lathe cut photography



Attempts to photograph a clear vinyl lathe cut disc by experimental/noise musician James Twig Harper.
I own this disc and wanted to see if I could get accurate documentation of it to post on Discogs' entry for the work (Untitled, 2012)
Discogs describes the piece as:

Double Offset 2, Freeform Lathe cut on clear Acrylic w/ 2 holes. Edition of 20.

This means there are two "tracks" -- one on each side of the disc. The bands of grooves on each side are lined up un-concentrically relative to each other, which you can see because the disc is clear. One of the punch holes lines up concentrically with a track on one side and the other punch hole lines up concentrically with the track on the other side, making each side playable on a turntable. The vinyl slab is crudely cut into an irregular polygon. Soundwise, the tracks appear to be vocals yelled into microphone and amplified into pure distortion, so that the unrecognizable speech acts as an oscillator.


hatin' on haigh

Simon Reynolds is writing his 123rd article about Robert Haigh, the British late prog guy turned unlikely drum and bass star (as Omni Trio). I don't actually hate Haigh but it gets tiresome seeing every release receive special treatment when there's so much good music starving for decent criticism. I rarely look at The Wire, even though it covers its share of obscure material. Magazine profiles with exceptionally well-lit photos of musicians brooding in their studios are annoying -- just write about the work, please.

Speaking of The Wire, it published a playlist of Robert Haigh's favorite solo piano works, since he is now performing solo piano works in his latest career incarnation.
The list is below. Streaming versions of all these songs are on The Wire's website.

Wire Playlist: Robert Haigh
February 2018
To accompany the release of his most recent solo album, the musician formerly known as Omni Trio has compiled a playlist of influential compositions for piano.

Frédéric Chopin “Nocturne No.1 In B Flat Minor” 0:05:50
Erik Satie “Gnossienne No. 3: Lent” 0:02:23
Chick Corea “Ballad For Anna” 0:02:31
Claude Debussy “Voiles: Préludes Book 1” 0:03:43
Harold Budd & Brian Eno “First Light” 0:07:08
Vladimir Cosma “Promenade Sentimentale” 0:02:33
Federico Mompou “Impresiones Intimas No. 8: Secreto” 0:02:30
Feldman “Triadic Memories: Page 34, System 3, Measure 4” 0:04:10
Roger Eno “Grey Promenade” 0:04:32
Wim Mertens “Struggle For Pleasure” 0:04:01
Philip Glass “Opening” 0:06:25
Bill Evans “Peace Piece” 0:06:44

This inspired a counter-list, not so much in opposition but to convey a different attitude one could have to solo piano (more fun, more tuneful, more diverse, more emotional).
Included are a couple of musicians that might set Reynolds' hair on fire -- it can only be hoped. Most of these soundfiles were found "on the internet," volume-adjusted, and posted here under the banner of MP3 blogging (fair use, for discussion purposes, no commercial intent, will remove if requested, etc etc).

Gertrude Orff, "Kleiner Klavierstücke, Heft I, No. 2" 0:31
Maurice Ravel "Le Tombeau de Couperin, I. Prelude" (performed by David Korevaar) 02:59
Nino Rota "7 Difficult Pieces for Children: The Ladders" 01:20
Randy Weston "African Village/Bedford Stuyvesant" 05:15
Philip Glass "Modern Love Waltz" (performed by Amy Briggs) 03:38
Carla Bley (transcribed and performed by Bruce Berrios), "Lawns" 01:38
Keith Emerson "Karn Evil 9, Second Impression" (performed by Rachel Flowers) 07:34
Liz Story "Myth America" 02:57
Steven Brown "Waltz" 01:28
Alice Coltrane "Prema" 06:11

Steven Brown is the keyboardist/sax player of Tuxedomoon; the above piece is from a collection of his mid-1980s piano music. Other names should be more or less familiar.

a cold, clammy bombing

Dedicated to faux-progressives who think baiting a nuclear-armed power is a keen idea if there's a chance it could dispose of Trump (along with the rest of us). Suddenly we are back in the bad old days of the Cold War and songs like this have become relevant again:

Chrome, "March Of The Chrome Police" (1979)

I don’t care much about your situation
You’ve got too a strange of a fascination
You’ve got an overactive imagination
A cold clammy* bombing
A cold clammy bombing
Will ruin your town
I hear all the paranoid discussions
Trying to distract me from my functions
But I don’t care what they say
I’m not afraid of the Russians
A cold clammy bombing
Will ruin your town
Some say they saw you lighting up the fuse
Well at last this fucking box will get some use
Modern equipment can’t take the abuse
A cold clammy bombing
Will shit on your town

*spelled "clamey" on the lyric sheet

lazy YT-jaying: "Firecracker"

Didn't realize "Firecracker," on the first Yellow Magic Orchestra LP, was a Martin Denny cover: [YouTube]

According to Discogs, YMO started as a one-off concept project of Haruomi Hosono's, interpreting Western oriental exotica, which then caught on as a band.
Riuichi Sakamoto and Yukohiro Takahashi originally came in as session musicians.
The Denny piece anticipates David Byrne's Japanese-sounding themes for The Last Emperor, which Sakamoto also wrote music for, so there's some kind of cultural loop thing going on here.