adventures in forestry

August 29, 2008

lots of Qualkology this week. This time an mp3 compilation put together by Uncle Spellbinder at  Anomolous Mind – a kind of online label that issues unnofficial bootlegs, mashups and so-on (incuding, strangely, the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Who) .  ‘Adventures In Forestry’ is the title they have given to their selection of early ‘classic qualk’ (not my description) of the 1983-1987 period.

Bourbonese Qualk  is by far one of the most under appreciated bands in my memory. One of the main reasons I created this comp of the early years was with the hopes that others would come to appreciate the wondrous sounds Bourbonese Qualk created over your all-to-short tenure” says kindly Uncle S.

download it here: ‘Adventures In Forestry’ bourbonese Qualk 1983-1987


August 28, 2008

In one of the most drunken fits of my life, I single handedly managed to wreck a Bourbonese Qualk gig. Porto, Portugal, 198…9? 91? I love BQ, I have all their musical output, but I can’t avoid being proud of wreaking havoc that night. For years, people I didn’t know came up to me and asked: “aren’t you that guy who…” yes, that’s me!
haha! not quite what happened…you came on stage and miles strangled you until you passed out – while still playing guitar..
ah well, I MUST have been there…true, my memories are a bit hazy but I definitely don’t recall any drunken Portuguese ‘wreck’ the gig…I suspect that you were so drunk you wrecked the wrong gig.
Simon! Put up some more vids fer god’s sake!!!
um, ok…i’ll see what i’ve got.
Go on ! Bung something up, otherwise this is the only online evidence of your godlike genius… and I stole it off your own website anyway !
its impressive how music and people were so diferent…im 22 years old and a feel so disconected i wish i lived in the sixties
Ok,the whole story to refresh your memories:there was no stage, Labirinto is too small for a stage,and the place was packed.I was right at the front with my mate, and we were so drunk that we started plucking the guitar(bass?too drunk) strings while Miles(?) played on.He wasn’t too happy,so he kicked us a couple of times.I wasn’t too happy either,so when he put the guitar down(in between songs or during a song with no guitar,not sure)[continued on next comment]
Good for you, twat!! You sound like a genuine fucking arsehole. I’m sure your typical British Stag Night shenanigans are exactly what every BQ fan wants to read about. Thanks so much for being pushed out of your mother’s foul cunt!!!

Charming.  Jorge Stretcher WAS at the above mentioned gig (Bourbonese Qualk  at the Labirintho, Porto, Portugal in 1990) and made these recordings of the somewhat chaotic event:

Bourbonese Qualk live at the Labirintho, Porto, Portugal in 1990

An article i’ve written for DimSum:

“Chinese Whispers: The True Story Behind Britain’s Hidden Army of Labour”

by Hsiao-Hung Pai

Fig Tree Paperback

Right now as you sit comfortably reading this article an army of invisible workers is toiling day and night to provide you with fresh inexpensive supermarket produce, clean homes, cheap restaurant meals and pirated DVDs, they provide supermarkets with booming profits and contribute billions to the British economy. Though invisible, you know these people; they are the harassed waiters in London’s Chinatown, DVD sellers in supermarket car-parks and the bodies being unloaded from the back of trucks in Dover or washed up on the beaches of Morecambe bay…

This army of workers numbers somewhere between 310,000 and 570,000 people (UK Home Office 2007). They come from all over the world, different races and different languages united only in their poverty, overwork and underpay. These members of the British ‘Sub-Economy’ are not protected by any employment law or support group; they have no access to legal services, education, housing or healthcare and are made ripe for exploitation due to their ‘illegal migrant’ status. The work they perform is refused by established British workers. It’s done in atrocious, hazardous conditions with illegally long hours and rewarded with pitiful wages.

Hsiao-Hung Pai’s Book ‘Chinese Whispers’ examines one sector of this labour army; probably the most vulnerable and most exploited group, the Chinese migrant worker. To get a firsthand account of the plight of these people, Hsia-Hung Pai went undercover posing as a newly arrived migrant shortly after the Morecambe Bay Tragedy in 2004 (elements of the book form the basis of Nick Broomfield’s film ‘Ghosts’); ‘Chinese Whispers’ documents her experiences in the British black economy. Hsiao-hung begins by describing the reality of the effects of globalisation and the boom of the new Chinese economy.
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Image: Street advert in Hoxton, London, displaying real-time decibel level. March 2008.

“Let us cross a great modern capital with our ears more alert than our eyes, and we will get enjoyment from distinguishing the eddying of water, air and gas in metal pipes, the grumbling of noises that breathe and pulse with indisputable animality, the palpitation of valves, the coming and going of pistons, the howl of mechanical saws, the jolting of a tram on its rails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags. We enjoy creating mental orchestrations of the crashing down of metal shop blinds, slamming doors, the hubbub and shuffling of crowds, the variety of din, from stations, railways, iron foundries, spinning wheels, printing works, electric power stations and underground railways.”

Luigi Russolo excerpt from “L’arte dei Rumori” 1913

Russolo’s eulogy to the sonic city was inspired by the urban clamour of turn of the century Milan.  “L’arte dei Rumori” betrays a fascination with novelty of noise, the signature of modernity and the promise of the future in the form of the industrial city. Russolo argued that music has reached a point where it can longer excite when pitted against the real world sonic complexity of new metropolis. In turn, this statement led to the formation of a new type of music based on machine inspired atonality and stochastic composition.

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