People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz “Perpetuum Mobile” CD

On Soleilmoon Recordings

“Perpetuum Mobile” is the result of a uniquely schizophrenic “open source” compositional process: the UK’s finest collage composers Ergo Phizmiz and People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett) uploaded files to a shared server, downloaded and processed each other’s work, and flung the resulting fragments back at each other. The result is an interpenetrating audio-collage so intricate that neither party can recall who did what to whom. So far, so avant-garde; but what makes this record different is that Ergo and Vicki then wrote and sang their own vocals on top of their Frankenstein creation. Here you will find slyly absurdist lyrics replete with monkeys, carousels, trousers, apple trees, tinkling bells, dogs, sausages, whiskey, and cannibalism. No matter how fraught with trauma, these ballads and ditties are sung with a straight face and mixed front and center, and the results feel like 1930s British music hall standards from an alternate universe: half Ivor Cutler, half George Formby. The astonishing thing is that for all this jiggery-pokery, “Perpetuum Mobile” makes for an exhilarating, remarkably fresh pop album. It works. On “Ghosts Before Breakfast” Ergo and Vicki proudly declare that they’ve got “quite a selection of pastry”, and if the profusion of cuckoo clocks, gunshots, horn farts, string vamps, and digital malfeasance which go hurtling through this opening track is any indication, that’s no idle boast. For sheer cornucopia of sonic raw materials, this track’s avalanche of information sets the tone for the overflowing, manic record that follows. There’s far too much to fully parse, but among the highlights: “Beyond Perpetuum” pushes off from the Comedian Harmonists’ take on the 19th century compositional craze for “moto perpetuo” runs of continuous notes at a rapid tempo, and folds found piano, voice and strings into an interlocking array of M.C. Escher harmonic stairways. “Air Hostess” is detourned lounge pop that stitches together Nelson Riddle’s “Ya Ya” theme to “Lolita”, “Walk Right In”, light operettas, organ, bachelor pad cha cha and mambo, and nervously twitching shards of Louis Armstrong. “Pierrot’s Persecution Mania” bravely explores the possibilities of a Montparnasse-via-Dixieland hybrid of can-can and bluegrass, with ridiculous canned strings colliding with jew’s harp boings, while “Soggy Style” rides banjo twangs, a digital bossa nova breakdown, and the “whooo-ooes” nicked from Terry Stafford’s “Suspicion”. Living up to the perpetual motion of its title and cock-a-hoop cover art, this is a frantically energetic music whose layered repetitions become cumulatively more disorienting and preposterous as they loop back. “Perpetuum Mobile” goes beyond the stealth-oldies nostalgia of the mashup scene and the “culture-jamming” rhetoric of plunderphonics, and shows Mr. Ergo and Ms. Vicki to be a potent, if Surrealist, songwriting team, and together they braid oddly affecting vocals and their trademark stolen audio into twenty-first century pop. Like the perpetual motion machines for which it is named, this collaboration will run and run and run and run and run and run and run… – Drew Daniel

UK – CD price including P&P: $16
Buy in UK
EUROPE – CD price including P&P: $17
Buy in rest of Europe
ELSEWHERE – CD price including P&P: $17.50
Buy in rest of world

People Like Us “All Together Now”

Released October 2006
Mailorder Only

People Like Us proudly present 27 minutes of new songs following visits to several music libraries, and appropriating favourites from the western world into a musical pantomime.
Contains:
1. Blue Bayou
2. Everyday
3. Crazy
4. Stand By Your
5. Green, Green Grass
6. I Walk The Line
7. Singin’ In The Shower
Buy the CD here or download it at UbuWeb

UK- CD price including P&P: $10
Buy in UK
EUROPE – CD price including P&P: $10.50
Buy in rest of Europe
ELSEWHERE – CD price including P&P: $11
Buy in rest of world

People Like Us “Recyclopaedia Britannica – Selected Works 1992-2002”

Released April 2002 – Mess Media (thru Soleilmoon) MESS1
SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE

“The work of People Like Us rests gingerly between two dangerous positions: on the one hand, the risk of fashioning merely stylish pastiche out of borrowed finery for the sake of self-conscious kitschiness; on the other hand, the risk of making simplistic, heavy handedly “topical” audio-jokes at the expense of one’s raw material to a smug effect. If the lounge creeps uncritically snack on their sonic ingredients and coast on being “groovy”, the cads of pseudo-critique take cheap shots at straw men and call it subversion. Happily, Vicki Bennett has yet to fall down either precipice, but yodels down contentedly from her own Alpine audio-cottage. There, with loving care, she snips and tucks at the lycra jumpsuit until the fit is snug, places every plastic shrub on the Happy Valley Ranch just so, and throws another dance record on the bonfire. Undercutting her own utopian mirages with formal breakdowns and sneaky semantic pranks, Vicki Bennett is One Funny Lady, with a deadly sense of comic timing that puts her in my personal pantheon of edit intensive music makers: -Steinski and Mass Media, Hank Shocklee, Tod Dockstader, Teo Macero, the Hanatarash, John Oswald, Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock. Serving her birthday cake with a turd, her gags are always lined with a virulent creep factor. You get the feeling that the vacancy and pointlessness of empty speech is being lampooned and mourned in equal measure. In sticking to this balance of celebration and critique, People Like Us genuinely hates and loves People Like You. The least you can do is head up to the Happy Valley Ranch for a spell and have a listen.” – Drew Daniel

UK – CD price including P&P: $7
Buy in UK
EUROPE – CD price including P&P: $7.50
Buy in rest of Europe
ELSEWHERE – CD price including P&P: $8
Buy in rest of world

People Like Us “Thermos Explorer”

Released Autumn 2000 on Hot Air AIRHEAD002
1. Music of Your Own
2. Take a Walk
3. I’m 89
4. Snippy
5. People Like You
6. Ipanmnmna
7. Millenium Dome
8. Uh Dear
9. Cream Crackers
10. Moronically Yours
11. Sugarbeat
12. Whistle Song
13. Caciocavallo
14. Pauline
15. Kitten
16. Importance of Mistakes
17. Sardines
18. Dolphy
19. Sugar and Splice
20. Nobody Does
21. ILY
22. People Like You
23. Serenade
You can download this album at UbuWeb
*SOLD OUT*

Perpetuum Mobile CD

Released 23 April 2007 on Soleilmoon Recordings
SOL156 CD

“Perpetuum Mobile” is the result of a uniquely schizophrenic “open source” compositional process: the UK’s finest collage composers Ergo Phizmiz and People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett) uploaded files to a shared server, downloaded and processed each other’s work, and flung the resulting fragments back at each other. The result is an interpenetrating audio-collage so intricate that neither party can recall who did what to whom. So far, so avant-garde; but what makes this record different is that Ergo and Vicki then wrote and sang their own vocals on top of their Frankenstein creation. Here you will find slyly absurdist lyrics replete with monkeys, carousels, trousers, apple trees, tinkling bells, dogs, sausages, whiskey, and cannibalism. No matter how fraught with trauma, these ballads and ditties are sung with a straight face and mixed front and left, and the results feel like 1930s British music hall standards from an alternate universe: half Ivor Cutler, half George Formby. The astonishing thing is that for all this jiggery-pokery, “Perpetuum Mobile” makes for an exhilarating, remarkably fresh pop album. It works. On “Ghosts Before Breakfast” Ergo and Vicki proudly declare that they’ve got “quite a selection of pastry”, and if the profusion of cuckoo clocks, gunshots, horn farts, string vamps, and digital malfeasance which go hurtling through this opening track is any indication, that’s no idle boast. For sheer cornucopia of sonic raw materials, this track’s avalanche of information sets the tone for the overflowing, manic record that follows. There’s far too much to fully parse, but among the highlights: “Beyond Perpetuum” pushes off from the Comedian Harmonists’ take on the 19th century compositional craze for “moto perpetuo” runs of continuous notes at a rapid tempo, and folds found piano, voice and strings into an interlocking array of M.C. Escher harmonic stairways. “Air Hostess” is detourned lounge pop that stitches together Nelson Riddle’s “Ya Ya” theme to “Lolita”, “Walk Right In”, light operettas, organ, bachelor pad cha cha and mambo, and nervously twitching shards of Louis Armstrong. “Pierrot’s Persecution Mania” bravely explores the possibilities of a Montparnasse-via-Dixieland hybrid of can-can and bluegrass, with ridiculous canned strings colliding with jew’s harp boings, while “Soggy Style” rides banjo twangs, a digital bossa nova breakdown, and the “whooo-ooes” nicked from Terry Stafford’s “Suspicion”. Living up to the perpetual motion of its title and cock-a-hoop cover art, this is a frantically energetic music whose layered repetitions become cumulatively more disorienting and preposterous as they loop back. “Perpetuum Mobile” goes beyond the stealth-oldies nostalgia of the mashup scene and the “culture-jamming” rhetoric of plunderphonics, and shows Mr. Ergo and Ms. Vicki to be a potent, if Surrealist, songwriting team, and together they braid oddly affecting vocals and their trademark stolen audio into twenty-first century pop. Like the perpetual motion machines for which it is named, this collaboration will run and run and run and run and run and run and run . . . – Drew Daniel

Scans of reviews here:
Perpetuum Mobile Music For Maniacs (October 2007)
Perpetuum Mobile – Geiger (September 2007)
Perpetuum Mobile – Bad Alchemy (August 2007)

Perpetuum Mobile – Brainwashed (June 2007)
Perpetuum Mobile – RifRaf (June 2007)
Perpetuum Mobile – Rolling Stone (Mexico!!) June 2007
Perpetuum Mobile – Review in Norman Records June 2007

Perpetuum Mobile – Review in Jumbo June 2007

Perpetuum Mobile – Review in Loop June 2007
Perpetuum Mobile – Review in Boomkat June 2007
Perpetuum Mobile – Review in Cologne Choices June 2007

A Call For Silence curated by Nicolas Collins

Curated by Nicolas Collins – 2004
Design by Joerg Hartmannsgruber (white-card)

acallforsilence

As in the old Roué’s quip that “a drink before and a cigarette after are the three best things in life,” sometimes the most important moments of our lives lie in an unspoken ellipse. The same is true of some of our most beautiful sounds.

On this CD 34 artists provide personal views into that sonic ellipse, suggestions for listening to that which might otherwise pass you by: count-offs, groove grit, tape hiss, breaths, rests, CD glitch, guitar hum, audience anticipation, reverb tails, room tones, minutes of silence, the calm before a storm.

People Like Us “Cage Silenced”

Nothing Special by People Like Us & Kenny G

Here’s an album by WFMU’s two terrible DJs, People Like Us, & Kenny G.

nothing

01. I’m From
02. Wake Up
03. Nothing
04. So Sorry
05. Close To Me
06. You’ll Be A
07. More Sorry
08. Counting Time
09. Give Up It’s Mine
10. Greatest Nobody
11. It Wouldn’t It Be Nice In Yr Face
12. Too Far
13. I’ve Got You

And here’s the full 3 hour WFMU show that this album was edited from – Nothing Special with Kenny G
Kenny G website
Mess Media through Soleilmoon website

Interview with People Like Us by Kenny G on WFMU, one week before this was recorded.