Her Anarchy Baffles (cassettes)

It hasn’t all been about counting magpies or indeed any corvid (sic) tally these last few months here at Reeves Mansions. Like everyone else I’ve had to learn to live with myself; look beneath the bed and find all the things I hid under there; one of which was my Tascam 4 track cassette recorder. It’s an old 414 that I bought new in 1994 and still works like a dream. I’ve recorded on GarageBand, DAT and a whole bunch of other digital hardware over the years, but I feel at home with tape. For reasons that I can barely comprehend (or remember clearly) I swapped my TEAC 2440 Reel-to-Reel for some bag of narcotics way back in the late 90s. But the Tascam and a horde of new/used cassette tapes I kept. They have travelled with me, home to home, for 25 years now. Twenty-five, can that be right?

So I recorded some new shit (haiku)… Reworking written pieces into sound…

Postcard From Kreuzberg

Teasing out a tune

from a borrowed horn, in a rented room,

in Kreuzberg.

I breathe in the perfume

of the afternoon –  I taste bottled beer

I taste oranges.

The shadows rise as the sunlight falls.

The sparrows in the scaffold sing.

In 10962.

Two punks sitting on a painted wall – Baruther Strasse cemetery.

They’re reading out the names from the gravestones –

the passages sound like poetry to me.

 

The bikes slide by like silent film.

The ghosts they loiter in the trees –

they are all around you.

I spent an hour in a bookshop (former) East Berlin:

I just browsed through the boxes.

I found a postcard in a novel by Graham Greene:

I wrote upon it.

I wrote…

The shadows rise as the sunlight falls.

I wrote…

The sparrows in the scaffold sing.

I wrote…

The bikes slide by like silent film.

I wrote…

The ghosts they loiter in the trees.

And I sent it to you.

UFOs I Seek

i imagine her, right here, in this room

and i imagine dancing beneath her moon:

she’s so intriguing.

i wish that she could bend my ear.

send some clue, some word, some whisper:

send something psychic.

if this appears to be

something that you do not wish to see,

then i could disappear.

(but i hear and i hear and i hear…)

there’s another world out there –

see-through folks beneath their sheets.

and i don’t even really care to be their trick or treat.

so if a girl with a wand and a cloak

can make a boy disappear in a cloud of smoke

and then reappear as a ghost… does he float?

like those ufos i see

every time you glance at me.

like those ufos i hear

every time that you draw near.

like those ufos i seek

every time i hear you speak.

like those ufos

every time i feel your heat.

like those ufos

every time you glance at me.

like those ufos…

The last time I used the TASCAM was to record a version of Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks over Easter 2014 in a broom cupboard in South Shields: I had already been relegated to the spare room at this juncture by my ex-wife. We fell in love when we did and as she told me from the get-go, you repent at leisure.

Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks is often referred to in those lists that do such things as the greatest break-up album ever (though, when I saw Josh Rouse in Tynemouth last year at the Surf Café – yeah! I know! The Surf Café!? I told him that I thought his Under The Cold Blue Stars was the greatest break-up album ever… to which he replied, “Really? I thought that was Blood On The Tracks?!” “Nah, that’s second,” I told him – correctly. To which he seemed quite, strangely, chuffed!)

Subsequent to that I used a digital ZOOM 16 track to record cassettes’ 2018 Somme Girls album (which wasn’t a cover of the Stones’ album but a sort of joke, or pun, on it and WW1: it made sense at the time, and still holds water, I think). Er, it’s cool, but I prefer analogue.

Her Anarchy Baffles.

I want to call it an EP, but actually it’s a single… which is rather more apt.

Postcard From Kreuzberg

UFOs I Seek

{cassettes}

recorded at home May 2020 on tape with an SM58, a Martin (something), copious Pinot Grigio, (ditto) Golden Virginia, (ditto) tea, (some) yoga, love and time.

*

cassettes can be found on SoundCloud, iTunes, ReverbNation, YouTube, BandCamp, Spotify, blahblahblah!

Peace, we out. x

49 thoughts on “Her Anarchy Baffles (cassettes)

  1. Nick….. bit speechless really. I’ve always loved your writing, then I saw you can paint too, and now… this. I really enjoyed both music and lyrics. That UFO, I hope you find it.

    Also, loved these lines

    “The bikes slide by like silent film.
    The ghosts they loiter in the trees”

    Nick Reeves – Ace (to use your word), and super talented.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. A melody started circulating around my head a couple of hours ago. This was followed by the usual, frustrating question – “What on earth IS that tune?” It turned out to be those final bars from Postcard From Kreuzberg! So there you go!!!
        Incidentally, I didn’t mean for my link to be so damn pushy! It’s asserted itself to an altogether embarrassing degree!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! Man, I’ve been sat here like some faux Lester Bangs for about an hour trying to fashion a reply and pushed send as this^ came through!
        PS. I love the way that the link ‘asserted itself’ Damn link! 😉
        PPS. Sorry about the ear-worm.
        Do you have the receipt??
        Bless you, my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Nick! To be honest, it’s remarkable what can be achieved with a computer, a basic keyboard, and a MIDI software package. (This award isn’t really mine. I’d like to thank Yamaha, Toshiba etc. etc.)
        And yeah, that insolent, upstart link! It was supposed to be quiet & unobtrusive. Now look at it! It’s still up there, shouting for all it’s worth. I won’t be taking it with me anywhere again, that’s for sure!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nick… I hope this comment actually gets through to you. It seems some of mine don’t. Anyway… your work always makes me awed but this… honestly I’ve got tears streaming as I listen to it. It’s just bloody incredible. (Hope you don’t mind “bloody,” I’m trying to swear less, so no f’s lol). What a gorgeous mix of beat… and melody… and harmony… and poetry. So very beautiful. And the title makes it extra special, in the way that mysterious titles always do make something extra special.

    “The shadows rise as the sunlight falls.
    The sparrows in the scaffold sing.
    In 10962.”

    Love those lines and the way the harmonies began to layer at that point. But the whole thing is a work of art through and through. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nick, how very dare you.
    Postcard From Kreuzberg is beyond brilliant, and I mean the whole gestalt of the composition, not just the poem. Gosh golly, I wish you were on Apple Music. Especially now, that commutes are restarting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also, it shares the thematic moonbeaming of Postcard from a Volcano, from Stevens, one of my absolutely favourite poems, and Postcard from Italy, from Beirut, one of my absolutely favourite songs from them, perhaps the second after Varieties of Exile.

      Like

  4. What lovely lyrics to read, though I confess I am enjoying them as poems at the moment. I will give a listen when there are not children sleeping nearby. 😂 “Postcard From Kreuzberg” I found to be especially haunting and beautiful as I read them. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Postcard from Kreuzberg, I listened to it again first thing this morning in bed.
    (Too tired last night to comment.)
    Way to go! Wow. Beautiful. Please keep sharing the music. As someone else pointed out it’s nice to read along to the lyrics.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The first time I read through, I was a bit bleary eyed, and also parts of the post load before others, so I only read the ramble and the two poems, of which Postcard clearly deserves a post of its own. It’s brilliant. When I worked out that I could then listen to it as well, I completely loved UFO and still loved Postcard, which meant it works both as a song and a poem, which as someone else has already pointed out, is rarely the case. And it’s bloody catchy too! What you’ve got here is something that clearly needs to be aired to a wider audience, which is obviously your intention with Spotify etc, but at the risk of offending, perhaps with improved production values, at which point you regret insulting the keyboard player, getting rid of the TEAC and throwing out all that garage insulation! But I think most who would listen to it, would agree, it’s really lovely music, and deserves to be heard. This is your new mission !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for returning to this post, Paul. It means a lot to me. I accept my new mission…
      but first, to the shops to buy flowers & chocs for the keyboard player!

      …oh, hang on. They’re closed!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love both but Postcard really does it for me … quite brilliant

    The shadows rise as the sunlight falls.

    The sparrows in the scaffold sing.

    In 10962.

    Two punks sitting on a painted wall – Baruther Strasse cemetery.

    They’re reading out the names from the gravestones –

    the passages sound like poetry to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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