Thursday, 18 December 2008

The Lines- Flood Bank

‘The old ‘This band has been criminally ignored in the past’ line rears its head again. You may yawn but…have you ever encountered The Lines?’

Zig Zag No. 116, August ‘81

The Lines are shrouded in mystery, formed around the late 70’s in London the group went on to have little mainstream success aside from a number of NME features and the like…but then again who hasn’t been brown nosed by the NME and left high and dry like a dirty one night stand?

I was not previously acquainted with The Lines this is certainly a chance encounter I am quite relieved to have had, one of Post punks best kept secrets. Flood bank is a reminder of why reissues should exist to draw music lovers in to discover new/old music, not to line the pockets of bands that have had their day (cough Echo & The Bunnymen cough)

Flood bank combines both the bands full length LPs Therapy and Ultramarine which were recorded between 1981 and 1982, the fast tribal drum beats, distinctively 80’s vocals and harmonies the reissue feels like an album I’ve been listening to forever.

The Krautrock, Post Punk tag would place them in ‘The Fall, Gang of Four, Birthday Party’ alt Indie bracket that seems to encompass so many. But there’s plenty of room for melancholic experimental New Wave in my books. I’d encourage you to make use of your senses and read between the [insert obvious word play here].

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

MOLE fm second installment

Got a bit of a 70's/ 80's theme of Thatcher bashing here with some random additions at the end. The second installment of MOLE fm, the audio sister of MOLE blog.

Playlist: 'i'm no communist but...'

PIL- This is Not A Love Song
The Smiths- This Charming Man
The Fall- Totally Wired
Gang of Four- Damaged Goods
Bauhaus- Shes In Parties
Toots and The Maytals- Pressure Drop
The Specials- Ghost Town
TV On The Radio - Staring At The Sun
Dälek- Trampled Brethrens
Dälek- Hold Tight

(click on MOLE fm second installment...basic etc same routine as before.)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Pancake Mountain

George Clinton on 'Pancake Mountain'

why the bejesus wasn't this around when i was a wee nipper, this looks like the most amazing kids show in the world. fuck off Playdays, Pancake Mountain is where it's at.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

...From Mole Hills

I just realised Dälek penned a track conveniently titled: '...From Mole Hills', it's as if it were meant to be!

Dälek: Gutter Tactics

New Jersey duo Dälek (pronounced dia-lekt) mix, and slice up the finest beats using a cut, copy, sample and paste ethic which sees them lean towards the more experimental side of hip hop.
After Recently purchasing ‘From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots’ I was ecstatic to see this release land on my door mat. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to review a CD, it’s certainly the season for Ipecac at the moment, a label which I’ve held close to my heart for the past 4 years.
combining noise, drone and heavy rock influences by artists as diverse as shoegazers My Bloody Valentine and kraut rockers Faust, Dälek are often considered Avant garde hip hop, a term which the duo deplore considering themselves ‘hip-hop, in the purest sense.’
The dark ambience of Gutter tactics consumes you with each listen, although not too dissimilar from the duo’s earlier releases, the new record has an intensity and heaviness that has seen it compared to the work of Black Sabbath and label mates Melvins . ‘Atypical stereotype’ has a raw bassline heavy enough to melt your bones (no I’m not sure that’s possible either…). Certainly worthy of the albums title, the gritty Feedback and distortion on the record contribute a density that doesn’t exist on ‘From Filthy Tongue…’
One standout track and album opener ‘Blessed Are They Who Bash Your Children’s Heads Against A Rock’ takes it’s name and sampling from a controversial speech made by Reverend Jeremiah Wright and reminded me of a similarly styled Stokely Carmichael excerpt used by Blackalicious on the track ‘Cliffhanger’.
The Beautiful sonic brilliance of Dälek is proof of the evolutionary force of hip hop, having been active for the best part of the last decade the likes of Saul Williams, Blackalicious and Dälek by are no means part of a new skool but these are the sort of musical educators mainstream hip hop could do with taking a few notes from.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


ahh that's better.

Melvins- Scala 9/12/08

( Melvins and Big Business)hardly a senile animal, but i can't say i'd like to see them nude in boots, except maybe you Coady...

After missing Nightmare Before Christmas curated by our heroes in question the Melvins and vocal acrobat Mike Patton and missing Fantomas perform the directors cut the previous night it was all I could do to see the behemoths of distortion and heavy low frequencies that are the Melvins, and disappoint they did not.

The ambiguously titled Melvins 1983 Stormed through a collection of songs from the mangled demos joined by founding member Mike Dillard on drums, Dale Crover took over bass duties. There seemed to be a theme of hippy bashing that night with Big Business front man Jared Willis expressing his disgust for this particular breed of liberal species. Despite this The drum and bass duo worked their magic, watching Coady Willis navigate his way around his extended drum kit is like watching a wizard at work, for those that think Dale Crover is a drumming Adonis, Willis is proves just as engaging. ‘Grounds for divorce’ was a particular highlight (unfortunately their cover of Devo’s ‘Be Stiff’ was nowhere to be heard). Jared’s bass could have done with being a couple of hundred decibels louder, I thought it would blow the cobwebs off of a few relics in the venue, however after the weekends antics which saw the band blow an amp after the first note of their set they probably thought better.

The Melvins and Big Business conjoined twinship is akin to a distorted mirror reflection. The synchronized drumming is nothing short of amazing to watch. Although Buzz had a solemn look on his face throughout, one glimpse from him felt like your eyes would be burnt out of their socket, like Medusa, albeit with scarier hair. The intimacy of the Scala suited the evening perfectly, no barrier between band and audience I thought buzz was going to knock out the front row with his guitar or mammoth afro from which he had actually carried his equipment and roadie in.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the energy and stamina the Melvins seem to possess (in their stripped down incarnation and the current lineup). The band worked through mostly newer collection of songs from A Senile Animal and Nude With Boots much to my disappointment I was hoping for some older classics. Revolver was met with cheers and gentle shoving which constituted the mosh pit of the evening, compared to their Islington show last year, the evening was tame.

Highlight of their set were mainly golden oldies which included Eyes Flys in its entirety, slow, dense track prompting audience members to shuffle from foot to foot in anxiety as they anticipated the climatic detuned riffs punctuating the glacial paced drum beat. The haunting stroke of genius that is ‘Boris’ sounded equally amazing. As did the distinctively Melvins version of Star Spangled Banner which almost made me want to lift a clenched fist across my chest as a sign of patriotism.

The night drew to a close with an intimate last track from Buzz as the others abandoned the stage leaving him to a soulful rendition of ‘Okie from Muskogee’ which drew titters of laughter amidst annoying shouts and requests from audience members who should simply shut the fudge up and let the man sing in future, damn savage hippies.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Mole FM 2

I have found a new hobby, it takes longer and it isn't quite as rewarding as writing, plus the sound and pitch of your own voice tends to grate after a few seconds, HOWEVER brothers and sisters here is the first 'properish' installment of MOLE FM, more to come hopefully and better quality, think of this as a guinea pig of sorts.

  • When you Sleep- Portatile Room Mobile
  • Bela Lugosi's Dead- Bauhaus
  • Across 110th st- Bobby Womack
  • Down in Mexico- The Coasters
  • Hustler- Simian Mobile Disco
i know, not a great deal of songs, but it's a good half hour long and there are some fine tunes right there, hope it works. ( just click on MOLE FM2 and use filefactory basic service)

mole fm

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Hey! Bo Diddley

After listening to some Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Blind lemon Jefferson and Bo Diddley, i thought I'd throw a lil' ol' link up demonstrating the brilliance of the Bo Diddley beat.
The pictures are awesome aren't they. we have the Duchess on the left, former female guitarist in Bo Diddley's merry band. she upped and left to get married! Then there's B- Diddy himself on the right of course.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

check out this here lil radio link (november 25th) MOLE enthusiast/ soon to be artist and my buddy ol' pal Alison debuts. listen to her velvet smooth tones. (also the girl referenced moaning about the Glaswegian crowd not being boisterous enough...was me!)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Greg Weeks The Hive (Fact Magazine Online)

Greg Weeks seems to have built up a reputation of nurturing a doomy gloomy attitude, a folky grim reaper some might say; but when you’ve spent most of your past time listening to black metal and Sunn0))), disregard subject matter on the album and base your review purely on abundance of melody and instrumentals, Weeks is a great big ball of fun and optimism. In reality ‘The Hive’ doesn’t fall short on providing morbid and bleak tracks. The bespectacled founding member of psych folk band Espers, new solo album has moments in which it is hard to put an era or period to it. Mixing the occult, acoustic beauty with digital elements to create an amalgamation of tracks that are part mediaeval England, part 70’s trad rock/ folk and part Sergio Leone western; ‘You Won’t Be The Same Ever Again’ sounds like a death toll akin to Ennio Morricone. Particularly anachronistic however is Week’s cover of Madonna’s Borderline which is translated into a haunting ballad, I still can’t quite work out if the ditty is tongue in cheek or homage to her Madgejesty. Either way it’s probably the Weekest (aha) track on the album. His voice sounds somewhat out of place on the record, simple monotonous stream of lyrics are revived with Flutes, ocarinas, all manner of quirky instruments and tools; but there is a Clarity in the vocals and harmonies lending itself beautifully to the drone and feedback that creates the ethereal sound Weeks manages to achieve on certain tracks. A hive of maudlin, psychedelic lullabies that will leave you tossing and turning throughout the night.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Up The Irons?!?!?

I don't care what anyone says but this is a damn fine tune!

Black Metal ist Krieg

Despite the tangled web of murder, church burnings and its association with torture and Satanism, the earth in which the original incarnation of black metal is buried remains largely unturned by the mainstream music media.
The origins of black metal unfortunately do not involve a tale about a giant evil egg ascended from the depths of hell to wipe out all hope and optimism on Earth (no that, my friends, was Kerry Katona’s birth) the story of black metal developed in the slightly less obvious surroundings of Norway.

On second thoughts the dark, cold, isolated landscapes of Scandinavia, its pagan heritage makes Norway seem like the likeliest lad of them all. Gaahl the notorious front man of BM band Gorgoroth hails from a rural Norwegian village just a 2 hour boat trip, 45 minute car journey, skip and jump away from the nearest cosmopolitan city. It’s not too difficult to see how such places can inspire some of the most disturbing yet simultaneously beautiful, dark ambient music.
Initially influenced by the heavier end of the metal spectrum, bands such as Bathory, Venom, Merciful Fate, you could say black metal was a response to the increasing accessibility of Death metal. Euronymous, the late founding member of BM veterans Mayhem often voiced his discontentment for the state of death metal; ‘It’s a big trend today to look totally normal with these goddamn jogging suits and sing about ‘important matters’, and call it Death metal. These people can die, they have betrayed the scene.’
One item of clothing black metal musicians aren’t renown for wearing is casual sportswear. The general uniform seems to consist of black, presumably in order to match the colour of the musicians souls (plus it’s slimming.) The other obvious staple being corpse paint, pioneered by the likes of KISS, King Diamond, and introduced into the scene in it’s ‘modern’ sense by Dead the late lead singer of Mayhem (yes that’s another ‘late’ member of Mayhem to add to our collection.)
‘Before the shows, Dead used to bury his clothes into the ground so that they could start to rot and get that "grave" scent. He was a "corpse" on a stage. Once he even asked us to bury him in the ground - he wanted his skin to become pale’.
Despite the rather ridiculous addition of spikes, PVC and witches hats (please check out this classic immortal video for help with obtaining the black metal ‘look’) black metal has a number of articulate and insightful renaissance men some might say…maybe not!
The scene arguably has developed and evolved in dark waves, the first wave included artists such as Mayhem, Darkthrone, Emperor, and Burzum. Through media coverage and interviews with Varg Vikernes of Burzum and Euronymous parallels are easily drawn between Black metal and politics, although some refrain from becoming politicized altogether, influenced more by Norse mythology, H.P Lovecraft and Tolkein.
The creation of Helvete, Euronymous’ record shop and the strict social and aesthetic rules within the scene, reinstated elitism within musical genre, with which a black metal hierarchy was instantly created. The influx of right wing mentality within the scene has been known to attract vehement xenophobes neo Nazism (Varg Vikernes is one of the main artists attributed to this mentality) however the Aryan superiority witnessed in Paganism and Odinism has been referenced as far back as Led Zeppelin! It’s interesting if you were to source the music all the way back through to its original roots; metal, classic rock, soul, blues, slavery- the root of all ‘evil’ is black, much to the disappointment of National Socialist black metal bands the world over.
My personal interest in the music was certainly fuelled by the drama surrounding the genre, it was probably a number of Terrorizer articles and the whole of ‘Lords of Chaos’ before I had even begun to try and listen to the music itself. To the untrained listener not much distinguishes black metal from death, grindcore, trash, crust punk and infact every other sub genre of metal there is (there are of course hundreds) but there are certain characteristics which one must be familiarized with in order to associate a particular act or artist with black metal.
For one the music must sound as though the gates of hell have been opened and earth itself has been consumed by the subterranean underworld, as flames lick the mortal world, and with it an aural assault that sounds like an orchestra consisting of a chainsaw and some old garbage cans (excuse the American colloquialism) being attacked by a psychotic drunk, vocals come courtesy of an old lady riddled with tuberculosis coughs up a lung.
The varying musical styles of black metal range from traditional to industrial to symphonic to melodic to electronica to operatic and so on and so forth. The more experimental acts are of course the most interesting. Many artists that grace the Southern Lord roster, Striborg, Atilla Csihar’s work with sunn0))), Leviathan et al tread the avant garde side of the track.
The likes of Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and Satyricon have gone on to find some mainstream success. Even if it is for using shock merchandising tactics (remember the COF ‘Jesus is a Cunt t-shirt with the masturbating nun…no me neither.) Personally these bands make me feel sick, but not in a good way.
Despite initial concentration in Norway and Europe, Black metal is also a global affair, hailing not just from Scandinavia, but far from the fjords in USA, Australia, Japan and South America (I’m yet to hear of any big names coming out of Africa.)
The search to find female input in black metal that isn’t confined to ‘operatic vocals’ and melodic choruses, is a chore in itself. After extensive research (badly done I must admit) I managed to conjure up two at least two well known acts with a substantial amount of Estrogen in them. Japanese black metal girl group Gallhammer and Runhilde Gammelsaeter formerly of doom metal band Thorrs Hammer, apparently she use to date Ihsahn from Emperor, see you just cannot detract from the misogynistic world of such masculine music, there just HAS to be sex involved! How true this is, I’m not so sure. Hopefully there are plenty of females within the genre perhaps they’re far too evil to rear their nocturnal heads into the limelight.

(DISCLAIMER AIMED AT BLACK METAL PEDANTS: In no way am I attempting to provide a complete of even accurate portrayal of Black metal, I am in no way an expert just very interested in the genre and the bands, please forgive any mistakes and misquotes and please don't burn me.)

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit- Billie Holiday

Brings a salty tear to my eyeball, beautiful. There is a particularly haunting note she hits in the line 'For the sun to rot/ for the trees to drop'.

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

I know Ms Holiday did not write the lyrics herself, it's actually based on a poem written by a Jewish teacher called Abel Meeropol and was inspired by the lynching of two black men in the deep south. as i mentioned before i'm not a lyrical fantatic, but i know a moving piece of poetry when i hear one.

Lithops- Ye Viols! ( solo album by Jan Werner from Mouse on Mars and Von Sudenfed)

Lithops, the solo reincarnation of Jan St Werner (of Mouse on Mars and Von Südenfed fame), presents Ye Viols! a collection of installation soundtracks from a number of recent exhibitions St Werner has worked on.
The project takes its name from
a genus of plants native to sub-Saharan Africa which avoid being eaten by blending in with surrounding pebbles. Pretty apt it would appear as St Werner’s project, with all its subtleties and painstaking, detail, obscures itself to create what the inattentive listener may describe as ‘background’ noise; listen closer however and the idiosyncratic features of St Werner’s work make themselves known.
Multi-Layered, fine details and the dynamics of each individual track makes the experience like looking through a futuristic kaleidoscope. Though Lithops is inevitably influenced by the synthetic, unnatural rhythm of man made technology, there is something quite organic about the record. particularly the repetition in some areas of the album; ‘In nitro’ sounds a lot like the percussive elements in drone veterans Earth’s song ‘Raiford (The Felon Wind)’ from the album ‘Hex…’
Ye Viols! As an industrial composition, is reminiscent of an aural accompaniment to Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’, an ultramodern soundtrack to a visual dystopia.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

torn ACLs: Cedar By The Sea (Herts and Essex Zine)

The recent wave of North American artists invading university radio stations the world over, has built up into a tsunami of educated and poetic souls vying for the attention of the cappuccino sipping musing types.
The Torn ACLs is another addition to this scene, American indie pop infused with elements of jazz and an array of global instruments. Their well produced debut EP ‘Cedar By the Sea’ combines simple pop song structures layered with beautiful melodies. The EP opener ‘Reputation’ begins with a cacophony of hand claps which quickly dissolve into the songs opening beats, a basic idea which proves innovative and inviting in the first seconds of the record. The EP is reminiscent in some areas of a less talented and avant garde Hot Chip. Lyrically parallels can be drawn with Ben Folds Five, vocally- Weezer and the electro pop of The Postal Service.
A section in closing track ‘Obsessively, compulsively’ providing lots of feedback guitar, shows potential for something more raw and less perfectly polished, which would make the record slightly more appealing to me as the sickly sweet fairground pop begins to bore after a while .
The torn ACLs obviously have the talent and the ideas destined to make them as successful as their contemporaries, however I still found myself waiting for the epic climax of each song. ‘Cedar by the sea’ shows potential, however a rougher finish to harden the smooth production would prove the perfect tonic. For now, however the EP will probably remain confined to the geek chic soundtrack of coffee shops and bakeries in the groups hometown of Seattle.

Victoria and Jacob: Super Computer (Herts and Essex Zine)

There is something a little bit strange with the recent trend for employing a childlike voice, I’m not sure if it’s an intentional display of vulnerability, some sort of gesture of innocence or if the vocals in question naturally sound like that of a whining 4 year old?
Whinging infant aside, Victoria and Jacob: Super Computer is a little bit like marmite, not that you’ll either love it or hate it, it just seems a bit sticky and tar like in quality.
All the songs do appear to melt into each other, which is a criticism, Victoria and Jacob refuse to depart from the safe cove of infantile pop they have created, the melody sounds the same on all three songs.
The lyrics and vocals conjure up obvious comparisons to suburban chanteuses such as Thomas Tantrum and Kate nash. The childlike simplistic quality in the voice can be irritating in most parts but there are moments in the track ‘Lion Hunting’ which prove endearing.
The twinkly twee electro pop of Victoria and Jacob is pretty poorly produced and the computer syncopated beats synthetic and fake backing track does little to enhance the vocals. The best parts of the EP involve the variety of early learning instruments the duo employ, contributing to the nusery rhyme vocal delivery.
Elements of Joanna Newsome can be found if you look hard enough through a super strength microscope with an inbuilt heat detector but the lyrical themes are rather too ambiguous without being poetic and the songs generally uninspiring. Super computer?... Meh burn the computer.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Dear Science

i have to say i've developed some affection for the concept of open letters, Saul williams seems to be a big ol' fan of them and my favourite new yoik noiseniks TV on The Radio have just produced the most beautiful and epic open letter Science could ever hope to recieve. i just lurve post!!!
i'm a little bit behind on the new album front so its a bit of a bummer that i ordered the album a considerable amount of time after seeing TVOTR (more on that latah) but not actually owning the album did'nt prevent me from enjoying the new songs live, no siree, i gots the scars and the bruises to prove it!
the opener 'halfway home' is a bit of an anthem with a catchy 'bababa' intro line and awesome fast swinging beat that gets you wobbling and jubblin' about (i just made the word jubblin' up, nice isn't it.)

as of yet i've listened to the album about 3 times and so far, except for halfway home, nothing has really embedded itself in my brain. all i know that on first review i sort of swallowed it as a generally goood release, doesn't quite have the legendary status as desperate youths... or any outstanding singles that can parallel wolf like me and staring at the sun, but that is something only time can create. like cheese, these sort of classics need to mature over time after which they will take over your audiophile life!

theme wise, apparently Tunde (my favourite four eyed nigerian vocalist) claims it was some sort of response to science and its unemotional stubborn reasoning! (i'm sure there's a far better explanation and analysis of the album concept however...i can't provide one just yet.)

i'm not much of a lyrical dissector to be honest, they could be singing about scratching their balls all day frankly and that probably wouldnt taint my view of the record. the only lyricists or music i really take notice of writing is usually Saul Williams and hip hop, or when i can decipher vocals. alot of the songs i listen to i have no clue what the fuck they are talking about (listen to any Melvins stuff and also the song skin peeler by Mortician and YOU try and interpret the lyrics.)
i wonder if that makes me shallow.
anyway back to the matter at hand, Dear Science...mmm Kyp Malone and his Castrati vocals, mmm horns mmmm David Sitek soundscapes and production...mmmmmm i can smell food, i'm hungry.

The Sea and Cake (Fact magazine online)

Piece 'o' cake.

After reading an article about the windy city outfit and one brief mention of Chris Ware; The Sea and Cake remind me of graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan ‘The Smartest Kid on Earth’. Both have this bright and clean aesthetic whilst subtly alluding to the dark underbelly of mundane suburban life.
‘Tight as a nun’ is one crude phrase one might use in order to emphasise the perfectly synchronized efforts of each member playing on the quartet’s brand, schpanking new release. Vocalist Sam Prekop claims ‘I don’t feel versatile within musical language’ which explains why and how The Sea and Cake have concocted their own specific musical vernacular with a hint of the accent adopted by Sonic Youth. Parallels can be lazily drawn between both artists as Prekop’s soft raspy vocals occasionally recall the drawl of Thurston Moore.
The record is full of angular riffs and intertwining guitar rhythms that melt into McEntire’s relaxed percussive input. Car Alarm’s crisp production compliments the simple and clean layers of each song, clean straights lines and pop in its purest sense.
Gems such as ‘Weekend’ integrates chic (not the group) disco pop elements and threaten to become ‘pseudo sophisticated music’ club favourites with art school grads. ‘Mirrors’ incorporates steel drums; in turn contributing to the dream like sheen the album possesses that completes the surreal urban ambience.
Just as the accompanying video clip to ‘Weekend’ is a lovely portrait of the free and whimsical nature of youth; Car Alarm is a breezy vacation from the depths of the subterranean concrete jungle into the purer arms of mother nature.

Los Campesinos (Fact magazine online)

Young beautiful and doomed.

Listening to ‘We Are Beautiful...’ is the audio equivalent of a hedonistic tea party, where the lime jelly has been spiked and the kids have too much fizzy pop.

Los Campesinos!, pioneers of welsh ‘Tweexcore’, blend fast paced melodic anthems with Biting vocal delivery. The seven piece can’t avoid comparison to the likes of Canadian behemoths Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire.
With sweet and sour juxtaposition of the male/ female lead vocals, delightful harmonies that drown in waves of soaring guitars and strings to reach their uplifting climax. However, the formula lacks versatility and I can’t explicitly pick out anything that marks this album out as a change of direction from their previous efforts.
The record is peppered with lyrical content exploring drunken phone calls to ex lovers, masturbation and insecurities, the average issues of attractive but tragic young adults.
No singles are to be released from the record, and its distribution is limited, perhaps an intentional obstacle in order to prevent the likes of Fearne Cotton getting their grubby little mitts on them.
Lack of promotion and obscure themes aside, the Lyrical ambiguity finds resonance with an audience’ in fact the line ‘Collected scabs in lockets/ Hung them round our necks like nooses’ literally reminded me of a girl at school who use to wear her boyfriend’s randomly discarded teeth as pieces of jewellery. Cute.

Concrete and Glass

Telepathe and tv on the radio- cargoLondon (as part of concrete and glass)

The Kings and Queens of the New york alternative pop scene graced shoreditch in October to headline the excellent Concrete and Glass 2 day festival, which was of course to exhibit some of the coolest and most innovative art and music in the worlds major cities atm. However I was unable to sample many of the delights that the festival had to offer due to the popularity of TVOTR, ridiculous competition to get into the venue in order to witness the spectacle.

Telepathe- wore glitter like war paint, clad in baggy t shirts and leggings they certainly exude quintessential new yoik cool. The heavy basslines, ritualistic drumming and the catchiness of tracks such as chromes on it’ won me round, despite the terrible sound (listening to the myspace version of that track is a much more comfortable experience.)
lead singer Melissa Livaudais invited audience onto the tiny Cargo stage, only managing to get 4 up there before security were sweating over the drunken hyponotised girl carelessly swinging her beer over the expensive synthesizers on stage. They are visually compelling, you can tell they really want the audience to be involved, however the cargo crowd weren’t in the most involving mood. Muffled claps met the end of each song, but perhaps the bands behaviour was too avant garde for the audience that night, or most of the cargo crowd aren't used to being beckoned on stage by three lesbians who look like they've run riot in Claire's accessories.
It might be interesting to see the band headline their own tour in a similar sized venue with perhaps a bigger stage so they can create the mass riot they always threatened to that evening. The excitement was infectious you could literally feel the buzz radiating off of each gig goer. It was of course a very special occasion due to the ridiculously long wait the band have forced on their British audience. It was TVOTR'sfirst show in 2 years so it was eagerly anticipated, so much so that cargo was packed from 7:00, tv on the radio wernt due on until 1:00am.
The setlist was laden with older back catalogue rather than the Dear Science shizz, mainly stuff from cookie mountain and desperate youths blood thirsty babes. Highlights: obviously wolf like me, dreams and the encore finale starring staring at the sun (unfortunately I had to abandon my position at the front and missed most of the last song due to a minor need for oxygen) it was an amazing concoction of heavy hi hat disco beats pounding bassline and distortion/ drone that flooded the whole venue with the sweet soulful sounds of adebimpe’s velvety vocals.
My T- shirt was utterly soaked by the end of the night. there was a Crush towards the front, i was expecting some stage diving and more physical interraction, even though it was hot hot hooot i still love the intimacy of cargo. this month the group are going on to play the not so cosy shepards bush empire, it would appear already not even a month after the new album was released seeing the band play tiny venues is a novelty. i look forward to hearing them debut more from Dear Science at ABC in Glasgow next week, i shall most definately fight my way to the front and swing my wild locks to 'Staring At The Sun'.

Monday, 29 September 2008


Finally after 3 years of threatening to, i am now in the process of creating my masterpiece MOLE! of course i expect it to fail quickly and turn into the biggest waste of time ever, however i hope to have fun making it! i need contributors and likeminded freespirited creative folk who don't mind prostituting their talents for the sake of a crazy idea...that is, lets face it, not particularly original but it could be oh so special...

anyone interested contact subject: Mole

dooo iiiit

Monday, 15 September 2008

Monday, 8 September 2008


... to anyone attending these magnificent gigs!

Concrete and Glass- friday 3rd October
ATP Release The Bats- Thursday 30th October

company required :(

This was from Release The Bats '07- there i am...right there, in the green!

Southern Belle

Today I had an interview, well less an interview more an informal 15 minute chat, for an Internship at Southern Records. For those not aware of Southern it's home to some of the best alternative music labels in Europe and the US, from Ipecac, Southern Lord and Touch and Go; Southern distribute and help promote these labels and their own artists in Europe and America. i spent alot of yesterday preparing myself for this 'interview', researching the label and the studios and browsing blogs and flickr to get a feel for the work environment, I was still not prepared for what i was greeted with.
My dad drove me to 10 Myddleton Road, North London, we slowly surveyed the area looking for some sort of block of flats or office like place, when my dad pointed to a run down looking detached house and claimed that was our destination, I had to double check. the place was so subtle and discreet you would never think that that was where the (European leg of the company's) magic was made. after I had come to terms with the fact that the head quarters wasn't quite the happening middleclass Shoreditch penthouse you may imagine it to be, we spent the next half an hour walking down the 'high street', the whole wood green area felt like it was trapped in some sort of timewarp. apart from a few kebab shops and newsagents, every shop was closed down or clearly hibernating. my personal favourite was the mens wear store selling doris day albums and 70's style Y fronts, which on closer inspection were browning and crusted (is that even a word?) the owners had clearly shut up shop and hadn't bothered opening up again for at least 30 years. crazy shit!
After driving around the area and avoiding the north circular for fear of getting trapped and tortured for the next hour, i decided to brave it into the Southern house.
the place was pretty damn crazy, another time warp, reminded me of some punk squat from the mid 80's, I was lead out to the communal seating area/ back studio (which is exactly what it says on the can...a garage-the place had no airs or graces, it was modest, cheap and laid back) with mammoth vintage analogue equipment sitting there which served to complement the nostalgic atmosphere the place exudes.
however the place looks, there is no denying it has character. sitting waiting to be greeted, I couldn't help but think of some of the legendary artists and bands who have graced the studios and head quarters, it felt like a bit of an honour just to be sitting in the dingy seating area. apparently Lee Perry once left a poo present on the floor, i should have kissed the ground to see if genius is contagious.
the actual interview was probably the least intense and intimidating process ever, the girl that spoke to me, Claire, looked cool and laid back with her scuffed pink pumps and thick fringed hair, the people and the place felt completely welcoming and relaxed. we basically talked about music interests, my main band interests, gigs, how I first came to hear about these bands. it was the sort of conversation I rarely get to have with anyone in the flesh who has any idea what i'm actually talking about. I don't mean to say that in a patronising or arrogant way, but alot of people just are not on the same page as me musically or when it comes to creative projects.
hopefully I left a good impression, my Wire experience seemed to impress and go down well, I attempted to elaborate on that but to be honest I don't know if experience or office credentials are that important in a Southern environment, just a passion for music and an open mind, which I like to think I possess.
who knows what the outcome will be, I find out in a week or so, I just hope the other candidates are'nt too experienced or charming. This could be my chance to be a Southern Lord.

Post Scripture:
after visiting p.c world with my father today i have decided to embrace my inner computer nerd. I desperately want an Apple Mac notebook/ laptop of any sort- garage band!photoshop, the works, plus my Sennheiser headphones are worth 45 quid- jeesh! remind me to make more money, then teach me how to save it!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

All Tomorrow\'s Parties Festival - Release The Bats 2008 - News

All Tomorrow's Parties Festival - Release The Bats 2008 - News

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Epiphany June 2007 (web version part of the Wire internship)

Dub Drunk

Web only Epiphany by The Wire's intern Imogen Decordova

The Wire's 17 year old intern, Imogen Decordova, recalls the first time she got drunk on the intoxicating rhythms of Jamaican dub.

Once in a primary school music lesson we were asked to bring in music from different cultures. As my Dad is of Jamaican descent, I asked him for his help in picking out something "genuinely Caribbean". "Ghost Town" by The Specials was one of the first ska-influenced records I can remember hearing; that, and seeing the group perform "Message To You Rudy" on Top Of The Pops 2, was my first introduction to this 'exotic' pop music from across the Atlantic.

No offence to my Dad's undeniably impeccable taste in music, but his recommendation of UB40 wasn't quite the response I had been hoping for, and it wasn't until much later that I'd finally get to explore and learn more about the sounds that came out of the studios and dancehalls of 1970s Kingston, a lesson that began in the somewhat unlikely setting of a scruffy Brighton hostel full of wide-eyed adolescents.

Like most teenagers, the urge to seek independence and have what is commonly known as 'thee best summa eva' was strong. For myself and two friends, this quest began with an aborted plan to stay in the teen holiday Mecca of Newquay in Cornwall. Then, a few months later, during the middle of the summer holidays, the three of us were hit by a wave of spontaneity and decided to book, right there and then, a three night stay in a small hostel in Brighton which we had found via some completely unreliable route.

Sure enough, the hostel conformed exactly to the stereotype of most youth accommodation: communal showers, a communal kitchen (the sink of which one of my friends was to later throw up in), a communal living and dining area complete with the requisite 'ethnic' ornaments. And of course, there was a 'communal' acoustic guitar, on which any lone traveller could strum the blues and sing tales of gap year woe. But what really struck me on entering the living room was the sounds of reggae reverberating through the house. My taste in music had always been fairly diverse and non-specific; I was already partial to the kind of drones and downtuned instrumental riffs issued by the Southern Lord and Hydra Head labels, and my CD collection at the time consisted of groups such as Pelican, The Melvins, Earth and Jesu (more like that of a white, middle American, teenage boy than a mixed race, teenage girl from the South East of England). But back in the hostel, the slow, pulsating rhythms really encapsulated a mood that the house seemed to exude and the sounds subliminally struck a heavy chord with me.

The next day I went music shopping along the Lanes, the warren of tiny streets behind the Brighton seafront that are full of shops selling all manner of kitsch accessories to the town's wandering population of teens, hippies and Goths. Stumbling into a deserted record store, I was confronted by aisles of music just waiting to be consumed by my greedy ears. I'd entered the shop with a vague idea of what I was after (some Roky Erickson, The Ronettes, a surf music compilation), but now I found myself lost among the browser racks, overwhelmed by the choices on display.

As I flicked blindly threw the endless CD sleeves, I became aware of the music that was playing in the background, an insistent, hypnotic pulse that seemed to go on and on. I was desperate to find out what it was, but was too scared to go up to the counter without buying anything. So I grabbed a pitch black box set from the World Music section with the legend 'Trojan' branded across it; I didn't recognise any of the names credited on the back (King Tubby, The Upsetters, Augustus Pablo and Niney The Observer, among others), so I was going purely on gut instinct. After buying the CD I asked the Neil Young lookalike behind the counter what he was playing. In my head I was already thinking it could be the psychedelic, trippy score to Jodorowsky's "Holy Mountain", which had been recommended to me by a crazy Dutch acquaintance, but it turned out to be "a German band called Can".

That Trojan box was to be one of the best buys of my life so far, a generous selection of pioneering dub tracks crammed onto three CDs complete with a brief history of dub printed on the back of each sleeve. I was amused by the names of the tracks, as I'd never before come across a genre that referred to itself so often in the song titles: "Dubbin' & Wailin'", "Long Time Dub", "Freedom Dub", "A Gigantic Dub", and my personal favourite, "Dub On My Pillow". I played the album that evening as a soundtrack to the binge drinking session that inevitably marked our last night at the hostel. Everyone else was more interested in the cheap Croatian alcopop that my friend had stashed in her suitcase, but I was intoxicated by the music, letting it wash over me, and I drowned in the muffled echoes of the hi-hat, imagining each crash of the cymbals was the cold English Channel, interrupting the warm drone of the bass and the thick, foggy atmosphere that enveloped the sweet melodies and harmonies of the voices. The music effectively transported me to another place, and I fell into a conscious hypnotic slumber which, with some help from the alcohol, no doubt, resulted in a form of temporary amnesia regarding the rest of the evening's events.

I recently played some of the tunes to another party of drunk and stoned teenagers, most of them too out of it to care what they were listening to. Being something of a tyrannical control freak when it comes to music, I hogged the music player, selecting tracks by Venetian Snares and Iron Monkey. But it was the Trojan tunes that got the best reception. The sight of a room of pasty-faced, acne-encrusted youths gyrating their hips and bobbing up and down to the alien sounds of The Ethiopians' "Train To Skaville" was something else, and I felt a triumphant grin spread across my face. As I cued up more vintage dub and ska from the Trojan vaults, one party animal came up to me and announced, "It all sounds pretty much the same, I can't differentiate between one track and the next, but that's how I like it."

So if I am ever again called upon to debut some 'genuine Caribbean music' to a classroom of infants, I'll know to drop some Trojan dub and leave my Dad's copy of "Red Red Wine" at home.

By Imogen Decordova

Edwin Pouncey interview June 2007 (internship at The Wire)

Rough Transcription of Pouncey interview

I wanted to start with your background and where you grew up you grew up in Yorkshire, Leeds, how did your environment influence you?

It didn’t at all, I kind of blocked Leeds out

What was it about it you didn’t like?

It felt like a mistake that I was there, I kind of went into denial that I was from Leeds which sounds a bit strange, socially I didn’t really get on with anybody, didn’t really have very many friends.

Did you hide behind your art and see it as a sort of escapism?

It was to be reclusive yeah, to go into my own little world, somewhere where I’d feel comfortable.

You moved to Essex and then came down to study in London

After attending Art College in Colchester I went for an interview to attend the Royal College of Art and they accepted me and that summer I moved down there and attended for 3 years.

Did you find it easier to settle down there?

Oh yeah, as soon as I left Leeds I was alright.

Your first foray into music was with Art Attacks…

That was a band that got formed during my stay at the Royal College of Art, it came out of being in a talent contest. At that time punk had just started, I was interested in it. I knew a guy in the furniture department who was a guitarist; he’d started to cast his own guitars out of aluminium and passing them off as sculptural objects. We did this punk rock gig and I wrote a couple of songs. It must have been the mood of the time but believe it or not a riot broke out and the next thing we knew there was this guy from Wimbledon college of art asking us to do a gig there.

And it sort of just snowballed from there?


So you didn’t have any plan to go into that area before?

No, I’d always really wanted to do art. Because there’s no money really in being an artist you have to find a way to survive somehow so I found other ways and means of drifting in areas that I was interested in to make a living, writing being one of them and drawing cartoons and illustrations is another one.

How natural was your progression into these other areas?

Pretty natural because they were things that I was interested in the first place, so I would listen to records, read reviews and think I could do that. I like records a lot, mad record collector still am, so when I hear a record and im really excited about it I want to sort of express myself, my feelings about it etc. And luckily at the moment I’m in a position where I can do that.

It’s rare for people to find a job somewhere they’re passionate about, have you found it easy to remain doing what you love at any point thought you’d have to give up?

Not really no, I don’t think so, I worked for sounds magazine and freelance on lots of other things, once you’ve established yourself, you’re ok, you can get work. Unless you burn all your bridges.

Is it all just luck and chance meetings?

Yeah a lot of it is, but its not just luck, there has to be an element of professionalism about it, otherwise if your given a job and you don’t turn up with a copy or drawing on time, people are gonna think, what a waster, your reputation will be if you can keep coming up with he goods on time...

Who’ve and how have you been influenced by? Lovecraft for example?

Everybody was reading Tolkien, I’ve tried Tolkien but I didn’t really like it much, thought it was a load of hippy sewage. I got book three Tolkien and decided I don’t really wanna read any more of this nonsense and was drawn instead to the people who wrote for a magazine in the 30’s and 40’s called ‘weird tales’.

Yeah, I was going to ask you about that.

There were people there like Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E Howard who wrote the Conan the barbarian stuff. I like Lovecraft best because all of his creatures were kind of suggested as oppose to anything else, I like horror stories and ghost stories, the ones I like the best are the ones that sort of just suggest it and let your imagination run riot. You’ve got a basic idea of what great Cthulhu looks like and all these other inhabitants of this sort of world that Lovecraft created, to put these gods in there, but he never really writes a complete description that you could actually sit down and draw it out, its to amorphous and I like that, I though that was really kind of spooky and psychedelic it really fired me up to think about those sorts of things.

How has that translated in your music/ musical endeavours?

Well, musically it’s improvised, spontaneous. I’m not really thinking about Lovecraft when I’m playing music as such, but it has that same kind of amorphous quality to it. I cant really say that anything is formed, there’s no sort of particular rhythm to it or pattern to it, it sort of forms, rises up and goes back again and sometimes it can be really huge and terrifying and sometimes its subdued and sometimes it doesn’t work at all and we just pack it in. the last few sessions have been really good.

Do you have a perfectionist attitude to your work?

Yeah definitely.

Do you think all artists do?

I think good artists do yeah, perfection to the point of where it’s almost a mania for getting it right.

I’d personally describe your art as pretty, grotesque, warped and distorted, how would you respond to this?


Its meant as a complement, the way in which the figures are created, its not realistic at all, so I’d say it was warped in that sense...

To me that means product of a warped mind.

I’m not indicating that you are warped in anyway way. How would you personally describe your art?

What I’m doing now? Im quite interested in a lot of patterns, patterns within sort of shapes. Im more interested in seeing the creatures have more pattern and design going on there and seeing how many different ways in which I can draw an eye, and then have an eye inside an eye inside an eye.

Are there any mainstream artists that you’re influenced by?

There are people that I like, but I don’t know if I’m influenced by them. I like Cameron Jamie, I like mike Kelly and that crowd, Marnie Weber and people like that. I like a lot of old cartoonists.

What about classical art or more sort of traditional pieces?

Austin Osman Spare, ah you’ve put me on the spot...too many to mention.

You’ve done lots of artwork for bands, sleeves, posters etc. how do you end up creating those, do you listen to the music and then get inspired by that or do they give you a brief of what they want?

Sometimes it’s easier if they give me a brief of what they want and I work with that for those types of jobs.

What’s the most free rein you’ve been given?

Well your given a free rein on any of those jobs, ‘cos they haven’t really got an idea either so you have to come up with something but some are more specific and give an idea of what they want and that’s kind of good really, you really do know what to draw, all you are really is an instrument in making that a reality. It’s really hard work thinking of ideas, scary ‘cos if you haven’t got an idea and they’re expecting you to come up with something wonderful then the pressure mounts.

What are you most proud of?

I don’t really know...the next thing. As soon as I finish something that’s it, I get on with the next one and im proud of that. I’ll look at it and think ‘wow that’s good I wonder if somebody would like to buy it’. The thing I’m working on now is the thing that I like the best.

What are you working on at the moment?

Nothing specific but I will be doing something, drawings of animals.

What interested you in etching? What is it about that medium that you like?

Just because it suited my drawing style and it’s black and white and I like black and white. I don’t really like colour that much, I think colour mutes the power of the image somehow. I can use probably one colour but not a whole load of colours because like I say the image is sort of lessened by colour, the colour soon becomes more important than the line, I want the line to stand out. I want people to notice the line, the sort of textiles and jewellery in a way.

So that’s why im in interested in etching because it allows you to be a jeweller in a way, with the line you can really do some fine incredible things with it. The etching process itself, because it’s kind of dangerous it’s got like fire and smoke and acid all those sort of things, it’s kind of toxic and dangerous. It’s nice to do an addition, say a small addition then you just smash the plate up and that’s it. It looks really strong, like it’ll last forever but it doesn’t. I prefer it to run for about 20 copies and then just smash it up. And then that’s it, onto the next plate!

Gives you muscles too, because you’re pulling the metal plates through presses, winding this huge wheel, good exercise.

It’s more of a physical process.

Very physical, and it’s something you don’t really get through drawing on a table, you’ve got your music on and its not that difficult getting up and having a cup of tea, whereas etching is like being in a factory, you’re grinding this stuff out.

Would you like to progress into more physical art?

Yeah I am interested now in sculpture, my wife just helped me do this sculpture, she’s a really good moulder, so based on a series of drawings that I did we made these models together which I exhibited in Paris recently, that’s where I want to go next. I’m thinking the next thing I wanna do is a big bronze, which would be mad, I just want to show people that im not just an illustrator. I wouldn’t put down illustration but I haven’t really had the opportunity to do it really, because I don’t have the space, maybe I could try it now see what happens.

Do you associate yourself with a scene, in terms of musically and the artists that you’ve worked with?

I have worked with people in groups, but I wouldn’t really say I’m part of any scene. I don’t want to join a club, no thanks.

A lot of the work I’ve seen of yours there seems to be a lot of black metal influence, there was also a quote from one of your exhibitions that claimed there’d be ‘Black metal, Goat worship, Semen, Blood and Ink.’ Was that just novelty or do you take it seriously?

No that’s serious, all of those elements kind of went into that exhibition believe it or not, in different ways, well not physically but metaphorically, what I wrote for that exhibition was true. That exhibition came out through listening to black metal music non stop for about 6 months.

What sort of bands?

All really underground, One of the main ones that started me off was one called Abruptum.

Oh right yeah...

You know them?

Yeah they have a member called ‘It’.

Yeah ‘It’ and ‘All’, well when I first heard Abruptum I thought that, like I suppose many people do, black metal was just a load of people shouting with a stupid gargly voice and lot of that still goes on.

Abruptum was really different it seemed to go on forever and ever, they were more like just making sort of dungeon type noises, very odd, very atmospheric I was completely blown away by that. I thought if they were doing that, surely some people must have been influenced by Abruptum and there were quite a lot of people who had been influenced, had taken it to their own level and continue to do so.

So I’m always seeking out the more strange, things that the wire would cover, dark ambience stuff like that, no, that’s too polite for it. It’s got its own feel, I don’t know where it’s coming from, some weird, subconscious, terrifying place that I was really interested in going myself. I went down the same route that Abruptum went, only with my art. I really was exploring the limitations of death, Satanism and music, what fired that music. It wasn’t a joke it was a real homage to black metal.

Could it be said that a lot of Black metal artists have been influenced by similar things to you, like Alistair Crowley for example?

Yeah I suppose they are, I think Alistair Crowley always gets tarred with that ‘black magic’ brush too much when in fact there’s more to him than that. You know he’s a poet, a thinker and well really a black magician I suppose... but I don’t really think he’s as black as people like to paint him.

Have you ever considered donning corpse paint or sacrificing any farm animals?

No, I’m not really interested in hurting any farm animals or painting my face to look like a clown, but good luck to those people who want to do that. I don’t really like people hurting farm animals to be honest (chuckles) unless if they’re killing them for me to eat them.

Have you read ‘Lords of Chaos’? That’s what sort of introduced me to aspects of the black metal scene, would you recommend any books?

There’s yet to be written, I’m yet to find a really good book about black metal, I’ve searched for it and searched for it. The only really good thing I’ve ever really read about black metal is Stephen O’Malley’s (Sunn0))), Khanate, Thorrs hammer and Southern Lord) Descent magazine which unfortunately is really difficult to find, there were only about 5 issues. It was like a fanzine that he wrote and designed, it was very passionately written and I think that was why I like it. But my interest in that music is still very active and that is really affecting the art a lot. You asked me about a scene and I think I am in a way becoming more and more attached to that black metal scene. They know I exist and they want me to participate, which im happy to do.

Who’s asked you?

I’ll be talking at Supersonic festival in Birmingham, I’m asked by bands like KTL to do artwork, Sunn0))) still want me, a few things for Earth.

What about your group Pestrepeller, what made you decide to go in that direction, had you had a break from music or had you always been active?

That’s bands been going for a while, I know the people in it, there’re all comic artists or writers or into computers or their musicians themselves and I guess its just an on going project more to do with music than art. And every so often something will come out.

You’re last album, ‘Isle of Dark Magic’ has been described as having ‘heathen and pagan qualities to it’ on a review site. How would you describe your music?

Well I suppose I should make something up, heathen music? Yeah well I suppose we are kind of heathen sort of a heathen psychedelic blues band with avant garde jazz tendencies or something like that. The new album has got quite a lot of metal in it but it’s not out yet.

When does that come out?

I’ve no idea, we’re still trying to find somebody mad enough to take it on board.

You play guitar and like to make more noise, drone, why is that?

Because I can’t play guitar.

So it’ just a disguise, nothing more?

I’m interested in what sounds come out of it in the same way that I’m interested in what lines come out of an ink pen, I’m sort of, some people would say, doodling with it, but im not really doodling with it im trying to control it and not control it. See how out of control it can go and find new ways of making this feedback that I’m interested in, change and alter and shift. I think eventually I’ll run out of ideas to do with feedback, in fact this last one is probably the last time I’ll do feedback, but I find it’s sort of relaxing, to stand there and just hear this stuff pour out on an amplifier.

Have you been influenced by bands such as Sunn0))) and Earth or any other artists before them?

Kind of before that, I’ve always been interested in the Velvet Underground type drone and La Monte Young the whole idea of drone is very attractive to me, the fact that it just goes on and on and on it’s quite primal, natural, like you said ‘heathen’.

Speaking of primal, you’re pseudonym, Savage Pencil, how did that come about?

When I was 16 I was doing my own underground comics, I wanted to make a little company like Marvel and DC and some underground comic had ones like ‘Last Gasp’ and ‘Print Mint’ and so I thought, well I’ll have a company as well and do lots of comics, so I decided it would become Savage Pencil and when I got a gig at Sounds to do a regular weekly comic strip called ‘rock n roll zoo’ I decided I’d take on the pseudonym Savage Pencil that’s my alter ego, the cartoonist is Savage Pencil as a writer im Edwin Pouncey.

Do you see them as two very different characters?

I don’t really no, because they’re both me.

How long have you been a critic for?

Since 1981

In terms of film, were you influenced a lot by gore films, hammer horror stuff, what do you think about this respective new wave of grind house films?

Use to kind of like that stuff, mainly for its stupid qualities, I liked the poster more than the films. You mean the Tarentino things?

Yeah sight and sound had a special edition on it, I wondered if you had any opinion on it?

Well we’ve been through the grind house, definitely been through there, it left it’s mark but that was early 80’s. I was doing little comic books as a reaction to the Thatcher governments ridiculous witch hunt on so called ‘video nasty’ films.

Would you say that politics has had a big effect on your work, or do you try to distance yourself on social commentary?

I suppose politics drifts into social commentary doesn’t it? I’m interested in politics though because I watch news night every night, I keep abreast of what’s happening and I vote. So I must be interested in politics.

And finally what bright talents are you currently championing or have you been infected with cynicism giving you little hope for more contemporary work?

Well, my favourite band at the moment are a black metal band from Finland called Dead Reptile Shrine, who else do I like, I don’t really know. I don’t know enough about who’s around. I don’t really pay much attention to the current scenes, what is going on, you tell me? You see I stopped reading comics so I wouldn’t know. I keep going back to established stuff and reassessing it. Hans Belmer I like, a German, he did a lot of etching, erotic and strange and rotting stuff...check him out. He did this doll, an articulated life size doll which he’d crop up and photograph in certain positions and it would always look abused and used and horrible and strange, but it’s a really great work of art.