19 Apr 2004
Magick and Mystery 
Mike Keane, who IS The Royal Family and The Poor, takes us on a track by track tour of his new album, 'North-West Soul' [Boutique 6607].

1) 'Falling' - This song was partly a response to the way having to watch my mother die in hospital in 1999 at sunset on her birthday, it is also about the reality of knowing that I/we ALL have to die and that we are ALL equals in death. It's also about how people tend to put everything and anything, particularly money - before love and their own humanity.

2) 'Sick Sad World' - self-explanatory. Yep, "Daria" is one of my favourite animations, should be up there with the Simpsons in my opinion !! :-)

3) 'Wandering' - This is about being able to rise above all the crap even though you have and are & will inevitably eventually be nothing.

4) 'Ratio' - this is about the strength to be found within oneself and how that strength unites the heart with all those other hearts across the world who also adhere to and express themselves in terms that do not conform to the banal and one-dimensional cardboard-cutout world of consumer society.

5) 'Long Time Coming' - This is about being alone for 10 years and living like a hermit in the inner city for 10 years & how to wake up to the fact that when you live by the truth in your heart you are never really alone, i.e. by overcoming one's fear of death.

6) 'Midnight Symphony 2' - I've always liked the idea of creating contemporary compositions & this track is an attempt at this idea, it reminds me of a 15 min track I did in 1979 called "Midnight Symphony" - which was never released, this track is an extension of my dreams as a child where I imagined fantastic creatues living in the night who were immortal and solitary & that one of them came to my bedroom one night and made me one of them & from that moment on I was never the same again.

7) 'Sweeter Than The Day' - Self-explanatory. It's about what it says i.e. - that people can't see whats right in front of and all around them all the time. Its also about the beauty of sunset / evening time.

8) 'Tell-Tale-Heart' - This is a "contemporary Nocturne" composition i.e. - musick for the Night. I've always LOVED horror movies and romanesque / gothic architecture & its history & culture, I also love really scary music, this is my tribute to these ideas. It is also about pain and healing & in that sense plumbs the depths of the human Psyche & its struggle to come to terms with ALL our own unconscious and subconcious desires - which is expressed thru such mediums as horror, fantasy, sci-fi and all those arts that express something more than the surface of things.

9) 'Hymn To The Night' - A song about aiming as high as you can in life. It's a "hymn" to the night in the sense of "night" as a "symbol" of all that is "secret" or "hidden" in our lives, the underlying things that move and motivate us, you see I believe that the surface of things is a big lie that we all agree to abide by, but the truth is that the way I see it we are ALL "magickal" beings, incarnations of some phenomenal intelligence at work in this universe, a universe FULL of magick and mystery as well as unlimited possibilites and opportunities for experience and expression, it remains a great tragedy that the majority of people today seem as lost and confused about their place in the universe as they always were, history attests to this fact, that it's only ever been the minority who are the thinkers, artists, scientists and truth-seekers & that these people have influenced the entire history of mankind and civilisation as we know it. My "music", if you can call it that, has always been nothing more than an expression of wanting to help others wake-up to their OWN potential & that I can best do that be fulfilling my own potential and then finding ways of expressing the experiences and adventures I've had in the land of "no limits" :-) Of course walking the road of "no limits" has taken a bit of a toll on me !!! :-)

10) 'Leaves In The Wind' - An old song originally released on Zulu compilation in 1882 - re-recorded here coz I always liked it. The song is self explanatory.

11) 'Sol Sonic' - Recorded about 3 years ago when I first got my equipment & studio. It was one of the FIRST recordings I did in 10 years so it's dear to me for that reason.

12) 'You & Me' - A reflection on the complexities of relationships.

13) 'Starfire' - from the same 1st session that 'Sol Sonic' was recorded in 2000 when I first got the studio.

Many thanks to Mike Keane.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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