Saturday, March 29, 2008

Albion: The Resurrection

The poem that follows, while not following stylistic or qualitative conventions perhaps, is the result of an enquiry into the nature of Londons rave scene. It became obvious to me all to quickly that what we were experiencing wasnt the future, but a chemical simulation. In the words of Pendulum, "put down your lighters, I want to see a bonfire beside ya". Hell yeah. Fuck the ques, lets GATHER. Lets rave, but on our terms. In the words of Prodigy, "FUCK 'EM AND THEIR LAW".



The streets are obsidean black dripping weary people into wire etched pools of neon light and stray headlamps that pierce the fragile corners of velvet night and engrave unfamiliar lines on leather faces, illuminating roman roads of litter and the grey concrete grooves of sewer systems. Outside the club people shuffle, hustle and linger, or wind hurring home round a fishbowl satellite of london streets, streets blown round and fat by rasping lungs of fettered lusts, a vision pawed and glazed by podgy sweatgleaming fingers of dirt and greed, by junk filled veins that jerk and judder in the insatiate hand of prescription terror. Bland faces, blank verses, the human story moaned, and writhed enduring history, and we moan and whine enduring cold and ques. Our whines pass by wild eyes, a farce to tickle static bones, and soon we are at the door, our feet sniff and shuffle round bouncers, touts, tits and lager, our bodies ache for todays trials but our hearts and our loins are afflame with excess, drunk on easy dreams of liberty. The MDMA I took only 30 minutes before rears its starsponged head and rides my veins.

By the time we reach the cloak room our baggage has already been checked, our trials stowed and our dreams let loose. The dance floor roars through big bass speakers, and whirs in dervish cadence.

The streets we so deride have become narrow tunnels talking in UV tags. With fickle fancy we chase Albion to the shadows, and make love to her in the dark.


Vive La Revolution! Inscribed in sweat it drips lurid as teeth grind smiles and eyes grasp for eyes and lips for lips. Upon the altar of the drummer, the lambs eyes vacate before the beat hits.


No fires allowed!

To close, an excerpt from a letter I am writing:

Like I said: "batman in Gotham City is a hero, but what would he be if he was your neighbour? Fuckin crispy fried by a bunch of retards with pitchforks and torches. Why? Because universal studios OWNS batman. The rest of us are told to be "normal", powerless. Even comrade Jesse said several times yesterday "yeah, but there's nothing we can do about it".

What would Batman do? I know! Lets invoke him and find out! Oh, shit, wait, Universal studios owns Batman. Carving his symbol on my DNA might be a breech of copyright...


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Making new connections

The links in the previous post, in celebration of a new edition of MQ, take you to the archives.

I already made new connections of my own, just clicking through, when I found this vivid Quest Dream adventure

The Dream Quest; or How I Dueled My Shadow by the Light of the Moon
By Scott Johnson (aka metachor) © 2005

which seemed to complement a piece I did on not dreaming at all (or not remembering them) which Bobby enlivened with some of his luminescent art

Coming Round Again


For an extended and accessible piece by Bobby, displaying both his astounding artwork (including an opportunity to download and print out your own RAW currency - the patatow) and his dexterity with words (not to mention ideas) - check out The State of The Art in MQ#14 (the current edition)

And then sudden pleasures like Fly’s remix (including sombunall of Illuminatus! part one)
Antonija's Card GameMaybe a Metaphor

And the Purple Gooroo’s wonderful haiku for Bob.

You can find Zen Punkist's HOLeY BIBLE in two parts...

Did you catch Borsky’s intriguing Neurotarot?

I loved Antonija’s cover for MQ#8 and the two original art pieces she sent us

Bearing in mind that Bobby’s work turns up everywhere, I can only recommend checking out the Index, under Bobby’s Art to get a complete scan of his influence, if it's even half way up to date it will give you an idea of his contributions to the OM project.

Bobby on McLuhan

OK, OK, so I enjoy this kind of stuff...

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Maybe Maybe

How could we have overlooked this Dutch site?

Love the maybe 100 series text, and most everything on this site...

Thanks for the smile Hyo Kwon...

And thanks also (I never thought I'd say THIS!) to Robbie Williams (and Alfie) for this laugh... (four minutes of your precious time...)

"Goodbye to the Normals"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Maybes Update!

I've restored all but 3 chapters from Borsky's PDF backup to the wiki.

2009 Update: that old wiki finally died, but we do have a new one started recently.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Only Maybe: the website

In spite of my Circuit 3 tendency to talk and talk, I like to manifest things - so the discussion of the future of Maybe Quarterly (fun but hard to re-edit) and Only Maybe (fun, but blogs seem very linear) forced me to go off and take an hour or so to initiate an Only Maybe website - using Google's (still beta) Page Creator.

I made an OM Home Page, here - which could link to individual's contributions, to mashups and group stuff, to external pages, blogs, feeds, etc. I made one page for my avatar, and linked it in, just as a demo of quick and easy.

We could go this way, if people really want to...
I notice that the Illuminatus! Wiki seems like a sluggish project at the moment...and The Maybe's don't seem to have got the band back together just yet.

[Update: 11th March] Things change so quickly! As you can see above, the Maybes have started gathering around the crew Taco Truck again, and we have rumours of a new incarnation of the MLA which might resolve some of the issues around editing and control of perhaps I will steer OM:the website towards something like a more user friendly version of the Index, gathering and highlighting some of the more interesting material we have generated over the lifetime of OM.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Shem the Penman

If you prowl and browse and graze through this blog - everywhere you will find extraordinary artwork. 95% of it will come from the pen(s) of Bobby Campbell.

In my own posts I tend to break up the text with images grabbed (without permission) from the web, and one day I may regret that - but Bobby creates original work for us (and others) all the time.
Bobby Campbell
I suspect he wouldn't use this place to promote himself, so I feel I should say something. Anyone who gives up the security of a 'day-job' (as he has) and goes freelance needs a little help.

So if you have any art needs, from party invites to gifts for friends or posters for your gig, why not contact

The Man Himself
and get customized and unique art work. Or just go make a PayPal donation to give the artist room to move...

To all's much relief one's half hypothesis of that jabberjaw ape amok the showering jestnuts of Bruisanose was hotly dropped and his room taken up by that odious and still today insufficiently malestimated notesnatcher (kak, pfooi, bosh and fiety, much earny, Gus, poteen? Sez you!) Shem the Penman.[...]
He is cured by faith who is sick of fate. The prouts who will invent a writing there ultimately is the poeta, still more learned, who discovered the raiding there originally.
That's the point of eschatology our book of kills reaches for now in soandso many counterpoint words. What can't be coded can be decorded if an ear aye sieze what no eye ere grieved for. Now, the doctrine obtains, we have occasioning cause causing effects and affects occasionally recausing altereffects. Or I will let me take it upon myself to suggest to twist the penman's tale posterwise.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Teo Macero & The Art Of The Cut-Up

4 Saturn - Year 87 p.s.U.

I only just found out a few days ago, while listening to Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone, that famed record producer Teo Macero passed away on February 19th. Maconie played a track from Miles Davis' Sketches Of Spain album and noted that it was a "tribute of sorts" to Macero. That seemed to be an ominous comment, so I checked on-line and it does appear that Teo's gone.

He was born into a middle-class life in Glens Falls, New York and after a stint in the U.S. Navy, studied at the Julliard School in New York City. Macero met Charles Mingus in the early 1950s and co-founded the Jazz Composers Workshop. He recorded a few albums with Mingus and the J.C.W., then moved into production when he signed on as a Columbia Records staff member in 1957. As a kind of "house jazz producer", Macero handled duties on a number of "big" albums, the most famous being Dave Brubeck's Time Out (which contained the massive 'hit', Take Five).

Teo really hit his stride, of course, when he became Davis' regular producer through Miles' most creative and exploratory period, the mid-60s through the mid-70s. In that decade, Miles seemed to be one step (or maybe three steps) ahead of the rest of the jazz world and most of the rock/pop world as well. Records like In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew sounded literally like nothing else at the time, and it was Teo's contributions as much as Davis' and his proteges/sidemen's playing that made them such legendary pieces. When he first started working with Miles, Macero had the usual producer's role of setting the levels of the soundboard and mixing the session recordings. Occasionally, as on the "Sketches.." orchestral parts, he added textures and colouring to the music.

"In A Silent Way" was probably the first album where Macero sparked his own ingenious revolution. Miles had the band jam for long sessions and he wanted to include a lot of these parts on the LP. Teo reportedly refused, saying "I'll get fired and you'll get fired." He told Davis to leave the tapes with him and he would work on them. The way he worked on them was by cutting the tapes up and then splicing various sections together to form a new whole that was quite different from the original sessions. In a sense, Macero had used William S. Burroughs' "cut-up" style, only in an audio context, not a literary one. He had created what could be called "organic artifice", because the finished album sounds as if the band are playing the pieces in "real time"--not separate sessions spliced together with seamless edits. Still, for all of Teo's studio magic, "In A Silent Way" seems to have a linear quality--he would perfect his cut-ups on the next one, "Bitches Brew".

Miles assembled a top-notch band in August 1969, with many "big name" players (some, like John McLaughlin, weren't well-known but would go on to become veritable super-stars in the jazz scene) and again they jammed. This time, though, a strange "fusion" of James Brown funk, Sly & The Family Stone psychedelic R&B, Jimi Hendrix cosmic blues and some modal jazz emerged. Again, Teo worked with the session tapes, splicing and stitching until another record was created--a double album, no less. "Bitches Brew" is subtitled "Directions In Music" and it lives up to the hype, to my ears anyway. Some of the music seems far more sinister and the individual instruments become lost in a whirlwind of sound. Pieces like Spanish Key and Pharaoh's Dance move in such non-linearity that it becomes difficult to believe it's the work of essentially the same set of people as "In A Silent Way". Miles and Macero raised the bar for both jazz and rock at the same time, quite a singular triumph. Jazz purists didn't agree, however, and Davis received the same reactions as Bob Dylan had when he 'went electric' at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Some leftovers from the "Brew" sessions would eventually be released as Big Fun in 1974.

Teo didn't stop there and for the next Miles Davis album, after the 1971 jazz-rock tour-de-force A Tribute To Jack Johnson, decided to strip the groove down to it's essence. The legendary On The Corner seems to be largely made up of tape loops, blended together to form a kind of urban robotic funk. The 20-minute suite that made up the entire first side of the LP features a static 4/4 beat, with the other instruments dropping in and out of the mix almost randomly: McLaughlin's swamp-skronk guitar, Colin Walcott's sitar drones, Michael Henderson's bopping bass, Davis' trumpet vamps and the keyboards all weave around each other in delirious patterns. I'm not even sure if this "was" jazz anymore (of course, many critics decided that it "wasn't"), but it seems like a mutant strain of the "Brew" formula. Given that there are so many loops running through the tracks, the music has surprising "space". The opening of Black Satin attests to this. Featuring a tabla beat, growling synth tones, sitar drones and whistling--every note is clear, yet they all combine in a strange segue before the actual track starts. The second side seems to be one big loop itself, with the "Black Satin" theme running through all of the tunes. "On The Corner" can be a daunting listen for the uninitiated, but it's impact on future funkateers and turntablists seems undeniable.

After that, a few more studio sessions in 1973 and '74 resulted in the 70s swansong Get Up With It double-set. The music returns to a "Bitches Brew" density and while some of it seems to have a small spark of innovation, much just sounds like Miles & Co. going through the motions. Davis kept up a punishing live schedule, playing ferociously with changing line-ups. Sometimes almost everyone on stage was equipped with a wah-wah pedal, including the keyboardists. The intensity of these shows can be heard on live records like Pangaea, Agharta & Dark Magus. Near the end of 1975, Miles was burned out from drug problems and other personal difficulties so he decided to take a long sabbatical--similar to rock icon John Lennon's "retirement", for the remainder of the decade. Teo continued producing other acts and Miles' proteges dominated mid-to-late 70s jazz in fusion bands like Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report.

Teo and Davis teamed up one last time, for the The Man With The Horn album, released in 1981 during Miles' "comeback" period. It's passable as a funky jazz record, but the rampant experimentalism of 1972 had been replaced with a somewhat more 'radio friendly' sound. Davis passed away in 1992, after recording another six or seven albums. His final studio record was Doo-Bop, a rather tepid hybrid of hip-hop turntablism and jazz. Now that Macero has gone, one of the most prolific artist/producer collaborations in recent history has completely finished.

The Teo Macero/William Burroughs connection may be tenuous. I don't know if Macero was influenced by Burroughs' writing--I think his cut-ups may have been more of a studio necessity than a bold experiment in sound, though that's what it turned out to become. There may be a slight connection in Bill Laswell. In 1998, an album called Panthalassa was released. "Panthalassa" was a 'remix' of fusion-era Miles by Laswell--utilising master tapes and some out-takes--essentially cut-ups of cut-ups. Laswell also worked with Burroughs on the Road To The Western Lands disc, which was a series of remixes of a song first recorded by Laswell's band Material. It's possible that Teo had a "non-simultaneous apprehension" of the cut-up process which yielded some of the most original music of the last 40 years.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Short Notice

[Deadline warning]

Time Flew By Yet Again - and yet another edition of Maybe Quarterly may emerge within three weeks...or we may finally fail to hit the deadline (solstices and equinoxes)...

As ever, without an editor, we never know if we have a cover, any articles or poems or artwork or other contributions.

As ever, a few old faithfuls may manage to produce something for Issue #14.

Contributions always welcome, and should be directed to Admin at the MLA -

Spring Equinox this year actually falls on the 20th, but what with time zones and all that, most people round it off to the 21st March, Christian Calendar.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


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