Friday, 21 December 2018

Misanthropic Musicology on the Beenleigh Line Part 5

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So. Glora Coates washing my psyche on this final pre-yule week of commute if I make it that far. A combination of chronic sparkling shiraz (Christmas-In-A-Bottle) imbibing and the looming of impending redundancy is making the roiling run along the soaking tracks this morning more like fear and loathing in Brisvegas. God I hate my job. But I digress. Back to Gloria Coates and her broad, deep abstract expressionist compositional gesture. How is she not in the curriculum as a top notch mid-20th-century avant-gardiste? Oh wait she's a woman. But she is getting her just desserts to an extent at present and I admit to only recently coming across her when I noted BBCSSO were doing a programme of her work under the outsider-loving baton of Ilan Volkov. Gloria's gorgeous, intense, distinctive sliding textures directly invoke apocalyptic visions as her Indian Sounds (Symphony No. 8) slides through a genocide war dance that feels like time itself is melting under the boots of so-called progress. That seriously powerful yes! Invoking sounds from First Nations America while atonal washes of string horror intervene. This image is no mistake I dare say. Revolutionary and revelatory. Gloria. G.L.O.R.I.A. Glooooriyah!

Grey green swelter, Gloria's String Quartet No. 9's an absolute belter. Stunning textures slide, grip and patter in and out of focus, phrases melting like the soles of my boots on steaming tarmac. A quality of the folk outsider lives inside Gloria's work, like the grand masterpieces of a hermit unexposed to anything other than a few Pollocks they pilfered from the back of some derelict barn. There's a quality in her work that sits well outside the institutions while still paying heed to hundreds of years of compositional process (thank fuck, and in a nod to the original composer rebel the 9th quartet has shadowy echoes of Beethoven's Grosse Fugue) and well within the world of cantankerous greats kicking against the pricks. Her oeuvre is chronically under-recorded but the current one spinning has Quartet 9 (amazing) and the Sonata for Solo Violin which I will rush to get a copy of ASAP and learn it with the fever of the born again. This train moves with the same greasy glissando filling my ears. Will I ever get to work? Do I even give the remotest shit?

Gloria Coates' broad brushstrokes melting in Mississippi mud, about to bust the levee in strains of bottleneck blues all sliding up and down in abstract stroke, expressionistic howls from the margins of the canvas. Mississippi mud? Could be Brisbane river mud, that brown snake fangs lit in slithering heat dripping with venom and tears, taking souls on the in-breath making holes in the out, parting brown sea no-one wants to cross. Blown textures over known fissures of dissonance, shifting, grinding on the tracks matched in consonance. Don't think this ain't melting. There's gon' be some trouble here.

Holy dooly. Latest release of Gloria Coates, Piano Quintet and fresh Symphonic documentation Drones of Druids in Celtic Ruins, breathing cold in the belly of Cuchulaínn's ghost. Heatwave again in this low down long barrow, tomb on wheels and wires tearing through total climate Eclipse (the Duke and McLuhan didn't foresee this one). Gloria's apocalyptic sonar picking up waves, sending me up on their crest and crashing me into their fundamentals with a low bow Sonic Boom. Not even sure where I am despite familiar sites South Bank station mind the gap, or pour into the gap and join the primordial ooze beneath the tracks vibrating in dissonance with electro-charged steel, bows grind close to the bridge as piano depth charges chase your final molecules into the henge of happenstance. No stance, sitting, watching an old man with kind face read a heavily illustrated book that appears as a Hindu tome, emergency help point begging fingers to press just for the penalty for misuse. Hello brownssnake my old friend, screaming strings buried in tidal flow. Tied to the moon, The Wizard Fingers Never Rest.

Final ride toward the Unutterable for 2018 and perhaps for some time, against my own will, for the Unutterable forces have conspired to have my living ripped out from under me. Ah neo-liberalism you fat bottomshelf cunt. But I digress. Heatwave conditions again, blistering rise to 37 degrees at 7:30am, too hot for Gloria though I work on and in with her glissing apocalyptic swirl with the hot, heavy, slippery sounds of King Sunny Ade, Naija number 1 juju motherfucker. 1982 wasn't quite the apocalypse yet (couple years too Orwellian early) but it was the year of Juju Music. Deep bloody juju, born in sweat and dance in shadowlands, clatters of claves, minimal stabs, tweedles and slides of guitar and pedal steel, in and out of perception, pounding of ngungun bass to bring Baron Samedi out for an Endless Boogie til the last seconds of Saturday close and the final funeral party of the day tears Sunday open in trance and intoxication, burning skies as Gomorrah's smoke blocks out the first or perhaps the last light as you stand on the sea's edge, sweat and condensation mix on bottle side, sliding down into a psychic prone position. Yes that's right. But back to Gloria. Her work is finally getting some attention, though perhaps not the significant attention it deserves. Bigger and better orchestras are playing it. More articles seem to pop up about her and it, and all praise the Old Gods for that my dear friends. And so as I slide by the city phallus pharm on this 7th locomotive wonder of the world towards the Unutterable one last time, I bid you all a Merry whatever it is you celebrate this time of Year and a happy New Year.

Next time....Seán Ó Riada

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Misanthropic Musicology on the Beenleigh Line Part 4

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This appears to be an actual thing.....Santa I think you know what I want for Christmas now...

Monday, day of moon, mighty disc in the sky, the dark side soon to be owned, TM and C, by China or perhaps they'll find Hitler there in his lunar berghof, polishing his UFO and listening to Wagner. 
I'm definitely not listening to Wagner and this piece of shit train is neither a Chinese spaceship nor a Nazi UFO. Alas I sit here in the inadequate AC with acute dehydration deliriously listening to C.S. but it's not Clara Schumann (the core subject of this week's rambling nonsense), not yet, sadly there's not much to hear of her due to patriarchy and syphilis. But instead it is Chuck Schuldiner, one of the great composers of the late 80s/early 90s, and hell in this gender fluid world perhaps Chuck is Clara? An uninteresting question to pose my dear friends. Who is Chuck though and what does he have to do with Clara? Absolutely nothing, though I imagine a musician of Chuck's quality would've been well-versed enough in his music history to be familiar with Clara but probably only Clara as muse, and not Clara as genius virtuoso and composer. Fuck she probably wrote all of Schumann's music and he just took the credit. Chuck though, was one of the greatest innovators and composers of Death Metal. What? And yes I mean that. 

As front man of Death (very unsubtle name for what was actually by extreme metal standards very subtle music) and mastermind of Control Denied he laid ground unfortunately for technical death metal, but he also inspired Black Metal with his more primitive and minimal first album and demo tapes, and created a progressive aesthetic and sound within the genre which is inimitable. A truly unique voice, he was taken from us too soon due to aggressive cancer at the age of 34. The tragedy of this highlighted by the fact that Chuck was the composer of a brilliant metal masterpiece called Pull the Plug! Poor son of a bitch. Robert Schumann embraced Death at about the same age, mad from syphilis he threw himself into the Rhine and spent his dying days in an asylum. But Clara lived on, inspiring the concert violinist Joseph Joachim and his friend Johannes Brahms, thus making her one of the most important figures in Romanticism, and through this, linking her to Death Metal, a music so indebted to the drama of dark romantic symphonic works. But how you say? Eddie Van Halen was a classical violinist before taking up the shred, the finger tapping string pulling style then adopted by Schuldiner heavily indebted to Paganini, Pagan in 'e?

I personally prefer A minor which is the very key of the stunning heartbreaking piano concerto I currently slurp up in my ear canals, the Piano Concerto in A minor by Clara Schumann Op. 7 to be precise. From the opening bars you can hear a talent and passion that pisses all over her VD-riddled more famous husband. It's said that ol' Robbie S kept her away from composition with a stern belief that she belonged in the bedroom making babies and banging keys only as a hobby no doubt to contain her uncontrollable feminine hysteria. I think he was scared and jealous as the remnants of her work show a Romantic Rebel of the highest order. All hail Clara. All hail Chuck. There it is, the ol' fascist creep once more. No really he's sitting in the same carriage as me, bald head and Slayer tattoo on his forearm, kmart sneakers and a manspread that would swallow Poland like a marauding Panzer battalion. Frightening stuff.

Minor key longing of the greatest profundity. Knowing that Clara could never reach her true potential like so many women over history is too heartbreaking for words, but Clara's G minor Trio and soul shattering Romances for violin and piano - a tribute to Beethoven's beautiful works of the same type and vibe I'm taking - are adequate representations of this loss and longing, a glimpse at potential unfairly bottled.

Speaking of being bottled, the Beenleigh line snakes along in relative quietude this morn, not a crackhead in sight and numbers of human-cattle decreasing as Christmas rushes up in it's morbid capital obesity guise like a bacchanalian booze up at South Bank's "famous" fake beach, denizens resplendent in Christmas-jumper-themed rashies, drinking piss while soaking up eachother's urine in the tepid brine, the cbd phallus temple gleaming behind them like the fetid welt it truly is. Ho. Ho. Ho.
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And now I'm listening to a beautiful collection of Klavier werks by Clara and the present gem is a theme and variations on Deutschland Über Alles. I guess considering the date it's more proto-fash than crypto but I guess that's the Romantics for you sometimes. I think they would've been mortified by Hitler but not if revisionist academics have anything to say about it. Everyone should've known better. They should've just looked it up on Wikipedia like everyone else because it's all fake news that the internet has only been around since 1996 or whenever. Ah the tin foil hat has replaced the crown. But back to Clara and truly beautiful swirls of longing once more emanating from her chosen instrument, an instrument she was the greatest master of of her time. First meth head of the morning in the quiet carriage guzzling an energy drink and grinding their gumming mouth the poor bastard. Another sensitive soul no doubt lost to the cruelty of the so-called modern world. If there was meth around in the late 1800s I have no doubt Bobby Schumann would've hit it, then poor Clara would've had that hot mess to deal with and her longing tunes would rip the pit of one's guts out even more. The Adagio is the doom metal of deep classical - there's even a doom metal band with an album called Adagio - and Clara clearly penned the best Doom in town, the Tony Iommi of her epoch. And into the void once more we go.

Still churning through Clara's beautiful piano works while this 7th locomotive wonder of the world churns down the tracks, clapped out and crazed, another mind-numbing day of pointless haze. This train feels like a staircase to nowhere, but Clara is the compass that points true hope.

And hope I'm finding while traversing suburban wasteland on this Thor's Day where once again due to a massive earth-swallowing tropical cyclone re-brewing in a great band across Queensland we will likely hear said God's hammer in the skies soon enough. Hope found in what you say? Well other than the comfort of possible environmental calamity inflicted upon this dreamland of possibility, I am finding this hope in beautiful arrangements for strings and soprano of Clara's sometimes schmalzy often stunning and dark lieder. One thing one should try to avoid is vibrato in excessive quantities when playing this music, and these motherfuckers are well onto it, and it makes these songs so much more beautiful. Clara would've hated vibrato. All the late Romantic Germanics did, but the Italian bel canto thing won out in the recorded world and the warble decimates swathes of beautiful music like dumping an entire bag of parmesan on your pasta might ruin your meal. Too much cheese my friends. No cheese in this recording. But while this beautiful music is getting me going I may shift to some death metal history once more as I'm pissed off approaching closer the Unutterable that fucking bastard in its gleaming pretend enviro building coal loving hell den. Thor please strike it down 'fore this day ends.

Friday, Goddess day, a small touch of Clara's piano and vocals works on the silver serpent looking longingly out scoured plexiglass at destitute tracks, stone and rocks, brown grasses before beneath a pale grey sky. Here I go again with death metal references and yes I've shifted from Clara to Atheist and their peculiar progressive death metal style that like Death unfortunately influenced a tonne of shit bands. Atheist are far from shit though and the connection between extreme metal and Romanticism remains strong to me, technicality, drama, existential plight caused by internal battles and the horrors of the dark Satanic mills, perhaps less immediate than some but no less clear and present for the experiencer.

I wrote of Black Metal's very conscious embracing of National Romantic traits for my Honours dissertation way back when but didn't touch on Death Metal which like Liszt's Totentantz is a death waltz of ultra-technique and ultra-masuclinity which seems at odds to Clara right? Well. She was the greatest concert pianist of her generation, a technician par excellence, and while her work is beautiful, subtle and hardly aggressive, it is also dark and brooding, and with the very rare great Death Metallers such as Chuck Schuldiner, while the music is aggressive and endlessly associated by sociologists as hyper-masculine, evil Chuck et al were often deeply conscious blokes, keen for their sisters to be equal, for their fellow humans in general to be equal, to be well, and to reflect by being confronted with death, with mortality, on the preciousness of life. Clara was confronted with that mortality when she lost Robert to his mind, and yet she kept the strength to continue a great life in music to the very end, the great muse of her time, who should've just been one of the greatest of her time.

Next week....Gloria Coates!

Tuesday, 11 December 2018


Friday, 7 December 2018

Misanthropic Musicology on the Beenleigh Line Part 3

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An actual to scale map of hell.

Come Sunday. Come back Sunday. Whoever invented the Sunday session is a bastard. But this morning I couldn't be happier to be on the Beenleigh iron sleigh on course for the Unutterable once more because it's 36 degrees (that's celcius Americanos) out and it's just gone 7:30am. Nothing to see here folks. Oh look there's a lump of coal let's just burn it for fun! Our current Prime Minister Scott Morrison (ScoMo) even famously brought a lump of coal into parliament (as you do), but who was walking who? Well despite the ever encircling dystopic blazes around Brisbane I persevere with this completely pointless weekly rant. Come Sunday, come back Sunday, riding solo with Anthony Braxton solo live 1971 exploring the very depth of his sax and crawling into all sorts of strange and wonderful corners. Screeching here, yelping there, peeling off Parker licks and descending into fragments of blues and the cries of black folks, of all folks. That's right as promised I'll dig as much as I can into Anthony's huge and prolific catalogue of improvised and composed works. This train ride isn't long enough, but I'll get somewhere.

Deep retrograde blues. Ragtime ripples of broken lines that break up against the rocks. Duos of Anthony Braxton and Muhal Richard Abrams, truly stunning, blending tradition with future. Afro-futurism of the most sensitive and inward kind. Deep deep creeks of sound, brittle and full of love. A world away from this train running full industrial tilt toward Beeno, soon to pass coronation drive where an actual siege is underway, gun men, heat and violence combine. Studies have found correlation between extremely humid, hot climates, and heightened levels of violence. Will this be an expected bi-product of global warming? One thing's for sure, Tony Braxton is so cool he's taken my burning guts down a few degrees on this rustbucket ride at high speed from the Unutterable towards home.

Composition No. 95 on the way to the 9-5 on the rolling refrigerator in the heatwave hell. Two pianos colliding and intertwining, beginning as melodica wheeze, driving into hammered haze or dense urban constructions from some unknown civilization both ancient and post-temporal.
19 solo compositions 1988. 88. There I go stirring up crypto-fascist hysteria again. Beautiful alto lines running me free of the Unutterable. No time, closed eyes towards nothingness amongst the somethingness.

Wodensday, midweek hell, not even listening to Tony Braxton today due to my wife insisting I listen to this nutty podcast about Nauru, Australia's concentration camp island, a tax haven dodgy bank dump for the world's absolute cunts. Interesting but not relevant to Anthony B. Or is it? Has he been there? Does the Tricentric Foundation secretly wash it's money in one of Nauru's dodgy mid-range crimebanks? Probably not. But I'll take a break from writing, to listen and speculate.
Composition no. 100 on an album called Eugene is what currently fills my head in this capitalscene, surrounded by loud self-centred instant gratified products of the great neo-CON. Oh how I wish they'd shut the fuck up because they art in the quiet carriage. A place where signs clearly state shut the fuck up in polite terms. Gucci bag for Christmas she says. But aside from homicidal thoughts I am deeply enjoying the incredible work of Anthony Braxton on this woeful Woden's day. Nauru where it plunges into the abyss that skirts the island, 4kms deep all round and packed full of sharks. I imagine deep sea creatures may appreciate Anthony Braxton's compositions, discombobulating soulful cries parped from the dark and tumbled around deaf and blind, directionless but always moving forward in the current, or perhaps ahead of the current, and driving down down down with the pressure of deep deep blues. These idiots are ruining my already ruined day. May they be ruined and may Braxton get louder and louder to drown them, out.

Fuck! The only thing keeping my brain dome down is this intense beautiful (black)power full quartet performance from a Santa Cruz date put out by the always great Hat Hut. Thank you Anthony Braxton for being a genius. Many of the same old drone domes on this back carriage embarrassment en course for the Unutterable on tracks of rust and regret, blackbird blues and Irish airs still clinging to their molecules. Piano keys being hammered down like mallets on sleepers, coasting along the shunt of rhythmic push while this piece of shit toy loco lumbers lumberers wayward north. I used to love Thursdays, Thor's day, they're still pretty good, except Friday still yet to come cause Thursday I've got Friday on my mind. I'm the Apprentice, Tony Braxton, the Master. The song I'm thinking of, actually being by the Easybeats.

Speeding backwards on the world's worst locomotive wonder listening to more recent Braxton, Composition No 372 to be precise, minimalist bagpipes screeching in polyrhythmic glee over clattering drums, scrummaging horns and angular seeking in left and right headphones, in disorienting delight. Rhythm rhythm rhythm. The rhythm of trains is buried in this, that movement and clatter that inspired some basic primal parts of the blues still sitting there deep in this somewhere as I roll backwards towards the bastard Unutterable on this balmy Friday, Freya's day, Goddess at the gateway to the 48 hours of freedom every worker yearns for. Fuck I love Anthony Braxton. I also love the Buzzcocks, sad to hear of Pete Shelley's passing to the beyond, he'll be tipping speed in his mead in Valhalla by now. South Bank, I have nothing to say about you. The glory of Composition No. 372 keeps the movement towards the inevitable more beautiful than it should be as the mud swallowing snake of brown, bruised and oily black in patches slides beneath in its own ancient rhythm.

Ancient filth caked to the floor boards so tired that's all I can stare at yearning for booze delicious booze. Braxton I'm done with you for this week, blasting Bizzcocks in honour of the deceased instead and what a ripe racket they raised. From Chicago to Manchester from Bowen Hills towards the bottom on an overpriced ticket to Friday night oblivion cause I was almost Late For The Train since the barber was closed and this babble is closed for this week.

Next week...Clara Schumann and more...

Friday, 30 November 2018

Misanthropic Musicology on the Beenleigh Line Part 2

Monday bloody Monday. Back in the ol' tin snake on my way towards the Unutterable. A dusty apocalyptic heatwave is crushing the air around Brisbane, making the aircon in this steel shitserpent somewhat appealing despite its ultimate destination. So as predicted this week's victim is Pauline Oliveros, starting with Deep Listening, truly one of the greats of minimalism. Pauline was truly one of the greats, and easily one of the most important composers of the late 20th Century. But of course being a woman meant that the deluded dicks (literally) in charge of the classical music history books have never written her in as a significant player. She's totally ignored in sausage fests like Nyman's book on the minimalists (Reich, Glass, Young, Riley), and while her deep listening research and concepts had a significant following, I've yet to see her get the credit she deserves. 

 I was lucky enough to exchange a few emails with Pauline after she examined my PhD thesis (her examination was favourable thank you very much), and despite being an incredibly busy person she took the time to write me a couple of references and offer me some career advice. Pretty great, though obviously I'm sitting on the train to the Unutterable so I needed a bit more career advice than that clearly. She will be sorely missed, and at least for me my minimalist pantheon will always be more like Oliveros, Flynt, Conrad, Hennix, Niblock. That's the real deal right there. Deep Listening is a beautiful album, recorded in an old cistern in the 80s, it has a cavernous warmth and a strange subterranean quality that's second to none. Speaking of subterranean, I'm sitting at Central station for a long time for no reason. Classic Queensland Rail. Will I ever reach the Unutterable?

Well, heading now to the safety of South, Pauline O in my earholes accordion droning her way through the wonderful work named St. George and the Dragon (there we go with potential crypto-fascism again, when you start looking for that stuff it's everywhere). Earlier on I was grabbing a snack on my drone break listening to Pauline's drones when I passed another drone with a tattoo reading "less is more". Too right it is. The album St George is on is entitled Pauline Oliveros & American Voices, or something. Whole thing is a stunning study that proves time and time again that less is more, less is more. Whenever that policy is applied you get great music, in my most humble opinion. Jaki Liebezeit playing monotonous because some acidfreak told him to. Gylve Fenris Nagell refusing to use snare or cymbals on Darkthrone's black metal masterpiss Under A Funeral Moon because the rest wasn't needed for the nihilistic statement they wanted to make. Best to say only what needs to be said in a sea of loud, inane, frightened voices.

Botanikk is the latest thing to have featured Pauline by the looks of it, and it sounds like a great improvised set of sorts. Fantastic as usual to be expected etc. The untterable is drawing me towards it in this electric sardine can. Cruising past Dutton Park station, the closest port of call the Princess Alexandra Hospital, and notable theretofore as the station that sports a massive funeral home billboard, towering over you as you walk up to the hospital. Ah capitalism. According to Marx we were meant to reach peak Capitalism and then unite to take control of the means of production for the working class. Instead we watched TV, let Capitalism shift gears from peak to moribund, and now its morbidly obese body is exploding all over the place like the climax to that Akira movie.

Wow the perfectly normal, cleancut looking fellow next to me on the 7th locomotive wonder of the world stinks of booze. It's 7:32am. It is hot though, thirsty weather, and cornflakes do taste good soaked in whiskey. But back to Pauline. She was truly great. I mean, she was an accordionist for fuck's sake. Who does that? And it's always a perfect addition. Right now, as I ride the snake, she wheezes out dense combination tones over chirping electronics and ramming bass and then spills it over into abstract drone strokes like a slowmotion Burroughs shotgun painting. Then some electronic sounds like the busted receipt machine the ticket seller has at Bowen Hills station, halfway to the Unutterable, quarter of the way up Beelzebub's arse. Yes, arse. Now popping sounds, clicks and wheezes, interrupted by the clichéd accent of the automated train announcer declaring our arrival at central station like we've all achieved something special. We've achieved nothing of the sort my comrades.

Crawling through the Alien Bog with Pauline. Forgot she was an early pioneer of electronic music for a minute there. Weird synthesised racket that would make a nice soundtrack for that thing they've just landed on Mars that will just wind up as more human trash in the universal habitat. Alien Bog isn't trash though, but it's title translates well to my surrounds on this futuristic suburban rust rover. Why do people insist on wearing Metallica shirts? One of the great cosmic mysteries. Sun Ra probably knows out there on Saturn, and like on Saturn, the air is of a different quality on the Beenleigh line travelling further and further from the Unutterable toward home and onwards to guntown great south east. They should transmit Alien Bog through the PA on this locomotive lice laboratory, really enhance the commute, overlaid with wisdom for the workers from Sun Ra stock interviews while we glide at light (rail) speed over the glittering Brownsnake. Fuck it's brown today, silt, mud and sorrow.
Total fucking heatwave. Looks like Thor's gonna rip open the sky and throw a bolt right down the guts of the skyscraper inhabited by a certain insurance company I once worked for. You can live in hope anyway.

So on this Woden's Day I ride the snake, the ancient snake, to the lake where no blue bus is calling us. And to put the icing on the savage tropical cake, I'm not even listening to Pauline. Instead I've fallen to the temptation of listening to the excellent new release from Sahel Sounds, the soundtrack to their new Saharan psychedelic Western "Zerzura" which I also can't wait to watch. If it's anything like their tuareg version of Purple Rain (Rain Blue with a Little Red in It or whatever it is), then it's not to be missed. The soundtrack to Zerzura is absolutely fantastic. A dusty tuareg take on the Dead Man soundtrack, with a splash of Marisa Anderson to help out in the ambiance. Experimental solo tuareg guitar sountrack, yes please. It has a lonesome bedraggled quality, like someone slipped a little laudanum in their sweet green tea. Shit, last I lived in West Africa, I was in Senegal, where they put so much sugar in their cafe touba you start seeing colours you didn't know existed. I had to have a tooth extracted shortly after that trip. Damn you cafe touba, taking the tooth of toubab. Anyway back to Pauline later, if this hopeless hunk of engineer's regret ever gets me to work that is.

Man what a day and the air is hot, dry windy and scorching temperatures in this morbid capitalist utopia Trump and his mates are building for us by ignoring the obvious. But it's nice and cool in the bowels of the Beenleigh. Abattoiresque even. The incredible Pauline Oliveros Hat-hut release with the cool bridge river cover, Roots of the Moment or something, droning wheezing beatifically lazy accordion drones that somehow enhance the dusty dry surrounds outside this palladium python. I love this recording very much, an inspiration to all who give it a real listen I dare say. The best kind of minimalism, intuitive, deep and born of listening not of declaration, born of introspection, not gesture, broad and beautiful brushstrokes on sand that slowly blows away formless and forgotten in wind and rain, only to spark again in a new corner of imagination. Always alive, present, letting time and vibration do its own thing.

The Wanderer. That's what accompanies me in this moment crammed in the back carriage with the rest of the future carrion, lugging their carry-on to the inevitable, on course for the Unutterable. The Wanderer is magnificent, staying true to Pauline this morning I listen to this glorious record deep within firestorm heatwave firenado-driving deathwind week. I've skipped a few electronic options, not out of disinterest but because the name The Wanderer took me and the cover of someone riding an elephant which is well and truly less shit than riding this 7th locomotive wonder of the world. Anyway, otherworldly sounds made by very worldly instruments are considerably more interesting than the synthetic kind. On The Wanderer we once again hear Pauline take the accordion into the outer reaches, creating deep listening space, evoking the depth of time, drawn from accordion slinging hicks in dusty fields to moogs on martian planes. Why would someone take a Moog into space? Surely a laptop would suffice.

Cicada Dream Band in my head. Free improv and twitters of horns with chirping night invertebrates as tamboura. More fantastic Pauline to top off a day of utter bullshit.

Accordion and Voice and the horse sings from the cloud. Pauline once again breaking the bullshit down into manageable spheres of enlightened sound on this fine scorching Kali Yuga Friday. Beenleigh back carriage poorly air conned at 4 dollars a ticket. The most ethereally pale young woman opposite me, looking like she'd melt along with the Arctic that her ancestors surely once lived in. Pauline O, despite short visits to Zerzura I've stayed on course all week because I don't want to miss a note of this drone genius' work. Nice and quiet on the loco locomotive this morning, deep listening easy to reach despite glistening sweat in eyes. Best to close them and stop writing.

Next week: Anthony Braxton....probably.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Friday, 23 November 2018

Misanthropic Musicology on the Beenleigh Line Part 1

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Look at that marvelous specimen.

I've of late taken it upon myself to listen to as much of a single composer in one week as I can. Further to this I've decided that the composers could be both your typical dead white guy and the vast, incredible history of marginalised and women composers, who much like many of the fiddlers I've researched here, are widely overlooked in the so-called syllabi of music institutions. Having said that, these ramblings probably won't offer you much when it comes to historical info except for whatever I can remember/make up about the composer I'm hereby listening to.
Last week it started, early in the morning on the train to my braindead drone job along with the other drones - and the odd sweaty meth head - on the sometimes sweltering, oftentimes refrigerator-like Beenleigh line. This steel snake slowly scrawls it's path from Beenleigh - an economically depressed town between Brisbane and the shit hole referred to as the Gold Coast - to the city centre and beyond north to a destination I try to avoid as much as Beenleigh whose name shall go unuttered. The train passes Fairfield where I currently reside,  a suburb which boasts the centre of the Brisbane avant -garde, a whirlpool of inspiration and fresh produce, Fairfield Gardens shopping centre. Monday last week I embarked on a listening mission through the expressionist jungle of Alban Berg's work, slowly enveloping my psyche with operatic horror in the guise of Wozzeck and Lulu while struggling through an existential crisis of my own triggered by the site of yet another loud phone conversation in the quiet carriage, and only deepended by yet another me generation debtslave taking his road bike on a crowded 3 car train at rush hour. 

The greatest accompaniment though to the worsening doom as I approached my place of work, is Alban Berg's highly unique violin concerto, written in the grips of so much grief he couldn't even be fucked with a third movement, and better for it too.
To polish off the week I entranced myself to queer nirvana with the recently unleashed genius recordings of Julius Eastman.

Now for week 2, and I'm embracing the work of Hildegard Von Bingen, 13th century nun mystic composer goddess seeress extraordinaire. Beautiful, peaceful music that's depth even makes the MacDonalds-ravaged corpus opposite me appear beatific. Mystick with a capital fucking M I dare say. Spotify is sodden with von Bingen and this week will be spent offering you very little infortmation at all.
Ah Tuesday, Tyr's day, started with a healthy breakfast of coffee and Von Bingen performed beautifully by the Tiburtina Ensemble.

Carriage is remarkably ordinary on my old mate the Beenleigh line though the guy opposite me is wearing a distressingly heavy jacket for a sub-tropical spring morning. Should I call the hotline? Does he have an axe under there? There was a guy at park rd station the other day with an axe. Nobody seemed to mind. Anyway back to Von Bingen. Were we taught about this genius of the voice at university? Her glorious mystical voicings gliding over droning ancient vielles and other medievals noise makers? No we were taught only that fat tonsured brown mumu wearing men chanting in cellars full of homebrew invented and innovated it all. Clearly this is wrong on some level. The nuns clearly had a card or 2 in the game and what a wonderful hand it was. Hildegard naturally came up against resistance in her time, copping the usual man-splain about a woman's place even in the clergy. But as often is the case - and very contrary to the excellent Mercyful Fate classic "Nuns Have No Fun" which pioneered the repeated use of the word "cunt" in song - nuns seem to be pretty serious motherfuckers compared to their male counterparts.

While the blokes are usually busy paying off yet another victim of their vulgarity, the nuns are getting kicked out of the Philippines for organising farmer's unions (see recent story about said Australian nun) or throwing sweet boozey Christmas parties at RSLs like the Josephine nuns who used to book me to play at their Christmas party each year til my playing got too weird for them. Nuns seem pretty fun to me despite their religion and I imagine Von Bingen was a bit of a ledg (after considerable debate over gallons of Doom Bar earlier this year, my wife and some friends of ours decided this is the most appropriate abbreviation of "legend" as used in the Australian vernacular alright). One element of her work that seems too scarce is the instrumental writing though. Beautiful, ancient-sounding works that, while clearly being antecedents to Western classical music are also clearly of a time and palette alien to ours.

And now I reach Fortitude Valley, Brisbane's den of sin, a harmonious Hildegard harpathon saving my mind from collapse after once again seeing the pathetic attempt at a cultural reference used by the local council in the guys of mosaic tiles reading "The Go-Betweens".

The Von Bingenathon continues on yet another ride on one of the 7 locomotive wonders of the world, the Beenleigh line. Now knee deep in a recording by Vox Animae of Hildegard's Ordo Virtutum. Still beautiful, still mystical in a Christiany kind of way. Being more of a Pagan/Heathen type myself (look forward to Antifa fire bombing my next gig after that admission) I find the churchiness of it all a bit much but it has a cleansing quality while a large man in a fedora stairs sadly out the train window. Perhaps he can see his reflection in the perspex. Now that's hardly Christian of me. It's clear that Hildegard's work in its pre-contrapuntal droneyness is well worth a listen on any train line.

Oh the humanity. Tonnes of it on the Beeno this morning. Can't even get a fucking seat and there are school children, spoilt, self entitled progeny of Generation Xstacy who don't get off priority seating for adults because their "parents" haven't taught them real manners. Just like noone will teach them to have an understanding of the profundity and power of music and its vast history because a tinny beat and a buck is all that matters. Well while their poor education keeps me standing on this wonderous locomotive, bouncing about while occasionally making sunglass contact with the other sad drone opposite me who appears to have as much of an aversion to irons as I do. Good for him. I applaud you comrade. He has no idea I'm writing about him.

Anyway once again my listening is interrupted by a diseased nose expression but this morn I take a break from Hildegard  (hail Mary full of grace) for a no less pious piece of Irish fiddling by Martin Hayes accompanied by Dennis Cahill, Live in Seattle, as hipped to me by the ever knowledgeable Kahl Monticone (of Brisbane hitmakers Jive Canyon and The Quartet For The End Of Time which also feature me, yes, me).

Gorgeous soulful playing and a mix of airs and dances which is a little unusual from my Irish fiddle listening experience. Speaking of Airs listen to all of Loren Connors' or I'll come after you.

But I digress, despite my own listening lack of disciplining this is a week in honour of that Hildegard of Bingen, the original sister of mercy, master of harmonies on ancient drones. She probably had views people would be pretty upset with now. Maybe the quietus could write about her in their Nazi infiltration expose. Don't get me wrong I don't like Nazis, but I think this word is bandied about a bit too much. Being a Nazi properly requires a lot of discipline and I don't remember any of these alt-right twats appearing to be about anything other than money and Judeo-Christian conservation, whatever that is. I mean the marriage of Jesus and coin is as old as Constantine, but I imagine a woman like Hildegard who took the veil at a time where it would be the only way for a woman to do anything other than punch out (this is Australian vernacular for "creating in large quantities" not KOing) babies and clean muck and cook, would've been proper disciplined.
Anyway Hildegard's biggest fans have made this exquisite little record named Kiss of Peace boasting some stunningly moving vielle droning and pitch perfect near vibratoless female voices of the most suitably ethereal kind. Think this is the best so far.

Ah Roma street station, rose of the Brisbane city central train circuit, gateway to The Saints' old stomping ground of Petrie Terrace. Hildegard would've liked the Saints if she were a 1970s stones ginger wine sucking suburban punk instead of a medieval nun. Suppose she would've hammered back her fair share of Jesus' blood in her time.

Really sweltering on this locomotive liturgical music gateway today, a Brisbane summer storm brewing that hopefully brings some sort of revelations style outcomes for the shit hole I work in 40 hours a week, amen. I'm jonesing for a full album of Hildegard instrumentals. The album I'm currently sponging up while sweating under my knees boasts an "improvisation". Hopefully it does what it says on the tin.

The death of improvisation in Western classical music is one of the saddest things ever committed to the history books. What colossal fuckwit decided this was no longer appropriate I have no idea. Don't suppose there was a committee but it obviously fell out of fashion, and unlike fluro or lengthy well-kept beards it's never come back, not really anyway. Obviously you might say free improvisation is that coming back with a vengeance but I know most free improvisers would rather not have their practice associated with this  (not me included, controversial). When will this train ride ever end? I frequently improvise inappropriately when playing classical music. In fact it's like my calling card. I highly recommend it. The composers are dead and two world wars traumatically decimated the world order their works were born in. This doesn't make the work worthless, but it makes preserving it, conserving it, thoroughly pointless. 
When searching recordings of Hildegard's works a curious little comp by the Aldi of classical records Naxos called "Music From the Time of the Templars" comes up.

I'm listening to it now, deep in bowels of the 7th locomotive wonder of the world opposite a young man with the kind of moustache you just wish was written into the criminal code somewhere and a shirt with a lobster embroidered on it which I'm pretty sure is some crypto-fascist symbol that'd trigger Antifa into needing some antacid. Speaking of crypto-fascist, Nazis loved the Knights Templar. Wewelsburg castle was designed to resemble elements of a Templar, well, temple and in his not terribly thrilling book (which resulted in this more interesting though more than slightly concerning German documentary) "The Occult Roots of Nazism" Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke gets all worked up about obscure trash occult racists in pre-Nazi Germanic territories including one pre-Hitler who started some secret order dedicated to reviving this era. Maybe that order is behind this recording. I don't really care. The recording itself is actually quite interesting, full of varied Medieval madness both haunting and irritatingly jaunty. As a historical document I suppose this has value, and no doubt Hildegard's bits are beautiful, and hell I love a bit of Medieval, I even threw a Medieval dress up party for my 30th Birthday back when I lived in Accra, disturbing our neighbours with cardboard knights and trans-human jousting tournaments.

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Back to the Templars though whose main purpose really was guarding a so-called holy grail noone has ever seen and killing as many Muslims as they can. So this compilation is basically an NSBM record for polite upper class people I guess. I don't know if Hildegard would've been too keen on that. Her music seems too inward, too spiritual to have been a person concerned with crusades, but she worked for the guys carrying them out. I work for an electricity company, does that mean I caused global warming? The existential crises in the quiet carriage. I quite like stories of secret societies, and dig the way underground bands and artists historically have formed their own (and no not the Nazi ones The Quietus, though that Order of the Nine whatevers you went on about sounds pretty interesting). Maybe if Hildegard had been an industrial goth in early 80s England she'd have been in Thee Temple of Thee Psychick Youth instead Thee Temple of Whatever. Being a nun is pretty kvlt.

Momentarily on the disgusting Gold Coast line listening to a slightly avant-garde take on Hildegard for some ECM release. Finding it largely annoying as I'm not much of a voice-only type anyway, let alone choirs of dissonant, slurring voices. Guess they're going for some improvised take on the Vitutum thingy from earlier in this exciting locomotive listening adventure. Think I'm almost Hildegarded out, thank God tomorrow is Friday.

Light blasted back carriage. For once a school kid got up and let a tired worker sit down. He should be given a medal. Anyway there's something uncomfortable about mentioning children while listening to liturgical mystical chants by Hildegard. A new Hildegard album came out today. I almost trip over in dog shit at the sight of it on my way to board the 7th locomotive wonder of the world. Unfortunately it's just Ordo Virtutum again. I imagine if I wasn't so lazy and actually looked Hildy up again I'd find she has a fairly limited surviving oeuvre, but since I'm a raging Rallizes Denudes fan I don't mind if I hear the same song over and over and over again.

Ah the shitty city skyline, steel phallus temples rising from the gritty brownsnake (Brisbane river) like 1000 plastic cup middens in the guts of a dying whale. Back in ear country the ethereal sounds of Sequentia again and an album with a title that should be recycled by an NSBM band "Celestial Hierarchy".

Fuck off with your hierarchy Hildegard. But the music is beautiful as usual. Lilting simple polyphony, voice and flute, harmonious voices a capella or against organ or vielle drone, ritualistic and at times dark in shade and tone but always of course looking to the light. Voices soar ever up, and fall once more in that human yearning for something higher in conversation with the Gods, always with the beast nipping at your heels. Unless you're Iron Maiden, then you ride the beast into battle or space or some pyramids or some shit. I guess this week has shown me that Hildegard is kind of like the Iron Maiden of medieval polyphony, consistent,  unchanging, but ever reliable in quality. This train ride is interminable but the termination is undesirable, Bowen Hills Station. The crackiest station in central Brisbane, often full of police, sometimes empty, with limited shade but plenty of shadiness.
Beenleigh line you silver rusted graffiti bedecked piece of shit, deliver me home for it is Friday and the weekend is jampacked with Scrapes gigs and shenanigans galore. Being a warm Friday arvo I've decided Hildy ain't gonna cut it so I've decided the brilliant new Makaya McKraven is a better accompaniment while this locomotive lumberjack cleaves another wound into the tracks like the overpriced inordinately slow cunt it is. It really is a fantastic kaleidoscope of grooves and textures this record, and featuring warm cello scrapes at times from Tomeika Reid no less. Horn parps and screams interject and afro-grooves tear all and sundry a new one when it isn't sitting back in boombap. Minimal hiphop infused instrumentals. If only I can beam this into everyone's head on the train, easing their brain while a literal dust storm blows in off what remains of the outback. I'll keep this colossal grooveathon rolling while I acquire liquor and head home and I'll stop writing now because I can no longer be bothered.

Next week on Misanthropic Musicology on The Beenleigh Line: Pauline Oliveros I reckon.
Until then.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018


Several upcoming Scrapes performances in Brisbane ONLY.


AT - Australia Pacific Triennial 9
opening weekend


Brisbane's South Bank.


Performing with a sound installation by YOUKO MOHRI


@ DEAD AIR: Rusted Satellites 10 year anniversary concert



We don't play so often don't miss it.

More info soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon.

Monday, 27 August 2018



B            O                         O                         M                  V                   A       C U            U                         M

Boom Vacuum #11
29 August 2018
The Junk Bar, Ashgrove, Brisbane.

!! first !! birthday !! party !!

~ Richard & Linda
~ Zemzemeh
~ stan k walker group 
~ Carchesio Griswold Monticone Cadell 

$5 on the door.. 
or FREE ENTRY if you've ever played BV before :~}
come celebrate one year of BOOM VACUUM @ the Junk Bar 🍹

'A series of new-music nights that explore the visionary sounds and warm sonic adventurings of Brisbane’s aural undergrowth.. Unexpect the expected.' 

vinyl selections played between acts..
love as usual x

Thursday, 19 July 2018


BOOM Vacuum no. 10

10 .............fucking 10!.............TEN.......................1111111110000000000000000000000000

BOOM! Vacuum 10


Great lineup for this one if I do say so myself....and I do.

We have the Hausband...minus myself and maybe Helen Svoboda too. Minus you say??? Yes because Helen shall be smashing out a no doubt beautiful duo with her brother Simon on cello...cello and double bass duo you say??? You bet. THEN!

You will have yours truly finally throwing a legitimate BUSH SONGS tape party where I will actually have copies of the Soft Abuse released tape (+ a few Scrapes tapes from said label to hand) to sell to all and sundry. I will also likely perform stuff only from that collection of works....though the gig isn't til next Wodensday and I may change my mind by then...guess you'll have to come and hear.

and THEN!?

You'll have a solo exploratory set - as I understand it a very rare one - from Jamie Trevaskis, the proprietor, sound guy and all round legend of Junk Bar and if you're as old as me, Troubadour fame. Both venues crucial sites for the development of forward-thinking motherfuckers (to quote our dear Drood - hope all are as engaged in this month's Cerebration as I) in Brisbane. I believe Jamie mentioned a musical saw would be involved....!!

So that is the next BOOM Vacuum. You probably shouldn't miss it or you'll have to pretend til the day you die that you were cool enough to be there.


Should probably mention the details:

25 JULYThe Junk Bar, Waterworks Rd, Ashgrove7:30pmish$5 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

18 May in Tarbes...AND


Tomorrow night I shall make scraping racket in Tarbes.

Shall be joined by the incredible d'En Haut 

will then be hauled about Bearn by the fantastic PAGANS/Hart Brut crew to hear new sounds, in particular their radical blend of Gasconne folk with experimentation and general heaviness - and as explained below delving back to the psychedelic folk sounds that inspired them -, including lurking about the Musikaren Eguna festival in Ordiarp, Pays Basque with Artus and then finally recording with them for their Laboratori series...

Here's what Thomas Baudoin and the gang had to say about it in French:

Hey ! Adam Cadell, ( vient à notre rencontre durant 5 jours. Échanges et collaborations au programme ! L'explorateur des pratiques de violons dissidents sera notamment en plateau commun avec D'en Haut au CeltiCPuB IsNoTaPuB ce vendredi 18 mai. On passera ensuite un petit moment ensemble au festival Müsikaren Egüna ou nous jouerons avec Artús(le 20 mai à 15h). Et aussi une session d'improvisation enregistrée à La Ferronnerie avec l'idée de vous la partager sur le bandcamp de Pagansprochainement. Il viendra aussi rencontrer Jacques Baudoin, violoneux et ancien membre du groupe Canicula, dont nous rééditons en numérique les vinyles sortis entre 1978 et 1986, toujours sur PAGANS. Que du bonheur

 See you there.

Also THIS! 

Bye for now.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Le 15/05/2018, Concert : Adam Cadell + Danza Cosmos

Le 15/05/2018, Concert : Adam Cadell + Danza Cosmos

Adam Cadell (violon solo, Australie)
Adam est un violoniste itinérant spécialisé dans la découverte des pratiques "underground" de cet instrument, c'est aussi un instrumentiste prolifique et original qui nous fera découvrir une de ses multiples facettes sonores ce soir.

Danza Cosmos (Toulouse)
Laurent Avizou (clarinette) / Heddy Boubaker (guitare) / Youssef Ghazzal (contrebasse)
Il s'agit d'un trio de musique spontanée aux instruments acoustiques ayant pour habitude de s'amplifier - voire se sur-amplifier avec leur version spatialisée guidée par Matthieu Guillin - mais cette fois ci ils présenterons une version 100% acoustique de leur musique, un nouvel univers sonore à découvrir.

20H30 - PAF libre et nécessaire

THAT's right all. That's me above there, performing live in beautiful Toulouse, France. 15/5 at Le Cameleon.

Prior to that I shall be contributing some sounds to the La Rallonge project. 

et apres ca j'avais les autres concerts, including 18/5 at Celtic Pub in Tarbes and more probably to be announced. Keep thine eyes peeled.

Sunday, 29 April 2018


Purchase digital direct through Bandcamp and support direct to moi. Otherwise tape avail at Soft Abuse.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Vacuuming the BOOM

BOOOOMMMM Vacuuuummmmm numero sept is upon us.

Don't miss it. 1900, 25 April, Brisbane.

I will miss it as I'm New York working with ... and drinking margarita out of a can...which is disgusting.

Out very shortly
Also here

You will see me here in NY too on stage with GNAW.

See you in Southern France soon.

More to come....

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Bush Songs Imminent Release

Hello all and sundry,

BUSH SONGS is now up for digital pre-order on my own Bandcamp. I'm about to get out travelling again... Seeking inspiration and honing the skills and also enjoying a holiday largely, though you may catch me somewhere between NYC and the heart of Occitania. In NY shall be spending time once more with Henry Flynt, picking over the world of violin technique and history and looking at his incredible body of work for violin.
Then I shall be in the shadow of the mountains in France....

All of this activity could be helped out by you all, so think about making a pre-order purchase through me directly. You can also of course pre-order the cassette and digital dl via SOFT ABUSE RECORDS as well which I highly recommend. Tapes are limited to 100 and will disappear fast!

BOOM Vacuum will continue in my absence with the April edition including a solo performance of Tony Irving who will premiere his new concussion guitar to all within hearing range. DO NOT MISS.

For any Brisbaners you shall be able to catch me before disappearing this Weds night on stage with Jive Canyon at THIS EVENT.

Until then...

Monday, 26 March 2018

Wednesday 28 March BRIS

Hello All,

BOOM Vacuum #6 is upon us

28 March
The Junk Bar, Waterworks rd, Ashgrove Brisbane


~Vanessa Tomlinson & Samuel Pankhurst
~Scaredy Snake
~E. Carchesio / A. Cadell / T. Irving / A. Saragossi

'A series of new-music nights that explore the visionary sounds and warm sonic adventurings of Brisbane’s aural undergrowth.. Unexpect the expected.'

$5 @ the door
vinyl selections played between acts.

Find some ear treasure here..

Friday, 23 March 2018

Tonight! Adam Cadell solo


So tonight:

24 March
Juggler's Art Space, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

ADAM CADELL (solo and acoustic)
Burlap Sax


Saturday, 24 February 2018

A Tale of Two Events


26 Feb at The Bearded Lady, West End, Brisbane - PRECURSOR #1 feat: Adam Cadell/Josh Tait duo     I N F OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

 What JOsh and I get up to


B O   O   M             V  A  CUUMMMM                     #5  28 FEB @ THE JUNK BAR, ASHGROVE, BRISBANE............................7:30PM

First one for 2018 featuring the usual house band of JIVE CANYON + Eugene Carchesio and Mr Erik Griswold 

But also a host of great underground weirdos as usual and of course at the mighty JUNK BAR. Back on every final Weds of every month. Get down there!


Do not miss any of this. Of course next week then there's the excellent Upper Partialism and some more exciting gigs and celebrations upcoming from there. 

See you there.