Hrvatski – Swarm & Dither

(Planet Mu ZIQ-026CD)

Author: Jyoti Mishra <>
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 03:59:38 BST

Got this today and it’s ACE!

It’s a collection of fourteen of Hrvatski’s tracks going from 1994 up to 2002. The style is very glitchy and groinky but it’s not as cerebral as I find a lot of <cough> IDM to be.

‘Vatstep dsp’ kicks it off and what a great start. After some 35 seconds of drilling-through-breezeblocks noise, the beat kicks in and we have that now famous singer Mr. Crooning Macintosh, as previously heard on Cylob’s ‘Rewind’ (although that was recorded after this ’99 track, I think). There’s mad breakbeats, obligatory Metasynthing but the genius touch is the cat miaowing. Class!

The cover of ‘Paint It Black’ perhaps stretches the definition of ‘cover’ but behind the doleful twanging, you can make out someone singing it so I guess it passes. Sounds like a solo Thurston Moore piece, but less jazz-funk.

‘2nd Zero Fidelity Mandible Investigation’ is a slippery bugger. Starts of with some very Pink Floydy piano chords and then goes mental breakbeat before a tasty whistling solo! Yes – there should be MORE whistle solos in serious blokes-with-laptops electronic music. But then Hrvatski gets bored again and bungs on some even stupider breakbeats that make most gabba sound sedate. It ends rather sedately.

That’s the thing about this album – you can’t skip through it or you’ll miss some lovely pearls of sound. I’ve listened to it about three times all the way through and there’s new little bits I hear every time.

Another top tune is ‘Marbles’ which sounds to me like it was nicked off the seminal ‘Marble Madness’ but is apparently, according to the liner notes, nicked off a Gameboy game. It’s very funky and I guess, next to ‘Vatstep’ the track I’d most play when DJing. It’s got that lovely, grungy cheap synthchip sound to it. And a kicking beat. Mmmm…

‘Echoes’ sounds very much like what it is: a piece of academic electroacoustic music. It’s basically piano(s) recorded and echoed, the echoes making up quite complex rhythms. Quite compelling, in a ball-bearing-falling-into-some-eggcups kind of way.

Now ‘Ewc4’ is a different beastie altogether. Starts off with sampled chugging metal guitar before several different breaks come in, at half, normal, double and quadruple tempos. Then they fade and what’s left is some Satie-esque electric piano chords.

‘Gemini’ sort of carries that on. It’s a sweet piece, chiming, pentatonic melodies that are a bit folksy/Boards of Canada-y which get chopped-up into little trills and stutters.

‘Carrot’ opens with an acoustic guitar riff and again, it’s a simple, plainly beautiful song. The melody is carried on by electric piano again before some beats skitter in… just when you think it’s fading, it goes a bit cyberdub. Then filtercyberdub before closing with the riff that opened. Nice.

The album closer is ‘Tegenborg’ and according to the liner notes, it’s based on a track by a Swedish prog group called Trad Gras Och Stenar. This *may be* Hrvatksi taking the piss – I’m not up on prog enough to know. Whatever, it’s a rocking track which to my ears sounds like J.Mascis pissing round with Squarepusher on drums. If you like feedback, you’re gonna love the end of this…

Please check out samples of the tracks here and you’ll see I’m not demented and that it is great stuff.

My overall fave on the album is ‘Vatstep’ just cos it makes me smile and dance and feel very happy.

Buy this album if you like stuff like Kid 606, Wauvenfold, Boards Of Canada, Funkstorung or Jake Mandell. Don’t buy it if you think it’s a crime for electronic music to have a sense of humour,
love and kisses,

Milky Wimpshake – Lovers Not Fighters

(Fortuna Pop FPOP34)

Author: Jyoti Mishra
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 02:22:21 BST

For those who haven’t heard them, MW excel at punky, poppy songs with lyrics that always provoke you, even if that sometimes mean they irk

I stuck the album on and straight away it cheered me up. I guess some people might think it’s a bit retro indie but in these days of faux garage and Pro Tools punk, it sounds fresh to my ears.

I really, really, really like the lyrics. Some of them are a bit Half Man Half Biscuit but with a streak of lefty nastiness that I love. Less ironic and distanced, more taking the piss.

This is my fave lyric, taken from the eponymous song:

“This song has a verse but has no chorus police are out in force and looking for us but we don’t care because we’re upside down and Australia is the other way round so we’ll ignore the man hope they’ll do the same to us”

Please go out and buy it / bug your local indie shop to stock it. If you can’t find it in a shop, try here:

Milky Wimpshake Homepage

If you like The Buzzcocks, The Brilliant Corners or have a secret fond place in your heart for The Pooh Sticks ‘On Tape’, you’ll probably love this record,
love and kisses,




Ethernet MP3
Slim Devices

This morning, I got one of these gadgets delivered:

It’s basically a doodad to play mp3s off any designated drive/folder on your LAN… so my big PC which has all my CDs on it (around 1500 now in mp3 form) is now the music server for my house. It’s a noisy bastard but that’s fine cos it’s now humming away in the next room and my sitting room is quiet enough to do Segovia justice.

The SliMP3 comes with a little remote control which lets you browse through your music folder, make playlists and do all the usual stuff.

All you do to configure it is plug it into your router (or straight into your PC’s NIC via crossover Cat 5) and then it works out everything by DHCP and connects to the server app anywhere on the network. Oh, and it can play net radio stations too, which is finally useful to me now with broadband…

It’s lovely…
love and kisses,

God Bothering

Ok, welcome ladies and gentleman, to yet another Science vs. Religion arguement in disguise. This time Death. In Science’s (anti-religion) corner, We have Jyoti, with his preaching Synth Pop. In Religion’s (anti-common sense), We have God, with his preaching blend of reggae and Funk.
(Mightysmurf @ Sep 15 2002, 02:08 AM)

God has never spoken to humans because there is no god. What we’ve had is humans saying god has spoken to them, an entirely different matter.

Ok, after hearing both sides of the arguement, i have reached this conclusion: Death cannot be proved to be the end or the beginning.

You’re doing the old ‘well, you can’t DISPROVE god and life after death argument’ which is unsupportable. The burden of proof doesn’t lie on me, it lies on the people claiming the ridiculous thing. For example, there are fairies in your garden who smoke crack and fart in your eyes when you’re asleep. What do you mean there aren’t? Okay DISPROVE they exist…. You can’t… And why should you have to? I should have to provide proof of their existence. There is no proof of god or life after death. None at all.

Science can say, well, you know, your dead, thats it. But 500 years ago science said, the worlds flat, and 1000 years ago, the sun is god. Therefore science’s arguement is not accpeted due to dam right ignorance.

Ahem! I think you’ll find that was RELIGION that claimed those things on the basis of the Bible or whatever, like modern-day Creationists not wanting to accept we’re apes. The point of science is that nothing is ever true, you must question everything. The most you can say, as Richard Feynman pointed out, is that, as far as we know, we believe this certain fact/law to be true SO FAR. Tomorrow morning, some genius might come up with an exception or disproof. Whereas, if you question a religion you’ll get stoned to death, burned at the cross or some fucker will fly a plane into your skyscraper.

Religion…just how many arguements are you putting across here? Souls, possession, ghosts, re-incarnation…make your mind up. Im sorry religion but you can’t have it everyway. Your ideas are ignored coz you suck at making decisions.

It’s all mummery and superstition. It’s a crutch for people scared of the bleak reality of death.

I here by decree that science and religion will continou to bore each other to death with their ideas. As the Grim Reaper I don’t give a toss who’s right as long as im kept in buisness. I will hear no more evidence. The end.

There is no Grim Reaper. The universe doesn’t give a shit if a bunch of hairless apes live or die. We’re totally insignificant. As for all the religious believers out there, there’s also people out there who believe all kinds of mad shit, that doesn’t mean I have to agree with their puny, diseased brains Cos if you go by what you’re saying, you should join the church of David Icke. I mean, can you DISPROVE the world isn’t run by a secret cabal of reptiles, huh? Can you? There is no heaven or hell, no absolute good or evil incarnate. Just us hairless horny apes running round, telling stories to each other and making up things like god and the devil as an excuse for our successes and failures. It’s yet another way, along with drink and drugs that people evade taking responsibility for their own actions. "Oh, I was pissed!" "Oh, I was stoned!" "Oh, the nasty devil made me do it!"

Jyoti, we may be hairless apes, but who knows what happens to apes in general as well as all animals when we die. We could be in a matrix for all you know.
(Mightysmurf @ Sep 15 2002, 05:56 PM)

Yes, and we could all be made into muffins by the Cottage Cheese Gnome and then live happily in ETERNAL BISCUIT LAND with all the Jaffa Cakes singing hosannas and a very big, grumpy ant called Alf. …go on DISPROVE THAT!

I find Ockham’s Razor to be applicable here: why believe convoluted theories (which aren’t even internally consistent) about possible modes of afterlife when it’s much more likely we’re just wormfood?
love and kisses,

The Digital Alexandria

I’ve just downloaded two tracks I’ve been after for years and that are currently un-issued by any record company: ‘Bamboo Houses’ by Ryuichi Sakamoto / David Sylvian and ‘Clouds Across The Moon’ by The Rah Band.

I nearly cried when I heard these tracks – I’ve been after both of them for at least 19 years!

It struck me that (providing we don’t get blown to shit by Bush/Bin Laden) the net is now becoming more and more historically crucial as an alternative. It’s the only place to turn to if you don’t just want the output the major entertainment corporations see fit to give us.

There’s not enough demand for any label to keep these two titles in print but there’s a few weirdos out there with the same bizarre tastes as me so the music won’t die…

Maybe this’ll happen to some of the bands on here ( You may not get paid for it but once you’ve got your songs up on the net, who knows where the buggers end up. You could have a tiny worldwide fanbase and not even know about it.

Once your song is out there as digital information, who knows where it’ll end up? On US kids mixtapes, on an alien’s walkman… or perhaps in the year 3002 someone will be rocking to a Dead By Dawn song – if they like classical music
love and kisses,

Age And Ageing

When I was nine, the time between two Christmases would be approximately twenty years. And if I wanted something for my birthday and my parents said ‘wait till Christmas’ that would be about 40 years.

Now Christmas seems to come around about once every four months.

When I was young, I was constantly surprised by the weather. I knew, logically, the procession of seasons but cos a year seemed to last about 200 years, I couldn’t grasp the ebb and flow of time.

Now I can feel the seasons changing. Here, at the top-end of Ford Lane, there’s the smell of Summer in the air. Badly-lit barbecues, boy-racers and distant thumping sub woofers. Yes, I can smell sub woofers. Entirely different from the spangly crispness of Spring or the amiable langour of Autumn. Don’t start me on Winter…

When I was young, I thought I’d always have a set of friends, that nothing could change how much we loved each other and that we’d always be in bands, going clubbing, discovering new music together.

Now I know that people change, it’s natural. Most people are only into music from pre-teen to about 26 or 27… say fifteen years at a push. Life comes along, boyfriends, girlfriends…. work. And then you see someone in the Blue Note you haven’t seen for years and you realise they haven’t bought any new records since 1992. That was their time, they’ll be forever there, like a fly in amber, puzzled by System Of A Down or MOP.

I’ve seen these waves of teenage fashion arrive, take over and then slowly die in the Blue Note:
Acid House
Rare Groove
Smiths Boys
Baggy Kids
Grunge Kids
and currently we’re in a nu-metal/rock/post-hardcore phase. God knows what’s coming next.

I remember the 70s. I remember the 80s (I started nightclubbing in 1981). I remember the 90s.

I’m now old enough to sense the flow of decades. I like being old, although I do feel like Rutger Hauer at the end of Blade Runner… well, that coupled with the end of Stand By Me when Dreyfuss is narrating and his friends fade out.

I’m looking forward to the future, going to many more gigs and buying shitloads more records!
love and kisses,

Written on my 36th birthday, July 30th 2002