Browsing All Posts published on »April, 2013«

Tom Slatter – Three Rows Of Teeth (avant-prog)

April 30, 2013

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Tom Slatter likes steampunk; he likes it enough to have used it as the thematic touchstone for all three of his albums to date. Now steampunk is not a musical style (Abney Park notwithstanding) but a genre of fiction, and a large body of visual culture derived from it. If you want a watertight definition you’ll have to go and dig one up yourself, but science fiction based on Victorian technology is not a bad shorthand, and Slatter’s brand thereof tends to incorporate a powerful element of the macabre, as well as elements of fantasy. To write and record music that is ‘in’ a literary genre obviously suggests an unusual approach to songwriting; the compositions on Three Rows Of Teeth are not the usual explorations of commonplace situations and …

Monday Musing: A Noise In The East

April 29, 2013

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As I write this I’m looking forward to an upcoming Damo Suzuki gig in Colchester. Suzuki spent around three years as vocalist with Can and was recorded with them on four legendary albums. Since 1973 he has been doing his own thing, much of it also involving making music, and much of it very interesting and creative by all accounts, but none of it quite as influential as the work he did with the Krautrock trailblazers. It’s hard to overstate the importance of those four albums, in terms of how great an influence they had on such a wide range of musicians, all over the world; although Suzuki’s global fame and star status can be gauged from the fact that he will be playing a mid-sized music pub when he comes to Colchester, in terms of his…

The Domestics – The G.D.P. E.P. (punk)

April 21, 2013

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When I reviewed The Domestics’ debut release, on a CD in a jewel case, looking like a regular album, I noted that despite clocking in at just over twenty minutes, it seemed to have considerably more to say than most albums, which usually spend in excess of an hour saying it. Well, this eight-and-a-half minute wafer of yellow vinyl seems designed to drive the point home even more emphatically. There are six songs, a number comparable to the tracklisting of many ‘full length’ albums, and all of them have a great deal to say. While it’s true that many longer pieces of music need the time they take, and that the passage of time during the listening experience may be an aspect of musical meaning, the fact remains that there are albums …

Monday Musing: The Ideology Of The Album

April 15, 2013

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I've been wondering about the way that I choose what music to write about, what the reasons for those choices are, and what the consequences of them might be. I feel I've been fairly rigorous in examining the way I think and write about specific pieces of music in detail, and I've gone to the effort of engaging with (relatively) current schools of thought in critical theory in order to inform my thinking. But this basic question, related both to my personal tastes and to the utility of my blogging, has remained something of a black box. I decided to have a poke around and see what I could break…