20th Mar 2013
After a decade of musical jestering Zang Productions
-One last album, called So Long, Farewell, Goodby, I Love You. It's free to download, and it features University of the King, Florent, Barrowclough, Benjamin Blower, Greybeard, Vincent Gould, Fiction Fight, Ebenezer,Bethan Marshall and Selina Blakeney.
-And also three music videos - dug out out of the vaults of unfinished Zang work. One for Selina Blakeney's Stay Tight, one for The Custodians' Sacred, and one for Benjamin Blower's Hey Hey Babylon is Dead...
With love x
is finally to be shut down. We leave you with these parting gifts:
3rd May 2012
"Sheer indulgence from start to finish"
I saw this book advertised at the train station the other day.
If this was the 1950s, I can imagine this quote would be intended to be derogatory. Today, it's actually meant as an endorsement of this book. Either way, its very telling about what's inside.
Its clear that indulgence is now to be seen as a positive attribute.
6th Apr 2012
The empire announces its demise in peculiar ways.
Recent cultural output of the West has talked about endings. The Road, 2012 etc. and the free downloading of music is like a last-minute giveaway from a bankrupt record shop.
It is clearly demoralised. And we are demoralised along with it. But why?
Because of our deep connection to the Empire we may have believed that we are dying along with it. After all, it schooled us. It brought us up. But it’s not us who are dying - only the empire itself. And empires come and go. It wanted us to feel part of its mission, and it also wanted us to feel that we couldn’t go on without it. And maybe we do. But should we go down with this ship?
This is an empire that said objects were more important than people. That insisted everyone should be demeaned. That turned freedom into a four letter word. It has oppressed us, told lies about us, and misrepresented us. And now it is dead.
What is there to feel sad about?
28th Mar 2012
Here's an impromptu recording of a new track set to a lovely background of blue sky and suburbia. Check out the link below in the latest videos section. Hope you enjoy it.
6th Mar 2012
Revolution in your Pocket LIVE.
I will be performing at the Moseley Arms this Friday. Entry is FREE and doors open at 8.30
If you haven't seen the show yet, make a beeline for it. It's pretty good.
20th Feb 2012
-What is the Revolution in Your Pocket?
It is revolution with a small r, one that makes things more convenient for the individual. We can now customise music to suit our individual needs. Apparently this technological advance is what is amazing about music today, not the music itself.
It makes the idea of revolution personal and inward-looking -Not "Change The World" but "Change Your World".
It makes it normal to want to change culture to suit yourself rather than making the inconvenient demand that people change themselves.
-How did the idea first dawn on you? Or, when did you first coin the phrase?
It was when the iphone first arrived in our shops. The arrival was heralded by a marketing whirlwind that kept telling us how revolutionary this new gadget was. Like all the best songs, it started with mild irritation. If a word gets used over and over, its meaning is in danger of being devalued.
-The song has been around for a while in different forms. It feels like it might be your signature song...
Yes - it nearly drove me insane.
-Which musicians and thinkers have influenced this EP?
Obviously the spirit of Gil Scott Heron hovers over it. The main idea lyrically was a reversal of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, as in the line, "Its been televised so many times that I have memorised every line". This is not a criticism of Gil Scott Heron but an acknowledgement that we live in constant faux-rebellion. There is constant reference to it throughout culture. From Rebel without a Cause to Rage against the Machine. "You can't rebel against the system because rebellion is the system." This is from The Rebel Sell by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter, about the marketing of rebellion in pop culture. We have been raised on rebellion from an early age. We have been instructed to rebel, which is of course ridiculous.
-There seems to be a lot of work coming out of Zang these days critiqueing pseudo-rebellion...
Well there's a lot of it about. I think it will get to a point, in fact it is already here, where people won't be able to tell the difference between a "revolutionary" aesthetic and genuine revolutionary material. This is because everything comes through the channel of corporate rock. We have forgotten everything we learned from Public Enemy, Bob Marley, the Beatles etc. We've got to learn it all again.
-Do you believe that music could ever be a revolutionary force again? How?
An individual-centred approach to music consumption has led to a highly fragmented scene. We will have to realise this if we want musical movements to come back.
-Does it bother you that many people will listen to this EP with their ipods?
I don't necessarily have a problem with ipods themselves. I'm questioning the cynical appropriation of the language of revolution as a means of selling products.
31st Jan 2012
Revolution in your Pocket, my new EP, is coming soon.
See below for Promo podcast, and look out for more info over the next two weeks...
20th Jan 2012
"I just wasn't prepared to join the system".
Even Rupert Murdoch sees himself as a kind of rebel. More proof that our system relies on the individual's image of himself as a rebellious outsider, even if he's one of the richest men in the world. Adam Curtis's "A Short Film About Rupert Murdoch".