Tuesday, 25 November 2008
According to rym the duo, made up of Ian Clark and Adam Lee Miller (who they?) got together in 1995 although apparently disbanded in 1998.
The music here is fairly standard all minimalist electronic fayre which takes much from Foxx's Metamatic style with bits of Kraftwerk, early OMD and Depeche Mode thrown in here and there. Some tracks (nearly all instrumental) work better than others, Aluminum Rectangles and Motorway Sparks are sound enough (the latter also getting the remix treatment) although others such as Seventeenpointfive, Audiofile Five etc are tedious and unimgainative both in theit titles and in their substance. Short tracks such as Warm Humans and Beau Ideal may be nothing less than byte-size electro-doodlings but are now quite frankly dated and lack any kind of 'vintage' appeal.
But still, give it a spin and perhaps the more acute listener will find interesting both the electro-pop citations as well as sounds just crying out to be sampled and taken a few steps further. Drive on...
Le Car: sometimes they go to pull the blinds.
More info on Le Car
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Perhaps your passing common-or-garden NewOrder fan like myself would never have noticed the missing initial beats on Blue Monday or Senses (this one still to be confirmed..) or even traces of 'rumble' 'pops' and 'crackles' at various points, but I can well understand these hard-core fans being annoyed at "300 confirmed errors..and counting.." and not just in sound but also poor sleeve notes, missing information in CD text info and overall shoddy workmanship by the record company Warner - for it is they of course to blame for all of this...
Says bassist Peter Hook:
Warner have 'responded' to complaints saying that if any of the fans want to contact them about the quality of the New Order re-issues, then they can email this address:
Neworder.email@example.com .... Pah!
I don't think any fans of Ultravox and John Foxx will be experiencing the same kind of disappointment as their recent remasters were the fruits of the hard labours of hard core fans liaising with the artists and the record compay in order to ensure a first class product that will not disappoint.
Power to the people!
NewOrder's Peter Hook..."this has nothing to do with us.."
Thanks to RadioBeach for the info sources and for prompting me to write this post.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
The film itself holds no surprises - we know the story: strange Manchester lad meets mates, forms a band, sign to Factory, issue two albums, become a cult in their own time and then in May 1980, on the eve of a US tour Curtis hangs himself and becomes even more cult.
Perhaps we do learn more about the non-musical aspects of the man - the early marriage, the jos in the Employmen Exchange the birth of daughter Natalie and affair with Belgian 'bird' Aneke (Alexandra Maria Lara), the epilepsy and panic attacks all of which contribute to Curtis' demise and ultimate suicide.
Corbijn's photography is, of course, pretty much perfect all in black and white with quite a few 'moody' shots although perhaps could've been a bit more 'grainy' in places. Excellent Sam Riley as Curtis, and full marks to the rest of the band not only for looking like the other three (see pic) but also playing a crackin' version of Transmission, among others. Very convincing also Samantha Morton as wife Deborah, whose book Touching From a Distance forms the basis of the film itself.
The best lines go of course to Rob Gretton witty, sarky band manager played by Toby Kebbel who I see won an award for best supporting actor, quite right too. The occasional reference to The Buzzcocks throughout is a nice touch and a wonderful cameo by John Cooper Clarke who looks like he was beamed straight in from 1978.
My only criticism is that Curtis' final agonising months were a little too drawn out and tend to slow down the pace of the film well before the end...you keep wondering when he is actually going to top himself....but no matter I suppose in this way we get to share Curtis' agony in part.
Excellent soundtrack of course with various JD tracks reproduced by the acting band throughout plus nice little 'incidental' period pieces, e.g. Autobahn, Jean Genie, slotted in here and there. Pity they leave The Killers version of Shadowplay till well into the closing credits when everybody has up and left...
Nice touch at the end when the surving members are sat round a pub table and they are joined by Gillian...... the rest is history.
Control's Joy Division:
l-r: James Pearson (Barney), Sam Riley (Ian Curtis), Joe Anderson (Hooky), Harry Treadaway (Steve Morris).
"shurrup Hooky and look at the camera will ya.."
Monday, 17 November 2008
The Black Hit of Space: The John Leckie interview
The Human League's Devonshire Lane studio circa 1980 ..... perhaps.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
The band has now been newly brought to my attention thanks to a live cover version of fellow-scousers OMD's Electricity ("nu-clear and H-E-P!") which is actually not half bad with some nifty guitar work replacing the tinkling keyboard lines of the McCluskey/Humphreys debut single.
For those interested full Half Man Half Biscuit gig available from Burning World.
OMD: half Humphreys half McCluskey
Friday, 14 November 2008
This is a rough translation of the original interview by Luigi Milani and has not been authorised by the author or by the magazine Applicando, so don't copy or distribute it or I'll end up in jail or something...
This month Applicando crossed the channel - don't worry not swimming - to meet a real legend of 80's electronic rock: the elusive Dennis Leigh, alias John Foxx. After going through various important bands of the
Applicando: It's an honour to talk to you….etc etc. Many here in
Foxx: Yes, it also depends on my own personal inadequacy: I can't stand too much attention. I need privacy otherwise I can't work. Being anonymous is essential otherwise it's impossible to look around and watch what's going on. Periodically I also need to withdraw myself completely in search of refuge.
A: An inevitable question: you left Ultravox immediately before they became successful. Any regrets?
F: No, we were all very happy about how things went, they had their hits I had my synths.
A: You very clearly explained to many artists about how to use electronics. Depeche Mode for example. What do you think about the contemporary music scene? Are there any artists you find really interesting?
F: Of course, there are many new names such as Lowfish, Pram, lemon Jelly, Klaxons, Ladytron, the Knife. Plus of course the usual survivors Harold Budd, Ruben Garcia, Robin Guthrie, Steve Jansen, and that little devil Iggy Pop who animated electronic music from Neu! onwards without playing electronic music.
A: Crash and Burn is a very innovative album. How did your collaboration with L.Gordon begin?
F: I went to an event in a country house. there was a room full of lights, smoke and non stop music. After four hours the smoke faded and Louis appeared. he had been playing everything with a synth he had just bought, a broken drum machine and a guitar. He told me he’d bought my records as a youngster. So we went to
A: Tiny Colour Movies is a very high quality product which seems to testify your wish to push into new artistic territories. Generally speaking what kind of relation is there between your music and visual art?
F: The two fields work together, and their meeting means that one feeds off the other: visual images assume the form of songs and vice versa. I grew up watching films in a small local cinema and that's where I get my visual language roots: as a child I didn't understand very much of what I saw, everything seemed quite surreal. Today every time I write a song or piece of music it really is the soundtrack to some film I have inside, generated form the fragments of those experiences.
A: After the Cathedral Oceans DVD do you think you will produce other multimedia projects?
F: We are working on a film based on Tiny Colour Movies and editing some old Super 8 films: they show friends who walk around the streets of
A: You are not just a established musician but also a talented graphic designer. Would you like to tell us something about this equally interesting side of your artistic life?
F: I began with graphic design as a teenager at art school and quite simply I have continued with it. At one point I took a break from music and was dedicated completely to graphic design. I didn't want to use the name John Foxx, so I used another one; I wanted to prove to myself that my work could be valid in its own right. It seems that it went well and it is very gratifying to be able to move from one field to another successfully.
A: I imagine you use Mac for your graphic work?
F: of course, I use Mac for editing digitalised film and for creating images and music. I've always wanted a laboratory (workshop) I could carry around with me in a bag!
A: Which Mac model are you using at the moment and with which programs (applications)?
F: Mac Book Pro - the latest model - and Logic, Final Cut pro, iMovie HD, Photoshop. Plus a load of old analogue equipment and digitalised Super 8 films.
A. Concerning the musical field you were a pioneer in the use of synthesisers. How has the advent of computers influenced you in your approach to music?
F: I like the absolute control of digital and physiologically incorrectness of analogue. But the two things together become something very exciting. At the moment I am trying to make digital become 'incorrect'..
A: What's your view of selling music online?
F: It's simply another vehicle.
A: Do you think there is a way of escaping the serious crisis which has hit the record industry?
F: Everything is being redefined and rethought, and there is also a big delay. Apple really is dominating the market at the moment and I think that it could give out a more generous portion of the royalties they receive and maybe make sure these go direct to the artist. In the near future Apple will be managing films in the same way and therefore the same thing might happen in the world of film. Once the financial base has gone the whole sector will have to change shape in order to survive. More time might be necessary for the process to become totally functional. At the point everything becomes collateral. We live in exceptionally interesting times, to make and to listen to music is a biological necessity and it's diffusion is growing enormously ("exponentially").
Well we mentioned it over eight months ago in here and now the song has finally made it...And thankfully,a s if we were in any doubt, it is done in exceedingly good taste.
Ladies and Gentleman.....Pet Shop Boys and Sam Taylor Wood cover the Passions 'I'm in Love with a German Film Star ' :
New album announced on Heaven 17's official site and on Electronically Yours. thus the official blurb:
Meantime enjoy H17's 1998 remix bonanza Retox/Detox at New Romantic Rules
Steel City tour dates - also featuring The Human League and ABC ( but sadly no Cabaret Voltaire...)
Glasgow Carling Academy SUN 30/11/2008
Newcastle Carling Academy MON 01/12/2008
Bournemouth Int'nl Centre SAT 06/12/2008
London Hammersmith Apollo MON 08/12/2008
Wolverhampton The Civic Hall THU 11/12/2008
Liverpool Echo Arena THU 04/12/2008
Manchester Apollo WED 10/12/2008
Newport Friday 12/12/2008
Sheffield Arena SAT 13/12/2008
Gregory, Fry, Oakey - how men of steel are:
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
After much gossip, rumours and speculation the news if finally official...an ULTRAVOX reunion has been confirmed. The 80s band line-up of Ure, Currie, Cann & Cross will be playing a series of concerts in the UK next year. The tour will take in 14 dates across the length and breadth of the nation starting in Edinburgh on 14th April and ending up in Portsmouth on the 28th.
Can't say I'm particulalry excited about this one, but credit for all this must surely go to the die-hard fans who have stuck with them over the past 25 years or more, also thanks to a very fine 'official' website and forum.
The band have also jumped on the 'remasters' bandwagon with the release of double disc 'definitive' versions of classic albums Vienna and Rage In Eden. Again much merit goes to the fans for making these possible.
Ultravox official site
From the group's myspace page:
The Land of Nod What's The Story? The Land of Nod, who consist of Ant Walker on guitar and Dave Battersby on bass, hail from Cheltenham in the UK and have had six full-length albums released to date, four of them on Cheltenham based indie Ochre Records. ‘Translucent’ (February 1999), ‘Timeless Point’ (September 2000) ‘Inducing The Sleep Sphere’ (December 2002) as well as the ‘Archive:02’ collection (March 2002) plus also the mini-album ‘Mont Ventoux’ on USA label Silber (May 2001) and the ‘Reality Channel’- Introduction To The Land Of Nod (April 2003) on Elephant Stone Records . 2001’s ‘Mont Ventoux’ release saw Edwin Pouncey state in The Wire “The group have been compared to Neu! But here they owe more to the hanging mists of Popul Vuh during the latters golden Herzog soundtrack period”, going on to add “Stripped of frills and posturing, their music gently breathes in your ear, urging you to dream”. The ‘Mont Ventoux’ release saw the group experiment with sound collages and loops and the title track was written about one of the highest summit's in cycling's Tour De France. The release featured a cycling theme throughout, ‘Anquetil’ was named after five times Tour De France winner Jacques Anquetil whilst ‘Sommet’ featured the voice of the great Eddy Merckx. The Land Of Nod’s recent performances have been backed by film of Merckx. The Land Of Nod continue this theme on the new Ochre album ‘Inducing The Sleep Sphere’ with the inclusion of the live favourite ‘Eddy’ and a re-working of the ‘Mont Ventoux’ track titled in this case, ‘Le Sommet A Mont Ventoux’. The track ‘Eddy’ is in fact taken from the Radio Session the band recorded and was aired on the legendary Serbian Radio Station B-92 in May in 2002.
The following is the press release for the hugely succesful INDUCING THE SLEEP SPHERE Ochre album. ‘Inducing The Sleep Sphere’ is the eagerly anticipated new studio album from Cheltenham duo THE LAND OF NOD. ‘Inducing The Sleep Sphere’ sees The Land Of Nod conjure up once again those dreamy soundscapes so reminiscent in the sounds of their contemporaries such as the Spaceman 3, Windy & Carl and The Durutti Column. Music that takes’s the listener off to that indescribable other-wordly place. Surreal, ethereal and blissed-out, where time stands still! Several tracks on the new album however possess music with a kraut-psych feel that can only be described as a mixture of Neu!, Can, Cluster and even the 13th Floor Elevators and The Seeds!
The Land of Nod - myspace
The Land of Nod - on Ochre Records
Inducing the Sleep Sphere