Archive for ‘nonsense’


Evenings & Weekends on The Workday?

Consume more things!

Positive procrastination is a process with which I am very familiar. It is a cosy action whereby one focuses on something they want to do at the expense of something they really ought to be spending their time doing.

I’ve been doing that a lot of late. Thankfully, I have reasoned that doing some sound-oriented stuff earlier in the month allows me to spend the latter half of the month doing all of the stuff I promised to have done earlier in the month.”To a higher standard”, I promise. (Not the sounds, of course, as they don’t get ranked hierarchically, right?)

Betwixt a very busy period in work and life, I have just about found the time to make a two part series for September: Evenings & Weekends and The Workday. The former sold out very quickly, but there are still copies left of the latter. As ever, all freely available to stream and download etc. All donations warmly received. These ivory towers don’t build ’em sens, ya know.


Other grasses


Well, I didn’t really see this coming. You see, following a recent jaunt to the south west, I’ll be moving there. I’ll be upping sticks and moving from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire to an as yet unidentified part of Bristol in just over a month. Having lived in Yorkshire since 2001, when I moved to sunny Sheffield to study English, geographically (as much as anything else) this is quite a change for me.

My tenure of Sheffield’s pastures, of which I dwelled yonder Sharrow, Banner Cross, Crookes and more in between, ended for similar reasons as I realised I needed to get a job that wasn’t in retail. This eventually led to a move over the county border line in 2008, to Leeds for a full-time post in an academic library. After a few years, there was then another move from the urbane life of Sheepscar to the plains of Greenhead Park in Huddersfield for a different position in yet another institution.

So, all of this meandering through Yorkshire has, broadly speaking, largely occurred to facilitate work. “Work” dominates much of life in contemporary society in an incredibly multifaceted and subtle manner. We don’t seem to be able to tacitly identify what is and isn’t part of our labour as the intra-subjective dependencies cross lines and blur, but the technologies of self and their relationships with organisations are not something I want to raise at this point; I’m trying to keep it light. However, working within academic libraries as both an assistant and as a librarian, which is something that I have done for a while now, has given me some incredible experiences and insights into institutional and organisational structures, their purposes and efficacies.

The multiple and contradictory subjectivities that these dynamics have presented have caused a range of of tensions from my perspective, and ultimately, they have contributed to my seeking to a full-time position to do more of the sorts of things that I am ‘qualified’ to do and to be more actively involved with more projects (like the recent Radical Library Camp!)

And so it occurred. An interesting opportunity arose at the University of Bath, I applied, I was interviewed and was fortunate enough to be offered the post. With no hesitation, I accepted it, and now I’ll be moving to the south west in a few weeks. Exciting times indeed, although there are of course plenty of things that I will miss: Excellent colleagues at my current employer to whom I am eternally grateful for their inspiration, knowledge and support (and all the beers!), the broad range of weirdo yocal waifs-n-strays that I’ve met, watched, played with and annoyed with half-cut realisations of drones and zoundz, Radio Free Midwich, the cats of Yorkshire, the pals, the neighbours that have dealt with me, the beards of fine men, the bus trips to ikea, rhubarb, Henderson’s Relish, the social centres, TPE, the beers and an awful lot more.

Once the stresses of moving have been endured, hXe will continue as normal, but with a new home. A home where cider is the default beverage of choice and where I can’t navigate home an autopilot from wherever I happen to be. This is going to be troublesome, I expect.


Recent protestations


01/02/13: Finish work early, meet library people in pub. Had a pint of Marble’s Dobber at The Grove before jumping over to The Rat & Ratchet for a couple of Brooklyn’s Chocolate Stout. I forgot that is 10% ABV. Oh well.

02/02/13: #shefflibcamp at Sheffield Hallam University. Then to the pub before the saltiest tofu I’ve ever been near was consumed, followed by berating top people.

03/02/13: Bad start to the day. Chamomile smile added before playing The Audacious Art Experiment’s space. Murray played under the moniker Tepeu Q’uq’umatz, it was grand. Spandril was a total curveball. Very intriguing. My set was short, but functioned. I had to bail early so missed most of it.

12/02/13: Milo, everyone’s favourite favourite visits “tarn.” Introduced him to the joys of some local establishments, and he duly repaid this by introducing me to Ain’t it a shame by The B52s. We danced.

13/02/13: Remembered that I’m not much of a dancer. Pascal put on a mighty fine show. My set was functional. Pete Cann’s set was loud and great fun. (Wobbling metals can never fail.) Joincey’s set was predictably brilliant. Then I had to bail to get the train.

15/02/13: Dave Pattern braved the wonders of SWB’s wonderful Caol Ila infused beer. Groovy times. Went to Wakefield. Milo introduced me to Fernende’s. Good spot. He had scored us VIP to the opening of a show he was installing at the Hepworth. Free wine. Free Prosecco. I bailed on Leeds to get to bed.

16/02/13: Reconfigure myself to weekend mode. It has not been in use for some three years. Feels good. Checked the gear following recent shows. It sounded like this:


Festivities, productivity, new stuff and old things


Well, it is 2013, as measured by our western calendar system. Lovely stuff?

First off, Radio Free Midwich has published the first half  of its annual Zellaby awards, and I as Petals/petals and even Kevin Sanders have been attributed the “The “Astral Social Club” Award, given for maintaining quality control over a huge body of work making it impossible to pick individual releases in an end of year round up.” I’m mightily honoured to say the least. Thanks Rob, and congratulations to the other, more deserving, winners.

To celebrate, I’ve been jamming, perhaps ironically, or perhaps because I’m an awkward sod, sounds that are moving in a different direction from previous albeit recent endeavours. That said, those who popped along to the pre-Schimpfluch show in Brizzle caught an audio-prototype of that sound, now bolstered with move square wave drones. These will be released in various forms over the coming few months, most likely digitally on here.

I’ve also been working on the first hXe release of 2013, the Karl MV Waugh / Petals 2 x 3″ CDr. This will be limited to 24 copies (split equally between the two of us) and will be available from February. Yes, it could have been a tape, but I wanted to do something with different packaging, and I’ve released a lot of tapes recently, so… The second release of the new year is already confirmed. Keep your ears to the ground for details.

Just before Christmas, Kieron Piercy, currently the most Northern of the trio of Spoils & Relics, popped over the Le Maison du hXe. We supped ale and jammed out some shit loudly. Really over-blown sounds, all of which failed to record thanks to my stupidity. Still, we’re working on following the collaborative stuff up in person and through this here internet.

A quick reminder for February 13th at Wharf Chambers. There will be Harrapian Night Recordings, Roman Nose, Petals, Clive Henry and (possibly) Moss Piglets, and almost certainly not in that order. I’m sure Pascal has it all in hand.


Out for Christmas, #1 spot, TOTP etc.

Where textus became textus and how I operated within (on the fabulously named We’re gonna get fuckin’ drunk tonight boys) and Silvered alumnus (on the exquisite Armed Within Movement) are fresh out of the blocks. It’ll be a head-to-head race to the number one spot, but only one of ’em can make it.

The former comprises a series of woven sounds recorded over a finite period of time, all mixed together. There’s a contact mic’d recording of an aeroplane, bowed ukulele, feedback clusters, synthesisers and tapes to boot. In fairness, although this might seem excessive and overwrought, these unfold and overlap of over the forty minute duration of the cdr. It mixes the most claustrophobic and expansive sounds that I could eek out of my tools.

The latter is an altogether different beast, albeit working within similar stylistics. The A side presents an unpicking of one tape loop, stretching it and compressing it, melting it and firing pure square waves right to the core. Dreams of the inner mechanics of magnetism etc., while the B side sticks back together one long evening (sort of) tonal work out. It is re-narrated arbitrarily, and mixed with the darkness of the Huddersfield night sky (I would have mixed the snow from the monument on the cover into it too, but it had melted several months before.)

I’m dead proud to have released these on such ace labels, and they’re cheap as chips too, so see if you can make you pennies stretch that far and send them to the top of the Christmas drone charts.


Catching up, post-ha(s)te

Prepping for Extreme Rituals, I made time [I did not “make time”] to create the ‘Ancient Western Hebrews’ End of fun 3″, as promised.

Also, I have created eleven copies of a mysterious c36 (by ‘Petals’,) Thread dome. The b side of this tape is on the Ilse’s benefit compilation which I urge you to buy. The a side is weird analogue electronics and tape crumble. Dead happy with this one.

Both will be available from 29/11. Oh, and SLI will have the remaining copies of the Daniel Thomas & Kevin Sanders collaborative cdr, which has received praise at both Radio Free Midwich and Idwal Fisher.


Champion Lover – ‘World according to Shaman’ c30

Manchester voodoo. Not an everyday phrase, I’ll grant you, but one not entirely inappropriate for Champion Lover.

Here, these dancing hoodlums jump backwards in time, to that world where spindly guitar sounds are audible, motorik drum and bass rhythms can pump, synths just purge and dub-appropriated effects cluster. They’ll pull you through an epic congo-dance-malaise into the future. (I don’t quite get how it happens either.)

What would you expect from souls that endured Cromwell Grove, the sounds of A Middle Sex and Trinity? And that bio only accounts for two members. Best not to dwell on such things.

Basically, go see Champion Lover. Fall in their trap. They’re touring the UK soon (details to follow, I assure you.) In the meantime procure their debut tape.

Served in oversized case, with hand-stamped sleeves and labels. £3.90 (inc UK p&p) to or buy ’em from them.


Ending in reverse

So, that was a fun two weeks off work. There was Supernormal, as described in the previous post. It really was super. The Bang the Bore crew held fast and made everything ace. And boozy.

Then there was a wedding in London. Not just any wedding, but the marriage of James (and now Michelle) Shaikh. Epic dances to Talking Heads led to bruised shins, amongst other things. And a hangover, obviously. (Big thanks to Matt and Faye Adams for putting up with me for so many days, too.)

Then I went to Whitby to stay in a Bram Stoker / Dracula themed room overlooking the Abbey and the sea. That was very nice. And Sandsend is a lovely place to wander to if you’re ever in the vicinity.

Then my brother was over, so we had a family get together, which was fun. And involved more booze.

Aside from such dalliances, I managed to record about 10 new sessions. Below is a limited tape which documents a minor portion of this. There will be more though, including a collaboration with Sheepscar Light Industrial‘s main man, Daniel Thomas. This will be a 50+ minute cdr which will be available from next weekend. It is also excellent, and took literally hours to bloom from seed to fruit.

Oh, and my twitter account was attacked by some wormy, tacky crap, so if you received any DMs from me containing a link, or anything like “wtf”, “omg” etc, just delete it. I didn’t send it. Apologies, and all that.


Retrogressive acknowledgments; or the future updated

Just a quick note to, well to notify you that the Preconcerted tape is now going to be packaged in a similar way to the previous petals release, Another black/red box, which is still available. This is because all of the folders (like the one in the photograph above) with slides have been used for now.

If I get my grubby paws on anymore, these will be used again. If I don’t, then they won’t… you have to be quick these days.

Big thanks to Steve at Muhmur HQ for the very kind words!


Uh-oh, spaghetti-O

My dearest of ironies. This has happened. Yes, we’ve made it.

I’d never have thought that I would have been such a pompous type to get giddy over such frivolities. How did this happen? Probably the parents. Yes. The parents. Always them. And the governments. All of ’em. And probably the media (it is very en vogue to blame the media.) “Fuck you, media!” Fuck you.

But this was about sounds. And they were very nice about the sounds, so ignore all of that spiel. Apart from the fact that YOU MUST hate my parents. And the governments that defiled me even though I misinterpreted something which I then blamed on the fucking governments. And my parents. No. Do you have to hate on them? They’re really nice and I wouldn’t be quite the same if I hadn’t heard that 10’000 Maniacs record that many times.

Can we just agree to like all governments? And hate swear words?