Iain Cameron's Diary
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2006-11-23 - 5:30 a.m.

Some purchases arrived – the super-Beano CD with a mono mix a stereo mix and environing material. I am familiar with more of the incidentals than I had hoped. On the other hand it is what is - I got to this point by reading some of the early history of Marshall in Hanwell looking into the claim that the Shea Stadium performance had driven the development of larger amplifiers.

JM’s early experiments were with the Fender Bassman and then he tried different valves in the different amps adding more coarseness to the overdriven sound. The strength of the core music is undeniable – surprisingly direct despite its long time familiarity – the sound of the Les Paul and the over-driven Marshall. It was newly discovered as far as I can determine - a technical possibility emerges and immediately there s someone to hand to exploit that possibility to the maximum.

In the background is Joe Boyd’s suggestion that the sound of the blues has become diluted and devalued since he first heard Muddy Waters play critical licks in the late 50s. Against that , its obvious that in 1965-66 some kind of intensification was under way.

The expansion of possibility – also evident in the music I am listening to this very second which also arrived today – White Noise with Delia Derbyshire from 1968-69. I had to get hold of it as soon as I discovered that she was educated in Coventry and Cambridge. The automotive link with emerging electronica makes a suitable complement to the Cybotron I was listening to at the weekend.

Commentators rightly make the connection between these conceptions and the United States of America – very evident to my ears on an early listen through – some of the musical ideas are very similar indeed. How far is it from this music to Cabaret Voltaire and from there to the Electrifying Mojo?

A book of Heidi essays also arrived. The joke in that its always about a walk in the woods – the question of following a woodpath which may or may not go somewhere.On this particular walk the woodman looks at the trees and sees them as part of a supply chain to be sold on the open market – maybe these days he would look at them and see them as a source of bio-fuels. Technology is a means of achieving something and the trees can be an element in some programme. However the important thing is to realise that the predisposition to see the things around and to hand as part of a technological programme is the point at which to focus attention – how this orientation came about. Its this focus which gets out of the pointless polarisation between the view that technology is a means and therefore man is in control and the view that technology is a system and therefore man is under control. The bio-fuels example is a good one in this latter instance. The woodman might be in the grip of the market’s response to global warming – suddenly these trees have a special value.

I can’t help thinking of the woodman who has been on the phone to Jim Marshall and been told that the trees have to go into a prototype four by twelve cabinet? Or suppose Delia Derbyshire was walking through the woods with her Uher and the rustle of the leaves seems to be just the sound resource to add to her latest project?

The 2005 ABI came out yesterday – so yesterday was the day when we were most uptodate with how the automotive sector has been performing and over the next twelve months our vision will become more and more outdated. There are certain key measures we want to see . What has happened to value added per person? Its doubled since 2000 in the vehicle manufacturers – that’s quite an astonishing result. What has happened to capital expenditure? It seems to be making a recovery. The disappointment is with stockturms which seem to have plateaued at 15 – but I wonder whether the rise in commodity prices is a factor?

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