Tag Archives: Rubik

Extraordinary Music

          

Thirty years ago when I first caught sight of the cover I knew this was going to be a record I would like. Little did I know then it would be a release that I would instantly adore and over the years I would herald it as groundbreaking. At any given opportunity I would reference it as having a lasting profound impact on me. I would consistently include it in my “Best of Lists”. Sometimes, for no other reason than I thought it was perfectly brilliant, I’d slip it into a set if I was doing live radio or if I was deejaying in a club, I’d take the crowd to a pulsing rhythmic high and then hold them in a state of near climax as blended in its open bars, knowing only full well the crashing, thunderous crescendo of guitars would send everyone into ecstasy. Yes, the sleeve did catch my attention, back then Vaughan Oliver’s graphic’s for the 4AD label were the must-haves for every record snob on the planet. This one was all the more exceptional perhaps because of Juergen Teller’s alluring, erotic photos on the front and back. But for me, I didn’t get giddy with excitement over the cool 4AD covers, no, for me the music had to be as good, if not better than the precious covers. Lollita, the 3 track 12” EP by A. R. Kane was a landmark. The duo of Alex Ayuli and Rudy Tambala made music that came along just at the right time. It was like nothing else. Which probably explains why not everyone, not even die-hard 4AD aficionados treated it with the same reverence as I. There was another titillating facet to Lollita that fascinated me – the lyrics. Was he saying, “Winkie girl” or could it be, “Wicked girl”? Did he really say, “Love to go on down and kiss your curls”? It really didn’t matter, the more I played it the bigger the mystery. And, did I play it! My copy is still if not in pristine condition, it sounds fine, the cover is a little grubby around the corners though. What an absolute thrill then when I opened up my inbox the other day to discover a new track, Thinking About You, from an outfit named, Jübl. The name was intriguing, but it was the sound…that sound. Could it be a close relation of A. R. Kane? With a little closer inspection, I discovered that Jübl is Rudy Tambala, (one half of A. R. Kane) who has been performing and recording with Maggie Tambala and Andy Taylor since 2015. Their debut EP is titled, Thinking Sweet has just been released. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere I’ll play Thinking About You from Jübl and follow that up with, Lollita. I promise, not only are you in for a treat, you’ll learn why I have been raving on about A. R. Kane for so long and why I’m now excited to hear the new music from Rudy as he move forward with Jübl.
Also in the show, my interview with Australian author, Elizabeth Tan about her beautifully complex debut novel, Rubik. A new release arrived just as this show was being edited that sounded just right to almost work as a soundtrack to Elizabeth’s extraordinary work. From London, it’s a new female talent who goes by the moniker, Grand Pax. The song is titled, Destroyer and it’s available on the Blue Flowers imprint. Enjoy!

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Life Elsewhere Music airs:
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Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
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A Beautifully Complex Debut

Elizabeth Tan with Norman B in suburban Perth, Australia

The demure young woman sitting opposite me gives no clue that she is the author of the most beautifully complex and engrossing book I’ve read in ages. Her darkly comedic interconnected stories follow Elena Rubik, her best friend Jules Valentine, and wannabe investigative reporter April Kuan, as a viral marketing scheme’s motivations become a cause for concern. There are the adventures of a model turned visual artist, a tech support voice actor, enigmatic schoolchildren, clever anime characters and more. She deftly blends the real and imagined with biting social satire, exploring the lives of her diverse group of characters with deep empathy and insight into our contemporary world. In her astonishing debut novel, Rubik, Elizabeth Tan may have created a new unexpected genre. As she delicately sips on an over-sized mug of ginger and orange juice blended with a shopping list of herbs and spices, (a concoction that would that would fit right into Rubik), Elizabeth quietly explains that the dead aren’t really gone, they persist as phone numbers, social media accounts, newsletter recipients, aliases on fan-fiction. She goes deeper: digital ghosts move and connect us, so we feel we know people we have only seen online just as corporations masquerade as familiar friends. My interview with Elizabeth Tan was recorded at a cafe in suburban Perth, Australia. When you listen and then read Elizabeth’s book, I know you’ll agree the ambient noises are perfectly fitting.

Norman B June 20, 2018

Life Elsewhere is now available at NPR One & iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On-Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

Make a Donation Button