It’s summertime in Copenhagen/Northern Europe which means that most people in the world of music are going on vacation or preparing for various festivals.
This also means a bit of time off from the music for me – the new record is more or less there, but I won’t be putting serious effort into shopping it around to various labels until later this year as most people in the business aren’t responsive this time of year anyway.
Will be checking out Future Islands among others at Roskilde Festival as I really like their new album. Slowdive was added last-minute to the line up, which is great, but unfortunate for me though, as I will only be visiting the festival on Friday, the day before their appearance.
As a sort of consolation I invested in a brand new pressing of one of my favourite albums. I’m not a vinyl fetishist per se (not any more anyway) , but when it comes to a record like this, I still happily lay down the cash.
The record is finished. It needs a proper mastering and some artwork, but it’s there allright. Expect to hear some snippets from it in the near future.
In the meantime, do yourself a favour and check out the brand new track by Truth Lies In Dust: “Sacrifice”. Truth Lies In Dust is the new project by old friend & producer Ephex Hartman, and he asked me to provide lyrics & vocals for this track. I’m more than happy with the result, and it’s great to get to be creative with other people every once in a while.
Went to see a Michael Gira solo show in Copenhagen a couple of weeks ago.
I have seen both Swans and Gira solo more times than I can remember right now. But as I’m sitting here mixing and tweaking my own songs, and inevitably hitting those periods where the music seems to go nowhere and I feel out of touch with it, I just have to look to my right (I have a framed Swans poster on my wall, you see) and remind myself how music is able to take you somewhere completely different and shake you through, if you let it.
I have a ticket stub from a Swans concert that took place in 1997 in Copenhagen on their farewell tour; I would have just turned seventeen judging from the date, and I remember knowing I had to see this band, as it supposedly was my last chance of ever doing so. A couple of years earlier I had picked up a copy of “Greed”, knowing Swans was a name I had to check out, since I was a young introvert with an attitude and a taste for the “alternative” – I was in no way ready for it at the time; but I remember it provoked me intensely. And I played it every once in a while, like there was some secret to it I hadn’t been let it on. Of course there was no secret; it was all about reaching a state of mind where you decide to let go of all preconceived notions of what music is, and how it should be executed. And at the Swans concert in 1997 that way of thinking became clear to me. I went to the show alone as I didn’t know anybody who wanted to come, and I used my meagre savings on a beer, a joint and a t-shirt and felt that was an OK preparation for whatever was about to hit me. Even though the band was breaking up, there was no sentimentality to it. As I recall Michael Gira just stated that since they had just released a new album (That would be “Soundtracks for the blind”) their set was going to focus on that material, and that was it.
That evening I got home a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a lot more confused, but most importantly, determined to never let myself or my music restrict to certain ideals or ideas about genres and what was supposedly “permitted” in music. I was able to enjoy and discover both “Greed” and the rest of the bands back catalogue from that moment on.
And when Swans reunited some years ago, I was once again impressed and struck by the lack of sentimentality with which Michael Gira seemed to move forward instead of giving people a “Greatest Hits” set.
The framed poster is actually signed by Michael Gira; it says “To Morton! – live!”.
Good advice. That I do.
Now back to the music…
The moment you’ve been working on a bass hook for a couple of hours and you suddenly realise you’ve more or less lifted it from somebody else. Then spend the next half hour figuring out who that might be. In conclusion: at least I steal from the best.
Last night I attended Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld in concert in Copenhagen.
I had decided not to check out their studio material beforehand so I could take in the music without any expectations whatsoever. It was ridiculously good. I won’t bother going into details, but can obviously recommend that you invest in their record “Still smiling” when you get the chance, as I did today.
The clock at my local metro station acted out yesterday; for just a second my perception of reality was warped until I realised the clock was at fault, not me. I was reminded of the brilliant lyrics to “The Light Pours Out Of Me” by Magazine:
“Time flies, time crawls, like an insect up and down the walls, – the light pours out of me”
The song stuck in my head all day, and I got home, turned on the mic and recorded the 1st verse and chorus. Nothing more, nothing less; just a short vignette of that strange feeling that I had to get out of my system. There you go. Inspiration in all its strange glory.
2013 was a rather uneventful year in my musical life, although I did do a single live performance and released a couple of new M Blok videos along with some old Saline Gift stuff. However, behind the scenes I worked on new material more or less the whole year through, and right now I have no idea if I’m going to release a single, an ep or an album within the next few months. The luxury of doubt.
I am reading the so far wonderful book by John Higgs on The KLF “KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money” I remember hearing about it when it came out, and then I guess I forgot about it. But when Youth of Killing Joke recently plugged it on his Facebook page, I decided to get hold of a copy.
Fascinating read. I think this excerpt says it all: