Sunday, November 28, 2004

Anime in the sticks / Lain and Ms. Kuriyama

One of the worst things about relocating back to the UK after a long-spell in Asia - is the lack of immediate access to cool Japanese/Korean horror/anime/manga flicks - not suprising perhaps when I live in such a sleepy little village in the middle of a sleepy little county - still the cider more than makes up for it at times (or perhaps that should read - makes me unable to remember anything - and indeed makes it at times impossible to even stand!) .. so it was with some major suprise yesterday to find in the local paper-shop here in South Peth - a brand new UK mag - dedicated to all things that form (and I quote) "cult action entertainment".

Nothing exactly mind-blowing about this mag - apart from the fact it exists and is available in such a small-nothing-much-happenning place such as I live in .... For the non-enlightened - it gives a pretty decent overview of absolute essential viewing matter (both anime and film) - annoyingly omitting some classic examples (hopefully to be addressed in coming issues - should it make edition 2 that is !) .... I mean - how anyone can produce a magazine of this nature without giving a nod to the mega-beast that is Serial Experiments Lain completly foxes me .... Take the quiz to find out which Serial Experiments Lain character you are .... here.

Lain for me basically hits all bases - it starts with the typical 'hello-kitty-hugging' asian school settings - all somewhat cutey cutey - but immediatly following a school-girl suicide and subsequent email communication from 'the other side' (say Hi to the Wired) jarrs you into a dark undercurrent - of techno-goth, at times throbbing beatz, and all round coolness - as only the japanese seem to manage - whilst all the time somehow maintaing a simple juvenile charm ... this is a 12 part series - and well worth hunting down if you can find the thang - I managed to pick up a japanese bootlgeg in Beijing last year - my english-dubbed copy long ago given to my partner in Beatz - JVS as an xmas pressie (pretty generous or what ?) .

I actually became aware of this series - when sitting at home on Lamma Island, Hong Kong back around 1998 or so - whilst downloading anything with the word 'experiment' in it using Napster (those were the days) - I got a 2 minute clip of the sound track. For the next year or so, I used to repeatedly drop this clip into Digital Cutup Lounge performances (as ya do). Sooo - to recreate those heady Hong Kong DCL Jazz-Club-Dayz - ya can grab it by clicking below:

Serial Experiments Lain - Sound clip.

Back with Neo I suppose - it manages to cover all the old faves: Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ringu (forget that US remake pap - go for the japanese originals pleaz!!), Ju-On etc - all being total must-sees next time you are in a town/city with suitable rental-outlets... The list of uncovered gems is long - seriously though search out Lain - trust me - I am a doctor !

Perhaps the highlight of the whole thing however - is the centre-fold-pull-out (now now) of none other but uber-cool (and now tradgically hip) Chiaka Kuriyama.

The picture the mag used was a somewhat obvious choice - and one instantly recognisable thanks to Mr "I stole all my licks from cool japanese flicks" Tarentino ... cuz Chiaka Kuriyama is none other than the ball-swinging-psycho-babe from his Kill Bill effort ....

I prefer to remember her in Battle Royal (first one - second part for some reason does not quite do it for me - much more aggrssion/killing etc - but lacks the suprise factor I suppose!) - either however are more appealing than the mega-buks all-star bill-kill crap ...

so in typical rip-off-idea-fashion (thanks mr QT ya tought me all I know ..) ... while surfing for Lain pages - 2 Japanese girls making primitive disco noise ......

Kiiiii - Brown Girl

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Whatever happenned to peace luv n understanding - GODDAMMITT !!!

War - huh - wot iz it gud fer !!!

Lets all get luved up - drop some E or just go hug some trees or something ! Follow the examples of our leaders and sing the joys of luurrrve ...

Bush-n-Blair - Endless Love

Next time you feel like invading a country (come on admit it - don't be shy - we all have those feelings now and again) - or throwing a fit and fire-bombing the local Co-Op (this is one thing I feel like doing on a daily basis here in not-so-sunny South Peth) - take a leaf from the ever influential K-Foundation, and sing - sing - sing .... the official intersteller anthem:

K-Foundation - K-Cera-Cera - war is over - if ya want it ....

Alternativly - there is always the view point as Genesis Beyer P-Orridge so gently screams on TG NOW the new Throbbing Gristle platter (popped through the door from Mute this morning):
"Love is a vacuous Hole .... Life is a vacuous Hole"

Damn - where did I stash that AK47 ????

Saturday, November 20, 2004

390,000 Jedis There Are

This just passed to me by my stats gathering buddy and general guitar-noise-terrorist Simon Poulter ( - the Brighton figures somehow come as no suprise!

Seven people in every thousand in England and Wales gave their religion as 'Jedi' in the 2001 Census.

The Census form's question on religion - the only question where a response was not compulsory - offered a series of tick-boxes for the major religions in the UK (Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh); a tick-box for 'none'; and a free space to write in 'any other religion'. This was the first time a religion question was included in a Census.

A campaign on the internet claimed - wrongly - that Jedi, the belief system at the heart of the Star Wars films, would receive official government recognition as a religion if enough people quoted it on their Census forms. An email in support of the campaign, quoted by BBC News, invited people to 'do it because you love Star Wars... or just to annoy people.'

Just over 390,000 of the 52,000,000 people in England and Wales wrote in 'Jedi' on their census form.

The 'Jedi' response was most popular in Brighton and Hove, with 2.6 per cent of Census respondents quoting it, followed by Oxford (2.0 per cent), Wandsworth (1.9), Cambridge (1.9), Southampton (1.8) and Lambeth (1.8).

It was least popular in Easington, on the north-east coast of England between Sunderland and Hartlepool, where it was quoted by only 0.16 per cent of respondents. Sedgefield, Knowsley, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Wear Valley all show less than 0.2 per cent of respondents quoting 'Jedi'.

Director of reporting and analysis at the Office for National Statistics, John Pullinger said: 'Whatever its motive, the Jedi campaign may have worked in favour of the Census exercise. Census agencies worldwide report difficulties encouraging those in their late teens and twenties to complete their forms.

'We suspect that the Jedi response was most common in precisely this age group. The campaign may well have encouraged people to complete their forms and help us get the best possible overall response.'

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Karen MOK Man-Wai (莫文蔚) and the Canto Pap rap ...

Until last year, the previous decade was spent living and working in Hong Kong - cool place to get to know - and a good period to be there - music-wise it was interesting to witness the transformation of Karoke-going canto-yoof into ketamine-snorting-hard-house-nutters .. even more fun to play some of the more 'underground' clubs just north of the boarder in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, where if the beatz dropped to anything less than 150bpm - you would get threatening cheap-suited gangsters standing in front of the stage gesturing that they better damn-well-speed up - OR ELSE !! Life is tough in China - therefore - beatz they be damn fast - and the drugs - don't even go there mate !!

Despite a few years where the kids of Hong Kong really did seem to embrace the 'thud-thud-thud-thud' of dance culture - always there in the background was the mind-numbing drivel known locally as Cantopop - not to be confused with the motherland equivelant - Mandopop (no less) .... Rather than try and describe this dirge - if you feel interested - then check out the wikipedia overview saves me having to do it (I was actually going to sum up the non-diffrerences between Sammi, Faye (actually she is quite OK in a 'I stole all my licks from the Cocteau Twins' type of way), Joey, Kelly, Twins etc etc ad nausea - but pah I say - can't be bothered ... (howz that for a lazy review !!) ...

So, where and why and what for ......

Ok - no excuses for the above - you see - when I was a newby-Gweilo in HK, this was the image I was confronted with on trains, busses - everywhere ya seemd to look - there she was - naked - lying there - with no explanation as to why - being a non-chinese reader - it was to remain an unsolved mystery for years - she is ofcourse Ms. Mok (莫文蔚) - and this is perhaps her first CD - it is pop music - sung in Cantonese (and perhaps some Mandarin) - never actually heard all of it - but for reasons unknown - I have never quite been able to shake off the excellent cover-art (yep thats 'art'- really !).

No excuses for the following image either - this is just another example of the sort of 60-foot high bill-board ads we were at times subjected to in the HK humidity - life can at times be tough in foreign climates !!

Years and years pass - and periodically there appear further images of our Karen around Hong Kong - by this time I am fully aware who she is - she is actually a very successful actress as well as canto-crooner. Films of note in my books and well worth hunting out should you feel that way inclined:
  • Fallen Angels (1996) (director Wong Kar-Wai, 1996) - also stars HK canto-star Leon Lai.
  • Viva Erotica (1996, co-starring Leslie Chung and Shu Qi) - One of the first mainstream movies tailored for 'Category III' (adults only) release in Hong Kong, this opens with a wildly orgasmic sex scene between Leslie Cheung and Karen Mok and ends with the cheering sight of an entire film crew working in the nude. Add mainland actress Shu Qi (later of Crouching Tiger etc etc) starring as a Category-III porn star - and what more can you really ask for !!
  • Shaolin Soccer (2001, dir: Stephen Chow Sing-Chi) - a complete spoof Shaolin Warriors form footie team adventure - this is pure stupidity at its best - uber-cool in my books. Stars a host of canto-celebs including a stunning plastic-faced performance from the dad of bad boy canto-rocker Nic-Tse.. Go hire from block-buster today !
  • So Close (2001) - inferior HK version of Charlies Angels - worth it for the swords-play alone!
ahh - I could go on and on - infact right now I am about to reach over for my HK VCD/DVD folder and pull out a Fruit Chan movie (perhaps Made in Hong Kong) for the mornings entertainment - in fact I feel a whole Fruit Chan thread coming on in the not too near future (be warned) ..

sooo --- back to our karen - despite these classic pieces of HK-movie-magic, I never really bothered to check her audio stuff out... The turning point I suppose was the mass-advertising campaigns for the 2001 album 'Golden Flower' and supporting tour (I think it must be the cling-film that did it for me - basically anyone prepared to strip and be completly wrapped up in see-through-plastic deserves a listen in my books!

My curiosity had been prodded enough for me to check out this platter in the local HMV listening station - only bothered with the first track - a freaked out distorted guitar driven beat-based thang - all traces of anything pop-like seemingly blown to pieces by the production of Taiwanese guitar-thrasher Wu Bai..... so I parted with my 100 bucks and promptly carted it off home ...

On further listneing unfortunatly it became clear that the stand-out track was (and is) indeed that first one - a most-uncommercial thing with a mish-mash arrangment and a vocal delivery that at times is barely audible, with further distortions achieved by double-tracked voices and electronic-squeaks and farts - not at all what you would expect from a 'main-stream' HK-canto-popper - indeed even Ms Fay Wong at her most experimtal times (whilst still working with her ex Dou Wei), never achieved anything quite so noisy...

A few months later when me and John were busy working on some remixes of Hindi star Asha Bhosle, I tried to get the masters for this track through some contacts we had with her label at the time Rock records - this led to nothing as they apparantly made it clear that this track had zero commercial worth and therefore had no reason to be re-worked - a tragedy really - although pleasing as it is - the beats and bass are typically generic (what you would probably expect from the studios of Wu Bei - a confirmed metal-rock-geetarizt), they did indicate that some of the more 'easy listening numbers might be available - forgeddit !!!

So here ya have Karen MOK Man-Wai (莫文蔚) - 一朵金花 - 散光

and.... as last seen whilst touring her show back in 2002 in Singapore:

enjoy ...

Friday, November 12, 2004

Pere Ubu - It Came from Outerspace..

Off tonight to Bristol to catch Pere Ubu supplying an expected art-rock-workout backing to a 3D viewing of the 1950s classic - It Came From Outer Space..

Will review (of sorts) upon my return sometime tomorrow morning ..... this will be the third time I have witnessed Dave and the Boyz steppin out on these shores ... last time a very low-key gig at Moles, Bath, circa 1988 (plugging the Tenament Year lp) - I actually taped this one - but alas - it seems that said tape has walked ....

First time was a classic late 1979 performace with support from The Gang of Four - again in Bristol - somehow I ended up talking to Mr. Thomas after the gig - and recieved a classic (if not somewhat bored) reply to the question "hey Dave - why did you not play The Modern Dance/Non-Aligmnent Pact" - "hey like man we did - but ya see - we changed all the words and all of the music ... "

so on that note - and in anticipation of this gig - I was going to post Julian Cope - live from Glastonbury - 1987 performing the afore-mentioned 'Non-Alignment Pact' - but why should I - when what is really important is
Teddy Tumble .. and don't you forgeddit ...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Michael Clark & Co. vs The Fall

OK - lofi warning ...... back in 1988 sometime between the dates 20th Sept and 8th Oct - I found myself sitting in the front row of the balcony at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, London - watching Michael Clark and company bounding around the stage whilst the mighty Fall bashed their way through the 'I am Curious Orange' set. A cool event this one - and the only time I have ever witnessed messers MES and co in a sitting position... - and the only time we have seen Brix pushed around on a giant hamburger being persued by a mutant-formed Leigh Bowery !

Stuck out of a carefully positioned bag, I had a microphone plugged into a recording Sony Walkman - and proceeded to tape the whole of the gig..... Accoustics being what they are in the venue - and the fact that The Fall were LOUD - this is at times boomy - toppy - middly and muddly - bit like your typical professionally produced Fall albums you may joke - but nope this is truly lofi - and a fan-only-download perhaps ...

so here ya have it - Farmer Glitch presents from his personal bootleg collection:

The Fall - Hip Priest/Big New Prinz (Saddlers Wells 1988)

enjoy ....

Friday, November 05, 2004

Public Image Limited - 1978 live ...

1979 - tripping around the fields of what was my first Glastonbury Festival experience, with girlfriend of the time Sue - not many there that year perhaps a couple of thousand at most - just having witnessed Mark Stewart and his Pop Group terrorists completly lay waste to anything approaching a peacful afternoon - and escaping the stage area before Steve Hillage (remember him?) tried to kill us all with his blend of gnome-like-soft-rock-classics (other noize makers that year included : The Only Ones, Sky, Peter Gabriel, Tom Robinson - as you can see a real mixed-bag man !!) ........ anyways ..... we made our way to the stall holders in the hope of scoring some weed (as ya do) - no chance there of-course - remember this is 1979 - skunk did not even exist - and if it did - there was precious chance a yokal from zummerzit would ever lay hands on anything even related to a bud - so we made do with the normal mellow-yellow-slate-bar and stumbled around tokin-it (as ya do at festivals) ....

sitting there on the ground - with a box of dodgy looking C90 cassettes - was Bootleg-Cassette-Dude - first time I ever saw one of these types before - so stop we did - and before you can say - "what an incredible discordant din that guitar player makes - man wish I could play like that" - I was the proud owner of the following piece of pure audio excellence ......

This turned out to be (as Bootleg Cassette Dude was only too happy to explain) - a live tape from the second ever PIL gig - performed only 6 months previously in Paris on 22.12.78 ... and as it turned out - a slice of sheer throbbing-bass and thrashing guitars (topped by shamanic wailing) - pleasure ... well - off we trotted to the trusty Hilman Imp (I had style in my cars even back then) - plugged it into the customized-mega-watt tape-deck (bass speakers mounted under front-bucket-seats turned to 11) - reclined the chairs - smoked-da-spliffs - and basically had our socks-clear-blown-off...

the sound of that man Keith Levine and his twanging (at times completly out-of-tune-sounding guitar) slicing through the rock-solid dub-bass of Jah Wobble with slabs of synth squelches nigh on slicing yer damned head off, (well maybe by this point the drugs were impairing my judgement - but you get the picture) - this was cool-shit-bro - AND I WANTED MY GUITAR TO SING JUZ LIKE THAT !!! - of course at that time I was playing a Shergold Modulator through a 1960s fucked-Vox-AC30 - with minimal skills on board - so that to this day it remains a dream - but I did rush out and buy a Wem-Copycat tape-delay (still have tha baby - as I do the guitar and amp - if a certain Brendan W ever gets round to returning them that is ! note: 10 years all ready Bren - HINT HINT) ... but anyways - I digress ......

bottom line is Levine plays like no-one else I had heard before - forget all those bar-chords and structured changes man, and the tone - sounded more like he was strangling the instrument than strumming it - lovely stuff to these ears then (just as it is now) - and this is a couple of years before they ever attempted anything Metal Box-ish ... raw-power - never better executed !!

boy ... I played this tape to death - always fearing the thing would get eaten by the various crap-players I had - or snapped through repeated rewinds - back and forwards - back and forwards... - but nope - it never did - and yep - I just found the thang in the BIG BOX OF CASSETTES - in the cupboard-never-before-ventured ....

soooo .... a digital-copy and subtle-mastering lick later .... and here it is ..... the first track from the second ever PIL gig - crank it LOUD BABY - turn up the sub-woofer - this one KICKS (in an audiance recording lofi way of course ....) ..... enjoy :::

Public Image Limited - Theme (live in Paris - 1978)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Red Factory - The Martock Sessions 1981

Ok - first things first - shout out to Kid Shirt - you were there, it was your band, you played on this session - you smoke far less than me - and for sure your memory serves you better than the sponge masquarading as a brain that I carry around in my aging skull ...... sooo please feel free to fill in the gaps where they for sure lurk ....

ok - 1981 - beginning of the decade of doom - but banging away (literally) in the depths of Somerset were a band of merry minstrals (yeah yeah) - Red Factory - stand up and take your bow sirs ...

Back in those days the Farmer here - for reasons best left alone - was a co-owner of a pretty substantial PA system - equipped as they so often are - with a mixer and big-bag of effects - many a fine afternoon and evening were spent either seriously fucking up front-of-house sounds for various bands - or as in the case in point here - recording experiments in futuristic sonics .... !!

So on the 9th Spetember 1981, we find assorted Red Factory types, myself, Graham Fallows and Weird Beard (the most un-weird beard you will ever meet)- assembled in a 300 year-old former-school building in the village of Martock, Somerset. After the normal unloading of van - setting up of various bits of recording stuff, synths, drums, amps, mics etc etc - opening of tins of beer, skinning up of spliffs, smoking of spliffs - skinning up more spliffs - smoking more spliffs - getting almost caught by care-taker smoking spliffs - drinking more beer - we finally set about recording the Red Factory sound ....

Recordings were all done live - no overdubs - straight down onto a Sony 2-track reel-to-reel - all effects and assorted mayhem played live - either by the band - or via some well fucked up engineering by afore-mentioned Mr. Weird Beard..... on the whole a rather fine day - and for sure an interesting collection of tunez...

Now for over 20 years it would seem that these sounds have been lost to man-kind (the master tape no doubt is still filed with all all manner of lost treasures in the far recess of the home-of-the-weird-beard - now as no-one either knows how or is willing to try going anywhere near those parts - it would appear the only other copy is on the Chrome TDK cassette sitting here on the desk beside me .... this being a direct dub from the master 2 track ... how I managed to not lose this sort of thing years ago amazes even me - BIG TIME ..... amazing what you find when you open doors that at other times are better left closed ....

So - being in a mode at present where I am told to do nothing (remember I Am The Man With No Appendix!!) - I have started filling my days by digitising old cassette tapes and generally with the odd tweak, cut and lick of mastering - will be releasing lost treasures via here (Kek - I have the complete sessions on CD for next time we meet) .... and if your lawyers do not advise me otherise - may well let seep into circulation other gems from this long-lost session ...

so without further ado, from 1981:
Red Factory - White Sun (The Martock Sessions)

and to fill in the picture (so to speak) - Mr. Weird Beard (and spliff - at the controls.... no less ...)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Man Whose Gut Exploded

Bit of a freak this past two weeks - won't bore you all with details - but a bit of a burst-appendix situation has seen me hostpital bound - operation theatre attendee and for the past week recovering in the leafy suburbs of me folks down in Dorset ! OOOWWWWW OOOOWWWW OOWWWWW - call me a baby - but it damn well HURT !!!