Thursday, 27 August 2009

Friday, 14 August 2009

Tiny Hairy Disco Deathmatch.

Get yourselves along to Kris Wasabi and David Barbarossa's disco grudge-fuck* at Sneaky Pete's tomorrow (Saturday 15th) night.
6 hours of non-stop disco shennanigans.
I'll be there.
Dressed as Grace Jones.
On the cover of Island Life.
In my mind.

Mega, mega busy round this way. Even though I'm on holidays. And have spent most of the morning on teh internets.

And another thing, i'm increasingly thinking that the festival is Edinburgh's Christmas. It's impossible to walk down the street without meeting someone you know and inevitably ends with the question "Fancy a scoop?"

Sure, it's fun to complain but there's something in the air this year.

* I know, eww.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Edinburgh Art/Music collective FOUND unveiled their emo-robot band creation, Cybraphon at the open of NewMedia Scotland's Edinburgh Art Festival exhibition at the InSpace gallery yesterday.
Cybraphon embodies the type of new-old-new aesthetic I was talking about previously. "Cybraphon consists of a number of instruments, antique machinery, and found objects from junk shops operated by over 60 robotic components, all housed in a modified wardrobe" (although the majority of Cybraphon's functions run off custom software). For the how, go here. The why, go here. It reminds me a little of Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller's "Opera for a Small Room" that was exhibited last year.

Cybraphon is resolutely modern too, being obsessed with social networking and the web, to such a degree that its prowess and popularity online impacts on its emotional state, which in turn has an effect on the music it composes. There are rumours that Richie Hawtin consulted with Cybraphon on Myspace and stole some of its ideas in surveying fans about what they'd like the return of Plastikman to look like.

Cybraphon, like many others, is naturally livid with Hawtin. Not because he stole his idea but because Cybraphon only sees the online component of its existence as informing rather than directing its practice as an artist.

There's a face off between FOUND and Cybraphon next week, unfortunately the website is saying it's sold out. Hopefully Cybraphon will notice I've written about it and grant me some sort of special robo-guestie.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Retro Stylings

Two seemingly disparate articles looking at similar tendencies in disparate musics floating around just now.

Philip Sherburne's column on Pitchfork looking at the return to analogue prevalent in the post-minimal climate. He's got some interesting points, most notably about Clone's increasing quest to refine and redefine the electronic canon, looking at the (small c) "continuum" of musics that have been growing out of the roots of disco/house/boogie/techno/acid/etc. Talk of innovation (although Sherburne uses the neat phrase "sonic novelty" in addressing the excesses of the minimal boom) has moved to talk of authenticity, a phrase that in all cultural forms is loaded with as much baggage as i've seen being lugged through the streets of Edinburgh this week.

Michael Tumelty's piece in the Herald looks at the Edinburgh International Festival's current programme and the furore over the sheer volume of Early/Historical/Authentic music in this years lineup. His point being that after a number of years where Historically Informed music was percieved as a niche, specialist pursuit it is now ready to go (for want of a better word) mainstream.

There's a lot of pleasure to be gained in seeing artists who've grown in relative obscurity getting plaudits for their mastery of their chosen form. I'm eagerly anticipating watching Legowelt break out his boxes at Substance this weekend just as Tumelty seems excited at the prospect of seeing Bach Collegium Japan.

So this is really just a wee screed, saluting all the interesting music programming this year in all its forms in Edinburgh's festival this year. It's a welcome relief from the depressing uniformity of a lot of the fare on offer at the major Fringe venues- acres of posters on boards plastered with easily recognisable visual references on posters.