on life, music etc beyond mainstream


2019 9 Apr

Line Of Duty

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The UK can be split into two camps: those who love Line of Duty and those who are yet to love Line of Duty – there can surely be no middle ground; once you’ve taken a bite into the BBC crime procedural, it’s practically impossible to avoid being consumed by Jed Mercurio’s patchwork of well-crafted thrills, engrossing characterisation and stunning reveals you’d be mistaken for assuming no longer appeared on British TV.“

(The Independant)


2019 7 Apr

The Big Clock (1948)

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2019 31 Mrz


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The Night Life


There is a part of me

that cannot figure out

how it is we ever got here–

you already divorced at twenty-five

and the pair of us thumbing lifts

up and down the Mesoamerican coast

we have imagined as escape.


Where bad ice has made us sick

and not the zero-hour

drinking sessions with people

off-handedly travelling the world,

staking claims to real estate

beyond the bounds of credit

or the merely physical.


No matter how tough the bodies,

how overrun with plastic fibres,

how swollen with cancer,

to beat no more

than exactly a billion times,

if unhindered,

is the only application of the heart.


written by Will Burns,

part of the album „Chalk Hill Blue“

with Hannah Peel


A near-impossible task, to choose the 10 pieces that jut out most prominently in the memory from the hours and hours of music, poetry and sound in there. But here it is for all that, eight songs that speak of the first tape player my brother and I had in our shared bedroom, and the REM and Public Enemy tapes that were played to destruction on it, through to the Bobby Charles song that remains one of the few pieces of music my wife and I are able to agree on – which made for an easy choice for our first dance. And of course a couple of poems. But not too many.


01. REM – Radio Free Europe
02. Public Enemy – Burn Hollywood Burn
03. Mudhoney – Let it Slide
04. The Clash – Train in Vain
05. Charles Bukowski – Cold Summer
06. Son Volt – Tear Stained Eye
07. Lucinda Williams – The Night’s Too Long
08. Raymond Carver – Photograph of My Father in His Twenty-Second Year (Poem)
09. The Beatles – Twist and Shout
10. Bobby Charles – I Must Be in a Good Place Now


2019 27 Mrz

One Picture Story

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My mother’s last days
were the end of a winter
that had become only
rolling blackout into blackout—
a time I had no hold on.
All news held a kind of dread
but ours, when it came,
felt like coming to.
A dimness in an old room,
a sense of certain things in absence.
Two sisters agreeing under the apple tree that the gathered speed
with which everything was being
done was just plain wrong.


poem: Will Burns

music: Hannah Peel


Japanese producer The Future Eve (fka Tomo Akikawabaya) has announced a very special collaboration.  Going under the new name of The Future Eve, he has worked together with the legendary Robert Wyatt to create an electronic journey of sound. But it isn’t the usual musical cooperative.
Robert Wyatt retired from music in 2014, stating „there is a pride in (stopping), I don’t want (the music) to go off.“

But let’s rewind to 1998.
Leftfield electronic producer Th – known for his minimalist, synthesized pieces under the moniker Tomo Akikawabaya such as The Castle (1984), reissued alongside other works on New York’s Minimal Wave Records as The Invitation of The Dead in 2015 – contacted Robert Wyatt
Wyatt recalls,
„towards the end of the 20th century, Th sent me a message asking something like; „do you have any piece of new material we could work on“—–? I did have. Brian the Fox was an un-placed, un-worked basic idea I had. Unisual  for me in that it had no strict tempo, and the words were an attempt to write a text even shorter than a Haiku!  (I just recorded it directly onto tape at home, on cassette, no ‚production‘.) The music ending was improvised – the delay before the final chords was me trying to choose the final few chords… I sent this to Th and Rinko. They have enhanced the idea beautifully.“

The DAT tape reached its destination.
„I received a tape from Robert Wyatt in 1998,“ says Th„The title was „Brian The Fox“ and four takes were recorded. I first dubbed layers of sounds to it and Takaaki Han-ya took over the piece afterwards. It was dramatically changed and completed after a total of two years.“

But it didn’t stop there.
„I became aware of more possibilities for the piece sometime after we finished the work,“ admits Th„That was the beginning of this long journey.

„When I read the lyrics for the first time, I felt as if they were like Japanese haiku poetry because of the tight, simple expressionism. Also by seeing within something similar to the impermanence of Buddhism, I was more and more attracted to the tape.“

KiTsuNe – Brian the Fox changes dramatically between its first and second discs. The second – the „Ring Version“ – reflects this change of mind, this Buddhist inflection. It combines cinematic, introspective drone and frustrated circuitry electronics for an odyssey of uncertainty vs. eternity.
Indeed, Th explains: „At that time I just lost my mother so I thought I would make this work with the thought and the structure of reincarnation.“

All-encompassing walls of warm sound feel instantly womblike yet empty and expansive at the same time. MIDI converters forge music like „an action painting“ unable to be created by a human. These random sounds figure as the frustration, doubt and confusion Th was feeling, as much as they display the uncontrollable, automatic universe at work. 
„This [Ring Version] work is not music formatted by using musical scales or instruments,“ explains Th. „For this work I wanted to try to capture the mind behind the tape more than the music itself.“

Of course, as well as being an exploration of Th’s own emotion and spirituality, KiTsuNe – Brian the Fox exists as a collabroation and an extension of Wyatt’s own efforts.
„The tape itself and the time Mr. Wyatt spent in his room working is the prototype (substance) of this work,“ Th says. „I have decided that the thought of this time, and the space where it was created, is the concept of this production.“

With a sense of detachment and almost scientific intrigue into excavating the depths of what can be done with mechanical processes, reverberations and resonance, Th simultaneously creates an intimate audio comfort blanket; it’s farflung but heartfelt. Laboratory calculations crossed with temple reflections. (out now: 2CD/2LP/DL)




A few feathers on the riverpath by the copse

betray the corpse.

Nothing more sinister

than unseasonal cold weather –

the egrets and light have returned to the river

the same week as a storm from Russia.

The big drifts take their time, lie

unthawed on the far banks for days,

discoloured by a topsoil

that has blown off the fields.

The wild birds fly, awkward, away

upriver. Always away.

And I move, a violence all my own

shape, back through the town

alone and shamed,

a man on his worn out, empty way.




Ein paar Federn auf dem Uferweg neben dem Buschwerk

lassen den Kadaver erkennen.

Nichts ist unheimlicher

als außergewöhnliche Kälte –

die Reiher und das Licht sind zum Fluss zurückgekehrt,

in der gleichen Woche wie ein Sturm aus Russland.

Die starken Strömungen nehmen sich Zeit, sie liegen

tagelang unaufgetaut an entlegenen Ufern,

verfärbt durch einen Oberboden,

der von den Feldern weggeblasen wurde.

Die wilden Vögel fliegen, ungeschickt, davon,

flussaufwärts und immer davon.

Und ich, eine Gewalt in meiner eigenen Gestalt,

bewege mich zurück und durch die Stadt,

allein, beschämt,

ein Mann auf seinem ausgetretenen, inhaltsleeren Pfad.


2019 10 Mrz

„A genuinely gifted storyteller“

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Dear Manafonistas,


Whenever I’m reading a truly fantastic crime novel, there’s a certain calm that comes over me. It’s the feeling of knowing that you’re in the hands of a genuinely gifted storyteller who knows exactly where he or she is leading you. Brookmyre writes with the kind of precision and richness that inspires this feeling for me. BLACK WIDOW is an assured thriller in every possible sense. This might not be a book that readers will binge-read, but that’s no flaw of the novel.



BLACK WIDOW is complex and layered, featuring alternate narrators and timelines—and, to make things even more complex, the chapter headings don’t tell you right off the bat which narrator you’re reading next. Despite all these moving parts, I felt completely at ease with this story’s layers—Brookmyre masterfully leads the reader down rabbit holes and through a maze to the truth at the core of this book. Don’t misunderstand: BLACK WIDOW is wholly engaging and moves at a pace that’s comparable to its psychological thriller peers, it’s simply not a book I found myself wanting to binge-read; I took my time with this read, savoring each page and letting myself get lost in its dark maze—and the payoff for this journey was absolutely worth it. The book will be published by Rowohlt Taschenbuchverlag on April 16.


Kindest regards, Emily



Released on Wacoal Art Center’s NEWSIC label, Yoshiaki Ochi’s Natural Sonic shares some of the same magic heard in the music of fellow roster mates Yoshio Ojima, Motohiko Hamase, and Mich Live. This time the aural trick would be one of the most simple of them all. Largely composed, conceived, and performed on organic material — water, stone, found and created, etc. — Natural Sonic tries to draw out a ton of beauty and inventive experimentation from very earthly objects. It’s some of the beauty he would later provide to Miyako Koda’s wonderful Jupiter as well.

Yoshiaki Ochi’s work on Natural Sonic was largely derived from compositions he created as house performer and composer for the legendary Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. With a bit of outside help from his brother Yoshihisa, Natural Sonic was the interesting middle ground between experimental tribal music and Japanese environmental music.

For as many unplaceable wooden percussive exist on the album, sounds that mimic rain fall, bird song, and wordless vocal harmonizing take up equal sonic space. Whatever he didn’t have at hand, Yoshiaki would actually create, as art object and sound object, to go after a specific sound he wanted. Obviously, the lack of synthesizers is made up for a welcome exploration of the sonorities of these instruments. If you’re a huge fan of Geinoh Yamashirogumi’s Ecophony Gaia or Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Natural Sonic should sound of that lineage, albeit with a far more elemental stick.


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