arms Can Speak

Ga’an – Servant Eye

Buy: Black Equus; S/T

 

Gold Zebra: Love, French, Better Minimal synth throb passified the gap left by the italians for most of this year by feeding us somthing a little colder.

GOLD ZEBRA- Love, French, Better

Buy : Love, French, Better

 

The Haxan Cloak: S/T The Haxan Cloak suck us in into a vortex which is Edgar Allan Poe Northern Sea dirge and modern composition drone, also the dark cave where pre-human tribes developed their first myths, which in a barely evolved form haunt us to this day. Like the Cave of Forgotten Dreams, if directed by Lucio Fulci.

The Haxan Cloak – The Fall

Buy: S/T album

 

Pink Skull : Psychic Welfare Struggling to try and create minimalism, while having too many things you loved love to put into an album, made Pink Skull’s Psychic Welfare a grower in 2011.

Pink Skull – Mu

Buy:  Psychic Welfare


Made Do and Mend Finders Keepers consistently release fantastic records, no mater what year it is. This year, like many uk independents, they suffered badly after a fire in the distribution warehouse of PIAS. The make do and mend compilations were issued to alleviate this situation, and turned out to be one of our favorite compilations of 2011.

Jacky Chalard – Super Man, Super Cool

Buy : Make do and mend

 

Bad Passion: Liquid Fire This is music bought into at both ends. The wry smile of an angelic voice crooning “it’s really got me buggin’” is married to an elaborate sexual metaphor involving badminton — but at the same time the music does that transporting thing, like Low or Galaxy 500 (when you concentrated on the voice and let the guitars fade away). A transporting thing that makes you fall in love with the heartbreaking sound while simultaneously being entertained by the knowing sexual intent of the words.

Bad Passion – Liquid Fire

Buy: Doin’ it Slow

 

And finally…

A huge shout out to our prodigal son at Tri Angle. Righty cleaning up on the ‘best of…’ lists wherever they appear. Afraid of the spectre of nepotism we probably don’t cover the output of the label as much as we should but releases from Balam Acab and Water Borders would make anyone’s list. Interesting times in 2012 as Robin follows in the footsteps of Kode9, Gas and Dub Narcotic Sound System and starts putting out his own music. If its anything like the lineage above, we’re psyched.

Buy: All the things

 

So is it 2012 yet? Well, for 20jazzfunkgreats the answer is almost. Thanks for being with us in 2011, sub-normal service will resume some time in 2012.

 

The Blasted Heath

Featuring : Mushy

The pit is a wormhole shield that conveys emotional energy into a frozen vacuum where it floats in stasis like the discoloured specimens of a crippled race. The pendulum is the razor-sharp condensation of molten dreams flowing inky from the alcove at the pinnacle of the witch house.  Mushy brandishes both weapons deftly, deviant chanteuse of the shadow gladiator arena.

Faded Heart is the field recording of a night of slo-mo psychic bloodshed at this crumbling coliseum, a debut of uncanny mystique and ghostly enigma accomplished beyond the glummest dreams of most drag apprentices.  It drenches pages torn off Zola Jesus’ grimoire in the thick waters of the swamp where Christine Baxter drowned, deep in the woods of a death country shrouded in thick ambient mist, roamed by shapeless beasts of Lynchian origin.

Mushy – Losing Days

Mushy’s Faded Heart is out on the 28th in Mannequin Records, packing ace bonus remixes from Newclear Waves, Soft Metals, Heinrich Dressel and Crossover.