singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
19 August 2022
(listening through speakers)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Benz Micro LP-S
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove Mk 2
TEAD Vibe Phoenix / Pulse 2
TEAD Linear A mk 2
TEAD Model One

I think we’ve got Hovercraft remixed by Scanner here. But it could be Scanner remixed by Hovercraft. I initially though it was Hovercraft remixed by Vagus Nerve, but it’s definitely not that.

I just finished watching a documentary on modular synthesizers. There was far too much of Trent Reznor being a massive snob about analogue vs digital, but it was still interesting. It raised the question of why modular hasn’t entered the mainstream. Disregarding the fact there was a modular on the last Taylor Swift album, I’d say it’s because modular music is the aural equivalent of masturbation. Great when you’re doing it, but it’s hard to take an interest in someone else’s efforts. I was sufficiently inspired to make a stupid pointless infinitely looping semi-random bleep thing on the Pro 3. It was shit. Obviously.

Vagus Nerve starts off great, with drone, and almost subsonic bass, but then this piano noodling comes in, kind of like Tele:Funken remixed by Bobby Crush.

De-Orbit Burn starts off with an absolutely brilliant horrible noise, and the remainder sounds like someone trying out some drums in a shop while someone else tries to tune a massive shortwave radio into the soundtrack from Lawrence of Arabia as the council dig the road up. Let’s see you do that on your Music Easel, Trent.

3

It is for now, but we’ll see what happens in the winter. What with the price of electricity, and a valve amp, it’ll soon cost more to play a record than it does to buy it. I’m joking of course. Nothing costs more than records. It’s obscene.

The Power is On sounds pretty much like all other Go! Team songs. Lo-fi drums, cheerleader type shouting, bit of sampled brass. On the ‘b’, just to spite me and my expectations, there’s a piano that needs tuning and a recording technique that needs improving (Hold Yr Terror Close) and a wall-of-sound type instrumental thing with sleigh bells (The Ice Storm). It’s all pretty good, and makes you feel pretty good. Actually, didn’t they do a song about that?

4

If it was Music for a Stranger Things everyone would be listening to it, wouldn’t they? You know what people want to listen to? They want to listen to that thing from off of the telly, and they want to listen to that thing everyone else is listening to, and they want to listen to someone who’s a “genius”. They do though, don’t they?

But we don’t. We want to listen to a mini-lp we’ve had for over twenty years and have never played before. And we want it to be by a band who made one record we liked, but who we kept buying mediocre crap by for years for some reason we never really understood. Honestly, I’ve got about a foot of Bis singles.

The first couple of songs are okay, but How Can We Be Strange? is terrible. It sounds like it’s from one of those rubbish modern musicals, and it’s all about how the singer wishes all the dismal norms could be weird like him. And when they are he can do another song about all these dismal posers who reckon they’re weird, and how being normal is cool because being weird is too obvious.

Later on Manda Rin (played on the sleeve by Kirsten Dunst) says that if you point your finger at her she’ll snap it off. Didn’t Ian Brown get sent to prison for saying exactly the same thing to an air-hostess?

The music’s okay, and it’s very proficiently put together. Fantastic pressing too, if that matters to you. But I don’t like it, and I can’t put my finger on why. There’s something somehow smart-arsed about it all. I think there was something smart-arsed about Bis in general. No one likes a smart-arse.

2

One of a small series I think, with the same sleeve design, on Deep Distance. Eat Lights Become Lights do nine minutes of a string sample through an arpeggiator and a delay. It gradually and falls apart and blurs into noise, phasing between lovely, irritating, and hypnotic.

On the other side someone called Twelve does a couple of more accessible songs. Repetetive grooves, bit of synth noodling. Nothing you haven’t heard before, but nicely done. I got properly into them and they seemed to last about ten seconds each. Certainly a lot better than listening to some Buchla having a thirty-five minute heart attack.

A really nice record. I need to find the others. They’re in here somewhere, I’m sure.