Saturday, 26 May 2018

MuhMur Radio Broadcast 24 May 2018.


This broadcast was quite close to being 'missing in action'. I should have guessed ... the omens weren't quite right ... I arrived at Newton Abbot train station to discover that the 18.12 to Penzance (stopping at Totnes) was delayed by one hundred and fifteen minutes. Some person further up the line at Cheltenham Spa had decided to walk in front of the train, hence the delay. Then I realised I'd forgot to pack my book so had a 35 minute wait at the station before I could catch the 18.45 to Plymouth (stopping at Totnes). A pleasant stroll along the River Dart to the studio, not too much vinyl to carry. The bag weight was coming from the tins of Stella. I arrived to find the studio locked up and in darkness. The chap who precedes MuhMur had gone AWOL. I quickly popped something from the SoundArt Radio files on to broadcast and got all lined up. (Not a drug reference).
A quarter to kick off and I'm sat back in the DJ chair listening to Chris Booth's "Scraping The Barrel" and BANG. Power cut .. everything goes off...mixing desk, computers, amplifiers, lights, decks etc .. The outage lasted about three or four minutes .. then everything came back on, but I could not broadcast as the station had gone in to 'emergency mode' and was broadcasting a SoundArt Radio jingle on a loop which I couldn't override. I don't have a mobile phone, I don't like the things. Intrusive. I couldn't call Chris or Lucinda (the SoundArt Radio mandarins) and the regular MuhMur engineer (Dave) is in Gabon. I was packing the CD's back in their cases when the main computer started flashing and Chris was operating it all from his house in Buckfastleigh.
Fifteen minutes later than advertised .. this MuhMur Radio programme was broadcast.

                                                                      All Lined Up.

It has been a busy start to the year for The Dead Mauriacs with releases on GerauschManufaktur, The Tapeworm and their own NPH label. I had to plan to make this a 2 hour Dead Mauriacs 'special', but then the Plurals LP and Spelk albums arrived. The first piece from The Dead Mauriacs is from the cassette album "Ici, Loin Du Monde Réel - Music For Shadow Play And Dada Poetry" on GerauschManufaktur released last March. This is the whole of side two featuring the soulful voice of Thorsten Soltau. Copies are still available for €6 direct from the label.
https://geraeuschmanufaktur.bandcamp.com/album/ici-loin-du-monde-r-el-music-for-shadow-play-and-dada-poetry
The second piece from The Dead Mauriacs is (I think) a live recording. It arrived at MuhMur HQ with no information. A treat.
If ever I am asked (whenever I am asked) what my top five (or so) live gigs are I will always say Plurals at Wattsfest 2011. Before commercialisation Wattsfest was a rough and ready spit and sawdust type affair that took place in a farmers field just outside Ullacombe in North Devon. They never fail to take the listener on expansive and fascinating journeys. "Sun Lock" is from the latest LP "Tri Tone" on Belgian Silken Tofu Records. Spelk is the duo of Neil Campbell and Daniel Thomas. Daniel used to be Hagman whereas Neil is a well known noise on MuhMur Radio through his work as Astral Social Club and being part of VibraCathedral Orchestra. The Spelk piece is the new album in full. All 39 minutes and nine seconds. The CDR is available for £3.50 direct from the label.
https://cherryrow.bandcamp.com/album/spelk

"On this day" features the mighty Minny Pops. They would also be in my top five gig list. 1981 at Nottingham Rock City supporting New Order. Minny Pops are one of my favourite Factory bands. "Time / Lights" single was released in 1982. After splitting from XTC and before playing in Fripp's League Of Gentlemen Barry Andrews released a couple of great solo singles. "Town & Country EP" on Virgin Records in 1979 was the first. XTC were the first 'punk' band I saw live in 1978. (unless I can count the support band The Secret?).

Always sad to hear of untimely deaths and in the passed few days Glenn Branca and Adam Parfrey have left the planet.

Playlist.
01: The Dead Mauriacs : "Ice, Loin Du Monde Réel-Music For Shadow Play And Dada Poetry Part Two" (GerauschManufaktur) 2018.
02: Dome : "Atlas" (The Grey Area) 1992.
03: The Dead Mauriacs : "Ritual Music For Beginners : Method. Drawings And Diagrams" (Not On Label) 2018.
04: Minny Pops : "Lights" (Factory Benelux) 1982.
05: Plurals : "Sun Lock" (Silken Tofu Records) 2018.
06: Spelk : "Spelk (Parts 1 - 3)" (Cherry Row Recordings) 2018.
07: Joy Division : "Auto-Suggestion" (Fast Product) 1979.
08: Theoretical Girls : "You Got Me" (Theoretical Records) 1978.
09: The Tards : "Pissed You In The River" (Sympathy For The Record Industry) 1995.
10: Minny Pops : "Time" (Factory Benelux) 1982.
11: Barry Andrews : "Me And My Mate Can Sing" (Virgin Records) 1979.

Please take a listen here : (Copy & Paste):
https://www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-radio-broadcast-24052018/

Next broadcast will be on June 7 barring train delays and power cuts!


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Aja Ireland


Earlier this year I participated in a performance in Belper (Derbyshire) as part of Vagina Dentata Organ. This was my third time alongside Jordi Valls and master drummer Michael Gillham. Bristol Arnolfini in 2012 and London Tate Modern in 2015. (Although I was at the VDO/TNB gig at the NK Gallery in Berlin in 2012 I wasn't one of the 'war drummers'). 
Each time with Vagina Dentata Organ Jordi has invited a performance artist to be part of the action. In Bristol it was New Noveta and at the Tate Modern it was Sonia Dietrich (aka BRUT). In Belper the performance was enhanced / coloured by Aja Ireland. Dressed in a costume that resembled internal organs, Aja writhed and howled along with the wolves and provided a sonic wall of intense madness to Jordi's 'Smash & Grab' antics and the cacophonous war drums. 

And now there is "Aja". A cassette release on the UK label Opal Tapes. 
Seven slices of industrial violence and visceral drones. 
This isn't some bedroom noise outfit looping noise and swearing over the top. Each piece is a carefully constructed soundtrack of a physical and desolate landscape in descent towards personal madness. Side one pulsates and scrapes punching hard and masking screams. There are moments when S.P.K's "Leichenschrei" is evoked. ("Charge"). Side two is a calmer affair beginning in the swirlpool, distortion lifting and the sound of machinery is clearer. The cassette ends on "Marbles". (Lost?). This piece is hard electronic rhythms - like the ones produced by Portion Control in the mid 80's. This might date the album in time to come, but right here right now it's a perfect fin de partie. 

Essential tape. Buy from Opal Tapes : http://opaltapes.com 
Or contact Aja direct : https://ajamusicblog.wordpress.com



Sunday, 13 May 2018

MuhMur Radio Broadcast 10 May 2018.


Eagle eyed folk might notice that in the above picture of this broadcasts playlist there is Dif Juz's "Out Of The Trees" LP (on 4AD Records). Unfortunately I never got to play the track "Mi" because I was running out of time due to myself waffling / rambling on like a drunken fool about other stuff that wasn't that important. I apologise. Lesson learnt : More Noise, Less Mutter. (It won't happen again).

The programme starts with an extract from the cassette "Oh Death" on the Beläten label. There are no artist credits on the release. The Beläten website lists it as "Unknown".

                                                                      "Oh Death"

I honestly thought Beläten had stopped functioning as a (physical) label and was pleasantly surprised to see this tape release along with a new tape from Blitzkreig Baby and 7" from Distel. It was back in 2015 when I came under the impression of Beläten were ceasing (or at least slowing down) and Thomas Ekelund was to focus on his Trepaneringsritualen project. Thomas mailed me a cassette with no titles or credits, telling me it was by an artist who wanted anonymity. I always thought it was by Thomas .... the same as this new "Unknown" tape.

                                                Anonymous tape on Beläten from 2015.

Less confusingly ... another new cassette that came out last month is the split release by Kazuya Ishigami and Xtematic on the News-318 label. "Drone Shrine" is lifted from this tape. "B-Men (MAR2017 Mix)" is from last years CD "A-Z-B Men" on Kyou Records. I really enjoy the unique drones, patterns of sound, looping and soundscapes that Kazuya creates. Kazuya is very prolific too releasing under his own name as well as the project Billy? The track "Grumbling" comes from the CD "Cleaner 583" on Slow Down Records. More information on Kazuya and his work can be found here: http://neus318.net/kazuya/
At the start of the month I managed to grab three singles from Swedish labels. Altar Of Flies + Alvars Orkester from the Swedish distribution outlet Börft Records and Korea Undok Group from the label itself. Börft Records are well worth having a look at, some great bargains hidden in there (I managed to pick up some Savage Republic + Raionbashi vinyl for a bargain!). http://www.borft.com

                                                                   "Dos Cuacochis. "

Another fascinating label is the Italian cassette label Upside Down Recordings, releasing modern classical / mystique concret sounds. "Cuacochi II" by Angélica Castelló is a live recording from 2016. Recorded in Vilnius, Lithuania it was commissioned by DAR and AIR Krems for the Representative Wind Orchestra of the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior. Angélica has also released on the Russian Mikroton label. Go to http://castello.klingt.org for more information.

And then the programme seems to veer off in to the late 1970's and mid/late 1980's ... I was very tempted to go and see Nocturnal Emissions last Friday play live in London. Logistics and cash played a part in why I didn't go ... South of the river! This time of night! ... so I played a track from one of my favourite Emissions .. Nigel was playing in Peckham and from playing there myself in 2010 (with Plurals) I know how remote the place is .. and would be to get back to my base in Dalston.
"On This Day" features two great singles. Kleenex and Spizz Energi. It was at this time Spizz, Kleenex and The Raincoats played a cross the UK on a Rough Trade package tour. I have a memory that Spizz Energi were a late replacement for a band who backed out - either Cabaret Voltaire or Scritti Politti. They came to The Drill Hall in Lincoln, needless to say it was a great evening. Spizz Energi played Lincoln a few times in 1979/80. He had a girlfriend who worked in Sanctuary Records (Lincoln) called Bev. She and another girl were "The Spizettes", they even cut a 7" recorded at Playground Studios in Wragby. No information is available on the inter web - but it did happen! The Cure released their "3 Imaginary Boys" LP on Fiction records on May 10 1979. I know "Jumping Someone Else's Train" is not on the original UK release, but is on the US version ... and that is the version I have.

                                                            Poultry Breeders Union.

In March this year I travelled up to the Derbyshire town of Belper to be part of a performance by Vagina Dentata Organ. Also part of the performance was Thomas LaRoche, head of Research Laboratories and member of Poultry Breeders Union. "Companion Object" is the follow up to an untitled release back in 2016. This tape comes with sixty pence in a small brown envelope which invites you to call from a telephone box once you have reached your companion object.
Please take a listen - and sorry there is no Dif Juz ... later maybe ... (copy&paste)
https://www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-radio-soundart-radio-may-10-2018/

Playlist:
01: Unknown : "Oh Death (Extract)" (Beläten) 2018.
02: Kazuya Ishigami : "B-Men (MAR2017 Mix)" (Kyou Records) 2017.
03: Kazuya Ishigami : "Drone Shrine" (Neus-318) 2018.
04: Altar Of Flies : "Cenotaphs (B)" (Hästen & Korset) 2011.
05: Korea Undok Group : "On Alibi" (I Dischi Del Barone) 2018.
06: Alvars Orkester : "Kateter (B)" (Ideal Recordings) 2009.
07: Angélica Castelló : "Cuacochi II" (Upside Down Recordings) 2018.
08: Kazuya Ishigami : "Grumbling" (Slow Down Records) 2016.
09: S.P.K. : "In The Dying Moments" (Side Effects) 1986.
10: Nocturnal Emissions : "Rusting Shells" (Sterile Records) 1985.
11: The Raincoats : "Shouting Out Loud" (NME/Rough Tapes) 1981.
12: Kleenex : "Ū" (Rough Trade Records) 1979.
13: Spizz Energi : "Where's Captain Kirk?" (Rough Trade Records) 1979.
14: The Cure : "Jumping Someone Else's Train" (Fiction Records) 1979.
15: Nurse With Wound : "Cooloorta Moon" (Idle Hole Records) 1989.
16: Poultry Breeders Union : "Companion Object (A)" (Research Laboratories) 2018.

Thank you for listening. The next broadcast will be on May 24. Same time, same channel and (hopefully) joined by SoundArt guru Chris Booth.

MuhMur Radio Broadcast 22 November 2018.

Back when I was a youth (the 1960's) I had an old Nan who lived in the small Lincolnshire hamlet of Jerusalem, it was a tag on to the...