4.11.15

UT : 1st John Peel session - 15th May 1984 (Radio broadcast).

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Though I was already a regular listener to Peel's show by the time UT recorded their first session for him, I've no recollection of him broadcasting it & was probably in the pub arguing about Echo & The Bunnymen when I should've been at home listening to it. That said, I expect I may have still considered their aloof abstractions slightly too challenging at that point - & too great a stylistic leap from my (then) beloved New Order, Sisters Of Mercy, & Three Johns. Even The Fall would've sounded unusually orthodox by comparison I thnk? It would be another year or so, following my discovery of Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising LP & its radical re-wiring of the electric guitar, before UT & I finally crossed paths.

It appears that a lot of other ardent tapers were similarly nonchalant as I've never managed to find a complete recording of UT's set - I've pieced this one together from 3 different sources, so you can expect some minor sonic turbulence, but the important thing is that it's complete.

Amusingly, the session was produced by Radio 2's Mark Radcliffe, who you're more likely to hear pontificating about archaic Manchester punk or extolling the (questionable) virtues of Elbow from Salford's garish MediaCity - an imperious glass citadel for corporate luvvies riding the BBC's licence fee gravy train - nowadays.

Track-list: Confidential / Absent Farmer / Tell It (Atomic Energy Pattern) / Phoenix.

3.11.15

LEGOWELT : 9Tz Tapes & Unreleased 1992-2015 (Archival recordings).

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"Music itself is, of course, very mystic. It has always been used in mystic rites. If you look at house & techno music, it's a kind of occult - from a certain perspective. People try to get entranced or take certain substances to get into a higher dimension. Musical notes & frequencies work on your brain on a certain way. It's occult because people don't really know what's going on, but they're compelled by it. In the Western world - around the 9th century I believe - they started using polyphonic music in Christian churches. That music came from the East, & was used to influence you to the point of being in a trance-like state.

Medieval music was also very simple in rhythm. It was just one drum playing the same pattern all the time, so it's not that difficult to make a transition to a more modern-sounding thing. They're very similar. Techno music is a little bit faster, & it's made with electronic instruments, but in the end it's pretty much the same.

I like it when music is very... unclear. It's nice when you walk down the street & it's foggy. Your imagination works differently because you cannot see things clearly, only shadows & outlines. If you use a lot of misty, foggy effects - like old delays, reverbs, & filters - the music becomes more shadowy. You can still hear the melodies but they're a little more buried. I would hope it makes it more exciting to listen to. The listener can disover secret melodies, & their imagination can be tested. For me, it doesnt really matter what you use to make music because inside the hardware there's a chip too. The whole hardware vs. software, digital vs. analogue thing, it's completely not important for me. I think purism is a very bad thing, because then you confine yourself too much. Purism can be a dead end." - excerpts from an interview with Danny Wolfers by Lauren Martin, April 2014.

I've cherry-picked 9Tz Tapes & Unreleased's track-list from the extensive (& constantly expanding) selection of gratis add-ons, off-cuts, rejects & remnants that Legowelt's Danny Wolfers regularly deposits at his official online outpost - no doubt there will be stacks more up-for-grabs by the time you read this. Though I'm happy to bypass most contemporary house & techno these days (with a handful of notable exceptions), Wolfers' productions - released under a baffling multitude of preposterous nom de plumes - have maintained a stubborn foothold on the playlist at Chéz Rooksby. Channelling, to all intents & purposes, Blake Baxter & Vangelis on a Maplins budget, his murky tech-funk squints inscrutably through an amorphous pea-souper of undulating cassette hiss, cabalistic attic static, & forensic hardware thrum. It probably goes without saying that Wolfers' singularly warped productions have little in common with the banal cut-&-paste faux-house music that today's somnolent nappy-ravers wave their flaccid glow-sticks at as, skint & bewildered, they listlessly lurch 'round Europe's mangy flyer-littered dance-floors, clutching their £5 cans of Red Stripe & uploading photographs of their tacky trainers to Instagrim, before (inevitably) dropping their vomit-flecked iPhones down an overflowing crapper. Turn the flamethrower on 'em.

n.b. Cassette recorder depiction by Mees Zikijer.

Acid in my fridge