Saturday, March 08, 2008

I was supposed to make grand observations / But I've lost my train of thought

01 There is no excuse for not having written anything in recent days, beyond lazy. Indeed, yesterday was Nyepi here in Bali, the day of tranquillity, of cleansing, when nothing is supposed to happen and nobody is to leave your property, show a light or use any technology. Of course reality intervenes sometimes and I noted that my internet connection was the slowest it’s ever been here..a crawl…and that is saying a lot….so clearly someone was online.

But it is an incredible day to be in Bali. On the night before, all hell breaks loose as the Oga-Ogas are paraded and then destroyed, and much Arak is consumed. On the day however, the silence is, to use a much overdone cliché, deafening. In a most pleasant way of course.

Sitting in the garden without the hum of 100cc Sepeda Motors and horns coming from 02 the road is quite something and I can’t help but feel that removal of all vehicles from the road for a day has to have an, at least short term, positive effect on the air in the urban areas. The traffic in Kota Denpasar of recent has ground pretty much to a halt throughout the day and seems only to be getting worse as the roads struggle to cope…like much of this macet plagued country.

Last night we sat and ate our Chilli Pakoras in almost complete’s a great way to let the senses concentrate on the heat.

I did the almost impossible and didn’t listen to a CD, MP3 or anything else (although to be absolutely truthful I did, very, very quietly, so the banjar enforcement squad wouldn’t hear, sit through a couple of my teach yourself Adobe Illustrator movies that I'm studying daily in the vague hope I can get my head around it).

But today of course I’m firing, craving, again and am continuing my ongoing love affair with the Matthew Dear album, Asa Breed.

This one has lasted for a while, since late last year, but it creeps up again over and over. Texan, Dear’s techno mixes, under the Audion moniker, have been both gi65-350critical and popular, albeit niche popular, successes over the past couple of years, but it’s his twisted electronic pop, under his own name, which has really fascinated me. I love this record, and, another cliché, its so modern. But it truly is, it’s a truly radical record mashed with a truly conservative record and it all sounds rather like what will be, prophetic in the same way that odd German stuff that arrived circa 1972-4 was. Its Lee Hazlewood meets Can meets Lee Perry meets Carl Craig meets Lennon ’67 meets Kevin Ayers with a bunch of intriguing stop-offs along the way. The reference points are worn rather obviously but this, often, stunningly gorgeous record is its own master. It’s the perfect contemporary pop record.

In my opinion of course.

With that in does piss one off when, having been an early adopter, the artist / label thinks its perfectly reasonable to release a second edition of an album with extra tracks......and then complains when some feel the need to borrow a copy off the net.

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