07 February 2011

Off the Page

Date: Friday 11 - Sunday 13 February 2011
Venue: The Playhouse, Whitstable, U.K.
Produced by: Sound and Music and The Wire

Sound and Music and The Wire present Off the Page, the UK’s first ever literary festival devoted to music criticism. Taking place at the Playhouse Theatre, Whitstable, on the South coast, this weekend-long event will feature a host of internationally-renowned critics, authors, musicians and artists discussing the current state of underground and experimental music in a programme of talks, presentations, panel discussions and workshops.


Friday 11 February, 7pm – 10.30pm
Presentation: Robert Wyatt on his favourite music
Short films hosted by BFI and introduced by Jonny Trunk: Tristram Cary on film

Saturday 12 February, 10am – 10.30pm
Talk: Ken Hollings on the post-Cageian universe
Talk: Rob Young and Matthew Herbert on the impact of musique concrète on contemporary sonic culture
Talk: Steve Beresford and John Kieffer in conversation
Talk: Kodwo Eshun on his favourite music writing
Talk: Dave Tompkins on the history of the vocoder, from its use in the Second World War to its role in the era of Auto Tune
Talk: Teal Triggs on Fanzines
Presentation: Christian Marclay
Short films hosted by Lux: Cage On Cable

Sunday 13 February: 11am – 5pm
Roundtable discussion: including Mark Fisher, Nina Power, and The Wire editors on the role of music criticism on print and the Web
Panel discussion: Salome Voegelin, David Toop, Daniela Cascella on the philosophy of listening
In conversation: Green Gartside with Mark Fisher discussing politics and cultural theory in pop culture and music
Performance lecture: Claudia Molitor, Jennifer Walshe, Sarah Nicholls on music notation

01 February 2011


New Woebot album hit the doormat today. Chunks!

First impression, this is digging into guitar tradition again, but much earlier than Moanad's New Wave, late 70s/early 80s purview. It might even be Woebot's Groundhogs album. With some Grand Funk Railroad, Mountain and Bluesbreakers thrown in. Passing vision of cover art in which Matt, in mudstained bellbottoms and tight denim jacket, lounges in a farmyard. Three of him in fact, cloned to make a power trio. There's hours of sample-spotting here. But whatever the sources, there's a crispness of organization which transmutes it all into something new (shedding that Gutbucket feel on the way).

The physical edition of Blackest Ever Black's mix The Scold's Bridle. Great mix obviously, but the design - don't know how deliberate this is on their part, but it's very evocative for me of the 7" single's last days – the early to mid-90s before the internet came along & killed the market. Clear plastic sleeve, coloured paper insert folded, grimy photocopied insert. Makes me think of Trumans Water, early Drag City. In particular it reminds me of a Merzbow split 7" with some Midlands noise freak. Where did I put that?

Incomplete list of recent listening:

Æthenor's En Form for Blå - awesome gloomy improvisations that bring to mind doom and 70s Miles, with Steve Noble on drums, Daniel O'Sullivan on Rhodes, Stephen O'Malley on restrained lightning-fork-from-clouds guitar, Kristoffer Rygg from Ulver too

new Mamuthones - giallo fever

Yoko Ono/Ono Plastic Band, Between My Head and the Sky

Vangelis, Beauborg. One of Chris Cunningham's favourite records I recently found out. An excellent counterpart/point to the current synth fetish.

Isolée - all of it

Phil Manzanera - K-Scope

Incredible String Band - the unloved 70s stuff

Broadcast - for sad and obvious reasons

and Trish Keenan's Mindbending Motorway Mix

Natalie Beridze

that massive Nirvana boxset, With the Lights Out

Jad Fair - Best of TRIPLE cd. There's about 150 tracks on this and they couldn't be bothered to load the track info up to the iTunes Gracenote database. Bastards.

Bangs & Works Vol 1, (still)... try walking round the Westfield listening to that. You walk out looking for your flying saucer.

new Arnold Dreyblatt on Important - Turntable History - and lots of his previous stuff on Tzadik, Table of the Elements and elsewhere

plus pretty much everything by Plastikman

recent reading

If you like And What Will Be Left of Them and its thoughts on the 1970s, you will also want to check out its two sequels: Faces On Posters on the 1980s and Up Close & Personal on the 1990s. Who knows, at some point I may even get organized enough to contribute myself. A regular contributor to AWWBLT blogs at Pere Le Brun.

And two Alexes: Alex Niven's The Fantastic Hope and Alex Andrews over here (on politics, though hoping one day AA will blog more about prog, bleeps and clangs)