Category Archives: Valis

Grand Designs

Gaia’s sister is made of concrete and chrome, and she has two faces. One face has a name, its name is Jane of the mixed use and the vibrant neighbourhood. The other face doesn’t have a name, it has many names (which is the same thing), you will see them graffitied in cul-de-sacs and tattooed in the arms of transients, projected in a new kind of sky by the glaring insect eyes of the beast that coils below.

Babylon, Metropolis, Gotham, Big Smoke, you know the archetype.

If Gaia operates like a homeostatic system, her dark sister acts viral, vertically and horizontally, spreading like a Sim City iteration loaded with assets designed by Zaha Hadid and H.R. Giger.

The modern tradition of Chicago dance arcana works as a collection of hymns to her metastasis and darkest symptoms: aberrant sex, murderous tendencies, noise pollution, harmful design, an addiction we can’t get out of, like in VALIS’ recent remix of Joie Noire, a beastly disco creeper sloppy and awesome like pheromone italo-lipstick smeared over Molly Millions’ retractable claws, closing in for the kill over a max contrast zoetrope.

Joie Noire – Kup Kup (Valis remix)

Get the album featuring the original from Desire Records.

Golden Birthday’s ‘Eqlipst’ illustrates this mutant dusk at the micro level, and in doing so, feels like the coda of Last Highway’s unreleased prequel: Arquette and Pullman content & quiet like 1950s dolls in a chiaroscuro mock-up, no saxophone, rather, a Talking Heads 12’’ spinning in a stainless steel turntable, lovers rock straight off the new wave swamp that Carly ransacked to become eternal. And then the sinister presence glides in like a Badalamenti spectre, a manta ray of weird vibes.

Something comes over them, glimpse of violence in their eyes, a psychic infestation.

Fade in black, or maybe red.

Golden Birthday – Eqlipst (feat Beau Wanzer)

This track, which features the very awesome Beau Wanzer on guitar, is included in the Illusions LP forthcoming in Catholic Tapes.

20jazzfunkgreats best of 2010: Step Up

What vinyl platters could wake 20JFG prematurely from its cryogenic slumber in 2010? What repetitive beats could make its unconscious and partially thawed corpse shuffle towards the nearest dancefloor? What warm-hearted heaters could possibly defrost that heart of stone and illuminate that mind of disillusionment? What songs offered comfort when we were sat down and told that our plan to freeze ourselves in search of a better life in the future, had received some major setbacks? In the year that moved at 60 b.p.m, magic at higher tempos shone like the opening ceremony of the Ark of the Covenant.


2 Dogs In a House – Scream in the Night (posted 25th June)

Echoes of Mr. Fingers drift across prehistorical plains where the proto-wolves wait 10,000 years to devour us.


Beautiful Swimmers – Big Coast (posted July 5th)

The soundtrack to Streets of Rage 2 as rerecorded by Shriekback whilst holidaying on Easter Island.


Brassica – New Jam City (posted August 26th)

Prodigious astral boogie 1st heard in the pastel discotheque of Count Ramulus III, Lord of the Vapour Folk (the DJ wouldn’t tell us what it was but we sneaked a look at the label while he was in the toilet).


Charanjit Singh – Raga Megh Malhar (posted March 31st)

Humanity’s ongoing search for ‘The Future’ in electronic music was called off when it was discovered in the past.


Cos/Mes – Gozmez Land (posted November 4th)

A luscious trip into the humid rainforests of Selza-G where the indigenous folk speak only a percussive language based on distant Gamelan mythology.


Crystal Ark – The City Never Sleeps (posted March 22nd)

This is what happened when you dropped the schematic for that trans-dimensional love-canon on your visit to the druid camp.


Crystal Ark – The Tangible Presence of the Miraculous (posted November 16th)

This is what happened when they worked out how to build it.


DJ Nate – Make Em Run (posted July 6th)

Planet Mu gave the Europe a 4-part lesson in how they do things in Juke-Town. From Ramellzian voyages into unchartered arrangements by the younger generation, to telepathic hyperspeed bangers from the seasoned vets – each part served to further bend our stiff upper lips and get that booty shaking like it was Mecha-Godzilla being throttled by King Kong.

DJ Roc – Phantom Call (posted September 22nd)

DJ Rashad – Teknitianz (posted September 16th)

DJ Elmoe – Whea Yo Ghost at Whea Yo Dead Man (posted June 22nd)


Hunt with a cat – Wrapped in Rope (posted August 13th)

Gary Wallace (Anthony Michael Hall) and his best friend, Wyatt Donnelly (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), are 15-year-old nerds with low social standing at their Shermer, Illinois high school. During a weekend at Wyatt’s house in which his parents are out of town they came up with ‘Hunt With a Cat’, the finest mechanoid basement-acid act in the land.


Hyetal – Phoenix (New Post)

Between two stratosphere piercing peaks lies a valley shrouded in a synthetic mist: atmospheric and portentous.  Still, no amount of scene setting can quite prepare you for the majesty of those two peaks. “Last song of the night”-of-the-year.


Hyetal & Shortstuff – Ice Cream (posted January 26th)

Pitch bended celestial ballroom music so good, just hearing the opening takes us five years into the future whereupon we chance on a dank basement club, hear the first few chords of Ice Cream and levitate.


Jonathan Kusuma – Days are Numbered (posted August 27th)

One of many awesome transmissions from Indonesia this year via Space Recs.  Kusuma opening in a baroque fashion with a mile long procession towards a dark and foreboding tower…before storming it in thunderous style.


JR Seaton – Azklementyne (12′ mix) (posted August 5th)

The 20JFG specification document genre known as ‘Beatnik Beats’ was created especially for this blazed out intellectual battle of wits between Lil Louis and Artie Shaw.


Malvoeaux- Targets (posted July 5th)

The moment in Tron:Reloaded where Daft Punk finally remove those helmets to reveal thier unspeakable Teuthidian faces.


Pagan Future – Ancient Ritual (posted October 15th)

Delicate images from the insecure formation of techno preserved at a lower bpm for us to greater appreciate their beauty.


Protect-U – Double Rainbow (posted June 10th)

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain, where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies.


Rocha- Hands of Love (Fingers of Sand) (Gatto Fritto’s Menorcan Nightmare Version) (posted March 22nd)

This is what hell wants you to think it sounds like down there, so that you will spend your life robbing banks and not helping old ladies across the road.


Steve Moore – Zero Point Field (posted october 13th)

This is what it felt like to be the LHC in the moments leading up to the first collision.


It has long been speculated that the observed periodic radial velocity pattern for the K giant Pollux might be explained in terms of an orbiting planetary companion. We have collected 80 high-resolution spectra for Pollux at Lick Observatory yielding precise radial velocities with a mean error of 3.8 m s<sup>-1</sup>, providing the most comprehensive and precise data set available for this star. Our data confirm the periodicity previously seen in the radial velocities. We derive a period of 589.7+/-3.5 days and, assuming a primary mass of 1.86 M<sub>solar</sub>, a minimum companion mass of 2.9+/-0.3M<sub>Jup</sub>, consistent with earlier determinations.


Valis- Exegisis (posted May 9th)

A 13 piece uniformed funk band named Cameo raided a Government building in 1984. Only 3 of them made it out alive, so they moved to Essex and renamed themselves Nitzer Ebb.


Gliding through the green-on-black darkness

Log on 16.13

Increasing the effectiveness of our operation, and improving shareholder value requires resolving one of the two following bottlenecks. Either we modify the user interface to access the data inputs feeding into our decision-making process, or adjust our operatives’ sensory systems: Steve Jobs versus post-humanism. Bring on the cyborgs I say.

Log on 09.10.15 20.02

That integralist fuddy duddy Pralajed got the upper hand in the board room debate. We are gonna plug a new API into our data sources to render cumulative trends, correlations, early warnings of a black swan etc. into sounds. We believe that after a couple of workshops on hypnagogic statistics, the musicologists that we hired from Cambridge will be able to react quicker to changes in the market by interpreting changes in modulation, tone, BPM and pitch. With this API, the behaviours that led to Death Friday would have sounded like the opening of Carmina Burana stretched over months. A goldilocks analysis has projected an improvement in our time to opportunity of 4.3 nanoseconds on average- an additional turnover of $30M every quarter. Plug that bitch on.

Log on 18.12.15 15.15

Turnover up 7% over the same quarter last year.

Log on 17.2.16 04.08

We left Salinger at the office last night, he was selling some bonds in Tokyo. When we arrived this morning he was lying on the floor, a thin sliver of saliva dangling from his lips, expanded pupils blotting his retinas like some naive drug baby.

Log on

We have had two more casualties- brain fried, spewing gibberish about ghosts floating in the darkness. I was taking a shit when I heard Shang and Rodriguez washing their hands outside, they were talking about voices in the data. What the fuck. The API could never produce grammatically meaningful messages, some drones at most. Maybe they have been working too hard. Mental note to cut down their overtime, make them take some leave.

Log on 21.2.16 18.10

Shang is gone. There was a short mention of our recent record at the gossip column at FT. Fuck. I’m staying tonight to find out what’s going on.

Log on 21.2.16 04.50

A quiet night so far, I haven’t really been trained to make sense of this shit, to me it sounds like elevator music, a peaceful nothingness punctuated by the typing machine beat of routine trades, the odd change in pitch of a Hedge Fund acting foolish.

Log on 21.2.15 05.56

I fell asleep over a print-out of our projections, woken up by someone whispering in my ear. Christ, are they playing a prank on me? I think there’s someone in the office. Checked the CCTV. Empty though, just the security guy playing Office Solitaire in the lobby.

Log on 21.12.15 06.05

Ok. That’s definitely someone’s voice in the speakers. What the fuck. Some other trading shop is fucking around with us. Or some weird transmission is messing up our data inflow.

Log on 21.12.15 06.07

Wait. It’s talking to me.

Log on 21.12.15 06.08

It lives there.

Log on 21.12.15 06.12

A ghost gliding through the green-on-black darkness sings to me.

(Image and inspiration taken from this)

We are so into Clique Talk’s the Symbiote- day of the dead style martial beats, think Fad Gadget on a killing spree, sound effects bubbling in the cauldron of some electro witch, bassline coiling like the erratic routines of a lobotomised android. It is a Chiba City hustling classic, synthetic agglomeration slashed by flashbacks of mortality, or that melancholy piano refrain. You have more memories to escape from you when your flesh is made of plastic. You have more memories to escape from when real-time recollections of your eternal existence have been dumped into a corporate cloud where storage space is infinite.

Memories that chase you furiously like Moore’s hounds.

Clique Talk- The Symbiote

VALIS’ new remix for Age of Consent sounds like some John Rocca classic from the 80s resuscitated by a resourceful necromancer. All the things that go BOOM on the dancefloor are there, but shrouded in ectoplasm. This is the kind of jam that, when played at the disco, oozes into the bizarro limbo manor where Jacko hangs out, pulling him  into the land of the living to possess the body of some weak willed reveller, slide inside like a white glove to throw the most wicked moves. Internal blood vessels are necessarily ruptured, and bones fractured.

When it’s all over the conduit collapses while the crowd cheers, what the fuck just happened. Something came over you mate, something came over you.

Age of Consent- The Beach (Valis Remix)

Gotham Tears

Featuring : Alex Barnett + Valis

Chicago is one of the cold-spots through which the 20jazzfunkgreats squad strut in their psycho-geographic hallucinations. Through the brutal shadows of a foreboding architecture which develops in 3D the austere scores of a gaunt minimal composer we chase the electronic dragon, that beast forged in the fire of African drums and German machine music, the days of the warehouse are over but many a shadowy stalwart keeps the dream alive.

Valis stay true to the substance of freestyle, a loose structure whose components are arranged following pure instinct in absolute disregard to pop conventions or the cyclical transitions of most dance music. And within these terms of engagement they summon images of some place that is hell, but not as described in the scripture, rather, by Steinski had he been a dystopian visionary. It feels like being buried in a storm- swirling clouds of red out of which surge caustic EBM beats that pummel and maul like a ghost elephant, poisonous lightning bolts of synthetic paranoia lash like cat o’ nine tails. The rest is dirty fighting and snippets of violated soul to get you jacking as you continue your descent into the pit.

Valis- Exegisis

Alex Barnett’s ‘Try Harder’ is an analogue love letter to the fledging shards of stark beauty which float unassailable in those empty moments of wonder between ghastly happenings in the cinematography of that John Carpenter. Not only was the man the true master of suspense, but also the best documenter of those warped zones which emerge in the junction between industrial states and derelict back-alleys, abandoned offices and empty neighbourhoods where in the absence of people one loses all sense of perspective, lines bounding vast surfaces of concrete spread towards infinity, for all you know the apocalypse could have already happened and you shall be legend.

The feeling of eeriness is perhaps misplaced, these sceneries, snapshots of the underbelly of modern architecture are not haunted in their emptiness, but awesome, like the wild reserves of a planet whose nature operated following opposite principles to ours. Try Harder is an instance of the sound that birds and insects would make if they had evolved in places such as these, it is their beautiful music.

Alex Barnett-Try Harder

Get it from Nihilist Records.