Coco Disconnected Podcast

20th November 2010

We Are Disconnected Podcast number four is from Chris Coco. Check the interview here, and the music here.

It’s been a hard day’s night and I’ve been working on my blog

19th November 2010

It’s been an hard day’s night and I’ve been working on my blog. And in some kind of infinite loop stretching all the way from Liverpool, England to Cupertino, California, Apple Corps have finally resolved their differences with Apple Computer, and allowed The Beatles catalogue to appear on iTunes. So now everyone can download the same songs that their gran bought on vinyl, that their mum bought on CD in immensely inferior quality mp3 with no lovely cover art to look at. It’s 2010 and The Beatles are Top of the Pops (again). Don’t get me wrong, I love The Beatles, grew up with their music, studied their evolution, swinging wildly from wanting to be McCartney to wanting to be Lennon and back again. But this is just not exciting, it’s just immensely tedious. It’s another excuse for programmers to live in the past and play more old music (again). But it has got me thinking. Because every type of history seems to work like a cone, so this applies to music as much as art or photography or politics. We start with fragments, field recordings of folk and blues and music passed down from one generation to another. This is added to by urban kids doing their rebellious, or not so, thing and being recorded and exploited by businessmen, then explodes in the 60s, 70s and 80s with all sorts of innovations, electronic sounds and crazy new recording techniques. Then as we get into the 21st Century it just fans out into a mass of everything all at once, with more music being recorded in the past ten years than in the whole of the rest of human history (or something like that). So I’m thinking, was it easier for Paul and John to write songs in 1962, or even 1969 than it is now, with fragments and contemporaries for inspiration, without the weight of fifty more years worth of songs on their backs? After all, there are only so many ways to play a few chords on a guitar, only so many notes that the human voice can sing in a pleasing fashion one after another. Was it easier to write Hard Day’s Night without having heard all that other music? Would they be too self-conscious to write a chorus that goes – She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah in 2010? I don’t know. Maybe that’s just how history works, the closer you are to stuff the harder it is to see what’s important and what’s just mush. But I think it may be why the contemporary urban sound, the computer music, bass music, dubstep, new house, whatever you want to call it, is so often instrumental or just features sampled voices. It’s like there’s so much stuff to process it just turns into fuzzy sounds, things of the past through a digital filter. It’s so much more difficult to be clear, concise and create a three chord wonder because it really has, mostly, been done before. If you get angry, oh, you’re so 79, so punk; if you get housey, oh that’s so 88, so aciiiied, and so on. I suppose there is no simple answer, and there will be no clarity till another ten years have passed and we can look back and say, for example, gosh, that Mount Kimbie, they changed the way we feel about music, isn’t it great that you can get their first album on (insert name of new format not invented yet). Baked apple anyone?

Now we know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall

18th November 2010

I’m at the Albert Hall, for a rock gala. The Prince of Wales is here. It’s his night. The stage is filled with people from the past – Clapton, May, the bloke from Level 42. The Tories are in power, there’s a ‘feel good’ royal wedding coming up, rock dinosaurs are trading licks on stage and I’m thinking, what’s happened, has nothing changed? And I look around and the whole audience is middle class and white and yes, this is England, and in the minds of these people it may be the real England, but it’s only a thin slice of our island life. It’s a small group who happen to still have a lot of the money and a great deal of power, but, like a giant wireless permanently glued to Radio 2, it does not reflect what our country is really like. Where are the new sounds? Where are the young? The black, the asian, anybody who is not white? Outside in the rain, or just at another venue enjoying some other music, without the prince and the sense of entitlement. And maybe this lot feel privileged as another ageing star is wheeled out to do a turn, but really what they want to see is Queen (with Freddie) at their peak in the 70s; Clapton in his pomp playing Layla with the Dominoes; Ultravox when Midge Ure had hair and a moody raincoat. What they really want is for things to be like they think they used to be. And despite appearances here, they’re not. The coming wedding will not bring the nation together, cuddled up in some warm tweed jacket of Englishness, because that sort of Englishness is only part of what living here is about, because so many people are too involved with other cultural pursuits and ideas, or just too busy living their own lives to ever care about some people who happen to be the relatives of some other people who have got a big house and jewels and stuff getting married; to care about some bloke who used to be in a band who were good playing the guitar on stage; for any of it to make the sort of impact that the people in power would like. So, rant over, time to sit back and enjoy the still silky voice of Tom Jones and sing along to Paloma. Nice.

Coco Balearic House Mix

17th November 2010

A little Balearic House mix for you.

[setlist]

1 This Ain’t Chicago – Ride The Rhythm (Soul Mekanik) 2 Adonis – No Way Back 3 Teki Latex – Answers 4 Nacho Lovers – Deeper 5 Riva Starr – Tribute 6 Marcel Knoppf – Rechord (Luna City Express) 7 Merveille Cahnspeyer – Tribute 8 The Clash – Mustapha Dance (Chris Coco Edit) 9 Foals – Total Life Forever (Chris Coco Edit) 10 Greg Paulas – Such A Shame 11 Deepswing – In The Music 12 Sidwho – Pay For Love 13 Johnny Dynell – Jam Hot (Tensnake) 14 Floating Points – Shark Chase 15 Caribou – Sun 16 Talking Heads – Gotta Tape I Wanna Play (GW Edit) 17 Gooding & Coco – Night Dance (Max Essa) 18 Gadi Mizrahi – I Can Never Get Enough 19 Moodymanc – Melanchronic (Soul Minority) 20 Gichy Dan – A Day Like Today (Todd Terje)

South London Weekend World

15th November 2010

Brixton – It takes more than a big balloon to make a party go with a bang. Midnight 30, Saturday night, a party to celebrate Nicky Siano’s new old movie, shot at The Gallery, New York in 1977. The archive footage is gold, beautiful, evocative, exciting, the after party is a little less burning and glorious.

Borough – Contemplating other people’s microphones in the pissoir. The Gladstone, the biggest little venue in London, has been given a make-over, even the toilets look smart and have a music theme.

Clapham – Savouring moments of sun and beauty on a short winter day. The sun shining on the Sun in Clapham old town. Something to smile about as Chelsea go down three nil at home just across the river.