Thursday, November 9, 2017

Hauntology Parish Newsletter - November - Further #2, The Belbury Circle


Further returns on November 18th, with an evening of ghostadelic entertainment at the Portico Gallery in  West Norwood, London.

Press release: 

DJ Food & Pete Williams present the second of their immersive  audio visual evenings at the Portico Gallery, London. Live music from Simon James and a not to be missed A/V set from Sculpture. Get lost in Further's multi projector light and sound show. Food, drink, a record stall from The Book and Record Bar plus plenty of seating.


Programme: 

7.30 - 8.30: Doors open, there will be a record stall with stock picked to compliment the evening by Micheal Johnson from the nearby Book & Record Bar and delicious local food served alongside the fully licensed Portico bar stocked with local beers and ales.

8.30 - 9.15: Simon James - former Simonsound and Black Channels member and one of the foremost exponents in today's modular electronics scene - plays a rare live set with his Buchla 200e Electric Music Box.

10.00 - 10.45: Sculpture bring their incredible live show to West Norwood via Dan Hayhurst's tape loops and electronics and Rueben Sutherland's zoetrope turntable visuals


10.45 - 12.00: DJ Food & Pete Williams (Further) will open and close the evening with their multi-projection Light & Sound Designs.

Tickets available here



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Ghost Box have a new release - Outward Journeys, a first and fine full-length from The Belbury Circle - that is to say, Jim Jupp of Belbury Poly + Jon Brooks of The Advisory Circle- featuring once again contributions from John Foxx on two songs, in the form of  vocals and synths. Dig also the new style design from Julian House which has the air of Omni about it maybe...

                                              


Thursday, October 26, 2017

"I will always be there for you" - the ghost of rave / the ghost of socialism

Here's an essay I did for Pitchfork about Burial's Untrue ten years on. 

It's also effectively a tribute to Mark Fisher, who is a recurring presence in the piece. 


It's intentional that Burial's real name is never once mentioned in the piece - honoring his original allegiance to rave's radical facelessness and anonymous collectivity. 





Below is my favorite out of the post-Untrue Burial output - in some ways the missing chapter from that album.




There were two parallels and precursors for Burial's  ghost-of-rave (as ghost-of-socialism) aesthetic that I couldn't get into as it would have been too much of a digression.

The first: Mark Leckey's Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, which I wrote about here





And the second:  "Weak Become Heroes" by The Streets.


 


What Burial related through samples and moody orchestrations, Mike Skinner conveyed with words,  describing the flashback of a former raver abruptly set adrift on blissed memories of love and unity on the dancefloor. All the commotion becomes floating emotions...  They could settle wars with this...  Imagine the world's leaders on pills... All of Life's problems I just shake off.” Then he's snapped back to the dreary streets of a hostile and hopeless 21st Century England: “gray concrete and deadbeats... no surprises no treats... My life's been up and down since I walked from that crowd.” “Weak,” in Skinner’s song, means not just personally frail, but politically powerless. The weak became heroes when they became a mass, uniting around the unwritten manifesto in the music: someday there’ll be a better way, but in the meantime let’s shelter for a while in this dreamspace.  What the critic Richard Smith (like dear Mark also “late” now – so many ghosts these days) called “the communism of the emotions” triggered by Ecstasy seemed to prefigure a social movement. But the collective energy never got beyond the level of a pre-political potential; the moment dissipated. 






I love those hardcore and rave tunes because they sound deep, hopeful, for the times, and the people... It’s unbelievable, that glow in the tunes, it almost breaks your heart.” - Burial, someplace, sometime

"The tunes I loved the most…old jungle, rave and hardcore, sounded hopeful....  All those lost producers…I love them, but it’s not a retro thing… When I listen to an old tune it doesn’t make me think ‘I’m looking back, listening to another era.’ Some of those tunes are sad because they sounded like the future back then and no one noticed. They still sound future to me." - Burial, someplace, sometime  


In a way, it's a shame Burial stopped doing the interviews -  he was almost born to do them, even more than make music! He's better at describing his own music and motives than any of his critics, except Mark Fisher himself. I remember Mark telling me after he'd done the interview that he couldn't believe his own ears - the stuff that Burial was coming out with was so poetic and evocative, too good to be true almost. A dream of an interview. Anwen Crawford told me of a similar experience: as I recall it, it was like she was hypnotized, sent into a trance by his voice over the phone. But at same time he was completely real and genuine - somehow down to earth and an ethereal being floating out there at the same time.

"I wanted the tunes to be anti-bullying tunes that could maybe help someone to believe in themselves, to not be afraid, and to not give up, and to know that someone out there cares and is looking out for them. So it's like an angel's spell to protect them against the unkind people, the dark times, and the self-doubts" - Burial on Rival Dealer EP / "Come Down With Us"


Actually there's a third parallel/precursor - The Death of Rave by V/Vm, a/k/a The Caretaker - another of Mark's favorites of course... 



This post is dedicated to Carl Neville