Archive for ‘politics’


Or, Dio… and gender politcs


First things being first, I should probably mention that petals have a new tape out on Strange Rules. It is called Abstention and is now sold out out at source, but various distributors will have it in due course, as indeed will I. Get in touch if you’re interested. Strange Rules head honcho, Zen Zsigo, has described it as his “late summer soundtrack”.

Next up, Kevin Sanders has produced two new 3″ cdrs. The first of which, A decline in aspirationis available now and the second of which, Circadian escapades, is due out imminently. These recordings offer a slower and more sparse construction than his more recent output, focussing upon acoustic sounds which are then processed, introduced, layered, synthesised, and smelted down.

Please note that all monies raised by this month’s hairdryer excommunication releases will be going to Team Harpy. Team Harpy are two brave women, Lisa Rabey and nina de jesus, that publicly criticised the sexually harassing behaviours that were extant among certain members of the library conference circuit in North America. A person named as a perpetrator but did not accuse of any illegal actions, has now decided to sue these women for expressing their thoughts on such behaviour. He is suing for $1.25m. As an American, he has chosen to sue Team Harpy in Canada, where nina resides (but not Lisa), presumably because the Canadian legal system is similarly regressive to the UK’s and he wouldn’t have stood a chance in the US. Smooth move.

Patriarchal dominance has given several layers of power and expectation to men to feel that they can do as they please, unchallenged. Scale this up to a professional context where men get to parade their apparent knowledge, skills and futurism, we see that this hierarchical dominance is reproduced in a field that is women-predominant. This starts to build a specific domain of shitness, right? Moreover, this behaviour was discussed privately, creating silos of support and awareness, and this legal challenge is a threat to all women’s ability to disclose, discuss and secure safety in this patriarchal paradigm.

The money raised here will be a drop in the proverbial ocean, but everything helps, and using hairdryer excommunication as a vehicle to supplement my personal donations seemed sensible. (You can also donate here.) It also seemed like a discoursally important thing to do: are we up for a debate about gender politics in the no audience underground? I don’t think that our disparate ‘scenes’ are exempt from patriarchal normativity. Why don’t we challenge this more instead of reproducing it? Big questions.

Over to you…


The skull mask and Midwich

Six angles

This is the sort of thing that happens in the no audience underground. Rob and Miguel will offer you some material to release which is amazing. So amazing, in fact, you want to more people to share in the fun of being involved in the release and getting more people to hear it.

This being the case, who could have been more perfect than Dan over at Sheepscar Light Industrial/Cherry Row Recordings? We’ve all pretty much worked together in some way in this game o’ sound and community… it was just too good of an opportunity to miss.

Dan’s put 25 copies out through his Cherry Row Recordings imprint and hairdryer excommunication have done the same thing, with us both hosting it electronically: No modes of exclusivity here.

Yeah, there’s a charge for the physical version, but we’re doing our best to refute capital, exclusivity and all that shit. Low cost, handmade releases (£3 plus p&p) and free electronic access: You , dear participatory listeners, can’t go too far wrong  with our collective ways of organising this sort of thing, right?

In homage to the People’s Republic of DIY, the hXe physical version is adorned with a rather miserable looking Yorkshire Terrier with a crown on.

This is an international release of manipulated acoustics, synth and electronics. It is one of my favourite listens of the year and has come together in no time. Perfect stuff.

[Nota bene: As always, I’ll be giving half of my pressing of the release to the artists.]



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.


Now issuing aspirations

Having established that some of my aspirations have been causing a negative impact upon my being over the last ten years, I have decided to attempt to resolve this issue in a practical way.

Many people may decide to shift their focus and as such, through a process of personal appraisal, realign their aspirations. However, having been through this process a few times, I’m going to do something a little different this time.

Now, some aspirations have worked for me having given me something to aim for;. The attainable out-of-reach can act as a healthy aspect (and metaphor) of existence for those searching. However, professional aspiration has had me in somewhat of a perpetual state of flux for the past ten or so years. As such, I am going to give my professional aspirations away.

They are free, but only available by collection only. No time wasters please.

I’m certain that once I have emancipated myself from these unattainables, I shall feel more content, and as such, be able to focus on my other, perhaps more social aspirations.


Back in the red

With the tragic passing of my beloved computer has come the budget/blagged purchase of a better one. All thanks to the naivety of a user and the credit surplus that Barclaycard insist on informing me of (in terms of me failing to exploit more credit/debt).

Whilst all of this rather pales into the ether when confronted with our global turbulence, more of which is intended to be touched on over the next week or so, I simply felt that some form of announcement of our ‘return’ to ‘normal service’ was called for.


hairdryer excommunication

Feeling the restrictions from our former home, we have jumped ship in order to make our online residence more comfortable.

There shall be easier access to all downloads, there will be a clearer interface to enhance historical records, and there shall be a greater level of correspondence and interaction.

The aim is simple; clarity.

First up is the announcement of the new collaborative cassette by three parties distanced by geographical locations. The members of Kodiak Gold, Petals and Slump reside in the disparate locations of Cheshire and Huddersfield and London, and so decided to use the age old if not terribly weary postal system to overcome this issue.

A cassette arrived in Huddersfield when I returned from my festive jaunt through the Midlands and to West Sussex. This was then processed and added to before being posted along, with the original cassette, off to London to face additional processing and new input. The art work was formed at the same time, with a scrawl becoming the threeway scrawls that adorn this new tape.

Expect bass tinkering, tape scramble and analog electronic fury. Head over to Beartown Records to grab your copy of Tuft ang Post-Meredith.