The Null Device


Poland votes Yes in EU referendum. The devoutly Catholic country is the largest by far of new member states, having more citizens than all the other applicants combined, and some are hoping that it will bolster the influence of conservative states in Europe, counteracting the influence of the perfidious Gaullists. Hopefully the process will work both ways and EU membership will liberalise Polish society, which is not the most tolerant of places.

Next up: the Czech republic, next weekend.

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On Saturday night, I went to the Corner to see Kid 606 and supports. The first band up was Ponyloaf; aka three lunatics with an array of MIDI modules, keyboards and laptops (including an IBM PC-type keyboard with missing keys attached to a strap; no idea whether it did anything though). They were quite good; a bit on the glitch side, though with melodies and evolving textures, rather than the academic obscurantism that infects a lot of laptop music ("if you don't get it, you're not l33t enough; now go back to your Britney Spears CDs"). They also looked like absolute nutters whilst playing, with one of them grimacing, covering his head and beating the air as if fighting hallucinatory demons.

Other than that: Curse Ov Dialect were OK, if a bit heavy-handed with the political correctness. (Aside: why is it that if an artist goes up and holds up the Macedonian flag, it's considered multicultural, whereas if they held up the Cross of St. George or something, it'd be considered racist?) Smallcock did his best to clear out the venue after that by making painful noises on a microphone attached to a distortion pedal, just like he did at What Is Music? some years back. Then Kid 606 went on, with his 3 PowerBooks, and proceeded to play all sorts of crunchy, chopped up beats and distorted digital noises, while a projector displayed visuals behind him. (Aside: laptop electronica is like grunge typography. Discuss.) Though I didn't see the whole show, as I decided it wasn't worth the taxi fare back, and went off to catch the last bus just after he had finished with Missy Elliott and was playing with a synthesized version of the Anarchy in the UK riff.

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