a camera pointed at us: joe on peak signal 2 noise

November 14, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Peak Signal 2 Noise (TV show, Sheffield Live Community TV and Vimeo)

PS2N logo (1)

[Editor’s note: amused by the impressionistic ‘off the TV’ snaps that Joe sometimes tweets I encouraged him to use the same technique in illustrating this article.  Thus what you are seeing has more to do with the workings of Joe’s phone camera (and fevered bonce) than the clear, sharp, properly lit and framed images you can expect from this excellent television programme.  OK, over to Joe…]

It’s seems to be a truism in broadcasting that music TV has to suck really, really bad.

Cast your mind back to the mashed potato blandness of The White Room, the jokey yoof-arse of The Tube and the god-awful sweaty slobbering  from Jools Holland (which is apparently still on).

What should be so simple, folk playing music with a camera aimed at them, turns into an excuse for zany camera angles, ill-thought out concepts and paedophile presenters.  Ugh.  It’s grim.  I rest my case m’lud. [Editor’s note: hey, SnubTV had its moments!]

Thankfully Peak Signal 2 Noise is different fishy kettle.  There’s no presenter to foul things up, no false stage antics or miming fools.  It’s just a camera in face of the no-audience underground.

Cut up like a mix tape, the show moves swiftly between a whole buncha beards in a whole bunch of situations (live show footage, specially recorded pieces, installation performances) keeping the energy up and creating spaces to dream.  Although edits are hard some interruptions blur the edges: a cheap kaleidoscope, raw fennel seeds bouncing on a speaker, frozen wasps, Yodel/Honkey and the Bubble Wrap man.  On the seven episodes broadcast already you can expect to see…

Virginia_JookloJooklo Duo

·         Jooklo Duo – Tender solo sax squall like free-jazz insects.  Drums clatter in fur mittens.  A sound so wonderfully clear and fresh it’s like a clear mountain stream running over polished cobbles.

·         Human Heads – A real Dr Who vibe.  That’s not saying this is Radiophonic; more like Ben & Hannah are playing parts of a broken Tardis for kicks.

Humbolt VenturesHumbolt Ventures_hands in the airSellotape Mung

·         Humbolt Ventures– Glorious Sellotape jam.  Rubbing and stroking are the order of the day with thin vibrations.  Bullroarers in pt 2 induce coma.

Bill OrcuttBill Orcuttttt

·         Bill Orcutt – Winged Eel finger-licking, blues shalom with naked foot.

Knitted Poot70s Poot

·         Luke Poot – No one does shame quite like Poot.  Performance, the pink end of noise, a burst orange ball is honked like a rubber sax, lights pulled out flies, plastic toast. Lead us Luke!

Dylan Vine Gurn

·         Dylan Nyoukis – Multiple Vines flicker like cat’s eyes –the hottest tip yet from the dark monk.

Jon Marshall_Papal Bull

·         Papal Bull – Maplin shoplifters curse the day tape was invented.  Slow torture of the C30.

Chris H_Family ElanHarry Wheeler_Family Elan

·         The Family Elan – Off-kilter yarbles from Transylvania (or something).  A proper band!

·         Sweat Tongue – No Wave roots with new (blue) boots.  Treble cranked high like it should.

·         Harappian Night Recordings – Those familiar stretched ferric sounds clash off Bali bonce with wide eyes.

·         Roman Nose – Layers and layers of Cardiff chalk blown up (Roman) nose, hopping from frame to frame capturing the mauve kinetic holla.   PLUS some bagpipe animation creep hidden elsewhere!

·         Marvo Men – Free gong-poetry on a dusty floor in a freezing space.  Every opportunity taken to push things beyond ‘here’ and into ‘there’ with head-folding results.  A brave and true duo.

Pouting FritzSinister Fritz

·         Fritz Welch – Mental crenulations and high metallic  wavering; clikerty fingerings and squeak in two glorious parts

Pascal Nichols_Stuckometer

·         Stuckometer – Free Jizz overdrive for the ‘fuh’ generation from these boy legends.

JunkoJunko 3Junko 2

·         Junko – “Atttttahhhh-atttttaaahh.  Ktchhttaaaaa.  Tch-aaaaaahhhhh.”

Sharon Gal

·         Sharon Gal – Granite-hard birdvoice dreamtime.  Geysers scored for hot-ash hiss.

Nyoukis_HonkeyNyoukis Honkey 2

·         Dylan Nyoukis/Luke Poot – This time together.  In conversation via khat-o-phone.  Explosive sinus and remorseful tutting like all the world’s Geography teachers at once.

·         Turk Geko – Found footage, frowned frottage, grown pottage, hewn montage.

YOLs Shirt

·         YOL – Without a face he chants (gggrrrrrrrr) leaving few traces but ghastly thoughts.

·         Belied Gunaiko – Silver cloud noise.  The sound of pilots dozing off…

Julian PSPiss SuperstitionPiss Fingers

·         The Piss Superstition – Transparent methods.  A ‘how to’ guide if you will.  But ingestion of foul liquids may, just may, play a part in the visceral rusty bliss-tronics.

Jon CollinJon Collin taps a footJon Collin makes a chord

·         Jon Collin – Naked guitar (finger then slide) of ultimate sorrow.  Salty harmonics from slack, bitter strings cry. Two-fer-one.

·         Trans/Human – Mystery Machine hi-jinks full of fuzz, fizz and fixx.  Taking pale ‘scree’ to the people like hotdogs.

Joincey

·         Joincey Jointhee – Word poems to a frosted tit.  Superb fractured sentences folded together with abrupt and sudden breath.  Curse the rain that stops the f-l-o-w.

Crank

·         Crank Sturgeon – Electric Portraiture.  Oh my Crank!

OK friends…I tried me hardest with those descriptions (for some reason this is so much harder than talking about records) so it’s probably best just to tune in really.  If you are Sheffield based you can get this on the proper telly (9.00pm/Saturday/Channel 159).  Jokers living in other locales can check out Vimeo for an identical web version and an archive of everything broadcast so far building up to an encyclopaedia of No Audience shenanigans.  The series plans to run for 10 episodes which should take us almost up to Christmas.  But, be warned, the busy bees behind the venture are looking to bust out in all different directions in 2015.

Stop reading.  Start watching.

Bloody Fingers

fencing flatworm recordings presents the piss superstition

July 28, 2014 at 10:59 am | Posted in fencing flatworm, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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the piss superstition – getting nothing to appear on the developed film (CD-r with booklet, fencing flatworm recordings, edition of 50 or download)tps front covertps back covertps booklet front and back

tps inserts

The most hotly awaited date in the no-audience underground calendar is, of course, the publication of radiofreemidwich’s annual Zellaby Awards. I know the anticipation ruins Christmas for a lot of you, and that spats on the red carpet have ended up in the tabloids, but our duty to promote the finest available music trumps all concerns about public order.

Once the puddles of champagne vomit have been mopped away, all that remains is an ancient tradition that can be dated back as far as 2013. The winner of the yellow jersey for Album of the Year is, *ahem*, ‘rewarded’ with a release on my otherwise dormant microlabel fencing flatworm recordings. This time the annual reactivation was postponed for a few months to allow for the project to mature but the wait has proved justified: the result is perfect.

getting nothing to appear on the developed film by the piss superstition, the duo of Julian Bradley and Paul Steere, comprises three tracks lasting a total of 30 minutes and is presented on CD-r (and/or download) in a cover designed by Julian. It is accompanied by an eight page, A7 pamphlet containing details of the release and some oblique poetry also by Julian. These pamphlets were hand-typed on one of those ol’ fashioned typewriters (see photo above) with hand-written track listings and edition numbers by guess who? Yep: Julian. That’s the nice thing about working with self-sufficient artists with confidence in their own vision – all I need do is the administration. The physical edition is strictly limited to the customary 50 copies, a download is available on a pay-what-you-like basis.

The music is, as ever with these guys: mystifying, brilliant, peerless. I’m not going to say any more because I want you to come to it fresh and untainted by my own interpretation. However, for those of you new to this band here’s a little of what I have said about them in the past:

…heavy, juddering electrics describe arcane symbols as they spiral through the iterations of this garbled instruction set. Something truly weird is being revealed. The serrated buzzing suggests saw mill equipment escaping its moorings and consuming itself as one bladed machine vibrates into the path of another. But again, there is nothing random about this movement. All is being conducted by an unfamiliar intelligence for some unknowable purpose…

…or to put it more succinctly:

…this music is detuned – not discordant as such, just eroded, smeared, until its original content is lost or, at best, obliquely hinted at. That is what makes it so endlessly fascinating…

Intriguing, eh? I’m very, very proud to have been involved in making this available. Now don’t be sleeping – this is sure to sell out double-quick.

—ooOoo—

the piss superstition on fencing flatworm recordings on Bandcamp

the piss superstition’s own site

The 2013 Zellaby Awards

 

crossing the streams: broken arm and the piss superstition

April 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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The Piss Superstition / Broken Arm – Live at The Fenton (tape, Great Sadness)

piss - arm - fenton

It’s years since I read it but, if I remember correctly, Foucaults Pendulum by Umberto Eco is about hoaxers who get in trouble when some bullshit they made up for a laugh gets taken seriously by dangerous conspiracy nuts. After hundreds of pages of dramatic incident and post-modern clever-cleverness the punchline is (spoiler alert) that the greatest secret has no content. Thus: the more you deny there is anything to know, the more desperate those desiring to know will become.

(Aside: should my exciting synopsis cause you to consider reading this book may I recommend instead that you go for The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. It covers similar ground but has way more fucking in it and far fewer witty puns in Latin.)

I  was reminded of Eco’s conclusion when listening to The Piss Superstition. Thus: I flounder about trying to make sense of it all whilst Julian (Bradley) and Paul (Steere) look on amused, shrugging and whispering to each other:

Dude, it just is what it is…

…but of course I don’t believe them and my babbling interpretations continue to spill out.

First, the facts: here we have the latest release from The Piss Superstition, winners of the Best Album gong at the 2013 Zellaby Awards. It’s a split tape shared with Broken Arm featuring two sets recorded live in famed Leeds shithole The Fenton. The recording quality is of an acceptably raw ‘walkman bootleg’ variety, mastering is limited to topping and tailing with the settings otherwise jammed on ‘brutal’. TPS contribute one track, ‘A Stupor-Look On The Knife Throwers Face’, lasting about twenty minutes. BA’s set comprises seven songs lasting half an hour. It has apparently been released by a label called Great Sadness though no contact details are provided on the object and perfunctory net-based ‘research’ also reveals nothing. Mysterious.

The Piss Superstition sound on this occasion is made of stringed noise (unrock guitar digested by intestinal effects), electro scribble spiralling into gibberish and stumbling, ill-fitting rhythms falling over themselves. ‘Wait, what?’ a mournful two-pitch pulse seems to groan, as if from a nightmarishly devolved nursery rhyme. Now, tempting as it is to romantically claim that the TPS back catalogue is the noise equivalent of the Voynich manuscript, I don’t think these boys are perpetrating an elaborate hoax. Nor are the indications of meaning accidental – there really are fossils of Cambrian oddities in these shale fragments, not just artefacts of rock formation and wishful thinking. No, this music is detuned – not discordant as such, just eroded, smeared, until its original content is lost or, at best, obliquely hinted at. That is what makes it so endlessly fascinating.

I know nowt about Broken Arm because they are, y’know, a ‘band’ but I very much like the smashed garage punk on display here. Their riffage is meaty and prominently veined, the high point being, err…, that track in the middle (who can follow a track listing whilst listening to a tape, eh? Not me – my brain is mush nowadays. *Sigh*, as a teenager I could sing along to Scum) where they get on a groove that is part glam stomper and part Spaceman 3 via orange swathes of distortion pedals. Highly entertaining and serves the main purpose of any decent live recording: it makes you wish you’d been there to see it performed.

For details of how to secure a copy visit the TPS blog.

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