Of course, the flipside of art-as-therapy is that you become a sort of professional patient, much like actors learning their craft can lose whatever it is that makes them unique as individuals and turn into wankers. Art isn’t a cure-all, by any means.
2. Who Counts?
Whereas the previous song has a sort of clear-eyed resignation about it, this one is just a kind of unfocused low-key rant. They seem to tackling the same subject though, which is either coincidental programming or because I’m always baubsing on about the same kind of stuff.
Ah, but what?
This is a remix of all those other songs about the same thing.
5. Potter’s Wheel.
This is the soundtrack for skill in creativity, the point where art meets craft, or vice versa.
This is a Marxist analysis of class/race in relation to rock ‘n’ roll labour (and alienation from it), and explores the dialectical tension between base and superstructure implicit in the aforementioned.
This is meant to sound like we are cautiously approaching a clearing.
8. The Half-Half.
Pete Um gets his misogynistic comeuppance when an emissary arrives.
9. Thru The Wooze.
This is the sound of something fighting to establish itself, but uncertainly, like the first steps of the baby giraffe. The “almost” moment, the anticipation, is precious, because one can never come back from the new state once it is reached.
I did a Wiley-style mix-CD intro for this last Bumskipper. It was like: “Yo, this is Pete Um! Bumskipper 11! Hold tight Dave!” Unsurprisingly it didn’t come off and I realized it would mess up my tracklistings as well. It would be great if someone could spit on this, actually.
11. Honey, I’m Lost.
My computer is unnervingly stable these days, but I’m grateful to my buddies in the ADAT and reel-to-reel kingdoms, and even the humble cassette four-track, which provides two songs, of which this is one.
12. Timorous Western Economy.
And this is another, albeit a different cassette four-track. What does it feel like to be China? Maybe like suddenly finding yourself to be the QE2 on her final cruise.
13. ReVox Entity Shakedown.
Can’t bring myself to record over the African voices on the Distance Learning reels C. Joynes gave me. Recordings as sacred, like ancestral voices, which will outlive us. Tape as a ghost, a temporal blur. The half-working ReVox, fitted with tape of unknown provenance, is looped into a muddy, hissing mystery. Run the voodoo down.
14. The Night’s Afternoon.
The nighttime counterpart to that languid bit of the day around 4PM. The all-too-brief period where humanity shuts up for once.
15. + bonus recording!
It seems unlikely, but Richard D. James came round my house once, really, really pissed.