Posts Tagged ‘johnny violent’

In early 1999 I had one of life’s more bizarre experiences when visiting Nightbreed Records in Nottingham. I was having a general chat with label owner Trev Bamford and checking out their new recording studio. The tour got round top their retail stock room where Trev pointed to a magazine on the wall and said something along the lines of “I wander who that bloke is!” I did a bit of a double take, the second time around realising that it was a stock photo of me. I’d only had a few front covers, but I kept my surprise and jubilation to myself, saving my little money for beer instead of buying a copy – normally big press pieces would be passed on to me, but somehow this had slipped below the radar. I was also rather embarrassed that I didn’t know about it, which is quite sweet in retrospect.

The magazine was Sideline, a European music magazine, still very popular in it’s online iteration nowadays. I was signed to Earache Records and every few months Sarah (their fantastic press officer at the time) would hand me a few sheets of questions to answer for smaller UK publications and European media that I almost invariably hadn’t heard of.

The alternative to the written question format was phone interviews which I’d always struggled with. The language gap was a main problem – my first attempt had been in 1993 when calling a German number on a bad line – it turned out that the interviewer wasn’t the journalist, he was just reading out preset questions, of the ilk (and I’ve remember this one like it was yesterday) “which is your bigger idea of hell – hardcore techno or the prison of a Gameboy!” When I tried to veer from the format he repeatedly told me “but I do not like industrial techno – I only like grindcore and death!” and the knockout blow “I am doing this interview for my friend because he does not speak your English!”

But I’d never fared well with UK phoners either – the year before Dan from the label had brilliantly set me up with a half page in Loaded magazine, but the interview had not gone well and I felt I had misrepresented myself, and the journalist gave an accurate transcript of my making little sense. I dreaded sitting on the phone making a fool of myself and managed to avoid the situation almost completely after that. Conversely, in person to person interviews journalists normally “got” me –  I had a wacky and self-deprecating sense of humour but I was serious about my music and could emote about it quite well when prodded.

But my favourite interview format was – and still is – the written Q&A format as it allowed me to give proper thought to anything raised and come up with an informative and/or entertaining response. That’s exactly how I prepare my music – alone and in my own time. The Sideline interview is a very accurate insight into how I saw my music at the time – the images are hi res so click on the pages to give them a read. A couple of times it’s a little unclear that I’m being ironic, and one comment is pretty offensive, as I haven’t added a proper context – please ask in the comments box if you spot it and are interested.

Thanks to Sideline magazine and Earache Records for this brilliant little memory – I’m far from being a nostalgic person, but my albums, a select few gigs and a few other bits and pieces make me very happy to look back on. Having finally tracked down a copy of on eBay after 13 years, Sideline #25 is one of those things.

Click here to listen to this exclusive track. I was considering making a 7” single and even got as far as mocking up the electro-goat’s skull sleeve design with 80’s punk inspired “sticker”, but it isn’t really representative of the direction that I’m going in and the feedback I’ve had from people is often “where’s the vocals, then!?!”  I used it a while back as a demonstration when I was giving a guest lecture on music production techniques, as it was made quickly and so is simple enough to explain in an hour. However, in the same lecture I suggested to the students that storing up new music on your hard drive is pointless, so as it’s over a year old I’ve taken my own advise and am giving away the MP3. I may well rework it or chop it up for spare parts at some point, in the meantime crank it up and I hope you get as excited listening to it as I did making it…EEEEEELLLECCTRRONNIIKKKK!!!!! On second thoughts, you might break something…DEATH!!! DEATH!!! DEATH!!!

Cookin’ Trax

Posted: February 13, 2010 in Music
Tags: ,

I’ve been moving house again, this time shifting 7 miles from suburban Norwich into semi-rural Norfolk. Much less distance and stress than when we came from Edinburgh 18 months ago – I was ill then and the whole deal was nightmare city. After years of renting we decided to buy a house so I’ve been able set up my  studio permanently, and have just finished a remix for electro death outfit and sometime Ultraviolence support band Gotecki,  as well as keeping up regular two hour tracks, click here to hear one. I made a track late last year that I think is good enough to make a single out of, but I haven’t decided how to go about it as yet – it’s short and very hardcore so I may do a DIY 7″…I’m going do a remix for the b-side then see.  I’m becoming competent enough to consider investing time and money in songwriting and getting vocalists in, which I think is where the best of my music has and will come from. Elsewhere around the new house I’ve installed a ball breaking 5.1 system in the lounge, with partner pleasing hidden cabling which took 15 hours. Less ambitious is my kitchen radio. I went with an MP3 file playing Pure Evoke-3, as I wanted standard-ish sized speakers to check my mixes on and I didn’t want a third big install in the house, especially not when it’ll be getting a good daily greasing – I spend much time cooking and it is probably what I’m best at next to music. I thought I’d share the contents of my first SD card with you – it plays the file names in alphabetical order. Let’s see how far I can get in a thousand words…

About You Now by Sugababes (MP3 single download) Had New Order been born 20 years and had 3 soul kittens instead of Barney they’d have sounded like this. Mixed for just this kind of listening environment and sounding fabulous, with some tremendous synth drops and buzzes.

Classic comp, well worth tracking down

Ballz In Your Mouth by Neophyte (from Neophyte Records’ Action Must Be Taken First Compilation CD) The MP3 compression process reduces bass definition and while the Evoke doesn’t lack grunt for its size it struggles with the complex frequency clash in the low end of one of Neophyte’s many hardcore masterworks. Still gives me goose bumps in the sample breakdown, though, as Eazy E accuses Monica Lewinski of being a “fuckin’ ho” and Bill Clinton of being a “godamn pimp!”

Basic Instinct Main Theme (from Omen the Essential Jerry Goldsmith Film Collection CD) I’ve been getting more into Goldsmith’s work since enjoying the Omen triple CD soundtrack set, and rewatching the DVDs featuring informative interviews with the composer. One of his best other works is this short and playful theme from Paul “Robocop” Verhoven’s most childish of adult thrillers, featuring Sharon Stone as pretty killer Catherine Tramell.

End Credits by Vangelis (from Blade Runner OST CD) There’s kick-ass detail on this soundtrack when played the right system – a shame is that the radio simply isn’t big enough to present a cinematic soundstage.

Influenced by video nasties, my kitchen contains many torture instruments

Adulteress’ Punishment and Love With Fun by Riz Ortolani (Cannibal Holocaust OST CD) If the film didn’t make a vegetarian of you, it is quite possible to relive particular sections given a bloody steak and oversized knife. A beautiful score that translates surprisingly well.

Casino main theme by Georges Delerue (Casino OST CD) The second soundtrack to a film featuring Sharon Stone, this time indulging in some pretty killer acting as Ginger in Martin Scorsese’s top flight gangster epic. The film’s soundtrack clangs on and on with its 60s pop music mainstays until it becomes unnoticeable, then at an apt moment crack your heart open with this genius piece, in the same vain and rivalling Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Actually titled Théme de Camille, originally written for French film Contempt I keep on meaning to check out more of Deleue’s work.

C’mon Everybody by The Sex Pistols (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle CD) Swindle indeed, as this is Sid Vicious’ solo work and features no original members of Sex Pistols. And it never should have worked, he being a junkie managed by his loathsome girlfriend, drawling covers to a backing of session musicians, but I don’t suppose he cared much for convention. This is first record I ever bought (aged eight) and still sounding fresh and lively. Check out The Filth and the Fury DVD when John Lydon opens up to give a blisteringly sad account of Sid’s death.

Exodus Main Theme by Ernest Gold (L’Chaim! The Ultimate Jewish Music Collection CD) When building cathedrals early last millennium the idea was to make the constructions so huge and awe striking the peasants would have no choice but to accept the existence of God. Here that mantra is applied to music, with similarly jaw dropping consequences. That said, on sustained listening the bloated construction does get boring, so I’ll be deleting it. I went for years mistakenly thinking this music was used in The Ten Commandments.

Sugababe's latter career bears similarities to that of the Sex Pistols...

Freak Like Me by Sugababes (MP3 download) Early Sugababes and probably their best song, with wicked production by Richard X featuring the slammin’ Tubeway Army sample. After nine years of line-up changes Sugababes have, like the Sex Pistols, began to release music featuring no original members of the band.

Pistols guest vocalist Ronald Biggs alongside Friggin' writer Steve Jones

Friggin’ in the Rigging by The Sex Pistols (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle CD) I first heard Friggin in the Riggin in the early 80s and it’s always stayed with me, from vinyl to Sony Walkman to twin CD decks to MP3. Surely it is more, then, than just a set of expletives – I’ve forgotten slightly fewer of those than I’ve heard. The merging of Last Night of the Proms favourite Sea Shanty, given some “bollocks” with Steve Jones reliably attitude driven guitar apparently displays antagonism between two cultures that cannot co-exist. However, whilst  John Lydon era Pistols material may have been politically motivated, Friggin’ is, like Last Night of the Proms simple raucous fun. The demographics may be different, but musically the two genres enrich one another very merrily indeed. The lyrics are loosely based on centuries old drinking song Good Ship Venus and a major appeal may be the aforementioned expletives, however they offer an enjoyable compilation of daft stories, simple like those for children, yet visual and striking as the best children’s tales are. The fact that some words are unintelligible can make for some fun guesswork.

Also on the kitchen playlist…Hardcore HooliganNeophyte, Hymn Stunned Guys, Jumping all over the World Scooter, Last Track of the Night DJ Promo & D-Passion, Live and Let Die Paul McCartney and Wings, My Way The Sex Pistols, No-one Is Innocent The Sex Pistols, Number 1 Fan Neophyte, Rambo Main Theme Jerry Goldsmith, Rock n Roll Swindle The Sex Pistols, Something Else The Sex Pistols , Star Trek Symphonic Suite Jerry Goldsmith, The Dreamer Lenny Dee, The Grower DJ Promo, Untouchable Girls Aloud, View to a Kill Duran Duran


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Deep River Savages

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Notoriety Deep River Savages was the first movie in the outrageous Italian cannibal genre, which may deserve a couple of points, but it has always been much easier to ignore than to find. 3/10

ManFromDeepRiverDVDDVD Edition The only uncut edition is from US company Shriek Show. Surprisingly, the film looks as good as most mainstream movies of the era. Minimal extras, though, notable only for director Umberto Lenzi’s tale of finding a prostitute. 3/5

Film Deep River Savages establishes the all the trappings of cannibal movies – jungle locations, dumb natives, graphic gut munching, killing animals, nudity and unusual sex as well as traffic queue pacing, laughable dialogue and gratuitous aeroplane footage. In a plot is culled from A Man Called Horse (1970) Western hardish man (Ivan Rassimov, dubbed to sound like Richard Harris) ventures into the jungle and is captured by a savage tribe, and after much posturing and ritual earns their respect and joins them;

“You man of tribe!”

The other main influence are the 1960s shockumentary or “mondo” films of Paolo Cavara and Gualtiero Jacopetti, which involved a camera crew going around the world filming various “sick and depraved” lifestyles, especially those of unwestenised tribes, then marketing the resulting footage as drive-in shock fests. Fictionalise, add a dodgy narrative and voila! 3/10

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Director Umberto Lenzi recruited this actress in a brothel

Shock and gore The OK-ish make up FX are sparse, with only one scene of limb chomping cannibalism, which may have been shocking in the early ‘70’s, but is lame compared with most of the other films here. The brief gang rape and ritual sex scenes are very much of the “actors with no clothes wriggling” type. Incomparably more troubling, are the numerous scenes of actual violence against animals, for food and otherwise. Possibly hardest to watch is a mongoose pitted against a cobra in what is presented as a local blood sport. The camera looks impassively as the poor snake’s head is repeatedly bitten into a bloody mess, intercut with a separate scene of Rassimov’s ridiculous soul searching. A true laugh or cry moment. 4/10

Soundtrack Competently made but minimal (as in not much of it) the score traverses the moods of “foreign trip” to “look at this –  shocking, isn’t it?” along with the occasional “wow – mysterious” and “CHASE!” 2/5

Prisoner of the Cannibal God

PRISONER OF THE CANNIBAL GOD

Notoriety Seeing off some stiff competion to become possibly the poorest of the cannibal films, Prisoner of the Cannibal God attempts to draw attention to itself by having original Bond girl Ursula Andress get her kit off, but even that couldn’t save it from obscurity. 2/10

mountaingodDVDDVD Edition The Blue Underground label always impresses for bringing us apparently commercially unviable DVD releases. Here we have a good looking transfer of the film complete with extra scenes “from the private collection of director Sergio Martino.” These include inexplicit footage of what appears to be a native attempting sexual intercourse with a huge pig. During an interview, Martino is contradicted for his untruths concerning the animal cruelty in the film, as well as for his claims that the Malaysian locals were unjustified in protesting against the film’s content, which was against their Muslim religion. It is against my religion, too – and I’m an Atheist. 3/5

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Prelude to one of the worst 98 minutes in cinema history

Film After just a few minutes, an overlong freeze frame established my film-long habit of glancing at the DVD timer. The tedium never lets up as the cannibal-ridden mountain of Ra Ra Mi is ascended by a talentless and greedy band of idiots in their lifelong search for an ever-present pile of shit. 1/10

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The Pooka tribe...perhaps Pooka is Malaysian for papier mache?

Shock and gore Some brisk editing attempts to disguise the poor makeup, and with the exception of one castration scene there is no satisfaction for gorehounds here. The animal footage is the most repugnant of any of these films. In an attempt to take no responsibility for their actions, the film makers either tie animals causing them to attack one another, or goad animals into unnatural fights and predations and film the results. Combined with the boredom of the rest of the film, the result is not at all shocking, but genuinely depressing. 2/10

Soundtrack The odd Jaws-alike opening music gives way to a plodding hippie colony of a main theme, featuring a poorly tuned brass section which sets the scene in an aptly shambolic fashion. Elsewhere, there are a couple of nicely discordant set pieces amongst the clichéd bongos and hollers. 2/5

Cannibal Holocaust

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST VHS

The original VHS packaging, as inspired by Robertson's jam jars

Notoriety One of the few films where the UK ban is incidental to the film’s global infamy. Director Ruggero Deodato spent a few nights in prison, wrongly suspected of actually killing actors on camera, and a received a suspended sentence for obscenity under Italian law for the animal deaths. Intriguing tales of Columbian death threats also seem to have some foundation. Subsequent to its release, Deodato and many of the actors claim to have had trouble finding work, such is the universal loathing of Cannibal Holocaust. Around the time of the ban schoolyards were alight with tales of “they kill them for real,” which may have been false, but unlike most video nasties the actual film lives up to the lurid promise. Everyone I know who has seen the film remembers it well, and is normally regarded with much reverence along with any combination of love, fear or loathing. Always mentioned during any serious film censorship debate, Cannibal Holocaust almost earns it’s tagline of The Most Controversial Movie Ever Made. 10/10

cholocaustDVDDVD Edition Grindhouse Releasing’s double disc collector’s edition reaps the rewards of a painstaking restoration process, and is unsurpassed in the superb quality of picture and sound. The astonishing collection of extras will provide upwards of ten hours of top viewing for fans, who will consider themselves thoroughly infotained as many of the filmmakers are gathered to offer their opinions on the tirelessly interesting subject matter. 10/10

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Cleverly, a make-up girl sat atop a bicycle seat for the iconic impalement scene

Film Cannibal Holocaust tends to be dismissed as exploitive trash or hailed as a work of genius, and there is some justification for both viewpoints. The story of an arrogant and destructive team of documentary film makers, loosely based on Cavara and Jacopetti, is told in grainy 16mm “found footage” as they reek havoc in the Amazonian rain forest, abusing the natives for shocking footage. Back in the beautifully shot “real world”, anthropologist Professor Munro (Robert Kerman) follows their doomed trail, and the twin time lines and cinematic styles are deftly handled and mutually flattering. A third thread set in New York is less successful, as is the inserted wildlife footage and overacting from extras native to both continents. Deodato shows a genuine interest in the subject matter, and the elaborate tribal rituals seem to have some authenticity, or at least are believable enough to generate a compelling atmosphere. Unusually, the high nudity quotient adds a primal quality. With a bang on 93 minute running time, Cannibal Holocaust survives repeated viewings and is always glinting from the DVD shelf of anyone wishing to have their senses assaulted. 8/10

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Films are more violent nowadays, except this one.

Shock and gore The ingenious FX never overreach themselves, and what is shown  is generally very realistic. A DVD extra showing a recent screening of Cannibal Holocaust portrays typical shocked reactions from those expecting 70s kitsch. The truly brutal sexual assaults are much more likely to have one cringing in disgust instead of the sniggering that might punctuate a viewing of The Man from Deep River, or Deodato’s own Last Cannibal World (1976). Few films of any era are as persistent and enthusiastic in their bloodletting, and the grand set pieces of torture porn mainstreamers Saw (2004) and Hostel (2005) cannot compete. Only The Passion of the Christ (2004) shows a comparably sadistic nature. Indefencibly, archive footage of actual executions is shown, although presented as faked in the narrative. Animal deaths are rife, including a notorious 3 minute sequence in which a turtle is decapitated. Some of the main actors are involved in the butchering of the squirming body, and Francesca Ciardi is seen to vomit in disgust. Some may mistake the headless viscera to still be alive, however death is swift and Cannibal Holocaust’s animal cast are killed humanely, considering the time and place.  However, much thought and talent was employed to make all sequences as vile as possible, and the various components conspire to disorientate, giving the viewer a uniquely disturbing experience. 10/10

holoCDSoundtrack Once again the dual nature of Cannibal Holocaust reveals a sickly main theme from slush-meister Riz Ortolani before turning out musical genius in the piece known as “Adulteress’ Punishment” which contains a beautiful and sorrowful merging of strong early synth bass with mournful strings that are worthy of Samuel Barber. I’ve played the soundtrack CD so often that, corrupted by the experience, I even like the main theme now. Spot the mistake in the film where the projectionist showing the found footage claims to have “layed in some stock music to juice things up a little,” but the soundtrack is as the main film. 5/5

Cannibal Ferox

cannibal ferox videoNotoriety Cannibal Ferox will always be Cannibal Holocaust’s poorer brother, and it tends to be brought up when viewers haven’t seen the latter, or have exhausted conversation about it. However, while it may not be “banned in 31 countries” it has seen its share of bans, cuts and outrage. 7/10

cannibal ferox DVDDVD Edition All DVD prints of the film have a washed out look suggesting the film stock is in need of restoration, or wasn’t great in the first place. The letterboxed Grindhouse edition distinguishes itself with a commentary, where director Umberto Lenzi and star Giovanni Lombardo Radice supposedly argue out the merits or otherwise of killing animals in the jungle, however their vocal tracks were recorded separately. The Sazuma release has a better picture frame, but no commentary. 2/5

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Lorraine de Selle and an opposum. One of these cuties will be hung from a jeep and fed to a snake...

Film

“Just stay put, shitface!”

A risible NYC drug plot kicks off Cannibal Ferox, and is revisited throughout the film as a few disembodied Cannibal Holocaust refugees act abominably. More hilarity ensues in the main jungle plot as an over-overacting Radice and his dubbing accomplice get the cream of the diabolical lines, adding an extra layer of mania to the wacky plot, and the film rock n’ rolls apace, despite a lack of violence in the first half. The cannibals themselves are worth a mention for their ever present  bewilderment and disinterest. Cannibal Ferox is consistently “so bad its good,” a rare trick that is impossible to pull off intentionally. It quickly becomes clear that Lenzi is not into humour when corkers like;

“The mythical lie of cannibal ferox was only an alibi to justify the greed and cruelty of the conquistadors!”

pass without a hint of a smirk. 6/10

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“Hot pussied little whore” Zora Kerova in her infamous death scene that defies the laws of both physics and biology

Shock and gore

“Do you get off on ecology, eh, twat?”

Funny it may be but Cannibal Ferox proves itself to be something of a wife beating clown when it comes to the numerous acts of violence against animals. With the vegetarian natives employed as amateur slaughtermen, a poorly shot turtle scene attempting to emulate that of Cannibal Holocaust is not such a horrific spectacle, but is pointlessly cruel as the wretched beast’s flipper is dismembered prior to decapitation. The animal scenes also tend to have poorly conceived links to the plot, which would be funny, were not the punchline a needless and painful death. Back in the comforting world of actors and red paint, there are numerous nicely bloody set pieces, well done for the low budget but not in the same league as the arresting standards set by Cannibal Holocaust, with the old “long arm with no hand” trick used for one of Radices’ several amputations. 7/10

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Cannibals, zombies and synthesisers...can't go wrong

Soundtrack The toe tapping hummable funk of the main theme complements the naive bleeps and synthetic grinds that accompany the gore scenes in a score that is the essence of video nasties. It is so enjoyable that one worries that the fun police might turn it off. Highly recommended is Blackest Heart Media’s CD, which contains the restored Cannibal Ferox score, as well as that of Zombi 2 (1979) and some humorous cover versions by the CD’s producers, interspersed with some choice dialogue from the film. One particullar favourite;

“There’s something I can’t figure out.”
“What’s that?”
“I don’t know!”

5/5

Cannibal-scores

What a bunch of reprobates we’ve had this round, with Cannibal Holocaust being an easy winner, a true classic of confrontational cinema that munches up the embryonic, the inept and the copycat joker to become Battle of the Nasties highest scorer ever. A cannibal viewing session is watching a little window of history, as the format would be unfilmable nowadays. The portayal of natives as dumb savages would be seen a racist untruth, as opposed to naive folly, although it is worth noting that the Westerners are generally shown as hostile invaders, at a time when such forward thinking was often the preserve of the bearded and beaded. Thankfully, the animal violence would also not be tolerated – although it is somewhat ironic considering society permits industrial scale cruelty of modern intensive farming, as well as the televisation of such entertainments as the Grand National. There is talk of Deodato making a new cannibal film, but it will certainly be a different experience as these jungle jollies are safely buried away in the archives.

TiHead

Download exclusive new track Ti Head here

2HourPhotoWhilst I was very ill the only way for me to program music was to do very little each day, which has led me to have many unfinished tracks on my hard drive and has got me into bad habits of leaving bits and going back to them much later, having forgotten what the original idea was or simply getting bored with it. Yuck! That way of working can also lead to over-polishing – adding too many effects and diluting the original idea and sounds.

No more fucking around

In trying to break the habit I’ve decided to write a series of tracks in a strict two hour time limit. Whilst my best works have taken much, much longer than that, most of the tracks from the Shocker album were written very fast, with the emphasis on excitement and attitude and less attention to audio fidelity.

Download the MP3, bender

I’ve put the first one up here. It’s called Bender as the pitch is bent on all the synth tracks. The title may have unfortunate relations with Futurama and homophobia, but neither are bothersome enough to change it. I think it turned out quite well for a first effort, but it’d need a couple of hours more to be more focussed and live out the potential of the ideas. I could do that, cannibalise it for sounds on other tracks or just leave it and move on…I’m undecided. See what you think…

JVeyes

This was to be an article about how pleased I was with my improving health, however my eye reached new levels of agony ten days ago with agonising abrasions to my cornea hitting double figures in one night.

I, Casualty 

When I eventually got to Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital Emergency Eye Clinic, the impressively skilled and efficient doctor said my cornea was like “patchwork”, and after applying anaesthetic, scraped the whole top layer clean off! This left me in a fucking world of pain and effectively unsighted for a couple of days while it grew back again, and only today am I able to use a computer long enough to do anything other than waste five minutes looking at bicycle components and blog stats. In fact, there has been very little to do at all. Unable to face sunlight or TV for a week, I just had radio and CDs for company in the daytime.

The Blind Leading the Partially Sighted

The radio populated my mind with bilge by likes of Gordon Brown, Michael Martin and hysterical commentators, their faux assertive voices feigning outrage at Daily Telegraph revelations concerning expenses claimed by Members of Parliament. My understanding of the situation was that MPs were underpaid (many times lower than their potential value in the private sector) and by way of recompense received very comfortable living expenses. Which seems fairs enough for working 16 hours a day job from which you might well get ceremoniously sacked from every 4-5 years. MPs were also clearly happy about the situation as they voted to keep it that way ten months ago. Disclosure is the only recent change. All the current mock-apologising and rehearsed grovelling is exactly what I dislike about politicians. The sums of money concerned are miniscule on a national scale – I care not if I inadvertently spend an incalculably small amount of tax on a “flat screen TV” (what other sort can you buy?) – I just dislike lies and opportunism. David Cameron is surely the worst case. As in the tragedy of Baby P, or any other real or imagined crisis, he jumps into every media op yelping “change…change…change”, morally posturing in an attempt to adopt a leaders’ role with “strong” words, but only caustic self-interest at heart. Perhaps he would like it if MPs returned to being unpaid, so, like in the good old days, only rich Conservatives could afford to take on the job? Or perhaps he believes that highly paid and morally dubious consultancies should be undertaken, as is already the case with many of the shadow cabinet. The present Government may be rightly unpopular, but Cameron led Government would be ruinous. Meanwhile, I wish an end to the fuss.

Noise is Off

With most music radio (with the exception of the excellent D&B shows on 1Xtra) living in retro-pop tedium, and the computer off-limits, I turned to CDs. Listening to music eyes shut and in pain is pretty intense and not altogether enjoyable. I got extremely pissed off listening to hardcore CDs – apart from the odd decent track the lazy programming seemingly abandons the listener while noisy-yet-dull sequences repeat. Classical music is more interesting, picking apart the various textures and guessing the intent of the composer, but any visualising made me move my eyes (ouch!) and any searing climaxes and overtly high pitched violins just made me think of my eyelids growing teeth and ripping ripping ripping!!! THE RIPPING…

Total Downer

After a week I had signs that could easily be mistaken for serious clinical depression. The constant pain had made me irritable and preoccupied, my inability to do anything useful lowered my self-opinion and physically I was weak due to zero exercise. All those symptoms left with the worst of the pain, but it is easy to see how lazy GPs mistake the symptoms of physical distress for mental illness and dish out the anti-depressants. This short experience has underlined the opinions I outlined in my earlier Prozacrap post.

Fit as a Frequency Modulator

It is a shame about my eye, as otherwise I’ve been really getting back to full fitness. I will write a full explanation of my chest illness on the main site when I’m sure it’s gone, but it would seen that I had a long-term muscular problem which was confused with the symptoms of oesophagitis, which I also had and ran concurrently for around a year. As a result, the muscular illness went untreated while the oesophagitis was believed to continue after it was cured. Now I’m normally pain-free except for if I bash my chest hard, lift very heavy objects or eat too much. As cycling generally doesn’t involve any of the above and as such I’ve managed regular rides, including a couple of 60 milers, which I’m very pleased with as six months ago I could barely wheel the bike from the garage without discomfort. I’ve also lost quite a few of the 104kg I was hulking last year. As my body gets more agile, as does my mind and I’m now pretty well zipping round music software program Cubase 5. I’m doing a couple more remixes and cover versions and I hope to be technically competent enough to concentrate on content and make some works of note by the year’s end. Meantime, here a couple of visual treats I was enjoying before the ripping…

Recommended

martyrs1Shamefully, my knowledge of French horror starts and stops with Switchblade Romance, but I’ll certainly be checking out more after watching Martyrs, out on DVD on Monday following a limited UK cinematic release. Forcing mainstream film media into namechecking Ichi the Killer and Italian gobble ‘em up Cannibal Holocaust, due to the extreme violence, it is unfortunate that a film such as Martyrs – made to communicate and understand pain – should get confused with those that glower over it. This is an unexpectedly emotional study of long term physical and mental sufferance, and memories the film comforted me after my latest eye injury. Best viewed knowing little about it, this is one of my favourite films of all time in any genre.

miner_xboxboxartXbox 360 owner burrowing into community game downloads may discover gem Miner Dig Deep, a superbly addictive mine building collect ‘em up featuring a shopful of earth moving powertools. Fans of Toolbox Murders will be disappointed by the lack of underwritten female characters to use them on, though. Around four hours top entertainment for less than £2, this is one internet purchase that really will make you gasp as your shaft grows huge!

 

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