Monday, July 01, 2013

SPON29&30 - Hiroshima Yeah! 100 - Fördämning 2


SPON #29
Fold out A5 zine and ephemera

SPON #30
Zip lock bag filled with rubbish

Hiroshima Yeah!  #100
8 page A4 zine + CDR

Fördämning #2
A5 zine. 32 pages. 250 copies. English language.

Trash as art - we’ve been here before of course. Famously with Metzger’s Tate Britain bag of rubbish that was accidentally thrown away by a cleaner who mistook it for a bag of rubbish and then theres everything that Tracey Emin creates. SPON 30 is another bag of rubbish, a little smaller than Metzger’s but still, its rubbish. Maybe I should just chuck it straight in the bin? But what if Dr. Steg becomes mega famous and his little bags of rubbish become high art sought after by the wealthy I hear you cry? Like when Olsen began sending Underwood his early American Tapes releases and Underwood chucked all the excess handmade packaging in the bin because he had no room for it and now they’re collectors items with Japanese American Tape fans paying hundreds of dollars for them. Well, thats just a chance I’ll have to take because I can’t bear the thought that I’m giving house space to a ziplock bag that contains an empty plastic bottle, a junior hacksaw [no blade], a split and bald tennis ball, food packaging, beads and various other bits of debris and to top it all the bags just burst on my keyboard showering it with the dirt. Great. SPON 30 also comes with an old cassette that has Alternative TV on one side and Chris and Cosey on the other. Both are taped from LP. The C&C side is so badly scratched that whoever it was that recorded it had to keep moving the needle along by hand [don’t forget folks, home taping is killing music]. All this after receiving a small plastic storage box filled with various useless items that was SPON 27. Oh and a SPON button badge. I now have enough button badges to turn myself into a West Yorkshire Pearly King. Or twat.

SPON 29 is nearer conventional in that you can read it. The words being a straight lift from a book or article documenting the last years of the English comedian Peter Cook’s life. And very good it is too. Sort of makes you want to dig out Ad Nauseum again. The whole thing comes wrapped  in a poster of sorts that has one of Gysin’s prints on the reverse. Accompanying detritus includes a book mark made by the residents of Pennystone Court, a flyer for the Satan Operator website, a Freepost reply card from Alzheimer’s Research UK in which all three boxes are ticked in regards of the sender wanting to know more information on dementia, an A Band CDR that is ‘Agdam’ that came out on the Blackpool label Must Die Records [no it wasn’t me who sent you it Dr. Steg], a postcard showing Bruce Forsyth and Barbara Windsor in which Steg has added his own comments and a letter from Steg written on the bottom of a piece of A4 headed ‘SIMPLE COMMON- SENSE [SIC] STRATERGIES [SIC] FOR TRANSFORMING MENTAL AND PHYSICAL TENSION INTO ENERGY’ a list of tips, the second being ‘Simplify your life! Start by eliminating the trivia’.

Meanwhile at Hiroshima Yeah! HQ Mark Ritchie has slid into three figures and for the first time included a CD where we get exclusive tracks from the likes of Midwich and the Ceramic Hobs. There lots of other stuff too including PE form Bagman and a superb opener from Derelict Mosquito Squad where the the words ‘Hiroshima Yeah’ are chopped and edited and looped into a gibberish that sounds like a Nurse With Wound experiment gone wrong. Theres quite an expanse of musical styles on offer which pretty much represents what HY Covers, including Mr. Ritchie’s own Shy Rights Movement singer songwriter outing [which is pretty damned good it has to be said]. The winner of the jangly pop song award though goes to Paul Doucét with an impressive Birds like outing on a song called ‘Red Headed Girl’. Experimental outing award goes to Minimal Frank with a swirly thing called ‘UTC-5’, a track that has spoken French language and shamanic ritual alongside some swirly electronics. Noisy award goes to Staline Plays Theremin and the best band name award goes to Cold Boiled Dog whose 23 seconds of singing sounds as if it was recorded down the phone [maybe this was Gary Simmons contribution?].

Talking of which there’s the continuing saga of Gary Simmons 1½ years behind bars. A monthly sermon on the iniquities of the penal system and what its doing to his head [answer:- nothing thats any good for him]. Simmons style might not suit everybody, CAPS are thrown in with gay abandon as are Whitehouse lyrics and references to GG Allin but whatever your point of view you cant deny that the brutal honesty of his writing makes for compulsive reading. Hopefully he’ll be out by September.

Ritchie’s own writing is equally open and honest with gig reviews often beginning when he wakes up and ending when he goes to bed. His poetry, which always fills the front page isn’t too bad either. A proper cut and past zine, the likes of which are all too scarce these days. Available for stamps trades or a kind email/letter I should imagine.

Fördämning [or should that be Fördämning] arrives from Sweden and is notable for one of the few interviews I’ve ever read with Harbinger Sound supremo Steve Underwood. Read about Steve’s contempt for Discog completists and his time as a stuntman for a TV production company. And despite coming across as a grumpy old man he assures us that he’s far from it. Theres also interviews with the Idea Fire Company [plus a guide to their best work] and Swedish industrial/noise artist Händer Som Vårdar who after watching one Youtube clip appears to be suitable Scandinavian-ly austere. LA cello scrape drone noise duo Pedestrian Deposit also get a look in. The editor even interviews himself and has the sense to admit that had Fördämning been printed in Swedish its print run would have been about seven. Plus the usual swathe of noise reviews. Enthusiastic and very readable. What more could you ask for?