Thursday, November 28, 2019

Kevin Boniface







Round About Town - Kevin Boniface

ISBN 978 1 910010 18 1 

128pp'




“I see the waxwings again. This time they are in the tree by the flats where the skinny Asian man with the grey jeans and studded belt is trying to gain access by shouting Raymond.”



“I can see a figure lying face down on the pavement up ahead. I get a bit closer and I see his right arm move. He rolls briefly onto his side and back on to his front, where he lies still again. He’s wearing new, clean clothes: plaid shirt, dark blue denim jeans, and expensive-looking trainers. As I pass, I ask whether he’s okay. He rolls onto his side again. He’s young, mid-twenties, dark curly hair. ‘I’m just bored’, he says. ‘Oh, as long as you’re okay?’ I say. “Have you got a spare cig?” “No”. “Okay”, and he rolls back onto his front.”



The last time I was out of work I sat the Royal Mail aptitude test. I had this idea that I’d become a postman in the hard drinking and writing Charles Bukowksi mode. The truth of the matter was that I was desperate for a job and in the late 90’s there wasn’t that many kicking around. While waiting for the results I found myself some temporary work in a local factory and when I got the news that I’d passed the aptitude test for the Royal Mail I decided to stick out my temporary job with the hope of being offered a full-time one. Which is why I’ve still got the same job now twenty years hence and why I don’t throw a postman’s sack over my shoulder every morning.



I only live about ten minutes walk from the local sorting office and the 5.30 a.m. starts didn’t fill me with dread. I tried looking at the positives: lots of exercise, fresh air, a chance to meet people and pretend that I was Charles Bukowksi. I imagined myself walking down the gravelly paths of big houses, the householder already at the doorstep waiting to greet me with a cheery smile as I handed over their post on a crisp spring morning.
‘How are you this fine morning young Postie?’,
‘Oh, fine thank you and what a wonderful day it is to be alive. Here’s your leccy bill.’ 



I’m guessing that the reality is very different. A couple of years back Mrs Fisher had us delivering flyers for the Cleckheaton Literary Festival. We did a couple of Sunday afternoons in the surrounding streets and it gave me an insight in to what postmen and women have to put up with; letterboxes at the bottom of doors that you have to bend down to get to and when you do the spring on the flap is so stiff it takes you five goes to get anything in, doors with cages over them that makes the letterbox virtually impossible to get at, garden paths littered with dog shit, garden gates that you cant open, garden gates that crumble in your hands, doors hidden by overgrown vegetation, houses that stand on their own and take you an age to get to and get back from. And this was on a fine sunny summer Sunday. Imagine it on a cold February morning with a heavy bag over your shoulder and untreated frost and ice underfoot.  



Then there’s the dogs. The cartoon postman being chased down a garden path by a vicious dog, letter’s flying from his bag and into the air behind him like oversized confetti while the owner looks on unconcerned. Kevin Boniface comes face to face with lots of dogs. And pensioners. And fake lawns with their cement ornaments. And geese and jackdaws and bikers and the man who wears waterproof clothing all the year round whatever the weather. Because Kevin Boniface is a postman. And an artist and a writer.



Kevin works his round out of the Huddersfield sorting office and when he gets home he writes a few lines about what he’s seen and heard. Round About Town covers seven years of such observations and together they form a picture of everyday Huddersfield life.


Life at pavement level. In and among the dog shit and the boy racers and Mr. Briggs in his Suzuki Carry and the drug dealers and the weary shop owners and workers stood at bus stops with Tescos ‘bags for life’ and people in black tracksuits with white piping, of which there seems to be a lot of in Huddersfield.



Over the course of these seven years and hundreds of observations a picture builds of the area, the countryside and the people who live in it. There is no linear narrative. Unless you count Mr. Briggs and his Suzuki Carry, the man who dresses in waterproof gear whatever the weather and various bored shop owners.

And he can name all the plants and the birds and notes when the buddleia is blooming and when the cotoneaster has been viscously pruned. He can be poetic, comparing a group of jackdaws pecking a field to forensic police officers combing for clues. Boniface has Alan Bennett’s knack of picking up dialogue too:



"On and up into Audi country: “Has anything changed since your last visit?” asks the dentist’s receptionist. “I’m drinking much more wine” says the woman in the quilted jacket."



Accompanying the text are monochrome photos as taken on his round. Which when coupled to the text highlight what a crap, gloomy and moody place Huddersfield can be. Pub signs abound; ‘What’s on … June 21st … Elvis’ and my favourite ‘Saturday 9.30 PM A Night With Daz!’ both quickly chalked on to weathered blackboards. Then there’s the fly-tipped sofas and wheelie bins, rotting garages and boarded up houses, misty moors and birds on telegraph wires. An image showing the impression left by a birds feet in thin melting snow is particularly poignant. 

Think Smokie covers bands, fake lawns, cement owls with solar panels that light up the eyes, the guy who paved over his paved garden and didn’t cement it in, Xmas parties advertised in May, the advertising board on wheels that says ‘MEGA CHEAP CHEESE IN FRIDGE’. The crushing mundanity, the boredom, the shitty-ness of it all, the unintended hypocrisy:



"The house that was built on the field where I used to race my BMX has a poster in the window: “SAY NO to greenfield development. SAVE OUR GREENBELT”.



"I pass a house with the tiny cluttered garden: children’s ride-on toys in faded plastic, dog shit and a fallen over gravestone: “Mum Gran Sadly Missed”. 


Boniface’s skill is not only in documenting all this but for getting you to see the world in a new light, making you more aware of your surroundings. Since reading this book I’ve been taking more notice of my own streets and the people on them, making mental notes as to what they’re wearing, what they’re carrying, what they’re saying. Last week while in Scarborough I passed two men on the high street one of them telling the other in a loud booming voice how crap the special effects are in the new Terminator film and an hour later I passed the same two men at exactly the same spot, the same man still talking in his loud booming voice and I thought Boniface would love that.





Uniform Books






Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Shoving Noise Down Peoples Throats. The Temp Versus Rupert and Bertrand Burgess.






Rupert and Bertrand Burgess Meets Mixed Band Philanthropist - When Anti Meets Electronic It All Ends Up As Nothing.
Obskyr Records. LP. OB003
100 copies w/ insert
+ various limited editions


All the temps have gone and the leaves are brown. Its that time of year. The work’s dropped off and all the temps have buggered off with it. Temps being temporary workers. The flotsam and jetsam of factory life which means that one day you’re working alongside a recently made redundant 60 year old mechanic whose only aim is to spin his time out before retirement and the next your working with an ex squaddie with a thing for Stone Island goggle beanies who hasn’t had his PTSD diagnosed yet and reeks of beer every morning. These are the things, these are the things, the things that work life is made of.

About six weeks ago a fresh faced young temp was introduced to me. He was exactly 40 years younger than me, polite, hard working, conscientious and as I was to discover keen on music. I’d gone from the usual grunting, zero interest in anything except beer, football and Netflix to someone I could talk music to. Rather excitedly I took it as my duty to introduce him to all kinds of bands and musical styles that I thought would widen his musical tastes and maybe lead him on to greater musical appreciation because being just 17 years old [and even though his father was in to music too] there were lots of gaps in his musical knowledge. I put myself in his shoes and imagined how I’d feel if I met someone with forty years experience of going to gigs, buying records, meeting people but I soon got the impression that I was perhaps, maybe, no definitely boring him to tears. After introducing him to the delights of Japanese Noise, The Incapacitants and Merzbow I gave him a few Noise related CD’s then raved about Throbbing Gristle being the best starting point for anyone interested in getting into the weird stuff. Then immediately wished I hadn’t and thought that I’d pushed him too far too quickly and left it at that. It didn’t help that in a sudden rush of enthusiasm I dug out my iPod and via the dusty radio/CD player subjected him to one of the Deutsche Elektronische Musik comps that Soul Jazz put out a few years ago. After about an hour of Faust, Can and D.A.F. I saw him close up to the radio and wondered if he was looking at the display to see which artist it was that was playing and that maybe he was going to ask me a question as to who it was and did I know anything about them but he just wanted to turn it off. ‘Its doing me head in’ he said.

We stuck to Radio 2 after that.

As the days and weeks passed the chat about music was never far from the surface. Ken Bruce’s ‘Popmaster’, that mid-morning excuse to put the kettle on and skive for 15 minutes/have a well earned rest became a regular feature with both us surprising each other with our pop chart knowledge, him post year 2000 me pre year 2000. And so it continued for several weeks.

He said he’d recently bought a turntable so I brought him a few records in and told him he could keep them. Middle of the road stuff that I’d probably never play again. I told him that I had a copy of The Who’s ‘Live at Leeds’ and that if you were in to The Who then you really needed to own a copy and that he could have it but that night at home I searched in vain and wondered what did happen to it so he ended up with some Devo and a Sonic Youth ten inch that had concentric grooves on it which he seemed more than happy with anyway.

On the day before he was told that his services were no longer required I got the iPod out again. Ken Bruce, the repeated plays of the current Children In Need charity single featuring Rod Stewart and Robbie Williams and someone singing karaoke for 24 hours had driven us both to the limits of our patience. By now I’d scrubbed the Deutsche Elektronische Musik and replaced it with a selection of albums that I knew we’d both enjoy including some Joy Division and New Order but when I turned it on the first album that came up was a disc from the Lee Scratch Perry box set Arkology and I went with that. As soon as it started it our moods lifted. Bye bye Rod and Robbie hello Lee Scratch Perry. He'd heard of Lee Scratch Perry which cheered me up no end and with a skip in our step we carried out our onerous task with renewed energy and vigor and the rest of the day flew by with little in the way of conversation and much in way of appreciation of the music.

I never told him I write this thing or that I pass judgement of musics of an obscure nature. I’d troubled him enough and with hindsight doubt that the handful of Noise CD’s I’d given him would gather no more than five collected minutes of his baffled attention before spending the rest of their lives in a dark forgotten corner.

How would I explain to him the world of 80’s experimental Industrial England and Nurse With Wound, The New Blockaders and Whitehouse? ‘Well, some blokes who were in to weird music decided to make some weird music of their own and even though they couldn’t play any instruments they went in to a studio and made some sounds and some of them became famous and some notorious and some less famous and for them obscurity and footnotes to a time that is now seen as a bit of a golden period for experimental music in this country’.

Rupert and Bertrand Burgess fall in to the obscure category. As Dada Duo they released a cassette in an edition of ten copies called ‘An Overloaded Dope-Dealer Suckers in Benches of Religion’. This was 1980. One of these ten copies fell into the hands of Richard Rupenus who liked what he heard. Rupenus suggested rereleasing the cassette on LP but Bertrand Burgess suggested rerecording some new material and so entered IPS studio in London [where Nurse With Wound recorded The Sylvie & Babs Hi-Fi Companion] to record two tracks for it. Dada Duo entered said studio but after recording one track the funds ran out and the LP was aborted. Fast forward thirty odd years and picture Richard Rupenus rummaging around in his garden shed looking for a rusty bicycle wheel when he comes across the master tape for ‘When Anti Meets Electronic …’ .

So what does it sound like? This thirty year old lump of early English Industrial Experimental Noise? It sounds exactly like a thirty year old lump of English Industrial Experimental Noise; battered cymbals thrown to the floor, garbled vocals, squealing train brakes, a nigh on unceasing barrage of noise from needle drop to needle lift. Hammers were used and saws and tapes and electronics. Richard Rupenus is credited with sledgehammer amongst other things but whether he was actually there or these were added later I know not. Another piece of the jig-saw then. Another piece of obscurantism with which to whet the appetite. Something to scare temps with.

There’s another side to fill up though and no Dada Duo track to fill it with so we have two tracks from Mixed Band Philanthropist: ‘Fat Family Meets The Unbreakable Smile’ and 'Polyhymnia And The Philanthropenis Witness The First Act of Spontaneous Human Convulsion'. Expect a cornucopia of noisy juxtaposed rapid cut an shut edits including screams, random dialogue, porn grunts, shuffling sounds, telephones ringing, syncopated jazz bands and eventually those lovable Carry On-esque innuendo samples; the laughing Geordie DJ talking about his penis pump and someone stumbling over the word clitoris. All good harmless razor blade and tape edited family fun. 

Would the temp like it? I think he’d much rather listen to Lee Scratch Perry but you never know. 



Obskyr Records


 





Monday, November 11, 2019

Neil Campbell meets Morton Feldman



Neil Campbell - Cloud Drag 1979
CDR/Cassette/DL

As given to me by the man himself in time honored fashion at the St Paul’s Church in Huddersfield on the occasion of Phillip Thomas's triumphant rendition of Morton Feldman’s 90 minute epic ‘Triadic Memories’. Which turned out to be one of the highlights of the year. It was a first time visit for me to St Paul's too. A de-consecrated church that sits on the town center ring road at the periphery of Huddersfield University campus. It has banked seating that gives impressive views of the church insides and Thomas as he slowly works his way through this most elegiac of Feldman’s compositions. As the work progressed time seemed to loose all meaning. I purposely kept my watch covered and phone turned off and the only way I knew that time was passing was that my arse began to ache. People shuffled in their seats, I spied one person checking their phone but most of us, those I could see anyway remained motionless, rapt and enveloped in what we were experiencing. The venue, situated where it is, leaked extraneous sounds throughout the performance; emergency services sirens, rain, traffic, Campbell unscrewing the cap of his whiskey flask and kindly offering me a drop which I have to tell you I declined and at one instance someone presumably connected to the venue who could be heard clanging and banging through several ancient church doors before appearing stage front as it were, us as shocked to see them as they were to see us. Thomas stopped playing, his hands hovered stasis above the piano keys and as the door slowly and quietly shut resumed where he’d left off.

I bumped in to Bald John before the gig and we went for a drink in The Commercial. I’d come on the bus due to a flat car battery and had missed the earlier evening performance because of this but John had come in his car and was kind enough to give me a lift home, or drop me off near home which was good enough for me. As we left the venue the heavens opened to such an extent that the roads became more like rivers. As John edged his car through the dark floods Radio 3 became less and less audible. The talk changed from Morton Feldman to I cant hear the radio to ‘I’ve never seen rain like this in my entire life’ and then to silence as we both tried to concentrate and make out where we were going. John took what I considered a circuitous route which at one stage was actually taking me away from where I wanted to be and I wondered if the rain and fear of crashing, or getting drowned or disappearing down a hole in the road that shouldn't be there had somehow shook his senses. He dropped me at my old school which was near enough in the circumstances and I walked the rest of the way home in full-on drowned rat mode. A memorable night.

‘Cloud Drag 1979’ contains seven humphing, pumfing tracks of the Gallopatter machine going full blast, rubber belts flapping round a six foot diameter drive wheel that's slightly out of orbit and threatening to spin off its axle and through several roofs of Nunroyd Mills variety. Tracks three is all off-kilter crunchy presets with crazy guitar, a sort of lolloping galumphing thing, track four is a John Carpenter track dragged through Lions treacle, track five is a Gameboy soundtrack for a game about Bauhaus instrumental b-sides. I know, I know. Its crazy to think of it like this but its all true. CD stamp says ‘recorded by neil campbell late summer 2019 synth - percussion - toy guitar - radio’. The cover's a square of textured paper that's been smeared with paint.

This is my 485th Neil Campbell review.

And here I must mention the 5 CD Morton Feldman box set from the Sheffield label Another Timbre that people were snapping up on the night. My copy has been on an almost permanent rotation since I bought it with the full version of Triadic Memories [arriving via flac from the label - too big for CD obvs] a constant companion during my nightly PC travels. Every home should have one.   




NC Bandcamp


Another Timbre
   




 

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Crazy For Nuts.



Enragés Fou Noix
Various Artists
CD/DL


One of the best books I’ve read this year was Sue Prideuax’s magnificent biography of Friedrich Nietzsche; ‘I Am Dynamite!’ Nietzsche could debate for ten hours at a stretch, fancied himself as a composer, was a close friend of Wagner [they eventually fell out], hated Christianity, loved Jews when it was fashionable to hate them, was nearly blind, suffered all his life with terrible intestinal medical complaints and spent his last eleven years on this planet a bedridden madman reduced to drinking his own piss and howling like a dog. His sister and mother [whom he hated] had the good fortune to benefit from his work which started to sell just as Nietzsche found himself clinging on to a starving horse's neck in Naples begging the owner to spare it from further harm. As his health, both mental and physical deteriorated further, his sister and mother displayed Nietzsche as little more than a curiosity allowing visitors who came to pay homage to this most gifted of men embarrassing glimpses of the bedridden wreck. Life can be real shitty at times.

Enragés Fou Noix is a fundraiser for the Mental Health Resistance Network. Madness, or whatever the medical term is [I know nothing of the terminology in regards to mental health] is still with us. As much in Nietzsche’s life as in our own. It will never go away. But at least we know a lot more about it now. Nietzsche’s own ‘softening of the brain’ as it was diagnosed [which was probably the result of a syphilis infection he got while visiting prostitutes, prostitutes he visited on the instruction of his doctor so as to ‘get the monkey off his back’ so to speak - as an aside its also worth noting that Wagner help spread the rumour that Nietzsche’s bad eyesight was a result of excessive masturbation, who needs friends eh?] is now a lot more understood and ‘softening of the brain’ lives in the same recycling bin as balanced humors, the application of leeches and electro-shock therapy.

I have Kelly Reader to thank for this comp. Thanks Kelly. Its been lurking in the inbox for a while and I’ve been dipping in to the Bandcamp version on and off for weeks but it wasn’t until Vicky Langan pointed out that the Disco Mental cover version of Donna Summers ‘I Feel Love’ is the best thing since Hipster rye sourdough that I really took notice and realised I owed it to Kelly and the Mental Health Resistance Network to tell the world about it. And yes Disco Mental’s cover version of Donna ‘Summers I Feel Love’ IS the best thing since Hipster rye sourdough and yes I did play it over and over again too marveling at the way as to how Simon Morris sings like a pub singer with ten pints in him slurring the words as he makes his way to the gents with Several’s synth beat backing bleeping and blopping along as he sings/slurs. Disco Mental being Simon Morris and the now late John Several who in the last days and weeks of his life managed to create at least two [that I know of] of the most outrageous disco cover versions I know, the other being the flip to the Ceramic Hobs Fifty Shades of Snuff single and a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’. One can only hope that theres more in the archives. I am forever greedy for such things.

Lets not stop there though because this gets better. There’s a Homosexuals track on here that reminded me of just how good the Homosexuals were. Are. ‘3AM [Pink Pony]’ is a sing-a-long, grab your mates by the shoulders life affirming slice of pop taken from their 2016 ‘Important But True’ digital only album. Thats why I missed it. And there’s an exclusive Guttersnipe track of such ferocity it’ll leave you rolling around on the floor clasping your eardrums and a Danielle Dax track from her 1983 debut LP thats the epitome of English Folk and makes me wish I had the LP with its cover of rotting testicles and weeping eyes.

OK they’re my favourites but there’s still plenty to admire here; Hawksmoor Brood which is Several again in classic synth sequencer mode with Jowe Head supplying vocal samples, Salford Media City who sound like a loose Half Man Half Biscuit cum The Fall with whistling and shortwave radio, Silver Dick with two minutes of parping improv and Joincey vocals, a fearsome spoken word piece by David Hoyle accompanied by portentous rumbling thunder and in-between all these eighteen tracks the lovely Carol Barton dispensing words of wisdom and witticisms ‘Mental health difficulties is what you get if you’re honest with a psychiatrist’.    

I’m tempted to write ‘you’d be mad not to buy it’ but thats just cheap. Just buy it instead.


https://madpridemcr.bandcamp.com/album/enrag-s-fou-noix


https://thehomosexuals.bandcamp.com/



http://www.sueprideaux.com/










Saturday, November 02, 2019

Psych.KG


































Fluxus - +/- : Quentin Smirhes / Samuel Beckett by Kommissar Hjuler 
Psych.KG 491
LP. 100 copies

Turritopsis Nutricula: Laurent Fairon / Cody Brant & Kommissar Hjuler und Frau / Magnús Pálsson / Louis Jucker / Paul Fuchs & Zoro Babel / Mama Baer
Psych.KG 439
LP. 65 copies.

John M. Bennett & C. Mehrl Bennett / Bryan Lewis Saunders & Kommissar Hjuler und Frau
Psych.KG 403
LP. 75 copies.

Widerstand zu Zeiten Schwarzer Pädagogik: Family Fodder / Kommissar Hjuler
Psych.KG 463
LP. 100 copies

Die Zwei Gefässe: Louis Jucker / Jeroen Diepenmaat / Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Baer
Psych.KG 421
LP. 100 copies.

The European Impro Facism: Goodiepal + Pals + Kommissar Hjuler + Mama Baer = Penis Pals
Psych.KG 487
LP. 48 copies.

Die Anerkennung Als Beleuchtungstraeger:  Goodiepal & Pals / Family Fodder / Jonothan Meese / Kommissar Hjuler und Frau
Psych.KG 471
LP. 71 copies.

Fluxus in the Bathroom: Family Fodder / Kommissar Hjuler
Psych.KG 381
LP. 75 copies.

Homemade Universe: Clemens Schittko / Louis Jucker / The Spyon / Jeroen Diepenmart / Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Baer.
Psych.KG 427
LP. 100 copies.

Franz Kamin / Kommissar Hjuler und Frau / Tentatively, a Convenience
Psych.KG 359
LP. 100 copies.

Fluxus +/- : Peter Ablinger / Bill Dietz / Kommissar Hjuler und Frau / Sven-åke Johansson
Psych.KG 373
LP. 75 copies.

Possessed Anticipation of the Generalized Other: Anla Courtis & Kommissar Hjuler und Frau / Steve Dalachinsky & Nicola Hein
Psych.KG 481
LP.  81 copies

With Shelter Gone: Steve Dalachinsky & Eighty-pound Pug / Politi-Inspector Hjluer w/Polit-sang Kor Flensborg
Psych.KG 405
LP. 100 copies

Science Fiction: Terrible Lizards / Daniel Svandberg Bør / La Scrambled Debutante / Richard Ramirez / Mama Baer
Psych.KG 489
LP. ? copies





Of the many Kommissar Hjuler videos on Youtube my favourite is the one which shows Hjuler playing the split LP he made with Milan Knizak [Psych.KG 181]. In this short two minute video Hjluer guides us through the workings of the anti-player they’ve made using a copy of Morton Feldman’s LP ‘The Early Years’. The cover of the LP is used as the base, the stylus is a small branch with a nail driven though it while the record itself is the actual Feldman release shaved down to around seven inches [“I didn’t measure’]. Turning the disc by hand by way of a small peg drilled into the label the stylus emits a few scratchy sounds. And thats it. As the video ends Hjuler looks straight at the camera and a broad smile emerges.

Psych.KG is a label that I’ve only recently come across. To call it just a label is doing Psych.KG a disservice though, its like calling Picasso a bit of a painter. We’re talking more art outlet for those with heavy leanings towards Fluxus, Dada, Art Brut, Performance Art, Absurdism, Surrealism, Anti-Art and anything that floats around within these spheres. A vinyl only label where the limited runs you see above are only the tip of the iceberg with many releases getting their own art edition that can run to anything from Morton Feldman Anti-Players to light sensor synths to handmade cassette players and beyond. The covers are your guide with most displaying the handiwork of the Kommissar and his wife: Barbie dolls in bondage, homages to rock band Kiss, randomly placed typewriter keys, syringes, plenty of glue, heroin chic, a baby fist with a nail driven through it and Quentin Smirhes standing in a dilapidated greenhouse in his underwear. 

The Smirhes side of Psych.KG 491 is as good a place to start as any seeing as how this was the first side of the twenty eight that came via DHL that I played. What I wasn’t expecting from a pile of Fluxus related LP’s with used condoms and chopped up babies on the covers was an eerie glass harp, clockwork and bass recorder version of Satie’s Gnossienne #1. But that's what I got from Quentin. Playing this record was a mistake of sorts though as it meant I fell in to a Youtube wormhole of Smirhes proportions from which it took me many days to reemerge. When I did I emerge it was with the knowledge that Smirhes is the creation of film maker Sean Reynard and that all the tracks on his side of Psych.KG 481 are audio versions of his short, surreal, Vivian Stanshall like Youtube channel videos. So you get ‘Quentin Has Stern Words With The Naughty Egg’ a version of Betjeman’s ‘This is the Night Mail’ and ‘Quentin’s Worm Helmet’ the accompanying video of which shows Smirhes walking around a cricket ground in shorts and Argyle socks while wearing a skull cap from which twirls a worm. All this set to the soundtrack from a BBC 60’s kids TV theme [rather annoyingly I couldn't place it]. While on the flip I got Kommissar Hjuler reciting Samuel Beckett in German while squeeze boxes were squeezed and Sun Ra clusters were struck on keyboards. All of which sounded as if it was recorded en plain air the final section in a noisy car with no brakes going too fast down a big hill. Reader I was in Fluxus heaven.

I dutifully made notes. In fact I started a scrapbook of sorts and doodled as I listened. I internet searched too. I learnt about the NO!art Movement and Boris Lurie. I discovered the amazing American poet Steve Dalachinsky who with the guitarist Marc Campello [Psych.KG 405] did a suicidal Derek Bailey homage in which Dalachinsky repeats the words ‘Go away or I’ll kill myself’ as Campello outdoes Bailey in the frotting department. There's similar on Psych.KG 481 where Dalachinsky teams up with Nicola Hein to pay homage to Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler with some impressive electric guitar improv performance poetry.

But where to start. For I haven’t really started at all. I’ve barely scratched the surface. A better writer than I would be guiding you through the inner workings of the Fluxus movement and how the sounds Joe Jones creates with his machines has parallels with the recitation of a publishing contract as performed by Family Fodder [Psych.KG 471] or how Jospeh Beuys inspired Jonathan Meese to compose something that sounds like someone going mad in a public toilet to a Casio beat [also Psych. KG 471] but I can’t.

Besides the label a lot of these people are new to me: Peter Ablinger, Bill Dietz, Sven-åke Johansson, Franz Kramin, Clemens Schittko, Louis Jucker, Jeroen Diepenmart ... which when you couple to a label that's also new to me means there’s still a lot going on out there that I still don’t know about. What I do know about is Kommissar Hjuler und Frau who appear on many of these releases and are the glue that I feel holds all this manic mixture together. Some of their contributions are culled from live performances including the incredible, exhausting and terrifying ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ [Psych.KG 359] in which the Kommissar shouts his lungs raw with an incessant barrage of ‘wimoweh’s’ until he no doubt collapsed on to the floor of the venue in a fit of shivering madness. Or ‘Copenhagen Magazines’ [Psych.KG 427] in which Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer [I’m never sure where Kommissar Hjuler und Frau begins and Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer ends seeing as how they’re the same people] perform the soundtrack to an absurdist production in which the same piano key is hit repeatedly until the lid comes down with an almighty crash.

There’s not just one version of Satie’s Gnossienne #1 on here either. On Psych.KG 381 Family Fodder’s reggae version raised more than one eyebrow and then there’s their nod towards The Slits and The Raincoats while on the flip Kommissar Hjuler gives us a bizarre piece that includes a reversed edited female vocal loop that could actually be someone doing what sounds like a reversed edited female vocal loop that ends in the sounds of bombs falling. Its maddening, insane, hypnotic and I’m wondering if I can put in to words what 14 LP’s worth of sounds, poetry, Fluxus events, bondage Barbies with nails in their eyes, Eric Satie, glue, wood, erect penis’s and Morton Feldman Anti-Players all means but I cant. I have failed Psych.KG but in my own way I have worked my way through these releases and come out of the other side a more well informed person. I now know Psych.KG. I now have no more room for anymore records. I do have an idea though.

I feel as if I should make my own Anti-Player. Fourteen of them to be exact. Each one of them carrying its own accompanying video ending with me displaying the finished item with a big grin on my face. Then I'll take them to Huddersfield for the start of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and leave them lying about the various venues for people to play. I’m sure Psych.KG would approve.



PsychKG on Discogs