TEDIOUSLY BANAL AND BORING

“It is a peculiarity of thought that it never remains by itself, but always digresses to other things. The thought is the point to which I should stick, but it is the nature of this point, not to be able to stick to it. Thinking is a thing full of contradictions, a dialect secret.”(Joseph Dietzgen, ‘Letters on logic’, II, 1880-1883, in Art, Class & Cleavage: Quantulumcunque Concerning Material Esthetix, Ben Watson 1998)

Brazen crass self-promotion at best. Poorly written and thought through cultural critique at worst. Subject to revision at any time.

I Digress Indeed has released three new albums on the Imaginary Nihilism label, Boring, Tedious & Banal, iPad Recordings Vol 1, 2 & 3.

Whether one considers them truly albums is probably moot. Most ‘albums’ come in some hard form, exchange value appendaged, with cover art and credits, state-of-the-art downloadable formats, a review in some certified musical rag and a launch at some reputable venue just prior to a national or international tour. And usually the music is of a conventional sort, with songs about riding mail trains, windows being filled, as opposed to covered, with frost, about relationship break ups, lost or past love and other concerns, stories of exciting times long gone or to come, the blues, or indulgences in deprived [sic?] sexual activity couched in metaphor or carefully contrived obscurantist language that won’t jeopardise sales, particularly for the younger folk, all accompanied by videos that attempt to position the ‘artist’, as pop musicians love calling themselves, even Miley Cyrus (really?), as one of the more radical and provocative thinkers of the twenty first century. Or it could come in the form of a long, nonstop series of steady doofs, set in motion by a supposedly ‘highly skilled’ and creative technician, under the delusion of being some international artiste of describable proportions, holding half a headset to one ear with one hand and twiddling a few knobs here and there with the other, all whilst thrusting their head back and forth in rhythmic sync with the music…and all at the same time! We live in truly exciting times ladies and gentlemen.

Unfortunately, none of that here folks. Nothing exciting about any of this. This is the zenith of boring, tedious and banal. Of uselessness and pointlessness. Unadulterated self-indulgence with absolutely no squint at monetary reward, or any other sort of reward for that matter.

This is testimony to the true nature of solo free improvised guitar music, statistically. Stylistically in the tradition of the previously unheralded and possibly equally boring Bailey Recognisable series. (In fact it’s really just the same thing under a different name just more poorly recorded which only adds to the lack of excitement).

I think it was Jack Wright, the great American improvising saxophonist, who said solo improvising tends towards the creation of a style, unconsciously or consciously, rather than being about improvisation. I think Bailey would have probably agreed. But who cares, Derek also wasn’t much enamoured of the recording. I, by contrast, are much taken by it.

Style? Stylistic? Boring, tedious & banal? Contrary to the nature and practice of improvisation in music? Of course it isn’t…or is…but what does it matter anyway…what else could it be other than what it is, considering the way it is done?

When doing it, there is never anything to do other than collapse that wave function and move on to the next sixtieth of a finger snap. You don’t even have to move on, the snap comes anyway, so may as well fill it with something? Without that something produced, what else is there? And what that something is, who gives a fuck? It’s none of anyone else’s business. It’s not even my own probably. It just happens, regardless of Marxist theories about historical materialism, inevitable contradictions, dialectics, negative or otherwise, bleating liberal moralism, treatises about why the Left is in decline or failed, or the even stupider idea that there is such a thing as anarchist theory!

It’s merely one action followed by yet another action and on, into the void or ether.

All politics aside, good, bad and otherwise, free improvised music is the only real pure pursuit. Everything else is ravaged by tradition and conquest, hierarchy, mythology, ideology, philosophy, religion, notions of truth, beauty, hope or love along with vacuous words, like spiritual, and probably Vikings (they were right, the Christians were and still are a truly miserable lot).

Yes, they, and there is always a ‘they’, try to make this freely produced improvised something, their business, but they can’t. And they know it. And it really bugs them no end. It has always been that when one draws a line (actually draws one, like with a pencil or something) and stops to marvel at its beauty, there is always some fucker, always a someone, a they or them, who comes along and draws their own line right across it, usually while arrogantly and vociferously proclaiming, “you call that a line, that’s not a line, this is a fucking line.” There’s a word for these people.

In the end Bailey just wanted to play, like any other fucking child. So he did. And for a long time, with a recalcitrant stiff middle finger. Whether or not the music, if one wishes to call it that, is worthy of an ear, well, who knows…who cares…really…who really fucking cares? But if you do care, ask yourself why, for fuck sake, at least once, and really try to answer it. Only then will you be able to stroll to the shop to get bread and the milk you need for that cup of tea, or any other necessary item, in true peace, finally…for fucking once.

IDI

EMPTINESS

I have no respect for the words spiritual or god…none.

They are two of the most vacuous words to have ever been uttered and so many of the people who use them, I have found upon much reflection,  do not deserve my respect. This is not necessarily true of all.

A person’s goodness has absolutely nothing to do with these words in any way shape or form. Goodness is purely the result of moral behaviour that is the product of nothing other than natural, perhaps even biologically innate, things or forces.

Respect for good people also comes irrespective of these vacuous words. It comes solely from their natural goodness and nothing else. If someone deserves my respect, that respect would have absolutely nothing to do with the vacuous words, spiritual or god, and/or  any other word that may be in any way connected to or associated with them.

If anyone utters the words spiritual or god in my presence, depending on the place and perhaps concern for others  around I may already respect – but then, maybe not even then – they will be asked to cease using them, as, beyond the indisputable  fact that they are completely empty of any meaning, I find the use of them  to be nothing other than presumptuously insulting.

I have been completely exhausted of any respect for these words and it cannot ever be redeemed.

ADJUNCT NOTES WORTHY OF RESPECT AND ONE’S CURIOSITY.

“Just as the mechanical philosophy appeared to be triumphant, it was demolished by Newton, who reintroduced a kind of “occult” cause and quality, much to the dismay of leading scientists of the day, and Newton himself.The Cartesian theory of mind (such as it was) was unaffected by his discoveries, but the theory of body was demonstrated to be untenable. To put it differently, Newton eliminated the problem of “the ghost in the machine” by exorcising the machine; the ghost was unaffected.” (Chomsky, 1994 : Naturalism and Dualism in the Study of Language and Mind. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 2(2), 181-209 – p189)

“We can continue to distinguish ‘physical’ or ‘material’ from ‘mental’, but recognizing that the usage is only a descriptive convenience, with no metaphysical import” (Chomsky and His Critics, p13)

POLEMIC

It was not for nothing that Evil Dick used to call his label Polemic Music. This delusion that “good music” hovers above us sordid social animals like some unearthly pristine unctual anointment is a running sore which hurts us daily. In a false world, Truth becomes Polemic, not out of perverse itch of aggrandisement but simply by being true to itself. The proselytisers for “quality” are running stupid petty marketstalls whilst pretending they’re in a holy temple. Overturn the tables! Wreck the sales racks! In order to foreground the fact that all art is social (or anti-social!) statement, I wrote biographies of Zappa and Bailey – inspiral rubbishers of quality norms – but this “intellectual” approach got me the wrong audience. So I sent them over-educated suckers off to peruse Wire magazine, and tried something else: radio. After seventeen years, I’m glad to say I’ve gathered various Mitglieder (aka AMM All-Stars) and become a mite louder. Here is my most condensed and organised polemic yet, where I challenge you to tell the difference between: Blues, Freak Rock, Punk Rock, Free Improvisation, Politics, Entertainment and Poetry (with a little ugly something – probably called “Graham” – on the side …).

  • Evil Dick “The OTL Show Theme” 1:49
  • Evil Dick feat. Dave Jackson on tenor sax “Wolf Harbor” Mappa Zappa (Cordelia, 2018) 4:22
  • AMM All-Stars feat. Dave Black on bottleneck guitar “Glottal Bottleneck Folk Remedy” Combined and Uneven with Dipping Sauce 20-iii-2019 46:07>>52:08 6:01
  • The Blues Boys feat. Lonnie Johnson on violin “Memphis Stomp” 15-ii-1928 (Okeh 12″, 1928) 3:02
  • Mothers of Invention feat. Frank Zappa on sped-up guitar and Art Tripp on percussion “Nine Types of Industrial Pollution” Uncle Meat (Bizarre, 1969) 6:00
  • Derek Bailey and Min Xiao- Fen “Da Qing Ye (Woad)” 16-xii-1997 Viper (Avant/Disk Union, 1998) 4:38
  • Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa “Orange Claw Hammer” (KWST, 1975) 4:50
  • I Digress Indeed/Out To Lunch “Selection from Homo Fludens” (SoundCloud, 20-iii-2019) 18:26>>23:08 4:38
  • Gabba Zappa Hey! “Dead Girls of London” Mappa Zappa (Cordelia, 2018) 2:25
  • AMM All-Stars Still You Can Say Blacker and Blacker” Combined and Uneven with Dipping Sauce 20-iii-2019 31:20>>36:06 4:47
  • AMM All-Stars Composite of Multiple Developments” Combined and Uneven with Dipping Sauce 20-iii-2019 38:55>>41:26 2:31Music With
  • My Insane Friend and Loopy C “The BOOOOOOMMMM Connector” iii-2019 Old Dot Find (forthcoming) 13:02



HOMO FLUDENS

Splash’n’Klang is a musical practice developed by Out To Lunch in response to various problems facing modern music. Over the course of the twentieth century, recording wrecked the old composer-score-musician arrangement, enabling advanced music to dissolve the distinction between documentary sound and composed score (see Derek Bailey, Iancu Dumitrescu and Frank Zappa’s “Wolf Harbor”). However, although they play by ear and could invent every note, thus making each performance unique and extending musical variety and delight into infinity, most non-reading bands survive by reproducing known quantities. In order to encourage the musicians of AMM All-Stars to suspend musical time and pay attention to the sounds immediately in front of them, Out To Lunch records Splash’n’Klang in his bathtub: running taps, rattling the plug, pouring water from jugs, making bubble sounds, and striking floating bowls and glasses with plastic chopsticks. These rituals are then played during the weekly improvisation session by AMM All-Stars which constitutes Late Lunch With Out To Lunch, a radio show on Resonance FM (2-3pm Wednesdays). Splash’n’Klang was partly arrived at through email discussions with guitarist I Digress Indeed about listening to records whilst washing up, and noticing that emancipated music (Sun Ra, Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley, Eugene Chadbourne, Music With My Insane Friend, AMM All-Stars) renders each kitchensink noise vibrant, delicious and beautiful (“the thud of a saucepan as it hits the zink” as Richard Evans put it). OTL wanted to find a way of injecting these beauties into his broadcasts. He also acknowledges that humans and animals delight in water sounds because they remind them of urination (see James Joyce’s Chamber Music), and also of time spent in the womb and ancestral memories of all life’s oceanic origins. On 12th February 2019, possibly due to the drama of freeing a pigeon brought in by his two cats (Brella and Sox), OTL recorded a record-length Splash’n’Klang, and realised his application to this instrument had reached some kind of peak. So the soundfile was offered to I Digress Indeed (guitarist of Music With My Insane Friend) and this duet (one of three) resulted: “I can now join the pantheon of my personal household gods, and die happy” quoth Lunch.

Out To Lunch – Splash’n’Klang, pigeon rescue
I Digress Indeed – Guitar

TAKING CARE OF HIS OWN ERECTIONS.

The Dickster has done it again. Evil Dick, never one to shirk his responsibility to throw us all off the musical track, has created yet another exquisite red herring, Earthly Delights. Evil is a multi-instrumentalist of rare ability with a stunning imagination. A truly unique composer in a Varesian and Other Worldly tradition, whose music demands an attentive and serious,  yet inquisitive and  playful ear. A musician who never forgets to pose the question to the listener, in fact, to all of us, now living in an ever increasingly precarious world…

“Well, are you going to buy the fucking  thing or what?”

This album was compiled between January and August 2018. It takes its name from the famous painting by Hieronymus Bosch; however, comparisons largely end there. The music has its own logic, taking the listener on a sonic journey through a mysterious and often unpredictable, phantasmagorical landscape. The full title of this album is Evil Tends to His Garden of Earthly Delights.
credits
released October 31, 2018

Produced by Richard Hemmings.
All compositions and xenochronicity © 2018 Richard Hemmings.
Improvisations © 2018 Richard Hemmings, Dave Jackson, Craig Ashenden, Scott Freer. All rights reserved.
Environmental recordings made by Richard Hemmings andwww.freesound.org.
All artwork and photographs © 2018 Richard Hemmings, except the image of fly (borrowed from Google) and the photo of Dave (lifted from his Facebook page).
More stuff at evildick.co.uk.

COFFEE AT MILANOS ?(DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!)

Ben Watson on COFFEE AT MILANOS

“It’s very direct, very melodic, and it sounds like a bunch of demos recorded by visitors from outer space who have just encountered jazz and are demonstrating what they’ve found to an interplanetary alien space station crew of investigative analysts.You see, what kills music is THEATRE, the sequencing of brute effect according to narrative … Wagner, Pink Floyd, Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, David Bowie. What I crave is collective union of attention to musical detail: to the intricacies and intimacies of players’ establishing harmony and rhythm; unstitching the inherited garment and playing with frayed edges and weird worlds of thread. Or, to change metaphors, what I hear in COFFEE AT MILANOS is the dissecting scalpel of player intelligence cutting through the skin surface of “music” to expose pumping arteries and zinging nerve cells and replicating blood corpuscles. Close focus on the stuff of music itself.”

https://archive.org/details/DontEvenThinkAboutIt20-i-2016

THE BALLAD OF BIG BAD BEN

In 1997, following a negative review of Tom Chant’s Touch (Matchless), three big cheeses in London Improv – Eddie Prevost, Evan Parker and Martin Davidson – decided that the Ben Watson by-line must be banished forever. This was Tom’s big break, and it upset their plans if anyone pointed out the record wasn’t much cop (since then, all three musicians have agreed in private that I was basically right). Derek Bailey was highly amused, and congratulated me on outraging no less than three eminences with a single short review. Shortly thereafter, Evan Parker was raging in a reader’s letter against another “erroneous” critic, and said something along the lines of “the problem is that, if – God forbid – Ben Watson should be run over by a bus, there’s going to be another idiot ready to replace him”. Derek pointed this out to me, raised an eyebrow and said “that’s a threat, you know, and not so veiled …”. Derek responded to this letter (and some other things) in “The Ballad of Big Bad Ben”. It’s from Chats (Incus), a fantastic CD-R with lots of Derek’s inimitable spoken-word.

 

LOCATION / DISLOCATION (WITH SHOUT OUT TO PHIL JONES)

HERE IS THE OFFICIAL GUFF

Work Title: location / dislocation

Dimensions: 7.5 metres X 1.5 metres

Materials: Acrylic paint on wall surface, accompanied by musical interpretation.

Paint: Phillip Jones

Double Bass: James Rust

Percussion: Mark Grunden

Guitar: James Wilson

Tenor and Soprano Saxophones: Konk Zooben

Year: 1999 Read more… “LOCATION / DISLOCATION (WITH SHOUT OUT TO PHIL JONES)”