WTM #1076: Shifting Tropes

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3
Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies
14 December 2009 // 16.30-18.30
The trajectory started when I was on the roof of our house looking out at a swamp when I was 19. I had written for several years, starting at about 15, but that day on the roof I took my vows and acknowledged my calling.”
Jim Harrison

Brutalist Sun Tribe > Arklight [Shadowed Features / myspace.com/arklightgochu]
Berlin > Jonas Braasch [Global Reflections / Deep Listening ]
Guten Tag, Wie Gehts > Sibylle & Peter Sänger [Guten Tag / Teleac]
Les Clochards sont les Millionnaires du Soleil > Norscq / [Gelatinosa Substancia / Staubgold ]
Zoetrope > Lerner, Brubeck & Fraser [Ugly Beauties / Ambiences Magnetiques ]
Les yeux des Calamars Avaient quelque Chose > Norscq [Gelatinosa Substancia / Staubgold  ]
M-Berlin > Helene Provost [Musicworks 104 / SOCAN ]
+ Heart Sounds [various] > Leo Pharmaceutical
En ce Temps-la, sa tete abritait > Norscq [Gelatinosa Substancia / Staubgold ]
Chime, Chime [Re-Rung] > Philip Jeck [Musicworks 104 / SOCAN ]
Sa que se leva en meme temps que son desespoir > Norscq [Gelatinosa Substancia / Staubgold ]
Song for Electricity > Zea [Zea Super Cosmotics 45 / Makkum ]
The Invisible Frame > Simon Fisher Turner [Music From Films You Should Have Seen /Optical Sound ]
Falling Free > Curve vs Aphex Twin [ 26 Mixes for Cash / Warp]
Kalimba Duo > Rainer Wiens & Thom Gossage [Musicworks 103 / SOCAN www.soundworks.ca]
At the Heart of it All > Nine Inch Nails vs Aphex Twin [ 26 Mixes for Cash / Warp]
Il est vrai  que les douces amertumes de la nostalgie > Norscq [Gelatinosa Substancia / Staubgold  ]
Blue Monday > Nouvelle Vague [Bande a Part / PIAS ]
Britsum Chorale > Frances-Marie Utti [Musicworks 103 / SOCAN ]
En fait nager, manger, baiser etainsi revenir a la realité > Norscq [Gelatinosa Substancia / Staubgold  ]
+ Heart Sounds [various] > Leo Pharmaceutical
Hulot A Vélo, Guepe, Poteau [Jour De Fête] > Jean Yatove / Jacques Tati
The Captain > Band of Holy Joy [A Lucky Thief in a Careless World / Radio Joy ]
Aux Balcons Des Milliardaires > Un Drame Musical Instantané
Il y avait en elle quelque chose de gracieux, bien que > Norscq [Gelatinosa Substancia / Staubgold]
Sweetback’s Theme > Earth, Wind & Fire [Superbad / Warner]
Dancing With Myself > Nouvelle Vague [Bande a Part / PIAS]
Charming > Mankind [Ice Machine / Ambiences Magnetiques ]

Sometimes you just don’t have a lot of time to be putting together an involved radio show based on theme and precise segues. This leads to an impulsive grab of CDs both old and new, some weird vinyl [maybe even a cassette] and you try to make sense of it as a kind of abstract sonic narrative. Of course, once inside the PTP bunker you are forced to contend with near siege-like conditions and the likelihood that it has been bombed by whatever lowlifes have done shows over the weekend. This means reinventing the entire soundboard and all the cables and plugins etc. just to get things running again. Some claim that this keeps your brain active and young, while others say the anxiety and frustration only make you tired, headachy and grumpy… I guess it all depends on the night’s sleep and the wine I have on hand and how much my mind is able to brace and cope with the situation. Certainly one of the differences between doing radio at WFMU and at Radio Libertaire / Radio 100 / Radio Patapoe is that a bottle of wine partially imbibed does not overstep any regulations nor hinder radio-making in general.

I played Arklight, which comes from an inscrutable noise art background, the sons of a good comrade of mine. They have already produced a certain hyper-active ouevre, developed a kind of secret language that is meant to confound all but the passionate and the cognoscenti, trying to make sense out of abstract noise somewhere between Ayler, Sonic Youth, Merzbow and, of course, younger inspirations who ignore melody, rhythm, pathos, harmony to come up with something even more askew than asymmetry, something that sounds like it came from another galaxy, like the sound of being absorbed into a black hole – no regrets, no sympathies, no cocktails.

Norscq I have admired since the late 1980s as a member of the northern france industrial rock band the Grief. He is now one of France’s premier musician/producers who gets music to sound – profound – in a way I can only compare to A. Sherwood or someone of that caliber. On this CD he pays tribute to the writing of Jim Harrison, Michigan outsider writer, inspired here by the[French-translated] novel Warlock. Harrison sometimes reminds me of Hemingway as a survivor in a post-industrial forgotten part of left-over nature. Like Knut Hamsun with his hands on some drugs. His novels have a Hemingway-like quality to them but then with more psychosomatic and psychic spin, things devolve even out here in the land forgotten by the world. This CD captures the almost naturalistic surrealism or magical realism of Harrison’s work.

The wonderful thing about no restrictions, no boundaries is that the weirdest combinations of musicians have to rub shoulders, and share grooves, which leads to surprises, which leads to revelations, which leads to moments of spiritual uplift [almost!] and that is as close as I get to religion. These consist of moments of musical/sonic incomprehensibility which have to do with the technical aspects of a radio studio always in some level of decay and metamorphosis, the strange pile of discs grabbed to make some sense of it all. You wonder why you continue, it is like I am carrying secret codes that can only be comprehended if the right records, CDs, sounds are mixed just right. Sometimes these mixes speak to me, sometimes they take over and drag me along in directions I had no idea existed. This is the magic of free radio.

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