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words by jace. some mp3s & annoted photos from time to time.

vinyl rescue service


Pirate radio is grime´s natural habitat. Here´s an 8 minute excerpt from a Jah Mek the World session, ripped from a cassette dub courtesy of silverdollarcircle.
If this was a landscape then the foreground & background perspectives would be all screwed up: the massive bassline is upfront, MCs underneath to pull you in, then rickety space and spare drumclatter so far back in the mix they sound like beats from behind the neighbor´s wall & next block's drive-by gunspray.  Airwaves always ebbing away, untouchable, & you don´t know what you got til its gone.


 Here´s the deal: Rothko´s the spot, Chain Agent´s the gang, and whatever Rupture is, he, er, I, don´t get over to the U.S. much. So when I do, it´s time to PARTY
Spread the word, come out, get low, Crunklandia ahoy!

    Crunk Up For Tsunami Relief
     Friday Jan 28th  /  Rothko 116 Suffolk NYC

$6 admission, to be donated to humanitarian relief in SE Asia & Sudan

         DJ /Rupture (Barcelona, Soot Records, Tigerbeat6)
         I-Sound (NYC, Full Watts, Transparent Records)
         Shadetek Sound System (NYC, Warp, Sound-Ink, Shockout)
         Mode Raw (NYC, Change Agent)


In 2004 I got to meet & hang-out with 2 true giants in my audio/cultural landscape: the Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane & the American radio artist/wound technician Gregory Whitehead. Who?

UbuWeb just posted an MP3 anthology of 20 years of Whitehead´s radio plays, performances and outcasts, along with a few of his writings. The MP3s range from his early tapes  (where I first heard Ziggurat) to an 11minute excerpt from “The Loneliest Road”, a 2003 radioplay for the BBC with music composed by The Books (as soon as I heard Thought for Food I sent it to Gregory, he loved it, contacted them, and the rest is...)

I've always been impressed with the way Gregory´s stuff circulates—looking for it directly is never the best option because his material moves simultaneously via several seemingly unrelated channels: cassettes traded in the old experimental mailswap circuit, pseudonym 7”s, screamscape studies for local radio & audience telephones, commissions from the BBC, articles here & there, editor behind some definitive books on sound & radio. He sidesteps the usual categories of musician/critic, academic/street, high art/no-fi art, documentarian/confidence man, thanatos/eros, etc. Even at its most theoretical, his writing remains rooted, relevant.

I heard the tapes first. Whitehead's soundwork is viscerally compelling—a lot of it is simply words, gasps, and utterances. Additional sounds set a psychological mood or unnerve. Yet it's playful--overtly funny, flirting with desire. It tells or suggests stories, though the narrative may be linear, cyclical, disarticulate, or straight-up impossible. Quality creepy + dead-on smarts.


from Drone Tones and other Radiobodies"

Radio is mostly a set of relationships, an intricate triangulation of listener, “player” and system. It’s also a huge corporate beast, and the awareness that you’re working within a highly capitalized network. Finally, there is the way in which radio is listened to, frequently in an extremely low-fi environment, with people listening on a car radio, or they’re in the kitchen and they’re cooking and they’re listening with only half an ear. To me, radio art comes to grips with all of that, it comes to grips with both the context of production and the context of listening.

UbuWeb is a great resource in and of itself, containing all sorts of audio gems & interviews from the 20th century avant-garde, such as a 1967 Salvador Dalí flexidisc, a 3-hour FMU interview with Henry Flynt, Artaud, Dockstader (“because I´ve had no schooling in traditional music I in a way start back where I suppose hundreds of years thousands where the first guy picked up a rock or something and started to me music is just very simply a matter of tension and release.”), Tzara, many many more.

 & further quotes from Whitehead



somebody posted this on my building.



There's a fun mix of misapplied statistics and dry social observation in today's  NYTimes article on Spanish lifestyle rhythms: big meal of the day at 3pm, dinner around 10pm, etc. (if you don't have a log-on name, use "toneburst" for both user ID & password to read it).   My favorite sentence: "Spaniards work more hours per week than the average European, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, but they accomplish less."  Apparently Spanish people sleep less than the average European too.  "The lack of sleep has serious health effects for Spanish society, he said, including a greater incidence of physical and mental illness and higher rates of traffic and workplace accidents."   (Nobody except the dude NYT found truly believes that more sleep would make Spain a less inefficient country.)

    A few months ago the free ´Metro´daily here ran an article about how 3 out of 5 Spaniards nap on the job, interesting how all this data collides. But it´s true: in Madrid we went out to dinner at 1:30 AM once--- because all the other restaurants were full. "Afternoon" stretches until about 8 or 9pm.  Late night tangle with mornings.

     How they cut up time says a lot about a person or society (or musician).  Spanish time is abundant, resinous, hard to get off your fingers and easy to get stuck in. Tour time (a surreal variant of Commuter time) is detached, stuffed & mounted: you watch yourself wait to travel, wait to eat, wait to soundcheck, wait to play, everything changes every day except the rhythm: somebody else's time giftwrapped as your own.