A tickertape machine

“Technology may make it possible to have a continuous feedback to ourselves of information. But at the moment I think we are starved of information. I think that the biggest need of the painter or writer today is information. I’d love to have a tickertape machine in my study constantly churning out material: abstracts from scientific journals, the latest Hollywood gossip, the passenger list of  a 707 that crashed in the Andes, the colour mixes of a new automobile varnish.”

This is J.G. Ballard being prescient again in conversation with the artist Eduardo Paolozzi in 1971 (Extreme Metaphors: Interviews with J.G. Ballard 1967-2008). I prefer Ballard’s vision to today’s reality. He saw an endless stream of information as a feast to gorge on, fuel for his imagination and the landscape of his novels. Today the stream is two-way and, ironically, we’ve lost our way, caught in a cul-de-sac of ego. We don’t leap at the stream, thirsty to absorb it but let it wash over us as we focus instead on building a picture of ourselves in our own heads. 

Spit it out

“Just say what you want to say.” I overheard a school kid say this on the phone to his mum a few weeks back. Least his tone suggested it was his mum. He couldn’t have been more than 10 years old and already he knows when people are talking but not communicating.

Sounds Of…Stretching

I do a monthly radio show with my friend Ele on NTS, an internet radio station based in Dalston. (Some words on why you should get to know NTS if you don’t already.) Our show is called Sounds Of… and we have a different theme every month. It was just me on the last one cos Ele couldn’t make it. Sounds Of…Stretching is all about reaching – for love, for life, for something different. Tracklist below.

Sensations’ Fix – Acudreaming
Majical Cloudz – Turns Turns Turns
Future Islands – Tomorrow
The Roches – Hammond Song
TOPS – She’s So Bad
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Baby
Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland – Track 2
The xx – Fiction
1991 – Open To The Dark
Lukid – Lonely At The Top
Dam Mantle – Blueberry
Holy Other – Held
Kindness – Gee Wiz
Lemonade – Neptune
Marques Toliver – Magic Look
How To Dress Well – Cold Nites
Blood Orange – Champagne Coast
Heart Streets – Nonchalant
Main Attrakionz – On Tour (Produced by Uptown Greg)
LV – Spitting Cobra (feat. Okmalumkoolkat)
FRIENDZONE – LOVE U
Egyptian Hip Hop – SYH
Prince – The Cross
Cold Pumas – Fog Cutter
Petite Noir – Till We Ghost
Japan – Ghosts
Arthur Russell – That’s Us/Wild Combination

New gold from old souls

No one means it like Future Islands’ frontman Samuel T. Herring sings it. This is the A-side of their new 7″ on Thrill Jockey and it’s the slam-in-your-chest heartbreak city.

And no rapper does it for me like Main Attrakionz’s Squadda B. Here’s the fresh-off-the-press new video to his latest horizontal hip-hop track, Newports.

Sentences slip away from me

It rained hard in Brixton the other day. Thunder, lightening and thick, fat rain. I recorded it on my phone but it doesn’t come close to the feeling of hearing it, seeing it, smelling it in person. It’s like words in that sense, the way they rarely find the shape or the taste of the moment we wish to articulate. Words fail, sentences fall short, speech is redundant when all we crave is touch.

A little peace

When I was in Pittsburgh last October for VIA festival (incidentally, my favourite festival) I spent a lot of it walking up and down Penn Avenue between venues. There was a cemetery along one side of it and it must’ve been packed full of crickets, their sing-song call was so loud. It was alien and comforting at the same time, like something out of the movies. I recorded a few seconds on my phone then forgot about it. Today, for some reason, I remembered. I still get that comforting/alien feeling when I listen and for a moment I feel like I’m back on that road, in that adventure. So I keep pressing play.

Black Is Beautiful

Just got in from watching Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland live. Feel radiated. They really push you: sensory deprivation and sensory overload at the same time. On a complete audio high.

I wrote some more words about their album ‘Black Is Beautiful’ released on Hyperdub today –  it’s our album of the week on Dummy. Got a little closer to what it makes me think/feel.