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Ben Butler & Mousepad, Eats Tapes, and The Rah Band - click opera
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Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 12:18 pm
Ben Butler & Mousepad, Eats Tapes, and The Rah Band

Here's my current musical "other half", Joe Howe, with his personal other half, Emma Balkind, curator of the Dark Horses exhibition currently showing at Glasgow's Recoat Gallery (click through the Dark Horses zine on their blog or have a gander at the gallery's Flickr set).



When people ask what the Joemus album is sounding like, I tend to say "8-bit Glam Rock", which is the genre description that seems to fit best. (My next Playground column, by the way, is going to be about the frustrations and confusions of genre -- at the Rough Trade shop in Truman's Yard I had no idea where to start looking for Momus records, because I didn't know if I was officially "UK Pop" or "Postpunk" or "New Folk" or "Electronica" or whatever -- all and none of the above, really).

Joe and Emma will be our guests in Berlin for a week or so later this month, before they move to Eats Tapes' place in Kreuzberg for a month or so. Here's an Eats Tapes video:



Eats Tapes don't have a genre complex, they're happy to slap the "8bit techno" label on what they do. But can I find an 8bit techno divider header in a record shop near me?

Joe Howe has a new project which I wanted to tell you about today, it's called Ben Butler and Mousepad. The MySpace page says it's inspired by "computing science prog-funk jams" and lists influences as "magma, gentle giant, curved air, king crimson, giorgio moroder, greg phillinganes, weather report, yellow magic orchestra, funkadelic, moog, library music, bbc radiophonic workshop, tape music, glass candy, day of the tentacle".



One thing you won't hear on the three excellent mixtapes Joe links from his Ben Butler page is The Rah Band. Despite the fact that bits of BB&Mousepad sound remarkably like early Rahs (electronic Glam, basically), Joe had never heard of them! He tells me he's "stoked" to have them pointed out. To be honest, I knew very little about them (I vaguely remembered Lawrence from Denim going on about them circa 1990) until Cherry Red asked me to go through their entire catalogue and choose 15 songs for a digital-only compilation. (It'll appear soon on the Cherry Red website, along with my own selection from my Noughties albums.)

I stumbled on the Cherry Red Rah Band album and wowed a big wow. It was Joe, before Joe!

24CommentReplyShare

electricwitch
electricwitch
For anything, oh! she´ll bust her elastic
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 10:51 am (UTC)

Needs moar glitter, spandex, fire hazards and extra limbs.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 11:58 am (UTC)


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electricwitch
electricwitch
For anything, oh! she´ll bust her elastic
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)

looooooool Aids Wolf, musical version of the crackfox.


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pulled-up.blogspot.com
pulled-up.blogspot.com
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 10:55 am (UTC)
More links...

Better show pictures here - http://www.flickr.com/groups/darkhorses/

Emma xx


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 11:35 am (UTC)
Re: More links...

Hi Emma!

I get a message saying "This page is private!" when I try to look at the Darkhorses Group.


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pulled-up.blogspot.com
pulled-up.blogspot.com
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC)
Re: More links...

Ah, I forgot it was still set as a private group. We were using it to share images prior to the opening.

Here's a different link, same pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/louca/sets/72157606010862684/


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electricwitch
electricwitch
For anything, oh! she´ll bust her elastic
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 10:55 am (UTC)

PS: I've always found you under "Pop".


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count_vronsky
count_vronsky
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)

Because he's like a father to you?


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electricwitch
electricwitch
For anything, oh! she´ll bust her elastic
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)

Aww, that's sweet! If sadly untrue. Brother, maybe.


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC)

Momus, of all the countries you've never been to, which one(s) would you most like to visit?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)

India!


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)

Ah, I guessed wrong! I thought you'd say either Brazil or Nigeria.


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shadowshark
shadowshark
ShadowShark
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)

I don't know if you care to know, but you've always been in my Electronica folder. Sometimes I think about moving you to the folder marked "Experimental+Kraut," but I suppose you feel too tonal, so there you stay!


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desant012
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Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)

Reminds me of the stuff people were making in 1999 and 2000. I guess things don't really change too much, but I get the "uncool heathen" thing when I say this music and style bores me to death now. you know, 8 years after it seemed just kind-of interesting.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)

What, even the Aids Wolf stuff (video above) which marries 8-bit to a Lightning Bolt sort of vibe?

What are you listening to that sounds fresh to you?


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desant012
||||||||||
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)

I have a soft spot for those cheapo Lightning Bolt type videos; I honestly didn't know they had videos until pretty recently.

I guess I primarily remember this stuff as being back in like ... 2000-2001... people using hacked Gameboy soundchips and things like that. With the AIDS Wolf, it reminds me of that big synth punk/no-wave revival thing that happened around then, too. Lightning Bolt was popular, too... and so were Boredoms. I guess I'm just surprised it's the same stuff that's around... maybe in the past it felt like there were bigger demarcations as decades went on... early 90s v. late 90s, etc.

As far as stuff I'm into, I'm totally out to lunch these days... age 18-19 was probably when I was the most "with it". Lately I just like dreamy obscuro artists like Ariel Pink, Gary War, and Blank Dogs, and I'm also into whatever gets into that tribalism thing that's been popular, like Teeth Mountain or whatever... I like that artists are getting more into building and decaying rhythms rather than the constant krautrock chug, though with these bands it seems like its more of a Terry Riley and the Phantom Band deal.

My own personal bias is, I wish there were more weirdo pop, "smart pop" (whatever the hell that means), and stuff where there's this dark hazy spirituality looming in the background.


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic (http://tinypic.com)


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)

I have to agree with the above posts about the sounds of 2000. It's like a flashback sometimes. Another band to mention in the vein of Lightening Bolt is Godheadsilo. I'm grateful for Momus stretching sounds and filling songs full of words...it's much more interesting than 99% of the stuff that is out there including the noise rock and the 8-bit sounds. Plus I've always thought things are more interesting when they tell stories using complex layers as opposed to simple melodies and retold stories.


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ohmavie
ohmavie
meinherz
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
hallo

Hi there,
Mind if I "friend" you? I've been spying on your LJ and quite enjoying it, if that doesn't sound too creepy.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Re: hallo

You're welcome -- we need fresh blood around here, if that doesn't sound too creepy!


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ohmavie
ohmavie
meinherz
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
Re: hallo

sounds creepy-good to me!


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)

Retro Rave, how new! Goldfrapp beat you to the Rah band I think. Denim just didn't have the 2 cool 4 school thang. G.A.Y. are so STR8


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cityramica
cityramica
cityramica
Sat, Jul. 12th, 2008 07:36 am (UTC)

i still have a shibuya-kei section. egads.
help me i'm trapped in the brambles!


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