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Preview: Ampersand Etcetera

Ampersand Etcetera

From Vivisect to ambience to the newsletter to the website to the blog and back. Returning from a period of stasis (appropriately for an ambient blog) we are re-energised to provide more solipsism. There will be some reviews, some comments and a new trip-

Updated: 2018-03-06T09:08:51.379+11:00


Overcast podcast app and casts


OvercastPodcast apps are a funny field - they offer lots of different options and ways of handling episodes and podcasts in a surprisingly minimal range of options - downloading, playlists, playback - that expand once you think about what you are doing. Over the years I've used a few. I started with one of the ones that came out before Apple created a separate app (Podcaster - and it is still going) and was happy with it, but it became unstable and when Apple introduced their app I switched to it (I like the skeumorphism) and it was fine until I started to get more and more that I listened to. I moved to Pocketcast and was happy with it - but also used Ecoute to listen to podcasts as I downloaded some podcasts via Apple which I shared with Carol, and at the moment it seems Apple is the only way to share downloads (I know about syncing on different devices, but that still requires multiple downloads). Then thropugh various sources I heard that Marco Armant who reated Instapaper and The Magazine (apps which I really liked) was working on Overcast.And when it came out I downloaded it and soon paid the $7 (Aus) in app purchase.  And have now transferred to it (Pocketcast still on the ipad)Why?It's is a nice clean interface, minimal in terms of both the look and the options, though underneath it is powerful. There is a good search engine for new podcasts, a twitter recommendation option (though if you don't follow a lot of people who use Overcast the recommendations are a little skewed and show mainly tech ones), excellent playlist options (in terms of sorting, priority etc) and a stylish playing screen  with a realtime sound wave display which appears on a variety of screens to highlight which track is playing.But what makes it really stand out? The audio engine. Marco has gone to base level to create a smart speed and 1.x playback options. Smart speed removes silences and pauses - deleting empty space - to reduce length and the fast playback option works amazingly well. I usually listen at at least 1.2, but for some can go to 1.4 or 1.5 with no real distorion: even 2x is listenable (though maybe too fast for the brain). Obviously I don't speed up music programs! There is also a booster option which makes some podcasts more audible  Why pay for an app? Marco has put together an app purchase model which I think is very smart: the app is free. For that you get all functionality (except sleep timer and a few other options) but some reductions: you can only have one playlist and you can have the sound specials for 5 minutes at a time (didn't have it long enough as free to see whether you could reselect the option regularly). But as a trial it works well and as a free app for people who have basic podcast needs it is fine. I was more than happy to pay for it. And the amount for an app that gets used for  a high proportion of my waking life is worth paying for a good one.Caveats: at the moment there is no streaming as iOS8 has a different mode which Marco is waiting for; the app is based on downloading in the background under wifi - I want more control due to bandwidth limitations and have found a work around, but at this stage the basic options are download everything as it becomes available or manually check for new episodes; the recommended page is very tech/sci based and US-centric, but hey, we find out own podcasts!In the spirit of that sharing, this is my current podcast list, in some sort of order with a brief blurb.  I have not put in links - any good app or browser will find them from the name.I would stress that with many podcasts you have to like the voices of the people: there are a few I have tried to listen to but couldn't get past the sound even if I found what they were talking about interesting , and with others the characters and voices can carry you through dry patches. (I won't name names as it is a personal issue - I can imagine people who find Roman marss voice a distraction, of Marco Armant or Melvyn Bragg and his guests, to pick at random - the balance is for you to decide, whi[...]

Andrew Collins - Circles of Life


OK - some years ago I started listening to the Collings and Herrin podcast. I can't remember how I got to it, but I had heard of neither of them. Richard Herring is a comedian, was famous in the UK in a double act with Stewart Lee (Fist of Fun, which I hadn't heard of either as I doubt it or the subsequent TMWR&J made it out here). Andrew Collins was 'writer, broadcaster, author' and played the straighter man.They reviewed the weeks news (aside: I listened to the first few recently as I had started probably at about 30 I think, and they were talking about Madelaine McCann - and it is still in the news!), had running jokes, did live shows and basically had a good time - though often wandering into the land of bad taste.It ran from 2008 to 2011, overlapping with a stint that they did on radio (it was interesting to see the constrictions of live radio on them). The break up could have been acrimonious - it is hard to tell.Richard has gone on to become something of a podcast pioneer: he has had a number of topical shows: As it occurs to me (AIOTM) which featured an Andrew Collins Character (who always undercut what he said with an 'aside' negating the statement (which could be a reflection of the animosity) and more recently Richard Herring's Meaning of Life (also a video), the hypnotic Me1 v Me2 snooker and chat shows Richard Herrings Leicester Square and Edinburgh Fringe Podcasts (the first more mainstream, the Fringe one more the sound of a man exhausting himself over 2 weeks).But this post is about Andrew Collins!Gradually the straight man filled out a personality. Andrew had written some sitcoms which I hadn't heard of, had written for Eastenders (which I had), had started through art school to design to writing and editing on magazines that I definitely had heard of - NME, Vox, Q, Select - , had written autobiographies of his happy uneventful childhood, a biography of Billy Bragg. (I won't mention the Mitford's). Had travelled with some of the bands on tours. Now does a weekly video TV review for the Guardian, had a small hit radio comedy Mr Blue Sky and is writing more.And often was funnier than Richard - and closer to the edge (listen to the audience reaction on some of the live shows).Richard is the bloggers blogger (Warming Up has been going for years and produced a few books), Andrew is a more restrained, doing blogs when he feels like it: Never Knowingly UnderwhelmedSimilarly on Twitter Andrew is restrained - some political posts, some of his baking, cat calendars, minor updates.OK - to cut to the chase Last year Andrew decided to do a blokey thing with the songs he had on iTunes that he used to create a player playlist. He would choose his favourite tracks and create a list of the best songs in the world. He set rules: well one rule reallyONE TRACK PER ARTISTthough this was malleable - if the worked in other groups, solos, collaborations, other names. And started work.He thought it would be 50, but he kept going and after the first pass came to a stop at 143. Which became the magic number arbitrarily (though it is 13x11). Now the playlist can be no longer than that.The list too has some flexibility - the favourite David Bowie track can change, under one circumstance.Andrew decided to blog the list. So at irregular intervals (about weekly but sometimes the posts are like busses...) he writes up the story of a song - why he chose it, what it means to him (often an important aspect of our favourites; where how with who we heard a song). Once the song is blogged, though, it can't change. So Be My Wife is THE Bowie song.Andrew's background in music journalism and broadcasting (and as a 65 baby) means that the range is a hoot - as I tweeted to him 'that's what is so great about the 143 - from Hiphop to the Eagles in one step!'. There is no logic to the order so always a surprise.And as with any list (especially one as personal and constrained as this) there is lots to disagree with (I doubt anyone could agree on the best Beatles or Bowie or Stones or...), there is stuff to discover[...]

Me: The Beatles


A solipsistic post in response to Dave Stafford's (here) about his memories and experience of the Beatles. It made me think about their place in my musical sphere.My earliest clear memory is my sister(s? was it both?) being taken with friends to see A Hard Day's Night - and having to travel some distance to see it. We then got various albums for christmas presents. And when we came to Australia one family friend gave us Help as a farewell present. I probably saw them on TV shows, but definitely saw the recording of All You Needs Is Love for the worldwide telecast. A Beatles single (Love Me Do backed by PS i love you, i think) was the first I bought for myself (I bought A Walk In The Black Forest for my mum).We had a copy of Rubber Soul. I had a cassette taped copy of the double album (with Revolution No. 9 omitted). And at some stage got Abbey Road (through a record club I think). I also had the double single for Magical Mystery Tour which I sold to a second hand record shop years ago (I wonder what it would be worth now?  Hmm not much according to eBay, so I don't feel as bad). But we/I never had a copy of Sgt Peppers, Revolver, Let It Be. Though I did get the horridly ugly Rock and Roll double best of and single compilation.Following the breakup I was more a Lennon man - collected either directly or via cassette (Sometime in NY City for example) most of his stuff. Had a bit of Ringo - the albums including and following that self titled one: it has the sort of cover that makes you long for 12" releases - full size Voorman diagrams to match each song. Wings was not much to me - I did get the live Wings Over America as it was cheap and gave a sort of best of. George passed me by as a collector - I had 'copies' of All Things Must Pass and Concert for Bangladesh but that was all - though Shankar Family and Friends was (and is) a great album that I still play.And yet: I bought the Anthology book. Collected the anthology albums (I especially like the 2nd and 3rd) and now have copies of all the albums.And Beatles music is an underpinning to everything. While I didn't own all the albums, most of the songs were familiar. They were part of my growing up and my development. (I have digital Lennon but not Ringo - says something)I think what happened is they were at the wrong time for my collecting seeking absorbing specifically side. They were part of the atmosphere - I didn't have to seek them out. But as we turned into the seventies, I turned into mid-teens and started earning money, I moved from listening to my sisters' albums and buying my own. Some things were developments from their taste (Tull, Bowie), some were from friend's (King Crimson, ELP, Curved Air, Neil Young, Elton John) and some I eventually found myself. I was looking forward, not back (though I did follow some of my finds into their earlier past).But it was as if the Beatles were just there. In some ways I felt that I knew all the music.I am glad now that I have got it all and familiarising myself with it yet again - because they are amazing.One thing that surprises me is the groups or artisist who started at the same time: how was it to be around at the that time? Was it a burden to be compared to the success and artistry of them or was it liberating that they had so much critical limelight that you could develop in peace? Or after, when the search for the next big thing was on?Ah, nostalgia[...]

Calendar Apps


Having a calendar with you on the phone or tablet is great - makes it easy to add, check or change. We used to use Groupwise & there was a pretty pitiful client for the iPhone (which this post is based on) but things got better when we moved to Google apps. It links to the built in calendar, but I was never really happy with that for the reason of the first app.I haven't tried many apps - I get hints from reviews and notices, and have three which I use for various reasons. I would note I am not a power user - don't share calendars, invite people or use a number of different ones. They are for me!week calItunes web linkThis was the first calendar I got and I still use it. As an academic, during semester time week view is my main visual handle on my timetable - it changes from week to week and a good visualisation is essential. Week Cal's raison d'être is the week view (day and month views are available). Entering new events is straightforward using the normal touchdate/time, make selection about length from the tumbler etc. All the usual features expected of a calendar are there too - location, link to contacts, repeat, different calendars.I was happy with it, but then read some reviews of other with different tweaks, and I now use 2 of them.Fantastical 2Itunes web linkThe first thing is that this integrates calendar and reminders, so it is a nice integration, especially if you keep trying to get todo lists - at least they are together here.Second, it uses 'natural language' item creation. Tap the + button and you get a text entry line and as you type it in the program makes its interpretations - meet student at 2 will start to create a meeting at 2 today, add tomorrow and it will shift the draft to tomorrow. Start the typing a todo and it will be a reminder (there is also a sliding button which will toggle between appointment and reminder. If it looks OK hit add, if not you can look at the details and fine tune it and add the regular stuff.The next difference is the look. When you open it you get a ticker tape of days across the top (not showing sequences of more than 3 days without a meeting) with bars representing meetings for the day. Below is the current reminders and then a list of meetings.(Tap for more detail). As you scroll the list, the ticker tape slides across.Drag down on the ticker tape and it changes into the month view with dots for meetings and also a search function.I would use this as my main calendar except that the week view is available only when you rotate from portrait to landscape. As my phone is locked in portrait, that is a nuisance and effectively no use (one cal app I looked at had a button that shifted the view from day to week - much better - but it didn't add a lot more.Question.Who has their phone on rotation? As I say, mine is locked for  two reasons.1. there is no consistency about whether the app will rotate (on the iphone the  iOS doesn't but it  does on the iPad)  . Browsers rotate, weather doesn't ; guardian rotates, ABC doesn't;  Music app does, ecoute doesn't). so you don't know what will happen2. It makes me feel sick. I don't mind the parallax, but screens rotating and unrotating, doing strange things if you are lying in bed, - all too much for me.However, with the iPad I use the  manual lock to change screen rotation & in fact tend to have it in free rotation - more programs rotate and I use it less, but in more defined places.And finally, one with a very different interface which is breaking new ground.PeekiTunes linkI like this because it is looking at calendars a different way.When you open the app you get a list of days as a series of horizontal tabs, a bit like some email. These are the days of the week view - so it is each day until saturday or sunday (depending on when your week starts) and there is a simple statement of date (small) day (bigger) and a bar indicating how much time is booked for that day. Tap on a day and a folding paper unfolds down wit[...]

iTunes radio hits Australia - whoop de do


OK - so it is exciting that it is here, that weare the second country in the world to get it. But it doesn't do much for me - probably because, as we'll see, I am probably not the target. But I'll comment anyway.To start with I am not a music streamer for 2 main reasonsI have a fairly large music library which is made up of music from classical through rock, pop, electropop, experimental, ambient, electroacoustic, phonography through to labels like Dorobo, Stasisfield, and so on. I have a selection on my phone, on an iPod classic and on my iPhod, plus a backup of the music on a portable drive. So where ever I am I can get music that I want. And I'm an album man, but also like varietyDownload limits - both at home and on the phone - I don't have enough and it's too expensive to waste on listening to music I might not like when I have what I want.And for the same reason I don't listen to much music radio - OK I might miss a great new track, but I am pretty sure I'll hear about most somehow.Then there is the implementation. First, it is through the music app which I have stopped using since they stuffed up the album view - now I have three players on thereEcoute is my player of first choice: it has a nice grid view that shows 12 artists or genres on a 4s, then a small icon list view of albums in alpha order.The player is good & interestingly has dispensed with a volume function - assuming you'll use the buttons or earphones, Picky is interesting for large libraries and filtering - you can do it by number of songs, and then within an artist sort by name, release. It doesn't have a genre setting, but in Albums you can select genres, including more than one at a time, andthe interface of Listen is fascinating, very fluid and simple, but the selection process is difficult - it shows all the albums in a grid which extends alphabetically to the left. Dersigned largely for shuffling.But my main player is Ecoute for music and some podcasts (Pocketcasts for ones that I haven't downloaded in iTunes which I do for ones that I want to put on Carol's iPod).And then, very little styling seems to have gone into the design. The default block view that a lot of podcast apps use also, for your libraries. I don't think you can change the icon.Finally, the choice, which seems to bea group - like I like the Beatles but not a whole station!generic chart stations - 70s, 80s and 90s; pop hits, etcgenre stations - like ambient. Genres are hard to define anyway, but these are either too broad (like ambient) or refine but not enough - within classical you can't pick 20th century or minimalismMaybe if you have genius working, or iTunes match, or there is some sort of like/dislike the system might learn my preferences, but I haven't got the time. I would rather say to myself - i need some dirty ambient or some muslimgauze or a bit of atonal classical or some environmental sounds to complement my real world and pick an album or genre or artist from my library.Like I said, not for me: but I wish they had made it look good! A stand alone app at least.[...]

TIMR 25: The Official Andy Partridge Fuzzy Warbles Collector's Album


OK - I came to XTC just a little late: Life begins at the hop and especially Making plans for nigel were big hits and got me into the band and all their albums from Drums and Wires on came my way. This included the vinyl version of their first Best Of which was which came as a double album: Waxworks and Beeswax (the first was the singles, the second B sides). I got the numberered English Settlement, Black Sea in the green bag, the round Big Express, Psonic Psunspot, Take Away/Lure of the Salvage on a tape which was badly mastered with the 'start' about halfway through which made identifying the songs even harder!I could be argied that XTC were the true heirs to The Beatles in broad musical termsthe move from punk/rock through to more complex deep music and unbridled varietya pair of writers whose individual songs could usually be identified (made easier with XTC as they kept separate writing creditsa whimsical one and a darker onelyrical and musical depth experiment - the dub experiments are like John and Yoko - XTC had more room for experiemntal B-sides (thanks to the Beatles)a very britishness, although that musichall vibe comes from and through quite a long linea sad internal declineAnyways, XTC are THE group of the 80s I think.At the turn of the century I got the rarities, B-sides etc that is a Coat of Many Cupboards.Then quietly, unbeknown to me (why didn't he tell me) Andy Partridge started releasing the Fuzzy Warbles. These were compilations of demos (XTC, Dukes of Strosphere and more), musical musings and doodles, songs for soundtracks and more. Each covered a range of ground and included extensive liner notes and lyrics. the covers were based on  stampsBetween 2002 and 2006 8 albums were released, and it was about the time of 4 or 5 I became aware of them. As imports each was quite expensive, but the as the series was drawing to an end, the Collector's Album was releasedThis takes the stamp theme and runs with it. The box is a stamp album - with theedges printed to look like the sides of a book. It comes in a plastic slip casewhich has the album contents printed on it. Inside the front cover is a book plate for you to fill in.The 8 disks are nicely arranged and separated by card, so it keeps neat. There is a long book with an essay by Andy about the project - how he did his home recordings. And two little extras. One is a sheet of the 8 images, plus the AP logo, as stick on stamps (who would stick them on something! mine are still here nice and pristine) and an extra cd in a card cover, entitled Hinges (those of you who have never collected stamps will be left in the dark about why that name, those who have will remember the little bag of hinges that came with stamp albums) with another 9 tracks on it - making 161 altogether. There is no seeming rhyme or reason to the individual volumes - they mix early, mid. late XTC with Dukes with other demos, with film music. So each is a lovely separate compilation.I see the set is over $200 on Ebay or nearly $300 from Amazon links (well over $1000 for a new one from Japan) (even coat of many cupboards is about $250). But it isn't for sale, even though I have ripped it & when I play it, it's the MP3s that I play. Because it is a lovely Thing In My Room![...]

Blancmange - Blanc Burn


After mentioning Blancmange as a nostalgic treat a couple of posts ago in the KTP I came across news that they were performing Happy Families in concernt and are rerecording/mixing and releasing it as Happy Families Too next month. And a bit of websearch revealed that an new album (their first in 25 years) Blanc Burn was released in 2011.I had to get it. I got it.Blancmange had a couple of big hits (Feel me, Living on the ceiling and some more) but were never as big as I thought they should be. They combined great beats, eclectic influences (mainly Indian), experimentalism, a great ear for a song (if you wonder about ABBA, listen to Blancmange's version of The day before you came).After 25 years there have been technical developments and aging - Neil's voice is perhaps not as strong as it was, but this has added a greater air of world-weariness and possibly ennui. The opener, for example, By the busstop @ woolies uses a vocal that sounds like it could have been a voice message, and a focus on the local and small is reflected across the albumMusically it is strong and sounds fresh and very varied. There are some that sound like they could have been on the earlier albums - such as Drive me or The western and surprisingly they are the ones which excite the least - although they are exciting but more along the lines of developing the sound a bit rather than dramatically.Ultraviolent, a story of local thugs in masks and with dogs as weapons, uses dense vocoder or autotune and has a descending chorus line which reminds me of the No no nos in I don't want to lose your love.Radio therapy reminded me of Freeze Frame era Godley/Creme, and I'm having a coffee notes the focus in the album of the mundane smaller things.What is hard to determine is how much I like this album because it's a new(ish now) Blancmange album and how much is the music itself? The way the songs have hooked into my brain I think it is probably the later - like Bowie's The Next Day the initial suprise and excitement has bled into just playing it because it is good. The name has probably helped push them through (though not so much that I had heard about the album!) but their skill has taken it on.[...]

Sayonara Kyoto - Midwinter parts 1-9 (Kickstarter comment 3)


The third project I backed was Sayonara Kyoto's album Midwinter.

This one is more of a long shot. Chris Sheldon has some basic tracks for the album, but needs a significant injection of funds to master the album. This means he is looking for 3500pounds. At this stage he is a long way off, and suggested to me he was going to pull the project, but got a new burst of wind.

To me targets like this seem really hard for small, unknown artists to garner. Considering the maths, as I did in a message to Chris, a 5pound pledge gets you a download and beyond that you get additions like being on the liner notes, personal thanks etc. The 5 is likely to be the most common pledge, which means that you need to find 700 backers. Which would be decent sales for many small label CDs I would think where 500-1000 is common for limited editions (such as Muslimgauze).

I hope that Chris can find the funds or the means to get the album released - it is a strong album in the beated ambience field made popular by groups such as Tangerine Dream. The samples which are on the Kickstarter page indicate where the music is going and suggest that there would be a market for it - I just wish there was a way Chris could finish it for a little less! (But I don't understand the costs). He also mentions Mike Oldfield, Vangelis, Michael Jarre, Enigma - which sounds about right: and the last two have heardtracks and responded positively.

One other thing, the image that Chris used for Kickstarter is probably not strong enough - again, I don't know what WILL pull the punters, but the photoshoped text doesn't seem like a real eyecatcher. But then I did get past it, so it worked on me!

There is enough on the kickstarter page that allows you to hear how good the music is. Fingers crossed!

(just to note - my only connection to this project is as a backer, and as I was the first Chris has offered me a copy of the sound files if it is not successful & something else [such as a mention in the cover] if it is)

DUENDE - Bethseda Requiem (Kickstarter comment 2)


The next album I supported was DUENDE's Bethseda Requiem.

I actually backed this before hearing any of it because the description of it was intriguing - ambience built around sounds from the day of the assasination of JFK (it is actually part of a larger project) and (again) the relatively small target (200 pounds).

I then went to the bandcamp page where the album can be listened to or downloaded (I hope people listen to it, then pledge and then get a digital download when the target is reached rather than just buy it so that the limited edition CD does get released).

I got the album when there was a brief window of free download - and have kept my pledge. And my initial interest has been demonstrated to be valid.

This is a dense dark album that covers the events of that day and subsequently by judicious use of radio, television and police recordings which merge into the ambience which seems to be built from industrial and electrical samples - it washes across as a psychic recreation of the events and moods of the day. The tone of the spoken voices is reflected in the music, before the track titled Zapruder there is an optimism (though the future is pressaged in the elegaic opening A time to be born...). We know what will happen, but we are still transfixed and overwhelmed. 

I can sort of remember where I was, though as a Britain Winston Churchill's death and funeral has a higher impact factor. But the resonance around the world of the event, whatever we think of the reality of the JFK presidency and its actions, and the reiteration of it in other events keeps this a strong subject. 

This is an intense album. Even if you don't want to back it through Kickstarter get the download. It shows how music and documentary recordings can work together in a powerful and evocative way. 

(just to note - my only connection to this project is as a backer)

TimHeld - Alb(L)um (kickstarter comment 1)


Surprisingly my post about kickstarter late november has got the highest recent hit rate - anyway I am going to update 3 projects.

First, Tim Held was looking for $200 to help promote his album - and he achieved it. So iun addition to some stickers and other stuff, it now has offical release and is available through iTunes & probably elsewhere, such as soundcloud and bandcamp.

The thing that really attracetd me to the album is the cover - it is fantastic. The album title is annoying - I can't parse it at all - just one of those tricksy playful impossible to pronounce names (Update - have modified the post title to reflect the capital L in alb(L)um, was lower case)

But the music is great. He has crafted each track from sound samples with some voice pieces in there. There are some crazy beats, some intense sounds, some melody but primarily finely crafted tracks.

Trying to triangulate the music, acts that come to mind - in closest proximity are
Severed heads - not the very earliest cliffird stuff but a bit later, emphasis on the sounds integrating with spoken samples, interested in beats but not driven by them. Same sense of humour.
Snog - mainly the beaty sample stuff.
Eno/Byrne - a touch of the Bush of Ghosts in here, just a whiff.
A few of the tracks have thumping bass lines, others are more discreet, but none are very long - and in fact probably too short!

This is a really good album and highly recommended.

In terms of kickstarter it worked I think because of the striking image - something must draw you in to read more - and the modest target.

(just to note - my only connection to this project is as a backer)

Kissing The Pink


I am not sure when I first heard Kissing The Pink. I have a vague memory of them being on a TV show or perhaps JJJ. But I do remember buying their first album in one of the Impact sales. I doubt it was just the price and the intriguing cover that led me to buy Naked - I am sure I knew one or two of the songs. Released in 1983 it was part of the New Wave. What makes the album memorable is the eclectic mix of instruments and styles - sax, keys, strings. A lead singer who intones with a lovely rounded sound rather than sings, a beautiful female voice. It opens with The last film an anthem that returns in hymn form. Mr Blunt is rousing, Love lasts for ever should have been a hit single. The big man restless (so relentless), elegiac Watching their eye - and more. A complex and varied album, apparently they wanted Eno to produce it which is intriguing. I played it a lot & can sing many of the songs, but...They weren't high in my consciousness - I didn't note the names of the members or who played what. They released 3 more albums & though I recognise the third one didn't buy any. They fell into that grouping of music you like but don't get immersed into collecting. And then, when the internet was still young, I found (no idea how or why, probably random search on obscure groups I was interested in) Jeff Grote's Kissing The Pink site ( - definitely the last word on the group (their Wikipedia entry is brief). I minimally added to it - if you go to lyrics, the Naked ones are a scan of the Australian inner sleeve which uniquely included them all. In addition to the information Jeff has a myriad of sound files - all four albums, remix albums, 2 live BBC sessions, outtakes alternatives and demos. You email Jeff for access to this - I am not sure how careful he is (perhaps more so as the music is now available as purchaseable downloads - the first 3 albums are on iTunes), but. Anyway, I now have nearly 150 tracks by them. The second album, What Noise, develops the sound and style of the first - more mature, political (Greenham, for those who remember for example), mixed moods. The other side of heaven could have been a single, but as with the first album, the overall package it what impresses as the songs weave their varied courses, which may be the problem. With Certain Things Are Likely they became KTP and perhaps closer to a dance mainstream. Another great album but it didn't break through. The swan song Sugarland develops the sound, retains a little quirkiness and again didn't find success. I imagine the third and fourth albums lost the fans of the first (true Cliffords, to mix bands) and didn't spark with new listeners. So here we are, 30 years on from the first album - why this post? Well it's my blog so.... Perhaps it's nostalgia, but groups from this period (like Blancmange) often get a play when I need something jolly - it is just really good music. Plus it shows the change in the music industry. They got support, backing, distribution from a label but also pressure to create a hit sound. These more independent days mean you can go your own way more easily, make music more easily, but find it harder to get heard and a decent audience. I don't know how much Dave Stafford makes from sales (now mainly bandcamp I think) but he hasn't quit his day job. And kickstarter is not easy for many (a post on that later). Plus you have old farts like me spending time with decades old music (but hey I do listen to some now stuff). And don't get me started (too late) on the focus on tracks: Naked is an ALBUM a sum of its parts. Yes some tracks are more immediately accessible but the variety and selection is what counts. Anyway, a group whose sound has lasted. Highly recommended. [...]

TIMR 24: John Foxx and The Maths: Rhapsody (UPDATED)


John Foxx - one of the more un-centred parts of my music history - important but more tangential or something. Perhaps, to explain....I missed Ultravox! - I am sure that Hiroshima Mon Amour was on Countdown and the link with Eno was there, but their time and mine did not fit (recently have gone to those early albums and enjoy them).After the split obviously Vienna and the new romantics were about and more prominent and while Underpass was a small hit for Foxx, the album didn't reach me. Then Impact Records in canberra sand its siren song to me and I picked up some 12" single in sales and eventually got the four Foxx albums - Metamatic, The Garden, The Golden Section and In Mysterious Ways. My favourites were 4, 2 , 1, 3 by the way.Then he went quiet.On a trip to England in 2005 in a small record shop I found the double album of the first two Cathedral Oceans albums - beautiful ambient emerging from The Garden. There was also a live album there - I think it was the Omnidelic - but I didn't pick it up - another missed opportunity.Anyway, a few years later something nudged me & I looked into him on the web and found the resurgence with Louis Gordon in the late 90s/early00s. This developed his older material and also included some wonderful new albums.His career has continued since - there have been more ambient albums; ambient collaborations with Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie; songs with Belbury Circle and Jori Hulkkonen this year; some great resissues and compilations; And most recently teaming up with Benge to form The Math - Rhapsody is their most recent release. There shared love of analogue synths provides great warm sounds to go with Foxx's still subtle and always striking voice, often half spoken.Throughout this long career Foxx has revisited past material and released it in live and studio albums: Rhapsody is another in that line. It takes ten songs from Ultravox! onwards and re-records them, live in studio before going out on the road with them. These aren't radical reworkings but rather presenting the music with the current lineup, modified slightly and subtly tweaked.As I say, Foxx (perhaps because he dropped out after 4 great albums) was never central in my music world, but those albums got a lot of play and still do, and the newer ones are also high in my mind when I want some joyous electro or thoughtful ambient. It is great he is back.Caveat - there is one album of his I don't like: a collaboration with Theo Travis (flute, sax) and to me it is too close to New Age: I have also avoided Travis's collaborations with Fripp.A great discography is at Foxx's own page is pretty great Foxx's album A New Kind Of Man which is Metamatic, the first solo album, plus other tracks from the same period performed live in 2007 is now available from townsend records for pound1.99 - great buy, great bargain[...]

2013 - my year of Dave Stafford


As I look back on 2013 the year is overwhelmed by Dave Stafford. To recap, I first got in contact with him early in the year to discuss Scape, the Brian Eno music creating app. After a few exchanges of email and blog-comments I thought I should listen to some of his music. And download and listen I did. At this stage I have the following in my library1.08 GB of Dave Stafford non-eternal albums2 Bindlestiff albumsA Scorched By The Sun album2 Pure Ambient samplers compilations1.03 GB (22:35) of Drone ForestAnd then the Eternal albums - growing collections of tracks created by Dave using different AppsFairlight Pro - only 6 tracks, just under half an hour - there are lots more but this format didn't grab me (Similarly I have none from the Scape collection as I have the App)Nanostudio - 4 tracks, 36 minutes - I really like this set and am awaiting more. Complex.Mixtikl - 61 tracks at over 22 hours. (Plus another 1:20 of outtakes). When put down like that it is a big thing both in size, time and (almost) money (at 50p a track it adds up, but when taken by time quite cheap). Created with an aleatoric app these pieces vary in length, mood, ambience, beat etc. There are some elements that recur, but each piece is different (unless a remix/reconceptualisation) and equally attractive. I find that I put it on random selection most nights and also quite happily jump out of a track before the end without guilt as I know the tracks aren't leading to a climax or a resolution but seem more like visitations from a music that is playing eternally somewhere.And now we have a new albumclassical - only one track so far, but a tweet this morning promised another on the way. The one so far is a Concerto for guitar and oboe. This is some of Dave's most composed music. It has a stately baroque mood (I was reminded of Walter/Wendy Carlos' Switched on Bach [She was Walter when I bought mine, so is still that in my mind] partly because of the tones but also the structure). Amazingly it was all created on the guitar (roland guitar synthesiser), but that is not a factor in what makes it so good: it is just a great piece of music.All of this music (except Drone Forest) is on his Bandcamp page so you can try before you buy (worth doing - his styles vary from album to album to format - check the blog for various reviews along the way) highlightBowie's - The Next Day: played very regularlyFripp soundscapes - have continued to expand the collectionPodcasts - I have probably reduced music listening due to increased podcast consumption - and very few are music related!Just bought Archive 828585 from Cabaret Voltaire from BigPond ($15 for the 3 disks) - a nice addition to that period of the Cabs.[...]

Xmas update 1: Kickstarter


Sorry for being away, so some shortish updates.

I have become quite the kickstarter fan - as well as the record label relaunch, also the 99PI podcast, The Magazine-The Book and a massive one called Wipebook (4000 requested 424,314 pledged), Tim Held's album got up, so I have a copy of that which I will review in the new year.

Have just supported another album - Sayonara Kyoto's Midwinter parts 1-9. It's a bit old school ambient - Tangerine Dream, Enigma and such - but the excerpts sound interesting and for only pounds5 you get a digital copy (as long as it's funded). The link is
if anyone is interested.

And also Duende - Bethesda requiem, which is based around kennedy's assasination, and again, a low entry price for a digital download.

There are other interesting reading/sounding albums but one barrier IS the price - a complex piece about Eric Dollard by Adam Bull has a base pledge of pounds15 for a digital download - which means about $30 Australian for a relatively unknown quantity. It is still in my starred list and I will consider it as we go along.

The other barrier though is how much is required. Tim's album and the Duende one were both looking for about 200 for marketting, which seems achievable for a relatively unknown, while Kyoto and Bull both are looking for a few thousand pounds - which might be hard going - it will be interesting to see how they pan out

Kickstarters - support Tim Held (and more)


Kickstarter synchronicity - Maybe it's the time or maybe the podcasts I am listening to, but Kickstarter is coming up a lot.It sort of started when I saw that Instapaper (one of my most used apps) creator Marco Arment was creating a podcast app. While his is still in the works I got into Pocketcast (excellent - see my review) and various techish podcasts. The Accidental Tech Podcast (here) that he's on and Glenn Fleishman's The New Disruptors (here), which is about new ways of developing/funding. Kickstarter gets a lot of mentions.Contact with them took me back to The Magazine (which Marco started a year ago). At that stage the articles didn't grab me, but when you download the app now you get the full back issues - and it impressed me enough to take out an annual subscription (it's a website and an app - here).I had supported one Kickstarter last year - an iPhone case & stand system from Studio Proper which went very well. Then, following my post on roden on dragon's Eye I subscribed to that, admittedly just for Steve's disk, partly cause they had raised the funds. But they say most backers are multiple backers & I've gotten into it.Through The New Disruptors I heard about 99% Invisible - an architectural, design podcast. Which is excellent. They had done a Kickstarter for the current season & had another for the next - initially to go weekly.  So why support something that is free? Partly it's to keep it going - even free things have to get funded somehow. And with Kickstarter there are the various rewards - actual things for providing the funds. Anyway, it has been very very successful & met the goal and more. I'd recommend the podcast.(here).The Magazine currently has one, to create a best of anthology of their first year, both book and actual. Now I don't want the book - I have the back issues - but I could give it as a gift. But one option also gives a discount on a subscription (in fact this can be added to any pledge). So I am thinking hard about it - it would mean a 2 year commitment to the magazine, but also showing support.(here)I've become a bit of a Kickstart junkie, regularly looking through on my iPhone app. And have a few starred to think about.One I have backed is an album by Tim Held (called Alb(L)um). What attracted me? Well, it was in the electronic category, has a goofy image which pricked my interest (band photos are a tricky way to promote something unknown). I played the video & thought the music interesting, as is the description of the project. Next, the aim is modest - only $200. Then the cost/reward structure is excellent. For next to nothing you get the album, for a bit more you also get existing music (available to listen to on bandcamp) and then advancing ones with some physical product. The electronic downloads are good as it cuts the postage cost which has been a tipping point for me on some. So I backed it: $5 for the album and 2 eps, and while there is still some time to go, Tim emailed me codes for the 2 eps. This is very generous/trusting as unless the project reaches its target he won't get any money. I think the reasoning is that he (rightly) feels we'll buy the album if it gets up on bandcamp if the Kickstarter fails (the kickstarter is for promotion costs)The two eps support the impression I got of the brief listens on the video and bandcamp - satisfying electronic music, some beats, reminisent of Bill Nelson's Orchestra Arcana, but an individual voice. So why back this or any other project? The reasons I see areEarly ordering discountsGetting something you wantFinancially supporting something you think worth doingGiving that moral support to keep artists [...]

A couple of Roden things


Things are quiet here at the moment - though not workwise.

So a couple of Roden related things.

My podcast listening has broadened since hearing Marco Arment on his new podcast app & I know listen to the accidental tech podcast, the new disruptors, the talk show. Anyway, the new disruptors got me to 99% invisible an interesting design based show, and I found this in their archive - a program on bubble houses. Now most of you should know Steve Roden lives in a bubble house (the last in the US, which I didn't know) and this program is about them & he's on it. The show page has some great photos. (and to remind you, airform was the construction method).

And then, on airform archives is a link to this kickstarter project to releaunch a label (dragon's eye). Steve has put up some great stuff for big donor's but also has a cd in the release schedule (a year away - but so what!). 6 days to go, the limit has been met, so you will get your cds.

Pocket Cast


One of the first apps I bought for my iPhone 3 was pocket weather (aka pkt weather and now weather Australia). I found the onboard app inaccurate and limited in detail. Pocket uses Bureau of Meteorology data which is the best available. The app also includes a wealth of detail - 7 day forecasts (obviously), radar, 2 day temperature forecast graphs with actual(predicted) & feels like  lines, rain time and amount, tides... As the Bureau's data has improved so has the app - it now has quite fine localization. It is one of my most used apps. Move forward & I hear Marco who created Instapaper (another long time very used app) is writing a podcast app. I have used iTunes & the podcast app most of the time (there was a period I used another app but it fell by the wayside). I was generally happy but some things with in interface always annoyed me (the placement of the store button for instance). Anyway I thought I'd see what the competition was. A few searches narrowed the field to the main players. One was getting a lot of praise for it iOS 7 implementation. Pocket Cast by Shift Jelly- it took me a little while to see the connection and a combination of the reviews, my experience with their weather & the fact they are Australian decided me on giving them a go. And I am very pleased Yes - it is a very nice implementation of the design aesthetic. Clean & effective, overall easy to pick up & work with. There are 2 main screens. Podcast view- all your subscriptions in an icon grid. 3x4 on a 4s. You can move the tiles around if you want to re-order them. A + 'button' takes you to the search area - with featured, search, networks, category, chart options.Back at the grid tapping on an icon brings up the program information -  a list of unplayed and played files, indicating if they have been downloaded  their length, and if they haven't, the file size. Tapping on a program brings up a window about it with content details and actions (download, delete, mark as played/unplayed, star, queue, add to playlist (which are way to create) etc).  Podcast view - note now playingEpisode viewepisode infoMenu screen - this is where It gets very useful. Top line takes you to the subscribed screen, if you want to select an episode by Podcast. But Pocket Cast's filters are its strength. As you can see I have theme filters, but also one for all downloads and unplayed. Filters, as the screen shot shows, can include played, unplayed, downloaded etc. As I don't want to keep played podcasts (for memory management) my downloaded and unplayed lists should be the same. If you wanted you could have a filter that included all unplayed podcasts - but it would be unwieldy. Menu screenPC uses notifications well to indicate when new episodes of subscribed podcasts are available. And my filter new/undownloaded Is set so that I also have a list available - and I can go there to download or mark as played (you can't delete an undownloaded episode, so the list of unplayed will show all available ones which annoyed me at first but I am getting used to it (rather than the past players where previous episodes were hidden by default or could be deleted from the list)  filter optionsPlay - as the screen shots show, there is a floating playback control, and the circle around the play/pause button indicates time passing. Touch this and you get the full screen player - with all the visuals and controls you could want. << and >> skip a predetermined time set from the setup menu. Information, playlist controls are up the top right. Rather than having space[...]

TIMR ?: Nothing to something


solipsism to the MAX

Yep - new carpets

Nels Cline & Elliot Sharp: Open The Door


Public Eyesore again - Open The Door is PE121 (link to public eyesore in the side bar).

The name Elliot Sharp was familiar, though not Cline. Anyway, two guitarists. This release had a long gestation. Four tracks come from sessions in 1999 while the fifth track (Pietraviva) is live from 2007.

I put on this album with some trepidation, uncertain about the 2 guitar approach. But it is a lovely album. The Cline and Sharp have approached their interplay with a combination of musical artistry, serious skill, joyful interaction and a sense of play and adventure. 

Yes at times it is atonal or dense or oblique at times, but the two instrumnets complement each other brilliantly, one providing a base while the other may be searching the acoustic space. And both guitars are acoustic, adding to the atmosphere. There are elements of Spanish, blues, modernism and bluegrass emerging through the pieces; the lead and rhythm change; there is space and then density.

Obviously, if you don't like or want to try acoustic loose guitar, avoid this album. But if you are interested in an exploration which thrills, entrances and entertains give this a go.

The Kills - Richard House (updated as I finish volumes) FINAL UPDATE


I like to think of my readers as intelligent, literary, interested in music and the new, broad of mind and interested in saving money. So this one's for you. On the long list this year for the Booker prize is The Kills by Richard House.   It's not on the short list, but the long list gave it some prominence and it garnered some excellent reviews and comment. It consists of four separate but interconnected novels. The first Satler is a page turning thriller that starts in Iraq & traverses turkey to Malta and Europe, with random encounters, deaths and mystery. Thoroughly enjoyed its complex incompleteness (after all, it's only the first part, but I am not expecting answers to everything by the end - it's that sort of book), but satisfying. The next The Massive takes the situation from the opening of book 1 (a dump in the desert run by contractors) and expands on it backwards and possibly forward (it does). Characters recur and get filled out with personalities and histories. I haven't read The Kill (3) & The Hit (4) yet, but know 3 concerns a novel that gives the novel its name & has been being read at various times - and I expect some of the characters will pop up. The Hit then returns to Satler apparently and muddies that story. I think that there will be a lot of fun following the links, puzzling over uncertainties and just enjoy a well written book.. So why here?2 things. The novel in electronic form contains links or embedded content (which, beware, make the files bigger) of films, phone calls, maps. So far I haven't found them intrinsic, but they are an indication if where fiction could go. But to my money conscious literary readers, if you go here (paywithtweet) you can get volume 1 as a free download if you sell your soul and send a tweet. My twitter following is pitiful so there won't be too many people bothered by the spam! Alternatively, each volume is quite cheap from amazon or apple (au$2.99 each from iTunes) which makes up to a good value equivalent 1000 page book. As I said, really enjoyed volume 1, 2 is great too but going a different direction, more personal story/ies. Will report back. Quick note: do not read the brief blurb for the fourth novel before reading it. It clarifies the role of a main protagonist, while a pleasure of the first third to a half is wondering where these characters fit and their roles.Ok - have finished volume 2 and thoroughly enjoyed it. It completes some of the picture seen in volume 1 explaining the blast, raises questions about where Satler is, and the question of Guezzler broadens from merely his puppetmaster-like role, but also his identity at the end of 2. The book discussed in 1 was a film in 2 and will be volume 3. So 4 will have to wait to supply more answers.Volume 3: an interesting murder mystery where we don't really know who was murdered. It is based on the book & film mentioned in 1&2. Lovely writing, amazing sense of dread built, but asks questions and answers few. About its content and action - but also what is it doing here! At this stage I can't see the link to the other volumes other than as mentioned in them.I am getting through this quickly - don't often read through a novel as big as this so precipitously. What is glorious is the questions it leaves unanswered!And now finsihed. The final volume continued from the end of the first. Introduced some new characters, revisited some old. A very clever use of the book by one character. Some questions answered, not all ends tied. But another very go[...]

TIMR 23 : tom phillips


OK - a person not a thing, but then Tom Phillips isn't in my room, he is a presence.My memory of his entrance into my mind starts with non-knowledge: I had King Crimson Starless and Bible Black and Eno Another Green World without realising that the covers were by Phillips.A synchronicity of sorts happened while I was in Canberra. There was an article about him in The Age Monthly Review, I found a copy of IRMA (Gavin Bryar's version of Phillip's libretto & score - he doesn't like this, but I love it) which was released on Eno's Obscure Records so I bought it, and the National Gallery had The Heart of A Humument in their shop.Which brings us to what is his signature work - A Humument. He has taken a Victorian novel Mallock's A Human Document and with a mesmeric obsession excavated it. The Humument itself is in it's fourth edition - the first included every page of the novel as transformed by Phillips. Each page is a miniature marvel. Here is one at random drawn from the web.Text is extracted to make a minipoem and an image drawn around it. These can often reflect other aspects of his work, other themes. The text has been used in a variety of other works - IRMA is based on texts suggesting sounds, words and moods to create the score. Since the first edition there have been 4 more, and with each some of the pages have been changed so that by the next edition no page will be the same as the first. I now own four versions of this book, plus that original The Heart of A Humument which takes small central fragments and creates even smaller images.Much of Phillips' work comes from obsessions or concepts - and while much conceptual art doesn't work, I always find his does. These include paintings based on recreating postcards, or specific parts (such as a series of Union Jacks as seen in cards); coloured edges and components based on recycling old paint and I Ching sequences; the Mappin Gallery where he took a postcard of an art gallery and recreated the individual painings as full size - and then recreated the whole room; 20 sites in N years where he goes back to 20 spots in a walk round his neighbourhood and photographs the same view from a fixed spot, creating a view of the changes.Others of his books that I have areThe postcard century - for each year to the 20th century he curated a selection of 20 cards from his collection, providing a visual history of changes but also recurring 1974 - This essential text combines 50 Recapitulatory Paintings 1962-1974, which are recreations of works from this period in the size of the book, with reprints of the originals and short text, with essays and images about specific works (Benches, Mappin Art Gallery) or themes (Flags, Berlin Wall). Plus a little about photographic projects and all of his music scores (including the IRMA score [mined from Humument])Works and Texts - from 1992, this covers some of the same ground in terms of the essays, but brings the artworks up to date, and is larger scale with better production. This one is easier to get, but both are essential.Dante's Inferno: he translated the Inferno and provide 4 illustartions for each canto, all including worked extracts from Mallock and extensive notes. This was also made into a television series (A Television Dante) with Peter GreenawayA Humument for iPhone (there is also an iPad version which would give a better experience because of the screen size, but I didn't own an iPad) - go to the app store.The books give me many happy hours - looking at the pictures, re[...]

Cactus Truck: Brand new for China


Brand New For China! is Public Eyesore release number 119 apparently came as a 45rpm disc (I imagine 10") or a CD. I have the second, and the tracks are listed as side A, side B and not on the album.

Cactus Truck are a three piece, John Dikemanon saxes, Onno Govaert on drums and Jasper Stadhouders guitar and bass. The album is to some degree what you might expect from a freeform line up like this. I played this more times than I expected to, and ejoyed it more than I thought I would.

It opens with Aporia, a viscious assault from the sax with driving percussion and guitar. This 10 minute track was Side A, and moves through some more restrained passages, swapping lead, but seems to propel itself onwards. Side B and the extra 2 tracks combine either short (3 at sub 30 second) bursts of noise and three more considered pieces at 5 to 7 minutes. Again there are periods of more melodic sax (such as Coitophobe) together with machinegun guitar. And under it all Govaert pounds away at the rhythm.

In total this is only 30 minutes long - and it benefits from that. The playing is focussed, the musicianship strong, and the raw entertainment and excitement carries you through the time easily. Don't file under easy listening, but do under thrilling and visceral. 




A bit of selfcongratulation: blogger says that I have now had over 20,000 pageviews, and to celebrate here are the stats

Anyway, thank you all for persevering this long!

All time - and we can see a big spike which was probably Marina Hardy

This month - Marina is still there, but some more recent ones are getting hit too!
This week, and surprisingly the most recent posts are up there

New roden book a'coming - update: has come


On his blog steve roden has noted a new book to be released to coincide with his new shows - called rag pickerI have this info from the publishers, publication studioThe two book launches are in LA (Sept. 14th) and NY (12th), the information we have can be found on our events listing page but more detailed info can be found on both the gallery's websites (their links are on our events listing page).However, we CAN tell you this about the book: the book will be available tomorrow on our web-store! It's a beautiful full color book that includes new art as well as older pieces, his notes and thoughts. It's a beautiful, very intimate book.Sounds like it will be good - more info as it comes to handThe direct link to the book is hereI have bought a copy - I must admit the $10 DRM-free PDF - mainly because the cost of the book and postage was a bit beyond me at the moment (curse you dave mixingtickles stafford). But am very happy and can provide a first report.It is largely based around the Walter Benjamin immersion and includes some extracts from his books, but mainly is a brief glimpse into the workings of steve roden's mind. Pages from the notebooks which correlate symbols and colours, long lists, a spoken piece called from greensomeness to whitesomeness (based I imagine on colours in the texts), artworks based on postcards of Siena, pages from notebooks which look like a coded text - coloured boxes, crosses, blobs -, development stages of a soundwork, a couple of works from when the body becomes city (seen on the blog, plus the photo of young steve), some extracts from 365 x 433, a series of collages based on notes for baudelaire, a list of benjamin's graphic silences and some card sr made to illustrate them, a video extract, and finally some of the recent paintings that have also recently been seen on sr's blog.All in all a fabulous slight insight into some of roden's working methods and a lovely collection of images. Looks pretty impressive on the iPad[...]

Grape Nuts


I was eating breakfast this morning and thought, why not blog on grape nuts? The obvious answer to myself was why? But then I answered if you are going to have a solipsistic blog why not use it. So this short paen to the breakfast cereal.Many years ago, the early sixties, when we lived in England (land of my birth) it was a holiday ritual to get up ealy on the days we were going down to Cornwall and have a bowl of grapenuts before we set off. I don't know how this started or how hard it was to get them in England at the time - presumably hard as it was a treat.We moved to Australia and the ritual was abandoned and Grape Nuts became a wonderful memory.Then Carol and I went on the trip described in Fossils and Drones and there were Grape Nuts, available in the supermarket. I bought some and got her hooked.For the next couple of decades the cereal was like hide and seek - Daimaru opened in Melbourne and stocked it as did David Jones food hall, then they didn't. Some were found at the tastes from home store - which specialised in UK foods but had Grape Nuts - suggesting that they were special for English people.Some friends I made at a conference sent us a box.And then Mum found USA Foods - a site for expats which stocks all sorts of goddies - but for us it importantly has Grape Nuts.We still see it as a little luxury - but one we can indulge more often, and usually as a part of a bigger bowl of cereals. And they stock catering size packs which makes it especially exciting.But what is it about Grape Nuts? Which have nothing to do with grapes or nuts?There are two main things, I think. One is the texture and the maintenance of that texture. Grape Nuts are crunchy and they stay that way even after some time in milk. And then there is the flavour - malty in the main with no sense of sweetness. They are just great.And for me there is the taste of nostalgia for holidays in England, a trip to America and theexcitement of the chase for finding them in Australia.I don't know why they haven't become big in Australia - part would have been the high prie stores charged for small packets. Through USA Foods they are quite competitive - cheaper than many high end mueslis in fact.Anyway - to all the Grape Nuts fans out there I say enjoy![...]