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.
The zine is going down well with the people I hoped it would. Thanks to everyone who ordered a copy so far and especially those of you who took the time to get back to me with your thoughts. Some of these are collected below.
Issue 10 is still available from me here.
But please note that there are only two copies is only one copy of issue 9 left at the time of writing.
Photo by Craig
“I have read approx 67.4% of Turbulent Times 10 and already it rates AAA on the fanzinometer. Essential”
– Rob Hayler, Radio Midwich
“particularly enjoyed reviews of other noise fanzines”
– Neil Campbell, Astral Social Club
“Even the bag Turbulent Times 10 comes in is top quality.”
– John Appleby
“You absolutely definitely need a copy if yr into odd music & art, superb stuff…”
– Phil Sniff
“Kept new issue of Turbulent Times for this bus journey & it’s a scorcher... [john] is a fantastically funny live reviewer”
– Loki, IX Tab.
Photo by GRMMSK
“BEST NOISEZINE EVER: Issue #10 of Turbulent Times is the best issue yet of one of the best mags ever. Crammed to b-b-b-bursting point w/ info and reviews and features on some of our favourite artists – both ‘Noise’ and Non-Noise – incl: our pal, the talented and all-round lovely geeeezer Pete UM (Bumskipper 3 is very good, btw; actually, all Pete’s stuff is worth a listen, but you should def. burrow into his vinyl.back.cat), super-prolific musician Elizabeth Veldon meditating on ‘beauty’ and dealing w/ online abuse from peabrained fascisti-powerelectronics idiots and – well, I would be slacking in my non-job if I didn’t hep you crazy stactivist thrill-seekers to the Super-Now sound of CONCRETE / FIELD.
Yes, I espesh like that the mag is vehemently anti-fascist and ain’t afraid to say it out loud. But that don’t mean it’s all po-faced and ain’t no fun. Oh, no. That repurposed Jack Chick toon made me howl so hard I soiled my britches.
I was also VERY happy that the package included a Degenerate Waves badge. There was something oddly thrilling about finding that minimal black-type-on-a-yellow-background disk in amongst the zine debris. Couldn’t say why, exactly, though.
Subsubunderground rumours that John Eden – he of legendary BCM-box-numbering – is travelling back in time so that he can release #11 before #10 came out, and that it’ll be in the form of a 48-page A1 Wordsearch, can neither be confirmed knor denied at this point.
Keep reading John’s blog or twitter for details; it’ll arrive VERY soon in your diemenschun, I’m sure.
Cannot recommend this mag highly enough. TT10 and a bottle of 64% Slovakian spirit will get me through this autumn, I tell ya.” – Kek-W, Kid Shirt
Photo by Frozen Reeds
“The final weekend in October and I was asked to DJ at a gig festering Consumer Electronics, Sudden Infant, Mark Wynn and Sleaford Mods at The 100 Club in London. Quite an honour … it also gave me the chance of meeting up with my eldest (Huw) who I hadn’t seen in about six years …
It was at the gig I was handed a copy of ‘Turbulent Times #10’ by writer in chief John Eden. A hand with a beaming face shortly behind it came out of the 100 Club darkness and gave me a copy, then retreated back towards the “happening” throng. The magazine became a godsend for the long train journey back the next day.
‘Turbulent Times’ is not an irreverent read but at the same time it is not “The Wire”. #10 centres around the words and works of Simon Morris and Theeeeee Ceramic Hobs, a great interview about the production of the “Spirit World Circle Jerk” album and a supplement tract where Simon explains his feelings towards fascism / anti-fascism in subterranean culture (always interested in this subject as i have been labelled a fascist by a few because of my association with Tesco Org), as well as an attempted interview with a man who walks the streets of Stamford Hill with a swastika sandwich board strapped to his torso – I have seen this man walking the streets myself whenever I have stayed in Stamford Hill … on the way to Stoke Newington but never had the balls to engage with him…
The rest of the magazine made the journey fly by with an insight to the works of Peter Um (who I took a great dislike to when I saw him live in a field in Cambridgeshire four years ago) and Adolf Steg. Two Steg postcards are inside …. There are reviews of live events such as the Extreme Rituals Event that took place in 2012 and words on releases by Re:Clip, Small Cruel Party and Ekoplekz amongst others … a great and easy read that makes the unknown and unheard worth investigating.”
– Steve, Muh Mur
(now sold out)
60 page fanzine! In a bag!
8 page insert on anti-fascism and music!
2 full-colour Adolf Steg postcards!
Degenerate Waves Badge!
(Apologies for ridiculous overseas prices – these are because of the recently privatised UK Post Office).
Enquiries from other distributors and people wanting to blag free copies are welcome.
ORDER ISSUES 9 AND 10 FOR JUST A QUID MORE: There are still some copies the last issue left. See this page for enthusiastic reviews. Buying both is only one pound more, because the postage cost is the same:
This looks great:
Photo from Tash’s CJA pages
Sunday October 19th 2014, 2 pm – 10 pm, at MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH
Twenty years ago, on 9 October 1994, a huge demonstration against the Government’s Criminal Justice Act ended in London’s Hyde Park with riotous clashes, police horses charging, and people dancing to sound systems. The Act brought in new police powers against raves, squatters, protestors, travellers and others, and was passed amidst widespread opposition.
This event will include memories of this movement, its ways of organising and representing itself and will feature displays of its ‘material culture’ such as zines, flyers, cassettes and letters.
There will also be a panel discussion looking at the related radical/techno zines of the 1990s, in what was one of the last musical and social movements mediated primarily through print rather than digitally.
The talks and discussion will be followed by an evening of films, music and refreshments.
It is hoped that the day will be a catalyst for a process of archiving, circulating and discussing materials from the radical social/musical movements of the 1990s.
I enjoyed completing the questionnaire that is a pre-requirement for obtaining the new Libbe Matz Gang / Degenerate Waves “Victory Through Voltage” release. But I never guessed that this would be the only enjoyment I would get out of it.
Shortly after submitting my entry, I received a brief email directing me to a secret blog for an “update”. The only contents of said blog were an animated pink/black gif flashing with the words “Your application has been REJECTED. Sincerest apologies, Libertatia Overseas Trading”.
It’s hard to express how I feel about this. It is certainly a very confusing business model and I am pissed off that a label I have helped over the last few years has now made it impossible for me to keep up with their output. I guess this could be for my own safety, but come on. On the other hand it is very amusing- to me, and much more for others I’ve talked to about it. Most of the people I’ve discussed this with haven’t had this sort of aggro, but there are a select few of us who are denied hearing “630v HEX ATTACK”.
I’ve had quite a strange relationship with Libertatia Overseas Trading since they came to my attention two years ago and it looks like things are set to get even stranger…
Other things, which I will actually be able to get hold of, probably:
The Hacker Farm / Libbe Matz Gang film “Witches” (which I organised a London showing for last year) is nearing an official DVD (and maybe other formats) release. A “teaser-trailer” has been uploaded to YouTube, which is characteristically sinister, but oddly doesn’t actually feature any footage from the film:
IX Tab have their much anticipated (not just by me) second album coming out soon on Exotic Pylon:
Oh and there’s a new album by The Bug just out too, which you have probably already heard lots about already.
Grmmsk on vinyl
“This is another doomdub-resurrection ov the still undead punk genre. similar to the evolution ov zombie’s mobility in movies these days, on the collaboration ‘müllGRMM TÜTEsk’ you’ll find not only slow motion crawling and staggering, but also rather aggressive and hectic attacks. that’s when they’ve spotted you! feel the sting ov this toothed-up VERSIONS of the tracks from the 3rd EP by berlin’s MÜLLTÜTE.”
Available from Rough Trade, Praxis in Berlin and a bunch of other places.
New releases on Libertatia Overseas Trading
Degenerate Waves are a new act and their debut features “Lo-fi sinewave abuse, limited edition of 50 copies” with some sound sourced from DSEI 2013 arms trade expo apparently! Another great quality (but lo-fi, naturally) release from L.O.T.
There is also a forthcoming Degenerate Waves split CD with Libbe Matz Gang. To get a copy you need to complete a slightly unnerving questionnaire! I really like the idea of having to go through arcane processes to get hold of music in the current era of everything being available. So I’ve completed my questionnaire and await the results…
Available from http://libertatiaot.blogspot.co.uk/
Turbulent Times issue 10
Is nearing completion, but don’t hold your breath. Some copies of issue 9 are still available from me.
See also new releases from:
Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” stretched to an hour in duration for your listening pleasure.
1. Fuxa – Dream Baby Dream
2. Christian & the Heathens – Dream Baby Dream
3. Mark Refoy – Blue Moon Dream Baby Dream
4. Madrugada – Dream Baby Dream
5. Luna – Dream Baby Dream
6. Black Tambourine – Dream Baby Dream
7. Savages – Dream Baby Dream
8. Sonic Death – Dream Baby Dream
9. Neneh Cherry & The Thing – Dream Baby Dream
10. Takkyu Ishino – Dream Baby Dream
11. Soma Sema – Dream Baby Dream
12. Zombie Zombie – Dream Baby Dream
13. Moto Boy- Dream Baby Dream
14. Enzo Boni – Dream Baby Dream
Sometimes quantity has a quality all of its own
Initially I liked the brevity of the Dream Baby Dream mix, but then my obsessive tendencies got the better of me. Banished from the room which contains my records last night I took to the internet to see what other versions of the Suicide track I could find.
What I like about the original its sparse brutal sonics and minimal deadpan vocals. This combination often seems to produce an emotional response in me that belies the simplicity of the ingredients. Ask any techno fan or Zen Buddhist if you don’t believe me.
Folk music, jazz and reggae are all based on versions, standards, interpretations of existing material but in rock music “original compositions” are what gets praised. The “cover version” is supposedly filler, novelty, the domain of jobbing pub bands giving the punters an unchallenging night out with no surprises or musical adventure.
The multiple versions here display diversity in unexpected ways.
Initially I was interested in the different genres which were being used to filter the interpretations. On the surface this is surprisingly varied, taking in pop, indie, jazz, rock, ambient, techno and piano balladeering.
But actually these genres (or the performances of them on display here) are more conservative than what Suicide were doing in the late seventies.
This is exacerbated by the Bruce Springsteen cover of the song (see the previous mix) which seems to have given a green light to various stadium performers (whether actual or wannabe) to reinterpret the song themselves. One of the artists on show here was actually honest enough to describe their work as “a cover version of the Bruce Springsteen cover version of the Suicide song”.
This has lead to a tendency to make some renditions of the song less deadpan and more literally emotional both in vocal and instrumental content. Which possibly says something about trying to appeal to a wider audience. But having said that I also like the balance of bedroom producers, small bands and what I guess are probably fairly well known people here. (The only artist I was familiar with previously was Neneh Cherry & The Thing).
Repeated listening made me appreciate less obvious differences between the tracks in the mix. Variations in bass tones, vocal tics, subtle textural shifts, different crowd noises, “mistakes”, room ambience, drop outs, and glitches caused by the free software I was using. I think these things are important, arguably just as important as the music being performed – but maybe it takes a version excursion to bring out these elements.
Dream Baby Dream.