Thursday, August 31, 2006
Um: Big Tits MP3
This was from way back when I didn't even have any equipment and I'd use my Stepdad's (not that we'd ever call him that) 4-track when I went home to visit the family. Apparently my neice Kira really likes this song, knows it off by heart, sings it all the time etc.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Yeah, Autumn Clearout was originally "released" on one cassette but Bone Idol split it into two volumes for the CD. With hindsight it's easy to see that it could have easily been trimmed of a few songs to make a single volume, especially since it took quite a bit of work to make, and only 10 of Vol. 1 and 5 of Vol. 2 were made! I think this was all mastered from cassette too, even though there were digital masters of some of the tracks.
Vlad did the front cover artwork, of which I am particularly fond. If you don't know Vlad you might know of his brother, who some call Gabba Dave.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Ages ago I fished out an old reel to reel tape and threaded it onto my TEAC, hoping to do some of the trademark Pete Um twat jazz. I pressed play just to see what I was going to be taping over, and remained there for the next twenty minutes wondering what this weird bloopy music was. Eventually it occurred to me that it sounded a little like The Man From Uranus, which of course it bloody was. He must have given me an old tape at some point and I'd forgotten about it. Anyway this inspired a rather pointless remix project where I played his tape at random speeds and added some FX and gratuitous wildlife recordings. It's still basically the MFU though, so if it sounds good or bad I really can't be blamed.
UM MFU REMIX TAPE ONE PART FOUR
Oh yeah, Adrian Bronson is on cello.
This could do with some vocals and a proper title.
I'm not cut out for this 365 day a year thing because I missed a day already. To redeem myself I'll upload extra stuff today.
Hey, does anybody (if anybody is reading this) know whether or not people without Blogger status can post comments here?
This poster was produced by the good people of Extrapool when I did a show there.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Or Jesus or drought
You can't find within
What you can't do without
Come Tuesday or Wednesday
Or end of the world
You can't buy with money
What you think you deserve
Don't promise me reason
With your mouthful of lies
'Cos you know I'm legion
And we're gonna get you guys.
Yeah, that's right.
This tune is on Bumskipper 5.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I'm going to try and cherrypick the best (?) stuff I've uploaded to YouTube so's y'all don't have to wade through tons of pointless MySpace adds and so on.
Cats Like Me Fetch The Bucket is kind of misogynistic defeatism from Giraffe Outtakes. I listened to that CD the other day and was startled to discover how awful a lot of it is. Not a patch on Giraffe. No wonder it's called Giraffe Outtakes.
The Easy Life Tapes
This is a rather indigestabe chunk of stuff I did on a reel to reel tape recorder. Ages ago I wrote the following about my affection for these wonderful machines:
|Why I Love Reel-To-Reel Tape Recorders.|
28 Jun 2005
|Why I Love Reel-To-Reel Tape Recorders.|
By Pete Um.
Explained rather badly.
One day a long time ago, way back when I lived in Room 5, my man Loukas Morley fetched up at my door bearing gifts. The college he worked at was chucking out some of their music tech. stuff and he had a 16-track mixer and a Teac reel-to-reel machine with my name on it. My heart nearly blew up with gratitude about the mixer because I needed one bad, although sixteen tracks is spoiling me really. With regards to the Teac, I wasn’t so fussed. It looked a bit complicated, what with the fooling with the spooling and so on. Besides, I had a computer to record stuff on and fuck with etc. I almost didn’t even take the damn thing off him, but they’re such massy motherfuckers that I couldn’t exactly tell to put it back in his titchy A30 or whatever that goofy little car he had was called. Shit, I miss Loukas, and wish he hadn’t joined that damn cult. Once I left a reel to reel at a jumble sale too, which still pains me, but then at that selfsame jumbly I got a vocoder (yah!), a homemade keyboard-rhythm machine-amplifier combo (not that I ever got that to work) a decent Denon tape deck and a nice Technics amp that I still use everyday. Total cost was about ten notes, so beat that. Anyway, Loukas´16 track turned out to be a stiff, and the Teac reel to reel just sat sadly in the room untouched for a few months. Then one night, perhaps because I was having some unexplained computer problems, I decided to have a little fuckaround on the reel to reel, which was surprising easy to use. For a laugh I made some twatty, loop-based recordings. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the birth of a NEW THING, for me at least. For some reason, probably because I’m a dumbass and I didn’t know anything about reel to reels, it took me a long time to realize that the quality of these experiments, in fidelity terms, was actually quite high. In fact it wasn’t until I recorded some of this tape stuff onto DAT, where it sat next to my PC-birthed music, that I twigged that this woggy analogue jizz had a depth and breadth of sound that I wasn’t even getting close to getting out of my soundcard. This is partly because I had no production values back then, and I was kidding myself that I didn’t want them, but that didn’t seem to matter with the Teac, because I’d recorded my stuff reasonably well almost entirely by accident. Since then I have learned that it is a cliché to talk about the warmth of analogue tape, and it bores the tits off me when people do, but they’re right. Tape is also very forgiving. You can distort something to fuck, whether you want to or not, and tape will just roll with it like a drunk getting punched. Let me tell you an almost completely unrelated story. One night I was getting a lift back from London with some guys in another band. We were listening to some deeply unfashionable rock music and digging the hell out of the stupidity of ting. At some point the guitarist described a certain woman as being ¨the type of girl that starts crying when you’re fucking her¨. I’ll never forget this comment, which seems to me to be the last word in blokeish unfeelingness, but it did kind of strike a chord. Anyway, my point is that you have to know what you’re about when recording to digital, as a certain delicacy is required, whereas tape will never cry when you fuck it.
Anyway, you can do marvelous things with computers, and over the years I’ve tried again and again to turn all that wonderful digital functionality into something that satisfies my restless poetic soul. Most of the time I succeed, and I couldn’t live without my PC for very long before some kind of horrible REAL LIFE SYNDROME started screwing around with my head. However, it is not unknown, as you may know, for computers to give me a bit of a hard time. I have a spiritual aura that conflicts with binary operations, and no PC I use will stay in GWO for very long whatsoever. Computers die on me, and I grieve their loss hard, for without them I cannot do my ART STUFF, as I say, and my mind starts to turn on itself. That’s when I reach for my recorder (Teac A-3340S). I switch off my PC, which is probably just a blue screen anyway, or parallel lines of various hues, or says DISK BOOT ERROR-INSERT SYSTEM DISK, or is pretending to be a statue like some irritating street performer (why doesn’t one of them paint themselves up like Windows and act crashed? I feel that people would get the joke) or has switched itself off or restarted itself fifteen times in the last hour, and I vengefully stride towards the reel-to-reel. Fuck you world, I think, prepare thyself some fucked-up noise. It should be noted that I am typing this on Sam’s laptop because my desktop is all but deceased, and that while I’ve been doing so all the keys on her keyboard that aren’t letters of the alphabet have conspired to swap functions with one another so that they are opposites, so for instance I have to type the ? key to produce a – and vice versa, although, interestingly, the example I was going to give you now won’t let itself be typed at all. In addition, some keys have moved their functions along the QWERTY board by one key. Suffice to say I’m struggling to relay this information to you if you feel a bit lost as to what I’m on about. This computer has given Sam no problems in the year and a half that she’s owned it, I should add. Je reste ma valise.
Anyway, what I love about reel-to-reels is not just the quality of the sound; there’s a couple of other important considerations as well. First off, they look cool as fuck. To a music fetishist such as myself, with an evil jones for sick bollocks, the appearance of the reel-to-reel tape recorder is just about as cool as it gets. Only massive ancient synths that bring Raymond Scott and his work to mind rate higher in the eye candy stakes. The reels themselves are mainly what its all about. They spin, you see. Round and round. And the spinning makes the music, so that when they start to spin the music starts also, and when they stop the music stops. And when they fast-forward the music goes weebleweebleweeble and when they slow down the music goes roarrrrooow.w..w…w. This is a lot better than the graphic on any CD player. This is virtually better than porn. In fact it is a sort of porn. The people that make the tape know what goes on in the heads of the people that buy the tape, which is why they make the metal reels look like the illest shit they can, with beautifully designed holes of many different types cut in them so you can see where you’re at with your tape use. You have to use the tape that requires the nab hub adaptors to fix them to your machine for maximum aesthetic appeal. I got my machine for nowt so I didn’t mind blowing 20 quid on a pair of nabs. I even videoed my answering machine playing back the message saying “Hello. This is Ian from Roll On Tapes calling to tell you that your nab adaptors have arrived.” Jesus, I get emotional just thinking about that day, and Roll On Tapes, and Ian. Whatever happened to Ian? *
So, yeah, and the last cool thing about what a reel-to-reel can do for you is to totally chuck your normal music craft MO out the window. Personally I can’t be arsed to take the time and effort to record proper songs onto my Teac, and in particular those of the verse/chorus/verse variety, with a charming meld of rhythm and melody and so on. I can barely be bothered to attempt that sort of stuff with my professional digital set-up, so I definitely can’t doing with writing clever lyrics and learning basslines and rewinding everything a hundred times while the pubs are open. Ye Gods! I’m in far too much of a hurry to see the reels spinning and get on with the next song. So, what I do is record any old crap incredibly fast and see if it might just possibly work as art if you were stoned enough. Therefore a “song” might consist of.
1. A track of a looped snatch of audio from and old piece of tape played on another semi-defunct ReVox tape machine I have (at one point I had four reel to reel machines, but these days I have to struggle by with just the two) sampled onto my Line6 DL4 looping pedal, slowed down and reversed.
2. A track of me playing bass so badly that it sounds like someone gave a bass to a goat and pointed at a bag of rotten carrots, through echoey FX. I very rarely practice anything for too long because rewinding is a pain in the nuts, and I almost always just play the first thing that has some vague connection to what I’m hearing.
3. A track of recordings of Guatemalan bees, sped up, from my vast collection of BBC field recordings on 7” single.
4. A track of me producing noises with my mouth through a toy Fisher Price radio (with toy microphone), with the tape being randomly manually manipulated as it is recorded onto by switching the speed button from high (fast) to low (slow).
Let’s face it, it’ll all sound like dogshit, so this is where I rely on what Bobby J and I refer to as THE MICE. Mice music is just music played twice as fast as it ought to be, basically, so the vocals sound like heavy metal mice. Or of course you can slow things down. The basic rule of thumb is to play everything at the wrong speed. Additional cheap art can be obtained if you finish recording at different points on the tape, so that at the mixing stage the audio from whatever was on the tape when you bought it cheap at Resale will suddenly leap into one channel like some demented communication from another dimension. If you’re very lucky it’ll be Madonna, backwards, sounding like a man and in rhythmic sync with the nonsense you produced yourself. Lately I’ve been experimenting with adding additional FX at mixdown stage too, and it does sound pretty sweet. OK, so when you’ve finished with your labours do you thoughtfully review the fruit obtained, just to check on what the fuck you’ve actually recorded? No, that would be folly, for it is as plain as the nose on your own face that it will sound like a random clash of harsh noises, so you just get on with the next song. Now, in the fullness of time you’ll have done a whole tape of four tracks of audio recorded at varying speeds. You will also be drunk and stoned as a motherfucker. Play the fucking tape, for this is where the gold comes. OK, chances are that it still sounds a bit like fucked-up noise, but…maybe, just maybe, it will have a mercurial quality to it that appeals to the true seeker of the one true fucked-up noise. I think this magick quantity has a lot to do with the fact that the music has been created almost automatically, so that the artist barely recognizes themself in the work. The alien and strange quality of the tape music appeals to the poet’s sick lust for surprise kicks. This can be very refreshing if you’ve ever sat listening to a loop over and over again in Cubase or whatever. Your girlfriend may not dig it, and you can’t stick it on at work, but it is a pure and unspoiled and wild sound. These are the reasons why I love reel-to-reel tape recorders.
*Bizarrely, the day after I wrote that I spotted Ian working behind the tobacco counter in Tescos. Of course, back in his Roll On days he was famous for his nonsensical interactive manner with the customers, dreebling on about which tape manufacturer was trying to fuck the other over for a greater share of the market and so on, to the extent that leaving the shop always involved edging backwards out the door saying: “…yes…ha ha…anyway, must be getting along…yes…goodbye. Goodbye!” Therefore I felt a little sorry for him when I saw him dealing with a queue of grim-faced average English citizens in Tescos. He had to work fast and keep to the point. Interestingly, when my turn came he started talking all sorts of bollocks in the manner of old; making seriously unfunny non-jokes about the child’s art comic I was buying for Syd. I felt like saying “Shut it, Ian you laughing-boy, I recall you all too well from Roll On!” but I think that would have melted his simple mind. What are these people like? Remind me to write something about H. Gees at some point.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Um: I Am In Love With Myself
I think I might pay a little homage to V/Vm's 365 thing and try and upload some Um every day. I think I might keep it looser than James' ting though, and maybe not limit it to new stuff, or not do it every day, or do it for the rest of my life and not just for a year.
Anyway, this seems as good a place to start as any, and besides, I think someone wanted to hear this one.
It is a very old tune. You can tell by the spacky drums and the general low quality of the songwriting, arrangement, production and general artistic thrust.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Nobody’s Fault But Mine.
Frequency shame pop.
A rather unsuccessful example. I dunno though, it could work…
ADAT low-key wah-wah freakout. When I say “ADAT” the subtext is usually either “Look, I played this myself in real time” and either functions as a trumpet-blowing exercise or an excuse. Yeah, so this sounds a bit courtly and a bit dirty at the same time.
Some Sunday Song
Yr basic Um reportage.
This cocks a snook at proper music.
This is just looping pedal shit. “Looping pedal” is like “ADAT” but more impressive/a better excuse. This is soundtrack for rickshaw footage. Maybe the exotic female singer has been removed. Shame.
This has a nice gay cowboy feel to me. My guitar has a “Watch out, this is a penis” quality that I particularly enjoy.
This is like a theme for hunching over the board, bobbing and tweaking like a crazy chef, or like Lee Perry making a very quick curry circa 1994.
This is quiet humour, but it almost could be real. My mate’s brother smokes so much dope that all he can say is “…fuckin…the fuckin….s’fuckin….”
I played at this party once with the Man From Your Anus, and I shot some footage of some women skipping through the warehouse. This is music for the skip, because skipping has a groove and is sexy.
Theme for the relentless build-up of human fuck-ups, which ends in disaster.
Wiley samples. My PC couldn’t process the data in time and glitches, but it almost works. The grime thing loses it’s way pretty quickly and becomes a sort of degraded synth-pop.
This is taking the piss out of Jamie Lidell as much as I can whilst still paying tribute to Ariel Pink.
Spounce Bounce One
The lady on the front cover is Granny Ann, somewhere in
UM (GB) / Live / divertissement expérimental idiosyncratique
Pete UM se considère comme "une Popstar communautaire". Il est un peu l'enfant musical né de l'amour entre Ray Davies (Songwriter britannique des Kinks) et Genesis P. Orridge (légende vivante du groupe culte Psychic TV). UM produit des collages de sons lo-fi bricolés à l'aide de divers dispositifs sonores. Cette matière instrumentale devient le support de chansons tristes ou drôles, qui semblent s'être déglinguées dans leur route vers les haut-parleurs. De la même manière que les chasseurs Bushmen imitent en marchant les mouvements de leur proie, Um nourrit le besoin du public d'être infiniment diverti par quelque chose de nouveau.
Monday, August 14, 2006
|Item Specifics - Music: CDs|
|This translation is provided as a service. eBay cannot guarantee its accuracy.|
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Madonna and Child were in the bath the other day when Syd observed a resemblance between female genitalia and “something from Scooby Doo”, by which he meant some nefarious entity for the gang to unmask.
“Or Doctor Who!” he elaborated, and launched into his familiar “dunga dudda duh dung” mantra of the theme tune.
“Christ! What would that be on Top Trumps, Syd?” I wondered, caught up in the hysteric idiocy.
“Yeah, darkness 100!” he exclaimed in mock horror.
He never shuts up for a minute, and we are so hardly into the holidays.
What would happen if I couldn’t keep www.umbusiness.co.uk going any more? Would I have to cut and paste all my diary entries into my MySpace blog or into Blogger? And what if at some point I was moved along again? Would I have to keep cutting and pasting my online presence like some itinerant art-hobo, or perhaps some delusional and sodden tramp with too much baggage? I’m quite excited by the possibilities afforded by being able to show short films, write bollocks and upload songs to Blogger (I don’t know why I had to wait for Dave to do it to realize that it was within my actual grasp – I do read lots of blogs) and yet I fear that I cannot rely on Blogger or MySpace or YouTube or Megaupload to guarantee my existence or underwrite my soul or just hang onto Um files for all eternity, and indeed why should they? Still, it is a kind of broadcast system for the silly, and that’s what I always wanted.
While I was writing what I just wrote Word crashed and I had to film the non-responsive program in order to recreate it as was. I’ll put it on YouTube now. And Blogger.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
This skill has taken me too long...
This is Norwegian Blues from The New Album, which you can buy for about five quid.
Does anybody have the lowdown on how long you can expect Megaupload to keep your file available? Eternity is what I'm after...
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
It's not quite as good as I'd hoped though. There are infinitely better examples of Bushmen music out there. The thing I'm trying to track down is a recording of some stuff I taped off my ex years ago. I think it was released under the auspices of Survival International. Can anybody help me with this?