What’s new my darlings?
Another month gone by, another show comes to be. I feel like I’ve been living on double time lately, burning the candle at both ends cramming a weekend’s worth of work and play into each of my days and nights. They say if an object accelerates enough it eventually disappears completely and I can tell you the ride is exhilarating.
I’ve managed to get a lot done this month and have a couple cool things waiting in the wings. To start, this here show is also going to be airing on Intersonik Radio, straight outta Athens, starting December. You’ll be able to catch me break the silence every Wednesday 22:00-00:00 EET. I’ve already got an excellent From the Silk Road and Beyond set, curated by my old friend and world music scavenger Yiannis Panoutsos, an expressive musician and artist in his own right (he’s got an exhibition coming in 2018, more on that at a later date), I’ve got a soundtrack special half-collected, and I’ll finally get back into the pit with some new and old punk sets and specials I’ve been rounding up, plus your usual autobiographical sonic narratives. Expect more updates on all of that soon…ish.
What better way to jump-start my Second Coming than with Static Shock Weekend 2017? I’ll be in London for a week, so hit me up! I was going to do a SS Weekend special like last year, but Paco and Tom know how to get shit done and run a fest, so they already put together a wicked show.
As usual I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s get to the music. This show, we start off with an amazing track a friend sent me, come across by chance at a Hugo Boss fashion show! Not unlike the fashion world to tailor quality soundtracks for their shows and ads (from hip Victoria Secret all-star performances to Gucci coating its 2016 Cruise campaign in vintage Alive She Died) but ‘Confirm Humanity’ truly blew my mind. We follow it up with a trip to Algeria and the smooth, moving tunes of Lili Boniche. From Algeria we move to Nigeria, courtesy of Steve Monite who came out of the blue for me – a romantic Afro boogie that has taken the music world by storm, thanks to this year’s reissue by Presch Media GmbH, who seem to have put out a tasty, eclectic selection of wax.
We also have two tracks off a superb, mixtape-like compilation featuring Australian underground and experimental folk artists, including Joyce Heath’s breathtaking chronicle of lost chances and bad timing, ‘Dream of It’ – a track so painfully honest and relatable it created a lump in my throat instantly upon first listening. On the same comp is Gary Davenport’s ‘Sarra’ – which was the accidental background soundtrack to a short video a friend sent me a year or so ago. For months the catchy lyrics played over and over in my head – all 20 seconds I had access to. I was hooked, it was beautiful and haunting. I knew the song was supposed to be off a comp from Australia, but that’s about all I knew. I figured it would be from some obscure, impossible-to-find tape comp. After weeks of asking, searching, googling, singing to friends in case it rang a bell, I gave up. Months later I’m in a record store in Athens checking out Skygirl (I didn’t recognize a single artist, naturally it piqued my interest) and lo and behold, there it was.
Just today I found out Boy Harsher are coming to Athens, a band I am most intrigued by; a band that sounds like they time-traveled from the ’80 while still sounding very, very current. Also I swear the last couple notes from ‘Underwater’ are a Twin Peaks homage, hence the May Roosevelt theremin prelude to their track. Boy Harsher’s latest EP, Country Girl, is out now on Ascetic House Records – a label so unique and creative in everything it does, I’m blown away by their output every time, from the harsh noise to the ambient drone. An Ascetic House mini-special is already in the works, most probably to be accompanied by similar mini-specials to labels I think are doing a great job of documenting the present with their releases and aesthetic – part of a connected, global force of creatives who are pushing the experimental envelope across disciplines, from graphic design and audiovisual art to music installations and experimental performances. What a time to be alive.
We close it all off with the most spine-chilling thing I heard this month – Ataque de Caspar, an underground (cult?) band from Madrid that so fantastically encompass some of my favourite elements of Spain’s prolific and uniquely distinct experimental / post-punk scene in the 1980s: noisy and warm, direct and diverse, even delicate, rough around the edges but solid at the core, unafraid of honesty in both lyrics and expression. This sound, this aesthetic and approach to music, seems to seep through and across regional genres, locations and decades and it’s utterly enchanting, whether that involves twee noisepop acts or raw punk bands.
It looks like it’s going to be a busy winter. I’ve finally started doing something with the many field recordings I’ve accumulated over the years, so hopefully something concrète will come of that in the coming months. I’m also excited to be working with Andreas (Odos 55, dE – who has a new release out today) on a more electronic/sound architecture project, and to be collaborating with Víctor (Ciudad Lineal, Acción Diplomática) on an audiovisual little something. Also plan on DJing a couple spots around Athens, so come say hello if you see me.
Practicing patience and compassion until next time.
With love from the omniverse
HENRIK SHCWARZ – Confirm Humanity
LILI BONICHE – Ana Fil Houb
RAY LYNCH – The Oh of Pleasure
THE ROBER WEBB SOUND – Moon Bird
STEVE MONITE – Only You
EDDIE KENDRICKS – If You Let Me
LOLLIPOPS – Naked When You Come
JOYCE HEATH – Dream of It
THE GAYLADS – This Time I Won’t Hurt You
PATSY CLINE – I Fall to Pieces
GARY DAVENPORT – Sarra
I, LUDICROUS – A Pop Fan’s Dream
YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS – Looking for Mr. Right
MAY ROOSEVELT – Fallin
BOY HARSHER – Underwater
DECIMA VICTIMA – Tan Iejos
ATAQUE DE CASPA – Viaje a Egipto