ELECTROTONIC 1000 – ‘Action Potential’

Record companies are dead-they just refuse to lay down.

The last three influential musical ‘movements’ (punk, hip-hop and acid) have all advocated the D-I-Y ethic-you can make a record and distribute it without having to grovel to a major label. As an old-school punk-rocker who still believes that ideas, wit and excitement are more important than technical ability, a massive marketing budget and kissing the right arseholes this has always been very appealing. In the old (pre-Internet) days the majors had several jobs, all of which we can now do for ourselves-making the record, manufacturing the record, distributing the record, and promoting the record. All these things used to cost money, your money which would all come out of your £1,000,000 advance.

I made this record at home, using software I bought new for less than £40.

I don’t need to manufacture a hard copy except for maybe vanities sake.

The internet puts my music into cyberspace, avoiding the need of getting records into shops.

Promotion I am only learning about as I go along. At the minute the album is available on BandCamp for FREE DOWNLOAD and all the tracks are on Youtube.

As you are no doubt aware I have very little musical skill-I can play drums and am teaching myself piano but that has no effect on the music I created-all the tracks were created on a PC using loops and samples.

It isn’t important whether the music is any good (obviously I cannot judge that but I will say that it at least sounds okay)), but what is important is that it demonstrates the internet returns creative control back to musicians and artists. I have had to make NO compromises to make this record, and if I were confident that I wanted to sell it (which was not the point anyway) I have the means to do that and it would be all MY profit. I am happy with the record I have made-it represents my musical ability (none), and technical know-how (I can barely open a file), but it is the best record I could make given my resources (Acid Music Studio), budget (ha!), and enthusiasm (limitless) and even though I recognise its failings, I am hugely proud of it. It is my version of a punk record-ideas over technique.

ANYONE can do this-I did it to prove a point, not for fame and riches (just as well, considering). You can make exactly the type of music you want to, distribute it yourself, and someone, somewhere will like it. So why are you still reading this…..?

P.S. If anyone DOES download the album and doesn’t get the front and back covers, send me an e-mail and I’ll send it to you….

(Written to: ‘New York Noise (Dance Music From The NY Underground 1978-82)’ – VARIOUS, ‘Colourful Vibrations’ – KROMESTAR, ‘Anthology’ – SALSOUL ORCHESTRA)

THE BEATLES – The Word – Ghetto Funk Allstars Captain Remix

Popular Beat-Combo Given 21-st Century Tune-Up

There are people who say that you can’t mess around with The Beatles‘ music: that the songs are holy artefacts, separate from, yet ruling over the entire history of Pop Music and that this position is not open to question. Can I state right here, for the record, that these people are idiots. The entire Beatles musical journey was one of taking their influences from EVERYWHERE , from basic 3-chord rock ‘n’ roll, country & western and rockabilly, through to more ‘high-brow’ art, such as Bach and William Burroughs, and putting their unique Beatles-spin on it. Pop Music develops by taking the past, twisting it, and sending it off into the future: this is its purpose, and how it evolves.

Which brings us here.

This is a great re-mix. It keeps the basic structure of the original, and enhances the elements which made it great in the first place-McCartney‘s killer bass-line, and the Lee Dorsey-style piano riff. It works to demonstrate the skill of the remixer and to bring out the brilliance of the original. Past meets Present and becomes The Future-dig?

OSYMYSO – Intro inspection 101

The History Of Pop Music…in less time than it takes to have a bath.

The life of a music fan is (hopefully, if you’re doing it right) one of tiny epiphanies: realisations that you have suddenly been opened up to genres/albums/bands which you had no previous knowledge, or maybe even actively shunned. These minute Damascene moments are what keeps us interested and passionate about music-they are what keep us fans. Each particular revelation is personal to each listener, and is irrelevant of taste, knowledge, and fashionability – it just works at that particular time and place, and opens up brand new areas to be explored (often at great financial cost, hours of searching through specialist shops and sites, and then more time spent as a listener). I remember vividly walking into a record store and hearing Rockbox by Run DMC at ASBO-level volume and feeling that I had just heard the future. The first Big Audio Dynamite album was equally inspirational-the first time I’d heard samples of film dialogue pasted throughout songs, enhancing the mood and atmosphere and creating a potent mix of music and cinematic images.

For those of you who don’t have the time or inclination to spend hours in second-hand shops but would like a swift guide to what Pop Music was like when it used to matter, I give you INTRO INSPECTION by OSYMYSO.

There are 102 fragments of (mainly) 70s and 80s pop songs here, sliced from their original context and then welded together in a seamless flow, so that, just as you pick out one song its gone and replaced by another. The whole piece works as a montage of pop history (or more accurately, British pop history from roughly 1965-95 which, lets face it, is The Golden Age Of Pop) from a period when your life was measured out in Number One singles. It also serves as a ‘Feck You’ to the Luddites who still believe that sampling is solely the preserve of electronic music and requires no talent whatsoever-the majority of the songs utilised are, as Vim Fuego would have it, part of rock’s rich tapestry and most will be familiar to anyone aged between 20 and 60 who has only a casual listeners interest in music. They are taken out of context, cut up and spliced together to create a patchwork of riffs, choruses, beats and melodies which is stunning in its scope and vision.

I don’t want to spoil the surprise if you’ve never heard this before, but some of the juxtapositions are sensational; to have the ability to realise that ‘This’ goes so very well with ‘That’ and to put those pieces together side-by-side, on top of one another, or weaving in and out, is joyful. Play this to your friends after a couple of drinks and your front room turns into a raucous Pop Quiz with everybody shouting out the songs, then immediately quiet in case they miss the next sliver.

Its entirely possible that this was meant to be a comment on the disposability of Pop Music-one after another after another until the cows come home, with the only response from the listener being a Pavlovian grin with each riff or recognised vocal, and no time for any other emotional engagement before the next one comes along. Its possible, but this is obviously the construction of a Pop fan; the love and attention-to-detail put into the selection and shaping of the fragments, and the fun in hearing two (or more) records which would never be filed together in anyones collection using each other as reference points is a pure joy from start to finish.

My favourite bits of this record change every time I play it, so have a glass of wine, put the headphones on, and try to keep a straight face as ‘…the hits just keep on coming’. First time I heard it I managed to spot 75 – see how many YOU get…..

(Written to: ‘Intro Inspection’ 101 – OSYMYSO, ‘Damaged’ – BLACK FLAG, ‘Caress Of Steel’ – RUSH)