ORGAN THING: Glistening Vivid Splash, Lovely Little Girls have another beautiful strange album for you…

LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS

LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS

ALBUM REVIEW:  LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS – “Glistening Vivid Splash” – (Skin Graft) LP/CD/Digital.-

Lovely perspirations, risk of infection? No longer sanitary, they kind of probe you, sometimes in a slightly menacing way, sometimes in an almost playful way, playful like that cat with a traumatised mouse. Chicago’s Lovely Little Girls, “an avant-rock band directed by artist Gregory Jacobsen and bassist Alex Perkolup”, have a new album, Glistening Vivid Splash is yet another set of delightfully probling tunes, more clashing of thoughts, unseemly  circumstances? Purified? Irresistable? Incubating… An album that’s immediately there in your mind, probing, touching your inner state, the odour of what? It isn’t that they’re disturbing, or that they’re strange – well actually they are very strange, or course they are – it isn’t that their world isn’t beautiful (even if beauty is in the eye of the beholder), it isn’t that it is beautifully strange, it is;nt any of those things. Lovely Little Girls’ awkward musical probing is a thing of beauty, occasionally graceful so, often awkwardly so (in the best of ways), deliciously probing, and who doesn’t like to be probed now and again? .

LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS

LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS

Lovely Little Girls, without really ever sounding too obviously like anyone else, push all the right musical buttons – Cardiacs, Dead Kennedys, Dragnet, Flying Luttenbachers, Batman, Danny Elfman, Lalo Schfrin, Rude Mechanicals, the more twisted less irritating moments of Faith No More – oh yes, they have the magic. Lovely Little Girls are disturbingly good, uniquely so, they’re like all your favourite cartoon villains plotting the takeover of the city before the Joker does, they’re almost lovable (almost).  And they sing in such angelic ways of the odour of death, and stab the eyes and vile trials and trails and you know that feeling when you climb aboard an old wooden fairground ride and you’re not sure what that congealed sticky substance down there on the safety handle is.

Lovely Little Girls are delightfully hard-boiled, they’re probably not good for you, some days they’re just disturbing, other days they’re disturbingly good, most days the stimulatingly brilliant.  Brilliant in a disturbingly positive kind of way, they’re like rubbing a balloon against the static and then watching it gracefully float around the room only to be punched every couple of minutes as it tries to land.  They’re like smelling the cheese, picking that scab just to see, they’re like all your imperfections magnified, that slightly past the sell by date fruit fermenting over there in the bowl – cut the throat, cut the throat  putrid paranoia, wholesome stimulation, they’re muscular legs meticulously cleaned, filth not abound in every corner, squalor alive for sure.

Lovely Little Girls are a glorious band, a beautiful band, they’re a clash of fleshy colour and the stimuli that that arouses and in this, their latest album, they’ve gone and done it all all over again. It isn’t that they’ve made an album better then anything else they’ve ever done, it is that they’ve done it again and without repeating a previous exercise, Glistening Vivid Splash is as good an album as anything the always wonderfully good Lovely Little Girls have ever done…  Another highly recommended album, everything we expected it to be….   (sw)

LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS / SKIN GRAFT RECORDS

 

 

ORGAN THING: All tied up in Angelic Milk, exploring the PNKSLM hit factory…

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Of all the umbrellas that open above the various facets that masquerade as art, the one that opens above the thing that is street art is probably the most forgiving, the most protective, the most accepting and to say anything in any way negative is to poke cruel holes and let all the rain in.  To suggest something might not actually be “awesome”, that it might not be “the bomb” and that the artist might not be “smashing it”, to say that not every single wall in the city needs garish cartoon paint and uncontrolled ego and that actually s/he can’t paint that well and maybe s/he needs to stop imposing it all on us on every street corner ever, to say any of that is to personally insult everybody ever in a self-celebrating London street art scene full of self-congratulation and he’s the bomb and she’s the bomb and he’s the bomb and everyone is smashing it. Conservative with a small c and feet still have to be looked at or sky looked up to to get past that blighted wall and make it to the railway station with soul intact… Enough of this, blinkers on, don’t look to the left, avoid eye contact, need to catch a train

Shepard Fairey, the accetable side of punlic art...

Shepard Fairey, the acceptable side of public art…

This rather fine piece of aural art was brought to our attention earlier this week, the new  single from Russia’s Angelic Milk, a single or a track from an EP or something like that, and EP called Teenage Movie Soundtrack, an EP came out back on July 15, seems it has sold out already in purple vinyl hard copy format  but here’s the details anyway…. Rather like the sound and attitude of Angelic Milk’s label PNKSLM

Angelic Milk

Angelic Milk

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“The artwork for Teenage Movie Soundtrack, the upcoming new EP from Angelic Milk, depicts Russian-born band leader Sarah Persephona tied up on a bed surrounded by washed-out stuffed animals, staring directly into the camera. It’s an evocative image, drawing from and willfully derivative of decades worth of teen movies that she’s absorbed and abided by over the years. “Tie Me Up,” the second single we’ve heard from the band’s new release after “Rebel Black,” is similarly indebted to its influences, sounding like a mash-up of ’90 punk greats. But that makes it no less winning as Persephona yields that familiarity to powerful ends — as she repeats the titular command over and over again, the song ramps up in energy and you can hear the desire to be confined as a way to find freedom” So said Stereogum….

Further Angelic Milk reading and a look at Russia’s rising DIY scene via the always good She Shreds magazine

And More from Angelic Milk’s rather exciting label PNKSLM a label we’ll no doubt be taking more notice of in the future around here

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“New single from Sudakistan, first new music since the acclaimed debut LP Caballo Negro. Out now via PNKSLM Recordings”.

Debut single from Gothenburg’s ShitKid. Out now via PNKSLM Recordings (artwork by Moa Romanova).

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New single from Stockholm garage rockers Pinemen, following their acclaimed debut EP Pleasant Pain (released in December 2015 via PNKSLM Recordings).

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ORGAN THING: Pyramid Oracle opened last night at BSMT Space….

Pyramid Oracle - Oculus at BMST

Pyramid Oracle – Oculus at BMST

New York based artist Pyramid Oracle is back in London for a solo show over at Dalston’s BSMT space, there’s been a lot of fresh paste-ups around town, pieces up on streets on walls already marked by paint and paste and the clutter detritus of modern life, the busy walls of East London, the imagery is familiar to anyone paying attention to the outdoor walls of London over recent years of course, how would it transfer on to the walls of a gallery? Dalston is the perfect place for a Pyramid Oracle,  the walk through the late afternoon stench of humanity that is Ridley Road Market, Kingsland Road unblighted by gentrification (for now), the chaotic colour of the people, the shops, the remains of the fruit stalls strewn across the pavement in the summer heat….

Pyramid Oracle - Oculus at BMST

Pyramid Oracle – Oculus at BMST

Oculus is the tittle of a show by Pyramid Oracle “showcasing a collection of intricate and symbolic works that examine the dimensions of the human spirit, and the complex world that it inhabits”. There’s certainly a spiritual energy in the marks made and the face drawn, and yes symbolic should that be your thing, not sure how intricate it is, more of a primitive energy, an expansive set of movements, certainly a little different where most so-called street art really isn’t. Actually to call it street art does it a disservice, this is work of an artists who uses the street as both inspiration and gallery and down here in the basement that is BSMT Space the mostly black and white work translates rather well. The vital energy remains, the more human portraits stand out in amongst the symbolism and the more “spiritual” work – the primitive line, the energy, the economy of mark…

Pyramid Oracle - Oculus at BMST

Pyramid Oracle – Oculus at BMST

 

“By exploring the metaphysical, Oculus seeks to capture the often imperceptible geometric systems that permeate through all of nature and revisit venerable means of understanding the great mysterious architecture of the universe” – make of that what you will, the thing that holds this body of work and this show together inside the confines of the gallery is the energy, the primitive appreciation of people, the almost positively naive humanity of the drawing and painting – it does feel like drawing, and it does draw on a spirit. Some of it feels like space rock, some of it almost tribal – tribes of New York, tribes of East London, the spirit of those Dalston streets, a good energy should good energy and spirit be your thing…  (sw)

Click on an image to enlarge or run the fractured slide show    The show is on at BSMT Space, 5d Kingsland Road, Dalston, London, N16 until August 24th

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ORGAN THING: The reedy waters have been stirred, Appealing to Venus and the tale of that John Peel session…

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Have we told this tale before? The ready waters have been stirred again, we’ll tell it once more. Organ has been around, in one form or another, for very very (very) nearly thirty years now, (the very first issue actually came out back on December 4th 1986 if you really must know, a messy hand-made hand screen printed photocopied ball of spray paint and broken typewriter (manual) chaos.  Launched out of the back of an old Army ambulance, blue light ablazing in a car park outside a Hawkwind gig. The first issue of Organ had a Cardiacs interview in it, of course it did, and it really is no secret that Cardiacs have been a constant Organ fuel source, a big reason for keeping it all flowing through the tough times, a symbiotic relationship, and a deep love for the glorious beauty of everything Cardiacs.

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Along the way Organ evolved and took many forms, there were gigs (many many gigs), things got all glossy and “proper” magazine-shaped for bit, there was a (pre-internet) TV show and of course for many years a defiant record label (first a tape label then a “proper” one).  We put out many things, some of which we’re still rather pleased with. One of the very best things we ever did was to put out was a Sea Nymphs single.  We had put out a Cardiacs single before that, and featured both Cardiacs and the Nymphs on quite a few compilations, as well as presenting them both (and Panixphere) at Organ gigs big and small (we do keep threatening to write the book and telling it all).

Thorns, itchy ones....

Thorns, itchy ones….

Back somewhere in the mid to late 90’s (June 1998 actually, just looked it up on line), Org Records was on a bit of a roll, we had the various ears of various people, without ever compromising we were enjoying a moment or two in the sunshine rather than the undergrowth, John Peel was in regular contact asking us about bands and releases and this and that, Cay were starting to excite people, Transit Vans Were Peachy, Charlie’s Angels were at the Royal Albert Hall and climbing the charts, Huge Baby, Angel Cage and quite a few more were causing ripples (Time Smith loved Angel Cage). Things were going well and in a backroom of a pub a plan was hatch after one of may conversations with The Leader of the Starry Skies, if only you could get us on the radio like you do with all these other bands (there was no youtube or Soundlcoud then, radio was god, the inkie music press still wrote the rules, word of mouth was really word of mouth, or via the postal service, soaped stamps, no instant links and check this out).  We hatched a plan, let’s put out Appealing to Venus again (it had originally come out as a seven-inch single back in 1991 on Cardiacs’ own label Alphabet)   Sea Nymphs were almost a forgotten treat by the end of the 90’s, a beautiful thing known only to the Cardiacs faithful, I’m telling you all this because, well no, I can’t tell you about the unexpected glory of The Black Blooded Clam/// You know that it is going to be a thing of glorious beauty of course it is, but whoooosh, this is something very very special, these treats previously unheard, this is glorious and some of it quite unexpected.

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Back to the tale, the plot hatched in a pub to release a Sea Nymhs single, we agreed on a seven tracker, (we sneaked the Hymn on the end, couldn’t resist it, Stonehenge 84, a hand-held tape recorder recording), release a single without telling anyone who it was, no guilt by association. The stories on the mainstream music business and the collective unfathomable vitriolic dislike of anything Cardiacs is well documented. “Stop writing about Cardiacs and we’ll invest lots of money in Organ” said one big publishing house at the time, the fights we went through for Cardiacs, that Bellyeye single and the battle in a major label record company office for that place on Blur’s Mile End bill, the bloody arguments with journalists, with radio people. We were on good terms with a lot of radio people in  the late 90’s but were didn’t ever dare mention the C word that often.

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So a new Sea Nymphs single was released, we said it was William, Tim and Sarah, we just failed to say who the three of them were and that it was a re-issue, we just conveniently neglected to say that they were in another band as well. We never lied, we just didn’t tell people what they didn’t need to know.  We sent a pre-release tape to Mr Peel and a few others, apparently he hated Cardiacs – he called up straight away, said he loved it to bits, asked us all about it, where were they from and such, he would later tell us it was his show producers who never liked Cardiacs, he always sort of quite did – so John Peel called up, said he loved the single, and asked if they could do a radio session. “Don’t be silly” said Tim in a tone of disbelief, Tim had gone along with the idea of the single I do rather suspect He though we were chasing a lost cause though, meanwhile Mark Radcliffe and Riley were enjoying a stint as DJs and presenters on a daily daytime Radio One show, we never actually said anything to them, or them to us, but I’m pretty sure they know who Sea Nymphs really were as they talked of an exciting new band and made the Org release their daytime Single of The Week on the then all-powerful national BBC Radio One – it was probably the most exposure since the days of Is This The Life. The press picked up on it on the back of the radio play, positive words from the same people who never had a good (printed) word for Cardiacs. Peel insisted the session happened, the plan had worked, Sea Nymphs exposed, and so…

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And so a glorious day was spent behind “enemy” lines, in there undercover, a new band called Sea Nymphs, sneaking around the BBC Maida Vale studio for a day, never ever mentioning the C word, hiding in corners for fear of being recognised, thankfully a collaborator or two in the back rooms (there’s always a Cardiacs fan or two secretly lurking).  It was a very special day, one of the best, getting Tim Smith on the radio like that, and being privileged enough to be there watching the three of then create the magical chemistry in the BBC studio with all kinds of string machines and frantic bits of this and that found in corners, it was a very very special day, s stressful day, a glorious day, a big collective hug at the end of it all and a secret punch of the air around the corner out of sight of everyone.  John Peel wasn’t there himself for the session but he did call up the next day to say how pleased he was with it all, and a few weeks later he slip in that he knew who they were really, not sure he did at the time though. Mostly John Peel was a very decent guy and enthusiastic music fan, if he likes something that was enough, and he rally did like Sea Nymphs. Oh how I wish we had some footage of that day, three people in their element making music, a very special very happy day.  Still got a treasured photocopy of the cheque sent here from the BBC made out to Tim Smith for the session. Three Sea Npmphs, two Organs, trying not to mention Cardiacs, whispering in corners, “do you think they know?” A triumphant day indeed, for some people, some bands a peel session was not that big a deal, they did one every month, but for Cardiacs and Sea Nymphs it was a massive thing, a triumph, a victory, and days like that made all the Organ sacrifice (in the days before internet) worth it all and more.

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Sea Nymphs were out beyond the confines of the pond, they were on the radio, being heard by fresh ears, ears that knew nothing of Cardiacs or the history, A fresh exciting band, a thing of beauty, and people clambered for more, labels called up wanting to sign them, we pleaded for more tracks to release ourselves, we knew there were tapes, recordings, the legendary second album, Things by then had moved on though, Sea Nymphs on the radio was wonderful but that was the past and Tim Smith was always about the next thing, back catalogue was not that interesting to the creative mind always on to making something new.  Sea Nymphs were put away again (save for a live show or two) and Tim was buried deep in Guns.    People would whisper of it, the second Sea Nymph album, did it really exist? That Peel session proved there were songs unheard, were the songs recorded? Had anyone got a tape? And then suddenly teasers on the Internet, “The Stink Will Reach Your Face Soon, Breather Again”, surely this is it? Surely! What else could it be?  And then…well, the stink will reach your face soon….. (sw) www.cardiacs.net

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ORGAN THING: Blind Atlas? Paper Dress Vintage? Summer School?

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Quick one today, in a rush, things to do, places to be at. Blind Atlas, who are Blind Atlas? And what’s Summer School?  Apparently Summer School begins on Thursday 18th August at Paper Dress Vintage Hackney. “No more answers. No more questions. Packed lunch optional. …enroll here…”, I never got that much out of gong to school, do like the laid back sound of Blind Atlas though, and that vintage shop with a bar in it that is Paper Dress Vintage is always enjoyable, can we sneak a bear to two in with that packed lunch? How much for a bottle of beer? Here’s the event details (via Facebook).  You get three bands, DJs playing records ’til Midnight, and a limited Great Learning poster print on the night…  The Bill features Blind Atlas, Kid and Cold Spells

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“Born in the land of barm cakes Blind Atlas songs range from whiskey-soaked Blues to a melancholic mix of Folk, Americana and Rock to Cinematic Soundscapes with guitars that gently weep one minute and howl the next. Their differing musical drivers push melodic constructs and playing techniques that are not traditionally heard together or side by side both between and within songs…”

ORGAN THING: Bad things, Bad Breeding, bad art on big walls, punk rock, fun fairs…

All stressed up and no place to go? We went to the fair last week. Look at the dust in here, did I tell you about the time that painter had a hissyfit at the gallery because…  Nah, we’ll save that one for the book, the tell all book, not the black book of artists we won’t be working with again, the tell all book that blows the lid on it all, the artists, the bands, that time with …no, never mind that, Bad Breeding have some tour dates, latest news here, Bad Breeding are a breath of old school punk rock fresh air, we have said this before of course and we’re happy to say it here again

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The trouble with so-called street art is that, at times, we all have to endure it. Galleries on the whole are curated spaces that we only go in to if we choose to, but those walls on the way to the railway station? We really have no choice. There’s some dreadful street art going up in East London right now, the churners who see fit to impose their poor black line and one trick pony same painting as last time and the time before that (and the one before that) on us all.  Of course there some inspired art, some exciting street art, the streets are alive with excitement and colour, alive with form and shape and paste and more, but there are one or two who really do just churn it out by numbers.  Six out of ten efforts painted on automatic pilot at best, same thing repeated on shop shutters and railway arch walls again and again (and again) like that kid who learned to draw just one thing efficiently well at school and never ever dared to draw anything else in case he couldn’t.  Sure, there’s trademarks and such, the delight of a stick figure, a letter form, a monkey head, an owl, a golden peg up high, nothing wrong with any of that and nothing wrong with pop art repetition and some Ben Eine style graphic colour either – his shop shutters were inspired back there back in the day.   Someone has to say it though, there’s some rather bad street art being forced on to people right now, there’s a couple of particularly bad pieces of blight appeared right outside the front door here, pieces that I’m now forced to look at almost everyday, right there and impossible to avoid, saw one of the offenders turn up the other morning and pull a box of Belton out of the back of his car, hearts sank, oh no, he’s not going ot paint right outside is he? Came back later that day and there it was, and around the corner another piece of work in progress, painted up there on a another wall controlled by the self-appointed street art police. Who appointed these controllers of walls? Most of them don’t seem to have much of a clue about anything much with their talk of people “smashing it” and this being “the bomb dude” and such – bad art imposed on walls controlled by people who have very little idea about art or indeed anything else.  It all feels like the days of second division thrash metal bands cluttering up small London venues churning out second rate copies of something vaguely like the big bands without ever understanding the essence of the magic those original groundbreaking bands had. metal by numbers, guitar riffs by numbers, street art by numbers…

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Just what is that painfully bad abomination over there on that beautiful black brick wall (that’s been there untouched for years and years) all about?  Why is it there imposing itself on us all? And why do the street art police allow the same damn artist to paint on every wall they seem to somehow control anyway? Same six out of ten second rate street art inflicted on us by the clueless controllers who tell us what “the bomb” is or who’s “smashing it mate”. I love the energy and layers of evolution down on Clare Street at the moment, street art is exciting when it evolves quickly and layers grow on layers, or over in the much loved Leake Tunnel where things change almost on the hour, or that wall over by Brick Lane where all the estate agents boards and the corporate fizzy pop adverts are cluttering up the eye line anyway, but these things inflicted on us, forced on us, all these six out of ten London street artists who, incidentally, are “dropping a limited edition print release next Thursday night.

Fun Fair, East London

Fun Fair, East London

Why are these “artists” who figured out one trick that might have looked good in a graphic novel or on the record sleeve of a second division thrash metal band in 1988 inflicted on every wall ever?  Why are imposed on us ten foot high on a beautiful black brick walls? Walls that have stood untouched and beautiful for a hundred and fifty years, Why are they yelling at us in their uncoordinated colour-clashing way or a main street shop front we have to pass every blighted day. Really am going to have to change my route to the station now, there’s already bus rides where I have to bury my head in a sketchbook at certain points to avoid the encounter with the bad street art and the bad seeds it plants deep in my head for the rest of day  (SW)

Fun Fair, East London

Fun Fair, East London

 

those Bad Breeding tour dates then….

And just in case you missed it last time, Bad Breeding‘s self-titled album can be (officially, with the band’s blessing) downloaded in full-quality audio (and with lyric sheets) for free here:

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The fair….

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ORGAN THING: The first rule of Miraculous Mule is you don’t talk about Miraculous Mule…

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LIVE: Miraculous Mule – Sebright Arms, Hackney, East London, 7th August 2016 –

Seriously electric, they seemed even more electric than ever. What else is there to be said here about Miraculous Mule? Surely we’ve said it all too many times already? Surely you’re getting tired of us saying it again and again?  Miraculous Mule down at the Sebright Arms just off the Hackney Road, East London, on a Sunday night in the middle of summer when most people are more interested in festivals or holidays or just sitting in the sun polluting the East London air with their barbecues and their burning beards. Surely this is just another Mule show? Doesn’t matter if we miss this one right? Of course it does!

They seemed even more electric than ever, raw, electrically raw, seriously up for it. And that’s the thing, there never is just another Miraculous Mule show, Miraculous Mule don’t do just another show.  And just why this electricity is flying around in such a thrilling way down here in a dark sweaty basement room of a East London pub on a Sunday night really is something that can’t be explained.  Don’t quite get why this band aren’t killing it all and more at the summer festivals, and why the hell is that single not all over the radio?  But then they’d surely never ever be this good on a big festival stage in the sunshine, they’d never be this good on a big stage in a big venue, surely they could never conjurer this magic in anywhere other than a dark pub basement like this one? Surely this is their natural habitat? Surely it can’t get any better then this for Miraculous Mule? There they are, right there looking right in to your eyes, looking in to each others eyes, locking it all in, taking you on toe-to-toe, trading punches, taking you with them, surely they could only connect in this magical way in a London basement and to be in here with these people, this band and this crowd, to be here really is something special

Miraculous Mule, Sebright Arms, August 2016

Miraculous Mule, Sebright Arms, August 2016

It can’t be said that they’re sounding even better than ever but somehow they damn well are! They’re sounding better than ever, they’re sounding bigger, louder, sharper, they’re sounding more electric than ever, electricity arcing around the dark dank room, road-fit and back from a mainland Europe that appreciates them far more than their hometown does, well besides those of us who are down here in this basement sucking it all up again, down here in the dark mainlining the Mule and sharing knowing glances, big shit eating grins on our faces, strangers smiling at each other, not needing to say anything….

Miraculous Mule, Sebright Arms, August 2016

Miraculous Mule, Sebright Arms, August 2016

Big thank you to each and every special one of the beautiful feckers who made it down last night! It was one of the most enjoyable shows we’ve played and the symbiotic band/audience thing was really working“,

Miraculous Mule, Sebright Arms, August 2016

Miraculous Mule, Sebright Arms, August 2016

He was right of course, Michael J, one-third of just about the best live band out there right now is right, impossible not to connect with Miraculous Mule down in this basement, the electric really is flowing.  This isn’t something that can be written about, it can’t be explained on paper, the knowing glances of those who were there (again) can’t be explained and the wise thing here would be to just shut about it.  We really should shut up about it, we don’t want them in big venues, we want to share knowing glances with the hundred or so who know, the ones who keep on coming back.

The first rule of Miraculous Mule is you don’t talk about Miraculous Mule, we don’t want them at bloody Koko or the Electric Ballroom, we don’t want you knowing about this and spoiling the connection, we don’t want to share this magic, this privilege, we don’t want it diluted in a big venue, the Sound of The Summer does not need to be on your radio, ignore this review, ignore everything we ever say about Miraculous Mule, you won’t like them, they’re not for you, stay away, leave them to us, leave them to those girls lost in the moment of it all over there, and that guy we shared that knowing nod with way before we got to the venue, words weren’t needed, we knew where he was going and he knew where we were going, faces from last time, smiles exchanged, don’t talk about it. Don’t talk about it with the girl in the boots waiting outside for it all to start, or the tall thin guy slumped in the alley looking spent afterwards.

Miraculous Mule, Sebright Arms, August 2016

The Mule were seriously dialed in last Sunday tonight, we almost doubted their ability to do it all again, doubting it over the first pint in the pub down the road, doubting it before they took to the stage. Sixty percent of last time would have done us, to expect any more than that would just be misguided greed and to try to put any of what happened at the Sebright down on paper is to make yourself sound stupidly ridiculous. We can’t talk of that chemistry of ZZ Top at their stripped down pre-synth out at Le Grange 70’s raw blues best messing with the classic soul swagger of Them, that classic Fast Eddie West London period Motorhead three piece drummer and two gunslingers thing. We can’t talk of that magic that only a classic three-piece guitar-fulled loud wired hungry electric rock band can plug you in to, that thing Bernie Torme and Everton Williams had for a while, Jon Spencer and his Blues Explosion, Royal Trux, that magic of Cream or Hendrix and his Experience dosed up with a bit of country blues and a touch of Stooges, Bad Seeds.  See told you it would sound silly if we tried to put down on paper, and anyway, you don’t need to know about any of this, the first rule of Miraculous Mule is you don’t talk about Miraculous Mule, this is the Sound Of The Summer (even if they didn’t play it tonight). We can’t post a YouTube of the gig that explains it, we can’t post a photo that tells you what it is, and anyway, we don’t want to, the first rule of Miraculous Mule is you don’t talk about Miraculous Mule, best band out there, don’t tell anyone we told you so, god I love encounters with this band (sw)….

Post gig, he knew....

Post gig, he knows, we don’t talk about it….

ORGAN THING: The Orb’s new album, here it is, hear in full….

The orb

Never quite know what to make of The Orb either. When you’re there in their zone, under the light and sharing it all with a crowd dialed in to their gentle electronic rushes then The Orb can touch tips of mountains – that time at Club Dog, or that time down on the Southbank or….  and then some days, other days, you find yourself wondering what all the fuss was all about before it goes and sweeps you up again. You don’t need these words and thoughts though, you don’t need an analysis and people asking if they were a thing of the 90’s and the 90’s was back in the last century. The Orb have a new album, rather enjoying it so far, there’s some new things in here, some classic electronic goodness, some organic electronic thump, rather enjoying this first listen, skip these words though, you don’t need our words, here it is, the release details and such are underneath (don’t thin kmusch of the artwork though)….

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Here’s the cut n’ paste of a press release with all you need to know…..

On October 14th Kompakt present The Orbs 16th album, COW / Chill Out, World!, which marks a creative renewal for the duo. It also features contributions from Youth and Roger Eno, and is encased in minimal ‘ambient cover art’ courtesy of The Designers Republic.

orb_cow_cover

Despite apparently clear connotations to their history, influences and peers (like Alex Paterson’s uncredited role in the KLF’s ‘Chill Out’ album, or the cover cows of Pink Floyds ‘Atom Heart Mother’), the album’s title is actually an instruction, or at least a friendly suggestion. Whilst Alex calls it “a protest album in reverse”, Thomas Fehlmann further explains, “we didn’t intend to rehash old chill out vibes. On the contrary. It’s the 21st century and it seems like a good idea for people to sit back and chill the fuck out, before continuing to act destructively. To chill out is to act consciously, guided from a calm centre.” 

Featuring only the occasional presence of buoyant, gently rhythmic pulses and loops, Alex Paterson describes COW as “our most ambient album yet”. Sounds bubble, flutter and float through various atmospheres and moods, from bucolic and picturesque, childlike wonderment, the texture of bygone memories, to the universe’s infinite depth.

COWs creation came together in different circumstances with a different working method to their last album. As Moonbuilding 2703 AD was originally commissioned by the English National Opera, the duo immersed themselves in that new world and maintained a close, continuous dialogue with the opera’s orchestrator and technicians. The production fell through due to budget cuts and the recordings were then adapted for album format, hence its 6 year gestation period.

The Orb

The Orb

COW on the other hand, took just 6 months to make. One of main reasons for its speedy completion was Alex’s recording of sounds whilst touring the world, straight to Ableton, using his iPhone. Field recordings were easily captured, whilst the countless hours of ‘downtime’ travelling, or at sound-checks became valuable moments for spontaneous creative laptop productivity.

Fehlmann also sees the duo’s relentless live schedule as a formative influence. “The countless gigs we’ve played in recent years – probably up to 300 – have brought us closer as a musical unit. Our concerts consist mostly of non-verbal communication and improvisation – a fertile process that we’ve brought to the studio, where we operate with very simple rules of engagement (in this case ‘ambient’) and go wherever the flow takes us.” It’s an approach that one might expect from traditional acoustic instrumentation, not necessarily an electronic set-up, but for The Orb it works wonders. “We’re quite happy and a little bit proud that we’ve reached this level of unscripted levity with purely electronic means. We’re finessing ourselves, sort of, always looking for the next sonic surprise that leaves us rubbing our eyes about how the heck we got there.”

COW / Chill Out, World! is an off the cuff, immediate album”, adds Thomas. “We produced it in the span of half a year, trusted our first instincts and allowed the ideas flow freely. We’ve gained self confidence in our continuous search for surprises, and in many ways it’s a naivety we’ve found again, that lets us treat each tune as if it were the first.”

To highlight Fehlmann’s point, the modern ambience of 4AM Exhale (Chill Out, World!) has an innocently optimistic mood, with distant fragmented soul samples also creating a warmly reassuring sense of nostalgia. A weightless J Dilla orbits from afar too, his influence like the flickering light from a distant star, on both this track and the subsequent 5th Dimensions.

“Making the album became so natural for us that a track like 9 Elms Over River Eno (Channel 9) consisted only of material collected at North Carolina’s Moogfest in May – second-hand records from local stores, found sounds, live samples from gigs that we liked, and of course an excursion to the Eno river, which actually exists”, recalls Alex. “I discovered it on Google maps, whilst looking for somewhere to chill out. The name stood out, for orbvious reasons! This geographic intimacy and spontaneity are among the top reasons why we love this album.”

Paterson and Thomas’ ability to work in a simple, efficient and simpatico way was then used as a strong creative base upon which they added additional colouration by bringing occasional Orb member Youth on board, who then hooked the pair up with acclaimed composer Roger ‘Reverend’ Eno.

Laden with samples played backwards, a planet sized bass tone and piano, Eno’s first appearance is on The Satie-esque Wireless MK2 which is, Alex explains “a nod to my dad, who worked for Cable and Wireless and helped build the Telstar satellite”, whilst the track’s jazzy trumpet” Paterson adds, “is a reference to the jazz bar in Fulham where my Mum and Dad met.”

Eno appears again on The 10 Sultans Of Rudyard (Moo Moo Mix), which plays with familiar, ambient staples and new ‘post classical’ elements. Sounding refreshed but classic, innocent but deep and extemporaneous but beautifully crafted, COW finds The Orb at their most stunning and transcendent peak to date.

The Orb play the following tour dates, which encompass ‘Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld’ played in full, plus other classics and music from COW:

Sheffield, Plug, 24th November, tickets  Manchester Academy 2, 25th November, tickets Glasgow, SWG3, 26th November, tickets  Waterfront, Norwich, 1st December, tickets  Brighton, Concord 2, 2nd December tickets Nottingham, Rescue Rooms, 3rd December, tickets  Southampton, Engine Rooms, 8th December, tickets  Cardiff, Tramshed, 9th December, tickets  Bristol, Marble Factory, 10th December, tickets

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ORGAN THING: Objects of Desire at Red Gallery, a brilliantly human show…

OBJECTS OF DESIRE - Red Gallery, August 2016

OBJECTS OF DESIRE – Red Gallery, August 2016

Never quite know what to make of Red Gallery, you find it at the top end of Rivington Street, Shoreditch, East London, excellent location, right there on that corner right by the spot where the much loved Foundry once threw out so much artistic attitude.  The people who run the Red space seem far more interested in their music events, the street art tours and their weekend markets than the actual gallery space itself, never quite sure if the space is actually open and something is actually installed or the door is just open and they’re half way through installing something new? The gallery shows tend to give the impression of being thrown together as almost an after thought, “formal” is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking of the small Red Gallery space front room. The informal nature of it all would be fine if it came with some kind of engaging attitude, with a “punk rock” disregard for the formality of art, but that doesn’t quite seem to be the case either, well most of the time, really not sure what to make of Red Gallery but now and again something well wort your time pops up at Red.  Right now at Red Gallery there’s an excellent exhibition….

OBJECTS OF DESIRE, Eve's Mound  - Red Gallery, August 2016

OBJECTS OF DESIRE – Red Gallery, August 2016

For once the slightly chaotic nature of Red Gallery works, the current exhibition, Objects of Desire, looks like an untidy bedroom, an unmade bad, Objects of Desire is a fascinating show, a curiously good show, dare it be said that this is a vital show? Objects of Desire is a window on to so many lives, minds, interactions, people.  True, the walls themselves are a little bereft, the grubby white walls are crying out for an image or a painting or a face put to a name or something, anything!  The floors the chairs, the shelves with the cute little pig-shaped salt and pepper pots that make her smile, the dressing table tops, the kitchen sink with the glutton-free food the professor in the tweed always brings with him.

OBJECTS OF DESIRE - Red Gallery, August 2016

OBJECTS OF DESIRE – Red Gallery, August 2016

There’s lives in here, people, ordinary people with ordinary tales of ordinary lives (as ordinary as any life ever is, does anyone live an ordinary life?).  Lives, people – not just a prop for that day in the life of the guy who ran away and left his tie behind.

There’s Anna in her “bored” necklace, well no not Anna, the real person who calls herself Anna while she’s working, “sex work is work” says the rather gloriously primitive pink and blue banner propped against the gallery wall, it looks like that banner might have served time at a number street-protests and such.

This is brilliant actually, this is an archive, a documentation, it deserves to be in the V&A on permanent display rather than fleetingly occupying this small East London D.I.Y art gallery.

“Eve’s Mound” is in the middle of the floor, a “giant haul of gifts” given to her by one client on a single occasion. Apparently ‘Picnic Man’ arrived for their second meeting with four holdalls full of gifts ranging  from a set of teas to his ex-girlfriends clothes. The collection is described in an audio interview in which Eve discusses the “stuff” and her encounter with “Picnic Man”

incidentally the cost of the exhibition space hire itself was donated by a client, and so the exhibition itself is an actual object of desire

This is an excellent exhibition, a positive use of an art space and something that really deserves your time and attention, this is a brilliant exhibition, a disturbing exhibition, a delightful exhibition, a provoking exhibition, a very personal exhibition – glimpses of private lives opened for all to see. Mostly this is a very human exhibition, a revealing archive, a collection of snapshots, lives, people, interactions, encounters, compromises, concerns, journeys, relationships, sometimes beautiful, sometimes not so beautiful, a brave exhibition, a vital exhibition, this is life, this is people, this is a wonderful documentation and lots more besides .  (sw)

OBJECTS OF DESIRE - Red Gallery, August 2016

OBJECTS OF DESIRE – Red Gallery, August 2016

Objects of Desire is a show put on by “artists, anthropologists, sex workers and activists” The show runs at Red Gallery (an excellent use of the space) until Sunday 14th August when there’s a closing party and an East London Strippers Collective funeral march marking the demise of Shoreditch. “Our closing day will coincide with the East London Strippers Collective presents The Wake. Members of the ELSC will hold a New Orleans style jazz funeral in the basement of Red Gallery to mourn the closure of the local venue The White Horse”.

OBJECTS OF DESIRE - Red Gallery, August 2016

OBJECTS OF DESIRE – Red Gallery, August 2016

The exhibition is open everyday, midday until 6pm at Red Gallery, 1-3 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3DT.

OBJECTS OF DESIRE - Red Gallery, August 2016

OBJECTS OF DESIRE – Red Gallery, August 2016

 

HERE’S THE OFFICIAL INFORMATION FOR THE SHOW…..

A collaborative project by sex workers and artists shifting the focus of the ‘object of desire’ through archiving and art. Open every day from 12-6.

Objects of Desire at Red Gallery will bring together collection of objects related to sex work and display them alongside narratives in text, audio and video form.

Focusing on the personal stories of sex workers, Objects of Desire shifts the conversation from one that centres on the purported objectification of people to an examination of the social relations of sex work through the physical objects involved, specifically items gifted to sex workers. Object based narratives allow an exploration of the everyday relations sex workers have with their clients, lovers, families and the objects themselves.

Objects Of Desire (official photo)

Objects Of Desire (official photo)

Following an open call for objects from sex workers, Objects of Desire has collected gifts such as jam, The New Testament, an endoscopic camera, shiny leggings and a Blue Balls F**king Machine (BBFM). Their biographies all illuminate the ways in which the relations of sex work are managed, play out and sometimes surprise.

As Rori says about the Assorted M&S, Fortnum & Mason and Tesco jams and preserves she was given by a client:

OBJECTS OF DESIRE - Red Gallery, August 2016

OBJECTS OF DESIRE – Red Gallery, August 2016

“I’ve wondered why he always gives me preserves. I can see that he gets a lot of pleasure from giving me food and feeling that he is caring for me […] but I’ve also noticed that he is very into bodily fluids and often says how nice it is that we “taste” each other. I wonder if the jars of sticky jam are a symbolic substance, a kind of proxy for bodily fluids […] if me storing them in my cupboard and ingesting them is a way for him to transcend the boundaries of our sessions, inserting himself somehow into my home and body.”

Through a series of workshops and events, the exhibition will invite discussion around the ways in which both sex and labour are perceived, understood and moralised in the UK today. Objects of Desire is not merely an attempt to “humanize” sex workers through providing outsiders with a glimpse into their lives, rather, OoD challenges the wider public to reflect upon the dynamics of gendered labor, complex hierarchies of power and care and the interplay of emotion and materiality in all relationships.

OBJECTS OF DESIRE - Red Gallery, August 2016

OBJECTS OF DESIRE – Red Gallery, August 2016

About the organisers

Rori  – An anthropologist currently undertaking a Masters in social anthropology. Rori has an enduring interest in the stories and narratives of sex workers and has been an active sex worker in London for five years.

Mia  An artist and curator generally interested in people and the politics of their relationships, experiences and histories. Currently researching and making work about fetish and sexual or intimate obsessions and fantasies.

Jeeva_d  Assistant curator, anthropologist and artist practitioner

follow further developments via Twitter

Click on an image to enlarge or run the fractured photos….

 

ORGAN THING: Giving X Japan the once over twice…

Organ Thing of The Day, quick one while we’re away, away digging a hole, a whole hole, can’t be here everyday sharing things with you…. Who are X? This is the Japanese X….

“WE ARE X is the story of the most influential band in the world that you’ve never heard of…yet”

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X Japan was formed by childhood friends, Yoshiki and Toshi who ignited a musical revolution in Japan during the late 80’s with their melodic metal and flamboyant fashion.  Their unique appearance and style created a Japanese cultural rock phenomenon known as “Visual-Kei,” a movement that spread globally.  X Japan’s success was unprecedented, including 18 sold out nights at the Tokyo Dome (55,000 seats).

We are X

We are X

With more than 30 million albums sold worldwide, X is the most successful rock band in Japanese history.  However, their success never translated to the West, despite influencing many popular American bands.

In the fall of 1997, at the height of their success, X broke up – devastating millions of fans and leaving enigmatic leader Yoshiki to battle physical and spiritual demons in a solitary campaign to bring their music to the world.

Twenty years after the tragedy-fueled split, Director Stephen Kijak’s exacting approach traces the arc of X — from phenomenal origins through tumultuous super-stardom and premature dissolution up to present day, as the band prepares to reunite for a show at the legendary Madison Square Garden while struggling to reconcile a past haunted by suicide, injury and cultish extremism with the insatiable thirst for perfection that has made them legendary.

WE ARE X is the story of the most influential band in the world that you’ve never heard of…yet.

WE ARE X