Have just realised that I could very easily spend the rest of my blogging life simply commenting on the archives of Hollow Earth. http://www.hollowearth.org/2003_04_01_oldcrap.html#200177527.

So. DAF. It’s all about Sex Unter Wasser and Goldenische Spiele, isn’t it?

The infinitely cool Neil Starman http://neilstarman.blogspot.com/ writes about a talk to the South East London Folklore Society, on ‘Subterranean Worlds and Underground Civilisations. I’d have liked to go to this if I was in London. “As Justin observed, in a world where everything visible has been mapped and accounted for, what lies beneath our feet retains some mystery, a dark space into which fears, fantasies and hopes can be projected.”

well yeah. But the quest for the underworld is IMO less about some pastoralist / expansionist quest for new territory to conquer (which is a direct implication of the proposition that there is a desire to go BEYOND what has been mapped and therefore possessed). It’s the natural “polar” linkage between the mundane world and the Abyss, and the heavens. John Michel writes about this very well in The Centre of the World (which is, on reflection, probably his best book — he spends his time doing gnostic geometrical drawings these days, don’t you know) and Nigel Pennick does a good summary of this in The Celtic Landscape.

I have BTW just picked up The Celtic Landscape — four quid second hand from Amazon! It’s been on the list quite a while so I’m glad I got it, and it’s a corker. I thought it was going to be a coffee-table book, but it’s quite deep. Boog bibliography too but no footnotes, so you don’t quite know the source of each point he makes, which is a shame.

Eden is meditating on DJing and the need or not to do your mixes all in one take:

> what matters is the sound and not how it got there, but ultimately mixing is something I would like to be better at just because I enjoy it so much.

Oh sure. The point is that trying to do a whole mix all in one go puts too much pressure on you to get it right and means you can’t enjoy it enough to do a good mix. The great joy of the incremental approach is that you can almost record everything and pick out the gems. Of course you then spend a lot of time editing…

John’s issues, part two

Clearly memory is an issue. It’s cheap to resolve though . Maxing out your Mac to 128Mb will cost £50 inc VAT and delivery according to http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/listparts.asp?Mfr%2BProductline=Apple%2BiMac&mfr=Apple&cat=RAM&model=iMac+%28G3-233+Rev.A%29&submit=Go. That’s if I’ve remembered your model properly.

You’ll like ProTools. It pretty muich works properly, which is more than can be said for Cubase, which crashes every time I pull in a V1 Rex file. Which it shouldn’t. But it does. Much better for what you want to do than SoundEdit.

As to wanting to do your mixes all in one — your pathetic insistence on authenticity in your production of cultural artefacts is obviously a deeply conservative position which only serves to reinforce cultural hegemony. Your continued insistence on the reality of some sort of platonic ideal of mixing is both oppressive and exploitative and simply serves to perpetuate the dominance of patriarchal cultural values… especially when you should be chilling out and just chucking a few records in the directionof your hard drive…

Review Pressure, the new CD by The Bug

I liked it first, then I doubted it, now I love it. I think it’s probably the record of the year, at least for a certain subculture.

Mostly I like it cos it’s a proper ragga album (that’s a contradiction in terms, but hey) rather than a digital hardcore mash up — I really like digital hardcore mashups, but albums of them usually disappoint. This one doesn’t, really, cos it has ace toasting from decent ragga artsists, none of whom I have heard of.

Run the Place Red with Daddy Freddy will be the single of the year, if the remixes are any good (maybe it’s out already? Who knows?). Certainly it qualifies as best ragga album ever done by a white boy. It still has elements of that distorted Ambush style but they’re pushed way down in favour of the groove and the lyric. And it’s constructed like an album, man, cos it’s interspersed with slower tracks done with some sort of ragga poet, that you’re not sure of at first but stick in your brain.

Really good record. An unexpectedly traditional record too — proper craft.

Good to see simes http://blissout.blogspot.com/ is down with DJ Scud and Panacea’s The Redeemer: “Hardcore Owes Us Money”. I don’t have it but I heard it a while back. Good tune, better than the Ambush album, which I think is patchy and not up to the level of the singles. Though it’s largely a compilation of singles. Go figure.

But I search in vain for any mention of The Bug. I presume he hasn’t heard it, though it’s possible he’s already spent a week analysing it and I missed it.

Still. The Bug. Record of the year so far, no doubt.

I’ll stick up a review in a bit.>

Speaking of mixes, Matthew Ingram (he of the ongoing non-spat spat) has done one over at hollow earth http://www.hollowearth.org/2003_04_01_oldcrap.html#200181194.

He’s pushing the idea of Gangsta Techno, which is an interesting one, though more a product of reconstruction than memory. The music is great though, I’d hardly heard of any of it before either. Smooth mixing too.

I presume this means he is uninterrupted by babies!

So, Eden’s trying to do another mix CD (http://uncarved.chaos.org.au/), which is a good thing, cos he does excellent mix CDs (despite — or possibly because of — the fact that he can’t, and apparently doesn’t need, to actually mix. So, you should all be excited.

However, the trouble he’s experiencing is due to him taking a Big Bang approach to mix CD compilation. Just picking up a load of vinyl, firing up the decks and switching on the recorder is alright if a) you get a chance to practice properly, at decent volumes, on a regular basis, b) your (almost certainly digital) recorder is consistently plugged in and needs no more set-up) and c) you can go back and re-do it several times.

None of which is possible if you have children, a relatively normal relationship with your spouse, and a normal income (all is possible if you have a team of nannies doing the childcare for you, but that’s not really parenting, is it?).

What John should be doing is recording bits of mixes in between baby-minding and blending them together. That way he can build up a mix by accretion. It’s a lot easier to record a bit of mixing that’s good and then stick it with some other bits that are also good, without worrying that THIS WHOLE MIX HAS TO BE GOOD IN ONE TAKE OR IT’S NOT WORTH HAVING! This would also suit his mixing style. Of course, many would also say that such an approach lacks “authenticity”, or something. Well boo sucks to them. They don’t have to try to compile mix CDs within the hour and ten minutes of personal available in a day (available that is if you cut down on civilised communications with your partner). I blame capitalism, for obvious reasons.

Unfortunately, as he has complained about at great length in his blog, his Mac is in a different room to his decks, so this is difficult to achieve. What he therefore needs is either a long cable running from the mixer to his Mac (feasible, but Macs running SoundEdit have a tendency to crash if you don’t stand over them), or something like a MiniDisk recorder (or Archos MP3 recorder??) by the side of the decks to record into, a mini-optical to full-sized optical cable to take a digital out from the MD recorder (possibly with an opticaltocoaxial converter box), and something like an Edirol USB UAD1 digital audio capture device (basically a cable with a USB connector at one end and a coax digital connector at the other. They’re ace, I want one cos my old Korg 1212’s digital cables went walkies years ago so I can’t record digitally. They’re only about 60 quid. But John doesn’t have 60 quid.

Or, he could take the low-tech route. He could record bits of mixes onto ANALOGUE tape using his old tape recorder, which still functions pretty well, at his leisure, with no pressure or hassle (other than remembering to switch the tape deck on, but John is good with discipline like that). Then he could plug that tape deck, or even just a walkman, into his iMac’s sound-in port, record into soundedit the bits he likes, and compile the CD (ideally using ProTools Free).

Voila. No further expenditure, cheap media, lovely. Sound quality won’t be crystal-clear digital beauty, but analogue tape and reggae go together pretty well. And anyway, he can always bung the pre-master of the CD over to me and I’ll process the tracks with my very expensive collection of Waves Plug-Ins (something like Renaissance EQ for the top end sparkle, Ultrabass for the low end, and C4 to keep everything under control). Best of both worlds, innit.

Why on earth doesn’t Danny Sullivan have his own website? Or better still, blog?

Why for that matter is Paul Devereux’ site two years out of date?

I think there are signs of burn out in the landscape alignments camp…