24 June 2014


23 June 2014

Audial Interlude II

The Tate recently posted streaming audio for their collection of the cassette series Audio Arts. Originally started in 1973 by sculptor Bill Furlough, the series continued sporadically until around 2006. Each issue was a multi-volume set, featuring mostly interviews with artists of various disciplines, assorted sound works, lectures and readings of artists' texts, and the like.

Among the artists contributing or conversing: John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Dan Graham, Richard Hamilton, Carl Andre, Joseph Beuys, John Latham, Mario Merz, Dieter Roth, Vito Acconci, John Berger, Les Levine, Daniel Buren, and many many others. The primary editions of the series can be found here, will a separate archive for the numerous supplementary editions here.

The prevalence of interviews and blahblah might be of limited interest to many; but if its actual soundworks you want, Ubuweb has (in case you missed it) almost all of the Harvestworks's Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine series archived for listening and download purposes.

22 June 2014

Audial Interlude

As far as reliably good mixes go, Pontone ceased activity about 18 months ago. I've yet to find a comparable site, and have had neither the time nor the means to make and post my one a mix of my own.

But here's a good substitute: The latest broadcast from Mount Maxwell Radio, based someplace on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A variety of electronic music both recent and vintage, some ambient "noise," field recordings, filmic tangents and miscellaneous manipulated audio flotsam. The selection's quite nice, and the thing is especially well-crafted in terms of editing, interlayering, and pacing. And accompanied by a lovely site, too.

21 June 2014

The Pattern of Tides

Photos: Zineb Sedira

16 June 2014


"Normcore is what happens after the final dregs of the punk negativity/self-fabrication process have been rinsed out x 1000, when the latest in diffuse negation coincides with a simple and unconscious affirmation. The short circuiting of pragmatism and style. The end of the Bourdieuan cycle of distinction, in that this valuable anti-value takes the form of the simply functional and (for the remaining middle) already valued.

"The dialectic of post-war fashion's expiration coincides with the end of the pseudo-conflict between left and right,...the establishment of a kind of homogenous naffness or continuum of the historically inert, a pan-reactionary politics. The truth as ever is out there, all over us. ...Normcore just is so now, so absolutely the state of things,...the undead parallel of all the other forms of indifference....Normcore is what the age demanded. One could go on indefinitely, indifferently. Writing this in a state of actually existing nausea, but in fact the 'writing down' of fashion, as of politics, is also emancipatory.[...]

"The end of dressing up - which has been announced before with the grunge moment in the pit of the precursor early 90s' recession, could also indicate the end of any necessary uniform for negation. A rampant negativity liberated from style;... why not the end of needing an outfit in which to revolt, along with the end of any specific party of revolt? What if revolt were to become as normal as normcore, the value form hipsters and the masses to merge in a post-middle of melée, a continuum of noes that melts the erstwhile poles (just as the poles are melting away and the year has become one universal season, a grey or green winter)? The end of the 'social critique and the aesthetic critique' as a simple real movement against everything existing is something everyone would look good in."

From "Notes on Normcore", recently posted at the Mute site, by contributor Benedict Seymour (written in response to a Thomas Frank article on the topic). Quite amusing in turns, but I think I find the original K-Hole "market report" on the supposed trend/not-trend much funnier. For instance...

I have a hard time imagining that someone wasn't trolling. After all: "K-Hole"? Right.

06 June 2014

On: Location, V (Slight Return)

Photos: Tanya Mar, via.

04 June 2014

Una Mas

Or, perhaps: "Abraxalyptic Interlude, Bonus Beat Edition"...

Not sure why I bothered, but here’s an offhanded post I banged out & posted for the pretty-much-moribund ‘70s blog. Blahblahblah armchair-ethnomusicological glossolalic overthinkage, when (don't mind if I do) dancing is the much more appropriate response. Toward the end of which I draw some parallels between the music of Manu Dibango and the then-contemporaneous Afro-Caribbean fusion of Carlos Santana & his crew, mentioning how – once upon a time – the latter served as an inspiring force for a variety of “musicians...be they black, brown, beige or white.”

By which I primarily had in mind the “Chicano rock” upsurge of the late 1960-early ‘70s, however peripheral and fleeting it may have been. But above is a selection of some favorites, all of the same vintage. The question of direct influence might be tenuous or – given the geographic distance between the acts in question – nonexistent. Whatever the case, the idea of artists scattered across the globe striking up in such a similar groove at roughly the same time is enough to make you wonder what common influence set it into motion. So atop we begin with an oft-noted crew of stateside Latinos who managed to make it high into the pop charts with their (much-improved) cover of a Gerard Wilson tune. And in descending order from there: A group of African expats gigging in London, a fly-by-night outfit from Nicaragua, and a sibling act hailing from the Bahamas.

02 June 2014

Techno Notwithstanding

File under: Prematurely published. Circa 1979, Continental Heritage Press, American Portraits series.

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