2/14/2017

Dystopian Daze


We never dreamed that the future would look like this. A new age of superstition, scapegoats, victim blaming and the currency of fear. Misanthropes and xenophobes and greed guide the fate of nations. Freedoms reduced and no good can ever come of that. Nationalism is a vanity, where vanity is a kind of pride in something you don't really have. What a world.



With my fellow Mekano Set co-conspirators scattered across the planet. Distant transmissions firing off across boarders, received by failing equipment. Uncertainty. Things lost in translation. Words come out all wrong. Everyone being pushed, tested, shoved through emotional / intellectual / spiritual grinders. Surviving.

And I waste too much time and energy on negativity. So I must balance that out. I have to put some of that energy into something productive, something positive. It's easy to be angry, it's more challenging to do something with that anger.



So we pushed ourselves and we had a proper night out on Saturday playing with Esa Shields at Dumbulls in Liverpool. We improvized a bit, dusted off Dirty Hand Job and NotNow. We took new song The Diseffect for a spin and finished off our set with an element of surprise: a fire dance that happened unannounced in the middle of the dancefloor.

Rachele conjuring The Mekan -  Photo: Tomy Farrant


I think I got the beats and bass bigger and clearer than ever; my guitar in full deep-space reverse-filth mode; a dash of vocodered cymbal and the addition of some pulsating analog synths and reverby sax from Jez; noise, words and objects by Jewelly MePresents; and wonderful projections from Simon Jones and Projectile Vomit: there were some definite Hawkwind moments I reckon. We just need to find our Lemmy...

It had been a while since we'd done anything live because I'd devoted so much time over the last year to finishing Imaginary Weather. So it was a nice way to celebrate it's completion. It's available now on our bandcamp and will be out on CD, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon etc. soon.




https://www.facebook.com/tomybluePhoto/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155898157908306


Imaginary Weather is available now:




Thanks to Esa Shields for inviting us to play, Dumbulls crew for making us feel welcome, Rachele Cerelli for fire and movements and Chucky for turning up even though her breaks weren't working.

More pics from the event: https://www.facebook.com/pg/tomybluePhoto/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155898157908306

Some recent pics + videos: https://www.instagram.com/mekanoset/


9/17/2016

The Sin perspective

Hello kids. Sin here.

You may all know me as the cosmopolitan, jet-setting, affair-having, sexual adventurer-warrior that I play in everyday life, but behind the facade lies a human being that actually cares about her work. ...well, a little at least.

I saw a pair of shoes online today. The six inch heels were made of some sort of petrol coloured metal and the rest of the shoe was floaty-white and feathery (with actual feathers stuck to it). Needless to say I ordered three pairs, one for me, one as a backup and one just in case.

I might run out of money for this month.

Anyway, I think these shoes are a great metaphor for how I work, and how I think.

like this, except completely different

I'm also planning my next excursion (not: holiday!) in order to find the most exotic and interesting sound samples that the band I represent (the Mekno SEt) can use on their next album which is due in 2020.
I've been trying to collect sound samples around where I live in the good old U of K, but so far the bins I've been recording have not turned up much apart from a slight crackling from the odd freshly disposed-of crisp packet or two. I like to nod enthusiastically and act as if I totally get it whenever I meet up with the band, but to be completely honest I'm not sure what they meant when they said they were looking for a "behind-the-bins sort of sound". I'm going out again this afternoon to buy guacamole and might see if the clothes recycling bin behind Tesco's turns up anything more useful than what I have so far.



The last time I spoke to my cousin to try and clarify the matter, all she said was "Sin, I've got sublimation coming out of my ears, I can't really talk right now" and hung up the phone. And they tell me I'm the weird one. Although on second thought, it was 4 a.m. so she may have been anywhere between actually asleep/high/drunk/sleep-deprived/severely annoyed that I woke her up/still mad at me for that time I was convinced she was wearing a wig made from my hair.

The point is, I'm a very busy woman and I'm worried that I'm wasting my time on recording stuff they won't be able to use, not even as the background noise you give to Milk which then gets mixed so low that it might as well not be there at all (but he still insists it adds to the timbre of the song, whatever that means).

I have my own issues thank you very much.

But yeah, they're gonna do music and apparently that is all that even matters.

...x
(hesitant kiss)

7/09/2016

Abuse, Stalking, Racism, Leave Voters and Englishness



Last night my partner was verbally abused and stalked by a vocal Leave voter, because she 'looks Polish'.

These proud people increasingly believe it's their duty to voice their misinformed opinions and misguided beliefs, and to demonstrate through vile, disturbing and illegal actions.

My partner is beautiful and she happens to be one of the most alive and sweet people I've ever met. Like all British people, she isn't 100% English. I'm sorry but no one is - even racist, predatory lowlifes.

Voicing your tragic, ill-informed tabloid poisoned views to people who can only perceive you as wilfully ignorant, broken and dangerous. Following a lone woman around at night in your car. When you 'won your country back' did you believe that this kind of illegal activity would somehow become acceptable?

Your notion of a pure Englishness is a total fiction. Your behaviour is just downright sinister. Is this the English way now? Verbally abuse random people because they don't conform to your tiny, imaginary perception of Englishness? And then follow them around the streets? Gods help you man, because you clearly do need help.

Do you get tired of yourself? Do people around you look tired when you're around? Scared even? All that negativity must be a drain. Because it never leads anywhere does it? It never makes you any friends, and does nothing to help the unfortunate people that have to listen to your ill-informed nonsense, and watch your creepy, illegal behaviour. When you're driving around late at night, alone in your car, what exactly are you looking for? What are your intentions?

Are you touring the land that you believe you've reclaimed, for your imaginary English tribe? Are you laying the blame for your own struggle, isolation, fear and confusion on people with even less power than you?

Look up from the pages of the fear mongering tabloids, see the world around you: you won't find your enemies. Look at yourself: are you behaving like a rational, dignified Englishman?

Get some help man, before you fall too far.

I could make jokes about pasty, illiterate skinheads clad head to toe in fake sports gear - but your lack of education and physical appearance are just random acts of birthplace, beyond your control. Like everyone else's.

The vast majority of people in this country make conscious decisions to not behave like hostile, predatory racists. Hell, they don't even need to decide to live this way, it's basic human instinct to not behave like an enraged animal.

You're wrong man, and your behaviour is criminal. You're not an avenger of the oppressed white male, you're just wilfully making life worse for yourself, and the people around you.

Until you look up and beyond the lies of the tabloid headlines, you'll never see what it is to be British; you won't represent Englishness, and you never will.

mekanoset@gmail.com

5/18/2016

BERLIN II



THE LANDING PARTY

We're having a picnic on the landing outside the apartment we're renting. We're back in Berlin. We're on the landing because the keys we've been given don't fit the lock. The key fits, but the teeth won't work the mechanism.

We've all had a rough time recently, our collective impatience has no fuse. Justine is on the phone in negotiations with the landlord, her tone balanced between humor and hostility:

"You told Milk we could get access to the place from midday? I've been trying to get in since 3 pm? It's now 11 pm."

In reply, I hear the landlord say, real casual like: "What would you like me to do?" As if none of this is his fault. I picture the snake from The Jungle Book, coiling around a phone line.




WE'RE NOT REAL(ISTIC)

We Meks are a nomadic people. We're from everywhere and nowhere. We have come from across the globe in pursuit of the perfect dirty deep-space groove and we are always moving. Bands are supposed to be 'from' a place. But we're not a band, and we're not from anywhere.

We were going to Berlin, then things happened that meant we weren't going to Berlin. Now suddenly we're in Berlin. Sitting on the landing, we are reminded that in the life of The Mekano Set, nothing is ever straight forward.



The Double-Sucker-Headed Arrow of Not Paying Attention


I have a new song I want everyone to contribute to in some way: Everyone on the same song at the same time - something we've never done before. It's not realistic. But when did we ever care about realism?

We have very rarely all been in the same place at the same time. We once had five of us on stage at the same time, but that was an accident. We've had more members in the audience than on stage more than once. Some of us have never even been introduced. Anyway, there's no time, and not all of us are here, it's not going to get recorded today.

A Landing-Party


It is after midnight when we finally gain access to the apartment. It's another hour and a half before we have privacy.

By way of apology, the landlord offers us a tiny plate of antipasto. What we'd really like is a cold bottle of sparkling wine, and a locksmith. We'll settle for an absence of men we don't know coming and going.

The landlord suggests we find somewhere else to stay for the evening. From the table where we have arranged our warm beers and flight cases, our collective gazes suggest he leave, which he does, through a hole in the floor.


SWEET TOOTH?


(NOT LITERALLY) AN EYE FOR AN EYE

The sound we're looking for is something akin to a satellite, picking up random radio signals, drifting further and further out into interstellar space, gathering dust and debris.

I frequently find myself wanting to make references to escape plans, maps, escape routes secreted between rooms, between buildings. I think 'I Made You a Map' was the best idea I had. Just the title.

Liverpool still has a little mystery to it. It doesn't quite conform to the maps. Berlin is the same. We are drawn to places with uncharted territories because we don't like the idea that everything has been quantified, understood, answered. The questions are more fun than the answers. The answers never quite satisfy. And nor should they.




Throughout our stay we keep seeing and hearing references to eyes and teeth. To the point where it stops becoming interesting and starts to get annoying. I try to think of 'an eye for an eye' in the sense of giving up on a closed view (accepting answers to mysteries), and opening up to a wider view (observe without making assumptions; get energy from the friction that creates where your brain itches from unanswerable questions).

We're talking about this when we look up to see that we're standing outside a record store called Oye. There is a tooth graffed on the wall. We carry on walking and pass tooth after tooth, eye after eye, on posters and signage, in songs and in books outside second hand stores.

Gurdjieff talked about the idea of giving up the materialistic view of life for a more objective, energetic view. Not sure about the teeth though. Food for the spirit as well as the body? Germany has the best wheat-free foods, and they play more than just mainstream music in the bars. So that's good eating on both counts.



Awesome Doorways


Berlin is warm. The sun is shining. The people are relaxed, the streets aren't strewn with bodily fluids and shattered glass. Our frazzled attitude seems anachronistic. We don't have a lot of time. We find Madame Claude's bar, one of our favourites. I have new material to finish, but life has gotten in the way. Everyone is entitled to a holiday.





We sit in the park again, reminding ourselves that we have itchy feet, we're hungry for more, our eyes want new sites.

All too soon we have to go our separate ways once again. It's too warm. And then there is a storm. And flights are delayed AND we're too early. And when I get back home, in the morning my coat is still wet with Berlin rain.


"Path within, signposts without." Whitley Strieber, The Key.