“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.
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. Read more… “EMPTINESS”
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.
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”).
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?”
“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.”
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.