47th Annual Report



Nostalgia was the order of the day:

  • I wrote a new foreword for the ebook reprint of Stewart Home’s classic 90s counter culture anthology Mind Invaders by Bread and Circuses. The foreword puts the texts in context and includes some reflections on my time then and how this sort of activity might be relevant now. Published today.
  • Some American anarchists produced a book about space travel which included a bunch of my texts for the Association of Autonomous Astronauts.
  • My interview with Paul Nomex was reprinted in the Datacide 2016 Almanac for Noise and Politics alongside a discography and a touching and insightful obituary by Jo Burzynska.
  • Finally, a short piece below about discontinuing my BM Box and what that used to mean.



I managed to double my average number of DJ sets this year with an outing to Walthamstow at a wicked General Echo session AND blagged on NTS radio by the kind invitation of my label of the year – Bokeh Versions.

I also finally uploaded my best of 2006 reggae mix to Mixcloud:

There are a bunch of other old mixes up there too. Click this.

listen back to Bokeh Versions and me on NTS dubwise



Saturday: weird dub on NTS alongside Bokeh Versions


If you follow me on twitter you will have seen me hyping this show over the last few months- always a great unpredictable mix up of JA and outernational dubwise styles and genres.

Bokeh Versions have also released a great 7″ of freak dub from Seekersinternational – one of the few new artists I truly rate from the last few years.

So I’m thrilled to be invited to bring out some of my vinyl armoury this weekend. Tune in 3-4 live on NTS. There will also be an archived “listen again” thing on Mixcloud to follow.

Closure of BM Box 3641

tl;dr – don’t send things to the BM Box any more. I’m not renewing it for 2016.


If I’ve sent you anything through the mail in the last 20 years, it’s probably had a rubber stamp imprint on it as in the photo above.

In the 80s and 90s all the cool kids in the UK underground scene had a PO Box with the Royal Mail, or got their post delivered to radical bookshop or similar. British Monomarks was for the proper hardcore though. The company was set up by a William Morris (not the William Morris) in 1925 to operate private mailboxes in Old Gloucester Street in Bloomsbury.

The word on the street was that unlike the Royal Mail, Monomarks wouldn’t hand over your personal details to any Tom, Dick or Harry – they’d need a court order or similar. Plus the central London location meant it was accessible if you lived in London but were moving around a lot. The weirdest (and therefore best) records, zines and political diatribes always came with BM Box to write back to.

I have to say that in my case, the glamour and mystique of having a BM Box far exceeded my need to shield my mail and personal details from the state or people who had taken a dislike to me. I remember a friend from Denmark being baffled about the plethora of mail boxes he had to write to, because everyone in Copenhagen just used their home address for their projects.

When I set up my box in the mid 1990s I was working around Euston and Holborn so I could head down to the Monomarks office and get my post of a lunchtime. There was usually a fair bit of it, which made for some great distractions to an afternoon of office drudgery.

I’d assumed that collecting my mail would be all bohemian and that the clerks and clientele would be crazy freaks. In fact it was simply a well-organised company with cheery staff. Most of the customers were non-descript, although I would occasionally run into people like Stewart Home or meet the guy who produced Progress Report fanzine. Less happily I also once bumped into neo-Nazi Charlie Sargent and a couple of his Combat 18 goons whilst collecting my mail. They had no idea who I was, but still exuded menace – I sidled off, feeling sorry for the staff who had to be civil to them.

I guess it’s an obvious point, but throughout the noughties the need to have mailing addresses was largely curtailed with the rise of email and the internet. These days everyone gets and sends less post – and fanzines, records and CDs are no longer the most effective way to get weird shit out there. I’ve also become much more fussy about how much crap I am prepared to take into my flat. But having said that, if you want to send me a physical object please get in touch and we’ll work something out…


New noise from me / Cutwail benefit compilation

I am very very proud to have a track included on the “We Saw Human Guinea Pigs Explode” compilation which has been released today:

The Cutwail label is a subsidiary of the unpredictable Libertatia Overseas Trading mob.

Actually I’m slightly staggered to be in there alongside Ceramic Hobs, Nocturnal Emissions, Xylitol, and Ekoplekz to name but four acts who I consider allies and sources of longstanding inspiration. Oh and some mysterious special guests…

My own effort is quite abstract and abrasive, but there is a great variety of material here.

Five quid gets you the tracks and artwork – and the money goes to help an excellent homelessness project in London.



Datacide 14 articles online


I neglected to give the new issue of Datacide enough praise on here because my own zine came out at the same time.

It should go without saying that’s it’s great and you should support the magazine by buying a copy or even subscribing.

(London people can pick up copies from Electric Knife or Housmans.)

Much (but not all) of the material in the latest issue is now online. Pieces by me include this article:

And these book reviews:

You should also most definitely read these:

Yet more praise for Turbulent Times issue 10

More lovely people saying nice things about my latest.

You can order your copy here.



At least we didn’t have to wait for fifteen years for another issue of the excellent Turbulent Times to appear. That was fifteen years between issues eight and nine in which editor John Eden decided to spend more time with his cabbage patch than with keyboard and pen. The wait is now down to a year which suits me fine.

I heaped praise on issue nine and I heap praise on issue ten. The reason I heap praise is because John Eden has the jaundiced eye that every zine writer needs. Not for him the enthusiastic yap of a wide-eyed teenager whose just been to his first noise gig and is now busy scanning eBay for cheap guitar pedals. Eden even reviews records he cant find anymore. This is more like it. Seat of your pants zine writing with plenty of the self and none of the psuedo wankery, dodgy font shit that ruins many a publication. It almost makes me wish I still did a zine. Well, almost.

In issue ten you get two enlightening interviews with Simon Morris of the Ceramic Hobs who despite being forever associated with mental imbalance always comes across as the most sensible person you’ve ever met. In the eight page accompanying booklet he holds forth on fascism/anti fascism in music and in the main zine on The Hobs. Both are worth your time.

There’s further interviews with now ex noise artist Elizabeth Veldon which highlights just how Neanderthal some noise fans/artists can be when faced with someone who has a brain and Pete Um who just can’t seem to make his mind up. Concrete/Field and Jah Excretion bring in the rest of the field and lets not forget the impossible to be dull artist Dr. Steg who gets an outing in a piece written by Pete Coward.

Its in the review section where Eden shines brightest though. His pieces on The Extreme Rituals Festival may be two years after the event but who’s complaining? As far as I’m concerned I was glad of the reminiscences and being enlightened as to the bits I missed. Trevor Wishart, The Residents and events at Bexhill Pavilion involving experimental electronic artists of a European bent also get a mention. Best record review goes to a spelling mistake of a band called müllGRMM TÜTEsk whose record he cant find. Its the kind of personal touch you just cant find in mainstream publications. The Wire should give him a job pronto but I dare say he’d tell them where to shove it.



This one falls some way outside of the usual parameters in context of the sort of thing I tend to review but fuck it – John Eden is one of those people who has always managed to make the world in his immediate vicinity a much more interesting place to be, and one of the few people I’ve known for any length of time who is yet to inspire me to any clandestine two-faced mutterings on the topic of perceived twattery during paranoid or otherwise less charitable interludes. His work deserves support is what I am trying to say, and so here we are.

To briefly fly off in another direction entirely, Philip Purser-Hallard’s Of the City of the Saved… describes a technological afterlife amounting to the Christian heaven wherein everyone who has ever lived mingles with everyone else who has ever lived. Oddly, I feel I’m beginning to get some idea of how this might feel, because nothing ever goes away forever, at least not any more. I read earlier editions of Turbulent Times back in the nineties. I am now facebook friends with others I knew at the same time, some of whom will also recall both this magazine and some of the artists featured. Weirdest of all – at least to me – was finding myself recommending this to Simon who used to work in Discovery Records in Stratford-on-Avon when I was at school over thirty years ago, and who sold me my copy of Never Mind the Bollocks. It’s not like we were best mates or anything, but he turned up as a friend of a friend on facebook, and we began talking, and it turned out that he’s still a big fan of both vinyl records and printed fanzines thirty plus years down the line. He’d just bought the new album by Philip Best’s Consumer Electronics, just as I come across references to the same Philip Best in my 1983 diary which I’m presently transcribing to electronic form; and then a different Simon, specifically one of the Ceramic Hobs, informs me of the astonishing fact that Philip Best is moving to Austin, which is quite near where I now live, and that he has been following my blog, An Englishman in Texas. Anyway, Simon – the one who once sold me Never Mind the Bollocks – dutifully sent away for Turbulent Times and enjoyed it just as I hoped he would; and of course he did because he’s a man of taste and it’s a blummin’ good read.

Anyway, the point of this is that sometimes I’m no longer quite sure there’s still such a thing as the past. Recent eras have developed into a permanent present, and there’s something really satisfying about finding a fanzine made of ink, paper, and staples in my mailbox in 2014. Since the advent of the internet and any old wanker being able to share their inconsequential thoughts with an indifferent universe by means costing no pennies, the sort of commitment required to achieve printed form has come to mean a great deal more than was once the case; and Turbulent Times is accordingly one hell of a lot more fun than reading something off a screen.

This issue covers a ton of people – musicians, noise artists, and general oddballs – about whom I previously knew nothing, and whose work I may not even like should I ever hear it, but who nevertheless provide the foundations of fascinating and witty reading. There’s also the endlessly entertaining Ceramic Hobs interviewed, and a pleasantly unequivocal discussion of fascist tendencies in weirdy music, and Elizabeth Veldon countering the sausagery of the noise scene. Figurative breaths of fresh air occur with some frequency.

It’s very strange being nearly fifty years old and reading this magazine in Texas, but it has reminded me how exciting it can be to discover this sort of stuff and specifically in this way. It’s great to know that this exists and that it definitively exists right now, as opposed to representing another virtual recycling endlessly reproduced on a thousand screens for a few moments before the passive and not really too bothered consumer clicks onto something else. Turbulent Times is nothing less than inspirational.