Monday, February 18, 2008

Allez Allez: Allez-y encore!

I wouldn’t have picked a cold night in New Cross among the students to be my best night out in years (I’m not quite old enough to be their father etc) but then picking implies prior arrangement and pre-ordained nights aren’t usually the best either.

The Allez Allez DJs have been nicely building up their reputation and their night at the refixed Amersham Arms has also been developing a following. The template is electro-disco-house and some outer, rockier movements at opportune times. We turned up early, meeting Rachel and her flatmate and it was filling it out nicely, so we grabbed a place and, for the non-narking dads, got drinking. Buoying up the old boys.

Saturday night’s star turn was Kompakt man Axel Willner aka The Field, who has been turning modern house heads. It’s like a clubby Ulrich Schnauss. People have called it shoegaze techno for the way he extends and repeats the usual house riffs into droney blankets of sound as opposed to the usually distinct musical passages of minimal techno. It wasn’t clear from my side of the floor whether the Swede was PA-ing off a PC or DJ-ing, but it didn’t really matter as this would be an auteur set anyway.

The first 15 minutes of his set he was trading on goodwill and the energy of the crowd. Thought vs Action revels in not-quite-built rhythms, and insubstantial iteration of Abba riffs and voices. Where before his set the crowd had got moving to tunes such as Laidback’s Don’t Ride the White Horse, Bumblebee Unltd’s Ladybug and a canny dub of Curtis’ Pusherman - direct expressions of musical devotion, no filter from inspiration to production to transmission, here it seems as though he was playing with a crowd now bent on partying, acknowledging the decades of dance history by putting distance between his musical sources. Haunted, post-modern house.

But eventually the filtered proggy twists, occasional acid lines and, yes, trance penchant make sense and hit home, giving the crowd further peaks. Over the Ice moods it out and Love vs Distance bangs harder than on the Kompakt version, the looped peaks and troughs coming and going to dizzying effect. Packed and perspiring, by now the security have given up keeping the crowd off the stage and up there it’s a joyous mass. I remember the guy who looked like a 70s Brooklyn Jewish wide guy and someone who had taken his crappy 80s Foster-type jumper off leading the crowd. Many others too. Willner finished around half one, and the crowd were well up for seeing the 90 minutes out.

They probably know because they keep getting told by NME and Time Out among other media, but the Goldsmith and other local students are dead lucky having nights like this on the doorstep. Hopefully, I’ll be popping down again soon.
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Coldplay album

Ecosexual politician Jeremy McClintock has apparently claimed a musical exclusive - first hearing of the tracks on the new Coldplay album. On a simulated change forum tour for troubled kids in Innsbruck, Jez's buddy Chris Martin turned up and whacked off a few tunes from the follow-up to X&Y, tentatively titled 'Kofi's Dream'.

Early reaction from Coldplay's legions of fans is available here...
And for the Hispanophones
[Chris Martin - his words and thine]
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Monday, February 11, 2008

On cloud 9, floating around a Blue Moon – United 1 City 2

1:29pm, Denmark Hill South London.
We were running late after filming some McClintock. Rich and I tuned in to 909 in the car and thought the reception was out because we couldn’t hear anything, like a Big Brother transmission where birdsong replaces profanity. But it had happened – Blues “observed” the minute’s silence and from then on moral right was on our side (I told anyone who would listen for the rest of the day). On the micro level too I would become glad I hadn’t added to the misplaced noise with another post about the Munich chants in the run-up.

As we drove down Champion Hill, East Dulwich and Peckham Rye, United exploded out of the blocks but didn’t score. And eventually we started dominating, finding passes. We got to the pub to find Vassell had scored. Mwaruwari then doubles the lead. Ireland, Petrov, Hamman, Hart and of course Dunney and Micah were next-level. By the second half I had to check whether the Madeiran grease cake Ronaldo was still on the pitch after a performance which showed he has a bit more to do to really be a Best or an Edwards, and I had none of that knotted stomach, pounding heartbeat and tension upstairs that I get in the big games either at matches, listening in or watching via pub satellite – it was a spring walk in a Stretford park for City. The first-half goals were enough to seal the first win at OT since we put them down in 74, the first derby double since 70 and a level of pride possibly not seen since we beat them 5-0 at OT three years before the air crash, or certainly since the 5-1 in 89. I had all manner of ‘keep the hate’ type posts planned in advance of our inevitable win (!), but the diatribe of opposition is that bit less feasible when you’re still melting inside.

United did many things right before and on the day – they stuck to their guns about the silence, siralex Ferguson waved in tribute to the ‘impeccably’ silent Blues and, most importantly, they chose to hand out 73,000 red scarves and 3,000 blue ones. In the age where people are swayed by spectacle the old Celtic/Liverpool trick of mass scarf-waving may have just stopped one or two Blues from opening their mouths. Respect to all Reds who didn’t fill their forums with rouged prejudice either before or after too.

United’s most foolhardy move was undoubtedly the exact replica kit, while City’s rebranding still saw them in a polyester present. Semiotics-wise, they were now mired in the past and we were looking forward, in the here and now and concretising dreams of future glory. What we had all dreamed was unfolding in front of us and now it was all about reality matching fantasy.

This Munich disaster has always been relentlessly milked – but a bit of that will wither away now that Utd realise they don’t need it as their totem (their success in the 60s and 90s is pretty genuine and inspirational history too). The press had been rabid – blindly following every story in the build-up and building up the prosecution for City’s ‘idiots’ even before we’d done anything (City, well versed in such distortion, had to keep counsel on our forums and blogs). This is the modern malaise kind-of outlined in Nick Davies’ book – the fourth estate’s flat earth too blindly follows the pr spin of modern news output and only the most respected ‘columnist’ is allowed to interpret. Result – aeons of ethereal dreck. One of United’s main branded banners was Lest We Forget – how one earth did you think that was going to happen?

Portraying the head (and body) states, the day differed in the absence of that erstwhile tension and as the day wore on, and my smile widened, I began to feel my body slowly surging and buoying, mimicking a narcotic high on only beer as medication, anticipating the BBC highlights to come. Scoffers might say that’s how followers of a successful team (like Utd) feel all the time, but winning regularly breeds a certain amount of blasé familiarity while for us it was all vive la blissful difference.

A Blue born in NZ and raised in the south with only tenuous familial links to M/cr I was part of the first wave of delocalisation, where kids began to choose teams for spurious reason – the air crash if anything starting off the process. But I have been dyed in Blue wool a long time now, even though in one respect I am no worse than Zheng the mad Red from Tianjin. Each game like this ruptures sensibility, taking one’s attitude a little bit further away from where it was – maybe on a route to maturity or to being less in thrall to this now horrifically-branded global commercial pastime. When we came back from 2-0 down against Gillingham to equalise in the fourth minute of the old 3rd division play offs, I nearly collapsed in the emotional upheaval but came to realise that football should not treat you this bad; when we game from 3-0 down to beat Spurs 4-3 in normal time with 10 men I said, cynically after the ecstasy, that such a comeback has signed me up for another few years of Eastlands abysmality. It did.

3:23pm Final Whistle, pub in Honor Oak Park
Rich and I hugged in joy, not caring while the Chelsea fans kept an eye on us overstepping the mark on their turf. Some hate will stay extinguished: it’s fair to say that with the nemesis of continued Old Trafford defeat now behind us, a few Blues will now stop using the Munich word – a term of abuse I have found justification before because its meaning in our singing has long since evolved from 58 to what my mate Corky said was “the term of abuse they hate the most”. But others will return roughly to where they came before kick off. Many United and City fans will still hate each other – some will do our aeroplane gestures, they will sing songs about Marc Vivien-Foe, Poor Old City Fucking Off Home, even Russian submarines that have no relevance to anything not to mention Hillsborough and Heysel. And let's hope this was nothing to do with colours. We’ll still clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, while United will surely be the first team to play against Martians Athletic in Sky’s Galaxy League – they have a big following on the red planet. We may be the pride of Stockport in their eyes, but in ours they are the pride of Singapore.

Two weeks ago, we went red when City lost a cup-tie to bamboozling balloons, but the reason why we call ourselves “the best (not most successful, biggest, best masturbator, etc) team in the land and all the world” is that two weeks later manager, players and fans confounded expectation and realised the dream. Not Mad City, but maddening City. We might even win a trophy soon (yeah, us and Newcastle, football’s other sonadors). When this occasion at last brought the local back to the game while the prospect of Fulham v Wigan in Dubai looms, that can mean a lot more.

Before - MCFC Dubai (yes, we’ve globalised too)
Before and After – City fan David Conn (Guardian)
After - Burdened by History - Sam Wallace (Independent)
King of the kippax
Purely Man City
City fan on Flickr

Ebay removes Red scarf offers
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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

: Temporal headstates examined >>>

Or ‘the past was yours but the present’s mine’
“I don’t like looking back. I want to be in the present looking forward. It’s hard having been in this group with this story, but really for me once something is done it’s time to move forward.
“The past is like a dream, it’s like it never existed. The present is something you can touch, feel, smell… By now I’ve dealt with whatever I needed to deal with, and it’s gone. If you dwell on the past too much it stops you dealing with the present, where your life actually is.”
Bernard Sumner, from Morley’s JD: Piece by Piece.

Hit up this excerpt of McClintock assessing Moral Hazard...

and nous representons the trailer on YouthTube...

In other news, my turntable-into-digital computer mix thing worked! and the komputer, with some post-production ie copying and pasting and effecting, is occasionally burning the CD. So do the necessaries to shore yourself off of a copy. I tried to get as much bass of it as possible, honest. You can probably make out the final listing from the image below. It's all about the 2007, which is so 2006.
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