Showing posts with label Neu!. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Neu!. Show all posts

Sunday, 3 May 2020

May Tree (May Free Too)

This is my second #maywriteabit post today although I think that's not quite in the spirit of the thing , but here it is. It has a convoluted title and if you read the previous posts yo may understand what I mean , though probably not. Today is a Sunday and for some reason I've been on a bit of a downer , though I haven't a clue why, but it's just been one of those days and I suppose the weather is a major contributor plus the general isolationism of the lockdown, leading to the situations where a lot of little things we used to look forward to we now don't have, however.....

.. when the sun comes out you get an immediately get a lift , or I do.

I'm reading the Christopher Brookmyre book "Not The End of the World" and that is becoming more enjoyable by the page, I like the quip when one of the protagonists Steff heard about the CFC (Christian Family Channel - your average Televangelist thing) he says  "Oh we've got a religious CFC and an RFC  as well (he's referring to Celtic Football Club and Rangers Football Club as he's from Motherwell ... somewhere south of Scandinavia.

..then, maintaining the "Scandinavian" connection, there was Ragnar Lothbrok's Christian Funeral in Notre Dame, Paris in Vikings , I was well impressed with his coffin too. So thanks to the internet and digital connections I do have things to look forward to , it's just sometimes you actually lose sight of things.

It also improves the mood when you hit some kinf of goal like my daily step total which has had a reasonable start.

I've also started watching "20,000 Days On earth" the Nick Cave film which, even though I've had the DVD for years, it took a showing on Film4 for me to record it and watch the damned thing, and very good it is too.

My technological incompetence still can't understand how data is transferred over airwaves, it's a bit like teleportation, is what appears at the receiving end a clone of what was sent? I suppose it is , so if I teleported would it really be me on the arrival pad or just an exact clone and how would anybody know.

Another thing is I use BubbleUPnp on my Kindle Fire to play music, it seems update itself at ceratin points and does not always reflect what it on the network, and as I listen to this the first Neu! album is playing, I think they are the band that initiated "motorik" which is an unchanging almost mechanical beat

And then I started writing this, so all in all , it's actually not a bad day at all.

So I will share with you "Negativland" by Neu! which my dad asked me about in the seventies , he said istarted with drills and then had a great beat. See what you think.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Exclamation Mark

Although I've rightly described David Sheppard's Brian Eno biography "On Some Faraway Beach" as like wading through treacle (I'm just over half way through, the book is also extremely readable. Almost every page throws up something I either didn't know or hadn't noticed.

The band Ultravox were originally called Ultravox! , a homage to the German band Neu! (originators of motorik, and heavy influencers of lots of bands) , the exclamation mark was dropped at some point , possibly when John Foxx left and Midge Ure joined. That was one thing I was unaware of.

During the Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite produced first album Brian Eno was invited to work with Bowie (who had recently been producing Iggy Pop) on his next album at the Château d’Hérouville where Elton John recorded "Honky Chateau" and the single "Honky Cat" was obviously a nod to this.

The thing is this album was "Low" , the first of the "Berlin Trilogy" and while Bowie , Eno and Iggy were between Berlin and the Château d’Hérouville I was unaware and always assumed that the album was fully formed in Berlin.

We will go with the finest song from the Ultravox! debut , "My Sex", it is disturbingly good , with John Foxx's monotone machine voice over a fragmented lush backing.

Thursday, 28 November 2019


Today people often try and share Spotify playlist with me. I don't contenance Spotify, it's not my inner Ron Swanson but the fact that it's not a business model that rewards almost all the artists who are on it's available catalogue. I suppose the other thing is that as a teenager if I wanted to share music with friends it required recording records in real time, at first recording via microphone and later when I got a job a music centre which recorded directly from the radio.

I didn't realise that the compact cassette first appeared around 1965 (comprehensive Wiki history here) , I thought it was a Sony invention because of the Walkman which allowed music on the move.

To create a cassette you had to record in real time, the playlist was just the initial plan, even when MiniDisk and CD superseded cassette it was still real time although CD recording speeded up significantly but there is still the production and labelling of the CD to do.

In October 2016 when I was 59 I  started the #ALifeInNumbers  which ran into November that year and I've referenced often since I did it. I haven't burnt a CD for ages and am not sure if I can use iTunes to create playlists (I'm sure you can but it's such bloatware that it is more about trying to make me buy things that actually play music), I may try that soon and then I need to print the CD label (as I still have a printer that can do that!).

I have just remembered that I can use Youtube to create playlists such as this two song ska one here , I used to do mixes on Grooveshark but their model wasn't sustainable, but I am going to investigate Youtube further.

I was going to list some significant records for me to pad out this post but here are a few, and maybe I will create a playlist at some point:

  • Abba - The Visitors & Happy - The Carpenters , two of my mums favourites that I still love
  • Lights Out - Jerry Byrne & Sea Cruise - Frankie Ford , two that remind me of my missed friend Chris who we lost to lung cancer
  • Negativeland - Neu! , I was shocked when my dad asked me if I had this record asthis was way out of his comfort zone
  • All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix , if I only could have one record this would be it, Hendrix playing , Dylan's words
  • Hound Dog - Elvis Presley - apparently the first record I ever liked (aged 3)
  • Jig A Jig - East of Eden - The first single I ever bought
  • Come On - Chuck Berry - one of the first songs I played and sang live and I would be condent of doing it now
  • Egyptian Reggae - Jonathan Richman - The first instrumental cover I played live
I could go on and on but I'll stop and share "Happy" by The Carpenters (incidentally the title of my favourite Rolling Stones song , and they - the Stones - covered Chuck Berry's - Come On).

Enjoy this very rainy Thursday.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

#AprilSongs #25 Thursday's Keeper

Hitting the final Thursday in the sequence and we will take "Thursday's Keeper" by The Orb from the album"Cydonia". It past years that would have been enough for a post and I am tempted at some point to do a one word post , a nonsensical post and a gobbledegook post just to see who actually reads them.

Anyway I've always liked the Orb with their generally long trippy  tracks and songs , particularly "Little Fluffy Clouds"  with their mix of samples and rhythms and sounds, which inspired a heck of a lot of other bands while harking back to space rock and kraut rock such as Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream and Neu!, all bands I have mentioned or written about before in this blog so you can use the tags if you want to explore a little further.

Anyway it's Thursday so have a good one everybody.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Winter is Coming ... Everywhere

Well it is in my life. The final series of Game of Thrones comes with the Night King bringing Winter and turning the world to Ice. I'm currently revisiting Michael Moorcock's  "The Prince With The Silver Hand" in which a "resurrected" Corum battles the Ice and Winter brought by the Fhoi Myore in a freezing Celtic world, and today started off extremely cold before a minor snow storm brought snow to Newcastle. It's still white and there is Ice on the paths.

I don't think I'll be walking to work tomorrow unless there is a major thaw.

This morning in the cold I was listening to Primal Scream's "Dirty Hits" and they are a truly awesome band taking on any style and making it theirs , from Rock and Roll to Gospel to Krautrock to Metal. While "Autobahn 66" has an obvious nod to Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" it's closer in type to Neu!'s Motorik beat, and that is the one I'll share with you tho their catalogue is a veritable cornucopia of brilliance. I particularly love "Kowalski" with it's reference to the film "Vanishing Point", one of my favourites, and I know how they stop him.

So we shall se what the weekend brings.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Swings and Roundabouts

The saying goes "what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts"  or something like that, though it never made any sense to me. I can possibly apply this to my walking. Some of the time I gained from taking redundancy in my last job is now swallowed up by walking.

So in theory I lose time by walking, although the reality is that when I walk I then can't do other things. I do at times consider using the Mobike bikes but then I think I would probably be quicker walking, and walking does give you the ultimate mobility freedom, but I fancy trying a Mobike, maybe in summer.

The other thing is that I use my phone to record my steps and then enables me to listen to music, so I am revisiting so many albums, and thanks to my Emopeak headphones I am hearing detail that I never noticed before like band banter on live albums.

One album I listened to was La Dusseldorf the eponymous debut album by Klaus Dinger's band that he formed after Neu! split around 1975. It features a lot of motorik beats (similar to Neu!) but is more commercial and less industrial. There is a Wiki page here.

I'm going to share the whole album with you so you can experience it , but you can but their stuff as well. Anyway I am tired now so time for bed. Sleep well.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The War Room

Yesterday I was thinking that this might be a day when my walking targets go out of the window, it  was cold and raining slightly, but it turned out the rain was light and I could use an umbrella so the target was met and surpassed, which was good.

Had a visit to doctors and blood pressure was slightly high, which may be due to drugs trial that I am on, but will nip over and get blood pressure checked again next week. Everything else was fine though there was an issue with white blood cells but a second sample was fine.

The latest album I listened to was the excellent "War Room" by Public Service Broadcasting . There songs are soundtracks to soundbites from films and recording archives and are usually educational.

This is what they say about themselves:

J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth sample old public information films and archive material and set them to new music. Live, the films are screened simultaneously as laptops are fiddled with, drums are pounded, theremins are wafted at, guitars are bashed and banjos furiously plucked. Teaching the lessons of the past through the music of the future.

The central piece to the five song album is "Spitfire" based on the film "The First of The Few", based ironically on a driving motorik beat (motorik being a German musical style which I first became aware of listening to Neu!)

The album opens with "If War Should Come" atmospheric and scary government announcements which leads us into "London Can Take It" which feature an American style commentary likening the bombing of London to a boxind match , before we are hit by "Spitfire".

The album quitens down with "Dig For Victory" and "Waltz for George" (about Dunkirk) anlthough I do thing "Lit Up" sort of belongs on "War Room" as it is a wonderful description of a fleet, but you can find that on "Inform Educate Entertain" their full length debut album.

Last night I put "The War Room" on three times to get to sleep to, and never got past "If Watr Should Come" so it certainly helps me get to sleep quickly (because it's relaxing not boring).

Anyway it's time to go and we shall see how today's weather is.