Ivan the Tolerable

I received a copy of this album a week or two ago and hadn’t sat and listened to it properly, last night I played it during my walk to Marske where I was meeting a friend for a pint. When I arrived at the pub the album hadn’t finished so I kept on walking. The whole album is a stone-cold kosmische killer, the dub track, An Interior, was a total surprise and is just brilliant. The best new album I’ve heard this year.

The Old Stones Exhibition March 2022

My friend Tony Galuidi asked me if I’d be interested in a joint exhibition, I agreed and here it is. If you like big old prehistoric stones and you happen to find yourself in Cumbria, pop in and have a look.

Marsh by Graham Vasey

The third instalment of Graham’s Black Path Series. A 16mm film exploring the landscape around Warrenby Marsh and the Black Path on Teesside. Filmed using a vintage Ensign Auto Kinecam with ORWO UN54 16mm film then hand processed in Ilford ID-11 developer.

MAW 21

This weekend I spent half a day wandering around Middlesbrough Art Weekender. The Weekender is an established annual event and appears to be going from strength to strength. It’s a real joy to see so much creative activity happening in and around the town.

I was particularly thrilled to see Jimmy Cauty’s MdZ Estate

Ivan the Tolerable – Autodidact II

Ivan the Tolerable aka Oli Heffernan has just released Autodidact II and it’s rather wonderful.

The latest instalment in Oli Heffernan’s prolific ITT project, this album started life as three separate recording sessions in July and August 2021 – work for a soundtrack to a series of films about psychogeography and North Yorkshire folklore, a remote improvised session with Christian Alderson (The Unit Ama/Archipelago) and a solo EP of arpeggiater repeat drones and freak-folk. Originally intended as three EPs, the flow and theme running through them lends itself well as a single album, linking previous release ‘White Tears’, (Library of The Occult) and forthcoming album ‘The Long Year’ (Stolen Body)

Cruel Nature Records

NARC Magazine Issue 177

Between October 2021 and January 2022 Oli Heffernan will have released five albums as Ivan the Tolerable, Houseplants and with his work in King Champion Sounds. It’s an eye-watering work ethic by anyone’s standards, but the energy and inspiration is something that seems to flow freely from the Teesside based artist.

NARC #177 October 2021 . Interview by Ben Lowes-Smith. Read it here

Benefits – Empire

The new single by Teesside band Benefits is loud and angry and for me captures the rage and fear felt by many at the current state of our society. The language may offend you, the noise may offend you, but the message is true and uncompromising, that is what is important.

Here are a few things that offend me

In our region, the HBAI figures indicate that 37% of all children and young people in the North East were living in poverty over the three years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic (2017/18 to 2019/20) – equivalent to more than 11 children in a classroom of 30 across the region, and up from an average of 34% in the three years before (2016/17 to 2018/19).

https://www.nechildpoverty.org.uk/facts/

Record 2.5m food bank parcels given to people in crisis in the past year.

https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/end-year-stats/

The UK has the worst regional inequality in the developed world, with people in England’s North East worst-off overall. 

https://www.bigissue.com/latest/what-you-need-to-know-about-uk-inequality/

There are 171 billionaires in the UK, 24 more than a year ago

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/may/21/number-of-billionaires-in-uk-reached-new-record-during-covid-pandemic

Middlesbrough Pictorial & Industrial – Harold Hood

Published in 1926 by photographer and commercial printer, Harold Hood, Middlesbrough Pictorial & Industrial is Hoods love letter to Middlesbrough. Hood photographed the town, its people, buildings and industry. He quotes one critic as saying, If they felt about it as I do they would make a bonfire of the place tomorrow, and pitch the statues of its creators head-most into the flames..

This book was his response.