I scream when I close the curtains, just silently, I have a little fit at the cloth.

Inside the flat, when I pass the front door I give it the finger.

I drum frantically, alone in the toilets, hyped up on work.

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Art, reading, writing

I’ve been out to the shops to buy some books and magazines to try and get back into Art.

One thing I had forgotten about it was how expensive buying all this stuff is. Better find a library that holds this stuff.

I picked up a copy of Theory in Contemporary Art: From 1985 to the Present to start with. I dithered over whether to get this or New Philosophy for New Media which looked like a book in my area of interest but Theory seemed to be better value and easier to read.

I can’t help but think that this is a really naive thing to do, getting back into Art will be better accomplished in other ways than just buying the requisite books. But to be honest I’m not really sure what to do, I’m just feeling my way.

I also bought Frieze and Map magazines. Frieze was always a bit too eclectic when it first started. I subscribed for a number of years but it never really dealt with things that I was particularly interested in. This edition, though, has some kind of review of how many people think art has changed. Nothing like a sound-bite for an easy read. I got Map for no other reason than that it just looked interesting.

UPDATE: How about that, Map is “the new contemporary art magazine from Scotland.” They have a slightly ropey website, not the best navigation.

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musical mentors

in the last post I mentioned that there had been a number of people at certain stages of my life who had formed my musical preferences in a very apparent way. They would be (in roughly chronological order):-

My parents (classical music) (age 0):-

  • Beethoven

Aron (Belgian New Beat/Goth/other) (age 16):-

  • Front 242
  • Nitzer Ebb
  • Leather Nun
  • Fields of the Nephilim
  • Sisters of Mercy
  • Mike Oldfield

Adrian (new wave/post-punk) (age 17):-

  • New Order
  • Joy Division
  • REM

Jason (electronica) (age 22):-

  • Autechre
  • Scanner
  • The Black Dog

joy division – new order – skalpel

new music Friday.

Just got these in the post from rough trade:-

I’ve been into New Order for years, I was introduced to them by my friend Adrian, I think, who was one of those people who formed my musical taste at a particular time of my life (18 in this case). (Subject for another post).

This was at the time of the release of True Faith and the Substance compilation (1987). I knew and had loved Blue Monday, one of only a few tracks that would energise me into dancing at parties as soon as the hyper-distinctive intro beat kicked in. And on listening to Substance I realised that there were a number of other singles that I had liked over the years but hadn’t realised were by New Order, so Substance was something of a revelation for me.

A Summer job working as a data cruncher and trainee drafter for a local architect – left alone, one-finger-typing local authority data into a DOS prompt – the radio playing what I now know to be Bizarre Love Triangle (1986).

Later Adrian lent me a tape of Joy Division material which didn’t strike the same chord with me but I quite liked the driving bass and drums of some of the songs (oh yes, Warsaw!).

I’ve been through two copies of Substance now and was hoping to get it on CD with it’s recent re-release but I missed it before it went out of print (apparently). But with New Order winning the godlike genius award they’ve released Singles to add to their list of compilations, so I’m happy to listen to that.

However, Substance wasn’t just about being a compilation of New Order’s singles. It was a) the twelve-inche versions mostly, which physically are lovely objects, so substantial compared to singles, and b) the concept of one tape holding a-sides and a second holding the b-sides was a great concept. It brought the b-side into parity with the a-side; from what seemed to be an after-thought in most bands minds, to a special track in it’s own right; given that many of New Order’s b-sides were alternate mixes of the a-side, gave the track a whole new meaning.

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