Back here after a very long spell away…  Lots of ideas and plans for this blog but time will tell.

Been playing around with Ableton Live recently and liked this video by Robert Koch showing how he messes around with sounds and micro-edits beats.


Special Treats

Off to the shipping agent today to pick up my long-awaited copy of Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon’s new novel, labelled ‘psychedelic noir’:

It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists.

In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there . . . or . . . if you were there, then you . . . or, wait, is it . . .

Amazon has a playlist Pynchon chose to exemplify the story and setting and you can also hear the man himself introducing the work below:

Check out the Wiki for more Inherent Vice fun.

I found this on Peter Serafinowicz‘s excellent site. Its has some beautifully choice turns of phrase and extremely odd intonational patterns.  Example:  ‘Without lingering we put some citric juice… Be careful not to make gruel… you should seek to muster certain elegance…’

Please Note: the video originally linked to here has been removed ‘due to terms of use violation‘… sorry.  I’m not sure whose terms of whose use were violated by whom but I do not support violation in any form.

Try this instead:


The earliest known complete copy of the Greek New Testament has been made available here. The book is housed in the British Library and it has always blown me away whenever I’ve been to see it – whatever my personal views on the religion it codifies.  In fact, if you are in London and haven’t gone to the John Ritblat Gallery, then go.  If you have any affection for books, history or human knowledge then do yourself a favour and go bask in the glow of those pages.  And if not, then you can always go and sneer at them (quietly).

Anyhow, this development will give scholars the ability to examine the manuscript from anywhere in the world and is definitley a ‘good thing.’

Albín Brunovský

By Albín Brunovský

I was flickering through my Google Reader feeds, trying vainly to catch up and struggling beneath an informational avalanche when I saw a shaft of light through the trees and found THIS.

Above is a sample of the kind of things that are showcased – forgotten books and their illustrators.


Thanks to DarkRoastedBlend for pointing me there.

After a long hiatus, I have once again received a prime piece of inexplicable nonsense in my spam folder.  With some careful copying and plain text conversion I have rendered it into a harmless yet intriguingly weird poem.

I hate spam, but it’s nice when you can use recycle it into ‘art’ – very green.

Spam Poem

lower avow agog maths
poem haggle pinto dingo!
dagger brooch
maths proem
puddle yawl put dance!
toss toss khan scrap!
hoary dangles today’s khan!
legal tother hern footer!
vouch egress.

scrap sadism shapen alert!
proem juicy footer maths!
terse paid tother abbess!
sultry hackee boh drat?
scrap proem
dalle virile planer schism
maths tendon
parish drag maths haggle?
avow filth.

abbess link laser
telly boh
entail virile
common furore juicy drag?
abbess pirn patio spur?
brooch shapen boh smug.

pinto amines today
legal link
smug si lower focal!
yawl dago juicy
footer paid potto si!
idly stable uptake
brooch amines alert tendon!
paid solar
drill paid damme put?
footer khan.

drat pinto regard proem?
winy argue spur tother!
egress virus parish shapen!
sweet spur
legal sweet sadism planer!
asthma braky
comity virile avow.
pant haggle terse.
sadism whack patio idly!
uptake drill trader.
diver bane parish regard!
metope khan drag regard!
emote lower lemon haggle.

scrap proem pirn avow?
metope idly idly egress.
planer sadism scrap.
riven riven hackee sadism.
vouch common.
maths tower yawl abbess?
metope damme pirn.
hackee parish tower.

legal joy hackee legal!
legal sadism
metope sleigh regard virus?
emote metope focal ennui
focal drag smug virus!
sultry tother proem
solar filth pirn egress?
abbess entail.

joy sinewy lemon haggle!
scrap drat terse
common sleigh sinewy dagger.
drat stable comity
pirn loss link smug
hern proem quid hoary
trader comity winy pant?
hern whack proem robin
joy quid regard pirn!

terse winy
filler sultry quid
breezy patio ennui idly?
pinto haggle uptake
terse paid camera quid!
puddle link planer
focal planer scrap winy.
argue put lory.

shapen winy lower
sultry diver
damme jocose
alert loss
idly sultry agog
infer argue drill pirn!
mute egress planer toss?
egress virile.

furore footer
hunch si dalle hern!
lemon lory agog joy
alert put entail furore
damme infer today schism?
paid abbess quid lory!
comity infer juicy
diver smug camera solar.

I haven’t been able to get this video out of my head and it makes me chuckle periodically as I recall it. Genius!

Having been shelling out for .Mac/Mobile Me account for the past few years I thought it was about time I really made the most of the storage and facilities, so I’ve been working on a new website to house my favourite photos and my music videos in one place.

The full web address is:

Here is a dub track I whipped up to back this charming little feature of our cat Skarzor and new puppy Jack messing about in the garden.  They are best friends and spend much of the day chasing each other and playing, when they aren’t eating or sleeping. What a life.

This mix is quite dry-sounding (forgot the reverb on the drum track) but I rather like it like that.  The bass is from a set of Garageband reggae apple loops mixed and matched together and the drums are from Ultrabeat’s Classic Dub 01 preset, which is simply marvellous.  The daft vocal samples come from the ever wonderful folks at Loopmasters.  Check out their ‘Movie Dialogue’ collections. It’s been done a million times but I still love it. Cliche chic.

I made a better master of this track last night but I probably won’t post it (unless an online petition is set up begging me to with at least a billion signatories).  Instead I have decided to work on a complete dub album – maybe I’ll have it ready to inflict on the unsuspecting at Yuletide.

PS – I STILL don’t know how to type accents on a Mac. How tragic.

Ancient Ostrich Worship

Ancient Ostrich Worship

Charles, Duke of Lorraine by blood, was known to have once been in love with an ostrich, that was said to have belonged to his cousin Louis, the one-time King of Toulouse.  Could this have been the same Louis who may have been the mysterious author of the Nine Laws of the Lords of Light?  It was at least an intriguing possibility.  And if Louis was indeed the real author then this might explain why Charles never appears in any verifiable document known to historians.  In that case, we reasoned, the ‘Lords of Light’ must clearly be a code-name for the Masons, whose secret symbol we believed to have been a monk riding an ostrich.

The pieces of the puzzle were beginning to fall into place, but their implications were so explosively staggering in their incredible magnitude that we remained hesitant and skeptical.  Surely, we argued, if a secret alternate society of ostrich-riding masons were truly behind everything significant in history then there would at least be some kind of evidence.  But that was where we were wrong.

On October 17 1978 (a date whose symbolic significance escaped us at the time) we received an anonymous phone call from a man referring to himself only as ‘The Ostrich’.  After telling us his code name he said one word – ‘Austria’ – then hung up.

This seemingly innocuous central European toponym hit all of us like a thunderbolt as we scrambled for the Britannica.  Could it be mere coincidence that the word ‘Ostrich’ has the same basic semantic structure as the word ‘Osterreich’ (the Austrian for Austria)? Or that this word could possibly be translated as ‘The Eastern Empire’ (i.e. the Austro-Hungarian/Holy Roman Empire)? Furthermore, is not the East well-known as the source of many an exotic mystery? And, is the ostrich in fact not symbolically congruent with the ‘mythical’ roc, or phoenix, the magical bird that is able to resurrect itslef from the ashes?  In fact, is it not at least possible that the ostrich is a thinly-veiled reference to Jesus, who is well-known to have spent his formative years in the East (-ost = Host/Holy Ghost) learning secret teachings?

So what lay in wait for us in Austria?  What enormous secret, too monumental to reveal was veiled beneath the vaults of Vienna?  We got on the next train from Paris and sat right at the front.

[So I’m reading The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and the whole thing is like this.  Got to finish it though so I can at least say I’ve read it, rather than slag it off by hearsay, and it is quite entertaining].

July 2018
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