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this is a free fanzine

no.13

nothin g clean t s o south gh tchsticks a m f o t u o s e tl s a c building

sieghetnar


editorial

What do you teach your children? in this issue: They learn as they grow up from their + The Russian Revolution peers and their family. Not from school. School is indoctrination. A re-education training camp to instill the values of the State. Many people believe that. Rather, their children were brought up the right way at home, with the values of the family and their community. That sounds good. But what do you teach your children? In the USA, the right to keep and bear arms is a Right to pass down to children, and by extension, the acceptance of guns in the community becomes the norm. The impressionable child is brought up such, either through experience of real weapons or even toys as training tools.

The no. 13 April 2018 zine creator Satpal Kalsi contact snail mail: 4 Mainstone Close Winyates East Redditch B98 0PP England UK telephone/text: +44 (0)7791683020 email: steadydiet_247@yahoo.co.uk contributors: Alpine Style Scenester Rosie (thanks!) Contributions and letters for publication would be most welcome. Don’t be shy.

next issue scheduled for july 2018

Second Amendment of the American Constitution protects that Right. It is a document that has been open to interpretation since its adoption in 1791, but essentially it has not been successfully challenged for its relevance today. America was a very different place, after the Revolutionary War, to what it is now. The amendment regards the rights of citizens to form Militias to protect themselves from a beligerent State. Maybe they thought, at the time, that the State could fall back under British hegemony or other foreign Nations could invade?

That’s

never going to happen in today’s USA. The role of the Militia is unnecessary, as the State is now representative of the whole American demographic, even when the governing Party is difficult to accept. How do you amend the Second Amendment, so the presence of guns in the home is not the norm, or stop the access of guns to individuals with personal motives.

America is a Nation of alienation and distrust. It is absolutely the wrong place to have the right to keep and bear arms. The least the communites of the USA can do is teach their children that guns are not a part of life. After that, the State can focus on the issues of alienation that makes people want to shoot up schools.

Distribution: if you can help out by leaving copies of this zine in your area please e-mail me.

+ Paedophile Hunters + Music news +Interviews with Sieghetnar (German ambient black metal) Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks (Canadian guitar pedal electronica) South Ghost (UK gentle synthe pop) Nothing Clean (Leicester screaming fastcore) + An album appreciation of Messthetics + Psychedelic prose + Audio reviews + Favourite Designers + Book reviews + A new Political Party


text boxing Recently,

they had George Galloway and Peter Hitchins, on the telly, commenting on the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was an interesting piece since neither could decide what exactly the Revolution was about. George, fairly stated that the beast that was created should be given credit for standing up to Hitler. Peter, alternatively thought it was a great big con trick by the German Empire and with Lenin as their stooge. Why? To return Russian from the brink of social democracy back to the totalitatian regime much favoured by Imperialists and Lenin. A lot of people got killed, that’s for sure.

Those celebrating 100 years since the Russian Revolution are doing so for its symbolism. The overthrow of what they saw as a despotic regime, built on brutality, secret services, and the unfair distribution of wealth. There was an earlier Revolution that year that did over the Royal Family, and was more or less a popular uprising. Sometimes people mix the two up, partly because of the propagandist cinema of Eisenstein, when in reality the October or Bolshevik revolution was by a minor group of people (in fact Bolshevik means minority as opposed to Menshevik the good- a Nazi which means majority) orchestrated by bashing Red greater powers. Credit to Lenin Army sniper though. The momentum created by this sudden event, captured the spirit of a dormant proletariat; with some help of course, by the new Soviet State control of media and the good old secret police. Just in case the Workers weren’t getting it.

The

fact that this new Soviet paradise was ‘Not Capitalist’ has appealed to people since. Don’t really need to go into Stalin and the Cold War. Mind you, apologists for the Soviet regime don’t like to go into Stalin and the Cold War. But you can understand some aspects of this whole sorry mess. The West wasn’t doing Russia any favours. You would have thought that a country as vast as that with its natural resources would be a country the West would want to help and develop for future investment. Which only proves that the Imperialism of the various Western nations was simply about expansionism and gaining physical territory. Most famously being Hitler’s Lebensraum or Breathing Room- the extra bits of land annexed to Germany to allow the Reich to comfortably imbed itself.

Now,

back to that T.V. chit chat- only George, with his final few words, hit the nail on the head- that there is a difference between the Soviet regime and Marxism. It matters not that Marxism was used as a tool to enforce the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, it only matters that the practice was an abuse of its real value. No one can deny that the purpose of Marxism is to analyze the role of the individual in their relationship to accumulating Capital and their subsequent influence or power (or lack of). Marxism is used, even among those supporting the various free Market systems, to determine the processes involved at an almost scientific level. This goes beyond finance. History and culture is more accurately determined by Marxism, because most events and artefacts are the product of systems where every individual had their fixed role in society, thus influencing production methods, quality of goods and works of art; Marxism made sense of what these goods tried to express and how their accessability was controlled to the average layperson. So forget about the Russian Revolution as some glorious event in the history of the Left. It wasn’t. Instead, think only of Marxism as a timeless

doctrine of the written word (a bit like certain Religious books), then use it to understand why our society is in such a mess.

On the subject of sordid politics, why are there so many Billionaires in China? Something to ponder.

And

even more sordid politics just came into the news these last couple of weeks with the harrassment claims in the Palace of Pestminister. Elderly men in power who can’t handle the presence of young women trying to work with them. Something about young ladies that causes a Man’s brain to shutdown. If that’s a generalisation so be it, but I guess the rest who have exercised self control are probably just happy thinking about it. Can’t control thought, but just don’t make a nuisance of yourselves. Not horny teenagers anymore. I think the Left has always had a problem with understanding equality- in that people can’t help themselves from making casual, inappropriate comments, while happily sloganeering at public events. My own personal view is that women will never be seen as equals in Political parties. They may fill quotas, and fill the front benches, but there seems to be a patronising attitude from the male counterparts that clearly states “we’re doing you a favour”.

Taking creepiness to a new level, I just went through a phase of watching a lot of UK Paedophile Hunter videos on Youtube. Call me reactionary, but I take great pleasure in watching people get called out in this way, for grooming children. These Hunters pretty much work to the same process, to ensure they have watertight cases to pass to the authorties.

The primary rules are not to take the law into their own hands (as Vigilantes) and not to entrap their subject. Entrapment means leading the target into doing stuff that’s illegal. The target must always make the first move and persist. The Hunters, posing as children online, collect evidence through screen shots of conversatons, recordings, chat logs. It is all acceptable evidence. When confronted the target is told that they are at fault, for not terminating contact when the Decoy ‘child’ tells them they are underage. I think the law states you are only allowed two exchanges with a child online. Anymore is classed as grooming. To cut a long story short, people go the bad and the ugly online to meet children, Dictators of the working class when confronted they claim to be unaware that they were talking to children or “knew they were an adult but still went to meet them to check”, the police are called, physical evidence is handed over, the groomer goes through the legal process.

Is

there a civil liberties issue here? The idea of a groomer being caught out live on internet streaming sites before the courts have found them guilty rankers a lot of people. Not me. The hard evidence against them will always ensure no one is mistakingly caught. So much criteria has to be met before a Hunter team moves in on their target. Anyway, I get great pleasure seeing the look on a groomers face that exact moment they realise their family and social life has just come to an end. Especially when you find out some of the disgusting things they write. I’m sure these people relish a sense of power they get over controlling children. They live in an unreality where they think kids actively go out to meet adults for sex. Kids of thirteen or fourteen set quite high benchmarks for cutenessJustin Bieber, One Direction, etc. etc. Why on earth these groomers think children will find them attractive is beyond me. Most of them are such ugly bastards with their missing hair, bad teeth, sagging bellies, breath smelling of lager and cigarettes, and naff branded shell suits-

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looking like Rab C Nesbitt’s grandad. It doesn’t dawn on them that they have nothing to appeal to children.

The

Police are obliged to say they don’t approve of Paedophile Hunters. After all, our taxes are going to the Police so they can catch people like these. It doesn’t look good for them that volunteers are succesfully doing their jobs for them. The Left may wag their fingers sat at home fighting their armchair revolutions by leaving comments on the social network websites, so I think it bothers them that people who dress like chavs, with foul mouths, and look uncultured are actually going out there and getting results child groomers (Shane Brannigan is THE caught on video prime example). feeling sorry for

themselves

Communism

the rather popular Shane Brannigan meeting up with a chap who wanted a girl aged 12 for a wife

is about breaking the barrier between the working class and the State. What could be more Communist than paedophile hunting? The hunter teams are working with the State (the Police) to make society safer. The idea of self orgainsed volunteer action (guided by legislation) as a State apparatus provides the checks and balances against State abuse, while the State ensures that all parties are protected by Law. The sense of liberation that the Worker feels ensures we are in a constant state of Permanent Revolution- every action or event by the Worker must have Added Value to the structure of the State, which gradually become Enlightened, rather than remaining in the stagnant Party system it is currently in. Of course, not all types of Revolutionary action appeals to everyone, and most people would rather let others do it, but there has to be a process in place that allows the Workers to help make Society safer.

sie’s scenester Ro 2017 ds of coolest recor

GETTING OLD discography of full length albums

Just finished watching the whole four seasons of ‘Starsky And Hutch’ on DVD and want to start all over again. Didn’t realise how good this show was. That friendship element between the two guys is something most of us wish we had. Alas, reality has a different definition of friendship if social media is anything to go by.

‘Verfallen & Verendet’ 2006 ‘Todessehnsucht’ 2007 ‘Bewußsteinserweiterung’ 2008 ‘Kaltetod’ 2008 ‘Die Hymne der Zerbrechlichkeit’ 2013 ‘Epica’ 2015 ‘Zen’ 2015 ‘Kaltetod’ (re-release) 2015 ‘Metamorphose’ 2016 ‘Dysthymie’ 2016 ‘Erkenntnis’ 2017

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Sieghetnar are a band I’ve taken an interest in over the years. I was blown away by this instrumental variant of black metal. Sieghetnar is exploring an aspect of the German Romantic obsession with journey, space and time. I asked band creator Thorkraft to introduce himself. Visit www.kristallblutrecords.com for albums My first Sieghetnar album was ‘Verfallen & Verendet’ which I Ioved. It was around the time of Xasthur's emergence. Were bands like that a big influence on you? Exactly! At that time I listened a lot to Xasthur’s work, but the final result of this first album was, that I searched long time before going to sleep for a perfect album to listen. So it was time to create my own interpretation of what I had in mind. After the recordings, my friends told me to release it.

That album had some vocals but you moved away from vocals. Why is that? The second album ‘Todessehnsucht’ was an atmospheric depressive black metal album and it sounded very good without vocals. Before the release I read a post in a blog that there was some guys who searched for instrumental black metal albums. After the recordings were done, I thought it would be better to release it as an instrumental to keep the atmosphere alive of this work.

Did you feel that being an instrumental band was a risk because black metal is famous for its vocals? No not at all. I write and record the albums and they don’t need vocals, I think. The way to get into the work of Sieghetnar is through the following: you have the main title of the album, so you know of which atmosphere the album sounds; you have the complete artwork, also the demos are handmade so you can also get a feel of the atmosphere; and you have your mind when listening and see your own story. After the works where sold out, I searched for fans and vocalists who had interest in the re-release of the albums with vocals. The lyrics were written all by the singers and so the re-release got a new atmosphere, sound and interpretation of the album. This was very surprising for us and also for the fans. The fans like it. I got only positive feedback and they don’t miss vocals. Sieghetnar stands for Trancezendental Ambient Black Metal.

was also a process and sounded different from the other recorded stuff, because I invested a lot of money in my new home studio. New Guitars, Synths and other stuff.

‘Hymne der Zerbrechlichkeit’ was a 35 minute piece music (the demo version). Tell us about the ideas behind that record The idea behind ‘Hymne der Zerbrechlichkeit’ was to write a Hymn (Song) which changes in atmosphere as you are listening. It starts very beautiful and sounds like a perfect world and more and more it changes into depressive feelings. I wanted this to happen in one song. It’s a journey for the listener.

Tell us about the packaging for ‘Erkenntnis’ with the accompanying photo cards ‘Erkenntnis’ describe the process if you find a solution for a long problem. When I wrote this album, that was the time when I left my old job, found my lovely wife and got time for only my label and music. The pictures were important parts and views I have seen for a long time. So I have made these pictures like in the wood, where when I have a break and go out, it’s the view from our holiday house.

What synthesizers and equipment do you use? I always get new stuff, but the older albums were recorded with Roland synthesizers. The last one I bought was Roland Juno Gi. After ‘Metamorphose’ (which showed the change in process in my own recordings) I bought a new DAW (desktop audio workstation), new recording Programme, Akai Advanced, Ibanez Guitar, Steinberg Audio Interface and many great synthesizers as Plug ins. So there will be a lot of interesting new releases in the future.

Is Sieghetnar also a live band? I thought about that a long time, but to find musicians for playing live is very difficult.

In what way do you feel Sieghetnar is different to other black metal bands now? What themes interest the band now? Sieghetnar does not only have its own own sound, Sieghetnar has its own atmosphere. I try always to create a psychedelic, trancezendental, and deep chilling atmosphere. Like finding your Zen, or a journey, a cold winter world, space, depression, and so on. There will be in the new releases. Be surprised.

Last year's 'Disrhythmie' reminded me of Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh, but ‘Erkenntnis’ is a bit more harsh. Is this a natural progress or just different qualities of the band? It’s a natural process. The atmosphere is always translating the title of the album. Dysthemie is a word which describe a long, depressive feeling, and this can be heard throughout the album. ‘Erkenntnis’

The next album will called ‘Gebirge’ and it is about a story of a wanderer, with nature feelings. It sounds very epic like Caladran Brood, Eldamar and Draumar. After that I will release a “space Black Metal” work.

What is the aim of your label Kristallblut Records? Kristallblutrecords is an atmospheric deep high quality label. I release only atmospheric stuff in good quality physical packagings. In future I will release only my own works and work only with bands in cooperation. And of course I will support all physical CD collectors out there with great packages and prices. At this time I have created the ‘Black Metal Elite Club’ CD Packages with 25 Albums for only 99.99 Euro. The fans love it because you get great albums from all over the world for a very good price.

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Nothing Clean formed in 2014 when Duane (drums) and James (guitar) started jamming with the idea of doing some touring. We asked George, who we knew from a local vegetarian/vegan health food shop, to play bass. Although Matt was the obvious choice for vocals we initially asked Liam (Fetus Christ, Negative Mindset, Mud Humper, etc) as Duane already played drums in Toecutter HC with Matt on vocals and we thought it might be too similar. However Liam soon found that travelling from Hereford was not going to be a realistic commitment, so, after recording the first demo, he left and Matt joined. We quickly realised that Matt's approach to our songs was very different to his style with Toecutter HC so this was not a problem. We all have a huge range of musical influences. When writing Nothing Clean riffs I have listened to bands such as Yacopsæ, Cloud Rat, Converge, Spazz, Pig Destroyer, Human Junk, Man Hands, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, etc, etc, etc. Duane's drumming is influenced by early UK hardcore and Slap-a-Ham bands. We all listen to loads of different stuff though, from Portishead and Mogwai to Run the Jewels and Danny Brown. Since then we have recorded another demo, four split 7”s, two split tapes and our LP is nearly ready. At the time of writing we have have played 151 shows all across Europe. We have another split or two planned and already have ideas for the next LP, as well as hopes to play many new places.

>>> Nothing Clean are on Bandcamp

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You've just announced a new album ‘Cheat’ for a July release. Please tell us about it. We started working on this album a couple of years ago; it essentially covers the first era of the band and is taken from two sessions that Duane (drums) recorded at two different practice spaces on some ancient equipment. We then got Trip (Horsebastard, Chinsniffer) to mix the whole thing and Alex (Krupskaya) to master it. With over forty tracks this was a long process but we’ve finally had the test presses back so it will be out soon. How has Nothing Clean progressed musically as a band? I first heard you guys on the split with Higgs Boson. When we started the band we just wanted to do raw, fast hardcore punk songs. That hasn’t really changed but there’s only so many ways you can hit four chords in twenty seconds so over time we’ve played about with some different ideas. Some of our songs are a bit longer than they used to be and we have experimented with some different approaches to writing.


answers submitted by James

The fast hardcore scene was pretty vibrant in the mid 90s (Flat Earth Records etc.), so how is the appreciation now? I don’t think there is the same following that there is for grind or straight power violence but there are plenty of people who are passionate about this kind of music. We never sat down as a band and said we want to write songs in this style or take influence from these bands; we do this music because it’s the music we naturally make together. However we of course take influence from bands before us and around us, including fastcore, power violence and other genres. What is so appealing about fast hardcore and the old power violence music? Essentially to us it is just a form of punk rock. The anger and expression as well as the rawness of this kind of music is a perfect way to channel the emotions and ideas that we want to express. How did you feel when you heard about Shawn Elliott's passing, and what would you like to say about the band Capitalist Casualties? It was sad to hear of his passing; Capitalist Casualties were a great band. Power violence was so specific to an era and a location, that a documentary is being made about it. Do you think UK hardcore has a scene or history that is unique? There's so much amazing hardcore from the UK. I think, like music from anywhere, it has it's own distinctive sound and history, though this is of course influenced by bands from all over the world. One of the great things about touring is seeing scenes and bands in different parts of the world. This has definitely had an effect on our music. Tell us about Leicester as place to be in a band. In the last year or so the scene in Leicester has got loads better. It used to be that you’d get maybe ten people coming to a show, now it’s more like fifty, so it’s definitely better for bands than it was. Saying that, even when the scene was small in Leicester we had some great bands; Mangle, Toecutter HC, Diet Pills, etc. I think the quality of bands in Leicester was always good because the people in them just wanted to make music and didn’t really care if anyone was going to listen to it. There’s no way we’ll ever make money doing this music, but we do it because this is the music we want to make. The fact that we get to tour and release records is enough for us. Leicester is hugely multicultural. Do the people of Leicester think race mixing is cool, or are communities still insular? There are mixed feeling about this in Leicester. We as a scene embrace people from all backgrounds, as I think do most people in the city. There is, however, unfortunately still a lot of racism in the city and some communities remain quite divided. You've also just released a split tape with Hooked On Christ. How did you guys hook up? We’ve known Mark and Dave from Hooked On Christ from their old bands Fuck Right Off, Stupid Animal, etc, for years and played with them with our old bands. We ended up doing a short tour with them in France and Spain and recorded the split on a day off.

NOT EXACTLY DICK WHITTINGTON I visit London a lot. I find it a very compelling place. When you need a break from the daily drudge, just get in the car, train or coach and travel down from the Midlands. If it’s the car, then it’s like a straight drive down the M42/M40. London is practically at the end of the road, (and Oxford, down some side alley). I used to live in London, but couldn’t wait to get out of there. Visiting it once a month is more than enough. Unlike Dick Whittington, I never regarded London as the place to make fortunes. In fact, by all accounts, they’re all leaving to move to cheaper places like Birmingham. Some still find it cheaper to commute into London for work, assuming the Railways know what they’re doing. London, for me, has always been a treasure trove of the Arts and history. Every corner you turn, there’s something fascinating to be found or learned. That’s why I love the place. And for stress relief I just like to randomly get in the car, even as a last minute decision, and drive down for a quick drink and meal, and an evening stroll alongside the River. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s nice having a world tourist centre just down the road from me. I always park at South Ruislip train station. It’s about £2.00 parking for the whole day on a Saturday, then Tube it into London. For an evening drink and meal I like the ‘Mud Lark’ at the end of London Bridge. A nice, secluded Nicholson’s pub with Southwark Cathedral looming down upon you. Best in the evening with all the ambient lighting and atmosphere. During the day, I go to the ‘Queen’s Larder’ in Bloomsbury. A very small, homely pub, but no food after 3pm (very annoying). Sit here and think about Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Set. Or just listen to the middle-aged blokes talking football. Strangely working class in a posh area. The best way to enjoy London is not to make plans. If there’s an exhibition advertised, I’ll go and see it. If I don’t want to spend any money, then clearing the mind in front of some Old Masters in the National Gallery is a no-brainer. The Wallace Collection is just as good, but in a smaller setting. Tate Modern is free too, and good for late night chilling. The South Bank a few yards away is there for the hipster crowd and expensive drinks. There’s not that many record shops in central London now. But if you want to browse, there’s a few close to each other around the Soho area like Reckless, Sister Ray and Phonica. But the Soho, Leicester Square area is great for late night drinks. ‘Jamie’s Pub’, near Picadilly is great for sitting outside and watching the world go by, even if it is touristy and a bit pricey, but it works for atmosphere. And that’s all you really want from London. The atmosphere.

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creating electronic music

Using guitar, loops, synths and pedals Anne Sulikowski creates a unique sonic landscape. An illustrative textured dronescape is a driving force within her recordings. Melodic granular swirls are processed, reverberated, quietly twisted then modulated with love, all fuelled by a vivid imagination, thought disorder and an addiction for wandering. Anne has been involved in many musical projects but began to focus on her solo work in 2003. As Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks she has released 13 full length albums along with numerous tracks on artist run independent labels including histamine tapes. DO you dream of Noise, illusion broadcast, paperplussound, god hates god records, assembly field music, trace recordings, chat blanc, soundinsilence, ping things, worthy records, 9.12 records. Her songs have been used in CSI Miami season 7 and 8, and in the Descending documentary series featured on the Ontario life network.

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photos by artist

As a photographer she drives around aimlessly and takes thousands of photos. She is quite bipolar with a camera, either taking photos of things abandoned, decayed and ruined or places barely visited, horizons pristine and untouched by man. She also makes films for her music and other recordings using ambient abstract storylines. Her videos have been shown at the Queering Sound Festival in Washington and at Mutek Electronic Festival in Montreal. She has six releases scheduled for 2018. Anne is also working on a duet release with Lisa Bella Donna. BCOOM are on Bandcamp and Soundcloud The current release, ‘Your Skin My Mask’ is released on Histamine Tapes


Talking About Process >>> Which are your most commonly used instruments?

creating electronic music

>>> Guitar effects pedals are essential to my music process which is always changing. What remains constant is the live processing of these effects pedals. I treat them as instrument, and view experimenting with the combination of them, and their placement, as a part of the composition in itself. I’ve used many things as instruments to process through pedalboards, but usually I process synthesizers, guitar and my voice.

>>> Are your compositions patterned using a sequencer or played live? If I use percussion/beats I use the sequencer found in Fruity Loops. I’ve used that program for years. All other instrumentation are played live and processed live without the use of sampler or sequencers. If I do sample I sample myself and then sequence that. I like to keep it as live as possible, with as much of an active role in sound creation as I can get. I really love to be present in the whole process. I feel like it's my own that way. >>>

>>> How many instruments do you hook up to a mixer at any same time or do you record each instrument separately? >>> It depends on the music project. I have the capability to record many tracks at once, but often I do them one at a time, building textures and layers.

>>> Do you record straight to computer or use hardware like tape recorder, digital recorder? >>> I change up my recording process as often as I do my pedalboard. Usually I am recording with an audio interface direct into a computer, but I have done tape recordings, which in my opinion, sound way better. My guitar demo videos and some live performances I record with a stereo omni mic that I hook up to my phone, making things so nice and easy. The less complicated things are, the more I can make from feelings that arrive spontaniously within any moment.

>>> How many takes or reworks do you usually have to do before you are happy with a composition? >>> I often think my music needs more takes and then I wait a day and never finish them. After a week I post them and listen back to how full they are, because I stepped outside for a moment. For the atmosphere I am often trying to achieve, less is more, especially when sustain is essential in my compostional style. To me it’s easy to play fast, and to just keep layering more and more. Sometimes I like things as minimal as possible.

>>> Some people think electronic music is sterile. How do you give it that human feeling / emotion? >>> Any genre of music can be considered to be sterile. For me, it all comes down to the compositional strength of the recording, rather than the instruments used to achieve it. Newer forms of music or musical processes have often been criticized. I have heard people play guitar with such little emotion that I question whether or not the performer is even alive. I have seen people press buttons on a sequencer with such emotion that it would bring tears to your eyes to even just witness. I don’t know how to answer this question. I put everything in me into my recordings. I’ve laughed and I’ve also cried to them. Sometimes the sounds I make creep me out. I’m not sure how I’m doing it all, but thank you for associating my recordings as something with emotion.

>>> When do you know a composition is just right and ready for finishing? >>> For me, a less is more approach proves to be most effective. I rejoice in uniqueness and inperfection. I barely spend any time with post production work. Perhaps I should, but honestly it’s something I couldnt care less about. I just love the creating, the recording, the presence, diving deep inside the drone, perfect or not.

>>> How much mastering is done on your recorded music eg. compression, equalization, reverb to clean up the sound >>> Since most of my music is guitar based I do some equalizing and noise reducing, but all my effects are performed live while recording. I view this as an essential part of my compostional style.

>>> You seem to be an avid collector of guitar pedals. What qualities do they have that appeals to you? >>> They let me become the King of Sound and allow me to do anything I want to anything I put in them. All in real time as I’m creating. And most of them are just so adorable, like those put out by Earthquaker Devices, my fav of company.

>>> You also like your Jazzmaster guitar. Are its tones compatible to ambient music or does it add a contrasting edge? >>> I have never used any other guitar so I can’t compare it to another guitar. String based drone allows you fine control over aspects of your tone. When you can manipulate sound in such detail you can write the most intense ambient compositions.

>>> How has your music progressed over the years in style and technique? >>> Years ago I played synths and used programs to make my music. That was the whole process and it ended up being limiting. Now I’m using a more hands on approach and letting the programs just fill in tiny gaps. To be honest I’m all about guitar these days, even though when I play it, it often doesn’t sound like one.

ENSONIQ ESQ-1 SYNTHESIZER Polyphony - 8 voices (dynamic voice allocation) Oscillators - 3 digital oscillators per voice, 32 waveforms Sequencer - 8-Track (30 patterns, 10 songs w/ up to 99 patterns each) Memory - 40 patches Date Produced - 1986 - 1988 I love my Ensoniq ESQ-1. But like any ancient piece of hardware, it has stability issues, but if you get to know how it behaves, (just like a pet) it’ll show you some love. First off is the three oscillators. You understand those, then with the choice of 32 waveforms you can create an almost infinite number of storable sounds. The signal path and envelope diagrams printed on the synthe are self explanitory. If you’re an electronic musician the sequencer is a godsend. It will allow 8 of those sounds to play at the same time per sequence. Use the midi to run external synthes and you’ve got an amazing set up for ambient soundscapes. Even though the sequencer memory storage is reasonable you shouldn’t need more than two bars. More than enough to modulate filters or envelopes using the wheel or the fussier alternative of buttons or slider. It’s not a synthe made for constant modulation, unlike those with all those twiddling knobs. Better to choose your sequence and run it through an effects unit for improvisation. But be warned. The batteries are specialist, and are only available in the US, and they can’t be imported. At some point this synthe will need to be converted by a specialist to take UK equivalent batteries. An excellent synthe that can match higher end brands.

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NEWS

- updated 10/06/2018 (this zine is printed in batches, so each batch will have updated news)

Sonic Youth. The Body and Uniform have collaborated on ‘Mental Wounds Not Healing’, through Sacred Bones Records. The limited edition LP is now available for pre-order. Hardcore and noise meets industrial. Terrorizer magazine seems to be fighting for survival. It was a magazine influenced many noise musicians and especially

I wrote for years ago. A lot of subscribers are not getting regular issues, though their Editor in Chief has stated that the magazine should be back on course soon. Their website is not being updated, though the forum seems fit and healthy. Forthcoming releases on

john coltrane

Six Weeks

A new John Coltrane album is going to be released on June 29th. Unlike recent live releases, this is going to be an album of original unreleased studio material. Though the original Masters were destroyed, a copy was kept by Coltrane’s enstranged wife, and only just discovered. The recordings are from 1963 and the album is titled ‘Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album’.

Impulse!

are releasing it in Standard and Deluxe versions with the latter featuring seven extra out-take tracks. Some more good

Varg Vikrenes has announced the end of Burzum “… Burzum is a music project. Some like it, others don't. OK. But to me, Burzum is my painful past in a news:

reeking bog, that took me many years to get out from -- and when I

include a new Transient album. The grindcore outfit released their first one for the label in 2013. The new

Eric Wood of Bastard Noise. They’ve already done some live collaborations. The record one features contributions by

label are also behind a forthcoming documentary film on power violence music, currently called ‘The

Power Violence Music Project’. They’ve put on some shows, a T-shirt and a zine to raise money. Total fan based DIY. Support them. Birmingham death metallers

CDN

Absolution have signed a deal with Canada’s

records. That label features one of my favourite death metal

bands, Gutted Alive. Deafheaven will release their new album ‘Ordinary Corrupt Human Love’ on July 13th, through

finally did, I just ended up in a new bog. Burzum was never my choice of life. I didn't even want to become a musician. It was just something I did whilst waiting for something that never came -- and that never could come. I have left all reeking bogs, and I have moved

Anti Records.

Burzum. See the sun rise and see her banish all the darkness of this world." Hope it’s not a wind up. Danny Kirwan, original guitarist for Fleetwood Mac has

Festival,

on...Bye bye

passed away, aged 68, on June 9th. He played on five of the band’s

D e i c i d e guitarist R a l p h Santolla passed away on June 6th after having his life support studio albums. Former

switched off during a coma, following a heart attack. He was aged 48. Japanese crust/hardcore band

Crude

have released their fifth

album, ‘Drug Culture’, through Farewell Records of Germany as a vinyl only. The first press of 700 comes with a poster. The hottest new instrument for electronic musicians at the moment seems to be Behringer’s Model D hardware synthe, which is styled after the Minimoog, and by all accounts sounds just as good but at a tenth of the price at £299. It’s in rack form only so you’ll

Inferna Profundus have reissued the first two albums from Abruptum on vinyl. Extreme

The song ‘Honeycomb’ can be streamed on Bandcamp now. Initial listens suggest this is going to be an album as good as ‘Sunbather’. Black metal purists be warned, there’s melodic hooks and 70s guitar solos. This year’s

Supersonic

in Birmingham UK will be on June 22-24. The

Gazelle Twin, Andrea Belfi, Daniel Higgs, The Ex, and Wolves In The Throne Room among others. Poland’s black metal band Behemoth were facing prosecution from the State, for having a performers include

T-shirt design that was regarded as mocking the National Coat of Arms. An upside down cross had been inserted. But charges have been dropped and the Tshirt will be back on sale. Vocalist

N e r g a l somehow managed

Albert Camus in his

have to get a keyboard.

to quote

black metal. Limited edition colours available. Experimental guitarist

c e l e b r a t o r y Statement. As if the Polish Authorities don’t have more important things to worry about. My friend at work just played me some live

Glenn Branca

passed away on 13th May, aged 69. He

cruel

audio of the band he’s in, from Redditch They’re called Cruel and play thrash metal with black metallish vocals. They sounded promising. Nothing has been released yet, so they’re at the rehearsal stage. I saw them headline a local gig on 2nd June, and they were getting a good reponse from the crowd. Also from Redditch are

State Of Ember. They’ve just released a digital ep ‘Clouded Views’. There’s also a video for the song ‘Eleven’ from it. They play a

10


mixture of hard rock, heavy metal and punk. Hardcore band Fury, from the Orange County, have signed to

Run For Cover

Records to release their second LP in the Autumn. They will be doing a North American tour with Power Trip from April to June, then a Europe Tour with Turnstile from June onwards. Sleep have just released their third album ‘The Sciences’ on Third Man Records. Released on the date 4/20. Get it? Stoners might. The UK vinyl release will be on 20th June. They’ll be touring Europe from mid-May. Birmingham, prog rockers

The

Mother Earth Experiment

are working on the follow up to the well recieved debut album (reviewed in this issue). They’re sending the tracks to Los Angeles for mixing by a big shot producer who is into prog rock and the band. He’s also worked with

JJ Abrams, the Star Wars

Movie producer. Expect a sound er… totally out of this world. One of the guys from the band

sales and general disillusionment with running a hardcore label and distro. Apparantly this kind of thing is for people under 30. Lots of Bandcamp stuff from here on: Tennessee black

Cryptic Rising have Myzr , from Minnesota. For fans Cryptic Rising usually release metallers

released a fine split with of

Deafheaven.

their stuff on cassette, so

hopefully they’ll do the same with this one. Birmingham’s Fukpig are taking advance orders for their ‘Bastards’ vinyl LP, to be released around the Autumn. Limited to 250 on green and puke colour splatter. They’ll be playing Leeds Uni Union, Nov 3rd. Houston, Texas death grind masters Tokyo Gas Attack have just released their new digital EP ‘Money’. They’ve got a name your price thing going if you want to help them out. Definitely worth a listen.Vanity

Pill

Tapes

is a UK based noise label. Their Pale Volition release is reviewed in this issue. They’ve just released tape / digital

occassionally works at the wonderful Swordfish Records record shop. I was in there to try and catch a copy of the

albums by Karoshi, INST, and Dravier. If you like drones, ambient music, noise, and experimental electronica, and also prefer it old school (on cassette tape), this is a good place to start.

Grateful Dead’s RSD release ‘Fillmore West 1969’ on four

Cosmic Wraith, from Los Angeles, play psychedelic, noisy

vinyls. Missed out on it (well you would if you turn up late in the afternoon). But the full Fillmore ’69 collection will be released in three further box sets for Black Friday and the next RSD. They are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘Anthem Of The Sun’ (my favourite album of all time) with a double CD that contains both mixes of the album, plus a 1967 live set. There will also be a picture disc

doomy metal. Got to be heard to be believed. Their latest effort ‘Moonlight’ has just been released. The band is actually one guy with his Jazzmaster and 335 guitars processed though effects units. Is

saving up, hippies. Birmingham Punks

throughout the film. Well, the film is about a goat. The band will be playing London’s Citadel Festival, 15th July. One of the best death metal bands not to do anything is touring Europe again.

Sadistic Intent

are touring from 9th to 19th August,

including a 16th Aug date at the

Boston Arms, London UK. Don’t know if the Russians are up their misinformation tricks again but it’s been announced that crust punks Doom have their own beer out, but only in Russia, called ‘D O O M

bombpops

Bastard’.

wetware

Rhino. Start Rotunda have just put their rare ‘Tribe’ ep up for streaming on Spotify, iTunes etc. Goat released their ‘Let It Burn’ 7” on 25th May, via Rocket Recordings. The song is featured in a forthcoming Swedish film ‘Killing Gävle’ . Other Goat music is used out, perfect for framing. Released 13th July through

there an artist quirkier than SNCKPCK? If you like simple, but illuminating songs about everyday life and love, then you’ll enjoy his forthcoming LP due out in June. The young lad from Connecticut also has a massive discography for sale at low price. Bought it and am working my way through it now. Great stuff. The LP collects his favourite tracks from his past works. Oh yeah, he also publishes books of his poetry and prose. Wetware are an Industrial Electronica duo from New York. Their latest digital album is called ‘Automatic Drawing’. They’ll be playing the Supersonic Festival in Birmingham. Inventive and catchy stuff. Fast hardcore band Six

Brew Bantha have their latest release up, called

‘Blight’. To Live A Lie Records have released it on vinyl, limited to 500 copies, and also as a limited cassette. The band are from Victoria, British Columbia. Keeping the power violence dream alive (but with added technical breaks). For fans of hard edged electronica, check out Acolytes, from the UK. Their digital album ‘Rupture’ has just been released, and A L T E R are releasing it in June, as vinyl, limited to 200 copies. Lots of fast, unrelenting loops

It’s a New England Double IPA of 8.5% ABV. At that strength you wouldn’t be able to tell one of their songs from the other. It’s designed to be drunk from the can.

designed to bludgeon the brain. Oversight are a stone cold hardcore band from Las Vegas. Their ‘Transparency’ ep has just

Another band releasing a beer brand is The

releasing it as a 7”. Even

played a great set in Redditch last year.

Chords

Bombpops who The Fat Wreck

pop punkers are calling it ‘The Bombhops’ and ties in

with their recently released ‘Dear Beer’ 7”.

Bad Religion are Straight

in the studio working on their first album since 2013.

And Alert Records have just called it a day after falling

been released.

Running In Place Records Maximum Rocknroll like

is it,

considering the metal edges. If you prefer just beautiful sounding music and songs, then listen to ‘Smiling Leaf’ by E.L. Heath. Quasi psyche folk with layers of aural soundscape. Available both as

Wayside and Woodland Recordings, who are based in the Midlands digital album and CD through UK- or is that Middle Earth?

11


of different sounds, and we kind of sift through those to decide what to work on next. I don't think we ever really intend to write in a particular one to initially put an ad online just being like hey, I want to start a band, style, but subconsciously we probably hope we'll sound like WHAM. I’m a drummer and these are my influences etc. and then Lee managed Can you see yourselves expanding the band to see it and he sent me over some of his recordings. Funnily enough I had just written a drum beat that seemed to fit perfectly with one of Lee’s with more musicians? >>> Charl: Actually we have just riffs and that ended up becoming the song Cotton Wool. We kind of officially found a lead vocalist (called Becca). She’s really great and she clicked instantly when we met, and the rest is kind of history! Lee: We gets the music and the vibe. I think it’s important to have that kind of connection with band members, we all get into the music and vibe off it actually met through a website called JOINMYBAND, which is a free and just have a great time. [the band just added a bass player, but he ad service for people to find other musicians. It tends to be a bit of a lasted about 5 minutes, so they are now looking for a new one ] minefield of either the same handful of people continually reposting to no avail, or people asking you to join a band that is nothing like what you What do you like about the combination of advertised for (usually metal). I can't remember what her ad said exactly, but Charlotte put one up at the start of 2017 looking to start a new band; synthesizer and guitar? >>> Lee: I can't even remember if I heeded the call, and by some miracle we've actually managed to make we planned to use synth at first. A mate sold me an old chorus FX pedal for a fiver, and we realised we could sound kind of 80s with it, so we something of it. might have introduced the synth after that discovery. I do think it works How did you decide on the sound of South for us though; my guitar playing is generally quite chordy, so it's cool to Ghost? >>> Charl: I suppose that because me and Lee have similar have something like the synth to bring out the melodies. I know some people will pretty much boycott listening to bands that use a synth, but musical influences we just threw some different ideas around. I liked the idea of having something unique and not necessarily conforming to one me and Charl both unashamedly love 80s pop, so we were genre, so a lot of times when we are coming up with new songs some pretty thrilled to actually be able to incorporate it. There are some ace will sound really pop-punk inspired, but then others will sound like they bands using synths at the moment too though, like NACHTHEXEN came straight from the 80s and we kind of mess around with them until from Sheffield. When we recorded the EP we pretty much just used what we already owned, and I happen to have a MicroKorg that someone we have a happy medium. lent me years ago and they never asked for it back. I hope they don't Is the sound allowed to evolve or do you have read this and come round to collect it.

Who first had the idea of forming South Ghost? >>> Charl: I guess it was kind of a joint decision. I was the

a specific style you want to aim for? >>> Lee: I think

Tell us some interesting facts about putting

it's evolving all the time. I reckon our sound changed and developed even just through writing those first four songs, and the stuff we're the CD ep together >>> Charl: We got a relatively fast putting together now is definitely a progression. I write stuff all the time move on when it came to making the EP. We met in January and our EP anyway, in a lot of different styles, so I send Charl a lot of rough demos released in July, so we wrote all the material, recorded mixed and

ALBUM APPRECIATION The Messthetics S/T (Dischord LP/CD) Brendan and Joe are back back back!! Individually of course they’ve never been away with Brendan doing the ‘Burn to Shine’ DVD’s (I coulda lived without the Portland one) and Deathfix among other things and Joe doing Ataxia (can someone tell Frusciante that he’s better in a band?) and his solo albums. But here they are playing together again for the first time since Fugazi went on indefinite hiatus 15yrs ago. It’s a trio with Anthony Pirog on guitar. I use the word trio advisedly as there are jazz leanings here which has upset a few people for some reason, I’ve seen John McLaughlin’s name thrown around in other reviews which is a fair point. I’d not heard of Mr Pirog before but a quick check says he’s a virtuoistic type dude who’s properly studied music, jazz included and likes to blend styles etc- he can certainly play the guitar, not always a virtue in my book- I have realized that I hate the sound of guitars. But, I really like this record and I really like Mr Pirog’s playing, mostly. Like many, maybe, I came for the rhythm section and stayed for the tunes, especially ‘Serpent Tongue’ a cracking, sinewy, driving heavyish track- intro/riff/chorus/riff/noisy solo breakdown/riff and out. It’s an instrumental like everything else here- again a plus in my book, Joe’s vocals are not my cup o tea and these days I’m off singing of any kind, apart from Lord Worm obviously. I like this album, I’ve had it going round in the car driving to and from my work and yeah, I’m digging it but it’s not 100% what I wished for. At times it feels to me a little like Brendan and Joe are

12


mastered in half a year really. We had a great time making it though, and we had a lot of fun being creative with the packaging, getting to use the cut cover and the vivid colours, I think it reflects the music so well. We got the EP sleeves done by a guy called Tom who runs an awesome DIY CD packaging business called ACDSleeve where he cuts and assembles loads of stuff by hand, and we were chuffed with how they came out. We're kind of gutted actually, because he's downsizing at the moment and taking on less projects, so we'll have to find some new ways of making interesting packaging. We're pretty creative though and love the physical media side of releasing music, so we've definitely got some ideas up our sleeves for the future.

feeling quite happy-go-lucky.

through a whole day with the four songs representing morning, afternoon, evening and night. When it comes to deeper meanings though, a couple of the songs on the EP are about not wanting to grow up (Vacant Youth), and being stuck in situations where your head and your heart conflict (Cotton Wool), but I still wanted to keep the lyrics

my friend Nat have been making our zine 'The Screever' since 2009, through which we interview bands, review stuff, and also release compilation tapes. It's a little A6, black and white thing, and we mainly try to feature small bands, artists, zinesters, and collectives that we'd like to see get a little more recognition for what they do. We're just finishing up the twelfth issue as I write this. South Ghost are on Bandcamp

simply backing Mr Pirog and while they are as solid and excellent as always they rarely shine in their own right. Maybe they do if you’re more of a close listening musician type but to my ears there was little of the propulsive ‘the Beat’ inspired clipped rhythm of old. But I’m sure they don’t want to revisit old glories or become known for a particular sound; forever linked to their old band, and good for them. I’m also not saying that I wanted a Fugazi blueprint (pun intended) just a little more drive. Brendan and Joe are fine on this record. Aside from ‘Serpent Tongue’ there are other noisy/riffy tunes (I won’t say punk cause it’s not a punk record, some may say post-hardcore to be cool but it’s heavy indie with some guitar flash. I think you have to draw the line somewhere with describing music as punk,there may be punk ideals behind it but that doesn’t make the music punk. To my mind Dischord have been releasing mostly straight up indie for at least a decade, and that’s fine, except for have you heard Soccer Team??) The first track has a bit of a dubby Joe bassline. The last track has acoustic, or at least, very clean, flamenco-like guitar on it, which I’m still not sure about. If I wanted THAT I’d buy a Bon Iver record or some shit but I don’t want that. Some of the guitar playing also reminded me of early Pat Metheny

which I LIKED and one track is a little ‘soundtracky’. Nice. The most excellent thing is that the big bell is still a part of Brendan’s kit and this honestly swung (not jazz swung, I’m not 90) it for me. There are nine tracks, one track about a minute long. I read that Mr Pirog, Brendan and Joe see the Messthetics (standard dreadful Dischord band name, d’you see what they did there?) as their main project and there will apparently be more. If I didn’t know that I would have assumed this is a one- off. It feels like an EP or mini- LP, remember those?? And to my ears there are no stand out new ideas here, but I do dig it. I don’t always want new or different, I often just want more of what I like, and this is more of what I like. The guitar wails and then goes a bit jazz and then a bit math and Brendan hits his bell and Joe plays a precise beautiful tone. I loved the sound of the record, I mean I dunno what these bores mean with phrases like “warm valve sound” but I could hear all the instruments individually and loudly; it felt like I was in the room, yawn. The guitar sound especially is very immediate. Well done all. Stretch out a bit more in the future and easy on the Satriani widdle Mr Pirog. In summary: MORE BIG BELL.

How musically vibrant is Birmingham in terms of bands releasing music? >>> Lee: Birmingham is kind of

strange; it's a pretty big city and it doesn't seem to have one cohesive scene, but instead has lots of stuff going on in different pockets. My local town of Stourbridge has its own tight little scene though, helped along by the promoters Carnage Club, so we're lucky to have that going on just outside. There are some good venues putting on good shows in Birmingham at the moment though, like The Flapper, The Rainbow, The Sunflower Lounge, and Ort Cafe, and What are the main influences and themes for promoters like 'Surprise You're Dead' and 'Birmingham the band? >>> Lee: This is always a tough one to pin down, like I Promoters' are making good things happen here. Rich at Ignite imagine it is with most bands, because between us we listen to, read, Record Store, who also runs Speedowax Records does amazing and watch so much different stuff. Musically we listen to things for local bands too. everything from 80s pop, to skate-punk, to emo, to 90s Where do you hope to see the band going? I hardcore, to black metal, so it's pretty diverse as far as influences mean does it have professional aspirations or go. Like Charl said though, when we started this band, we talked a lot about moods and places, like beaches and woods and even empty is it a hobby band? >>> Charl: Now, I just want to start playing cities, as well as certain times of day, so trying to capture themes like gigs a lot more frequently and getting in with the local scene a lot more. that has been a kind of source of inspiration. Charl even made a little For me, I am just having a great time and I want to keep putting out digital mood board of stuff that we'd discussed, so yeah, we're probably music that I love with my friends. Who knows what the future holds. just as visually influenced by stuff as we are musically. We wanted to Hopefully next year we will have another EP out, although nothing is set have light-hearted themes to go with the music, I suppose. A big thing in stone, alongside gigging frequently around the Midlands! we kind of ran with was scenery, we used to speak of forests and beaches a lot. As well as that I’ve always thought of the EP as going Tell us something about the zine >>> Lee: Me and

13

by Alpine Style


Audio Reviews Palm Honey ‘Starving Hysterical Naked’ 7”ep (Untitled (Recs)) The title track spread across the two sides of this vinyl sees a slightly heavier edge to the band’s brand of indie guitar rock. Not quite the jangly psychedelia of previous material but some neat structures and a driving melody lends a backbone to pained vocals. The b-side of the song continues very much as it started, though prominent effects do suggest that part 2 is more like a remix or alternative version. It’s a fine effort but still comes across as experimental. Good to see the band taking their music further.

with

dead the

With The Dead ’Love From With The Dead’ CD (Rise Above) Their first album was an effective exercise in resurrecting all that was great about the band Cathedral (Lee Dorrian is now fronting With The Dead, alongside guys who have been with Lee or Rise Above since day one- it’s as experienced a doom metal outfit as you could expect), but this new album has developed their sound a little further towards a sludgier, denser atmosphere- dare I say an Electric Wizard element is coming through? All seven tracks pretty much have the same structuring with the odd interlude to break things up, though the centrepiece is the closing track ‘CV1’ (referring to the postcode of hometown Coventry) which is fittingly angered and rages before ending in a discordant guitar frenzy. Doom has once again found a band from the old school to lead the way. Palm Honey ‘Tucked Into The Electronic Wave’ 12”ep (HAHA) Emotive and textural psyche pop has found it’s new heroes in Palm Honey. All four song on here are attention grabbers such is the heady mix of indie guitars, synth lines and psyche effects. ’Stick the Knife In’ is one of the most infectious songs I’ve heard this year- played it so many times. It’s got a vibe that recalls the early 90s bands like Smiths, Icicle Works, and Kitchens of Distinction. but still keeping it up to date, so you know this is Palm Honey. If they can keep this quality going across an album’s worth then we are witnessing something special. Bastard Noise and Outermost ’Studies Of Space and Sorrow’ 7” (Skull) This US Japan collaboration follows their ‘Cauldron Of Fire’ release from 2000 (has it really been seventeen years?). Therefore, good to hear that time has not diluted the fearsomeness of their musical volition. Four tracks which meld the distinctive electronic harshness of BN with the vast ambient atmospherics and pulsations of Outermost. But it’s as much a work of producer Michael Rozon who put the two artistes’ separate recordings together into a cohesive whole. The editing and Mastering is flawless.

Exhumed ’Death Revenge’ CD (Relapse) Seems like a generation ago when I first heard ’Gore Metal’- thirteen tracks of bastard filth that was putridly refreshing. It was an album that stood out in the age of peak death metal. Their mixing of harsh tones with melodic interludes had an edge that I liked. They’ve maintained the dual vocal attack as well as their trademark abysmal violence, only made more sophisticated. ‘Death Revenge’ even seems to have a concept- a melodrama based on true events with the vocalists taking the roles of notorious killers and grave robbers. For once a death metal record where reading the lyrics is as worthwhile as the music. The booklet is a beautiful work of macabre art. Exhumed have matured but the primal horror is still as raw as day one. Despite a few line up changes, this is prime Exhumed. Bastard Noise / Brutalomania 7” (Skull / R.O.N.F.) Brutalomania, from Spain, drop a five minute harsh noise track which is great, but once finished, like most harsh noise, is pretty disposable. Much more interesting is the multi-textured work of Bastard Noise. Animal Welfare is the driving force behind their three pieces that mix heavily reverbed drones and discordant electronica with vengeful screams and stabbing waveforms. The trademark Trogotronic synthesizers are immediately recognisable, but the dynamic delay effects on ‘Garotting Vivisectors’ makes it the standout track. Excellent. Horrified ’Allure Of The Fallen’ LP (Shadow Kingdom) This is a welcome progression to ‘Of Despair’, which itself is a fine melodic death metal album. They haven’t made huge jumps to their sound, but the melodies are stronger, the riffing more memorable and the added black metal edge adds a level of menace. The melodies have the qualities of soundtracks, as if accompanying some majestic Barbarian Warrior riding roughshod over the frozen plains. So expect a hell of a lot of technical guitar playing, supported by precision drumming. It’s a big sound for a trio. Dan Anderson avoids the typical death metal style with his distinctive throaty delivery- higher pitched towards black metal. Shall I take a gamble and suggest that Horrified have the potential to lead the death metal scene as replacements to the likes of Bolt Thrower and Carcass?

South Ghost ‘South Ghost ep’ CD ep (self released) Birmingham’s South Ghost deliver four tracks of minimalist synthe pop/ indie guitar. The duo of Lee and Charlotte succeed in expressing a moody, atmospheric vibe. The slight psyche edge reminds me of Broadcast, but essentially this is music reminiscent of the late night indie bands playing on the radio in the 90s a la John Peel . It’s a downbeat sound I love. Charlotte’s understated vocals have a transient quality and the simple guitar and synthe lines have a welcome catchy edge. The die-cut sleeve of the CD is a nice touch so worth buying over downloading. Bedwetter ‘Bedwetter’ 7”ep (Future Noise) Paul Catten and Mark Seddon from Barrabus have put together this ep of what can only be regarded as self indulgence. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but self indulgence means anything goes and hopefully something clicks. Think Painkiller, Naked City, Gerogerigegege. The eleven short tracks are fragmentary blasts of bass, cut and paste samples and destroyed electronica, enabling the duo to let off a lot of steam- the word ‘cunt’ is prominent. It is a fun effort. The only real downside is the flat production, where the power doesn’t come across. Intriguing.

riot

stares

Riot Stares first two EPs dbl 7” (Speedowax) Speedowax has released the first two eps by Riot Stares. licensed from Headfirst and Bitter Melody Records. It’s a convenient package for people in the UK who are interested in the vinyl. They are a hardcore band from Charleston, South Carolina, playing a very competent if straightforward style that would appeal to fans of Integrity, Hatebreed etc. - metalcore bands that mix the directness of hardcore vocals with the heavy riffing and driving beats of thrash metal, but laying off the over the top extremity. Expect great things from them.

lost paradise

Paradise Lost ‘Medusa’ LP (Nuclear Blast) While the directions Paradise Lost were taking to progess musically were worthwhile, there was the feeling that the true nature of this band was going to be as they began: playing funereal doom metal with huge influences of goth. While a progessive album like ‘Icon’ was great on its own terms, as a record of who Paradise Lost were, it failed. ‘Medusa’ is as close as we’re going to get to what the band did during their greatest years. It’s still a slick product and accessible to anyone curious, but they still retain all the qualities of true doom metal. Listening to a song like ‘Until The Grave’ you can hear the ghosts of Cathedral, Anathema, Count Raven, Stillborn, Sorrow, and Solitude Aeturnus. Nice to know we don’t yet need to abondon what today’ bands are putting out compared to the old days . A classic.


Endorphins Lost ‘Choose Your Way’ cassette (Revulsion) Fourteen songs across 22 minutes. This is what fast hardcore is all about. Released by Six Weeks and Glord Records and licensed as a tape to Malaysian label Revulsion, the band do everything that is expected of fast Infest hardcore- nothing more nothing less. Technically, that would make them generic, but since I keep listening to this, this is not an issue against them. It’s a style of music that is perfectly suited for venting a lot of anger. No niceties here, buddy. The band have time to insert some potent sludge riffs to break things up, so it’s not all one sound. Great.

star album

enslaved

Pale Volition ‘Pale Volition’ cassette (Vanity Pill) Pale Volition is the project of Harrison Dawes., who plays experimental electronica and ambient drone. With the utilisation of field recordings, sound synthesis and processed keys, the five tracks on this cassette combine to produce an overall experience of subdued malevolence. Though never harsh, the sounds through the speakers do create a feeling of alienation, with an ambience verging on darker tones. Reminds me of Dense Vision Shrine. However, it is a lo fi recording with some distortion and muffled EQ. Still, I liked it.

Enslaved ’E’ CD (Nuclear Blast) Each Enslaved album release is met with the same reaction from me- a sense of awe where I can’t imagine them peaking anymore. Until they release the next album that is. Just as I did about ‘In Times’ before this, I didn’t think they could better it. Each album sounds better simply because the band are continiously consolidating all their influences in a more focused way. It’s all about getting the balance between the sounds they love- black metal, prog rock, symphonic metal, pagan folk, viking metal, and even 70s rock. Each of these genres have their own specific colours and Enslaved have done a great job of applying those colours evenly across this canvas but witout cancelling each other out- more Rothko than Jackson Pollock. Despite all this pretension, can they cut it on an emotional level? I think so. But the clean vocals mixing with black metal vocals again have to be placed in exactly the right moments for the drama to truly explode. After all, Enslaved have chosen nothing less than Norse Mythology for their stories. Nothing is more dramatic than the tales of Vikings, ancient Gods and the spirits of Warriors. This sense of cinematic melodrama is probably expressed in the song ‘Sacred Horse’ with its magnificent martial rhythms and galloping tempos. On paper, this could turn out all very cheesy, but Enslaved have been in the game too long to fall into those traps. Since day one, their fascination with Nature and spiritual being (as opposed to religious possession) has been continually developed. The more they’ve tried to explain it the more they’ve let their music naturally develop in line. They were never going to remain the single minded black metal band at odds with everyone. While the direction Enslaved have taken may not be to everyone’s taste, any band developing their sound should feel inspired.

The Clientele ’Music For The Age Of Miracles’ CD (Tapete) The Clientele, from the UK, play a heavily 60s influenced pop, that is not quite psyche, but luscious in the depth of instrumentation and soft atmosphere. As with the best 60s pop, every song on this album is very well constructed, memorable and catchy. Alasdair Maclean’s vocals are breathy in a Donovanway, If you like that Bacharach and David vibe, The Clientele dish it out in spades. A good song like ‘Falling Asleep’ works on three levels- dense music, gentle vocals and trippy melodies. It’s the constant formula that works for all the songs. The odd modern beat is sometimes allowed to break things up. The only downside are the lyrics’ kitsch imagery and rather twee romanticism which would fit well to a film soundtrack of angst ridden lovers in Swinging London. Love it.

INHEAVEN ’Inheaven’ CD (PIAS) Alternating two distinct vocalists, INHEAVEN have produced a potent mix of old school indie guitar rock that isn’t quite grunge and not quite shoe gaze, but pretty much pure in terms of strong melodies and driving power. The opener ‘Baby’s Alright’ is a typical political number which leads into ‘Treats’ a typical angsty relationships number. It’s a formula that works well. The stand out track is ‘Regeneration’ with it’s generational lyrics that would appeal to the kids into rebellion bands such as Fidlar and SWMRS. There used to be a scene called Slacker where adult responsibilities take a back seat in preference to living for the day, so maybe we’re seeing a return of that. In that sense, this album’s demographic is going to be the student with issues. Nevertheless, highly listenable.

End Christian ‘Energy And Strength’ promo (self released) Featuring members of Brutal Truth and Starkweather, End Christian are a strange hybrid of post hardcore, electronica and drum and bass with lots of sampling. This is their debut release and is a great introduction to the ideas they have. While not exactly a consistent whole, the audio textures and neopsychedelia are idiosyncratic touches which I’m sure will become the standard for the band. It takes a few listens to get into, but you can sense this band is offering stuff that is original in idea and concept. Hopefully this full album will get a wider release soon.

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christian

The Bombpops ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ CD (Fat Wreck Chords) At 30 minutes this is the right length for the twelve fast energetic slabs of no nonsense pop punk. If you know Fat Wreck Chords, then you’ll know what the Bombpops sound like- melodic with that feint touch of garage punk, and snotty vocals full of relationships angst and some sly humour. The band don’t seem to have any pretensions beyond staying focused throughout, meaning the album does sound whole with a tight production. Best song for me is ‘Jerk’ when the band do let themselves go a bit and get heavy with some solid riffs and chops.

Damaged Bug ‘Bunker Funk’ CD (Castle Face) The thing that most strikes me about this album is the inventive use of guitar- it’s in the experimetal school, where chaotic rhythms and tearing tones need a hard drum and bass backing to make sure everything holds together. Add to that John Dwyers distinct vocals and you feel this is a garage rock and roll band who have been given electronica instruments. So it’s high energy all the way, even excessively frantic in places. But I guess, once you build up a momentum, you got to maintain it. Stand out tracks are ‘Slay The Priest’ and ‘Rick’s Jimmy’. Idiosyncratic. Sieghetnar ‘Erkenntnis’ CD (Kristallblut) I’ve followed Sieghetnar for a good few years, and I can safely say they are one of the most low key, under the radar quality bands out there, even by black metal standards. That’s how they want it, so ‘Erkenntniss’ is self released and limited to 50 copies. This CD is all about what Sieghetnar do best- atmospheric, ambient black metal that takes a lot of influences from prog rock, while keeping that hard, alienating edge that is so important to German black metal. It’s all instrumental, so ice cold guitars take up the space of absent vocals to maintain the metal edge, while the multilayering of keyboars and samples of rain, evoke a land of mystery and solitude. The packaging comes with photo prints just to add context. Think church spires under foreboding sunsets, and forgotten souls. Scarecrow Conspiracy ‘Somber Pacific’ cassette (1980) The music on ‘Somber Pacific’ is so delicate and finely balanced, I can imagine SC’s John Argetsinger must have fretted big time in case some guitar lick or drum beat dared to jump out of kilter. Fortunately, everything stayed in line, to produce a very enigmatic and esoteric work which is a mix of early SST or Homestead math rock with psyche folk. The melodies are quirky in the vein of those understated masters Slovenly or a subdued Sonic Youth, while the fullness of the songs recalls Broadcast. A one person project done from the heart. Awesome and inspiring.


Nine Black Alps ’Locked Out From The Inside’ LP (Speedowax) Originally self released by the band back in 2009, Speedowax has pressed it on vinyl, as well as the song ’Novokaine’ (from their 2015 album ‘Candy For Clowns’) as a split 7” with Deadcuts. Whether its 2009 or 2017, its the kind of indie rock sound that never dates, if you like powerful guitar based melodies that could almost be grunge. With the exception of ‘Silence Kills’ the songs are uptempo, while the professional production brings out the best in the band. Under-rated? Hope the band get their PR sorted. Deserve more.

Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks ‘Your Skin, My Mask’ cassette (Histamine Tapes) Inspired by slasher movies, BCOOM has created a 43 minute album of drones and ambient textures that are both beautiful and sinister. The effects laden tones of guitar and pedals have a very human quality, responding to the psychological states invoked. The production and mastering is very good, and the challenging sounds are handled with clarity. The predictable use of slasher movie samples is avoided, though specific films are referenced in the song titles. An inventive work of ambient art.

Wolf Eyes ‘Strange Days II’ 12” (Lower Floor Music) When you think Wolf Eyes, you think noise. Well, this is far from it. Instead, they’ve opted for ambient drones and rhythmic beats that are unmistakingly tribal. Maybe this is what should have been playing through ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ as the explorers traipsed through the jungle. Don’t think new age world music. Just dark tones, with a minimalist treatment. It’s almost elegent in its construction. You expect a sudden noise barrage, but it never comes, though everything just keeps building up. Is this a one off experimental release by the band or a new direction in ambient jazz?

Nothing Clean / Hooked On Christ ‘Split’ cassette (Samizdat/ B’ham Hardcore) What can I say? Fastcore is what fastcore does. Leicester’s Nothing Clean and Smethwick’s Hooked On Christ trample through a total of 24 songs in 10 minutes. And it’s all very listenable, thanks to a professional production, so the bludgeoning heaviness comes through very nicely. Nothing Clean have the fuller sound, while HOC, because they are duo of just guitar and drums, rely on a rawness and crusty vocals to convey their anger. This really is no frills hardcore music done with convincing effect.

The Attack ‘On Condition’ CD (Enemy) The Attack from the Orlando, FL, tick all the right boxes with this energetic slab of punk rock and pop punk. It’s no nonsesne, in your face and totally devoid of any pretensions, so they fly through the songs, which pretty much sound alike. In punk rock, that’s no bad thing when all you want is the fast energy and chopping riffs. Vocalist Charlie Bender sounds great. He shouts those words outcertainly wouldn’t embarrass fans of Strung Out, early Offspring, The Queers, NOFX. The CD is self released and the vinyl is released on Paper + Plastick.

Bell ‘Secrets From A Distant Star’ cassette (Cyclopean Eye) This is excellent. Dark industrial power electronics that combines harsh noise, with pulsating rhythms multi layered with all kinds of effects. Tangerine Dream are cited as a starting point. If you can imagine those good old Germans opting for the blackened tones and ear piercing drones, then maybe. Don’t know much about Bell, except it’s a one person project from the US, but the mystery adds to it all. The production is very good on the cassette, though I believe this will soon be released on CD and vinyl. Ten tracks in total, for fans of industrial brutality .

Fights And Fires ‘Live Life Like A Tourist’ CD (Lockjaw) Fights And Fires, from Worcester, have produced a very catchy album of hard hitting rock with touches of melodic hardcore. They’ve thrown everything into this album in terms of dymamic playing, emotive vocals and aggressive lyrics. You’d almost think they’re punching above their weight, because this is a professional sounding record, but still flying under the radar. Love the vocals of Philip Cox- they’re gruff, throaty- the product of alienation. I guess, Worcester isn’t just that pretty Cathedral and postcard walks. Band may be found loitering around kebab houses.

Turnover ’Good Nature’ cassette (Run For Cover) I’ll admit that previous album ‘Peripheral Vision’ was always going to be hard to beat. I’m pretty open-minded in terms of expectations, but that album was so good, it was always going to be a benchmark. and yes, ‘Good Nature’ is not as good. But it’s still a great album if you like gentle, indie pop with strong songs that won’t invade your chill out zone. If there is angst in the lyrics, it’s not coming through, which makes me wonder what kind of rose tinted world Turnover live in. Are these guys too nice to get angry over anything? A lot of people would find this kind of pop music intensely annoying, since there is so much going on in the real world, but Turnover have to be congratulated for making twee music work. I couldn’t imagine having a record collection without having something like this to fall back on.

dead cross Dead Cross ’Dead Cross’ 12” (Ipecac) Playing at 45rpm this can’t quite be called an album, but boy does it seem to go on. The music is not subtle, but dense and overblown. You couldn’t expect anything else when the band features Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo, Justin Pearson and Michael Crain. that’s mixing Fantomas, Slayer, The Locust and Retox. None of those bands know subtlety. So it’s a case of who makes the biggest impact. Fortunately, no-one does. Dead Cross is a well balanced record held together by the constant of complex structuring, The cover of The Bauhaus’ ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ indicates the darkened influences on the band - ie. a touch of goth and horror metal when they slow things down. Electronica interludes break things up and adds to the extra dynamism. Enjoy skilful playing and heavy metal ear damage?

thunder

dreamer

Thunder Dreamer ‘Capture’ LP (6131) This band, from Indiana, describe themselves as a ‘dreamy rock band’. Immediately you think jangly indie guitar, shoegaze, and twee. You’d be right. It’s all that. But like Title Fight’s ‘Hyperview’ album, this kind of music has its power. Their sound is big and Romantic with the capital R- no less demonstrated on a song like ‘The Bridge’ - a song that defines ‘crescendo’, but they can add a touch of light psyche too as on ’Live On Without Me’ which sounds so much like mid-period Pink Floyd. There’s a whole scene where bands don’t really need to scream and shout and then match it with the music. Bands like this, Turnstile and Turnover revel in unashamed guitar melodies and sweet vocals and emotional hang ups. The kind of band hard rockers would have as a guilty pleasure.

The Mother Earth Experiment ’The Mother Earth Experiment’ LP (Swordfish) Stylish and well crafted prog rock psychedelia from the Midlands UK. If you like mid period Pink Floyd, and some of the jazzier bands on Vertigo, or in fact the whole UK prog scene then this is an essential purchase. TMEE don’t go for the outer limits in frenzied psyche attacks, but let the emotive qualities of the lyrics and vocals lead the way, with the rhythm section flitting in and out. It’s all very controlled, so when you think they could fly into a spacey jam, the band opt for some smooth and suave jazz lines. All the songs stay in the memory, from the Radiohead-ish ‘Elbow Room’ to the lively ‘Cool Down Mama’ which has some nice Santana-like licks. Vocalist Mark Roberts can really throw his voice across and dominates the songs, and the rest of the guys shine with some technical instrumental wizardry. Great. Hidden Orchestra ’Dawn Chorus’ CD (Tru Thoughts) Hidden Orchestra is a one person instrumental project of Joe Acheson and this is a personal work of rememberance, using nature and place as the starting point. It’s an intriguing mix of beat electronica, ambience, and Classical. The ten tracks starts off with ‘First Light’ which is an impressionistic piano piece with field recording of a dawn chorus. ‘Western Isles’ is heavier as Nature begin to wake up. The piano gives way to a subtle sub-drum and bass attack but. And hereon, the remaining tracks work to install that sense of place, without getting too bogged down. Concept aside, the album is entertaining and that draws the listener in.


a psychedelic prose

trying to see God cannot find God God hides from me My eyes only understand what is before them why cannot I free my trying to see God cannot find God I know God is there before is everything I do being is everthing I do I cannot free myself This world holds me back how can I escape ? trying to see God cannot find God But what will God do for surely that is the ultimate sin to demand from God when my own eyes must separate from my mind what I seek cannot be 17


Favourite Designers OPINION: CARLO SCARPA Concrete architecture has taken a good beating in recent times, from the media and general public, despite the protestations of some cultured individuals (or snobs). So, as the go-to material for mundane public buildings, it has been replaced by cladding panels, curtain walling and fake stonework. But there was a time when concrete architecture was used with an elegance and power that is still missed today. The Italian designer Carlo Scarpa (1906 - 1978) was an exemplary master of the material. With a design career starting out working for the Murano Glass factories in the Veneto, he moved onto designing buildings (he didn’t actually qualify as an Architect), but not without taking the qualities of lightness, colour and the effects of shadow so typical of Venice and its waters. Of course, there was the architecture of medieval and Renaissance Venice with its elaborate door and window frames, elegant decorations and symbolic meanings. This Historical precedent found its way into the Scarpa’s modernism. There was no pastiche or post modern deconstruction or plain old inept Classical detailing. Scarpa’s architecture was about working with varying materials and making them work together, through their tactile qualitiies, detailing junctions and overlays, and creating an idiosyncratic visual language full of signatures and symbols (ziggurat mouldings, the interlocking double circle, the glass mosaic finishes). His architecture was therefore Regionalist rather than Vernacular. Besides the physical qualities of his buildings, there was the spacial. To walk through and past his spaces is a journey of intricate axis’ and interlocking voids evoking the separate spaces in Italian cathedrals and Palaces which are held together by focal points and vistas. I have visited his Castlevecchio Museum and

Carlo Scarpa

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Banca Popolare di Verona, in Verona, the Brion Cemetary in San Vito d’Altivole as well as the various Museums in Venice and the Olivetti Showroom. Even got a glimpse of the unfinished Santa Caterina in Treviso. Every one of these spaces has the distinctive Scarpa spacial touch utilising penetrating light along circulation areas. Like sculpture or geometric paintings, the detailing even down to the fixings warrant close inspection, and then admiration. It is easy to miss elements of the finer detailing, so complete it all is. It is the Brion Cemetery (from 1969) that is his tour di force- an almost purist concrete collection of spaces, arranged like an alien city in miniature, bounded by heavily sculpted walls over which nothing can be seen but some Populars and the spire to a church. It is as perfect a peaceful space as anyone could imagine, in the middle of nowhere. Here the qualities of old Venetian architecture are given a modernist interpretion. Elaborate pulley systems and heavy doors, openings richly framed, and sculpted surfaces recalls Cathedrals, Sacristries and tomb architecture, with water flowing throughout- a nod to his beloved Japanese architectural aesthetic (another love of Scarpa’s). The detailing and treatment of timber became increasingly influenced by Japan. Scarpa is buried at the Brion Cemetery, but in a vertical position- the body central to the world. The chief criticism was the expense involved in his projects, such was the richness of his materials and requirements for custom made components, and he was notoriously slow, with drawings being more like reworked sketches. I have never seen a finished architectural drawing in the normal sense. This was because there was never a finished idea to what Scarpa wanted and he transformed things as he went along, but it was the only working method that could have produced such intense works.

BOOK REVIEW: JOHN MADIN (20th Century Architects) by Alan Clawley Is there a modern architect more under appreciated than John Madin? The final nail in the coffin was the recent demolition of the Birmingham Central Library- a huge ziggurat monolith of concrete brutalism strategically place as a gateway between two halves of the City. The short minded decision to destroy it is symbolic of the lack of visionary decision makers. At least Redditch still has his brick clad, and much used, Public Library, of 1976 (pictured below). So Alan Clawley’s fine, and well priced, short study of Madin’s ultra modern architecture is a much needed reminder of the sleek type of styling we are in danger of loosing over to attention seeking over designed sheds. It seems architects are too frightened to design with the kind of minimal detailing and clean lines that is so typical of 1970s commercial architecture. Madin’s buildings from office blocks to social housing always had the human scale as reference and the open space between built structure allowed for cleanliness and social interaction to enter the urban landscape.


Book Reviews ‘The Girls’ by Emma Cline This would have been a much stronger book if the author had not lifted so much from the Manson Family antics- the murder by stabbings, the desire for rock music acceptance, the exploitation of vunerable women. The characters in this novel couldn’t be mistaken for being anyone else. But the author does try to resolve questions about what made women become so subservient. Through the eyes of 14 year old runaway Evie and her cult mentor Suzanne, ‘The Girls’ is an effective story about how the hippie dream became the nightmare as dubious characters began to prey on the lonely and confused youth. Though I couldn’t connect with Evie’s character despite her tribulations, I did have sympathy for her. Suzanne is the more interesting though wholly dispicable character. The novel has a moralising feel to it and lacks the imagination to take the story further than the obvious scenarios.

‘Out Of The Wreckage’ by George Monbiot This is a timely release that captures the mood of many people left devastated, one way or another, by the antics of neo-liberalist economics. The sense of despair and alienation left by Capitalism’s excesses created a vacuum with the Citizen left without indentity or power. ‘Out Of The Wreckage’ is a hopeful and wishful opinion piece about where Monbiot would like Society to go in terms of Community action and grassroots organisation. But the book is a little too optimistic and idealistic. It is not an academic reference tome or a ‘how to’ manual. The language is written in the simple style of the person in the pub letting everyone know their opinions. But it will resound with the current strategy of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, where Policy substance is kept shallow to appeal to the young frustrated as their future prospects seem to diminish each day.

‘Noise Uprising’ by Michael Denning A totally engrossing book about early popular music, considering the subject matter is wholly unfashionable and obscure. Tracing the rise of recorded ‘world’ music in the 1920s, and the commercialisation of this ‘noise’ to unsuspecting Western ears through the technical innovations of recording equipment and 78s, the book explains in detail, in dedicated Chapters, how Capitalism enabled opportunites to spread foreign Culture, while also exploiting it. The book is a Marxist analysis, but not oppressively so. There’s enough intriguing detail to want you hearing examples (there is an accompanying Spotify playlist) while being relevant to anyone wondering how blues or reggae really caught on in Countries far away from the music’s origins. Only downside is that this is all text, so no photos of artists, album sleeves or quaint vinyl labels. Essential reading.

‘Histories Of Nations’ ed. Peter Furtado The first impression you would get looking at this book is how is something so short going to fit all the histories of all the Countries without missing out on the historical details? The book’s length is geared towards the casual reader, but it’s scope is timely. With so many upheavals and developments around the World happening at a rapid pace, the reader needs some sort of succinct source of information. Of course, these are never going to be full histories of each Country, so each author is asked to give reasons on what specific factors made a Country what it is. The fascinating reasons given show how events in the past, or the movement of people, or the legacies of Empires have had long term impacts both positively and negatively; but the common factor is how people have adapted to whatever changes to make their own Countries unique that goes beyond petty Nationalism. The book is an easy read but is detailed enough to reference in arguments, and should inspire further research for the curious.

‘Prisoners Of Geography’ by Tim Marshall Some of the best books are the ones that are kept short and to the point, when tackling the Big Subjects. This is one of them. The premise is simple. How did geopraphy and landscape define the boundries of Countries and limit expansionist ambitions? With each chapter dedicated to a geographical area, the author explains that political and social upheavals had less impact on Nations than what locked people in. Whether it’s access to warm coastal ports for interior countries, or the flatlands that allowed efficient waterways for goods, or the need for Canals to cut through Nature, the book makes you look at the News in a new way. When countries invade others, it is the overcoming of Nature’s barriers that can change the course of history, not only in the past, but with contemporary events. What is clear from the book is that Man has still not conquered the land and sea masses, but the desire for expansionism means the battle will be an endless one.

‘Schubert’s Winter Journey’ by Ian Bostridge The obssessiveness of Ian Bostridge’s analysis of S c h u b e r t ’s incredible 19th century song cycle is as intriguing as the subject itself. Usually we read background information about music in easily digestible articles, but to be confronted with 500 pages of text picking apart the 24 songs that make up this piece can only make you wonder about the depth of appreciation some people have for music. ‘Winterreisse’ is a work of Romantic Doom made for Baritone vocal and piano, and is laden with melancholy symbolised by the punishing Winter the protagonist faces. The analysis is all about context, interpretation, cultural values, human morality and political influences. The very act of analysing something to this intense level of detail is what makes this a fascinating read, and should inspire anyone thinking about writing or creating music that desires to have meaning and relevance on many layers. Stunning.

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Steady Diet no.13 v.5  

Fanzine of independent music, ideas and writing

Steady Diet no.13 v.5  

Fanzine of independent music, ideas and writing

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