Saturday, May 24, 2008

Flesh of magazines

On the way down to check the mail the thought that I'd like to find another copy of last Sunday's Times Travel magazine crosses mind.
Then before I throw away stuff there is a copy lying on top of other old newspapers.
That Pico Iyer article on Ladakh ...

Lots of dl's Tanz Mit Mir ,This Mortal Coil, The Misfits, Void, Coroner, SunnO))/Boris and Zeitlich Vergelter from a Japanese live house 1985 -1990's blog.

The painters will come on June 23.
Under the low table with the Mackie mixing board on top and into the shelves of CD's, magazines, vinyl, VHS and DVD's piled up in the 10 years we have been here.
Today into the hall closet, the old suitcase I brought on the trip when I moved to NYC and throwing away almost all the old paper stacked inside.
Studio notes on tracks for TLC"s Trauma:Life In The ER and Science Times from the TV sdtk years with Charles,
quotations on future technologies for publications, tech rewrites for Longo's Johnny Mnemonic production.
Yellow pads filled with jottings from multimedia Festivals, anime film, LaserDisc and CD Rom developments.
Digital Shiatsu CDROM work sheets and budget, receipts, lists of groups, signed release forms and faded faxes in a fat folder for a NYC Hardcore Compilation for Bad Taste Tokyo brand '98.
The series of LD's Yoshiji and I were going to do as 'Emerge Inc.' , Confidentiality Agreements.
Ticket stubs, letters, bills from Sherpa inn keeprs for black coffees, high altitude breakfasts and dinners while trekking around the Annapurna's.
Name cards with numbers scribbled on the back, a collapsed Sique Sique Sputnik 'box set', second copy of Ballard's High Rise.

Articles saved from old NY Times, one in front of me now is by Steven Johnson who was present in the 'dot .com' '90's when NY Web was trying to keep things going in their office space on Lower Broad Street not far from where the bull sculpture paws ground.
Sunday Times magazines, Science Times, Travel sections, articles on the future of NYC, from after 9/11.
Art Review from 2000 on the first US extensive show of Momoyama period calligraphy, design and raku works by Japanese polymath Koetsu .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Coincidence Synchronicity and You

Coincidence. Leaving a ms for a musicmaking friend before heading downtown for another appointment,
just following up on earlier email in which we thought it would be good to catch up, turned out I would be literally almost passing by his place enroute ...
Synchronicity. Heading home after that meeting and having my friend enter stage left to fall in place on the sidewalk directly in front of me, close enough for me to say in conversational volume 'Hey Mark, we have to meet up'.
Then yesterday we got together and jammed for about 2 1/2 hours straight.
Mark got his car and pulled up behind the Con Ed trucks,
Alice came with a guitar and fx, I brought my laptop, a small piece of sheet metal and pair of sticks.
Through the Tunnel into Hoboken.
Pulled up into an open parking lot in back of this industrial building area, loaded in and played from the moment we each had a sound together until the end of the session.

Monday, May 19, 2008


The often rewarding ritual of going out and actually buying the thick Sunday NY Times bore at least two useful fruits in yesterday's edition.
One, on a subject that in it's own version has been moving into greater focus for myself since around mid Feb.

On more than a few occasions the Times writers come up with articles on underground or underground to overground subjects, 'obscure' into pop topics that I found bear close reading.

The article "The Return Of The One- Man Band" interested me in my present state, speaking to a desire to do music myself after spending the end of the '70's, the '80's and much of the '90's 'making groups' ( founding groups around some idea of what the group's music will be).
Then much of this decades moments have been taken up finding deals to rerelease, which then in unforeseen circumstance led to actually reforming at two of those groups, Death Comet Crew and after some success with them, Ike Yard.
Somewhere around 2004 -2005, other ideas came into play under the shadows of Bush/Cheney admin;
concepting ideas on topics for songs, word pool and casting about for musicians to configure a Dystopians project and further out but bubbling for years - making ideas and plans for polystylistic releases.
Going way back to 1976 for example, once we had formed the Rudements in DC and the fun of going from hanging out and only talking about this new 'punk' music we were excited about was formalized into a semi articulate musical working unit that was writing songs, creating music and playing out, a die was cast.
Find like minded people, make a group and go from there...
The end of that first group in DC ( with other members wanting to stay in DC, while I saw NYC as the place to let it 'blossom') was educational.
Not unlike like your first experience in finding and hooking up with your first girlfriend / boyfriend and then experiencing how good things end.
In general, while living it I found that the way things fell together and fell apart was still satisfying in creation, made visible / 'real' / credential -wise if there were records, CD's, reviews some result that raised a new flag, set out a territory and possibly had some success among peers, critically or commercially.
Some trace that it existed.
Five groups with five sounds was interesting to me and did provide a swath of territories explored, experimented in and moved forward from.
Now after some complex years of dealing again with reformed groups with that process' internal pros and cons ,
I had been feeling the end of 'groups time' coming and without really thinking of it this way - an advent of a 'one man band' or 'solo' period.
This went with the end of the 'bubble' of an idea I carried born of practical experience 'making records with engineers',
'in the Studio' and usually after making a few demos and finding a proper label to release them.
These releases were result not only who made the music but of course, who was the engineer, which Studio was used and who released it.
Used to working that way made a comfortable mode of working, a professional sounding board to work with,
also kind of denying all the engineer and production work I was soaking in and learning through osmosis.
This comes into play this decade when rereleases were usually not done with budgets allowing for star engineers or other producers to be hired.
Now that artists are 'off the plantation', production in the hands of the artists and the web multiverse has begun delivering on the old promise of allowing practically anyone to make effective 'art' or music releases to a worldwide audience,
there are these waves of makers in so many areas doing it all themselves.
The machines available at any given time have often determined things, now the softwares in the 'black boxes' does almost anything one can think of - many things one might not have thought of.
Part of the promise of electronic culture ...
Man and machine, woman and software =

Riffing off the article, having dealt with sampling since 1983 -'84 and earlier ( sampling delays, use of the Effectron)
the wonder and awe of sampling the world's sonic and putting it into current music has passed somewhat
(although the reformed DCC does do still use a sampling mode in a few forms).
Instead I find some frisson of doing synthesis beyond disparate sounds, styles and hybrid collaging towards deeper integrations within the sounds into new kinds of 'music' itself.
Dovetailing with some desire to do 'one new thing' for a longer period of time, some solid thread of releases that don't flash all colors but hopefully have some new vocab, perhaps a streamlined form of content over say, 10 years time.
It's kind of all coming out these days ...

Groups, units, forms.
The Rudements 1975 -'77. First group, formed in High School with mates. Post punk in it's way.
The Futants '78 -'79. First NYC group, Post punk and also heavily informed by Martin Fischer's synthesizers.
Ike Yard '80 -'83. From edges of Post Punk and acoustic electronic to totally electronic. Crepsecule & Factory Records America.
Dominatrix '84 -'86. Electronic Club music. Uproar/ Streetwise Records.
Death Comet Crew '84 -'86. 'Art damaged' hiphop or riphop. Beggars Banquet, ,J- Mark/Elektra.
The Voodooists '88 -'92. Cyber influenced Haitian voudou + club tracks. Warlock Records 12", VideoVoudou LD '92
Black rain '88 - '98. 'ENB sonic meets Misfits songs structures , 'post Industrial' 4 piece thrashing unit , 2 piece W Gibson sdtks
TV soundtracks '97 -'01 SA-Chuck Hammer unit. 80 1 hour programs . No releases during this period one downside
Released Dominatrix 2003 Int. Gigolo Records Black Strobe Remix
Reformed DCC 2003 -2008 Gomma, Troubleman, Delic Records Japan
Reformed Ike Yard 2006 -2008 Gomma, Acute Records/Car Park Records, Soul Jazz
and on into the ever falling night ...