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.

linear regressionists (anti-CD, 1990)

via Discogs:



The Linear Regressionists ‎– Living On The Regression Line
Label: Pursuit Of Market Share ‎– POMS ROI-001, RRRecords ‎– CD-002
Format: CD, Limited Edition, Anti-CD
Country: Germany
Released: 1990
Genre: Non-Music


1 Untitled


Concept By – Bernhard Assfalg, Don Hedeker, Franz Liebl, Lydia Tomkiw, RRR (2)

"The POMS Principles - applying violence to compact discs
The POMS Series in Anti-Cds Vol. 1"

(unplayable cd perforated by 10 holes)

drexciya on dallas radio, 1992

Dallas-area radio DJ Jeff K currently announces sports and classic rock, but previously had a career (in the late '80s/early '90s) as a John Peel-like pioneer of electronic dance music. He's gradually fleshing out a discography of his radio shows and mixes on his website. When I lived in Dallas I taped his show off and on from '93 - '95, and, working in my painting studio, re-listened to the dazzling guest mixes from the likes of DIY Crew, DJ Icey, Utah Saints (!), Gavin Hardkiss, and others. When I moved back to NYC in '95, those tapes provided me with tunes for about a year (on a portable tape player, until I got the rest of my music out of storage -- yawn, sorry).

How au courant was Jeff K back in the day? In this broadcast of Oct. 17, 1992 [.mp3] go to the 35:53 mark for the "Edge Club Techno Screamer," a regular feature. That week's Screamer was "Sea Snake," by Drexciya, who at that moment were completely new and unknown but are now regarded as giants in the field. According to Discogs they "first came into the public eye" in 1994, and here's Jeff K playing them two years before that.

Drexciya was secretive about their membership and plans from the beginning, so it's no surprise to hear Jeff K wondering aloud on the show who they were:

...in the mail this week, all the latest records from Detroit, some new Underground Resistance... and some new Shockwave. The latest from Shockwave is an EP called 'Deep Sea Dweller' by Drexciya, and Jackmaster Joe Curry is still in the studio with us and we tried to find out 'Who is Drexciya?' and he thinks, well, it's probably just the guys from Underground Resistance, could be Mad Mike, we don't know. But anyway, it's a very very fine track, we're going to hear 'Sea Snake' from the 'Deep Sea Dweller' EP, it's this week's Techno Screamer, on Edge Club 94.