Skip navigation

Photo by Deirdre McGale

Photo by Deirdre McGale

Nature Study Notes is a collection of 152 written instructions or ‘scores’ that was published as a booklet by Cornelius Cardew at the beginning of the Scratch Orchestra in 1969. The scores are called ‘rites’ and were used in many of the early Scratch Orchestra concerts. This was a music improvisation and visual performance event an hour and a half long. See photo documentation like below:

Performed by an ensemble of original Scratch Orchestra members and new performers: Jane Alden, George Chambers, Linn D, Carole Finer, John Hails, Bryn Harris, Les Hutchins, Petri Huurinainen, Eve Libertine, Robbie Lockwood, Geraldine McEwan, Christian Sancto, Matt Scott, Hugh Shrapnel, Howard Slater, Stefan Szczelkun, Emmanuelle Waeckerle & Ali Warner.

A radio programme by Carol Finer made before the event:

Photo documentation of the event at Cafe Oto:

“Our improvising, it seems to me, is a matter of entering into relation in the widest possible way: relation with our unconscious, a relation with our materials and expression, a relation with the medium of expression, a relation with imagination, a relation with the recipient of our attempted communications etc. The wider the scope of potential relation then the more possibilities there are to both come across ways in which our activity and expression is determined (by the hidden social messages in language, by the technique of virtuosity, by the closure of product) and to modify and change this determination; to maintain that the social is never fully determined, and its potential for freedom is never closed but persists as the outcome of experimentalism.” – Howard Slater.

“It is impossible to capture the details of such an experience in words, and of course another performance would be an entirely different experience. But this is the beauty of it.” – Bachtrack

Phil England said of our previous performance of Nature Study Notes in his review in The Wire #369

“The fluid relationships and community-forming engendered by tonights performance can be seen as a rehearsal for the peaceful coexistence and non-judgemental acceptance needed to supersede the competitive anxiety that characterises current  financialised interrelations.”

Six Deep Breaths

Photo By Emmanuelle Waeckerle


How isolated are the suburbs when one of you neighbours hits the big time without you having known about them? He has some superb agit disco style tracks too! Listen to ‘Storm Trooper’!

Originally posted on Thornton Heath:

Thornton Heath rapper Stormzy third in big 2015 poll

From the Croydon Advertiser  |  Posted: January 07, 2015


“A STORMZ A’ BREWIN': Thornton Heath rapper Stormzy is tipped to make it big by the BBC this year. A GRIME artist from Croydon looks set to take the country by storm after coming third in BBC’s Sound of 2015 poll.  Stormzy, 21, from Thornton Heath, appeared on the Radio One breakfast show this morning to hear the news from Huw Stephens.  He is the only unsigned artist from the longlist of 15 and will have his track Know Me From played throughout the day.  Stormzy will appear again on Zane Lowe’s show on Radio One from 7pm tonight.”


Read more:
Follow the Advertiser: @CroydonAd on Twitter | croydonadvertiser on Facebook

View original

 Owlboy – Conspiracy

Owlboy | Conspiracy
Tuesday 13 January 7-9pm
Free admission, no booking requiredConspiracy is the latest track by West London-based rap artist Owlboy written as a direct result of his involvement in the London riots in 2011. The music video, a 12-month collaboration between Owlboy, Reveal Poison (an Iranian born, London raised hip-hop artist, writer and ethnomusicologist), Sam Hepworth (producer and filmmaker) and The Showroom, has been produced as part of The Showroom’s Communal Knowledge programme.Conspiracy is the story of many told through one: including original footage and documentation, it re-tells a series of local events that directly resulted from the larger-scale riots of 2011. Chronicled from the perspective of a young person who was not only present, but who was also reprimanded and imprisoned as a result of his involvement, the narrative serves as an integral chapter in the larger media story dubbed the ‘UK Riots’.This collaboration will extend into 2015 with further music video productions, and will feed into Dutch artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s How to work together commission in spring 2015.
63 Penfold Street
London NW8 8PQ
T 020 7724 4300

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 920 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Playlist for MDR Nov 2014

Show the National Songbook 1906. The way working class music was selected to create a national identity and fixed. This selection was sung in schools from 1906 to the BBC version ‘Singing Together’ which went on till the 1970s.

themes of my selections:  sense of place, homophobia and gay liberation, equality of intelligence, Psyche Pol

Sense of Place

Germany – Wooden Heart in German ‘Muss I Denn’ by Elvis Presley 1960  (from GI Blues film)  a German Folk song! Not released in the US!  reconciliation effect?

South Wales – Paul Robeson  1898 – 1976  which track?  Scandalise My Name? c1962

“You have shaped my life – I have learnt a lot from you. I am part of the working class. Of all the films I have made the one I will preserve is The Proud Valley.”  Proud Valley 1940 Ealing Studios.  The 1957 phone call…

Brixton – George Reptowski 1958  ‘Three O’clock Thrill’ by Kalin Twins. One hit wonders.  Subversive B-side theme  Media gatekeeping good taste/ vulgarity/ key word= BOWDLERISATION

S. Wales – ’68 Guns’ by The Alarm 1983,  (Sian Addicott – Welsh Not)

Thornton Heath – (subversive B side) 1986 ‘Live as One’  by Tippa Ire –   2nd subversive B-side  Lived in Thornton Heath along with Dekker.

Kennington ‘Attitude Problem’ by (Dave Cope) The 1926 Committee, , 1996  – dubplate from cassette

Sheffield –  ‘Black Commandments’ by 2 Lone Swordsmen 1998

Leicester – ‘Revolution by the Durham Ox Singers’ 1999   (or read from Manifesto in sleeve)

“When I’d needed backing vocals on my World Cup single I’d asked loads of people from different Leicester Bands to meet up for a singalong one Sunday in the Ox. As ever with The Leicester Music Scene, absolutely nobody could be bothered to turn up so I ended up asking a few of the proper regulars to do it, and they did a BRILLIANT job – when you want to record the sound of season ticket holders singing a football chant, pub regulars is what you want – and were thus credited on the single sleeve as The Durham Ox Singers.

We’d had so much fun doing the recording that I was KEEN to do some more and when I eventually got home the night after our discussions i came to the eminently sensible conclusion that we should do a cappella versions of the hits of the avant garde, starting with REVOLUTION #9. For those who don’t know (and if you don’t, please rectify this IMMEDIATELY) this is the penultimate track on The Beatles’ White Album, a roughly ten minute collage of loops, noises, samples and all round WEIRDNESS that divides fans pretty much down the middle into those who think it’s AMAZING and those who think it’s STUPID. I am very much in the former camp, and so spent the next week crouched over my tape player every night working out how to recreate it just with voices. It was a LONG week but by the end of it I was a) BOGGLY EYED b) acting suspiciously and c) in possession of a six part a cappella arrangement.We met a few nights later in the upstairs room of the Ox to have a read through, and by JIMINY it sounded AMAZING. It was a very very carefully worked out version, and if you were familiar with the original you would, I think, be IMPRESSED. If you weren’t, you’d be ALARMED, but in an impressed sort of way. We performed it the next week at the first Lollopa Leicester to an audience AGOG that such a thing could possibly happen, and we had such a good time doing it we agreed to carry on….When the single was released I wrote a MANIFESTO for the back of the sleeve, pointing out that this was PROPER ART made for a LAUGH by people in a PUB, and got quite worked up about it. In my heart of hearts i think this single is the item i am MOST PROUD of making in ALL My Exciting Life In ROCK, because while it IS a ludicrous piece of tomfoolery, it’s ALSO a Profound Art Statement and ALSO ALSO filled with LOVE and FUN. It’s GRATE!”

M.J. Hibbertt

Stefan stopped to allow Howard Slater to play three 7” records.

Subliminal by Eric Raglan 1981  Sheffield

We are All Prostitutes by The Pop Group  2002

Silence is a Rhythm too by The Slits

Christa Welsh’s selection (played via YouTube):

Junior Byles, ‘Chant Down Babylon’ 1976 Black Wax/Ja Man label

Mighty Sparrow, Birth name Slinger Francisco (Born Grenada 1935) ‘The Slave’ 1963 RCA label

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five,  ‘The Message’ 1982

Chris Saunder’s  track:

Can (Germany 1971) ‘ Mushroom’ from the album Tago Mago (1971) featuring singer Damo Suzuki

Stefan ended the session by playing 2008 ‘Peaceful Solution’ – Willie Nelson Prod. Mad Professor ARIWA “Let’s take back America”. Many subsequent remixes etc. Mad Prof lives in and around Thornton Heath.

Read More »

Saturday 6 December 2014, 2-5pm
Brilliant Corners, 470 Kingsland Rd, London, E8 4AE

Cultural commentator Paul Gilroy will play and discuss a selection of recordings on the legendary audiophile sound system at Brilliant Corners – an audiophile jazz cafe in Dalston – thinking about ways of making sense of the present and past of recorded music, and the relationship of musical experimentation to political radicalism and utopianism. Music courtesy of the Sarava! crew, and normal restaurant service, will continue into the evening.

Respondent: Jennifer Otter (UEL)
Chair: Jeremy Gilbert.

Stefan played his 45s first. Chronological with a few themes interwoven:  class and language; class oppression; local musics; post colonial solidarity; subversive B-sides; Psych-pop and youth consciousness forming on a very emotive plane.

1958 ‘Life of a Millionaire’ by Scrapper Blackwell  (record 1967) Replacement for a lost Sonny Boy Williamson 2 EP

1958  ‘Three O’clock Thrill’ by Kalin Twins. One hit wonders.  Subversive B-side theme  Media gatekeeping good taste/ vulgarity/ key word= BOWDLERISATION

1960  ‘My Old Mans a Dustman’ by Lonnie Donegan – Royal Variety story  theme: class and language  Smash Deference/ class oppression theme. Connection to music hall.

1964 ‘In The Bath’ by Flanders and Swann – Genteel English rap music?!  Hygiene? Class dirt?  class oppression theme. Connection to music hall via respectable and regulated Variety.

1965  ‘My Generation’ – The Who  “Why doncha all FFFF… fade away!” Primetime TV fracture of the media screen.

1966 ‘Shanty Town’ – Desmond Dekker. Lived in Thornton Heath.

NOT THIS ONE !  1978 Sex Pistols do ‘God Save the Queen’ in the UK conspicuous by its absence among my 45s too rare. Smash deference!

1977 Oh Bondage Up Yours – X Ray Spex. Poly Styrene at Oval House workshops in seventies. (not played in Sheffield – left of the printed list I used)

1979 ‘Common as Muck’  – Ian Dury  theme: class and language.

‘Reasons to be Cheerful’   an artwork, or as young Rocko said “Lots of detail”.

Read More »

Revolt of the Ravers: The Movement Against the Criminal Justice Act, 1994

MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH

Sunday, October 19. 12.00-11.00pm

Archive activation, presentation and discussion. (open)


Full details here:



Image: Mighty Sparrow performing in a Calyspo tent, undated

Stefan Szczelkun reviews Everard M. Phillips, The Political Calypso: a sociolinguistic process of conflict transformation

For Everard M. Phillips recent Trinidadian political calypso is something as serious as your life. He ascribes to it a direct role in a ‘non-formal’ process of jurisprudence, or what he prefers to call ‘conflict transformation’. His ideas on conflict transformation draw on studies of globally widespread practices of dispute resolution by informal mediation, challenging the literal and formal approach to law built into the history of western states and their courts. Phillips defines conflict as ‘an inevitable part of the triadic process of learning, growth and change’ (p.17): he prefers the idea of transformation of meanings to that of ‘conflict resolution’, which often ends up resolving a problem in a way that brings more advantages to one party – usually the state – than the other, reproducing the original inequalities… continued here:  A Rough Passage to Navigate.

‘Music & Politics’ with John Hutnyk, John Pandit from Asian Dub Foundation and Aki Nawaz from Fun-Da-Mental
Wednesday 8th October, 7pm   Housemans Bookshop, KingsX

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase. (book to avoid disappointment)



John Hutnyk will be discussing his most recent book, ‘Pantomime Terror: Music and Politics’ (Zero Books 2014), which explores the music of artists who have confronted the status-quo in a post 9/11 world, and the demonization such artists have had to contend with as a result.

Hutnyk considers the likes of Fun-da-Mental’s Aki Nawaz, portrayed as a ‘suicide rapper’, Asian Dub Foundation striking poses from the street in support of youth in Paris and Algiers, and M.I.A., outspoken defender of the Tamil struggle, as well as  reflecting on bus bombs, comedy circuits, critical theory, Arabian Nights, Bradley Wiggins, Dinarzade, Karl Marx, Paris boulevards, Molotov, Mao, the Eiffel Tower, reserve armies, lists, Richard Wagner, Samina Malik, Slavoj Žižek, Freudian slips, red-heads, and Guantanamo.

John will be joined by John Pandit from Asian Dub Foundation and Aki Nawaz from Fun-Da-Mental.

“If you’re of the opinion that music and politics should generally keep the fuck out of each other’s way, then Pantomime Terror will be a tough sell. But author John Hutnyk’s polemic is rational, convincing and supported by relentless, tirelessly researched cross-referencing, so consider us sold.” ~ Record Collector UK

“This book starts with the countless provocations that surround us in the ambient war on terror. However, rather than retreating into either loathsome self-pity or indignant self-righteousness, Hutnyk responds with the thumping provocation to think and get real!” ~ Nikos Papastergiadis, University of Melbourne


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.