Archive for the ‘Cultural’ Category



Wonderful design from Joe Hales heralds a huge showcase of sound art, experimental musics and exhibitions at St James’s Hatcham Church, New Cross, South East London. SHO-ZYG will feature work from more than 50 Goldsmiths based artists alongside exhibitions detailing the life and works of Daphne Oram, Hugh Davies and Lawrence Upton. Throughout the week, nightly events explore electroacoustics, audiovisualisation, soundscape and more. The showcase runs for a week long duration, September 21-27 and is free to enter.

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Quintet (1967-1968) – Hugh Davies

Four Aspects (1960) – Daphne Oram

Tumblewash – Daphne Oram


The Duke of Uke


The Duke of Uke, needs your support! Come along to one of these two great fundraising events, happening tomorrow and Friday at the Crypt in Spitalfields. There is a great post here from Darren Hayman about the situation facing the Duke of Uke and why you should get involved. I’m particularly excited to be seeing Omi Palone and the Wave Pictures playing at the first event tomorrow.




Over at PBP we get pretty mellifluous about the independent publishing world in London.

So it is with great excitement that we note the release of the 4th, 5th and 6th issues of No.ZINE by the incredibly talented Patrick Fry

You can purchase and find more information about No.ZINE here – the quality of the contributors, layout and  design is exceptional. Grab copies while you still can.

Here’s a sneak peek…

(Photographs copyright Patrick Fry)

In other news, we hear whisperings of a new zine by name of ‘TEAM‘, winging its first edition your way imminently. The content they’re had in already, visible via the tasters on their blog, looks absolutely amazing. To whet your appetite, here are two examples of the work of Katie Scott, the latest confirmed contributor to TEAM. You can see more of her work on her flickr here

(Head and Hands by Katie Scott)

(Pineapple Shirt by Katie Scott)

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Broadcast – Colour Me In

It’s Gonna Rain


After a rare sunny winter day in London, I found myself listening to both parts of ‘It’s Gonna Rain’ by Steve Reich yesterday evening. This recording is vital for a number of reasons; firstly it contains an incredible sample of an African American Pentecostal preacher, Brother Walter, hailing the end of the world in San Francisco’s Union Square in 1964, secondly it’s one of the first examples of phasing and is a landmark in Minimal, Looping  and Process based music. These pieces were Reich’s first major works. They were created in 1965 using two Wollensak tape recorders.

As predicted by Brother Walter, the skies opened this morning and two of our gutters are leaking everywhere.

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It’s Gonna Rain (Part One) – Steve Reich

It’s Gonna rain (Part Two) – Steve Reich

Today Of The Dead


Over at Casa Del Malpas we celebrated Día de los Muertos in style last week – I thought I’d post a mix of some of the tracks that accompanied the evening.

My first proper foray into Mexican and Central American music was a pretty mindblowing experience. There’s some wonderful blogs out there covering specifically this, and they’re well worth checking out.

It has been a while since I’ve encountered a genre of music that is so completely unknown to me. Originating from a traditional courtship dance in Colombia and swiftly spreading across the whole of Central America, Cumbia is some of the most full on party music I’ve ever heard!

“Women playfully wave their long skirts while holding a candle, and men dance behind the women with one hand behind their back and the other hand either holding a hat, putting it on, or taking it off. Male dancers also carried a red handkerchief which they either wrapped around their necks, waved in circles in the air, or held out for the women to hold. Until the mid-20th century, Cumbia was considered to be an inappropriate dance performed primarily by the lower social classes.” more here

The songs in the mix are mainly taken from records put out in Mexico and Colombia during the so-called ‘golden age’ of Cumbia – 1950 to 1975.

To give you a little taste of the evening here’s a photo of a handmade Día de los Muertos skull, one of many made by Faye and Havva :


1. Cumbia en do Menor – Lito Barrientos y Su Orquesta
2. Cumbia – Alfredo Gutierrez
3. Cumbia De Sal – Los Falcons
4. Cumbia Arabe – Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán
5. Cumbia Sampuesana  (La Sampuesana) – Chicken Y Sus Comandos
6. Cumbia Mexicana – Desconocido
7. Cumbia Y Guitarra – Los Mirios
8. La Cumbia De Los Cuervos – Juaneco y Su Conjunto
9. El Platanito – Los Dinamicos Del Ritmo
10. El Guamo – Anibal Velasquez
11. El Sucusu-Sucusu – Anibal Y Jose Velasquez
12. Mira Mira (Ella Baila el Pompo) – Los Curramberos de Guayabal with Anibal Velásquez
13. Has Regresado Viejo Amigo – Rodolfo

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Cumbia Mix (320k stereo mp3)

Cumbia Arabe – Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán

Cumbia Sampuesana  (La Sampuesana) – Chicken Y Sus Comandos

Do Your Thing


Last Friday I was lucky enough to have one of those rare free days in London, wandering about and perusing some of the finest exhibitions that the capital has to offer. I started at the John Soane museum, a frankly astounding collection just off Lincoln’s Inn Fields near Holborn. The museum preserves the house of Sir John Soane, a British architect perhaps most well known for building the Bank of England. I don’t think I have ever seen a house so crammed with amazing artefacts, paintings and furniture. There’s a few Turners, Hogarths and even a Sarcophagus in the basement. I’d highly recommend a visit, the house looks almost exactly how Soane left it and it’s free to get in.

After a few hours immersed in Soane’s house,  I wandered a few doors down to the Royal College of Surgeons and the Hunterian museum, which, prior to World War II looked like the above photo. Unfortunately bombs took their toll upon the collection, with what was left being rehoused. The current collection is still focused upon the private collection of John Hunter, surgeon to King George III. The collection was bought by the British government in 1799 and presented to the Royal College of Surgeons. Even in it’s current form the collection is utterly mindblowing and an aboslute must for anyone with an interest in science and medicine (as long as you’re ok with looking at human quintuplet foetus’ preserved in formaldehyde!). Again it’s free to access!

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Moondog – Do Your Thing

The Bones Go Last


Some friends of mine are making a documentary about the visionary artist Austin Osman Spare, who spent most of his career in and around South East London. It is entitled ‘The Bones Go Last’ and you can follow their progress and learn more about Spare here.

Around the time that Spare was creating some of his most seminal works, in Paris, Maurice Ravel was writing his ‘String Quartet in F’, a piece of music that has utterly enraptured me over the last few weeks. Here is the third movement from it; ‘Tres Lent’.

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Ravel – String quartet in F – III – Tres lent

Stop Making Sense


Hands down the best live music DVD I have ever seen.

This is the opening.

Buy it now.

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Talking Heads – Born Under Punches



“Our installation explores reciprocal musical interactions between the mosquito and the computer. The computer produces a stimulus signal to which the living mosquitos synchronize. Subsequently, the computer sings a third voice that responds to the musical inflections of the mosquitoes’ buzz. These three voices come in and out of harmony depending on the mosquitoes propensity to maintain its sync with the stimulus signal.

In our installation, each mosquito is equipped with a loud-speaker for providing the stimulus signal, a sensitive microphone for picking up the mosquitoes’ buzz, a camera for giving us a closer look at the insect, a kinetic component that allows the mosquitoes to rest every few minutes and a light bulb that shows the mosquito’s activity.”

A collaboration between Robin Meier and Ali Momemi

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Cousin Mosquito #1 – Malinda Jackson Parker

The Peckham Terminator


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The Stooges – Raw Power

The Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive


Greetings all.

Just a short post today.  I want to draw your attention to the launch of the new online Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive.  This great website includes essays, rare videos and pictures and more concerning all the great youth tribes: rockers, hippies, skinheads, emos, mods, punks, New Romantics and so on.  You have to register to see most of the good stuff, but it’s worth it.

To find out more you can read this Guardian article:

Or you can visit the site itself:

I will leave you with this nostalgic song about the 1960s by Brixton ska favourites Maroon Town:

Maroon Town- Nostalgia

Like what you heard? Maroon Town perform this Friday 7th May 2010 at the fabulous Hootananny, Brixton.  And it’s free!

For more info: