Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Friday, 26 March 2010

More football results

The Real Sounds, sometimes also The Real Sounds of Africa, are a twelve-piece Congolese group based in Harare, Zimbabwe since the 70s. Their line-up consists of J. Kabange (drums), K. Kalenga (vocals, trumpet), J. Kavund (vocals), G. Motombo (vocals), G. Mumba (vocals, guitar), M. Mwandwe (vocals, guitar), S. Illunga (sax), J. Kumwamba (sax), S. Llunga (sax), J. Malosa (bass), B. Pompom (guitar), M. Sanga (conga, trumpet). i dunno whether they have first names, but this style of listing looks more like a football team, which, as we'll see, is definitely more appropriate.

Mixing rhumba and soukous from their native land with the mbira-influenced guitar rhythms unique to Zimbabwe, the Real Sounds achieved critical and popular success both at home and abroad. Riding the Zimbabwean craze created by the Bhundu Boys in the mid-80s, the band toured the UK and released their 1987 album Wende Zako. This European exposure led to a collaboration with Norman Cook on his album. Cook produced their 1990 album 7 Miles High. [information from Music of Zimbabwe]
From Wende Zako comes the amazing "Dynamos vs. Tornados", a commentary on a football match between arguably Zimbabwe's (then Rhodesia)'s most popular team, Dynamos F.C., and State House Tornadoes, a team established by football-mad former President Canaan Banana,1 also a registered referee and occasional player.

Alternately tense and joyful, it's fully thirteen and a half minutes long, the commentary sections riding over insistent, lilting, guitar rhythms, bursts of buoyant horn riffing providing a respite every now and again. It's possible this song is way more fun than actually being at the match itself.

mp3: The Real Sounds – "Dynamos vs. Tornados"

1 Later Chibuku Shumba; even later (some time between 1975 and 1980), re-emerging as the Black Aces.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Why aren't you listening to... #1. Punch & the Apostles

Punch & the Apostles are Glasgow's answer to a question no-one is quite sure of yet.

They look a little bit like a 60s Mothers of Invention line-up catapulted forty years forward. i'll wager they've heard the odd Mothers record, as well. And probably some Cardiacs stuff, and maybe a healthy selection of Eastern European drinking songs.

Beyond the usual drums/guitar/bass set-up, they've got an expert three-piece horn section (a trumpet, two saxes) and, excellently, plenty of accordion playing. Charismatically odd frontman Paul Napier sometimes comes off like dramatic French chanteur Charles Aznavour, sometimes like Kevin Rowland histrionically bursting out of his clothing in a clearing at full moon.

Their songs, named things like "Womb Grave", "All the Nosey Bastards" and "Astral Meathook", have a tendency to veer suddenly off into waltzes, polkas or outright screaming, honking klezmergeddon. Likewise, their live set tilts between impressively suave and completely manic.

Punch & the Apostles' self-titled debut album came out last month on their own Repellent Records label. You know what to do by now.

mp3: Punch & the Apostles – "The School"

Originally for Sanctuary.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

gay against you soundtrack Google's end to Chinese censorship

Reblogged from Joe.

So, despite that clumsy business with the music blogs the other week, Google have struck a somewhat more positive blow in ending censorship in China:

Google logo outside its Beijing office
The Chinese government has threatened sanctions against Google
Google has stopped censoring its search results in China, ignoring warnings by the country's authorities.

The US company said its Chinese users would be redirected to the uncensored pages of its Hong Kong website.

In January, Google had complained about a "sophisticated cyber attack originating from China".

China accused Google of violating a "written promise" it made when entering the market to abide by laws requiring it to filter its search service.

Celebrate with a new gay against you jam, "Let's Build a Chinatown pt. II", a modded take on the Muscle Milk track.

Yangtze water's crystal clear
and Google is not censored here
Dancing the Tiananmen Square
We made the rules so they are fair...

mp3: gay against you – "Let's Build a Chinatown pt. II"

Monday, 22 March 2010

Charity singles head-to-head: "Everybody Hurts" vs. "Do They Know It's Christmas"

Simon Cowell's all-star Helping Haiti single was recently named the fastest-selling charity single of all time. But how does it compare to the record widely credited for kicking off the charity single revolution?

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" (1985)
The big daddy, the one that started them all. Bob Geldof swears on TV to raise money. Midge Ure stakes a strong claim to being the only man in the world named after a biting insect and a Yorkshire river.

Nadir: There are many, but the stunningly crass "tonight thank God it's them instead of you" line is always a highlight.

Unintentional hilarity: The line about "the bitter sting of tears" is sung by Sting, and should really have become his full title.

Oddest participant: Not Kool & the Gang's finest hour.

Interesting fact: The answer to the titular question is most likely "yes". Christianity in Africa has a following close to half the population, so there's a good chance they'd at least have heard a rumour.

"Everybody Hurts" (2010)
The logical culmination of a long Cowell-driven campaign to completely emotionally castrate a pretty decent pop record while still keeping his name in the public eye. Erm, i mean... earthquake relief! Yeh, that one.

Nadir: Rod Stewart hamming up REM like a prize-winning pork butcher. The very presence of N-Dubz. The disingenuous, mawkish, "hey, we may be perfection-preened products of the Syco sausage machine, but we, like, feel your pain, guys!" mentality. Pick one, frankly.

Unintentional hilarity: James Blunt's ridiculous warbling intonation is about the best it gets.

Oddest participant: Presumably Bon Jovi's invite fell through a wormhole into 1988.

Interesting fact: Joe McElderry lost his voice just before the recording and it was uncertain whether he would be able to participate. In the event that he was too unwell, his line was to be replaced by a sampled fragment of an old Rage Against the Machine song.

Originally for Sanctuary, March 2010

Friday, 19 March 2010

Tottenham Hotspur postponed - West Ham United 1h

Invited onto the BBC's Score after they used The Fall's "Theme from Sparta F.C.", here Mark E Smith reads the football results.

Impossibly and undyingly funny.

(RIP Chester City)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

#4: Glitch Village III track-by-track (Glitch City, 2010)

The latest Glitch Village compilation, third in noisy netlabel Glitch City's on-going series, was released at Christmas the other day. Here's a brief run-through.

It starts off with Mickey Roberts' guitar-storm "blfif", all necks and fretboards contorting in angles you didn't think possible. "Donnie Dakro"(sic) by Wandering Bear is an early highlight, overlaying a crunchy breakbeat with detached vocal snatches, string sections, oversped loops and welcome melody. (Along with the chiptune, it's probably about as melodic as the label gets.) It also reminds me that there's a sequel to "Donnie Darko" which in all likelihood no-one should watch ever but which i likely will out of morbid curiosity, o god.

The collage of cacogen's "village grinch" mixes layers of Carl Stalling-esque cartoon soundtrack, overblown 80s pop drumming, lurching carnival music, waves of ambient murk and lines of dialogue of varying sources and levels of comprehension. i think the Grinch himself pops up to explain himself at the end, but i could be wrong. Razxca's "GCvr3" is the shortest track on the comp, at only 20 seconds of rhythmic tonal pulsating. It leads abruptly into YAWE6gletshn's "XRUXIO", an organic noisefest framed by bursts of digital glitch.

eiexei takes what sounds like one or more records from the 1950s and then slices, overlaps, phases, washes and distorts the hell out of it/them for "wasps, wasps are for dinner". The extreme pitch-bending on the vocals is probably the funnest part, especially the hilarious cadenza at 4:05. The Uninterpretatives appear to be a hip-hop incarnation of Uninterpretative: no! The beat of "Me", with its insistent "kill kill kill" sample, sounds like a garage Bomb Squad, while the massively distorted vocalist somehow recalls one of those massively overcaffeinated 80s new wave types, kind of like a rap Devo or something. It's 58 seconds long and really compelling.

Aurist's "Fuck Everyone in This Room" takes the fragments of overhead conversation (sounds like someone says "L-plates" at some point) and blasts them with sharp feedback shards and, at one point, what sounds kind of like a digital kazoo. Pixlcrusher's "Zombies Ate My Lightsabers" provides the comp's first chiptune moment, and, pleasingly, employs gongs at several points throughout. "The Caves of Winter" by AxemRangers is pretty much perfectly titled, sounding like a sound installation set inside a complex of caves in, well, winter. An undercurrent of weird digital noise ebbs behind, sometimes sounding like water is dripping down the walls onto your stereo.

"up too late" by party tom takes a four-square noise pulse as its backbone and piles on pounding static and feedback like a fearsome piece of industrial machinery designed to build hangovers, with someone trapped inside. Very much the kind of party Andrew WK always claims to be at, where being covered in your own vomitus and bleeding from the head at all times are mandatory. This is followed by "B~" by Biestmilch, which turns 8-bit to noise ends through nearly four minutes of odd bleeps, stutters and squelches. Also nearly four minutes is Oh Yes, By All Means' "03:46", which is a bit like the point where plunderphonics meets schizophrenia. It's a bit like the musical equivalent of that schiz test where they play 100 different people all talking at once and if the patient still thinks they can make out discernible words, they are mentally ill. The music employed in this seems like it should be recognisable but just eludes me.

"een katti aaien" by katti, a GC artist i haven't heard before, is a smooth, saxophone-led bossa nova outing with added cowbell, and is so far removed from everything leading up to it that it acts as a hilarious, expectation-defying palate cleanser. If this was on vinyl, that'd probably be the end of the first side. The second side would then resume with tinnitustimulus' "larynx clearance", nearly 6 minutes of blooming distortion, wow, flutter and occasional bouts of screaming.

JeSSIE JACK$ON, another artist i've been hitherto unaware of, presents "JESSI JACKSON ON DRUGS", a steady drum machine pulse with a variety of instrumental speed-shifting exercises on top. i'd recommend a really weird rap crew use this as a beat. "Untitled Dedication" by Chinese Church sounds like it was recorded in a guitar shop run by demons based in the side of a mountain, tendrils of feedback yielding to pounding, overcompressed drumming. Shattermind's "Crystally Thorns" is a pretty, involved 8-bit composition. Apophallation's "infinite launcher" is well-named; most of its furious powernoise blitz sounds like it could have been recorded through a gantry-mounted microphone at Cape Canaveral.

Y9G is another unfamiliar name, and the interesting and all too brief "City by Night" creates a beguiling atmosphere through insistent, dancing micro-cut pulses of what could be a 90s techno synth pad or some kind of fairground carousel organ. It's hard to tell. i'll definitely be looking out for more by this artist. The even shorter "burundian bop" by nxfxtxex begins with some brief far-away cheering before a 28-second bludgeoning noise enema. Underrated keyboard maestro Sam White delivers a playful synth/VST-based (sorry everyone, i can't tell the trees from the electroforest in such matters) outing with a very sudden ending.

International noisers Desert Island Dicks, a frequent topic of these pages, are next, with "To Mars By Balloon" (subtitled "Rapid Journey by Airship to the Upper world"). Allegedly meant to be a Christmas record, which explains the sleighbells and sampled choir singing "Silent Night" out of phase in both English and Cantonese, it's a bombastic offering that also rides drums that sound like they were sampled from 90s heavy metal, and guitars that imitate early Mogwai. Nearly outstays its welcome, but the outro's descent into crushing static is worthwhile. i heard there was an Aurist remix floating out somewhere that's better than the original. Next, Ulla sound like they could be a feral breakneck black metal group, raised by bears, recorded in a shed, occasionally smothered by slabs of non-more-white feedback. The track is titled "L'Etranger" and actually does a pretty good job of imagining Meursault's post-shooting existential turmoil.

The concluding track is an intriguing proposition. It purports to be by DJ Ninja Love Mistake and to be a L'Homme Fatal "ultramashup" (mixed by someone called "M Si Chaud"). Given the backstory between those artists (NLM says LHF submitted tracks with stolen parts for release by his label, leading, rather ominously, to "complaints") it seems unlikely that this is as it appears, especially since NLM has since denounced it as a 'fake' track. A bizarre mix of pop, emo, 8-bit bleep and varispeed heavy metal, it nevertheless raises all the usual exciting questions about appropriation and theft in art, and, at fully ten minutes long, it'd be a pretty good showpiece at yr next Jim Jarmusch theme party.

You can get the whole compilation here.

Monday, 15 March 2010

#3: Redshape — "The Dance Paradox" (Delsin, 2009)

Seems my review of Redshape for Junkmedia is up.

Masks have a long and distinguished history in the arts, from Japanese kabuki and the Commedia dell'Arte right through to DOOM, and, um, Slipknot. The latest beau of the masked ball is techno producer Redshape, behind whose slightly unnerving red plastic visage allegedly hides a Famous Techno Producer In Disguise.

Whether this is true or not, it'd seem to be a win-win situation for the artist. If indeed it is a big-shot name, he gets to go back underground and under cover, to separate the music from the weight of reputation (with the added bonus that a lot of critics will hold back on criticising the music overly harshly, lest they are left with egg on their faces when the game's up); if it's an unknown, he gets to start a buzz most label marketing departments nowadays could only dream of, as fans and critics alike line up to explain why the mysterious figure is/isn't Carl Craig or a moonlighting Underground Resistance member...


mp3: Redshape – "Rorschach's Game"

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Watch the K Foundation Burn A Million Quid

K Foundation Burn a Million Quid was an action that took place on 23 August 1994, in which the K Foundation (an art duo consisting of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty) burned one million pounds sterling in cash on the Scottish island of Jura. This money represented the bulk of the K Foundation's funds, earned by Drummond and Cauty as The KLF, one of the United Kingdom's most successful pop groups of the early 1990s. The duo have never fully explained their motivations for the burning.

The incineration was recorded on a Hi-8 video camera by K Foundation collaborator Gimpo. In August 1995, the film—Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid—was toured around the UK, with Drummond and Cauty engaging each audience in debate about the burning and its meaning. In November 1995, the duo pledged to dissolve the K Foundation and to refrain from public discussion of the burning for a period of 23 years. Despite this Drummond has spoken about the burning in 2000 and 2004. At first he was unrepentant but in 2004, he admitted to the BBC that he regretted burning the money.

Friday, 12 March 2010

"Fisting for Compliments", 17th February 2005

The second in a series of six episodes of my old radio show Fisting for Compliments, and indeed the second time we transmitted to a large part of the Glasgow area on a real-life FM frequency.

Of note during this episode: more weird preamble from "Family Affair"'s odd competition feature; our improv cover of "Hey Joe"; a clean version of "Fuck the Border" by Propagandhi which, on reflection, kind of removes the point a little; the radio debut of Desert Island Dicks; me attempting to read the entire playlist phonetically backwards and misidentifying Jersey's WFMU as a New York station; a tantalising glimpse of Hyper Kinako; more broken equipment and on-air bickering and rubbish singing and unprofessionalism.

Also on this day: President George W. Bush names John Negroponte as the first national intelligence director; British Nuclear Fuels appear to lose enough plutonium to make seven nuclear bombs; the deaths of Irish actor Dan O'Herlihy and Argentinian footballer Omar Sívori.

Fisting for Compliments 17/02/2005
87.7 FM or

Zombina and the Skeletones "Leave My Brain Alone"
Propagandhi "Fuck the Border" (bowdlerised)

The Temple City Kazoo Orchestra "Kazooed on Klassics"
Desert Island Dicks "Bitches Brew"

Mission of Burma "Secrets"
Liars "There's Always Room on the Broom"

Pico "Chard"
Ani DiFranco "Fuel"

Jefferson Airplane "Volunteers"
Beck "Steve Threw Up"
TV on the Radio "Satellite"

Bingo Gazingo "Every Day I Leave Ten Dollars on the Table"
Twin Zero "Monolith Parts 1 & 2"

Butthole Surfers "Something"

Red: My picks
Blue: Lach's picks
Purple: Mutual pick
Green: Can't remember who chose this one

Cringeworthy band bio

From Ska-P's page:

SKA-P is a Spanish Ska group formed in Vallecas (a neighborhood of Madrid, Spain) in 1994. Most of their songs feature an infectious and energic vibe and feature lyrics about non-conformity, criticism of capitalism and racism, and their defense of equal justice, plus taking part in various multicultural, alternative and anti-globalization festivals. . Their song “Cannabis,” supporting and defending the legalization of said substance, launched them to certain popularity in Spain and parts of Mexico and South America.

Woh! A ska band that like smoking pot and playing festivals, but don't like capitalism or racism? Yeh, they sound like the definition of non-conformity.

It gets worse.

From Ska-P's Wikipedia (as of today):

Their nonconformist attitude is also evident in their eccentric haircuts. Some band members have mohawks while others are almost bald-shaven (with a ponytail at the back).

Jesus Henry Christ. Not mohawks.

Oh, and while we're on the subject of feelgood rebel posturing, here's a rewarding piece by Slavoj Žižek on James Cameron's woad-daubed Pocahontas remake. Courtesy of Jesse Darling. Thanks JD!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010



rural Wales

doesn't even exist

Monday, 8 March 2010

#2: Conceptual hip-hop goods

A couple of brief yet excellent concept-riding hip-hop projects in the spirit of John Oswald.

Straight Outta Compton (Explicit Content Only) is by Evan Roth, "an artist whose work focuses on tools of empowerment, open source and popular culture" (peace to the homie Wikipedia). He's taken NWA's classic swearing landmark Straight Outta Compton and removed everything else, leaving only the profanity. Basically just two minutes and 53 seconds of pure, distilled swearing, it's by turns hilarious, frantic, strangely poetic (the 16-second version of "8 Ball" kind of tells a story in itself), and pretty funny again.

Awesomely, each track also gets an "Explicit Content Ratio" to inform the listener the exact percentage of each song made up of swearing. (The highest percentage is reliable old "Fuck Tha Police", with 12.1% explicit content.) Perhaps the most surprising aspect for me was seeing the amount of tracks with no profanity whatsoever laid out: five whole tracks are clean, which seems almost quaint in the post-Slim Shady era.

Most outstandingly of all, it's available on vinyl.

– Get Straight Outta Compton (Explicit Content Only) from Evan's website.

mp3: NWA – "Fuck Tha Police (explicit content only)"

Next, a link from the digital version of Hip-Hop Connection (well, the only version nowadays, really). On this one, New York producer Domer of FreeIceCream twists Queen's most recognisable anthem into six distinct beats and then raps over them with fellow NY MCs Katz, illspokin, Ryan-O'Neil and Jake Lefco. The title? Yes, that'd be Bohemian Rap CD.

How could you fail to love a pun with balls as big as that? Fortunately, the concept delivers, too: the beats successfully stay varied thanks to "Bohemian Rhapsody"'s operatic-ass six-songs-in-one structure, and the rappers twist tight lines on diverse subjects from romantic breakdown to straight who-can-rhyme-harder braggadocio. Often they use Freddie M's vocals as a jumping-off point, as on the call/response chorus of "Little High/Little How" and the swaggering "So You Think You Can Spit", which co-opts Mercury's defiant "so you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?" line into a battle throwdown.

Perhaps the only drawback is that since all the MCs are on each track, you can never really tell who's saying what, but since they pretty much all keep the standard up, it's fortunately somewhat academic anyway.

– Get Bohemian Rap CD from FreeIceCream.

mp3: Bohemian Rap CD – "Little High/Little Low"

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

"Fisting for Compliments", 10th February 2005

The first Fisting for Compliments show from the batch of six i recently found on my hard drive. This is from the first season so the shows are one hour (and as usual, we lose time at the beginning because the show before us, Family Affair, lovely as they were, were always over-running into ours.) The luscious "Curlylocks" by Baby Fox, closing the show, is also harshly truncated.

The references to FM and the question of whether people on the South side own radios seems to indicate that this is one of the four weeks of each year we were unleashed across Glasgow on a real-life FM frequency (edit: the end of the show confirms this.)

Also of note in this episode: the male newsreader's hilarious intonation of the phrase "outpost of tyranny" and his self-disgusted sigh after fluffing the line "a new police bill"; Child Pornography getting played because the inclusion of their name in a list of bands on our promotional poster got all the posters taken down; a brief argument over which Crimea song is more epic; subtle Simpsons reference; not-quite-successful Day Today reference; an abortive semi-improv feature we should have done more often; pseudo-mania; some proper inane rambling and saying "er" way too much from me.

Also on this day: North Korea publicly announces for the first time that it has nuclear weapons, which it claims to need as defence against an increasingly hostile United States; Arthur Miller dies from heart failure, aged 89.

Fisting for Compliments 10/02/2005
87.7 FM or

Polysics – "New Wave Jacket"
Outkast – "B.O.B."
Child Pornography – "0% APR"
Weirdo/Begeirdo – "Past Present"
The Crimea – "Baby Boom"
Brainiac – "70kg Man"

Wolf Eyes – "1" (from ''Slicer'')
Goatsnake – "Who Are You"

Scientist – "Plague of Zombies"
Mathematicians – "Not A Theme"
KRS-One – "Mortal Thought"
Baby Fox - "Curlylocks" (rudely cut)

Red: My picks
Blue: Lach's picks

Monday, 1 March 2010

LJB February mix: Loudly let the trumpets bray

Here's the standard issue LJB monthly mix (not to be confused with the other extra-curricular mix we did this month!) For once, it actually looked like it would be released in the same month it's named after, which i was rather pleased by, but zshare and my internet connection decided against it. We can but dream.

Anyway, this month's theme is the classy world of the trumpet solo. All the songs feature either a set-piece trumpet solo, or merely a trumpet being played on its own, at some point. Originally there wasn't going to be a lot of jazz in the mix (mainly because you could easily put together an entire mix featuring just great jazz trumpet solos) but a few excellent representative pieces made the cut. The main focus, traditional verse-chorus-verse pop songs with trumpet solos, and a couple of trumpet-led instrumentals, make up the rest.

Thanks for track suggestions: Daniel, Emilie, Vix.

1. Ennio Morricone – "Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo" (main title theme) (trumpet: Manny Klein)
2. Ornette Coleman – "Tomorrow Is the Question!" (trumpet: Don Cherry)
3. They Might Be Giants – "Your Racist Friend" (trumpet: Charlie Spalvida)
4. Dead Kennedys – "MTV Get off the Air" (trumpet: John Leib)
5. NOFX – "Eat the Meek (dub mix)" (trumpet: El Hefe)
6. Arab Strap – "The Night Before the Funeral" (trumpet: Alan Wylie)
7. Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle – "This One's from the Heart" (trumpet: Jack Sheldon)
8. Cake – "Italian Leather Sofa" (trumpet: Vince Di Fiore)
9. Neutral Milk Hotel – "The Fool" (trumpet: Scott Spillane)
10. Oliver Nelson – "Stolen Moments" (trumpet: Freddie Hubbard)
11. Smog – "The Morning Paper" (trumpet: Thymme Jones)
12. John Coltrane – "Blue Train"1 (trumpet: Lee Morgan)
13. Manic Street Preachers – "Horses Under Starlight" (trumpet: Sean Moore)
14. Louis Armstrong – "A Kiss to Build A Dream On" (trumpet: well, Louis Armstrong)
15. Donald Byrd – "Sister Love" (trumpet: Donald Byrd)
16. Elvis Costello – "Shipbuilding" (trumpet: Chet Baker)
17. The Weakerthans – "Bigfoot!" (trumpet: Michael Barth)


1 For some reason, this one just will not upload. Odd.