Tuesday, February 27, 2007


This is my 'Kes'. Hope you don't mind the indulgence.

Yes, similar enough this end, *. My first band just happened, amongst my friends at the time, growing up in St. Helens. We were 16, 17, or 18. It was 1981, I think. We cobbled together rudimentary, just about workable instruments and amplification, and installed ourselves in one friend's garage. The bass, I recall, was through an old hi-fi amp, and a speaker cabinet I made, using two 12" speakers from a shop selling ex-military equipment. We improvised a song, 'What You Gonna Do When the System Fails?'; all wailing that line, acoustically, over the barely in-tune din. It was Em, G, D all the way through; three guitars, bass, drums. There was a lovely Farfisa Organ - complete with fixed stand; but I don't remember that being used. I have a tape of the session. The neighbours eventually had us stopped. We were punk hippies - and I think we actually consciously thought that, too. Gatherings entailed acoustic guitar jams in the street or in living-rooms, sometimes with tiny congas, improvising words; often working out Floyd, Barrett, and Hawkwind songs. After that, we rented the basement of a pub, then used the Tory Club. We got lots of trouble from people in the latter, trying to play snooker above. Often we got threatened. We used to carry all the equipment through the streets - speaker cabs included - from my house to these locations, about an eighth of a mile, I suppose. Must have looked strange. As we progressed, we worked out half-versions of Floyd and Hawkwind songs: Spirit of the Age, Silver Machine, Careful With That Axe Eugene. I became songwriter; early songs were relatively complex, too, in an attempt at Prog-style, but with Punk technique. Gong was an influence. 1982 was spent like that; getting better on instruments and at writing. By 1983, that era of friends was ending - as these things do; as people got serious girlfriends, started serious jobs, joined the army. A couple of us hooked up with a new friend, a guitarist - who I was teaching a few things to at the time. We got heavier; and by then, we were a half-decent Proggish rock band, playing versions of songs by, for example, Rush, and writing songs in weird time signatures and in odd keys ourselves, all Prog-macho. 1984 saw that person get that serious job and be replaced by another, much better guitarist - whose music shop ad we answered. That association led to real development, getting into New Wave proper, Jazz, ECM Jazz, improv, and other associations with other people far and wide. That finally folded in 1988 - after numerous permutations, attitudes, and half- and fully-formed strategies. The following year, I formed what became named Gnarl - not by me, and a name I still despise. But a great time of real adventure and achievement. The idea here was pure nihilism: to hook up with all the maddest, weirdest people I had met on my musician travels, and make a band, playing nasty, discordant music. It started from improv. But most of the compositions which came out of that period stand up today, in my view. That lasted until I and others went to university in 1991. Gnarl, as they say, could've been a contender. Way ahead of its time - I still think that. I'm still drawn to the idea of horror-noise. Gnarl came from King Crimson, Big Black, and The Butthole Surfers, but the result was Wolf Eyes before Wolf Eyes, but more literate, with greater variety, and ultimately darker. Then murmurists emerged from my degree, as an idea. During this, several of us got together and improvised - what I called Classwar Karaoke. Again, I venture to say that this was some way ahead of its time, and I don't think we realised, being too busy with studies and too geographically-spread. These sessions are filled with amazing and complex art-music, and only 10 or so years after all that wailing in a garage. Comedy became an element, too. Then, for me, it was the Doctorate full-on - and me going monk-like and off-the-map. I did make, what I called, Brown Music during this time: the idea of mixing all tonalities together, a kind of maximalist experiment. This was improv, home-studio-based, agit prop, using samples, minimal instrumentation, and, again, with comedy as an aspect. With the Doctorate completed in 2002, I got a couple of us got together - as a band, with drums loud in a room, first time for me for 11 years. We improvised a couple of times. I was so rusty, and by now playing a six string bass, to make things worse. It was somewhat too rock band-like for me; but good to be in that situation again after so long. By 2003, with a few changes of personnel, this became formally murmurists - an improving art group, of musicians and non-musicians. We met regularly, at a place in Wigan, and the recordings from this period, of 2003-2005, are wild and always interesting, and with some genuinely sublime passages and sequences, often consistently so for a number of hours. We usually played for five hours without stopping. I cherish this material to this day. From a initial four-piece - of two basses, keys, drums, but with everyone messing with minidisc, cd players and the like - this slimmed to a two-piece, and culminated in playing the 2005 Sonorities festival in Belfast. Weeks after that, I moved to Northampton. Months after that, I hooked up with locals and formed another incarnation of murmurists - again improving. From a loose collective - of six, put together to play live on a radio show - this became three. This version, over a six month period, rehearsed a handful of times, played a handful of times, and then folded at my suggestion in October 2006. I was glad to see the back of it - for its culture of piecemeal commitment admixed with namedropping big-saying and because, compared with the up-north-version, it was musically, artistically and socially inferior. Quality in all these departments has to be the thing, I feel. If one is daft enough to commit one's time to artistic pursuits, it has to add up to fun, personal development, sharing, meeting interesting people, sharing insights, sharing findings; an alt-economy, strong, and removed from all that grey in the mainstream. I see bands as that, in essence. murmurists is still punk-hippie. Everyone involved now feels that and has it as a clear idea.

Best wishes


Monday, February 26, 2007

Hello. Viz murmurists off-shot [sic] TWO,NAIL [sic]. Comprised: Xy Satie (winds, lapt, elect, v); Attenuated Quang Duc (v-drms, d-boxes, elec); & Quartertonal Prog Elvis (keys, lapt, elec, v). Trio situ. Intentional horror-porn. Here are your current examples please:

Friday, February 23, 2007

Heidegger T-Shirt

flat, like the sun



pogo, lux

Max Ernst in Arizona

Lovecraft at Gethsemani

Alfred Jarry, Rifle Gap, Colorado, 1971


Steve Hillage

yo-yo cogs yo-yo

clicker clacker

direction of Artaud

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Re. Breathing Steven it is possible to mention:

[that is, as if to illustrate,
and by way of meanwhiling,
and assuming, firstly, government by tendril
and, secondly, tryer tries trying]

[1] bomb-head
[2] trawler of angel
[3] bukake facial
[4] girl trumpet
[5] datum dirge ka-boom
[6] work noir
[7] twice upon a time

he thinks of himself as a strider. he thinks, out and loud, 'i stride'

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Money shot, L-R: mutant love child of David Blunket and Prince
Charles, Fake Profile Grizzly Adam S Ant, and labourclub organist,
Showaddywaddy Afterbirth, in pansexual embrace

Porno Adorno, Cafe Abdab, 2007

item 6502

work noir

a lady trumpet


item 3486

item 5690


things electrical, figural

Termite Ka-Boom, Cafe Abdab, 2007


Quartertonal Prog Elvis, Cafe Abdab, 2007

Attenuated Quang Duc, Cafe Abdab, 2007

flying, picket

woodworked eros shortform

adipocere with without

as if R Smith's 1st band, The Prevention

career sociologist

Saturday, February 17, 2007

of the murder

steven, 41, cat killer, thickly-disguised as six inch nail young, wanders aimfully around biblical cavities and blind networks, in some bach utensil 911

meanwhile, slavejaynie, 33, claustrophilian s pistol facsimile of marx e smith - that topical grotesque, that cagean calliper - is all potential erased de kooning

slit sucker, be etc. be so. be that

Friday, February 16, 2007

trench, n.trench

by dint; as ever. Ist ist ist ist

some battle clue

hi, lo [ante].auto

V & A floorplan

pansexual corpse fauna with impact toys


Howard Rheingold, shore

Ronnie-James Radiohead, Cafe Abdab, 2007

area 52

torpor torpor torpor

Tart Ersatz & J.G. Power-Ballard, outside Cafe Abdab, 2007

twice upon a time

Care, Worn

theramina thingamenta

item 1222

Fred Ott's sneeze

duration play

Grievance Dave Mignon, Cafe Abdab, 2007