More lovely people saying nice things about my latest.
REVIEW BY IDWAL FISHER:
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.
REVIEW BY MY OLD MUCKER LAWRENCE BURTON:
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.