Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Vita Nuova

I've decided to go somewhere else, with as little fanfare as possible. I started the blog in the last year of my GCSEs, & am now about to end my undergraduate career at university; it's been calcified by a sense of futility & loss of purpose for long enough to warrant it.

Static Disposal remains what & where it is (a repository for stuff elsewhere online/in print):

I'll hopefully be archiving the radio-show posts in a different blog over the next few weeks.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

No Pasaran

In lieu of actually writing on last Saturday's march - which I've been thinking about obsessively since, & will probably write something about soon, if I can make the time - some links.

This account by a UK Uncut activist of her arrest & maltreatment gives hints of the return of political policing as the ruling class realises the disruption the anti-cuts movement is causing to its reality-picture. The Guardian's interview with two black bloc-ers, this open letter from Solidarity Federation to UK Uncut and the response from Brighton Uncut, show the extent to which the direct-actionists refuse the 'good protester/bad protester' line currently being pursued by the right-wing & wet-liberal press (& even the BBC), & the extent to which the trade unionists & marchers should equally refuse the government tactic of divide-and-rule. The solidarity that some voices on the left were calling for after the passing of the tuition-fees Bill - most notably, Alex Callinicos - seems to be emerging almost in spite of the divide over tactics. (The fact that the property damaged on Sunday was very much not that of the protesters' class does not seem to have escaped them.) Mark Serwotka, speaking at Hyde Park on Saturday, said that the unions would support the student movement & those engaged in direct action; let us hope they keep their word, & refuse to scapegoat those who, above all, are in the same struggle. On which note, & more eloquent than me, Lenin's Tomb on the march.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Back to the Lab #14 8/3/2011

Jazkamer - 'In the Days of the Burning Guitar' (Chestnut Thornback Tar (Type))

Bene Gesserit - 'Mickey, Please' (The Minimal Wave Tapes(Stones Throw))

Gal Costa - 'Relance' (India (Elektra))

Group Inerane - 'Ikabkaban' (Guitars From Agadez Vol. 3(Sublime Frequencies))

Nite Jewel - 'It Goes Through Your Head (Dam-Funk Clubdub)' ('It Goes Through Your Head' 12" (Mexican Summer))

Ghostface Killah - 'Black Tequila' (Apollo Kids (Def Jam))

Death - 'The Storm Within' (Spiritual Mental Physical (Drag City))

Deaf Center - 'The Day I Would Never Have' (Owl Splinters(Type))

Lone - 'Aquamarine' (Emerald Fantasy Tracks (Magic Wire))

J.D. Emmanuel - 'III: Focusing Within' (Wizards (Important))

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Guest Post: Back to the Lab #13, by Frances Morgan

Back To The Lab #13 - Frances Morgan Guest Mix by Dboon147 on Mixcloud

Podcast version:

Some old pop music from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Senegal and Congo

The practice of starting a positive review with a snarky disclaimer is kind of a crappy one, and a habit all writers should try and kick, but it's tempting for sure. That opening paragraph covers your back, and shows you know just enough no to get, you know, too excited about this new thing that actually isn't all that new, I-think-you'll-find. It's quite fun to write, too. Hey, perhaps I'm even doing it now - but not quite as much as the Dusted reviewer who covered the Legends of Benin compilation - "It's like a dude can hardly walk down street without tripping over Obi Dandy’s Reasonably Good Looking Soldier Band Volumes 92 through 142, The Hidden Lost Funk Years", he laments, before going on to give the CD a well-deserved praising, a neat mix of ennui and enthusiasm.

Sure I know what he means (and I don't doubt his own love of Beninese and other African music), but I'm uneasy with his assumption that our attention spans are so shot to shit, and the implication that we're all moving on to the next world music 2.0 sensation now – as if 'African music from the 70s' were some blog-hyped synth band, not the vast output of a really vast continent over an entire decade. Is he, in fact, the bored one? Is this just a projection? I could think about this a lot more, but instead I decided to make a mix for Daniel's show that I hope doesn't display such disaffection, and which contains some right bangers straight off the more recent Analog Africa and Strut comps as well as some old records scavenged from charity shops many years ago and some others that I spent more money on in second-hand shops, like a proper collector (which I'm not).

There are some superstars on here - Tony Allen, Sir Victor Uwaifo, King Sunny Ade, Orchestra Poly-Rhythmo - and some less well-known artists. I've also mixed up the styles quite a bit (warning: this ain't a mix for purists), although the choice falls somewhat in favour of Nigerian music. In a perverse way I particularly enjoyed the slipperiness of trying to get old juju vinyl to fit into a digital mix for a radio show - it's long-form, continuous stuff for parties and dances - and the reminder, in doing so, that not everything can be parcelled up for compilation and re-appraisal. That's my excuse for the crappy mixing, anyway.

But a word in favour of compilations: Samy Ben Redjeb of Analog Africa has done sterling work in compiling music from Angola and Benin that goes beyond crate-digging novelty hunting. He and his label (and the musicians re-releasing their work on it, all of whom I think have been involved in the process as much as possible) deserve more than hip talk about 'saturation', and I've included a couple of favourite tracks from AA releases. The Tony Allen track is from a Vampi Soul reissue and the Orchestre Lissanga track is from a Strut comp. The only thing about mixing old records with stuff from compilations is that you can hear what's been remastered here and what hasn't, but it's up to the listener to decide whether the hiss and crackle (or lack of it) attracts or detracts from their pleasure. I wish I had a remastered CD version of Johnny Bokelo rather than a massively hissy record, actually.

Chronologically, the music is all from the 1970s and 80s. I've kept it to those two decades (and chosen pop stuff, ie mostly electrified rather than traditional or folk instrumentation) just to provide a bit of sonic glue, I guess, but also because that's the stuff that I like the most. There is one older track, though - the opening one, which was recorded in 1959. It's from a great compilation on Rounder Records called Juju Roots I included it because it has a cool kazoo solo on it. I also really like the record it's from because the sleevenotes - by Chris Waterman - are excellent, comprehensive and knowledgeable, as all Rounder sleevenotes tend to be.

They're not, however, free from a little touch of snark. The album was released in 1985, not long after King Sunny Ade's breakthrough Island release, and Waterman is aware of this: "The high-tech juju music of Yoruba superstars King Sunny Ade and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, 'discovered' and lauded by the American alternative popular music press in the early 1980s," Waterman says, "is the product of some fifty years of continuous experimentation by African urban musicians." I agree: while I'm no expert by any means, we would all do well to know more about what we listen to, where it comes from and why it sounds like it does, if only to stop it becoming just another thing on a list, just another stylistic tick-box. But I also think we need to stop with the snark. There are few things that can't be
made a little better with the liberal application of Tony Allen's drumming and a highlife guitar lick or two, and it doesn't matter who heard it all first. Peace and prosperity x

1 JO Oyesiku & his Rainbow Quintette - Baba Oni Taxi
2 Sir Victor Uwaifo - Ebibi
3 King Sunny Ade & his African Beats - Aba ni je dehin/Ma je koju ti mi
4 Cutlass Band - Mede Adagya Boe
5 Gnonnas Pedro & his Dadjes Band - DaDJe Von O Von Non
6 Tony Allen - Progress
7 Orchestra Lissanga - Okuza
8 Johnny Bokelo - Kakese
9 Thione Seck - Aida Soukeu

10 Orchestre Poly-rythmo de Cotonou - Mi Ni Non Kpo

11Uncle Toye Ajagun & his Olumo Sound Makers - Moti Foro Mi L'Oluwa Lowo

See also: Frances' band blog at and more music/mixes at

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Back to the Lab #12: 22/2/2011

Shackleton - 'Undeadman (Mordant Music ReMMix)' ('Fireworks/Undeadman' 12" (Honest Jons))

Panda Bear - 'Last Night at the Jetty' (Tomboy (Paw Tracks))

Horsepower Productions - 'Damn It' (Quest for the Sonic Booty (Tempa))

Effi Briest - 'Rhizomes' (Rhizomes (Sacred Bones))

The Bug - 'Poison Dart (Scratcha DVA Remix)' ('Infected' EP (Ninja Tune))

Amerie/Theo Parrish - 'Just1lovebug' ('Just1lovebug' 12" (Fat Beats))

Blood Stereo - 'The Giving of the Grape (excerpt)' (Your Snakelike King (Pan))

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back to the Lab #11: 15/2/2011

Hype Williams - 'The Throning' ('Do 'Roids and Kill E'rythin'' 7" (no label))

Demdike Stare - 'Desert Ascetic' (Tryptych (Modern Love))

Minamo & Lawrence English - 'Headlights' (A Path Less Travelled (Room40))

Stephan Mathieu - 'Minuet' (A Static Place (12k))

Shitmat - 'Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic' (Hang the DJ (Wrong Music))

John Coltrane & Jonny Hartman - 'Lush Life' (John Coltrane & Jonny Hartman (Impulse!))

Skull Defekts ft. Daniel Higgs - 'Fragrant Nimbus' (Peer Amid (Thrill Jockey))

Yaaard - 'Remember w/ NKOTB' ('Yaaard/C-Powers split' cassette(Reckno))

Lil B - 'God Kissed Me' (Rain in England (Weird Forest))

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Back to the Lab #10: 8/2/2011

Lil Wayne - 'A Milli (Harmonimix)' (white label 12")

Barn Owl & the Infinite String Ensemble - 'Condensation' (The Headlands (Important))

Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescalleet - 'Soap Opera Suite' (The Breadwinner (Erstwhile))

Makoto Kawabata & Richard Youngs - '(Red Stripe)' (Makoto Kawabata & Richard Youngs (VHF))

Paul Flaherty/Chris Corsano/C. Spencer Yeh - 'Revolving Door Assault' (split 7" (Krayon))

Disco Inferno - 'Starbound: All Burnt Out and Nowhere to Go' (D.I. Goes Pop (One Little Indian))

R.D. Burman - 'Freak Out Music' (Psych Sa-Re-Ga! Indian Psych Funk 1967-77 (Stones Throw/Now-Again))

Monkey Puzzle Trio - 'White World' (White World (Slowfoot))

Failing Lights - 'The Comfort Zone (excerpt)' (Failing Lights (Intransitive))