The Stringed Theory
Artist: The Stringed Theory
Album: Universal Relativity
When the site blew up last year much was lost - dissolved like light into the blinding hole of webspace. One thing that I've been meaning to re-up was this short review of a gorgeous (and free) record from last year so...
The Stringed Theory is the project of Dustin Frelich who projects his warm pulses and fuzzy drones into space out of California - but releases music on the Web-only label Stadtgruen, a German label which, with no recourse to the piss-taking masses, pitches itself boldly into the fray with a manifesto that seeks to explore the divisions between culture and nature and is named after the urban green spaces of Berlin. Frelich's own project is remarkably apposite to this in that it utilises the language of particle physics and the medium of electronics to create what is essentially a sound full of soothing bucolic warmth. It's difficult to listen to this album, especially loud with headphones, and not feel a certain enveloping heat-haze fall over you, or to feel buoyed up by a real sense of pulsing levitation. In many respects ;i>Universal Relativity feels (and it is an album that you absorb as much as hear) close to the textures the shoegaze bands explored at the beginning of the early 90s - not so much the raw volume of My Bloody Valentine but the sonic cave cathedrals of the very early Verve recordings, or what Slowdive were trying to do with Pygmalion: it has a similar sense of dynamic space and at times it feels like the surface of drones and oscillations are going to part and reveals obscure nascent songs. A gorgeous album. And to top it all, it's available as a free download from the label.
Download: The Stringed Theory - Universal Relativity
Mountain*7 - for the person with nothing better to do
The drifting white downy clouds are to the landsman what sails on the sea are to him that dwells by the shore,—objects of a large, diffusive interest. When the laborer lies on the grass or in the shade for rest, they do not much tax or weary his attention. They are unobtrusive. I have not heard that white clouds, like white houses, made any one’s eyes ache. They are the flitting sails in that ocean whose bound no man has visited. They are like all great themes, always at hand to be considered, or they float over us unregarded. Far away they float in the serene sky, the most inoffensive of objects, or, near and low, they smite us with their lightnings and deafen us with their thunder. We know no Ternate nor Tidore grand enough whither we can imagine them bound. There are many mare’s-tails to-day, if that is the name. What would a man learn by watching the clouds? The objects which go over our heads unobserved are vast and indefinite. Even those clouds which have the most distinct and interesting outlines are commonly below the zenith, somewhat low in the heavens, and seen on one side. They are among the most glorious objects in nature. A sky without clouds is a meadow without flowers, a sea without sails. Some days we have the mackerel fleet. But our devilishly industrious laborers rarely lie in the shade. How much better if they were to take their nooning like the Italians, relax and expand and never do any work in the middle of the day, enjoy a little Sabbath in the middle of the day.
From Henry David Thoreau's Journal - 24th June 1852
We Were Promised Jetpacks (photo by thomas hermoso)
More blistering, effortlessly great straight head guitar music from Scotland. Which isn't damning with faint praise as much as stating the obvious. We Were Promised Jetpacks (which might just be the best/worst name binary at the moment - inspired and trying to hard all at once) have got a template for sure - partly Postcard jangle, part tight-sprung Blondie rhythms (it's in that insistent tst-tst-tst of the hi-hat) - but much like their peers Frightened Rabbit they transcend their influences with sheer emotional force. There's nothing on release as yet, and their only EP was a freebie given out at gigs which is certainly elusive (if anyone has a copy and wants to trade or whatever then get in touch!) but the few songs that are out there are well worth tracking down. This track, 'Moving Clocks Run Slow,' is over at Paper Thin Walls - reviewed by...yes, Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit.
Download:We Were Promised Jetpacks - Moving Clocks Run Slow
Listen: We Were Promised Jetpacks - Moving Clocks Run Slow
Nothing is as vast as empty things - Francis Bacon
Ten thousand years in the future, long after the Côte d’Azur had been abandoned, the first explorers would puzzle over these empty pits, with their eroded frescoes of tritons and stylised fish, inexplicably hauled up the mountainsides like aquatic sundials or the altars of a bizarre religion devised by a race of visionary geometers - JG Ballard
More abandoned swimming pools at Polar Inertia
Iain Sinclair (picture by Simon Crubellier)
I've been wondering about the transcript of this for some time, and now I see from the mighty Ballardian that it's finally appeared - Iain Sinclair and Will Self discussing the relative merits and histories of Psychogeography at the V&A. It's a mess, but an engaging, intruiging mess, with Self getting buried under the usual Sinclair blizzard - who is becoming the consumate orator. On some level it's odd that Sinclair has accepted Self's popularising of the psychogeography tag, as he's been scathing of it, and him, in the past. But what I think this points to is a tacit acknowledgement that the psychogeographic movement, in its latest incarnation at least, has reached some kind of end-point and will shortly disappear underground once more, the haunt of edge-worriers and tunnel-creepers, which to be fair is what Sinclair has always been anyway. Where Sinclair goes from here is anyone's guess - his book on Hackney, his lifeswork one supposes, is out next year...
Also from Sinclair - this scabrous rant in the latest LRB about the Olympic Park complex in the East End.
This is East London, four years short of that 17-day corporate extravaganza, the ‘primary strategic objective’ to which we are all so deeply mortgaged.