Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sao Paulo

Itau Culturel's botanical prints collection
With a month to go before we leave the Americas, I'm v grateful for an 11th hour opportunity to visit Brazil. It's a regional meeting in Sao Paulo, so I'll be in a conference room for most of the time but, hey, I'm not grumbling. 
I arrived in the morning so had the affernoon to look around, mainly the downtown Avenida Paulista area. Couple of interesting museums. The Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP) is a strange building on legs and, like the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, its top-floor gallery exhibits paintings 'in the round' (ie you can see front & back). Just as strange is the Itau Culturel which houses a fantastically displayed botanical prints collection. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Close To The Noise Floor

MFH / Pump's second life continues with a track on Close To The Noise Floor: Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984 out on Cherry Red this month. We are in exalted company: early Human League, Heaven 17, OMD, Throbbing Gristle, Blancmange, John Foxx... and a whole slew of lesser-knowns and bedroom bands. 
Our track is 'Mistral' from the MFH Ground Zero cassette album - an airy but edgy instrumental recorded in a bungalow in Cornwall in '81. It's a 4CD set complete with comprehensive notes and an essay by Dave Henderson. A fine piece of cultural documentation which unearths the key role of early analogue synthesizers in post-punk experimentalism. There are omissions: most importantly The Normal's 'Warm Leatherette' and no Cabaret Voltaire for example. But it's the additions that are intriguing. And the reviews have so far been excellent.