Thursday, May 24, 2007

Simon Hattenstone

You gotta love The Guardian's Simon Hattenstone, even if he does support Manchester City. He's easily one of their best interviewers, and here are two links that prove it.

The first is his now notorious interview with Lou Reed. I don't think I'm spilling any trade secrets if I say that Reed is a legendary fucknut; rude, curmudgeonly and possessed of the thinnest skin this side of Barry Gibb, but with nowhere near that man's level of talent. Anyway, Simon interviewed him, and was bullied mercilessly from start to finish. Painful stuff.

But Hattenstone is game throughout, even as Reed refuses to answer even the simplest question: "Reed makes me feel like an amoeba. I want to cry. Look, I was a huge fan of yours, I say. " Was ?" he sneers. I still am, I say, but I'm less sure by the second."


"Why are you so aggressive to me? What have I done to you? Why are you being so horrible?"

Simon's Interview with Reed

Frankly, I'd have given up long ago (after messily bespattering Reed with camel excrement). But then there's this rather fine new interview with Paul McCartney. I've always had a soft spot for Macca, mainly because the obviously cool move has always been to laud John and, latterly, George. Well screw that. Anyway who can festoon my childhood with singing frogs (oh, and all those Beatles songs) gets my respect.

Anyway, for just about the most succesful musician in history, and for someone going through the mother and father of all divorces, he's always seems open and ready to give. So put a slightly vulnerable McCartney togther with Hattenstone, and you get an interview like this:

The Anti-Lou.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Field - From Here We Go Sublime

Is this the sort of record you give to someone who professes to hate techno, or is it exactly the kind of record they would hate? Dunno. But I love it. The simple drum patterns, the micro-snatches of pop songs you can't quite recognise, chopped up and then streched across the airy synth dronescape like so many deliquesent clocks. "Kappsta", which was on Kompakt's Pop Ambient 2007 collection, is eerily gorgeous, a balletic glide through the upper atmosphere of some billowing gas giant, and is a good place to hear the basic trick in action, which involves endlessly delaying the chord changes so that when they come they're sudden rays of sunlight. "Everyday" is monstrous, building (or should that be tunnelling?) into a furious chant.

It's true that the record shares more than a little DNA with trance. But then, trance never had this monumental and geometric beauty before, constructed of interlocking planes of sound.

Plus, "On The Ice" samples Kate Bush, so it must be good, right?