Sep 17, 2017

I'd explain the alpaca thing but it's a long story

I've been quiet for the past week because I've been busier than Mr Busy running a busy business in Busytown.

My cartoons got an airing at The Lowry when I performed fragments of my 2018 show to a room of theatre bods. I've been planning event bookings at the Burgess, which almost derailed when I had to go to hospital with a poorly leg. And I bogged off on a retreat with writing friends to recharge, revive and re-e-wind the crowd say bo selecta.

Things I've learned in the past week:

> The recording of Factory Floor's album 25 25 was delayed by a spider.

> When you pick a kicked-over Mobike off the floor (the hire bicycles that can be found across Manchester), they bleep at you angrily.

> I know way more LCD Soundsystem tracks than I realised.

> Children don't know what cassette tapes do.

> If you join the syllables of Nickelback, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, Menswear, Air and Aerosmith, you get NickelbackstreetboyzIImenswairosmith.

> Cumbria community hospitals are very friendly and have doctors whose first name is Johnson.

> Never google the lifespan of an alpaca.


Sep 8, 2017

FINALLY, here's what the 'LCD' in LCD Soundsystem stands for


You know what the LCD in LCD Soundsystem stands for, right?

I was in Lidl shopping for lightbulbs and I bumped into James Murphy. Typically for him, he eschewed the customary trolley or basket, and he was clutching at least a dozen polar bear plush toys to his chest.

"What does LCD in LCD Soundsystem stand for?" I asked James.

James frowned. His reply was a bit muffled. He was struggling a bit with the polar bears and I think the fluff was tickling his nose. "Mffmmfff mfmfffff," said James Murphy.

"Pardon?" I said. "Loud Clashy Drums? Lairy Chorus Drawling? Lazer Computer Dance? Lawks, Calamitous Din? What did you say, James Murphy?"

He then said something else, but it could have been anything to be honest. I would have shifted one of the cuddly polar bears from his nostril, but I didn't want to drop my lightbulbs.

I punched past him to get to the front of the queue, and once I'd shouted at the cashier, unplugged the card machine for a laugh then scooped an out-of-date bus pass from the bin outside the front door, I'd almost forgotten about my chance encounter with James Murphy.

Almost.

"He probably said Lovely Compact Discs," I said to the bus driver as I tried to blur the expired bus ticket in front of his angry face.

Lovely Compact Discs. The LCD in LCD Soundsystem stands for 'Lovely Compact Discs'. You read it here first.

I've written a review of LCD Soundsystem's latest album 'American Dream', which may or may not be available on compact disc, for Electronic Sound. Here's the single 'tonite' you've probably already heard but probably should hear again.

Sep 6, 2017

The baron's back: Dave Clarke to return with The Desecration of Desire


John Peel called Dave Clarke the "baron of techno". Which probably makes me the jester of journalism. The butler of blogging. The scullery servant of scribbling about electronic music.

I first happened across Clarke with his Red recordings from the 1990s. His debut album 'Archive One' came in a red cardboard case with a perforated strip. I still remember tearing that strip. I do the same on washing detergent boxes, but the powder inside doesn't sound as good as techno.

Dave Clarke is back with his first full-length album since 2003. 'The Desecration of Desire' will be out next month on Skint Records. Yes, THAT Skint Records. The lead single 'Charcoal Eyes (Glass Tears)' a fairly functional stomp with a nice elastic bassline - listen below. There's a Terrance Fixmer remix that pumps up that bassline with some kind of industrial Viagra - worth desecrating your ears on that too.





Sep 1, 2017

Zombie'ites! Going underground with Transglobal and Banco De Gaia


I'm off to see Transglobal Underground at Band on the Wall tonight. Their 1993 album 'Dream Of 100 Nations' has always been a favourite: full of forthright pan-Afrasian techno, and a great introduction into the world of Nation Records, Natasha Atlas, Loop Guru and Dreadzone. Fusion techno that's as agitated as it is celebratory.

Below, I've plopped down some YouTube embeds for you to listen to, all taken from that album.

Banco De Gaia is DJing too: his 'Last Train To Lhasa' album is a modern ambient masterpiece that, thanks to dreamy samples, changed the way I heard choo-choo trains forever. The same way The Orb made fluffy clouds magical for evermore.

Put aside your chores - grouting the cat can wait. Listen to Banco De Gaia's Kincajou below.

So much of my blogging seems to look back to the 1990s, and this post is no different: but I'm proper looking forward to seeing this lot right now in 2017. The world needs their trippy madness more than ever before.