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Preview: An Idiot's Guide to Dreaming

An Idiot's Guide to Dreaming

The Blogging equivalent of an acid tattoo scare

Updated: 2018-02-05T08:17:07.752+00:00




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I think it really gripped me when it went black.

Then just legs and...

I like this. Feels like a tape some kids find and decide to play in the old VCR in the cabin that they've rented for the weekend.

I don't know anything else about this band / person but I'm gonna start digging now...



Not that one.

Here's Thighpaulsandra, whose Golden Communion record is starting to worm its way into my life. This one, goes all over the place and through a lot of his influences: from Kevin Ayers, to Julian Cope and onto Coil. It's not a blend as much as a spread... this track doesn't know what it wants to be and is all the better for it.

Yeah. Song-writing needs more of this hopeless dilettantery. It's full of fun and frolics; lets in light and shade equally, feels earnest and heartfelt and honest in its appreciation of others.

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Rockaway Park / The Mob


Well, I never knew about this... I guess Farmer Glitch does since he knows The Mob mob... Been through Temple Cloud loads of times, of course, but never off course...

These little spaces and places interest me and the Mutoid connection sends seeds way back to the early post-Pilton parties and pre-raves that popped up (periodically)... Also great to not know about something on the doorstep, especially as it's almost certainly related and connected in various ways to places / people I know.

A calming band on indistinct uncertainty in a world tainted with grim inevitability...

Still, keep on! Keep on!

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Really Red


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Always had an on-off relationship with American Hardcore... never liked most of it as much as the Brit anarcho / hippy / punk dimension but this was a great song and is still a great song...

And entirely true, of course.

IX Tab / Hoofus - The Blow


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There's a new IX Tab split release with Hoofus on the every reliable Front&Follow, the first in a series of collaborative things...

Here's a sample:

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Will come in a sexy little cassette form plus downloads for those of you with digital manipulation devices.

Summer Remains... Kemper and (Ice Bird Spiral)


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...a mix by Kemper Norton, or a mix of Kemper Norton, including some stuff I don't think I've heard before: an on open envelope of odds and ends, including a collaboration / remix of the inimitable Ice Bird Spiral, a band who might well have precipitated a causal chain that lead to Kemper Norton, Ekoplekz, Hacker Farm, IX Tab and probably many others... if only because everyone who went to see them thought: yeah, absolutely, this is immense; why the fuck NOT?

Amon Duul II - Telephonecomplex


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Listening to this on the way to work, through frost fronds creeping sunlight and reminded (again) of how great this album is... absolutely of its time (never get why that is supposed to be a bad thing and 'timeless' such a great thing - being of its time has to be at least one of the goals, doesn't it?) in the sense that it doesn't really sound like anything else... the first bit, with the bass turned up, could be some kind of early Photek jam (that perfect tumbling, falling-down-the-stairs drum sound) before taking a slight turn into the kind of deep-seated, slow-burning mania of Comus, then adding in a bit of Bowie, maybe even Dylan at one point before...

Ah, I'm running out of references (and forgetting why I felt the need to mention them in the first place... Guess I'm still caught up in a wave of Silver Age Blog nostalgia where it was all about describing... now you can just listen and that's probably what you should be doing...

Ok, maybe not exactly like an early Photek jam.



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I'm listening to Moondog. It keeps coming up. I can't explain what it wants with me or where this relationship is going but it is going... It's ineffable and uncertain, it's past-commentary, almost incorrigible. People don't still listen to Moondog, do they? I'd always been suspicious.

Great hat though. Digging that Merlin-chic.

Joan La Barbara / Sesame Street


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You can see Holly Herndon doing this kind of thing I guess but, if Sesame Street is still going, I can't see it happening again in quite the same way. Kids TV used to be a kind of deregulated fug, full of off-cuts of audio and odd animation even in the most banal settings but now... Well, maybe there's corners of the internet / cable TV where something like this prospers; it's not on Netflix.

Is it really true old age when you start bitching about Kids TV not being avant-garde ??

What next? Breaking out in hives over the Gold Standard, I guess. Fistfights about the fifty year anniversary celebrations of 2nd Annual Report's release?

Grand Tango


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Jeff Harrington's work also found at

Assembled Minds



Well, this looks pretty good... twinkling, with a little shudder; gert big beats as well and the merest hint of mushroom madness, psi(locybe) breakdowns; the fear of burping up your hash-pipes in the heart of the wood... horrifying, in it's way and apparently put together by someone who still occasionally falls into that flashbacked thousand-yard stare but (maybe) has managed to come out the other side, still smiling.

Buy it here, if you fancied a go.

555 - The Hierophant


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This tripped me out on the way to work today. I don't even know how it got into the car.

Web Cam Tears


I don't know anything anymore. Maybe I never did.



Found via Bob

1979 wasn't always about Post-Punk


In 1979, I was 8 and I liked 2000AD. I got this and it was immense and it still is.

Here's Breakfast In The Ruins talking about it and giving up loads of scans.

That guy with the plant on his head has been very influential.

Letha Rodman Melchior


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Starting slow this year. But I think it'll end up immense.

This crept up on me when I wasn't paying attention. I'm hoping for more of that kind of thing.

The Black Dog - Spanners


I'm not interested particularly in adding to the canon - everyone loves Spanners don't they? - but in the spirit of revisiting it recently...

It is striking thing. It's a thinking thing. I remembered hearing it for the first time all over again & thinking that these guys were properly aligned with the avant-garde in a way that most of this era (every era) techno / IDM just weren't. I loved Aphex Twin and Autechre and Reload but The Black Dog were entirely odder & clearly unwilling to make commercial leans even in the vaguest of senses. The disco and techno bits of this album show they could easily be assimilated into (what would become) background music for Masterchef / Football Results / Home Improvement shows but the other bits were just so bowel-churningly creepy & psychedelically awkward that you can imagine advertising execs & music placers not being able to... place it.

There's bits on Spanners that make it exist in the world of Coil or The Residents rather than Hip Hop (or Kraftwerk, or Tomita, or Eno), bits that prevent a lay person wandering through the Warp catalogue keeping going....

Bytes was good but Bytes did attempt a theme of sorts; you had a clue as to what was coming next. With Spanners, the chimera / Cerberus is much more evident; this was the multi-headed techno beast in all it's directions, all at once...

I'm going back in. Bits of it our soundtracking our regular live action Angry Birds simulation (you hurl a 5 year old boy towards stuffed toys and pillow constructions) and it works perfectly: scary, silly, serious, soft. The 5 year old says some of it sounds like 'the pigs have gone crazy' and he's right; they really have.

For Paris (Woebot)


Woebot in various iterations has been hugely influential on this blog and on IX Tab (and on my relationship with unicorns / small horses) and on the www's relationship to music in general and this is his mix for Paris:

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For Paris by Woebot on Mixcloud

Plus, I have a Woebot t-shirt that I was wearing yesterday when I went to visit my Mum. So, fate.



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Fell into this via some wormhole or other. It's maybe not meant for me but I've been playing it a lot.

Actually, I'm not sure what is for me.

Not sure I really believe music is for anyone.

These days, I'm always awake, it seems.

Oneirogen - Cinerum


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Yeah, I think so.

Hello Darkness My Old Sample


Some good stuff here about Voodoo Ray from Woebot on hardcore vocal samples. I didn't know it was Peter Cook but it seems perfect that it was. The best thing about those early acid / hardcore tracks was the entirely odd choices of sample material and the dullest thing about what came later was the insistence on 'obscure' horror samples or bits of Blade Runner - Tricky is the exception there, since the Blade Runner sample sounds like it couldn't have been absent... and in fact Tricky's use of Japan's Ghosts was one of the more interesting things about his first album; that kind of non-more-white(skinned) Newpop framework wrapped itself around Tricky in an almost sinister, post-colonial way... I like most of his stuff but none of the later albums seemed willing to disengage from the musical frames that Tricky ought to have been in (Specials, Ganja boys, Grandmaster Flash, Jungle)and so failed to sound.

And when we're talking about vocal samples, I guess this ought to be mentioned because I vaguely remember the moment I first heard this and started giggling uncontrollably for reason I mow really question:

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In fact, Woebot's point about the odd nature of vocal samples very much affected my choices of vocal samples on the IX Tab albums - bearing in mind that most of the reviews of both albums focus on the avant-garde / occult nature of the music, the vocal samples are generally utterly prosaic (I can't mention all the sources, for reasons) seem many of them are utterly, and very deliberately prosaic: Dangerous Liasons, Hollywood after Oscar parties, Children's TV, TSW News, Gus Honeybun, Hal from 2001 (yawn!), ITV Drama Specials... It's a kind of occult banality that interests me. that feels truly occult because it's truly personal; it's the detritus of everyday lives that make it occult. I mean, I love all that Crowley / OTO / Hellraiser guff but using it as it is a resource seems totally beside the point.

Simon and Garfunkel, half-heard on my parents stereo on a Sunday is Bay-B-Kane and is darkness incarnate.

Not Ekoplekz


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Well, if there's any kind of avant - scene that I'm aware of (maybe even a little part of), Nick's the kind of Kingpin: playing on LP, on big boy's labels; undisputedly popular and critically acclaimed where most of us are (at best) critically acclaimed and resoundingly unpopular. He's been quiet recently but he's almost back. You'll love this as much as you loved the other ones. I'm never sure if there's a change in methodology / sound that goes along with a change in name when Nick Edwards / Ekoplekz is concerned but the Eko sound is very much here, give or take some IDM techno lashings, here and there.

He's probably not even using the Eko, anymore but the sound is a thing-in-itself now, has it's own logic.

Saisonscape: Decay


This is happening in Bristol at the weekend and it features Kemper Norton, who is always a delight to meet and watch and hear. I'm going despite the fact that I'm normally deeply suspicious of musical events that cross over into art. I love Art, love music but don't think anything about soundpoems or soundart (both deeply flawed concepts, as far as I can see). I loved it when Throbbing Gristle shifted out of the Art scene and into Pop (sort of) and didn't much care for anything they got up to when, in recent times, they got sucked back in. Coum seemed interesting, as Art, TG were much more interesting as music - and so it goes...

We should watch out for Art, creeping into our musical scenes.

We should resist.

The rules of engagement are different over there.

Shape Worship - A City Remembrancer


Man, this is good.

Really good.

I've been offline / limits / thick with flu & driving lesson woes for what seems to be ages but I've finally got around to listening properly to this Shape Worship album (another in the ever-predictable - in that every release is going to be great - line of outsider-chic that is Front And Follow) and it's a little bit immense. This is what I thought Burial was going to sound like when I'd read about them but not yet heard anything. I like Burial, but this is better; this feels less mannered, lighter but paradoxically more intense, less rooted in the (rather obvious) slow-car-garage trails.

This isn't just a car drive. This is a slice of collective consciousness. The cranes are flying.

It is extraordinarily confident in its approach, taking on Burial's shuffling gun-cock / ratchet drums (hopefully without the mythology that they were just created in Audacity) and sending them into new territories, deep in the heart of Britain. It's not all like this (it's better than that), of course but still... each cymbal hisses like a winter yawn. This is Britain not submerged but hanging on a thread; socio-political agitations, key council estate worries, local government politics.

I've not read much about this release because I wanted it to wash over me without contamination (of perhaps the terrible truth) but it's clear that every squeak and every whistle and every hummingly slurred vocal (although many of the samples are clear as day) has a very definite purpose and a place: when the light breaks out at the end of Heygate Palimpsest, for instance, it feels like we've been waiting a long time... like when they finally do put in that zebra crossing that everyone's been asking for... other bits sound like the tiniest snatches of vocal behind and within some of The Shamen's best techno squiggles, pre-C. That sense of delirium can certainly be found in tracks like Zoned (Hecate) which has a tinkling, endless, post-acid comedown vibe to it that is just perfect.

And then the voices come in and make the world real again. Some of them hum with static, with echo but other times they are naked and alone

Although this is some kind of master work and is clearly (I hope, I think) following a concept, it also seems small scale and intimate - cocktail synths, even, at the start of the gently stirring An Exemplar. And the scale works perfectly for the kind of psychogeographical details attended to here. This is a boiling down of issues and virtues; it has a sense of place that has often been neglected in music (replaced with sense of feeling or atmosphere) but not in the sense of windswept moors or smoked bracken (ha!) or goat-noises; instead Ed's attempted to approximate the place as a political satellite, as microcosm.

Easily one of the best things I've heard all year...

Dennis Smalley - Pneuma


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I like the way this sucks and wheezes. It reminds me of my future. One day, I'll be at a bus stop and this will be the last sound I make. I'm looking forward to it.

Roots of Goa trance (2)


This was something that fascinated me a while ago. Still fascinates me. Uchronie never really took off, though.

I need some people.

The thing is, the essay I linked to in the above post has a related sub/sur-Acid mix and that mix is now here. It's currently sound-tracking some marking of essays related to the Cognitive Approach and seems fairly apposite.

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