May 11, 2006


Speaking of modernism and Manchester.... on Tuesday night I had the great privilege to interview one of my heroes, Peter Saville. Peter was every bit as articulate, incisive and fascinating as you'd expect. He was also very generous with his time, and he spent over three hours talking to me about modernism, post-modernism, the end of the sixties and the onset of retrospection culture, the influence of John Foxx (unprompted by me, honest, your honour), commoditization, his new role as Creative Director of Manchester ... A very compressed version of this exchange will appear in Fact magazine.

Speaking of Manchester... I have also written the sleevenotes for the new release by Caretaker, who is based in Manchester. The sleevenotes are exclusive and will not appear here. James is a real enthusiast, someone who produces and packages music out of commitment and enthusiasm. He is putting the album out at his own expense, hoping only to make his money back. The tracks have been available for some time as downloads, but, as ever with Caretaker material, the releases will be art objects in themselves. I've seen previews of the artwork; the album will be a sumptuously presented six CD set. The LP is a phenomenal achievement - it's not so much music as an atmosphere generating kit, classic uneasy listening. Those familiar with the previous Caretaker albums will note a darkening of mood on this one. From the sleevenotes:

'The lights have gone out. The hotel is rotten, a burned out wreck long since gutted, the band is pale and very nearly translucent.

The threat is no longer the deadly sweet seduction of nostalgia. The problem is not, any more, the longing to get to the past, but the inability to get out of it. You find yourself in a grey black drizzle of static, a haze of crackle. Why is it always raining here? Or is that just the sound of the television, tuned to a dead channel?'

Speaking of hauntology... Ghost Box on Resonance tonight. No-one will want to miss this. Here's the GB statement:

'Ghost Box will be hosting a one hour show on London's Resonance FM on 11th May, 19:00-20:00 GMT. You can listen on 104.4FM in London or on-line at

We'll be playing old, new and unreleased material from the Ghost Box artists, as well as some material from sessions recorded especially for Ghost Box by James Cargill and Trish Keenan of Broadcast, for a forthcoming project.

We'll also be playing new material from The Focus Group and some tracks from the forthcoming Belbury Poly album, "The Owl's Map" which will be available later this summer. Check our news page for updates.'

Posted by mark at May 11, 2006 12:31 PM | TrackBack