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Black Mercury Lloyd W Barrett - listening notes

Black Mercury album by Lloyd W Barrett
https://secretkillerofnames.bandcamp.com/album/black-mercury
(listening notes)

the album begins with a sound of the future, blade runner style. continues with sounds picturing cinematic wide-swept scenes. openness. there's a lightness underlying these songs that I'm really enjoying. & some interesting sounds in Imposter Syndrome - finished too soon. full-bodied, layered.

oh beauty. 'cloud refuge'

oh gorgeous "the Church of Enlightened Disinterest"

Agbogbloshie. so lush. mixed with sparks of electricity

it's been on repeat all evening (random & in order)

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Postfolkrocktronica Picnic

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Postfolkrocktronica Picnic, with FBi's Utility Fog

thanks to the organizers and artists who played. I arrived a bit late so missed the first couple of performances. loved the venue - so many textures, such a great warehouse & view from the island. and the sound was great. nice to see Raven & Ollie Bown - I'd only heard some of Icarus' cds and music on Utility Fog so it was great to see how he makes his music. interesting to hear that he programs code for it too. and wow, Pimmon! that sounded different to other times I've seen him play. loved it. so atmospheric, and even a bit industrial in there as well. and I do believe he was even dancing a bit! :)

some photos @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/aliak_com/sets/72157628156997103 (ferry, outpost, performances)

videos :
raw clips - unedited

Postfolkrocktronica Picnic #69 http://youtu.be/IzIgP5hE6UU ::: Raven

Hunter & Mortar - Fear and Loathing

Hunter & Mortar - Fear and Loathing—a few words with Hunter SBX about his new album with Mortar—this was originally an article for ozhiphop.com : article in forum & on http://officialozhiphop.tumblr.com. by AliaK 31/05/2011. Thanks very much to Hunter for taking the time to answer my rambling questions

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Hunter (SBX) - The Words

Hunter (SBX) - The Words

reflections on Hunter’s first three albums
"Done DL" Hunter and Dazastah (2002)
"Going Back to Yokine" Hunter (solo album) (2006)
"Monster House" Hunter and DJ Vame (2010)

When Walter Benjamin said in 1936 that "the art of storytelling is coming to an end" - due to the rise of the printed novel and the lowering value of experience - it is clear to see he didn't anticipate the later rise of the hip hop emcee to partly revive this craft in our modern world. In all of his albums, Hunter shows his skills as a wonderful storyteller - in the traditional meaning of the term - sharing with the listener the stories from his life. Of course, not all the stories are happy, but all have an undercurrent of hope to them. There are tales of growing up, getting into trouble and later returning to his hometown of Yokine, Perth in the songs "Adolescence", "Going Back To Yokine" and "Yokine (Drugs + Crime)". These are stories of self-discovery, and of changing his life - giving up old ways that were not working for him and focusing on music, rapping and a hip hop infused life instead. "What I Do Best" has the feeling of "coming home" to a community of supporting people and finding your place in the world. There are stories of mateship and the value of community with his Syllabolix (SBX) family and crew. There are stories of having children and the specialness that can bring to one's life in "Ultrasound" and "Kids of the Future". Also, there are stories born from remembered advice from his father littering his rhymes - as it seems his Dad is always close to his thoughts and words - "Kids of the Future", "The Big Issue", "Me Old Man".

Hunter has great comedic sense too - with the songs about relationships bouncing along at a steady pace. The stories of lust, the virility of youth and some of his experiences with women are some of his more popular songs. In these songs, which he describes as “nothing nice”, he tells of the women’s role in the tales. Often these stories are the most explicit, in language and description, yet there’s an undercurrent of humour to them, often hinted by the light and playful melodies that waft over the beat, which leads me to think perhaps they shouldn’t be taken too seriously at their word. The stories of relationship breakdowns and coping mechanisms in “Never Trust a Woman” are as tense as the subjects, and show that we often end up hurting those we love the most. “Coming Home” is a song about making mistakes and some of the consequences, and suggests (to me) that it’s related to “Zed”.

“Zed” is the most powerful and emotive song on his albums so far. He describes the depths of despair—taking yet another fall, thoughts of suicide, and saying good-bye. Hunter’s rapping style changes during this song—to a softer tone, almost spoken word—the enthusiasm has left his voice, to match the sombre words he is sharing with us. Upon first listen I wasn’t sure if it was him rhyming—I had to check the album liner notes to confirm—he sounds very dislocated from his normal voice and self.


I’m not even sure if I was meant for this place
so after I’m gone, please let them know
that I didn’t want to feel pain
I didn’t want to cause it
so I had to go
couldn’t swim against the flow
kept getting sucked down to the depths below
where the sun don’t even show
not even a distant glow
and we all need some sunlight to grow
it’s like a chain hanging round my neck, dragging me down
after a week you probably won’t even notice I’m not around
I used to love the sound
of waves crashing down
I want to get so lost that I can never be found
under the ground
or maybe high in the sky
nobody knows where we go when we die
so I guess this is good-bye

Hunter ponders “The Big Issue”—a mixture of his own thoughts with some long-remembered advice from his father on how to live your life, and how to cope with what life brings. There are words on pain and what it means, and of course, his ideas on the meaning of “The Big Issue”. The lyrics in this song show a higher level of consciousness, connecting the soul and mind to the heart,

I want to hear the sound of people supporting
The soul is the emotional organ
your brain has got the thought in
your heart feels the distortion
where your mouth keeps talking
and your legs keep walking
pain is just a warning, a caution
and everybody gets served a portion

The powerful and moving “Say a Prayer” says thanks to the “best friends a man could have“. It also sounds like a message for his son and those close to him—it’s at once an apology, confession and explanation of his life. For me, this is one of his best songs—Hunter has summarised his life and beliefs in these few stanzas—he has distilled his life into this one song—and shows the spiritual side of his self in a subtle and beautiful way. Be prepared to shed a few tears over this song.

please, understand what I tried to do
is be strong enough to walk alongside with you
. . .
you know I made mistakes, too many to mention
now I need to be forgiven without condition or question
my confession, yes, I made a fucken mess
but I wanna get it back to become one of the best
and I’ve been blessed
with the best of friends a man could have
and I damn should have
thanked them before this time
so I’ve gotta take the time
in the middle of this rhyme
to say Thanks
. . .
I try to do the right thing
and time and again
I keep fucking it up
and I really don’t know when
I’m going to get it back
on the right track
and I’m sorry to you all
but I want you to know that
I forgive myself
‘cause I found the connection
that forgiveness and atonement leads to redemption
every second, every step and every breath
brings us one step closer to death
and what’s next
do you love the life you live
and do you live the life of love
and is that going to be enough
to get you going, through the times ahead
because it’s going to get rougher like the Good Book says
I had a revelation, that God will move Heaven and Earth
and we’ll all get exactly what we deserve
in the end,
will Kharma be a foe or friend
please Say A Prayer
as the dark descends

Hunter writes from the soul—he shares his soul with those who listen—especially with those who listen to more than just the upbeat, party songs. There have been ups and downs in his life-story, just as there have been in each of his listener’s lives. The difference is, that Hunter’s life is laid out for all to hear in his rhymes as he contemplates life, and the experiences of his life. This reminds me of the lines highlighted by David Toop, in Seamus Heaney’s poem “Personal Helicon” which are uttered as the subject looks at himself in the reflection of water at the bottom of a well: “I rhyme / To see myself, to set the darkness echoing”. (2010: 134)

David Byrne in Auckland

David Byrne performed in Auckland at ASB Theatre - Aotea Centre last night, 14th Feb 2009, as part of his "Songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno" world tour. I loved the show. The musicians, backup singers and David Byrne all wore white. The lighting was a series of subtle background colours changing for effect in different songs. Byrne chatted with the audience who shouted comments to him & showed their appreciation with loud applause.

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e/i magazine

e/i magazine was a print magazine from 2003 - 2006. from 2007 onwards, it has become an online magazine only. the publisher describes the magazine as "e/i was an attempt to establish on the newsstand what I hoped would be the most comprehensive, definitive, intelligently written and artfully designed magazine covering all manners of music electronic, experimental and otherwise.

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TransAcoustic Festival, Auckland, 8th-11th December 2005 - (casual) review

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Here's a rough review of TransAcoustic Festival held in Auckland in December 2005. It is actually comprised of a couple of emails sent to the aus_noise yahoogroups mail list and the audio foundation NZ mail list, so is casual / informal in manner & language. (but I like it this way!)

I've added joel stern's review which was also posted to aus_noise. he wrote a formal piece for RealTime magazine also which is available @ http://www.realtimearts.net/rt71/stern_transacoustic.html

reading notes "Where you're at" by Patrick Neate (notes from the frontline of a hip hop planet)

I've just finished reading "Where you're at - notes from the frontline of a hip hop planet" by Patrick Neate. I thought it was a great book - sometimes he went off on a few tangents, but they provided interesting background information on the context of the hip hop communities in the different cities covered in the book. I'm now re-reading/skimming through it to post up some notes on sections I found most thought provoking. Much of the underlying thread of the book is about the cultural misappropriation of hip hop.

from Part One: New York
page 30

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