Dub on different drugs

Featuring : The Orb


Maybe this is an approximation of the “righteous dub” William Gibson heard bleeding out of Maelcum’s headphones. Although that might create an unintended implication that dub is somehow only futuristic when it’s approximated by white European producers, which is patently not the case.

Rather, it’s probably that demographic of dub aficionados who made dub New Age – comedown-y and painless, stripped of anger and dread, made pretty and synthetic – but entertainingly so – a kind of VR dub.


That’s what The Orb sound like to us, anyway. You could make a case that is dub diluted, but their noise is no less hallucinatory than Actual Dub – it’s just on different drugs. Nineties-strength MDMA instead of ritual ganja.

The Orb – Valley

From Orbvs Terrarvm (1995) 

Two seascapes with clouds generated by Nelson Max at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. From Creative Computer Graphics (1984).

Deep Learning


In 2035, overwhelmed by the complex interdependencies of an hyper-accelerated financial system, a mega-skewed distribution of wealth and an ultra-collapsing environment, we surrendered our power to Talos.

Talos is a deeply layered neural network able to recognise features in multidimensional systems (things like trends, interdependencies and trade-offs) that it aggregates into high-level patterns it can use to make decisions that are truly holistic, something that as a species we are pretty shit at. Talos would be our caretaker.

The challenge for us was to select the right objective function for Talos, the last significant decision we would ever have to make. The consequences of getting this wrong might be as bad as the fate waiting for us without an artificial intervention – what was referred to as an Ellison trap.

After much deliberation we failed to reach an agreement on this objective function. We are pretty shit at agreeing on anything important.

We therefore decided to leave the specification of this objective function, aka Talo’s volition, to Medea, another deeply layered neural network which we fed reams of data about everything that’s good about us, and everything that we aspire to become. The process of generation of this dataset was crowdsourced. Everyone contributed to it. No one was excluded.

Medea went to work on the library she was supplied, humming a mysterious and hopeful ditty that gave us confidence we had made the right choice, or meta-choice.

Jo Johnson -Ancestral Footsteps

The music above was identified via the brilliant Music for Programming podcast. You can get Jo Johnson’s Weavings here. You can watch other demos by Quite (with soundtracks by Dune/Orange aka Brothomstates here). The image at the top is from Soul Axiom.

Happy Hour at the End of the World

Featuring : Sealings


We struggle to comprehend the gleeful chip, chip, chipping away at the foundations of utopia — laid generations before with the firm belief that progress trends up.  Wearing the gaudy cloak of populism, a reactionary jihad  has descended on the land and Muad’dib is nowhere to be found.  In the brittle rubble, the future has been birthed and it is gig-based and terrified.

Is it a wonder that we look for the hidden spaces between our worlds?  Spaces within which to hide the desecrated dreams of our grandparents.  The bounce of an AM signal between tall concrete buildings; the moment of packet loss within a high frequency trading network; the interference on the satellite link from Davos.  We slip within these spaces as if in a dream.

These hidden spaces are dim and the fidelity is low but they are ours.  Their lives are brief but they last long enough.

A house band plays a slow sad song.  The weight of the outside world crushes their rhythms and distorts the synths.  A small crowd sways and mingles in brief flashes of light, refugees gathered briefly to absorb a cosmic sorrow.

Sealings – Transient Curse

Transient Curse is taken from the (excellently titled) album I’m a Bastard, which comes out on Faux Discx and Italian Beach Babes on 18th September.  You can get it two weeks early though by ordering from them right here or here.  And you should, because it’s great.



Regular readers will be familiar with Blue Tapes and its Japanese contingent of artists – Teruyuki Kurihara (aka Cherry), Hitoshi Asaumi (aka Leedian) and Cherry’s improv-techno trio Check!!!.

Now, for the first time, these artists will be playing together in the UK and XXJFG will be there too!

At a Blue Tapes special of The Outer Church in London, the XXJFG DJ team will be in full force at Power Lunches in Dalston, 5 August. Five bands – Father Murphy (Italy), Map 71 (Brighton), Leedian (Japan), Benjamin Finger (Norway) and a one-off improvisation by a Blue Tapes supergroup – for just five of your British pounds!


Then, at 7-9 August at Braziers Park in Oxfordshire, the XXJFG and Blue Tapes squads will reunite to detonate some DJ decks for Supernormal 2015, which will feature all of the previous acts, plus the UK debut of Check!!!

To celebrate the event, Blue Tapes are reissuing its previous releases by Cherry and Leedian as a split cassette/download, and we have asked Leedian and Cherry to interview each other exclusively for XXJFG.

Please bear in mind that English is neither Hitoshi or Teru’s first language – previously they have blogged for XXJFG in Japanese!


Cherry: Firstly, please introduce yourself including your music history.

Leedian: Leedian formed in 2012. I played a guitar when I was teenager then have started to compose with machine since I was 20. Please tell us about how was “check!!!” formed.

Cherry: I had a chance to perform as a solo at the club event which Tec organized. Then I found a kindred spirit in Tec so, we started to perform together and Yan who graduated same elementary school as me joined us as a Bass since we wanted to perform in a different way. Not only your music but also your art work is pretty impressive on your website. Please tell us about it, too.

Check!!! – Inner of Sea (previously unreleased)

Leedian: I liked to do collage, so I used to put some clippings from magazines and books in my room. Now, I do image processing with my pictures and other images from the internet and publish them with my music on my website. What’s the difference with performing as a solo and a part of band?


Cherry: The biggest difference is Tec and Yan give me inspiration which I would never get it if I’ll do it by myself. How do you get inspiration?

Cherry – 1969 (from blue three)

Leedian: It comes from everything. For example, I often get it when I was taking walk. How do you usually compose?


Cherry: Well, we do session with a phrase which one of us composed and share our ideas. Have you ever had hard time when you working, you feel that just wanted to stop doing this?

Check!!! – Intermood (previously unreleased)

Leedian: I always have hard time but at the same time, it also gives me energy. Do you prefer to stick with a specific types of music?

Katie Gately – Pipes (Leedian Remix) (from The Blue Tapes House Band: vol. 1)

Cherry: No, I don’t. However I have a kind of image which I want to do. I’m actually hoping to create something which no one can categorize. What is the most important thing for your creativity?

Leedian: To be honest. What influences your creativity?

Leedian – rdfdsa (from blue two)

Cherry: All impressive music, art, those creator’s words and ideas also, their lifestyle influences me a lot. Do you cosider your life separately as an artist and private?

Leedian: No, basically it’s the same because you never know where you’ll find inspiration. What was the most interesting things recently?

Cherry: I realized that I don’t know about myself the most. I found it’s pretty interesting. Could you tell us about your future plan, please?

Leedian: I’ll get new machine because mine is becoming old then we’ll release new songs. Is there anything in common with your music and drawing?

Cherry: Yes, I think they’re the same things. How do you feel about performing at Supernormal 2015?

Leedian: Thank you, David at Blue Tapes and thank you all for working on this project. Do you want to try something new near future?

Cherry: I’m not hoping to try to do completely new things because I feel it’s enough with the things which surrounding me however I would love to go deep inside of them. I think that I don’t have enough time to do them all in my life.

Banner image by Teruyuki Kurihara, other image by Hitoshi Asaumi




Featuring : Squadra Omega + Windbreaker


The general-purpose nature of human intelligence stems from the generality of the algorithms our cortex uses to process the data it receives from the senses.

Colour, movement, pitch, timbre, pressure, pleasure and pain are all converted into synaptic pulses and stored as memories that are sequential, self-associative and invariant.

Sequential because we think and remember stories. Self-associative because we can reconstruct the whole from a part. Invariant because we store high-level structures and leave aside specifics and noise.

These features of our intelligence are the reason why we are able to operate in complex, changing environments without getting bogged down by the need to constantly compute like Laplace’s demons.

This is also the reason why we are able to recognise a melody regardless of its key and tempo. This is what gives the power of analogy and metaphor. This is also why we are able to take songs as different as the ones we are posting today, by Squadra Omega and Windbreaker, and detect the same pattern in them.

We appreciate significant differences in their style and form, but infer, from those features, the same ur-function of musical energy which constitutes the core or essence of almost every single song that has ever been featured in this blog.

We don’t need to tell you what it is. Listen to them, if you share our outlook, you will know.


Squadra Omega’s Altri Occhi Ci Guardano (Other Eyes Look at Us) double LP out in Sound of Cobra is hands-down one of the best albums of the year.

It represents everything that we love about the so-called “Italian Occult Psychedelia” movement: a speleology of psyche, funk, jazz and gothic music that removes all the artifice to leave a substrate of primarily coloured human emotion, a primeval swamp where the uncanny merges with the instinctive, the kernel of cosmic fear that arrives when we look outside ourselves, at a world full of shadows.

Il Grande Idolo is a piece de resistance among many, a 12 minute long dirge that shrieks, drones and wails with the unselfconsciousness of geological events observed with a colossal time-lapse, before collapsing into a motorik monster out of this world – imagine the chromatics of Suspiria and the geometries of Jodorowky splattered over a triangle projected into infinity, a highway you traverse like Cooper in Interstellar, or Bowman in a Space Odyssey, in the search for a Star Child that perhaps exists into our past, rather than our future.

Squadra Omega – Il Grande Idolo

Get Altri Occhi Ci Guardano here.


Windbreaker’s Hostage is a strange thing that exists the intersection of eviscerated dance genres. It’s almost as if Nick Read had adopted the role of a Mayan priest, and extracted the heart of Acid, EBM, AI-IDM and EBM one by one, and then hurled their carcasses into a cenote, from which eventually emerges a beast with the poise of a Hidetaka Miyazaki nightmare.

The feeling of alienness is almost unbearable. We know acid, but not this brittle. We know the death-head rattle of Factory Floor, but not without the dystopia. We know EBM, but not de-sexed. We know Warp’s techno, but not without the ravey trippiness.

Nature abhors vacuum though, and the components of this composite eventually expand to fill the void at its heart with the main thing that they share, a sense of eternal propulsion, a knowledge that stasis is decay, that if you stop moving, you will die.

We run with it for a while, and then we are left behind.

Windbreaker – Statt

Go and get Hostage for new tape label, Kikimora Tapes.

(Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas image via Gizmodo)

Deep Archer

Featuring : Paco Sala


Feeling empty? Sad? Bored? As if your soul was pale gruel?

Worry no more. There are creative people out there putting together artistic structures that will pump your life with sensations so intense your soul will burst.

You feel meta-excited, but still no cigar. You are an empiricist and require evidence of your forthcoming delight. I tell you there is a bauble in my bag that’s precisely the ticket.

It purrs like the turbo-boosters of a cyborg panther guarding impossible gardens funded with the spoils of a criminal empire. Warp forward past this gnomic watcher, up a balcony into a boudoir which is the first prototype of an abstract pornography Virtual Reality where platonic ideals blend into each other like imperial destroyers committing suicide upon a distant supernova.

Like sneak thieves sliding down the simmering corridors of some quantum fortress to plant into the brain at its core strange emotions, a purple haze, a virus of equivocal contours.

This fortress is you. The thief is you. Paco Sala and LX Sweat supplied the funk poisons, the riddim weapons, the holographic siren messing up all the alarm systems. You crash through the final barrier, and fill it all with colour.

Paco Sala – Or Lan Do – LX Sweat Remix

This is included in the Put Your Hands on Me remix EP available from bandcamp.

(Artwork from Transistor)