Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stockhausen and Turner RIP

Just come back from ATP to find this double-whammy...

Karlheinz Stockhausen 1928-2007
I'm not going to pretend to be an authority on his work, but even I know that he was a legend. Stockhausen was one of the pioneers of electronic music and 20th century composition. Hugely influential in his use of primitive electronics and tape machines, his influence extends to Krautrock, techno, experimental rock, and modern composition. Maybe there would even have been no Can without Stockhausen? Suppose it's one of those "what if..." questions, but still...really wish I went to that gig he did in a fish market in East London a while ago now. Bet it was awesome.
Ike Turner 1931-2007
For this tune (clip below) with Madame Turner on vocals long before she was mates with Mick Jagger (the 80s did strange things to the careers of music legends). Goodnight London still has it on Tamla Motown 7", like the sad record collector nerd that I am. He looks the business in this clip. And this song still sound enormous on record (Phil Spector, I believe?).

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Not long now...

...until ATP curated by Portishead. Things I am looking forward to:
- Silver Apples on at around 1:30am
- ditto for Jah Shaka Sound System, who sound terrifying and seriously bass-heavy
- ditto for Aphex Twin, hopefully sans sandpaper machine
- the Sunday triumphate of Earth, Boris and Sun O))), on one after the other, which could well send the bouncers into tears
- Fuck Buttons, whenever they are on. And A Hawk And A Hacksaw
- Glenn Branca playing twice (though one of his sets is fifteen minutes?!)
- whatever films Portishead choose to host on the ATP Portishead TV channel
- the sheer surreality of seeing GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan playing at Butlin's in Somerset
Things I'm possibly not looking forward to:
- getting soaked while walking to the venue from the chalet
- feeling hungover and soaked while watching said bands
- rubbish food in the venue
- queing to watch bands in the Centre Stage

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Lady Jaye RIP

Some great events going on as part of the celebrations to herald twenty five years of The Wire's existence. Various happenings included a celebration of Finnish psych folk and drone at Bush Hall that was punctuated by a blistering set from guitar and drums duo Pymathon. Then there was also an all-dayer at Cargo beginning at 5pm which saw Jackie O-Motherfucker headline at something like 11:30pm on a Sunday night, reduced to a trio because of illness, and ended with an argument with a member of the audience. It was that kind of day. Still, Jackie-O weren't bad for what it's worth, and earlier on the venue saw the spectre of some wonderfully strange acts - Birds of Delay, Polly Shang Kuan Band (above), The Sound Of The Exquisite Corpse, Axolotl - all of which produced some seriously out-there drone and improvised music. Then again, I could have done without Talibam!, a 'zany' duo with a terrible name and even worse music, and the even more comedic Putting On The Ritz playing in the bar area. Shame the gig at Shoreditch Town Hall - a venue with some amazing endless passageways and catacombs in it's basement, as Goodnight London discovered recently - with the Boredoms and Michael Gira was sold out.
The screening of the documentary about Genesis P-Orridge and his partner Lady Jaye at the Roxy Bar & Screen was of particular interest, though, given Throbbing Gristle's recent resurrection - a band hugely influential in their own right. The scenes of Mr P-Orridge (Neil Megson by birth) with his partner are strangely touching, especially given the recent sad news of Lady Jaye's passing due to stomach cancer. Always one to espouse the visual, interactive, and participatory side of art, P-Orridge's discussions on camera about the 'project'-like nature of his part sex-change - which involved breast implants in order to somehow 'fuse' or 'become one' with his partner to create a 'pandrogynous' synthesis entitled Genesis Breyer P-Orridge - are among the most interesting in the documentary, particularly when much of the doc follows him on tour with Psychic TV or Thee Majesty or whoever it is he's playing with. Whether Ms Jaye participated in reciprocal body modification to appear more, well, manly, is unclear.
I have to admit I tittered a bit at the scene in which P-Orridge elaborated on how the human race must embrace pandrogyny in order to advance to the next stage of human evolution. Daring transgressive artists living in New York and attending galleries such as P-Orridge is one thing, but whether Dave from Telford is willing to ascribe to this next step is another. I suppose it depends on whether you subscribe to the belief that humans have reached the limit of our evolution, or whether evolution is a constant, modifying force in our life which we simply don't notice. In any case, pandrogyny is essentially artificial, i.e. created synthetically by doctors in the surgery clinic.