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Friday 1 March 2024

Music From Two Mats

The first day of March is the first day of meteorological spring, the emergence from winter. It feels like it's been a long winter, the dark mornings and evenings hanging around for a long time. I've been unwell this week, spending two days off work and in bed. And last week I did this to my finger (ring finger, left hand)...

That x- ray shows my dislocated finger, done playing football when the ball struck my hand end on. Straight away I knew it was bad, not an injury I would just run off. I got to A&E at Wythenshawe at just after 10pm last Tuesday night and was told there was an eight hour wait, that I'd be better off going home, trying to sleep and coming back at 8am the next morning. The following morning a very nice A&E nurse sent me for an x- ray (above), diagnosed a dislocated finger and brought in the gas and air for me to inhale while she pulled my finger back into socket. 'Ooh, I felt a click, did you?', she said at one point. I can confirm that gas and air is first rate as a pain killer and can make a patient feel quite light headed. Also that yes, I felt a click too. A visit to hand clinic last Thursday saw me leave with a splint. It's been badly bruised, swollen, various shades of purple and painful ever since. But obviously better than it was in that x- ray where two thirds of my finger are very much not where they should be. 

This week on Tuesday morning I took yet more painkillers and felt nauseous straight away. I went to work and got on with things and took more pain killers near lunchtime. Later on I was sick in my classroom bin (thankfully not in front of any of my classes- memorable for them maybe but not something that I'd choose to happen). Whether I've overdone the pain killers or picked up a bug that the medicines I've been taking reacted with I don't know, but by the time I got home on Tuesday evening I was done in and spend most of Wednesday and much of Thursday in bed. I'm also currently taking an anti- histamine for my chronic sinusitis and eustachian tube dysfunction (long standing and ongoing, possibly an after effect of Covid, possibly an allergic reaction to something) and statins (inherited high cholesterol, diagnosed last summer). Pills 'n' thrills and bellyache, as the Happy Mondays had it on their album of 1990.  

Enough of my moaning- today is therefore not just the first day of spring but the first day I've felt any better this week so here are two different recent releases from varying ends of the electronic music spectrum. First, some calming and beautiful ambient/ modern classical music from Mat Ducasse. Mat was once Matty Skylab, one of the four people in Skylab along with Howie B, Masayuko Kudo and Toshio Nakanishi. Their back catalogue is full of weird and wonderful electronic delights, experimental mid- 90s trip hop and electronica. In recent years Mat's solo recordings have been excursions into deep listening, ambient soundscapes. His latest release is two versions of Song For David, a track recorded in memory of a friend who died of prostate cancer. Both versions, one with bells and the other without, are sublime, with oscillations, washes of synth, long chords and brightly hued ambience. You can find Song For David here

In 1997 Mat Ducasse remixed this song along with William Orbit, Psyche Rock, by French pair Pierre Henry and Michel Colombier, a song oringally from 1967, a leftfield, rocking late 90s update on mid 60s Franco- psychedelia. 

It provides a nice link to Elexperimental by Matt Gunn, a four track EP that came out yesterday, described by Matt as 'akin to Kraftwerk and LCD with a bass after a night on the sauce'. This is music that is vibrant and up for it, music that thumps out of speakers and blows the dust away. Golden Graham is breakbeats and fuzzed up synths over a white knuckle bassline, kicking and jerking around. Bingo's Crime (with Louis Gordon)is electronic funk and long keyboard chords beamed in from Dusseldorf four decades ago, bleeps riding on top. Third track, Drive Thru Century, starts with the sound of cars spinning their wheels and revving their engines, a souped up take on Autobahn, then more drum machines and synths/ keys from West Germany, a lovely padding bassline and the sound of the future, then, now. The EP finishes with We Are Ninja, in collaboration with Toffeetronic, mid 80s electro- pop, fizzing, bubbling synths, needle scratches and a vocal chanting the title. Lots of fun, something for everyone and also tracks that never quite do what you expect them to do. Buy the Elexperimental EP here


Ernie Goggins said...

I felt queasy just looking at the x-ray. I hope they can patch you up and that you'll be back to your brilliant best soon.

Rol said...

Me too. That was a definite "ouch" moment when I saw that x-ray. Hope you're on the mend soon, Adam.

George said...

I was never sick in a classroom when teaching.Although when I saw a student's head swarming with lice I did feel a bit queasy

C said...

Argh, so sorry to read this, it all sounds awful and that's a very icky x-ray too (albeit rather arty looking!) - you're really going through the wars. Wishing you a full and speedy but in the meantime hope you can take it easy.

Swiss Adam said...

Thanks for your sympathy all.
George- yeah, does that to me too. Being sick in a classroom bin is a new low in some ways.
C- I quite like the x- ray, it has a certain arty appeal I agree. Someone said to me, 'it may have hurt like fuck but you've got a bad ass photo out of it'.

Rickyotter said...

You've definitely been in the wars Adam, hope you continue to feel better. My wife has eustachian tube problems and I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy - really nasty sometimes. At least you have a cool x-ray.

Khayem said...

Ouch! That x-ray is painful to look at…! Hope you’re feeling a bit better, Adam, and I hope your team won the match at least.

Thanks as always for the music. Matt Gunn’s Elexperimental EP was on my Bandcamp Friday shopping list but was joined by a few Mat Ducasse releases, including Song For David. Lovely stuff.