Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"dodgy stereo" "barry's electric workshop" "electro music" "stencil graffiti"

So the other day I decided to start up yet another installment in the "dark wheeze" series. I was initially just making an ep's worth of moody electro, but I'm starting to feel like there could be a whole albums worth of material to be produced.

I actually surprised my self by deciding to write some lyrics the other day. I'm not sure exactly where that came from, but after looking at them, they had a kind of "diary of a disgruntled sod" vibe to them. I decided to try to put them down on top of an audio doodle i had created the previous week, and decided that it was kind of fun, in a murky way.

This audio doodle was of course later found to be a little on the sparse side. I (being the type who often prefers his tones to be dense) then decided to take the audio for a ramble, and compressed the lot, and chucked a whole heap of stretches and twists to the mix to create a pleasingly hectic re-arrangement. So from an initial two-note loop, I now have two short and contrasting mini compositions. I like it when the end results can be so different from such similar starting points. It reminds me of Chinese Whispers or something like that...

I've decided to put these two nuggets of audio online for a short time to see what sort of feedback I get. If you have had a listen, please drop me a line to let me know what you think. Positives and negatives welcomed.

Go visit for a listen...

More "stencil graffiti" or "street art" photos up at the dodgystereo flickr account too.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Heat, sun, spring, smiles...a great start to a weekend...

So I went to my first Polish soccer match last night, Korona Kielce Vs. Wisla Krakow. Top notch entertainment. After meeting the director of another one of the (many, many, many) language schools in Kielce (there are around 80 hin this little place compared to about 50 in Krakow!) he he asked me did I like football, I admitted that i didn'y follow the sport but wanted to see the local team play sometime, if possible in their new stadium, he had connections and in a matter of minutes I had a rendez-vous arranged and prime spot seats waiting for me should I decide to take his offer.
Well yes, of course.
The guys and lady i met were all nice people, and we had a great time watching the local bous win. Various Queens anthems blared from the in-house PA and I was impressed by the clubs organisation of a good atmosphere - balloons, drums, horns, and co-ordinated cards for the crowd to hold up, turning the (almost sell-ouy) stadium into a giant scarf. Mexican waves were participated in by one and all, and the happy noisey supporters were loud but not nasty all the way back into town, which meant that the heavy riot police presence was for show only, thankfully.

I found some more "stencil graffiti" or "street art" or whatever it is that it is or was called (am I collecting iimages of a fad that has been and gone? who knows? ....cares?) and i noted that the date (see above) on one of the samples was 1998, I am so outr of the loop, but i just can't help myself from snapping them up. I feel it is a bit like recording a small movement in visual art practice, and in a way recording a little piece of history as this little city is undergoing rapid change in the form of renewal and urban (re)development. It really is an "up-and-coming" place. I have noted that several of the pieces of graffiti that I have taken photos of so far have had bulky advertisements installed over their once sprayed up flat spaces. All change. As per usual.

I found this slightly disturbing arrangement "KKK" on the walls of the walkway between platforms in the local train station. I at first thought that this was a nod to the rascism that I had mentioned in an earlier post. However, I have noted that there are lonely letter K's spread, and sprayed around town, and so and hoping that it is someone's "tag" and that this is just unfortunate.

I couldn't help but think of it though after reading in the Guardian about an African student that was shot in St. Petersburg by some nut with a rifle emblazoned with a swastika. Not the first attack/murder of it's kind. Bad times.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

more pix and "stencil graffiti" or "street art" by "dodgy stereo"

I referred to a logo in my last post which had turned up at the edges of several of the stencils I had seen and snapped.

This is a close up of said image.

A little like a gang of windmills?

A trio of fancy dynamic crucifixes?

Something else altogether?

I have tried to post a selection of some different images here and at the dodgy stereo flickr account, where there is quite a little gallery building up. I have as posted in my own comments box a few links to other sites i have found whilst searching for "Grupa Relaks". It would seem there is quite a bit of the web devoted to their activities and their peers. And I must say that some of the "works" are "art" and others just seem to be "doodles".

I am looking forward to having more time to research this and I'm hoping to find that the "art" outnumbers the "doodles".

As I remarked in my last post i was unsure how possible it would be to get in touchg with the people who were making these public marks. But after finding the small collection of links I have a renewed feeling of possibilites.

As you can see from the image above, the political content of some of the images is quite overt, the others that I haven't translated, are still quite magical and threatening to me.

Will I find that I am hosting left or right wing propoganda on my blog, does it matter?
The fact is I don't think anyone reads this, and it's just a nice gallery for me to gaze at and use to put some kind of sequence of events down in another format than my usual ink on paper routine.

Stream of conciousness rambling, and a bit of scrap-book style image posting.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Warsaw easter - dodgy stereo still flows...

Wasaw was nice to see again. Quite bloody expensive if i am to add much comment. But there is plenty of things to see. Although most of them were related to beer and food for the most part of my little experience so far.

This may have been linked to my family visiting and wanting to do as much "unwinding" as sigyht seeing.

There were good times had though, including a regular old sing-a-long session with a pair of guitars at Gareths house. Fine things.

More photos of the rather huge amount of stencil graffiti up at flickr. I think I got about 140 new images. So what doesn't go up on flickr will be posted here.

I note that most of the stencils were found rather unsurprisingly near the university area. But they were as was hoped peppered quite liberally around most of the central area of the city too. so my journeys down raods never before travelled were never fruitless.

I am under the impression that some of these images would make interesting t-shirts. But this brings up the problem of ownership.

They are my photos, but to replicate the design would be plagiarism.

Another problem. I don't have the skills to translate all the words. This could be offensive to some, as i have little doubt that quite a number are political. I will spend some time with a dictionary to try to crack this though.
I was also thinking about an exhibition about them, but have no idea who the creators are. This being a "guerilla art" type of thing, where the people who put them up on the walls are often anonymous. However i have noticed that a good number have recurring themes, such as "grupa relaks" which have plenty of other representatives on flickr.

Others have a visual stamp - a little like three vertical marks with crosses on top of them. Another tag-team? How do I seach for that online?

How does one interview the makers of these marks?
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

..and so on and on it rolls...

I have thought and talked with others about the last post i made. Some may considder it to be excessively negative. And that may be true. I feel that it could be read as quite a sweeping generalisation, and maybe worse a damnation of a nation that I admittedly need to learn a lot about.

I have arranged to go out with more of my students. Hoping to find more varieties of personalities. This is essential for me to learn a little more about the city i live in, and to gather more points of view, as they se them, so that I will not have too slim a referrence regarding what I think of the people who live in this country.

I have decided to read a lot more. Having found some interesting (although no totally up to date) articles on Eurozine. Time to learn, as per usual.

On another note it is nearly Easter, and as all good Catholics know, it's time to get your eggs out. Poland has plenty of pretty coloured little eggy-weggs and chocolates for christ on display at shops all around town.

What Soph found the other day wqas this little treasure. An edible bread like a lamb. Quite new to me. And a pleasant little addition to Easter festivities for sure. Lamb of God. Bread of god. Lamb of bread. Whatever. I don't know what the name is in Polish, but i thought a picture of it was essential.

Happy easter?

Got a small holiday to look forward to. My parents and brother will come over to Warsaw for a visit, and I'll spend the weekend with them. So more photos of shops like the 555 i hope, as I lost most of the photos of odd shopsigns that I took the last time I was there.
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Friday, April 07, 2006

Spring is in the air...

So the weather is getting better all the time. Almost like a normal Spring here. Still managing to surprise me with the occasional burst of snow - but then the novelty of that will fade, I'm sure.

Finding plenty of little bars - and realising that there are plenty of people who can speak English, and will do so, and not act like they hate you for it.

The cynic in me says they are students that just want free practice sessions. But i'm happy that they are into giving it a try as opposed to beating me to a pulp for being a foreigner as some reporters have mentioned the Right-wingers here having a bit of a xenophobic streak. which i actually experienced the other night. A student in a bar told me that they were so happy to be a white European as it made life easier. I couldn't argue with that not having experienced any other view point. But then to be told that black people are scarey, and that they made her nervous. That creeped me out a bit. I noted that there was something in her face that suggested that I was supposwed to agree...

Conversation dried up.

On another note altogether; saw a poster for a few bands playing in Kielce. Quite a rarity. maybe take the time to go see 'em. In brackets below the band name was "death-core". Which i don't think I can say I have experienced before. I am wondering if it is a good idea to go to such a show when i have to get up at 7a.m before going to work the next day...

More photos od stencil graffiti up on flicfkr.

Hopefully the chopped-off remix of Kid Dynamo have been fixed.

Fresh audio to be posted pretty soon, as the "Dark Wheeze" series of recording starts to get into shape.

Added to "the Song that never ends" exhibition.

check that.
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Monday, April 03, 2006

kidd dynamo remixes go online hopefully.

So after much faffing about it would seem that has decided that it will host the b.e.w, and Weakling and King remixes of "Different Flights Of Stairs".

No doubt they'll be found to be corrupted by tomorrow. Meh. Cynic.

In other news, reviews for Alternative Ulster Magazine sent today.

Material for my ears this month.
Eberg - Voff Vpff
tunng - Comments of the Inner Chorus
Fisk Industries - 77 and Rising

good show.
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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Started taking photos of things in the streets of Kielce. Noted that there are quite a few bits of stencil graffiti on the walls near my flat.

I decided to take some snaps.

Some can be found over at flickr.

Remixes of Kidd Dynamo's "Different Flights of Stairs" by Phil "Weakling and King" Porter, and Barry "barry's electric workshop (b.e.w)" Cullen. to be published at shortly. I have tried to upload the files for the last three days in a row with no joy. Will try again later.
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hello world

dodgy stereo makes a first post on a blog.
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