I don't believe for one minute that [RD] James has reverted back to his roots in soldering irons and voltage control. Once you've made the move to software, there's really no going back. But perhaps he's using his Powerbook to emulate the sound of his analogue recordings? I hope so!

oh yes he has! supposedly, AFX has been dusting off his 303s, 606s and 909s to create the analord stuff. my only concern is quality control; drukqs was too much- both in terms of the amount of music (some of it truly excellent) and packaging- who the fuck can sensibly store a two foot long record cover? the actual bits of plastic are lost somewhere alongside many other anonymous plain black 12"s.

to be honest, i haven't bought a great deal of electronica over the past couple of years (the collapse of the wave function vol 2 7" being the last, and that sounds like ghostly instumental ragga) mainly because of the lack of depth in the production- put some on after a reggae, jungle or hip hop tune and it invariably sounds horribly weak and badly mastered. this could well be a failing of the laptop aesthetic, but i have a feeling that all too often the artists are busy being clever (in a number crunching 'look at me' way) and not actually listening.


ended up being in otley during the folk festival this weekend. highlight on our wanders was coming across a courtyard where a band dressed in much foliage were playing a folk version of ‘the tide is high’. they were accompanied by 10 leaping clog dancers banging sticks.


The upsetter on radio 2
tonight 22:00

Mark Lamarr traces the early musical roots of Lee "Scratch" Perry; reggae experimenter, maverick, and Yuri
Gagarin of Reggae [john eden will like that]. It's impossible to overestimate Scratch's importance as an artist and a producer. His is an incredibly rich life, both musically and culturally.

This is the story of his music, his madness, his innovation, his lack of respect for what went before and his sheer visionary dynamism which made Lee 'Scratch' Perry one of the most influential figures in all styles of music in the last century.

We examine his legacy; culturally, musically, technically, psychologically and mythically. We look at the apocryphal stories of
madness, and attempt to unwrap the enigma bound in a riddle that is Lee 'Scratch' Perry.

In tonight's programme we trace the rich, formative years of dub reggae's elder statesman, working with Prince Buster, Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd's and Joe Gibbs.

Against a backdrop of Jamaica's nascent 'Sound System' culture, we hear some early Perry Ska recordings with The Upsetters, and also talk to contemporaneous musicians Ansell Collins, Gladstone Anderson, Clancy Eccles, Skully Simms, Striker Lee and Sly Dunbar.

(liberated from www.bbc.co.uk)


pointless research

in answer to k-punk's challenge

newborn [babies] were shown two images side by side, one showing an attractive face and the other a less attractive one. the researchers say the infants spent more time looking at the attractive face than the less attractive one.

(what a fucker for ugly mums- there must be a gap in the market for 'pretty masks')

this is worthless in itself, but ends with the revelation that babies don't like a piece of music QUITE AS MUCH WHEN ITS PLAYED BACKWARDS.


is this getting silly?

tatchell after an all out ban of the mobo's

it seems that mr tatchell is starting to get foam-at-the-mouth mentallist in a 'BAN IT ALL' style. now, even apologising for previously made homophobic remarks isn't enough. its moving towards a 'taliban with better dress sense' type scenario. it also means that any 'enlightened' statements from the reggae community are now pointless.

outrage! state that their "witty, imaginative, daring, and irreverent style of nonviolent civil disobedience has elevated activism into an art form: protest as performance". so where's it all gone so wrong in this case? tactics that leave the archbishop of canterbury looking confused and lost are abandoned in favour of playing to daily mail readers and no-one who listens to reggae or the gay community benefits.

have outrage! thought about what the broader impact of this might be?


homophobia inna dancehall

i bet outrage! are quite pleased with the way their 'murder music' campaign is going- there is another article on the subject in the guardian today.

the debate continues, with the usual battle lines drawn: from those who don't want to stop listening to artists who express homophobia on records and seem doomed to be seen as apologists for 'burn the chi chi man' lyrics, a selection of which can be seen here (scroll down a bit), to those who don't want these sentiments expressed on record at all (and who are seen as 'white oppressors' and cultural imperialists).

whatever, the reality for gays in the caribbean is that they are a minority under attack (interview with julius powell of JFLAG here) and dancehall records seem to be, in some cases used as justifications for violence by the perpetrators (although the records are a reflection of that society, obviously).

more voices from inside JA culture/ society that counter the orthodoxy need to be heard- tatchell's heavy handed moralising don't go down very well with me, let alone a jamaican ghetto dwellor- surely there must be some reggae artists who can explicitly state that they are not homophobic in a way that goes beyond the half-hearted attempts at apologies usually made (stand up beenie man)?


christine spent the day at a golf course yesterday (don't ask). while the rules were being explained she was asked if she knew what 'par' meant. 'uh, yeah. i have played mario golf, you know'.......



the national museum for musical clock to street organ in utrecht; hot day. a dutch stoner has just tried to convince me that to 'schmoke weed, eat food and take a shower' is a comprehensive world view. retreat to the cool of a converted church and get swept up in a hysteria for automated musical instruments. street organs that play real violins (the hupfeld phonoliszt violina); pianos that play themselves; cocacapana at high volume on an organ the size of a house, which gradually wheezes into life like bagpuss. dutch sing-a-longs, including the lines 'your love is like an autobus/ 30 seats and 13 people waiting to get on'. a dancefloor to facilitate full involvement. lots of coin operated musical instruments included. 3 euros creates a cacophony. money well spent. we leave giggling.


bizarre reggae deaths number 6:

keith 'slim' smith: bled to death after punching out the windows of his mother's house. voodoo may have been involved. (october 1972, aged 24)

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