by Jimmy Possession -- Robots and Electronic Brains (UK)
October 1, 2001

Every month or so, Jimmy Possession -- proprietor of the UK-based zine Robots and Electronic Brains -- brings us up to date on the music that's found its way through his mail slot. And you get to read it. You lucky people.

DJ Ordeal, Maureen (Johnny Kane) 7"

How Scott Walker would've made Mathilda if he'd lost his voice, had access to a vast film library to scour for samples and was in the mood for gloom-laden breakbeats. Beautiful.
23 Park Rd, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 2BE

DJ Rupture/ Doily/ Criterion, (sic) series (Broklyn Beats) all 7"
(sic) not because they're sick (although they would definitely have been ill a decade and a half ago and illbient halfway between then and now) but (sic) because Broklyn is not a spelling error. Last year's Brutal Police Menace compilation showed how rife corruption is in NYC. Not least in the police force, which didn't get a sympathetic hearing on the record, but also amongst the beat fraternity. It spliced Gotham grime into fractured hip hop, metropolitan dub and cosmopolitan techno. These 7" form the first instalment of another compilation and follow roughly the same scattershot blueprint, without the law enforcement theme, of stalking the streets in search of a vibe and a sound. Doily drops a dub depth charge down a manhole and then crouches, ear to the sidewalk, waiting for the muffled explosions to rumble back up to her and merge with the city hustle. DJ Rupture takes a more kinetic approach, scavenging frantically through dumpsters covered in extractor fan silt and back-alley disrepair for sounds which he flings out in a torrent of broken beats and then tramples underfoot. Criterion sits somewhere between the two. Still in a part of town you'd rather know less about, still ready to fuck shit up but not with his head down the sewer or stuck inside a dustbin. Race Traitor hammers home an obvious message on the back of a heavily veiled break while Honky Tonk Hits takes the same beat down to a community centre just after the medication has been administered. A piano grinds to a halt as half-a-dozen grizzled old fellas remember how jazz used to sound, slurring "yeah" into their chests and dribbling down their Jets shirts.
440 Broadway #3R, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA

Freddy Fresh, Boogie Down Bronx (Howlin) 7"
Man Parrish's electro classic is given a hefty trowelling by Mr Fresh here, but he nobly resists the temptation to drop an entirely unnecessary "funky break" into the mix, leaving remnants of the near-perfect original to propel what remains. (Please take note, you bastards who periodically desecrate Planet Rock and others.) Until I just looked it up, I never realised that Man Parrish took Boogie Down Bronx to the dizzy heights of number 56 in the charts back in September 1985. 18 months later, he was at number 4 with Male Stripper. I remember watching Top Of The Pops, eating fish and chips with my Mum and Dad while an overtly gay man in a black leather cap and trousers let slip that he was a male stripper in a Go-Go bar. Heady days for a young Possession, relived for 5 minutes just now.

Space Rocket, Hot Gadulka Suicide (Boing Being) 7"
How many records do you suppose credit someone for playing "hand farts"? I'd guess there aren't a lot. But how many credit two people for hand farts? And how many also note a virtuoso performance on the dildo? And while we're at it, how many records do you own that were recorded by Man As Lamb? Space Rocket are fucking brilliant (and I hope they use this bit of the quote) before I've even put the record on. Listen to this from the sleeve notes: "This is a high fidelity recording. Any lack of enjoyment is caused by your inadequate home stereo your dad bought you for Christmas. In a case like this, please hand it to the nearest official premises for disposal." Or this: "George is a stunning multi-instrumentalist who is one of the few persons who can master the traditional Bulgarian folk instrument Gadulka.. it is like piece of vaginal juice for George." These words were supposedly written by one Antonio Mitocondrio in a place rejoicing in the name of Arsesterberg. Hilarious. But you're wondering what the record sounds like? Antonio comes to the rescue once more: "veryfreejazzband.. what more can I say? Zeddar?"
Hyytialantie 9, 35500 Korkeakoski, Finland

Braer Rabbit, Circuit Trainer (Foolproof Projects) 7"
Do androids dream of electric sheep? I'm sure I couldn't say. None of the robots I've ever asked had any opinion on the matter - or were too embarrassed to talk about it. Oily dreams. Euurgh. But does Braer Rabbit dream of electric sleep? Still no actual evidence but my inclination after hearing the debut 7" would be the affirmative. Circuit Trainer is hardly more than the electric aural synthesis of the moment immediately after the Horlicks kicks in and some magic or other carries you hazily up the stairs to bed. On the other side, Direct Communication With Otis is the electronic aural synthesis of a dream during rapid eye movement about being chased around Hampton Court Maze, dressed as a tennis ball, by Tim Henman in stockings. Benevolently cracked electro.

Maquiladora, Ritual of Hearts (Jonson Family) 7"
Abducted by space-rock aliens and stripped of all effects save their reverb pedal, Spaceman 3 are dumped in the middle of a dusty mid-Western prairie. 17 miles to the south is a Small Minded, a town consisting of 4 people, 8 cattle and a well. 16 miles to the north is a railroad. It doesn't stop in this state, just rolls right on through. West, nothing. East is a road, a black asphalt escape route if only a car would show up. The band lie in the shade of their amplifiers for a couple of hours, pondering their situation and smoking the extremely strong skunk the aliens gave them as a parting gift. Initially they think that the small red speck kicking up a dust cloud at the point where the road meets the horizon is a mirage, but as an hour passes, they realise that it actually exists. Methodically, and at skunk speed, they begin to tote their equipment to the side of the road. Once assembled, the speck is close enough to be seen as a red pick-up truck. Sonic Boom sticks out his thumb. An hour later the truck stops and a gangly youth of the kind found in all small American towns leans out of the window. He is wearing a Garth Brooks souvenir Stetson and a check shirt. He doesn't say anything, just gestures to the empty rear and watches as the band load their stuff on. When Jason passes him a lead to plug into the cigarette lighter he asks no questions and as he pulls away, the band strike up Ritual Of Hearts and the desert reverberates with quiet beauty.

O.H. Krill, Chasing The One (DC) 10"
Can assemble for a reunion gig on board Captain Nemo's Nautilus submarine. At a depth of 20,000 leagues the band decide they want to swim with the fishes so they wrap their instruments in polythene, step through the airlock and improvise a Jacques Cousteau soundtrack for the passing sealife.

DJ Komikon, World Beaters EP (Catchpenny) CDS
If you're the kind of person who thinks minimal techno - and presumably any kind of minimalist art - can be banged out in a few minutes because there's "like, literally, nothing to it," then the chances are you won't appreciate DJ Komikon's debut. His Variation On A Theme By Steve Reich apart, the tracks here are largely experiments in grainy percussion where the grim fidelity of the samples and the fact that Komikon's computer can't seem to keep time, provide the interest. The title track is the best, a primitive electro that could be a shaving from Mike Paradinas' workbench.
PO Box 88, Mold, CH7 4ZQ

The Fall, Rude (Flitwick) 7"
"When I wake up in the city/ I look around to see who's with me." You believe it when Mark E Smith says it. You'd believe that he's nine-tenths cut when you hear him sing on these two tracks but you'd still rate it above most of the soulless bullshit you listen to these days. You'd believe that it was recorded in a garage, through a gramophone horn direct to acetate but you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you it was, while stocks last, free.
PO Box 26, Flitwick, Beds, MK45 1ZU

You can now listen to Jimmy's radio shows (archived) online!

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