Thursday, June 30, 2005

[MP3] Lolly Pop Covers Prince's 'Controversy'



I'm a big fan of Prince's 80s output (since that, bar some exceptions, his music turned crap -- well, you can never trust a Gemini). I got this post from Lolly Pop a.k.a. Brooke Aldridge, the chanteuse of the Twin Cities' (St. Paul & Minneapolis) electropop act Telephone! With Ricardo Autobahn, she has now covered Prince's song 'Controversy', from his 1981 album of the same name.(By the way, Brooke was quite into Kompleksi's demo I sent her, so it's time to return the compliment.)


NEW TRACK! Lolly Pop + Ricardo Autobahn = CONTROVERSY! (Yes, the Prince cut!)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Electro, Tech & House DJ world... THE TIME HAS COME!

ENGLAND AND AMERICA HAVE HAD A HEAD-ON MUSICAL COLLISION, RESULTING IN A NEO-ELECTRO-POP EXPLOSION...

Ricardo Autobahn & Lolly Pop proudly present:

'CONTROVERSY'
http://www.spraynet.freeserve.co.uk/controversy.html

Best,
:>
Miss Aldridge

The Vegetable Man Project: A Tribute to Syd Barrett



From max_ovni@email.it:

IT'S A paranoiac/surrealist project!

The Italian label OGGETTI VOLANTI NON IDENTIFICATI (OVNI) intends to publish by 2030 one thousand different versions of SYD BARRETT's VEGETABLE MAN, putting them into a collection of 50 volumes.

THE VEGETABLE MAN PROJECT is a homage to SYD BARRETT, PINK FLOYD's founder, and to his music. But it especially is a homage to 'Vegetable Man', a song written by Barrett shortly before his departure from the band in 1968. the song was never officially published and it's sadly and ironically autobiographical ("When I read the lyrics, I though: my God! This guy knows exactly what's happening to him!", Peter Jenner, Barrett's producer).

VEGETABLE MAN is a clear awareness of the own disarming incapacity to adapt oneself to the world, and in reality the proud and desperate scream of the solitary searcher lost in the sidereal spaces which divide people.

"I've been looking all over the place
for a place for me
but it ain't anywhere, it just aint's anywhere..."

The project is an attempt to put different musical realities and space-temporal worlds, very often isolated among themselves, in touch with each other, and it's spasmodically looking for the experimentation and the creativity which characterized the artistic activity of Syd Barrett.

To take part in the project:

1. record a NOT-MORE-THAN-4-MINUTE VERSION of the song (you can find mp3 and lyrics on the web). ANY MUSICAL GENRE is allowed.
2. contact Oggetti Volanti Non Identificati at oggettivolanti@hotmail.com.

The collected versions will be published on volumes of 20 songs each, and will be distributed by Oggetti Volanti Non Identificati all over the world.

Every band will receive a free copy of the compilation for every member.

Info:

oggettivolanti@hotmail.com
http://www.oggettivolanti.it/


VEGETABLE MAN
(unreleased)

In yellow shoes
I get the blues,
So I walk the street with my plastic feet
with blue velvet trousers make me feel pink.
Theres a kind of stink about blue velvet trousers

In my paisley shirt,
I look a jerk,
and my turquoise waistcoat is quite outta sight.
But oh, oh, my haircut looks so bad...
Vegetable man! Where are you?

So I change my gear,
and I bugger my knees
and I cover them up with the latest cuts
My pants and socks are all in a box
It does take long to find darn old socks
The watch,
black watch,
my watch
with a black face
and a date in a little hole

and all the luck,
its what I got,
Its what I wear,
Its what you see,
It must be me,
Its what I am!
Vegetable man! Where are you?

Ah, ah ah ah, ah ah ah
Hah, ah ah ah, ah ah ah - oh!
I've been looking all over the place
for a place for me
But it ain't anywhere
It just ain't anywhere.

Vegetable man, Vegetable man,
Vegetable man. Vegetable man,
Vegetable man, Vegetable man,

He's the kind of fella you just gotta see if you can,
Vegetable man.

Turn to the Left



TURN TO THE LEFT
Artists' Fashion Show + live music and DJs
291 Gallery, 291 Hackney Road, London, UK
8th July 2005, 8pm-late, £3 entry

Curated by Jessica Broas and Pil and Galia Kollectiv
in collaboration with 291 Gallery.

With Artists and Designers:

Sarah Baker
Diann Bauer
Jessica Broas
Cast Off Knitters
Chicks On Speed
Kate Forbes
Pil and Galia Kollectiv
Sophie Macorquodale
Emily McMehen
Gail Pickering
Pam Richardson
Bettina Schroeder
Tai Shani
Heidi Stokes
Tatty Devine

Live music by:

Xerox Teens
The Vichy Government
Anat Ben-David
Bishi
Tits of Death
The Lazy Ones

DJs: Jet + Suhail Malik

"A strange conical hat and cape ensemble sported by Hugo Ball at a poetry recital. A kettle worn as a handbag by a Manchester art punk. Art has often converged with the human body in strange new ways through the medium of fashion. The polar opposite of architecture, this meeting point has never been about totality ­ fashion is about heterogeneity, mixing and matching, modifying and diluting the absolute language of advertising and branding. A temporary, shape-shifting medium intended for recycling and manipulation, it has no time for the monumental but all the time in the world for sewing sequins.

Looking beyond the derogatory theoretical concepts that look to shame "fashion", and towards its role in the renaissance of craft

As technology conspires to liberate us from the shackles of manual labour (only to handcuff us to the keyboards and mice of the new slavemasters), we start to think about designing our own shackles, maybe in a nice grey wool knit. The labour of love and the hate of labour seem to coexist and coincide. Painstaking processes are reawakened with post-Marxist pleasures at stake. If Top Shop offers teen girls a truly democratic adaptation of high-design ideas for the mass market, we take on the high street with an ardent D.I.Y. spirit, customising, bastardising and personalising, establishing our own place within this democracy.

Fashion is once more about making and not following.

Denouncing (sex and the city-esque) fashion consumption as empowering/self-expressive and replacing this with empowerment by the handmade, Turn to the Left is a showcase of fashion projects, an opportunity to show ideas that lurk in the dark no man's land that stretches from art to fashion. Between the extremes of total wearability and pure concept, a platform for everything from performative stagewear and one-off designs to hand-crafted artefacts and accessories, reclaiming the catwalk from the closed circles of the industry. A celebration of the subversion of market trends, the fashion equivalent of the garage band myth, a brush with the conceptual, this is what clothing can be and what it can do.

This is low couture ­do or D.I.Y.!"

Further info: http://www.kollectiv.co.uk/

Earlier

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

EcLECTRO LOUNGE #14 on Wednesday 29 June '05

Just to remind all you electro-minded bloggers in Tampere area on Wednesday...



EcLECTRO LOUNGE #14
Wednesday 29 June 2005
20:00-02:00 h
@ Apadana, Suvantokatu 7-9, Tampere
Free entry!
Age limit 18

Nu & old electro, IDM, techno, Detroit, disco, ambient, synth, acid house, vintage Moog sounds, EBM, new beat, spacepop, etc. with Kompleksi DJs Mike Not & pHinn!

Electrospective by Greg Wilson



A post I received from legendary Greg Wilson...


"NO SELL OUT

LEGEND / WIGAN PIER ELECTRO RETROSPECTIVE (MAY ’82 – DEC ’83)

MIXED BY GREG WILSON FOR A GUY CALLED GERALD / SAMURAI FM

Part 1 has just gone online (scroll down to hear - also to read
accompanying introductions from both Gerald and myself):

http://www.samurai.fm/home/

An mp3 just gone up at Gerald's site - mix now available to download:

http://www.guycalledgerald.com/radio/nosellout1.htm"


313ctr0 @ pHinnWeb

Monday, June 27, 2005

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Finnish SubTV channel has shown during the first half of this year the Japanese anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995), which has gained an international cult reputation. Even though I'm not actually a big manga/anime connoisseur (when working at a local comics store, I checked out some of this stuff, nevertheless, so I have a general idea about these genres), I have followed the series with some interest. Neon Genesis Evangelion is a mixed bag and more often than not a confounding one.

Basically it's a post-apocalyptic story of a 14-year old schoolboy Shinji Ikari (what is this general Japanese fascination with adolescent characters all about?), who reluctantly becomes a pilot for one of the EVAs, a fleet of gigantic robots which protect the world against the attacks of mysterious Angels, extraterrestrial creatures named after Biblical angel characters, who wreak havoc and destroy whole cities like those monsters in old Japanese Godzilla films.

This is all basically a variation of The Transformers, but made for grown-up audiences, with chockful of mystical and metaphysical references to the Dead Sea Scrolls, Torah, Kabbala, and so on. One of the main themes of the series is Shinji's difficult relationship with his cold scientist father who heads NERV, the UN-funded organisation fighting against the Angels (Shinji's mother committed suicide when he was only a toddler).

As said, one gets mixed feelings watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, with its overflowing combination of science fiction, soap opera, a young boy's development story, Biblical mysticism, occasional psychedelic sequences and even cheapo comedy elements. Could one reason be that all the nuances of Japanese culture won't exactly translate themselves to a Western watcher? On the one hand it feels like a bunch of nonsense, on the other hand there's a lot surprising depth with characters and plot hardly found in similar Western action/sci-fi stories.

Guide to Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion in Finnish

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

[MP3] Eclectro Lounge 010605 Mixes



Mike Not & pHinn's mixes from the 1st of June's Eclectro Lounge -- electro, eclectro, new beat -- kommandomixing is the name of the game: live with it.

As before, the mixes are online only temporarily, so hurry to listen/download.

Mike Not - New Beat mix I @ Eclectro Lounge, 1 June, 2005

Mike Not - New Beat mix II @ Eclectro Lounge, 1 June, 2005

pHinn - set I @ Eclectro Lounge, 1 June, 2005

pHinn - set II @ Eclectro Lounge, 1 June, 2005

You can see the tracklists here.

More stuff to listen here.

Juri on Kompleksi

Mi amigo Juri writes in his blog Pulpetti (check it if you're into pulp fiction and crime literature) about the tracks on Kompleksi's first single:


"They are brooding, but energetic garage electro with just a hint of the rougher eighties sound, yet safely on the 2000's side (no nostalgia here). "Love Child" also reminds me of bit Iggy and the Stooges and other Detroit bands of the late sixties. Maybe also early Suicide comes to mind. Both songs are great and should deserve radio play. I also hope they are picked up by some bigger company. More power to Kompleksi!"


The whole entry here.

Earlier comments

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Great Electroclash/Gigolo Swindle



I wrote in summer 2002 a text called 'The Great Electroclash Swindle' which received a lot of attention around the world. Basically it was a satirical bite inspired by Piers Martin's article in Muzik, which celebrated electroclash as the biggest dance music fad in 2002. Electroclash received a lot of flak from "original" electro fans who thought it was derivative "fake music" for trendies and wannabe hipsters. New York promoter Larry Tee who used to run the Electroclash music festival in Williamsburg got his share of bad-mouthing and changed the fest's name to the Outsider Music Festival. Since then electroclash has been both forgotten as new musical fashions have replaced it and at same time not forgotten since it seems to have been established as a musical genre name for certain combinations of new wave/synthpop/electro/techno/disco/whatever. For example, the Juno site in UK for new dance music releases has "electroclash" as one its categories.



In my article I mentioned Munich's International Deejay Gigolos label as one of the examples representing this controversial genre. The circle seems to have closed since the label has now released a mix album called The Great Gigolo Swindle. Heh, it's great to have been of inspiration!

[Addition, August 2005 -- Well, not actually: here is a correction Steve Teeri wrote to this text.]

Large image

Some Net articles mentioning 'The Great Electroclash Swindle':

Philip Sherburne Reconsiders Electroclash
TokTok vs. Soffy: "A true electroclasher is against electroclash"

Friday, June 17, 2005

Kommandomixing Manifesto by pHinn



What Is Kommandomixing?
by pHinn

Kommandomixing is a do-it-yourself antidote to the anal retentive DJs, who want to be technically immaculate in their beatmatching skills and their no-life fanboys who blindly worship their heroes, wishing to become like them.

The DJs being today's counterpart to yesteryear's guitar heros in rock music, that revered art of "seamless" beatmatching and other technical turntable trickery has become the equivalent to the elaborate rock guitar solos of any of your regular heavy metal stadium acts.

You can see these irritating purist twerps at clubs -- instead of dancing and enjoying themselves -- watching and listening carefully to the DJs spinning records, taking careful note and bitterly commenting on any possible error in mixing, "galloping" beats and so on.

The idea behind kommandomixing is to put a complete stop to all this, and give more power to those otherwise "technically deprived" people (such as those girl DJs who are, in typical sexist attitutes, often needlessly derided in comparison to their supposedly "superior" male counterparts) who want play their records in public and share with their audience some musical gems people might not hear otherwise.

One does not need to spend 12 hours a day at turntables practising mixing and beatmatching. All one needs is a good record collection, energy, innovation and some personal ideas! Remember this was what punk was all about. Just do it!


pHinn's Kommandomix Gallery (adults only)

See also:

Discophrenia

How To Tell Apart A Trainspotter's Top 10 From A DJ's Top 10

Thursday, June 16, 2005

[MP3/ogg] Kompleksi: 'The Only Star In My Sky [Tampere Edit]'



Now you can hear Kompleksi's track that appeared in 2004 on Mate Recordings (Manchester, UK) compilation Music Is Better Volume 1 (Manchester vs Helsinki), in its entirety:

[MP3] or [ogg vorbis]

(Lyrics)

Earlier

Awful Plastic Surgery

The good, bad, and ugly of celebrity plastic surgery.

Only in Japan...

An info desk clerk from Expo 2005, Aichi, Japan.

Eclectro Lounge #13: Burning Ice Again



Oh well. Nothing special to tell you about this. Guest DJs played nice stuff from ambient and IDM to electro. One scheduled DJ didn't show up. Two competing events again eating up our potential audience members: at Klubi a record release party for another Finnish reggae artist, called Paarma; at Yo-Talo the Fonal Festival event by Fonal Records. What was funny again was that Sakke told me about lots of people he knows who have complained that there are never this sort of events in Tampere, but who will never be there when we've got our club nights. Because of the lack of audience, Abbas asked us to stop already at 12 o'clock. The good thing about that was that I could check the end of Fonal night after I had carried my records home. Just in time to catch Risto's live, though it was Kemialliset Ystävät, who had played earlier in the night, that I would really have liked to see. Glad they will play again in Tampere at the end of this month, as the warm-up act of Acid Mothers Temple. What? Yeah, those furry Japs will be in Tampere again! Yowza yowza yowza for all the fans of retro-Hendrix-Sabbath-Krautrock type of massive wah-wah jams!

And hip hip hooray for all you masses of Eclectro Lounge fans! We've got now club nights scheduled to Apadana also for the next month:

Wednesday 29 June 2005
Friday 8 July, 2005 - Eclectro Lounge Special
Wednesday 13 July, 2005
Wednesday 27 July, 2005

And here's the playlist

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Eclectro Lounge #13



EcLECTRO LOUNGE #13
Wednesday 15 June 2005
20:00-02:00 h
@ Apadana, Suvantokatu 7-9, Tampere
free entry!
Age limit 18

The pHuture Stops Here!

The cyborgastic electro apocalypse with the six DJs mega extravaganza; featuring alongside the Kompleksi residents Mike Not and pHinn also the very special guest stars Sakke, Matias, Slave To The Beat and Autobass!

Nu & old electro, IDM, techno, Detroit, ambient, synth, spacepop...

The schedule:

20.00-20.55 Sakke
20.55-21.50 Matias
21.50-22.45 Slave To The Beat
22.45-23.40 Autobass
23.40-00.35 pHinn
00.35-01.30 Mike Not

Space is the place! One man on a lonely platform, one case sitting by his side! Some say there is no hope, some say no UFO! El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!

Earlier Eclectro Lounge DJ sets as MP3s

And buy Kompleksi's very first 7"!

Elektrototuus!

A Russian Cassette DJ

http://soundresearch.narod.ru/cassetteDJ.htm

(Note: the page might load slowly.)

Earlier

Monday, June 13, 2005

Disko Cabine Compilation With Melissa of CoS



(album sleeve - full size / credits - full size)


"Disko Cabine is a project that started about one and a half years ago. It was instigated by French illustration duo Cabine (Paul Ioannidis et Hervé Lecouffe) who are based in London since 1998. Knowing most of the artists on this project, having worked with some of them*, they decided to make their own compilation by regrouping them, and asking them for an original track or exclusive version (except Cobra Killer and Electronicat) for the project.

They organized notably some meetings between artists from Berlin and Paris which resulted in collaborations for this record like Jacno and Stereo Total, Khan and Brigitte Fontaine, Jeans Team and Elli Medeiros or Rachel Ortas with Boy From Brazil and Nicole Morier from Electrocute (Pocket Rocket).

Other artists from London, Paris and Berlin were also invited and contributed by giving a song to the project.

Thanks to the exclusivity of most of the tracks, more than a simple compilation, DISKO CABINE represents in the end an album reflecting Cabine's musical taste, a non-conformist state of mind against the current invasion of formatted music."


Artist: Various
Label: Lou France
Cat Number: DISKOCD 001
Released: 13th June, 2005
Other info: mixed CD

Tracklist:
01. STEREO TOTAL - Le mec d'hier soir.
02. ELECTRONICAT & KONEKO (aka Catriona Shaw/Queen of Japan) - Keiren "Awoooooo mix"
03. FREDERIK SCHIKOWSKI - Ein lächeln im vorübergehen
04. FELIX KUBIN & ANGIE REED - Russki Beat
05. ELECTROCUTE - Fleisch
06. KHAN (Captain Comatose) & BRIGITTE FONTAINE - Fine mouche
07. HIGHLA HEALS - Groovy
08. GINA V D'ORIO (Cobra Killer) & MARK BOOMBASTIK - Lassolegs
09. BOY FROM BRAZIL - Caligula Rock "part 2"
10. STEREOLAB - Dimension M2
11. ETIENNE CHARRY - Plasmocytes corallins
12. HANAYO & THE HAWK - My name is Tallulah "Ponpons mix"
13. JACNO & STEREO TOTAL - Mars rendez-vous "french version"
14. MELISSA LOGAN (Chicks On Speed) & ARGUMENTEPANZER (aka Ted Gaier/Die Goldenen Zitronen) - This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a conspiracy
15. COBRA KILLER & ERIC D CLARK - I like it when it burns a bit
16. ROBOTS IN DISGUISE vs I AM X - Hot gossip "Sexual Helium mix"
17. JEANS TEAM & ELLI MEDEIROS - Europa
18. POCKET ROCKET & RACHEL ORTAS - Le porte malheur
19. ANAT BEN-DAVID - We're having some good time

*They are responsible for the sleeves of the 'Free Witch and No-Bra Queen' tour single, the 'Calimero' single and the new Monade LP among other things.

More info: http://www.diskocabine.com/
Order via: http://www.topplers.com/

Info & MP3 samples @ Juno

Unidentified Sound Objects Interview @ Loop (Chile)



Here you can read a brand new interview with Unidentified Sound Objects for the Netzine Loop in Chile. USO has released for pHinnWeb's own label pHinnMilk a CDR album called Richard D. Anderson Album (which you can also buy as MP3s).

You can also read from Loop an interview with another Finnish artist, called Kiila, on Fonal Records whose showcase will be heard at this year's Sonár festival in Barcelona, Spain.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Massaccesi and the Genesis of pHinnWeb



(John "Massaccesi" Fanning as he used to be.)

It was spring 1995 when I received an e-mail from the United States by a person who called himself DJ Entox. As far as I can remember, he had spotted my address from the 313 Detroit techno mailing list on Hyperreal, and noticing I was from Finland, he asked if I was interested to write something about Finnish electronic music scene for his techno fanzine. I don't remember if I had posted something to 313 about Finnish scene, but I said "why not", and soon sent the text to Entox.

Those days Finland's Sähkö Recordings, with releases from Mika Vainio, Pan(a)sonic and Jimi Tenor, was very much in demand in the international techno circles, but it was very hard to find any information on their activities. Using as background the articles from 1993's short-lived Finnish techno magazine ex (for which I had contributed too) and info from my friend Samu Mielonen (one of the leading forces behind ex), who knew all local techno people, I had written a sort of "report" which then appeared in Entox's fanzine called The Skreem, edited in his hometown of Hampton, New England, USA.

The fanzine was a joy to behold for an underground connoisseur: a black and white, cheaply xeroxed schizophrenic-looking thing with messy, collaged images from horror movies, war, mass destruction and anything else that keeps the diet of a growing anarcho-punk balanced, and with loads of interviews and reviews written with a total bang-your-head-to-the-wall attitude, of obscure musical artists doing hardcore techno, gabber and nihilist-death-speed-whatever-core; the sort of stuff that was in vogue in early-to-mid-90s. In other words, electronic hardcore punk, fast and nasty. Not exactly my sort of thing in those days, but I loved The Skreem's agenda which just spelled a-n-a-r-c-h-y to me. I think its visual style was also a big influence on me when I started to work on the stuff of my own.

We got in e-mail correspondence with Entox, and soon I found out to my amazement that this guy who I had thought was in his 20s or even 30s, was in fact just a 16-year old highschool kid called John Fanning. John also asked me to write an update of my text for another issue of The Skreem.

Through John I got to know one Keith "Stevvi" Simpson from the UK who maintainted The Skreem zine's Web presence on his own site called C8 ("Circuit 8", which got its name, as far as I remember, from the 8-Circuit Model of Consciousness I had introduced to Stevvi). Whereas those days John was a sort of kooky and restless teenager, Stevvi was an old punk in his 30s, who liked to provoke, irritate and wind up people the best he could. He was a handful and got me pissed off more than once, and I quite liked the guy. We published my Aural Expansion interview for The Skreem on his site, but then we had a row concerning another planned interview of mine, for Scanner (a.k.a. UK's Robin Rimbaud), which John and Stevvi did not think would fit to their agenda.

Something good came out of this quarrel, though, since it made me seriously consider opening up my own Website, where I could be able to say whatever I want without no one censoring or editing away my stuff, dammit! So, in April 1996, the first version of pHinnWeb was born as my personal homepage at the server of the University of Tampere, with the assistance of my friend Kaj Mäkelä a.k.a. Kaitsu.

Now when I had my very own turf to roam, everything was again OK with me and John & Stevvi, and I got to use the texts I had written for The Skreem as the basis for pHinnWeb's FinnScene and FinnScene 2. The discography I had compiled for the zine of Sähkö, Dum and other Finnish labels and artists became FinnDiscog. The rest of the site thus started its swelling up, and soon my diskspace at university's server proved to be not enough, so I hired myself a site from Sci.Fi (which then became Saunalahti). In 2001 I got for the site its own domain name pHinnWeb.com (which was in existence till 2005), and in 2004 started the new domain pHinnWeb.org. pHinnWeb's Mailing List started in June 2002 and this blog in May 2004.

I got to meet John, still called DJ Entox, in January 1998, when he visited Tampere. We arranged here a party called Cocktail Stealth. Afterwards John got to write on yours truly a story for De:Bug, a German techno magazine, where he described his impressions of his Finnish visit, telling he had been shocked by my appearance which he called of "a depressed zoo animal". Well, after that I learned that with Americans you're supposed to small-talk all the time and constantly smile like hell (at least, from our point of view); because they don't understand Finnish people's tendency to melancholia and our stoic taciturness, obviously. (As for me, I thought the skinny and small John looked in live like a teenage Woody Allen, heh heh.)

Later on, John buried his DJ Entox alias, and donned the artist name Aristide Massaccesi (which was since shortened to Massaccesi only), as a tribute to an Italian horror film director of the same name, and started to produce experimental noise/collage/glitch sounds, recording among all for LA's Phthalo label an album called I Never Fall Apart Because I Never Fall Together. Massaccesi has also appeared on numerous compilation albums, among them a remix for CTNERMX, a 2003 remix album of the tracks of our own Club Telex Noise Ensemble (you can hear it as MP3 here), and done tons of gigs around the world. He also has his own fashion line, does art projects and whatever!

Massaccesi's Website is visually a logical continuation to the schizophrenic DIY graphics of The Skreem. A consumer dream gone all wrong, with recycled material from candy cartons and cartoons, etc., as one messy psychedelic trash potpurri. Not to forget the Chicken & Monkey puppet shows by John & John. Plus of course MP3s and videos of Massaccesi's recordings and live appearances.

So, every time you browse the pages of pHinnWeb, don't forget the guy who gave an initial spark for it all, John "Massaccesi" Fanning, formerly known as DJ Entox.

Massaccesi bio @ Phthalo

The Skreem interviews with Alec Empire

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

J.G. Ballard: Millennium People



I just read the British writer J.G. Ballard's two books, Cocaine Nights (1996) and Millennium People (2003) in a row. Last year I was very impressed by Ballard's Super-Cannes (2000) which he wrote in between these two mentioned books, and all three can be even seen as a sort of a trilogy.

Even though Cocaine Nights as such is a fine book, I read it merely as a sketch for the themes and ideas Ballard fully and wonderfully developed only in Super-Cannes, the similarities between two books being remarkable; both taking place in the Mediterranean area and depicting the "discreet charm of the bourgeoisie" (as it was known in Luis Buñuel's satirical/surreal treatment), when the boredom and ennui of upper-middleclass professionals leads into a psychopathology of senseless violent outbursts chronicled in the form of a quasi-detective story.

Instead, in Millennium People Ballard returns back to his native England, where the writer, nevertheless, depicts again the violent underbelly hiding underneath the well-organised surface of Western bourgeois and middle-class civilisation.

Millennium People's narrator David Markham is a psychologist who lives in London's St. John's Wood (a traditional upper-middleclass living area) supported by his wife Sally, a rich man's daughter still suffering from a hypochondriac condition left by a tram accident in Spain, and therefore refusing to give up her walking sticks, now unnecessary; Sally's being crippled being more of a mental than physical sort. David finds out his ex-wife Laura has been killed by a bomb planted in Heathrow airport, and he embarks on a confused journey to find the killer. At the same, London's Chelsea Marina area, a middle-class dwelling place, is in a turmoil, when its residents complain having become "the new poor" under the tightening economical living conditions. David starts infiltrating this subversive movement, learning to know its spokeswoman Kay Churchill, an ex-film lecturer on a crusade against Hollywood, and other outcast figures of the former middleclass. Together they get involved in such (eventually futile) acts as storming the BBC building, burning down the National Film Theatre (Britain's Film Archive), smokebombing video stores, fatal bombing in Tate Gallery, and finally the police siege of Chelsea Marina, a sort of a bourgeois re-run of the 1871 Paris Commune. There is also a paediatrician, Dr. Richard Gould, a benefactor for the fatally ill children whose motives will be found more sinister as the book progresses.

This is another cruel social and psychopathological satire from J.G. Ballard, in the spirit of such fellow sardonic and idealist-as-a-cynic British storytellers as Jonathan Swift (OK, he was actually Irish but a classic of English literature nevertheless), William Golding of The Lord of the Flies and Anthony Burgess of A Clockwork Orange (as famously filmed by Stanley Kubrick).

Ballard's leitmotif going all through his published output seems to be that there's a vast irrational, psychosexual and violent understructure beneath our so called civilized culture -- what could be a more appropriate observation post to this than the (superficially) mild and polite middleclass British mindset where most Ballard's books take place -- and the more we try to suppress it, the more it is only prone to surface. Ballard's message seems to be that despite of boasting our sophisticated technology and advanced culture, we are still savages underneath.

Ballard's vision appears to be all the more crucial against the current political and socioeconomic climate, when even the traditionally stable middleclass has to struggle in the throes of neo-liberalist politics threatening to narrow the living space of anyone else than the ultra-rich elite of society (recent France's and Holland's "No" votes in the referendum about the European constitution were just one symptom of this growing concern). About the backgrounds of this book, Ballard himself said in a November 2003 interview for The Age (Australia) that:


"There is a lot of dissatisfaction among the middle classes today in England, the salaried middle class -- doctors, solicitors, middle managers, civil servants, academics, teachers -- that their salaries have not kept pace with inflation, that they are over-taxed. They have lost a lot of the status they once had, they've lost their job security and the kind of core beliefs that have always sustained the middle class: a sense of civic responsibility, the importance of education. Education is more and more perceived as a sort of con. It deludes the middle class into thinking that they have some sort of special skill. It doesn't guarantee anything. An arts degree is like a diploma in origami. And about as much use.

[...]

You get middle-class people together, and their conversation is dominated by finding schools and thinking about private health care, housing.

[...]

So there's this huge dissatisfaction and it could reveal itself in civil unrest. It could happen. [The middle classes] are the keel and anchor of society. Once their sense of civic responsibility is discarded, everything will collapse, literally. Water won't run through the taps.

[...]

I think the class system has begun to break down. We're in a time of major changes. The huge range of protest movements that we see -- they are the millennium people because they're shouldering the burden of protest. They're aware that something is deeply wrong and that something needs to be done about it."

"Desperate people -- and the middle classes are now desperate, or may soon become desperate - will seek desperate remedies, and desperate remedies to a certain kind of mind have an appeal all their own. It may be that sex is triggered by, or should be -- it's possible -- by strains of violence that are definitely in our make-up."

"These last three books [The Cocaine Nights, Super-Cannes and Millennium People] have all been looking at human psychopathology, which has been fenced off very carefully by all the civilising forces that make up our lives today. This reservoir may appear more and more attractive to all sorts of agencies, from political parties to commercial concerns to religious groups to criminals to philosophers. I mean, this has happened before in history many times. The last occasion was, of course, the German Nazi party, which openly tapped psychopathic strains in human nature to create a vast sadistic ideology."

"In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom, and the more civilised we are, the more ruled by reason, the greater the unconscious need for some sort of irrational outbreak grows within us. But the fathers of the Enlightenment never accepted that.

[...]

The Enlightenment view of mankind is a complete myth. It leads us into thinking we're sane and rational creatures most of the time, and we're not."


Links:

Millennium People @ andthegoat.com
Millennium People @ BBC Collective
Millennium People @ blackstarreview.com
BBC Four Profile of J.G. Ballard
Millennium People @ culturecourt.com
Millennium People @ encompassculture.com
Millennium People @ track0.com

J.G.Ballard.com - an extensive unofficial site
J.G. Ballard Quotes @ researchpubs.com

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Kompleksi 7" Feedback



Peter, who maintains in the UK a nice electro blog called Electrosynth: Music For Robots (you can also find it on the link list here), writes there:


Kompleksi - Fine Rare Finnish Sounds
I've been keeping an eye on pHinn's blog aka Kompleksi and was really taken by his new 7" release '(I Ain't No) Lovechild / Moscow 1980'.

I just love the 'Moscow 1980' track, it really has something about it, listen to the clip the couple of times, and you'll have it stuck in your head. Its not at all predictable, but then not so dark to lose the warmth of the synths which sound really retro, but with a nice edge that makes it a special track.

Its out on Lal Lal Lal and will not be easy to get hold of, limited to 525.

The inspiration for the music must come in part from the answer to the question: Who are Kompleksi?

"Kompleksi ("complex" in Finnish) are Mike Not and pHinn, two ex-suicide candidates from Tampere, Finland, who ride in a red Lada through the gloomy streets of their rainy post-industrial town" Lal Lal Lal

Despite the limited availability, its available on Boa Melody Bar for just £3.50... A great price. keep up the good work, I keenly await the L.P!


Thank you for your kind words, Peter.

So far WFMU (USA) has included 'Moscow: 1980' on their playlists (played by Liz Berg on May 30, 2005); the same track has also been heard on Radio Helsinki. We are looking forward for more feedback...

More info, MP3 excerpts and availability

Feedback on our demos

Monday, June 06, 2005

Another Album Covers Gallery



http://www.showandtellmusic.com:

"A fine assortment of album covers, sound clips, and often acerbic blurbs. Perhaps particularly amusing are the pop-cultural SFnal motifs, sort of the musical/illustration analog of MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED futurism from the perspective of we 'timebinders'. [...] Another record cover art site, but it features reviews of the music as well. VERY eclectic and odd stuff from a novice collector out in the San Francisco Bay area."

More album cover art links

pHinnWeb.com Has Expired



The old domain phinnweb.com has now expired. If you still have any links pointing to phinnweb.com, please replace those with http://www.phinnweb.org/ .

For all subpages, simply replace .com with .org in the URL; i.e. www.phinnweb.com/panasonic/ -> http://www.phinnweb.org/panasonic/ .

And feel free to spread the word to all those poor souls who still have phinnweb.com in their links and may wonder wherever those pages vanished.

Friday, June 03, 2005

[MP3] New Eclectro Lounge Mixes Online



Some fresh MP3s of Eclectro Lounge mix sets... as again, these are online for a limited time only, so be quick if you want to listen/download these!

DJ Art Barf-Uncle (Mental Alaska/Avarus/Hetero Skeleton): cosmic freak-out, lounge, 80s sleaze, weird... [18 May '05]

DJ Sakke (Arabuusimiehet): Detroit vs electro [18 May '05]

DJ Mike Not (Noise Production/Kompleksi): vintage Warp (18 May '05)

+

A re-run...

DJ pHinn (Kompleksi): noiseclectronicollage mix @ Syntesia (April '05)

All soundfiles to be heard through pHinnWeb

We Are Cattle



("Sorry, mate, you've been drinking too much; you're not coming in" - A Tampere bouncer in his work)

Slavic Walkmen (local IDM DJs Lasso800 and Alexcore) had last night their free summer club at Klubi, so to support local scene I had to check it out. As guest DJs they had Joonas of Swäg/Toiminto and Arttu (a.k.a. DJ Art Barf-Uncle) of Mental Alaska, both of whom having played also at Eclectro Lounge. Especially Arttu's set was great again, a truly madcap excursion into noise and easy listening and whatever; for example, at one point he played Helen St. John's schmaltzy 'Love Theme from Flashdance', mixing it into some chaotic noise sounds. For me, Arttu is a bigger DJ star than all of these boring top-notch beatmatching tech-house club DJs together.

After the Slavic Walkmen party was over, someone proposed continuing the night at the nearby club restaurant called Semafori, which is located at the upstairs of Tampere's Railway Station, just a short walk away from Klubi. Semafori is not one of those watering holes I usually frequent, and very soon I found out why. The rest of the members of our small party (Slavic DJs and Lasso800's sister Hanna plus Arttu the Man) got in with no problems, but when it was my turn to enter these precious premises, for some reason this Tony Halme-lookalike bouncer (why are the members of this profession always big, obese bodybuilders?) started to cross-examine me, about how much I had been drinking, and so on. Flabbergasted by this treatment (since other members of our party had probably enjoyed more bewerages during the night than me), I duly answered that only four beers -- I'm not a heavy drinker, never have been, so I was really amazed by this. After examining me for a while, this Cerberus guarding the gates of Hades mercifully decided to let me in, after all. My criminal-like treatment continued inside when the female bartender agreed to let me pay my lager with Visa Electron only after I had presented my ID card; usually my payments with VE anywhere else have required no further documents.

Well, after checking out Semafori for a while, I understood why it was easy for the staff to treat their clientele like riff-raff. The place was a dump, full of shabby rock people and other losers you usually see in bars like that. People next to our table kept falling off their barstools; the DJ was playing crap bar stuff like a selection of Prodigy, Van Halen and The Eagles, while giving slick speaks in between the songs with his suave voice intended to be crowd-pleasing. Gratefully, it didn't took long before the place was closing. Now I understand why I don't usually visit bars of this sort; where you can see the human degradation in all its variations, where bad taste is more a rule than exception. Where people are treated (and probably are too) like ignorant cattle, only good to be pushed and shoved around. pHinnWeb's Restaurant Guide gives no stars to Semafori, Tampere. Moo!

Why I Hate Bouncers

Animal Exploitation Photo Gallery

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Eclectro Lounge #12: Nu Beat in the Alleys of Your Mind



The Wednesday 1st of June 2005 Eclectro Lounge was not such a catastrophe as the 18th of May, the lowest point of our club, had been. Apadana was not exactly jammed, but not the graveyard of two weeks ago, either. I still think, though, that we don't have much chances of survival unless Apadana will give us a weekend night. People don't go out in the middle of week in provincial small towns (face it, even though some deluded minds are prone to claim this is some big city) like Tampere.

Well, I don't know if I will ever get relaxed having these clubs: they seem always to be a source of enormous personal tension and nervousness for me, with all the worries that go with promotion, advertising and the night itself. Will there be enough people, will they be satisfied with the music, will they leave home happy or unhappy; will some drunkard bust my balls because of the music I play or don't play, or because of my mixing skills (that is, lack thereof), can I keep it only cool if those situations come along, and so on and so on. Anyway, I'm of the personality type for whom it's easier to communicate through music than as myself, so these sort of social situations always keep me on my toes. I just do what I can, but please don't be too disappointed with me if I don't turn out to be the exact fulfillment of your expectations. Often I feel like a solitary fighter behind the lines than some suave diplomat courting both the low and meek, high and mighty, sweet-talking everyone. I believe more in actions than words, which can deceive (and with many people, they will).

Anyway, that night I did my usual thing, I suppose (check the playlist). And hello to Tuuli and Monica!

Mike Not played a set of nu beat, which is obviously getting fashionable again, with the madcap UK label V/VM having a night in London dedicated entirely to this style which was briefly popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Nu Beat (also: New Beat, Nu-Beat) which originated in Belgium was stylistically low-tempo techno, sound-wise not that far from EBM (electronic body music) of the acts like Front 242; A Split Second probably the best-known act of the Nu Beat genre. People like Terence Fixmer have been championing this style lately.

Some people thought Mika's set was a bit too rough, and might have suited better for some industrial/goth type of night, but personally, I'm all for variation. Again, this leads into the ever-interesting debate: what is "electro" actually, and how you define it? Because the music what industrial goths call electro seems not to be exactly the same thing electro is for us fans who have grown up with Afrika Bambaataa, Underground Resistance, Aux 88, I-f, and so on. To have some crude sort of definition, in the former case it's white, whereas in the latter it's BLACK. In the end, though, "If it kick, it kick, period", as my fellow countryman Tomi "Tomba" Koskinen once legendarily put it. And the rest is just bullshit and splitting hairs.

The playlist here.

And here is the poster for Eclectro Lounge #13 (click it to make it larger if it looks messy on your screen) in two weeks (Wednesday 15 June '05), when we will have as guest DJs Paul Cooper, Slave To The Beat, Matias and Sakke.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Eclectro Lounge #12 today



Eclectro Lounge #12 - The Beginning of the End
@ Apadana, Suvantokatu 7-9, Tampere, Finland

Nu & old electro, idm, retro techno, synth, spacepop, etc.
with Kompleksi DJs Mike Not & pHinn

Apatia oli vallannut Mansekaupungin. Vettä tihkui taivaalta, ja rastatukkaiset nuorukaiset lojuivat kotona pleikkareidensa kanssa, vetivät bongeistaan sauhuja ja tuijottivat kompuutterin ruudulta verkosta ladattua aikuisviihdettä, ja odottivat Paskahuussi B:n ja Möyhevien keikkaa perjantaina, jonne olivat menossa fiilistelemään muiden vaaleahipiäisten skandirastafaaraoiden kanssa ja ostamaan pari g:tä lisää ganjaa jemikseen. Pissistytöt kokeilivat peilin edessä jalkaan uusia kireitä stretch-farkkujaan, jotka paljastivat sopivasti persvaon (ja hyllyvät vatsamakkarat), ja joilla saattoi hurmata kaikki wifebeatereihin sonnustautuneet pesännälkäiset hopparipojat viikonlopun Booty Ho's -R'n'B-bileissä, kun ne olivat niiiin ihania bling bling -gangstoja. Oikeesti. Samaan aikaan Apadanassa soi tyhjälle lattialle laadukas uusi ja vanha elektromusiikki, mutta vuonna 2035 kymmenettuhannet ihmiset retostelisivat olleensa paikalla todistamassa tätä kulttuurihistoriallista tapahtumaa. Rick Random poisti plasmakivääristään varmistimen, ja kytki päälle self destruct moden.

pHinnWeb Chart June 2005



Here is July's pHinnWeb Chart. Thanks to all record labels and artists who have kindly sent their promos.