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Electronic Music Experimental

Shameless Self Promotion: Home Taper – The Breakmagos Collection Vol.1 – Sleeve notes

Sleeve notes:

The Breakmagos Collection Vol.1 comprises of two EP’s I originally released under the Breakmagos moniker in 2014 & 2016: The Lovecode EP (tracks 1-6) & The Brinkmanship EP (tracks 7-11). The tracks on the Lovecode EP were created between 2011-2013, the name came from the artwork (see below). The Brinkmanship EP was created from some some files I found of finished tracks from before my laptop died in 2015. The original files were all lost but I’d uploaded these tracks to Google Drive so that I could play them through a BlueTooth speaker. I named the EP Brinkmanship because I felt that the tracks had been rescued from the brink of being lost. Several songs were in fact lost during this laptop death, though I recently recovered more on an old iPod which eventually made it onto another release, Shit From An Old iPod.

The artwork for the collection is a photograph of a safety sticker on a Low Level Order Picker (LLOP) truck where I work which I have digitally manipulated in a piece of software called Hyperspektiv and layered in another piece of software called SnapSeed. I thought that there was a quasi-religious vibe to the image & therefore named it, before selecting it for the cover of this album, Worship False Idols.

This artwork was created by right clicking on a photo of the Beatles playing All You Need Is Love & opening it in TextEdit. I then took a screenshot of a random selection of code.
This is a photograph of a halloween themed dog toy which my dog, Titch, was playing with. It was inspired by the cover art of two Sonic Youth albums: Bad Moon Rising & Dirty.
  1. Take Up Thy Plasma Caster & Vape

The groundwork for this track was begun in 2011 when I was trying to wrap my head around sidechaining in Logic Pro. Its original title was SidechainExperiment. As such, it is built around rhythmic patterns created by sidechaining kick drums to fuzzy pad sounds. The title is a homage to two disparate influences: Fallout: New Vegas (which I was probably playing at the time) & Pink Floyd (specifically their song Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk). I don’t think I was aware of vaping as an alternative to smoking at this point & definitely didn’t use it as a verb. I use the word here as Sci-Fi slang for vaporising someone (usually with an energy weapon).

2. Synaptic Disintegrator

I don’t remember much about the production of this tune except for the fact that the main bass tone is created by running a sampled 808 boom through a VST distortion effect called CamelCrusher. The track is named after a weapon from the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000. Synaptic Disintegrators are the sniper rifle-type weapons wielded by Necron Deathmarks, a kind of sentient robot sniper to the uninitiated. Think Joe Pineapples from A.B.C. Warriors. I remember uploading this track to Soundcloud as a free download/Christmas gift on Christmas Eve 2012.

3. Cyber Analogue Steam Punk

This track begun life as part of a suite of tracks I composed as part of a community music project centred around the concept of journeys. The suite was based on the journey from Earth to Mars in the Alastair Reynolds novel Blue Remembered Earth. This track was originally entitled Martian Railroad & did not include the vocal sample. The vocal sample is taken from a news broadcast about American politicians debating cybersecurity. The snare sound is sampled from the clack of a steam trains runners in motion & the main textures are sampled from the noise of a cassette tape. At one point the working title was Steamtape, but after adding the vocal sample, it became Cyber Analogue Steam Punk to encompass the disparate elements.

4. Reanimation Protocols

Another one I remember very little about, except for playing around with tiny slivers of noises loaded into a drum machine VST. The title comes from a rule for Warhammer 40,000 Necrons which allows them to return to the field after being destroyed, a kind of advanced autorepair. I remember the synths are all made with a VST called Magical 8Bit by YMCK.

5. Space Powder

I believe this was just an attempt to recreate some of the futuristic Hip Hop tunes I was hearing by artists like Flying Lotus & Samiyam. The synth parts are semi-improvised & the beats are intentionally a bit wonky. The title came from a poem I wrote when I was about 17.

6. Guncrawl

Another one with little memory. The title comes from a table top boardgame/RPG which is a kind-of Sci-Fi version of classic dungeon crawlers like HeroQuest & Descent. I thought it was a great title so I stole it.

7. Cyber Swamp

Cyber Swamp is built around a swirling, evolving mess of sound which is created by a simple sine wave (generated by the aforementioned YMCK Magical 8Bit VST) played through a long, complex signal chain of filters & delays. I think I named it Cyber Swamp because it sounded like swarming cybernetic insects. I added a halftime beat and a squelchy bass synth because it just felt right.

8. Disconnect

This tune is a hamfisted first attempt at emulating the ‘phasing’ techniques pioneered by avant-garde composers like Steve Reich. The general concept is that you have multiple versions of the same part, usually a melody, playing on different tape players. The minute differences in speed between the different tapes would cause the parts to drift in and out of phase with each other creating interesting melodic & rhythmic variations. In this instance I created three instances of the same synth part & time stretched one to be a bar shorter than the original & one to be a bar longer. Despite not quite achieving what I set out to, I was still pleased with the result. Originally made for Week 8 of Weekly Beats 2014.

9. Polystyrene

This is another track which began life as part of Weekly Beats 2014. Week 35 this time. This was a last minute experiment where I, with a massive case of writers block, cut up the intro to an older song into small slices & loaded them up into a drum machine. I programmed rhythmic patterns with them & treated each slice independently with delay, distortion etc. It was a satisfying, if random, experiment & I enjoyed it a lot. I was more pleased with the result than I’d anticipated.

10. Enigmatic Hive Mind

This is yet another song from Weekly Beats 2014, Week 21. This is a slightly more successful experiment with the avant-garde phasing technique. In this instance I have multiple versions of the same drum track playing simultaneously with the tiniest variations in speed. The drum tracks drift in & out of time with each other causing some fairly chaotic rhythmic variations. One Weekly Beats user described the sound as like ‘hesitant sandpaper’. I was, & remain, exceedingly proud of this comment.

11. While My Synthesiser Gently Bleeps

This was another experiment with the same wall of randomised, swirling noise as Cyber Swamp. Recorded entirely in one take, this track was just a fun, experimental jam I performed & recorded one night. I never anticipated that it would be good enough to keep. I think you can all guess what I’m satirising with the title.

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Electronic Music Jungle Poetry Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): The Prodigy – Breathe

Day 13.

Thought of The Prodigy’s Firestarter today after hearing a parody by anti-Conservative music group The Iain Duncan Smiths called Childstarver by Boris Johnson (“crony subcontractor, Serco benefactor”).

Unfortunately, I have chosen Firestarter previously, in the Song of the Day (The Chain) series. As a worthy substitute I have chosen The Prodigy’s (in my opinion superior) follow-up single Breathe. I’ve also added the video of Childstarver as a bonus.

Breathe with me

Breathe the pressure
Come play my game, I’ll test ya
Psychosomatic, addict, insane
Breathe the pressure
Come play my game, I’ll test ya
Psychosomatic, addict, insane
Come play my game
Inhale, inhale, you’re the victim
Come play my game
Exhale, exhale, exhale

Breathe the pressure
Come play my game, I’ll test ya
Psychosomatic, addict, insane
Breathe the pressure
Come play my game, I’ll test ya
Psychosomatic, addict, insane
Come play my game
Inhale, inhale, you’re the victim
Come play my game
Exhale, exhale, exhale

Come breathe with me
Breathe with meBreathe the pressure
Come play my game, I’ll test ya
Psychosomatic, addict, insane
Breathe the pressure
Come play my game, I’ll test ya
Psychosomatic, addict, insane
Come play my game
Inhale, inhale, you’re the victim
Come play my game
Exhale, exhale, exhaleBreathe with meBreathe the pressure
Come play my game, I’ll test ya
Psychosomatic, addict, insane
Breathe the pressure
Come play my game, I’ll test ya
Psychosomatic, addict, insane
Come play my game
Inhale, inhale, you’re the victim
Come play my game
Exhale, exhale, exhale



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Categories
Ambient Electronic Music Experimental Hauntology

d a r k w a v e – P R A X I S

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Electronic Music Experimental Hauntology Philosophy

Ruptures In The Fabric Of Everyday Life

So many dreams of collectivity have died in neoliberal London.

Now they are incarcerated in hospitals, or languishing in the gutter.

‘territories of commerce and control’.

Once those spaces are enclosed, practically all of the city’s energy is put into paying the mortgage or the rent. There’s no time to experiment, to journey without already knowing where you will end up. Your aims and objectives have to be stated up front. ‘Free time’ becomes convalescence. You turn to what reassures you, what will most refresh you for the working day: the old familiar tunes (or what sound like them). London becomes a city of pinched-face drones plugged into iPods.

No Pedestrian Access To Shopping Centre.

a bombed-out city, full of chasms, caverns, spaces that could be temporarily occupied and squatted.

The struggle here is not only over the (historical) direction of time but over different uses of time.

The whole city is forced into a gigantic simulation of activity, a fantacism of productivism in which nothing much is actually produced, an economy made out of hot air and bland delirium.

The eroticism here is not primarily to do with sexuality,

Fugitive time, lost afternoons, conversations that dilate and drift like smoke, walks that have no particular direction and go on for hours, free parties in old industrial spaces, still reverberating days later.

the city as a site for drift and daydreams, a labyrinth of side streets and spaces resistant to the process of gentrification and ‘development’ set to culminate in the miserable hyper-spectacle.

Cool Britannia. Old joke. ‘Space’ becomes the over arching commodity. Notting Hill. New Age cranks peddling expensive junk. Homeopathy and boutiques, angel cards and crystal healing.

ruptures in the fabric of everyday life.’

A new kind of human being was supposed to live here, but that all had to be cleared away so that the restoration could begin.

Haunting is about a staining of place with particularly intense moments of time,

trapped inside the drearily glossy spaces imagined by advertising and regeneration propaganda, sometimes free to drift.

Perhaps it is here that the space can be opened up to forge a collective resistance to this neo liberal expansion, to the endless proliferation of banalities and the homogenising effects of globalisation. Here in the burnt out shopping arcades, the boarded up precincts, the lost citadels of consumerism one might find the truth, new territories might be opened, there might be a rupturing of this collective amnesia.

Words by Mark Fisher &/or Laura Oldfield Ford

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Electronic Music New Wave Pop Post Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): New Order – Temptation

Day 6.

Not really much to say about this one. I’ve been listening to New Order a lot recently & YouTube throws this one at me randomly quite a lot. It’s one of my favourite, if not my favourite, New Order songs. I recently shared this video on Facebook & posited the question, ‘does a more beautiful blending of melancholia and joy exist?’ If it does I’m yet to find it.

Heaven, a gateway, a hope
Just like a feeling inside, it’s no joke
And though it hurts me to see you this way
Betrayed by words, I’d never heard, too hard to say
Up, down, turn around
Please don’t let me hit the ground
Tonight I think I’ll walk alone
I’ll find my soul as I go home
Up, down, turn around
Please don’t let me hit the ground
Tonight I think I’ll walk alone
I’ll find my soul as I go home

Each way I turn, I know I’ll always try
To break this circle that’s been placed around me
From time to time, I find I’ve lost some need
That was urgent to myself, I do believe
Up, down, turn around
Please don’t let me hit the ground
Tonight I think I’ll walk alone
I’ll find my soul as I go home
Up, down, turn around
Please don’t let me hit the ground
Tonight I think I’ll walk alone
I’ll find my soul as I go home

Oh, you’ve got green eyes
Oh, you’ve got blue eyes
Oh, you’ve got grey eyes
Oh, you’ve got green eyes
Oh, you’ve got blue eyes
You’ve got grey eyes

And I’ve never seen anyone quite like you before
No, I’ve never met anyone quite like you before
Bolts from above hurt the people down below
People in this world, we have no place to go
Bolts from above hurt the people down below
People in this world, we have no place to go
Bolts from above hurt the people down below
People in this world, we have no place to go
Bolts from above hurt the people down below
People in this world, we have no place to go

Oh, it’s the last time
Oh, it’s the last time
Oh, it’s the last time
Oh, it’s the last time
Oh, it’s the last time
Oh, I’ve never met anyone quite like you before
Oh no, I’ve never met anyone quite like you before

Categories
Electronic Music Indie Rock New Wave Pop Post Punk Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): The Church – Under The Milky Way

Day 4.

Okay, okay. I missed a day (or 2) & I’m sorry. This song came on randomly after I was listening to New Order on YouTube the other day. It’s stunning, cinematic Synth Pop from the end of the ’80’s, with just enough Indie cool to keep it in the company of bands like Echo & The Bunnymen & the aforementioned New Order on many a mixtape. Also a great song for a movie soundtrack, as evidenced by its appearance in a pivotal scene of madcap time-travel yarn Donnie Darko.

Sometimes when this place gets kind of empty
Sound of their breath fades with the light
I think about the loveless fascination
Under the Milky Way tonight

Lower the curtain down on Memphis
Lower the curtain down all right
I got no time for private consultation
Under the Milky Way tonight

Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find

And it’s something quite peculiar
Something shimmering and white
Leads you here despite your destination
Under the Milky Way tonight

Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find
Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find

And it’s something quite peculiar
Something shimmering and white
Leads you here despite your destination
Under the Milky Way tonight

Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find
Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find

Under the Milky Way tonight
Under the Milky Way tonight
Under the Milky Way tonight

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Electronic Music Metal Nu Metal Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): Rob Zombie – Dragula (Hot Rod Herman Remix)

Day 8. Another one from The Matrix, Dragula by Rob Zombie was another Alternative night classic at the kind of nightclubs I used to frequent in my teenage years. The version used in The Matrix was the Rod Herman remix but for the video I have opted for the original version, not least because it has a really good video. I also failed to find the remix on Spotify, so the original version will be on the SPotify playlist too. I’ll include the remix YouTube link here.

The remix adds layers of electronic production to the track which nicely brings the song in line with the late ’90’s cyberpunk visions of The Matrix. I’m not sure but I also think our local Alternative Rock DJ’s played this version too, presumably The Matrix OST was a useful CD for any Alt/Rock DJ to own.

Superstition, fear and jealousy

Dead I am the one, exterminating son
Slipping through the trees, strangling the breeze
Dead I am the sky, watching angels cry
While they slowly turn, conquering the worm

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dead I am the pool, spreading from the fool
Weak and what you need, nowhere as you bleed
Dead I am the rat, feast upon the cat
Tender is the fur, dying as you purr

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Do it baby, do it baby
Do it baby, do it baby
Burn like an animal

Dead I am the life, dig into the skin
Knuckle crack the bone, twenty one to win
Dead I am the dog, hound of hell you cry
Devil on your back, I can never die

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Do it baby, do it baby
Do it baby, do it baby
Burn like an animal

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula!

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Ambient Art Pop Electronic Music Experimental

‘Wrong Way Up’ – Brian Eno/John Cale and ‘Spinner’ – Brian Eno/Jah Wobble (Reissues)

Check out my review of the two new Brian Eno reissues over on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem.

‘Wrong Way Up’ In an expression of purest irony, the collaborative efforts of two of the most experimental musicians of the 20th century has led to …

‘Wrong Way Up’ – Brian Eno/John Cale and ‘Spinner’ – Brian Eno/Jah Wobble (Reissues)
Categories
Electronic Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Covers): Meat Beat Manifesto – Asbestos Lead Asbestos

Day 2. The original version of Asbestos Lead Asbestos, by World Domination Enterprises, is punishing Post-Punk Noise Rock. A super heavy, low frequency rhythm section keeps it together while guitars plunge into chasms of industrial noise. It’s sinister & terrifying, lyrically portraying anger at being on the wrong end of the Thatcherites class war.

By contrast, the Meat Beat Manifesto version utilises Trip-Hop type drums & bass alongside a soundscape of sampled organs & claustrophobic synth sounds to create a thick atmosphere pitched somewhere between the narco-dystopia of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World & the witch hunting, “reds under the bed”, snitch culture of Cold War paranoia. It’s difficult to decide which version is scarier.

Well he might say yes, but he might mean no
Asbestos lead asbestos
Sell him the coffee table, go boy go
Asbestos lead asbestos
It’s chipboard quality, easy instalment scheme
Lead asbestos
And Patrick lives under the roundabout
Nobody told him different
Blows out the break dust behind the caravan
Asbestos lead asbestos
If they’re lucky they get put in White City
Lead asbestos
Times are hard and the kids ain’t learning a thing
Asbestos lead asbestos
Except stealing and fighting
Asbestos lead asbestos
So they offer him a salary
Asbestos lead asbestos
National Health and a pension scheme
Asbestos lead asbestos
So he can lie in his bed while he bleeds to death

Lead Asbestos (x7)
Happy fun tune

So we hand them rich women coffee party handouts
Asbestos lead asbestos
Fill it full of sick cause someone’s gotta eat it
Asbestos lead asbestos
And it won’t be us cause we’re the smart ones
Asbestos lead asbestos
Motivated, public school, we live on the west side
Lead asbestos
Equal opportunity, except if our pedigree dogs
Don’t like the smell of your children

Lead Asbestos (x7)
Happy fun tune

They’re stealing and fighting
But we live on the west side

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Electronic Music Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Covers): Primal Scream – Some Velvet Morning (feat. Kate Moss)

Welcome to a new series of Song of the Day I may return to The Chain for a later series (possibly starting up from the previous entry, The Prodigy’s Firestarter), but for now I’m introducing a series of covers.

Day 1. Primal Scream’s heavy electronic version of Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood’s psychedelic lounge duet, featuring model Kate Moss, was recorded for their Evil Heat album & features many similar sonic touches. I remember it playing in every Indie or Rock club night for years & it seemed like a big deal commercially, so I’m surprised to see it actually only made it to number 44 in the UK charts. MAybe it’s time for a rerelease.

Some velvet morning
When I’m straight
I’m gonna open up your gate
Some velvet morning
When I’m straight
I’m gonna open up your gate

Flowers growing on a hill
Dragonflies and daffodils
Learn from us very much
Look at us but do not touch
Phaedra is my name

Some velvet morning
When I’m straight
I’m gonna open up your gate
Some velvet morning
When I’m straight
I’m gonna open up your gate

Flowers are the things we grow
Secrets are the things we know
Learn from us very much
Look at us but do not touch
Phaedra is my name

Some velvet morning
When I’m straight
I’m gonna open up your gate
Some velvet morning
When I’m straight
I’m gonna open up your gate

Some velvet morning when I’m straight

Flowers are the things we grow
Secrets are the things we know

I’m gonna open up your gate

Learn from us very much
Look at us but do not touch
Look at us but do not touch
Look at us but do not touch

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