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TIME MACHINES II

TIME MACHINES II

‘Time Machines’ is the name of the 1998 album by the band and archangels of KHAOS ‘Coil’. It has four tracks, the names of which are taken from experimental new psychedelic drugs they had been sent by international chemists for their investigation and inspiration in their recreational work. At over twenty minutes “4-Indolol, 3-[2-(Dimethylamino)Ethyl], Phosphate Ester: (Psilocybin)” is the last track on the album.

The album was intended to distort time for the listener. Through trial and error with the manipulation of synthesisers, samplers and other assorted gizmos ‘n’ gear the band arranged sounds that would displace or ‘slide’ time. There are no melodies, beats or obvious structure to any of the four tracks, just sounds, drones to be precise (in music, a drone is a harmonic or monophonic effect or accompaniment where a note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece).

The album was released under the name ‘Time Machines’ to dispel any preconceptions of the listener.

The album was very well received and some reviews were even published years before its release it was so effective in its goals.

The band had not played live in any serious context until ‘Time Machines’ was released. Coil played London’s Royal Festival Hall in a show entitled “The Industrial Use Of Semen Will Revolutionise The Human Race” on 2nd April 2000. The reaction to that show encourage more touring and live performances right up until The End.

Coil disbanded in 2004 after the untimely death of founding member Jhonn Balance.

As with a substantial amount of their output there is a harsh element to the ‘Time Machines’ album, yet Coil were a lot less ‘harsh’ than their predecessors ‘Throbbing Gristle’, and band member Peter Christopherson later solo work would be the antithesis of harsh. Christopherson’s final albums before his death in 2010 would be of an unparallel beauty of light and peace. His bizarre and intriguing arrangements and configuration of equipment and sounds would remain a constant but the sound being created was sheer love, be it forlorn, unrequited or an abundance of & indulgent feast, there was an innate harmony that evoked peace to his solo work.

It is during this period he wrote and recorded ‘Time Machines II’. Peter died suddenly in 2010 aged just 55.

tmii

‘TIME MACHINES II’ is released tomorrow, 31st January 2014.

Quote from Sleazy’s Blog

Friday, April 16, 2010

“… I have begun to develop and build (with the help of various lone inventors, military technicians, circuit bending specialists, cabinet makers, and antiquarians, dotted around obscure corners of the globe) the musical instruments I plan to use on Time Machines II – Perhaps it should be called Time Machines Legacy, or something similar, since it will use technology not invented when we released Time Machines…

Best2all”

Posted by sleazybkk at 12:51 AM

SLEAZY’S custom made instruments can be viewed here.

Danny Hyde was Christopherson’s collabator/accomplance on his solo recordings and reimaginings of COIL tracks in his final years & without whom the world would be a less colourful place. http://www.auralrage.com/

BD. 2014

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COIL 23rd October 2004

The final Coil gig took place in Dublin at the city’s 18th-century Exchange, a neo-classical building in the centre of the city. The performance was in the rotunda beneath a large highly decorative gold dome supported by twelve Portland stone columns. Audience member huddled together under the great dome or lazed and hung around the surrounding ambulatory drown in dry ice, sweeping search lights and the echo echo echo from the natural acoustics. The show was the closing ceremony of the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival 2004. It was October, just before the first frost. It was a celebratory somber affair, an electrically stimulated precipice, people teetering on the edge and ready for lift off throughout but we were instead scattered sideways, displaced in space and time. Some still remain there to this day. I will never forget the sight and sound of Jhonn covering his microphone with his hand and shouting up at the dome, and it boom back down at him. Hairs stand on end still. Jhonn died just three weeks later, he was 42. RIP.

BD

This is a faded polaroid taken that evening – http://youtu.be/SmVxv8otW6Y

 

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The Tide Before

The cobble stones become fish heads and the boardwalk planks and railway sleepers become bodies and drunks asleep where they fell. The fog muffles the distant clang of a soft metal bell, the rust on the hammer absorbing the force of the blow. Sporadic fog horns, each from a different direction three sixty degrees and getting gradually closer yet further away. Some old gulls squabble, blind and deranged, not aware of the time of the day or the depth of the night. With the sea breeze comes the breath of the night, over the gentle ripples of the almost stagnant bay, the smell of the sea in all its decrepit splendor. The fragrant and pungent, fresh and decayed, there is salt in the air, there in salt in the wounds of the broken nosed fools. It brings tears to the eyes, as does smoke, and chopping onions, remising, or any consideration of our lives.

The sea side carnival that once thrived is now survived by just junk ‘n’ drunks. It is best personified by the oddly sweet smelling candy floss vendor who sweats as he turns sticks and pedals his machine. Curls his moustache, rigid with sugar, scratches his crotch, less said the better. The Ferris Wheel – held together by great globules of grease which chokes and spits as the creakiness and strain from sea salt air on Victorian wrought iron buckle and contort, then on days when the wind picks up it picks off shards of egg shell blue paint raised off the surface on layers of rust and decay, tiny fragments fill the air and top ice creams of red eyed infants and scabby kneed kids. Tonight its buckets slowly sway in a symphony of moans either moved by, or moving for effect, the mist that shrouds and envelops the lovers beneath. One pair of lovers, the rest are just lonleys together. Old lovers and young lonleys. Old and away from their lives for one brief fleeting moment of cherished contentment, once in a millennium of doom and gloom and blame to which tomorrow they must return. The young just desire what the old couple have tonight but through their desperation and circumstance of nights like this they are sealed to the same fate of doom and gloom and blame for a million millenniums every day of the week for the rest of their lonely lives. Outside the sad silent saloon all closed and bolted some hours ago, accordion wheeze in synch with the breathing of a fat snoring lump as he sleeps up right – girth corked in the top of a barrel, a crooked mound – till the guttering he leans on bends from his weight and gives way, he falls fast to the wall and slides like a damp rag down the brick, jowls fill the spaces between like viscous grouting, he slides in slow motion, so amazingly slow considering his abundant size. Accordion burst and disgruntled gruff murmurs as he resettles in puddles and cigarette butts.

The top of the town, the bay head. Docks on a pier that leads to a bar with some rooms. This was the hub, this was the heart pumping blood to the town below… This is now the place where children once came to play during school holidays. Summers sun bursting in their memory still. This is now the place where sad clichés linger, fester, propagate and thrive like virus. They cling to the tongue and stuttered infinitely in fear of being spent. “The sea side town they forgot to bomb”, indeed.

Faded posters invite to long since car-parked ballrooms and bingo-halled theatres with names of entertainers whom have been consumed, digested and regurgitated by worms in the intervening years and similarly afore by whiskey, gin and chorus girls. From flappers to slappers, once the play ground of the social elite, a resort to rival the Riviera, then after the obliteration of class and humanity circa late ’40’s, all were welcomed. This place then favoured children and they came in their abundance for years, then came the swingers, the socialist conventions and anti tax rallies, illegal ravers, the homosexuals and finally the pensioners. Nobody comes these days, nobody leaves either, they just stack up and up all the while crashing down and out. This ol’ town still has its abundance of one armed bandits, pirate rides and big dippers. The log flumes and tetanus jabs, dodgems and compulsory scabs, waltzers, wineos and chip vans, this place’s a fair ol’ ground, pale, sickly and puce, from pill box grey sky to pill box abuse, purgatory, with a touch of dungeon, and purpose without hope, the dregs. “A pint an’ two ez please”.

A prosopopoeia hurdy gurdy plays a Circus Screamer through the démodé tannoy. The wires vibrate and the suspended coloured bulbs, all faded and rain filled, rattle and sway in the eerie gloom, their light wains as the music swells, soaking each other’s power, exchanging light for sound and so on and so forth, like the exhausted trying to resuscitate the fatigued and collapsed, open mouth and breathless, gasping and drooling into vacuous chasms of belch and halitosis and the rest. It is still in the am…

The squabbling blind gulls bite and pinch at the air occasionally landing blows on already bloodied feathers over what they think is food but really just old rope that fish guts had saturated the tide before. They will do this till the next tide and again when it recedes. The moments in-between they perch peacefully and eat candy floss off the frayed spokes on the slow moving Ferris Wheel, soothed by its unhinged motion and subtle hummed song.

BD 2012

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Something Else...

 

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I VS X

I

Mark Zero One is the only surviving proto-type. All others were dismantled for destruction with only some vital components recycled for use in the newer models. We are now on Mark Ten. It is fifteen years since the original proto-type was abandoned. The museum of space exploration and micro robotics has displayed the Mark Zero One for the last three years. It has only recently been put on display as it is now regarded as being obsolete and no longer top secret. It has been surpassed by twenty one generations of technological advances in a decade and a half.

The Mark Zero One is what you must now use to track and retrieve the stolen Mark Ten. You have clearance at top level to view classified files, schematic and performance tests of the highly advanced Mark Ten Combat Suit. You will also have to become familiar with The Shell too. The Shell is what we christened Mark Zero One during early trials. It is still quite advanced compared to modern fighter jets but in comparison to The Suit it is an antiquated battleship, one with sails, and a plank.

The Suit is the pet name for the Mark Ten but it is anything but a pet. It is now a wild animal, monster, supernatural demon, it is so alien to anything you have ever experienced or even considered and it is loose on the world. It has been taken by the test pilot. There was nothing we could do to stop him once he was inside and active. He is virtually unstoppable and indestructible. We have no idea where he could be, The Suit is untraceable.

Mission: You will take the Mark Zero One from the museum. You will track and trace the Pilot and Mark Ten travelling where we cannot. They have every where conceivable to hide out. You must get on top of him without detection. He is most likely somewhere he knows we could never get to in time for capture if spotted. Presumably he is switching from one location to another, Himalayas to Antarctica for example, scanning our transmissions as he goes, biding his time until the purpose of the theft becomes clear. We suspect every possibility, we can rule out nothing, we cannot begin to imagine. It is crucial you find him. Foreign powers or terrorist organisations have not been ruled out but The Suit is so highly classified the military do not even know of its existence. Anything is possible, it is imperative you locate The Suit and communicate our concerns with the pilot, but only as a last resort, only if you cannot kill outright.

The Shell is a semi permanent structure. It is six foot by four for the most part. It can contort from oval to tear to round, compressing its shell to a diameter only constrained by the physical body of the pilot inside. It is made up of billions of interlocking individual smart micro biotic nano machines, each engineered and built from a material based on the combination of proteinaceous anacrid silk and diamond molecule structures. The tiny machines gain power via solar cells and being of a diamond structure can intensify and contort light providing extra solar charge and a camouflage protection. The interlinking micro machines are flexible and react to electrical charge from the synapses in the brain of the pilot. When he makes a decision on navigation or combat procedures they react immediately and without hesitation, faster than any human eye to hand coordination. It is an extension of the pilot’s body, it is armour, it is transport and weapon, it is invisible and can fly.

Gravitational pull and reversible magnetic field acceleration allow the suit to fall off the surface of the earth or plummet with plus ten g-force. The slight on board laser system is magnified through the diamond clusters and can penetrate any known surface. The suit is capable of withstanding all earthly temperature changes, the pilot possibly not. Tests in active volcanoes culminated with the pilot moving through magma falls with little or no skin damage what so ever. The suit has been as deep in the ocean as observation mounts could follow and again without harm to the pilot. Mark one never had a quarter of these tests done as technological advances happened so quickly it was simply abandoned.

II

The Suit and pilot bide their time orbiting the earth in the dish of a defunct soviet satellite. All of the earth’s knowledge is available to them as it is learned. Google in comparison to the capabilities of The Suit is that of notes in crayon on the back of a stamp or graffiti on a bin. The Suit connects the stars, storing information on their distant light for recall. As the pilot rests the suit recharges in another glorious dawns light, the third today. It learns, remembers, tactically reminisces as the pilot rests. Synapses spark, nano diamonds glisten, web appendages coil, interlock, dovetail. The silent vacuum of space, the solitary light source intermittently illuminating, charging this antithesis of the emperor’s new clothes. This is the very fabric empires could be built on, intergalactic imperial empires at the stretch of the imagination because that is all there is left, the power of thought has been granted the power to evolve and make real the reality that is presently just a slight electrical charge around membranes of neurons. The balance of power, infinite cosmic power, balanced on the philosophy of he who controlees the wearer of The Suit, or the mind set of he who wears The Suit, soon though, quite possibly – The Suit alone.

Mark Zero One is charged, brought to the salt plains and practically discarded so not to raise the suspicions of The Suit. Left to charge in the sun, like a whale on a desert beach, slight surface movement, shimmering, sporadic sparks as nano bots busily repair and recycle each other’s components, using sand to rewrite programs, one grain spliced thousands of times, used up like a phone books pages, only with more numbers, more information than all the phone books ever printed combined and then photocopied on to all the paper that has ever been printed on or used to wrap fish and chips throughout the ages. It bulks up. It has structure once more, no longer deflated. It is ready for pilot. It is ready for suggestions as to what to do, where to go, what not to destroy. Mark Zero One, The Shell, primed to act on a decision made by a pilot, The Suit can act on the presumed conclusion of numerous considerations, solving before a choice is found, tactical possibilities compute on every consideration, a solution executed before the problem has even been absorbed by the pilot. The shell is just barely more than a shell. The Suit is a second skin, an impenetrable second skin. Fluid and ever shifting, an adaptable liquid diamond entity. Consciousness is not something we freely band about when talking artificial intelligence and it is not something that can be attributed to The Suit, at least not during the last test flight, but that was hours ago. The speed at which The Suit learns and evolves is beyond any machine or programme to date, beyond any human infant’s development, even beyond the speed at which I can tell you this story. If it were a smart phone you would know who is calling and why months before they even made the call.

So then there is this: the possibility The Suit has gone AWOL of its own accord, kidnapping the pilot in the process. This is such a revolutionary proposal it is in the abstract for us here at HQ now, we cannot even guess if The Suit with such advanced development and knowledge even requires a pilot.

What is the trigger or mechanism that decides the path one takes. Without learning is a morality present. How is it influenced. Does it come with learning. Is morality simply a choice. What are the options, what are the influences that decide your orientation. If one knows all of human history, the cause and effect, all religious teachings and varying philosophical philosophies how are they affected, what choices are they influenced to make by knowing all, but is knowing understanding, what is it to understand, is it accepting responsibility of one’s actions, knowing the consequence and how others are affected, is the desire for humanity to prevail the right choice, is that the weight to sway one to make the right choice. Is the greater good the right choice if one needed and what of all for one and one for all. What if one is not human. How is good perceived without a basic morality and is evil inherent… and is all this applicable even in machines.

III

Both pilots have ultimate power at their minds tips. We know one has been recruited to track down and eliminate the other. We know nothing of the other. That is the limit of our knowing. But what do the pilots know? What do they know of each other? What do their respective crafts know, and know of each other. Tracker of runner, pursued of pursuer. Suit of Shell, Shell of Suit. Tracker of Suit, Suit of tracked, Suit of wearer.

What unfolds is beyond comprehension, beyond human imagination…

Inner-space is not even the final frontier…

Suit kidnapped pilot???

Internal battle ensues!!!

Is the pilot even still alive???

Pilot is decent and good, conscientious and almost superman like in his will to do good…

Now tracked by another conscientious do-gooder with only the will to make right motivating him…

Which, possibly both, but how and when???

Watch as they chase at break neck speed through glaciers, red lazers burning through blue ice, vapour and steam, explosions, crashing mountains of ice, turning right angles at hundreds of kilometres an hour, escaping into the stratospheres, surfing re-entry through fire balls, crashing out as sonic boom displace the very molecules, atoms only held together by sacrificing propulsion systems miles above earths busy Metropolis’, the fight, the battle, the fatigue, the mutual respect, the final white knuckled helping hand – held out and scuppering the missions goal, the starting over again, more missed opportunities with the end again in sight as both come to the aid of earthquake stricken Istanbul, raising Europe and Asia simultaneously from a gorging and gluttonous Bosporus, deflecting shards of the moon from impacting Japan and Sydney after a cataclysmic meteor crash in Tranquillity Bay, the Pacific’s ‘plastic trash island’ conscious with radiation poisoned algae comes ashore in L.A., Hollywood in ruins, only our battling Shell & Suit to save the day but only if they can put their differences aside for the course, but who will seize an opportunistic moment and finally conquer, and what will be conquered next, and ultimately conquered, man over machine, machine over man, or hand in hand against disaster… tune in next episode, same time, same place…

 BD 2012

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Something Else...

 

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The Gore

When writing rehearsing and recording with a band there is considerable down time. During this time self indulgent escapist’s pursuits are the main stay to keeping sane. There can be so much adrenaline, elation and ecstasy then suddenly nothing, a void that permeates, a cold sweat, like a hangover in the afternoon.

It is during this time this music was made.

Disbanding into different realms before reconvening for an encore of mass, this is the intervene sound of the down time muse, the pretty one with no direction or goal, abundance of time and only daydreams to mind. These songs happened when all others had gone. They emerged after the dust settled. They evolved in half light. This music set its self free when there was no music asked to come. It arrived unannounced, speckled in bespoke glistening dusk air, enchanting till dawns fragrant soft light breaches, and away again on a whisper till calmer pursuits pertain and sanity settles all around.

These in-between days, sometimes mere hours, moments of clarity, focus, indulgence, what may be, it is these fragments that have brought the most joy. Out of all the work we participated in and under took, all the writing rehearsing and recording, this is the prize. This is the one.

The uninspired muse, day dreaming, lazy bone, twilight zone eyed waif. She was on my shoulder most evenings, in the room continuously, taking control occasionally, winding it down, turning it low, staring slow. Gentle touch, gossamer. Finger prints on surface instructions, suggestions to stop, just stop, not even to listen, stop and be still.

The others have left. The equipment still buzzing, valves cooling crack and gently pop, channels left open hum, effects and pedals recall the day’s work in infinite and distant cosmic spiral waves, the last sounds being sucked from the room off to an eternal resting place just the other side of reality.

The vacuum that seeks out and sucks in the last sounds, retains it along with all the other last sounds. All gathered together in a swirling mass of nothingness, calm still deafeningly quiet. All the last sounds, every single one, from the last shrill you made as a baby, to your first orgasmic belch, to the last record at the slow set on the first nights teenage disco party, the tyres on the road just before the crash, the birds in the morning, specifically the one with the geese not too long ago. Every sound fades out of ear shot and continues on its journey, off to the void, the vacuum of sound just the other side of reality filled with aural moments and memories. Bursting. This room in the evening. This room through the night. Similar perhaps, reminisce of bygone noise.

                   

There is music included here that is superfluous. Pleasant as it may be it is direct and obvious. I am not excusing it; I am including it for such. The quiet moments seem more quiet as a result and one cannot rely on ambient noise for ambience.

The room and the goings on or more specifically the non events are where these pieces of music came. The room was the tool that allowed the music to be created in such a manner. Everything, the dense smell of warmth and life, the prisms’ of light ballet on the overly painted but once ornate architraves. From the old yawning floor boards to the dust particles languishing in sun shafts through the fenêtre, everything counted. The give on soft green leather of Danish 70’s furniture, crisp clank of cottage ware mug of tea on the marble top mantle, crunch of brown weave wicker ring rugs under occasionally sandaled feet, more often than not soles of feet on dry dusty boards, cardigans in the small hours hold extra warmth as they give off gentle fragrance of slow ambered logs from early evening fires. With the calm comes the sounds, you can hear the vegetation outside the window. Stirrings in the distance, possible stirrings in the distance, it is all too far away, there is really just the room.

Chateau. Chateau indeed, not, chateau of dreams perhaps, this is no more than a gate house, hunters lodge perhaps as we are so far off the road. Closer to the lake. Close to deep in the woods. Access is quite straight forward. Small train station not so far away, not dissimilar to Wemyss Bay. Village in walking distance, cycle anywhere else. Inexpensive full bodied local wine, freshly baked baguettes and hummus to sustain till meal time. Good company, pleasant chats, considered pronouncements, witty retorts, rude jokes and the compulsory meanderings and sustained tangents over dinner spilling into desert and smokes. Throw another log on.

                             

The Gore because of the feast of self indulgence. And the lack of any responsibility to anything at all, considered, real or artefact. A blind disregard of everything. Existing. And it was so disregard it was The Gore. We were opulent in our life; we were monarchy and time was our dominion. Bristling with seasonal change, crossing between, soaking it all in, experiencing it all form back out, manifesting into something new, original. This was something that had never existed before, we had never experienced before, and here we were creating it, watching it evolve right in front of us, possibly regardless of us, but it was we who were glimpsing for the first time this sheer feast, and we were more than willing to gore ourselves on every morsel. “We may be the last in the world, but we feel like pioneers.”

When morning would come around again on fresh breeze and bird song bringing tea and toast with it and the night before so long ago and the night ahead to far off to even consider, we would have breakfast. As natural and real. Breakfast would start the day. Out of the yard, poke the reminisce of ambers in the heap and off to the room for some clarity and purpose, education and community, fun and frolics, wank and bollox.

breakingtunes.com/THEGORE

BD 2012

 

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The Peche – ‘… But Not Tonight’ A Live Review

…But Not Tonight

Strange electronic shifting’s fill the auditorium. We have paid exorbitant prices to witness this. The room is electric. He stands almost perfectly still. He stands almost perfectly still for the entire performance, only occasionally swaying as if his grip on the microphone stand might loosen and he may collapse to and possibly through the floor. Although if he does succumb to the calling of the wall to wall tonight, the dry ice would break his fall, mountains of the stuff tumble from the front of the stage drowning the audience already blind by the orange search lights sweeping gracefully through the slowly twisting and twirling fog.

Aloft four mighty solid towers they are unique forms of continuity in space, they are Greek gods astride their Olympus and this is the sound of their synthesized thunder and this is the sight of dark lighting – as only they can do.

It has been years since this band have been so commanding. This is compelling stuff. They mean business, serious deeds indeed. Gone are the rock ‘n’ roll paraphernalia and cheep fillers of drums and symbols and returned to its rightful place is a tape machine with a steady four to the floor stomping techno beat. This plays at different speeds throughout the evening, indeed it plays for some considerable time before the band take to the stage and join in with it.

We presume that is the band as it is hard to tell through the mist and curtains and screens but as the opening number reveals itself and builds through cleverly charged key changes and twisted filters the charade is dropped bit by bit, curtain by curtain until a beaming band is visible, smiles and blinding lights, they are obviously as happy to be here as us.

This is the seventh show out of thirteen over the course of a year. This is touring twenty first century style. Thirteen venues and a million cinemas throughout the world watching each show live and direct, some even have removed their seats and installed dry ice machines too, not to mention the surround sound and 3-D DM merchandise in the lobbies. Last month’s show Blancmange were the opening act, live on stage in the cinema!! Their first two albums, wow, A#1. All across the globe thousands upon thousands of bands are getting to support Depeche Mode on the one same night in cinemas from Mombasa to Miami, Beirut to Bangladesh. Even the crowd are performing to their best tonight well in the knowledge they too are now big screen stars.

Bright lights fade to violet as an eighty’s sequencer kicks on and rough vocals compressed and effected to genius results echo out through the venue. Another old favourite and again another album track dusted off from the vaults. The screaming synthesizer lead practically out of tune – almost as if it is about to escape out of control off into the stratosphere but only restrained by the masterful fingers of chief song writer Martin L. Gore. The bass is dense and sharp simultaneously, cutting through the music, punching the air. Such a simple refrain looped to mesmerizing results and further filtered by Mr. Andrew Fletcher, continuously drawing attention to yet never distracting from the ‘song’.  The other synth and sampler parts are played by one P. Gordeno, more than session musician; he has been with the live show for more than two decades, but tonight he is barely visible behind all the outboard gear. The four to the floor is not actually from the tape machine but an Arp 2600 which Dave occasionally interferes with before midi reset presets and boom boom boom resume. Sparse lighting and titanic amounts of dry ice make it hard to see anything much but that just leaves more room for dancing; something the ten thousand strong crowd are more than willing to do as this stadium becomes a club where reckless and primordial retro Futurism dancing is our plats principaux for tonight.

After a further three tracks from early eighties albums and just half an hour into proceedings the mood changes slightly with some numbers from Mr. Martin Gore. The first surprise is from debut album ‘Speak and Spell’ and is followed by an old gem off its follow up ‘A Broken Frame’, all played by full band and rounded off with the masterful ‘Pipeline’ from 1983’s ‘Construction Time Again’, a definite highlight of the night. Suddenly it is 1986 and as ‘Black Celebration’ melds into ‘Fly on the Windscreen’ the wall of light at the back of the stage shatters blood red and broken glass with fly corpse and broken beats, never a fresher sound heard by concert goers, never a more crisp blow dealt.

There is a full twenty minutes of mind expanding dirge and psychedelic jamming as ‘The Peche’ treat us to a live Cosmic Blue remix contest. Reminisce of bygone noise, excerpts, samples and twisted vocals from everything and anything can be heard, almost The Beatles ‘Love’ album but Recoil style. Chunks ‘n’ slabs of Uselink, Breathing in Fumes, Head Starter, Easy Tiger, Pain Killer, Slow Blow, Enjoy the Jesus, Question of Silence, Zenstation, Kaleid, I Feel… “Whatever, whatever”, “I don’t care how you feel”, etc, etc, and we do mean ‘etc’… “Now, This is Fun”.

The full abilities of Mr. Gore as a champion blues guitarist are realized and utilized to a staggering degree through tonight’s set. Such personality and warmth reaffirming decade old tunes with resonance and vigour and new life. Hob nail boot on the boards replaced by an Arp stomping techno beat and coloured in shades of blue by wistful electronics with bolder statements like freight trains through wilderness territory, you can hear the rattle and creek as we speed through abandoned mining towns and on occasion through the very shafts themselves as Fletcher’s filters bring background parts to the foreground – guiding, adding momentum and drive to this already runaway thunderous electro blues hurricane.

Suddenly silence. The night must be half way through and everyone could leave now fully content and still not one chart topping single played, long may it last, the familiar and stale has been replaced with a vibrant new freshness and exuberance for forgotten glories. We are reminded; this is what we originally fell in love with. This is the intimate.

Oberkorn fills the interval.

Second half begins with a stage full of drums, floor toms from here to oblivion, they roll over like breath, tide, a coming storm. Drum machines and percussion leads us into a triumphant ‘Mercy in You’ and ‘Higher Love’ and all the while Roadies and Crew bring on more drums, assembling  kits as their shadows converging on the backdrop until finally twenty plus crew are playing along with the four to the floor. Ridiculous. Ridiculously good fun, the crew must love this every night. Nothing.

A full on hedonistic and darkly glorious ‘Shine’ is followed by some sounds from ‘The Universe and a decadent ‘Peace’ full with love and harmony. What others might consider a lull is a personal high light as Martin sings some more of his own songs and lets loose with some exquisite blues guitar playing over some rolling toms, simple liquid electronics and sustained synth pads (one is pleasantly reminded of the deeper moments off ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’). Dave gets more time off as the energy is turned up again with rousing instrumentals from the first two albums now with Martin in full Glam mode wielding his axe where once there was only a finger on a key, a single finger on a single lonely key. GG Marty, I Didn’t Know I Loved You Till I Saw You Rock ‘n’ Roll. Applause, applause, applause.

When a Lazarus like Dave does re-emerges for the final half hour he stands centre stage like a colossal omitting a search light into space searching for that once exhausting stadium sized vaudeville gimmick of a front man with all the moves of all the rock gods amalgamated into one gyrating amphetamine muppet in an overly rehearsed pantomime, but no, he stands still – asserting more energy than Jagger, Morrison, GaGa or Hewson combined and he shrills an immaculate rendition of Clean, all is forgiven, we are newborn, for the first time.

Encores fill the rest of the night.

BD 2012

 

 

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The Crate

The Crate

Many events conspired and so many more coincidences manifested to attribute realisation of this apocalypse to The Crate. Dark indeed was the thought, pure evil the consideration and the final execution was just one straw carrying camel on a bridge in the distance too far.

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The teller and the message passed on, natural events that throw our characters like dice, the snake eyes and bites, venom like lies, the feverish nights sleepless as a result of whispered half truths. And all the while the teller unaware of the great distances, from China in some cases, the whispers have travelled. The plot fell together almost by accident and the realisation of such was not until the final piece was about to fall from a great height.

The thinking behind the reason was as sound as waves from a desk fan or more correctly the exhaust of a jet engine. Big old yawning jet that move cargo across the pacific, taking off and landing on runways even too short to walk a lame dogs dinner. The facts distorted like a heat haze in a landscape, so twisted the reliable and assured horizon is contorted before your very eyes. Tears well up and the apparently liquid landscape run down your face. The truth is this is a lie. There never was a truth, there was only ever the story. You lick the salt across your lie soaked lips, never a sweeter sight did you see. It is a crate in the distance. Looks abandoned. They will be along to collect it shortly.

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There is a beginning, middle and an end but none of it is real or fact at least. There are some who will contest the individual events or the story as a whole, but there are also those whom have sworn and signed affidavits to the fact.

The beginning is quite complicated although it does only pertain to two individuals and a crate of bones – destination: Cairo, Egypt. It can be best explained by telling you the end which is quite simple and explanatory although it does involve a group of individuals whom it would be beneficial to first be acquainted with. So on to the middle of the story, the body of bunch of half truths, misprints and downright lies. Aptly it begins with a Miss Quote, a Pharaoh drag queen, female impersonator playing Cleopatra to an overweight Anthony, or perhaps just a regular sized man on a very small horse, “The bad news of nature infects the teller”. Only slightly wrong, not far off the bard but interpreted as a grave mistake, they are only words, the very same words, just in a different order, rearranged, but now whose meaning is something slightly rearranged  too or more to the point, something else completely. This was not just bad news, it was not only going to trouble someone, it was a plague, it was locust, drought, tsunami, apocalyptic volcanic eruptions, this was Armageddon, this was not a miss quote, it was prophecy, fore told truth coming to realisation, this was the word made flesh, this was our time, in our life, this was happening, this was now.

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The crate was large and secured to a pallet with old frayed untangled and dusty reed rope. The tan canvas was coming away from the base in places revealing markings on the side of the aged box. Text and lettering, possibly an address, a description of some sort, an instruction, details of content, a warning, but it was now faded and melded into the stains and damp of the box. Illegible. They were not hieroglyphs, Arabic nor Roman, Greek, Latin or numerical symbols, none could even have been mistakenly thought to be these markings. The case had been journeying for some considerable time by the looks and it would seem at each port somebody recognised the marking at least enough to stamp an official approval and process it. And so it proceeded. Unopened through customs and on to the next port of call, just journeying, unchallenged, uncollected, unopened.

Until now that is. At this point in our story, in your life, now, the crate is opened. The bindings are cut away. Stumpy short blunt blades scuff away at the aged rope until it unfurls and snaps. Spit and tears as faces too close with protruding tongues to magnify concentration and strength get full impact of the mini explosions of dust and fragments as the old bindings finally snap. The rope was all that had been holding the canvas cover together and it falls as the ropes give way, solid and firm like walls, like guardians with body shields and spears in hand toppling, their ankles shattered, ligaments severed. Six feet of canvas tall, four sheets wide plus the covering from the top in all its acquired dust and age slide to the ground in a pyroclastic flow. The aged and dust alone make a ferocious noise as they spill and fall and for the first time in ages hit the ground. A cloud engulfs the place. Like a stone circle the mushroom cloud swallows up the crate for a time, swallows up the whole hanger in opaque. It is a while before the dust settles. It is sometime before the crate in all its decrepit splendour is visible. Strange markings. Each undecipherable from the dirt and mould. Is it patterned, is it coloured in splendid detail, is it rank. The old reed rope, the canvas and all the description of knocks, bangs and weather it endured on its travels through the ages, although extensive and old, antiquated, still all familiar. The crate though, not a mere crate. A box. An exquisite box. Container. Vessel. Object. Single piece object. Complete, without joins, without parts, one complete six sided block. On removing the last of the rope and canvas covering from under the crate, the pallet beneath gave way, disintegrated. This prompted all to scurry and run for cover but there was not a peep from the crate. Nothing. Not a movement. It just hung there. Above the ground. Motionless, all be it askew, but only ever so slightly. While in the cargo hold, on docks or warehouses wrapped its bindings surrounded by freight and cargo it resembled such. Now in the warmth of day surrounded by human persons it resembles something very different indeed, something familiar, something laudable. Slowly, almost unnoticeably slow the slight markings and textures moved across and over the body of the box. The shafts of light that illuminate the object in this vast hanger occasionally pick out a face in the shifting surfaces, smiling faces, pleasant and still sleeping profiles tumble into pink gossamer granite and cobweb structures. Laughing children are enveloped by cascading waterfalls only to re-emerge from same water as smoke and petals. One witness described over the course of some hours what appeared to be a volcano spew children into clouds with colts running free through them all set to a single sustained bass note from a harp which another seen dive into a fractal pool of thunder storms and re-emerge as a school of shimmering rainbow dolphin absorbing each other to become Jupiter.

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On the journey to learn more about the origins of the crate I have travelled long and far. Tracing each port, visiting each pier, examining ledgers in warehouses from Saigon to Singapore, hangars and runways from Mombasa to Miami, Beirut to Bangladesh. Surprisingly some still remember the crate. The way it would creek they all said, a hum, like a children’s choir, but old and deep, forlorn but reassuring, and too loud to ignore. ‘When is just another box not just another box. You move boxes then you drink. Before moving boxes again you drink again, you do this and at some stage I presume you will die and there the circle of life ends. But one afternoon late 12, bright sun, long shadows and cold air – a whisper from a consignment, a peculiar creaking, a fragility snapped through the docks deafening commotion. The crane was suspended and I went to investigate. The crate lead me to it with the occasional whimper and hummed melody. Then there was the lights, prisms scurried toward it, always just a glimpse away, off around corners before I could be sure I seen them. But when I reached the crate, and put my hand on it, I knew then.’ Another reported after seeing the crate ‘I never minded since’. One young dock hand said he had handled the crate twice through the same port. He also said he was a much older man then. The descriptions of the sound it made on its travels and the reoccurring  themes, people still remembering the melodies and still humming them to this day, and on hearing their melodies now and from so many different people of all ages from so many different continents, cities, towns and ports, the melody is always consistent and follows through. It is a continuous piece with only fragments heard by individuals over some considerable time, decades and decades. Piecing together these remembered notes from random individuals it becomes clear that this is a narrative. A constant. It is a symphony of sorts. Perhaps it the most intriguing element of the story. This is its voice, it is sharing. The hum it gives off now in the hangar and for the past twenty years is a dull flat tone, it underscores the melodies collected from around the globe from all those humans it touched on its extensive travels. The notes and melody, tempo and pace are delightful, but the sound, the actual sound its self is beyond description. It is the blue whale and the old barn door, it is the felled tree and an ass in a gorge, it is too a four stroke engine biplane and a balloon full of bees buried an inch underground, it is the sound of stretching after a full sleep, it is a meadow, it is tranquillity bay, it is the voice of angels, it is the supernatural personified, is all the elements succumbing to a vortex, it is the colours of a supernova in hyper Technicolor in all encompassing surround sound, it’s a baby’s ‘a-goo’.

The block is on display. You can go visit it. You too can stand and watch the images and suggested happenings move across its faces. You can succumb too to the mighty hum. There is nothing secretive about this. The box is what it is. We may not know what it is and that is a mystery, but the box itself is no secret. Thousands have passed through the hanger in the last twenty years and seen for themselves the slow motion wonders. They have been well documented and publicised all around the globe. Curiously the marvel of what it does far exceeds the wonder at what it might be. The stories of fact and witnessed actions it has portrayed in its own bizarre and abstract way eclipse to the extent it has obliterated any question or pondering of what it is or where it came from, why it came or what’s more so, what it is going to do next…

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BD 2012

 

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