A superb BBC Radio 4 documentary by the most excellent music writer/journalist John Doran (the Quietus, Vice British Masters series) on the elusive electronic musician/DJ Richard D James aka Aphex Twin.
The 2014 programme – broadcast around the same time as the release of Syro, AT’s first commercial release since 2001- focuses on the strange fascination Aphex Twin’s music, his mysterious, evasive persona and singular career path holds amongst his admirers – including Doran himself- as well as the music media throughout the years since the Cornwall natives initial emergence with his groundbreaking debut Selected Ambient Works 85-92 back in 1992.
An outlier no doubt but a sharp reminder that one can approach a life in music, the arts, window cleaning in a unique, quixotic manner that does not require 24/7 digital self-promotion nor a constant wifi supply; a curse and blessing for the modern performer/musician/everyday joe soap perhaps?
Hen Ogledd – Tiny Witch Hunter(2018)
Yr Hen Ogledd or The Old North as we used to call it son back in the Middle Ages mind, none of this Game of Thrones fantasy larkin about kind of thing, no dragons, no sex, no food, no comforts, no light, no clothes, no nothing lad…you had to make do with fuck all!!! and you would be thankful for it! the mortality rate amongst Britons back then was 95%, lucky if you made it past 5 Jellpegs, especially if you were spat out of the dark earth of Strathclyde…what’s a jewlpeg ye ask? yee lazy 21st century pig ye…why a jewlpeg was the length of seven Moon cycles so it was, you’d be doing well to reach that age without receiving a Cadwallon or two from the High King i can tell ya! was there music? was there eck! music was outlawed by most cumbric kingdoms, ye received a hadswaddlin if ye uttered a note after the quarter of the sixth killing time..only sounds were allowed was grunting and a line or two of cynnfeird if yer elders gave ye a pardon…all you can eat?!!! well, all we could eat was rats tails and ginger devilbread…music? although once out in the dunsenane darkwoods, i did hear the high yelping squitterin of an old demon hag, with some squelchy woodcut bass riffs and a killen worn chorus which reminded me of younglets at the annual northumbria goatgoading fest of 1317, it was lit!! several deranged beserker warriors of the Humber region swallowed many hogs ales n fungii rye, mistaking the northumbrians wicker homesteads for the living dead corpses of the bastard battle of dumbarton a few years previous…what are you gonna do? nothing compared to the domino indie battles of future yore…ah, did i not tell ya boy? i can leap through time like a vigorous salmon with unicorn wings!
mark hollis, former lead singer and songwriter with 1980’s group Talk Talk has passed away at the age of 64.
Hollis was one of the more unique musical talents in British pop music lore and forged one of the most distinctive career paths, mostly devoid of the typical ambition and calculation inherent in any young musician trying to hold their own within the music industry maelstrom.
Three films which take great inspiration from the 1970’s; Bryan Singer (?) and (Dexter Fletchers?) by the numbers, made by committee Queen biopic ‘Bo Rhap’ – as one of the insufferable actors ‘playing’ Roger Taylor calls the famous Queen song – focuses on the UK pomp rock stars rise in the Seventies ™
Suspiria is Luca Guadagnino’s batshit self indulgent remix of Dario Argento’s phantasmagoric 1977 horror classic set in 1977!!!
A Star is Born is a faithful remake of a remake of a remake, though borrowing heavily from the awful 1976 Barbara Streisand-Kris Kristofferson version, set in the modern American rock/pop industry.