Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sobreiro needs your vote. Another classic that will leave you wondering forever if you don't help it win.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Other recent book purchases ... not sure if there's a hidden connection, but all suggestions welcome.

BTW : Already read Cradle to Cradle. Excellent and inspiring.
Dariush is starting to analyze the economic crisis.

Read this through to the end, even if you think you know all this, because he starts explaining the more complicated stuff later on, and you need the run-up.
I'm getting interested in Solar Cooking.

Apparently there was a project in Brasilia last year. (pdf)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I can't stop listening to Seed Ships from the end of the new Belbury Poly album, (From an Ancient Star).

Outrageously lovely and packed with echoes and references : the "oceanic waves" at the end blatantly mimicking the fade-out of Jean-Michel Jarre's haunting Oxygene 6; the key-changing, reverbed arpeggios recalling The Black Dog's permagasmic Chesh; the melody patch which sounds like it's stolen from Plone.

And then when the big tune gets going, it keeps reminding me (although, I know it's neither the same melody or rhythm), of Momus's Flame into Being. Or maybe that's just me.

Infinitely familiar and strange at the same time, and utterly gripping.

Apart from that, I have mixed feelings about the album. There's no doubt that he has refined and sophisticated the Belbury sound. The compositions are more complex and developed. But what I miss, are the outliers; the tracks that don't conform to the standard library-synth pattern but which made "The Owl's Map" more varied and therefore more unexpected. The rocky Scarlet Ceremony and atmospheric Music, Movement & Meaning.

And it's lost some of the overtly folky bits too. Ratlers Hay and Wetland were subtle and sympathetic hybrids. On the new album, only From an Ancient Star seems interested in the same trick, and here the folk seems bolted on, more like one of Momus's clumsier "folktronicas". I guess there's something Steeleye Spanish about Widdershins too. But frankly I don't feel I'm in anywhere like as spookily pagan a place this time. It's all rather comfortable and cosy.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Guardian discusses "scrappage" for the UK.

Seems to me that this could (and should) be done, but with a far more aggressive green agenda.

Why not have the government give :
- £3000 to anyone scrapping their car and buying an electric one.
- £2000 for a small hybrid (accepts bio-diesel or alcohol)
- £1000 for a small, fuel efficient car
- £500 for anyone upgrading to any new car (on the assumption that new cars are more efficient)