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A Project Cancelled – a cancelled @oneweekoneband pitch about @realjahwobble

October 29, 2013

This article constitutes an admission of failure in my attempt to pre-write a week of articles for .

The topic of my articles was Jah Wobble. The articles would have detailed my serendipitous introduction into his music: catching a song here by chance on the radio; finding a mis-shelved CD in an obscure coastal town, being sent an album out of the blue by a record distributer.

Coincidentally, and wonderfully from a writing point of view, the songs and albums I first stumbled across and featured neatly demonstrated the many facets of his music: the original Invaders of the Heart, collaborations, drone works, single-genre World music albums and electric jazz. Thus the articles served as a potted primer of Wobble’s music.

At the same time the articles were as much about how the music we like, despite millions of words written, official best-of lists and the supposed importance of certain artists, ultimate comes down to a one-to-one relationship between listener and artist, and the order we hear the music.

The listener’s reaction to music is mostly influenced by personal listening experience. So, for instance, Joshua Tree may be considered one of the U2’s greatest albums, but a listener coming to it late having first heard Pop will have a different perception of the band from a listener who was there from the start.

I don’t like Pop, but this listener might find it the greatest U2 album of all times. This is a perfectly valid position. But the point remains our musical tastes are greatly influenced by the order we stumbled onto the music we hear.

It was this sense of serendipity I was trying to capture in these articles. I first heard Jah Wobble on the radio in my last year of school, but not again until four years later when I stumbled onto Eno and Wobble’s Spinner mistakenly filed in the heavy metal section of the Macksville record store.

This and subsequent discoveries neatly demonstrated into the playlists of my radio program where I featured each of these albums as I found them. These playlists formed the archival material which helped me remember what I thought of these albums at the time and how I related them to the other music I had already known. These playlists document the very order I was discovering music and how they influenced what I heard next.

At least this was the idea, but despite almost ten thousand words writer’s block and a rare inability to sculpt what I have already scribbled (usually my strong point) means I have decided to draw a line under this project. It wasn’t to be.

With this in mind the next post will be one of the rediscoveries of my research, which I was to post as part of the final submission. In 2003 I wrote an essay on Passage to Hades – the collaboration between Jah Wobble and Evan Parker. It was published in Neucleus (sic) the student newspaper of the University of New England, where I was no longer a student but still infesting their radio station.

What I’ll post is the version I submitted to the then editor Andy Marks (yes the drummer from Crow). Andy was a strong editor who often used a very light touch to improve the final print version but as I only hold a print copy of the edition I don’t have time to compare and contrast the submitted and published versions. Thus I’ve left my submission untouched except where I felt a sentence was completely incomprehensible due to a silly grammar or spelling mistake. If anything this shows a chapter in the evolution of my writing if nothing else.

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