While this site has been quiet, there has nonetheless been a fair amount going on (follow me on Twitter to get news as it comes in, in among the occasional 2AM political rant). I've written a few articles. Here's a summary:
First up, articles I've had published:
(1) Interview with Jim O'Rourke for Japan's ele-king magazine, about his new album Sleep Like it's Winter. The English edition is here and the Japanese version here. I was very nervous about this because Jim is such a deeply knowledgeable musician that I knew I'd struggle to keep up with him. In the end, we had a long and very interesting conversation (that, yes, I struggled to keep up with) and even this long interview feature is a heavily edited version.
(2) Interview with Laetitia Sadier, again for ele-king, this time for a feature in the paper edition of the magazine focusing on avant-pop. The English version of the interview is online here, and the Japanese version is in the print magazine. This was another very interesting interview, and again the version available here unfortunately had to be edited down considerably from the full text. It was interesting to me that, in interviewing Laetitia and Jim so close together, I'd been able to speak at length with two of the people behind one of my favourite albums of all time, Stereolab's Sound Dust.
(3) Feature on Japanese underground music for The Barbican in London, available to read online here. Published to coincide with a series of performances by Japanese composers and musicians including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono, Yasuaki Shimizu and Ryoji Ikeda, The barbican asked me to write a piece explaining the history of Japanese experimental and underground music. Obviously that's a vast topic, so I was only able to skate the surface, but in a way that was a relief, as it's a music world populated by intensely dedicated fans who would no doubt be able to pull apart any deeper discussion I ventured to offer with vicious glee. As a summary, there's stuff to disagree with, but I think it holds up pretty well.
(4) Feature on the process of releasing Quit Your Band! first in English and then in Japanese, commissioned by NPR in America. A long article that you can read here. This one was something that took a long time to come to fruition, and was an extremely interesting and quite enjoyable process, going backwards and forwards with editor Andrew Flanagan, who was very patient with me in shepherding the article through to completion. It ended up being quite personal, and in the context of trying to find a voice for my second book, I think it was a very important piece for me to have written.
(5) As a companion to the NPR piece, I also made a DJ mix of Japanese underground music that either came out from my Call And Response label or was released by people around me who inspired me in the process of running my label and events. You can read my explanation and listen to the mix here.