Something for the Weakened

Archive for December, 2010

Formbscenities

December 18th, 2010 by Alastair

I’ve recently found myself replacing my frequent vocal curses with titles of George Formby songs. It’s oddly soothing to say “Oh, Mister Woo,” when something has just gone to cock. Try it. I dare you.

For Your Consideration Eleven – Nepotist’s Special!

December 12th, 2010 by Alastair

If you’re uncertain what these are, use the search function. One of the other ten will tell you what’s going on and might just introduce you to some music you might enjoy. Stranger things have happened. I imagine. Here’s the selection this time around -

Frags – Depth of Everything

Let’s start out by putting the nepotistic aspects of this choice straight on the table shall we. The artist known as Frags is the designer of this very website and, probably more importantly, my brother. The nickname stems from our Father’s conviction that due to his diminished size at a young age and his slightly felty appearance, that he very much resembled a Fraggle. He wasn’t a dwarf or anything, just shorter than the rest of the family (I still lay claim to being the tallest man in the world, despite many people trying to prove me wrong with petty things like ‘facts’ and ‘evidence’). I’m also uncertain about which Fraggle our Father was referring to, but due to our both having blonde hair at that age I would guess Wembley. Over the years, friends of his and mine would refer to him as Fraggle, though this was slowly shortened and corrupted to the Frags that people still often refer to him as today.

To remove some of the nepotism cards from this delightful table I have here, I must point out that he has never as far as I can recall pointed me toward the site on which he hosts his own compositions, nor does he know that I’ve found it (I certainly haven’t told him) or listened to anything there. I discovered the existence of said site only yesterday and this was only by accident. Having recently inherited an aged Mac from him (no matter how aged, still more up to date than my previous PC), I found that he hadn’t deleted the favourites from Firefox, so spent a few minutes going through them to see if there was anything worth investigating. His own work was one of the more intriguing things I stumbled upon. We’re not so estranged that I had no idea that he was recording music of his own – he’s passed me CDs of his work in the past and I’ve heard his abilities as a DJ improve exponentially over the past decade and a half, since I first heard his muffled attempts at mixing through our adjoining bedroom wall. But I was unaware that he had created anything new recently and this can only have been done in the past twelve months. And I’ll tell you for why.

The track in question is effectively a remix of the song In Swollen Silence by Nurse With Wound, from the album Soundpooling. I know my brother to be a fairly voracious consumer of music, but feel fairly confident in stating that he doesn’t have a vast quantity of the recorded output of Steven Stapleton. I, on the other hand, have a small selection of his thirty year long discography. I’m also particularly fond of that particular song, to the extent that I included it as one of my selections when I appeared on the Eclectronimentica podcast. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I say to you, that with that evidence at our fingertips, it is only possible to conclude that the artist known to the world as Frags downloaded said podcast, ripped said song from it’s centre and reinterpreted it with, oh, I dunno, Ableton or summat. Which I find sort of flattering in some strange way. It’s almost certainly not a tribute to my outstanding musical tastes (no, I am the arbiter), but I’m going to take it as such anyway.

Remixing anything by NWW is a peculiar prospect I would imagine. The dadaist nature of much of their (well, his, it is mainly Stapleton’s vision) output, the fact that its rare for there to be much in the way of beats, especially not regular ones, and the odd moments of sinister tunefulness probably actually makes them easier to sample than many artists. What Frags seems to have mainly concentrated on are the parts of the song containing vocals (swathes of it are instrumental), adding the beats, keyboard swathes and the odd squelch here and there. Some of the original has been processed slightly too, a little reverb here, a little process that I don’t know the name of there. The major difference between this and the original is the absence of the terrifying sound of god belching that appears half way through with no forewarning (and again at the end with a slightly sad inevitability). That’s probably my favourite part of the original for reasons that can be heard at the end of the aforementioned podcast, so I won’t blather on about that again here. Shame that it isn’t included, but it probably wouldn’t have worked in the context of a piece of down tempo drum and bass.

I’ve yet to finish listening to all the songs on the site yet, but would encourage you to give them ago, some of them are rather fun. Haven’t got to the DJ mix at the bottom yet, but am quite looking forward to it. Bet it’s got the Wombles in it. He always uses the bloody Wombles. That said, the world must at least be grateful that he didn’t try sampling any of my inane droning from my podcast appearance. Though there is still the terrifying prospect that he might have the only recording in existence of me doing the paper review on early morning BBC local radio. Brrr.

Drinker. Pinter. Milk.

December 4th, 2010 by Alastair

INT. DAY.

ME. So was there a fire?

HER. I’m sorry?

ME. The burns.

HER. What are you talking about?

ME. The burns on your face.

HER. There aren’t any burns on my face.

ME. Oh. (pause) Um. Another drink?

HER. No, I don’t think so.

Exit HER to the sound of a decreasing mute trumpet scale.