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

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Stewart Lee picks his 13 favourite albums for The Quietus

"The first time [hearing The Fall], I just thought 'This is absolutely awful. This bloke can't sing, it's repetitive, it doesn't make any sense, all the things are out of tune, it just goes on and on the same. I hate it'. Then I heard it again and for all those reasons I thought, 'This is also brilliant'."

"There's nothing worse than comedians saying they're like freestyle jazz musicians, because usually what they mean is that they had a photograph taken of themselves smoking..."

"This is another thing we've forgotten about is that with Mark E. Smith and Dave Graney, you buy into all the things that they're saying or their point of view can shift. Are you being addressed by them as a person, are they in character? You don't really know enough about them to assume anything. So it actually means they can do anything.

Whereas if you live your life through Twitter and blogging everyone assumes that what you write is an extension of making yourself public, one of the things about writers and musicians historically is that we project onto them, or we choose to take different things away from them. But it's increasingly hard to do that because everyone's living like a Philip Dick novel where they're supposed to have an online presence as themselves."

"There was this great bit on Jools Holland the other week. They had McCoy Tyner on, who was John Coltrane's pianist, him and his little quartet were trying to find the right chord to resolve this jazz improvisation. They'd probably hit their time, but they couldn't quite find this resolution, and Jools Holland had to just walk across and introduce Elbow. When the dust of culture settles, that will seem like an amazing moment."

Stewart Lee is ace and this interview is ace (mis-spelling of Sonny Rollins' "Freedom Suite" notwithstanding). The quote about Mark E Smith/Dave Graney and the mystique some of us still like to invest in artists is absolute nail-on-the-head stuff considering i read it just a couple of hours after a terrible generalising careerist article about "how to build an online presence for your band", which basically seems to take as first principle the idea that all bands and artists are the same and want the same thing for their music, and that all fans are the same and want the same thing from their artists, and frankly the assumptions of what both sides want seem so stultifyingly limiting and mundane that i don't think i'd ever want to hear any artist that would willing follow the advice given in the piece.

Actually, i don't "want an authentic connection w/the artist", ta all the same; i want to be able to project and imagine and interpret and speculate and postulate, possibly/probably incorrectly, and fill in the gaps for myself. It's reassuring that someone as high-calibre as Lee thinks the same.

Being 20 minutes long, "Freedom Suite" is not YouTubeable, but this video of Rollins playing with Don Cherry, Henry Grimes and Billy Higgins is also pretty sweet.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Aurist on Tom Ravenscroft show!

Massive props to BBC 6 Music's Tom Ravenscroft for being, as far as we know, the first person to play anything from Aurist's Not Here on the radio. "Dekindling" was aired as the fifth track in his show from Friday, May 20, alongside the likes of Jehst, Danger Mouse, James Pants and Eno & Byrne. Tom says it's "charming", and a listener agrees, adding that the experience is "like filtering gin gently over amplified rocks". We like to think so!

i don't know how Tom feels about comparisons to his dad, which surely get thrown around all the time, but i hope he wouldn't me saying he definitely has the same spirit in him.

Bonus round: later on in the show there's also a new track from Crewdson, who you may remember produced a couple of tracks on the first 30KB record ("Care Less" and "Crewd Sons (Ghost in the Machine)"), as well as being an ace solo electronic producer in his own right. i am looking forward to a day soon when all radio playlists comprise cool people i've worked with.

Check out the show in question on iPlayer (3 days remaining) or, if you're tardy or a podcast fan, stream/download here or download here.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Songs for the rapture

i'm starting to think that maybe the scheduled rapture may well be going to happen after all at 6pm Pacific Time – 2am Sunday GMT – just because everyone's taking such great pleasure in the certainty that it won't, and so wholeheartedly embracing all the attendant possibilities for believer-bashing.Sort of like The Boy Who Cried Apocalypse, or something.

Anyway, i thought it was only right to draw together some sort of short mix of stuff that i think'd make a good rapture soundtrack, partly inspired by Flavorwire's "Music Critics Pick the Last Song They Want to Hear Before They Die"2 and partly out of the galling number of people who seem to think REM's "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" is a suitable choice – sure, it may be thematically relevant,3 and a fine indie-pop song, but musically way it's too ordered and unexceptional for such a cataclysmic event. C'mon, the world's ending,4 try a bit harder!

So, while i've not given this as much thought as i could've (should've started earlier maybe), here's my personal rapture mini-playlist. (All of my picks seems to be for massed voices or entirely instrumental; i don't know what that says about either me or the rapture.) For best results, stick it on at just 1:22am GMT so that you get the climax of the last track just as the faithful start ascending.

James Blackshaw – "The Cloud of Unknowing"
Just gorgeous, ten minutes of intricate guitar picking that's by turns melancholy and ecstatic.

Pharoah Sanders – "Spiritual Blessing"
It doesn't seem right to have a soundtrack to any kind of rapturous or world-changing event without some fiercely blissful, dissociated free jazz, and this cut from Pharoah's 1973 Elevation album fits the bill admirably. He still plays shows, so ideally we could have him and his band amped up via the world's loudest speaker system to soundtrack the rapture live.

Shibusashirazu Orchestra – "Honda Komuten Theme"
This particularly fine choice from this absurdly under-heard Japanese jazz orchestra takes the everybody-soloing-at-once trope in a different direction, infusing it with an incredible celebratory energy and anthemic melody. The last party in the world.

Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge – "Eternal Father, Strong to Save"
(aka "For Those in Peril on the Sea" or the Naval Hymn). Not so much as a tokenistic inclusionary gesture to Christianity, but more because of its secular connotations of peril & nobility in the face of impending or realised doom (c.f.: sinking of the Titanic, funeral of John F Kennedy, funeral of last surviving WW1 veteran Claude Choules).

The Shipping Forecast (May 21st, 2011)
Because essentially i'm British and middle-class and, if the world really was in the process of ending, despite the fact that there's not going to be any more Dogger or Fisher or German Bight, or Radio 4 or shipping or even any more weather, i sort of feel it'd be tremendously comforting.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – "Broken Windows, Locks of Love pt. III"
In one sense i've been waiting for the apocalypse ever since Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven came out in 2000, simply because this, the near-10-minute final movement of the track "Sleep", already sounds like the end of music and the world. So this is the last piece of music to be played, ever. See you all on the other side, maybe.

mp3: LJB rapture mix (mediafire)

1 Easy target much, guys? You might as well take the piss out of people who sincerely believe the moon's literally made of blue cheese.
2 The excellent Jessica Hopper hipped me to this, and her particular choice is one of the best.
3 Sort of, anyway – "the rapture" does not actually denote the end of the world, but the moment when all those who've accepted Christ as their personal messiah and lived pure, righteous lives according to certain Christian standards are whisked away to heaven, leaving the remaining heathens on earth for five more months of chaos and torture before we're all crushed by earthquakes or transformed into pillars of salt when the end of the world does actually arrive, which in this case is five months away, on October 21.
4 q.v. footnote 3.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Song of the day: #29 Aurist – "Dekindling"

The first artist to get two Song of the Day posts was also the subject of the very first Song of the Day post with his remix of Shawnna's "RPM". He is, of course, Aurist, and this time the track is "Dekindling", the lead track from his newest album Not Here, which if you were reading yesterday, you'll know was put out by Amoebic Industries Unltd. (basically the corresponding label to this blog).

Anyway, here's the first video from Not Here, for the lead track "Dekindling", as created by one Cory Stephens (, and i really like it. The visuals mostly consist of old amusement park footage (primarily a three-bend water slide, teacup and flying boat/spaceship1 ride) which, estimating from the film stock and the clothing styles of the people in it, i'd say probably dates from somewhere in the mid '60s–mid '70s period, tho i could just as well be completely wrong about that.2 At the same time, the footage flickers and distorts in time with "Dekindling"'s pounding pulse, creating image warps that are equally gorgeous and eerie.

The whole thing also seems to tap into a weird not-nostalgia – can it be nostalgia if you weren't actually there? – that i suspect a lot of us have for those periods of history immediately before we were born or became aware of the world, a time that seems just slightly out of reach. It reminds me of being six and at Disney World, but also a childhood trip to Granada Studios to see one of those films where the seats rock you around in sync with the cinema screen (i think it was some riff on the recently-released Honey I Shrunk the Kids) where the film actually melted and strange molten plastic globules butterflied across the screen and they had to call the whole thing off and halt the bucking rows of seats and bring up the house lights and offer us all refunds, as well as – somehow – most of late 20th-century America.3 Needless to say, this all also works brilliantly as an accompaniment to the track.

This seemingly incredible ability to stimulate weird associations within my psyche that i didn't even realise i had is all the more remarkable when you consider that this is only Cory's third music video.4 Definitely going to be checking for his future work.

1 What do you even call this ride? i'm pretty much just guessing.
2 Not being by any means an expert in either film stock or fashion. There's something of the Mad Men era about it, tho.
3 Also the early work of Scottish post-rock group Mogwai, tho why this would be i have no explanation at all.
4 Though he does shoot and edit footage for an arts/entertainment web show for his local news.

Monday, 9 May 2011

OUT TODAY! Aurist — "Not Here" (AMP008)

Amoebic Industries is pleased to announce the release of Not Here, the latest album by Aurist.

Aurist, aka 19-year-old Londoner Liam Adams, is a noise/abstract digital musician and poet, among other things. He's previously released several albums on labels such as Cantankerous Records and the Australian/Dutch netlabel Glitch City, including Technic'ly This Is Art (2008), Profonan (2009), and the compilation Mislaid (2010).

The name derives from a now seldom-used term for "one skilled in treating and curing disorders of the ear". Not Here, the first Aurist release from Amoebic Industries, prescribes as a cure for any ear troubles four slabs of brooding, intense noise/drone over 35 minutes, somehow managing to be punishingly harsh and strangely delicate at the same time.

The album is available for listening or download at Custom handmade CDrs are also available from Amoebic Industries for £2 (UK) or £3 (worldwide). Each CD package will include a small item that is in some way "not here".

Track listing
1. Dekindling
2. Blind & Elated
3. Mes Rois
4. Powerless

"Should we take up a collection for a new record-player needle for Aurist, or lobby the Limey noise sculptor for an extended paper-shredder remix?" — Minneapolis City Pages on Technic'ly This Is Art

"Some of those advertised do harm by setting up a mechanical irritation in the ear after a time, and a better result is often obtained with... a disc introduced into the ear by an aurist." — The Home Medical Library, Volume II (of VI)

Listen or download now:

More links to Aurist:

For CD orders or any further information, email amoebic DOT industries AT gmail DOT com.