Hi & welcome to Matto Bloggo, where I can keep you informed of my current creative endeavours and share the things that bring me creative inspiration.
(Here’s an album review I’ve written for “Felt Armour” by Pursuit Grooves, released 06/03/2018)
Pursuit Grooves work is reminiscent of the hypnotic repetition and meditative beauty of Alice Coltrane- re-formatted into an experimental electronic hybrid that touches upon elements of Hip-hop, Grime, Dubstep, House & Jungle.
The signature industrial percussion, warm analogue synths and enigmatic bass of Pursuit Grooves return like old friends. Like most great artists, PG has managed to master the tools of her trade, in this case its the BOSS SP-505 Sampler and each of her releases further explores the limits of this charismatic hardware. Rather than changing her sound & approach to reflect current trends, Pursuit Grooves exists in her own stronghold of artistic integrity which is great to bear witness.
My stand-out tracks from Felt Armour are the quiet, dreamy optimism of “Helmut Down” the crystalline soundscapes of “Defensive Play” and the tough splendor of “No Surrender”. For me though, PG is one of those artists who’s work is best consumed through the album format, the subtle variations of dark & light subtract and expand over the course of the LP, letting the whole work slowly seep into your consciousness. The title “Felt Armour” deftly reflects the listening experience as hard exteriors make way to softer elements with an ever-present sense of hope waiting on the other side.
The textures in the work of Pursuit Grooves and the space that’s left for interpretation make her music a great accompaniment to the enjoyment of visual Art -something that she is equally skilled at creating under her MO:delic Arts moniker. The kaleidoscopic repetition of nature and geometric patternation in her work are an exciting reflection of her musical output.
In these times of disposable enjoyment its refreshing to have artists that take their time to share their output, I just hope we don’t have to wait another 3 years for a Pursuit Grooves release!!!
(Standing under the Bridges of Brunel)
I’m currently looking for a studio space so there’s not much recent creative work to report. I am however building a paper-tower of ideas in the meantime which I’ll bring to life once I get the chance. Affordable studio spaces seem to be a myth in this era but trying to paint with abandon in a carpeted room at home really limits creative freedom (and the smell of white spirit is quite anti-social)
Been busy recently harnessing my creative efforts into the Mulengasound collective, rebranding the visual designs towards a more analogue textural look which reflects the creative process of the music. We recently sent out a 4 track EP,“Tales from the Lightning Tree”. “Isle of Leukai” was played by Dusk & Blackdown on their brilliant Keysound show on Rinse FM and two of the other tracks are in the pipeline to be released on a limited edition cassette compilation which seems a very fitting medium considering the origins of some of the sounds used in their creation.
It often takes longer to drive to Cornwall than a flight to a different continent but it’s certainly worth experiencing once in a while. Getting away from the city is good for the mind and Cornwall has always had a strange mystical quality. The rapidly changing weather from sunshine to rain at the blink of an eye and landscapes that range from sandy beaches to craggy rock outcrops makes it a place still connected to the ways of the past. It’s amazing how colours and textures can change so much with different surroundings and the impact that can have on your mood. Travelling out of your postcode is good for the soul and sometimes limitations & isolation breeds the best inspiration. Staying in a cottage where the only music available was a Selection of free CD’s given away with the Sunday Express led me to randomly discover the ambient electronic work of Austin Stuart Hanlin.
August Bank holiday always feels like the bittersweet finale of the English summertime,heavily laden with a deep sense of saudade. synonymous with the Notting Hill Carnival and various festivals- it’s usually the last chance to immerse yourself in the last gasps of summer before the mental challenges of winter. This year I went to Reading festival for the first time, If I’d been aged 16-18 I would have been in my element but mostly found myself thinking the this was what a Donald Trump rally would be like, a mass of mostly shirtless males, mosh-pitting to horribly predictable and screetchy EDM while chanting “whoomp there it is” in unison at just about every opportunity.
Then Goldie came on and everything changed, I’ve seen just about all the other originator DJ’s of jungle/D’n’b but for whatever reason, never Goldie. Almost immediately he reset the atmosphere then slowly built it again on his own terms. the identikit drums climbing up to an inevitable screeching drop had been replaced by nourishing music with foundations, feelings and subtlety. The Trump rally was getting an education and it was a beautiful moment. The mosh-pits, aggression and moronic chanting evaporated and the crowd had the full attention of a master at work. With a legacy of music to draw upon- from the menacing beauty of his groundbreaking Timeless LP to his recent Journeyman album and the whole Metalheadz catalogue, he covered the whole spectrum of his sound without appearing nostalgic. Goldie has always been pushing boundaries and his set was the most cutting edge music I heard all day. It was one of the best DJ sets I’ve ever experienced and it was the stand-out musical moment of my summer.
Auctions are fuel for my inspiration, once a month it’s great to look at the bizarre things people once owned and the chance of finding something unique that could inform your art is always appealing.
Good times were had by all at Upfest in Bristol last weekend, through the pungent clouds of billowing plant-matter and the sweet aroma of Westons Cider lucky inhabitants of Bedminster had their walls beautified with a plethora of vivid spray-paints.
The large-scale pieces were a feat of creative engineering and the way some of the work interacted with the existing architecture and street furniture was in-genius. The abundant presence of surreal & interesting creatures was a pleasing sight as sometimes the work can feel a bit too indebted to Banksy and other street art clichés (police carrying riots shields etc)
Everyone knows I love a good Squid- so it was nice to see crispy Calamari being consumed while Octopuses’ were birthed onto the side of buildings and huge inflatable tentacles emerged from the front of buildings. It was all very inspiring and Bristol remains one of the best places in the country to witness art bringing the community coming together in such mutually beneficial harmony.
Mobile phones might be slowly corroding the human brain & creating vacant digi-zombies out of large parts of society however the camera function remains an outstanding method of capturing day to day inspiration. Who’d have thought that a leisurely stroll down by the river would result in “Small-arms fire bullet-ridden vintage metallic outdoor signage typography” becoming my new favourite thing.