Zadagan Keep: The Dancers at the End of Time

My third mix for Tak Tent Radio tells a story of The Dancers at the End of Time, inspired by the book by Michael Moorcock

Tracklist with Bandcamp links

1 Foster Neville – The Edge Of Destruction – 23RD June
2 Jakatta – American Dream
3 LAL- Meteors Could Come Down
4 Virusmoto –
5 The Prodigy – Intro & Break & Enter (+6%)
6 afp – Arrived On A New Planet – A DAFT Mix
7 The Leaf Library vs Kemper Norton – Iris
8 Royksopp – Eple
9 Aphex Twin – Alberto Balsalm
10 Global Goon & Ossa –AFBEARGY 2ND June
11 Warp Brothers vs. Aquagen – Phatt Bass (Warp Brothers phatt mix)
12 bvdub – Days Outside the World
13 Unkle – Rabbit in Your Headlights
14 Fragile X – Mecha
15 Daft Punk – The Prime Time of Your Life
16 Kosmonaut – Contagion Vapors

Wyrd Question Daze: Mark Burford

Hi, I’m Mark & I produce & perform electronic & ambient music under the name Field Lines Cartographer.

Sometimes it’s bucolic & soothing, sometimes it’s a bit more ominous, weird & noisy. The rough & the smooth, the light & the dark, cheese & chips. You can find me burbling about stuff on Twitter & posting photos ( usually of synthesizers ) on Instagram

My music can be found most places – Bandcamp is the best bet. If you’re  interested, a take look at the Bandcamp pages of the some of the excellent labels I’ve released on: Castles In Space, Quiet Details, Woodford Halse, Soundtracking The Void & Concrete Tapes. ( You’ll also find amazing music from loads of other people here too, so take a good look ). There’s also my own Bandcamp page, which has a few oddities on it –

You’ll also sometimes find it in actual real-life record shops & if you really must, some of it is on Spotify

Where did you come from and where are you going?

Like all of us, I came from the beautiful & unknowable pulse of the infinite cosmos, or perhaps many multiverses. In this particular realm, I then navigated my way through Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, 2-Tone, modern jazz, acid house, Detroit techno, Public Enemy, Brian EnoPhilip K Dick, JRR Tolkien, Blade Runner, Rene Magritte, Stanley Kubrick & This Is Spinal Tap…Coventry City FC, beat-up synthesizers, piano lessons, tape recorders & mixing desks, and ultimately the wonderful city of Lancaster. A smorgasbord of elation & heartbreak, love & despair, mundanity & revelation, just like everyone I guess.

I suppose I’m going back to that mysterious, wondrous Infinite eventually, or maybe, just…nothing – the void. That’s fine too. But I’m not done quite yet – I’ve got lots of stops still to make, hopefully. You never know though.

What preoccupies your mind these days?

The usual – my amazing family, how to be a better person & a better musician. How to knuckle-down & get stuff done.

The unusual – the notion that natural selection might just have limited us to seeing what we need to survive, rather than the actual reality of things. I’m kind of obsessed with that right now – check out Prof. Donald Hoffman & have your noodle well & truly baked.

The scary constant – that we’ve fucked & are fucking this planet for ourselves & for countless species & that  the system most of us live in is totally contrary to making the changes we need. We’re on a knife-edge & by the time the super rich, the corporations & the neo-libs realise that you can’t actually eat money, no matter how much of it you have, it’ll be too late.

Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell

The taste of cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds… Indian spices, basically. My taste buds go crazy. Gorgeous.

I love that feel of warm, fresh grass as you stroke it between your fingers on a summer’s day. So soft but springy & tickly even. Perfect.

My favourite sound is probably the subsonic thrum of a cat purring – when their whole body is just vibrating & there’s that sort of singing harmonic in there too. When you sit & listen to it carefully it’s an amazing, beautiful sound. And good for your blood pressure.

I love the night sky on a perfect , dark night, especially when you can see the Milky Way. All those beautiful points of light, stretching back over aeons as you look at them from our vantage point. Endless suns, more numerous than grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. And the more you look, the more you see, your field of depth changes… it’s transcendental. I could lie-back & stare up at that forever.

The ozone smell you get after a thunderstorm. Unique, primordial. It taps into something special, like you’re smelling nature at its most visceral.

Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares

The dream that inspired me to record my Dreamtides LP was incredible, so vivid… it stayed with me, more as a feeling than an actual remembrance, for days, like a shard of something stuck in my mind. I was alone on a weird beach… an uncanny coastline. Everything was made up of geometric shapes & hyper-vivid colours. It felt familiar & strange all at the same time, like I’d been there before. And it felt like something massive, something cosmic, was trying to communicate with me. It’s very hard to put into words.  But I felt almost changed when I awoke. My good pal Stephen ( Polypores ) later told me that my dream was almost exactly what lots of people who have  NDEs ( near death experiences ) describe when they are revived. I’d never heard that before & it freaked me out a bit.

Have you ever had an uncanny experience?

Kind of, yes I guess so. We definitely had a ‘presence’ in our house when we first moved in – a shape at the top of the stairs & the smell of cigarettes that was certainly odd. I’ve also had a couple of occasions with objects almost inexplicably going missing & despite extensive searching just literally vanishing, only to return months if not years later with no valid explanation. There are probably a few more things too. I class myself as a ‘very open-minded sceptic’ so I’m loathe to pass something off as being uncanny unless I’m sure, but the older I get the more I am certain that fucking weird shit is going on, a lot of the time &  everyone knows it. It’s just whether you let it in or not really.

How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?

I guess it depends exactly what you mean by ‘place’, but thinking about it now, the answer is “quite a lot!”  Sometimes it can very much be a real place: my recent album Tone Maps was totally inspired by another visit to Anglesey… I made lots of field recordings & took  loads of photos & when I got back I just started on the album – it was a massive inspiration. And then a lot of the time the ‘place’ is an imaginary one – or in the case of the aforementioned Dreamtides a dreamed one. I often  draw inspiration from places, universes that only live in my head for a while. My first album for Castles in Space was about the mythical island of Hy-Brasil & my last one on that label – This Vibrating Earth – is all about the humming, singing symphony that is the natural world. My next one is about moons…

What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?

I was in the Tate Modern a couple of months ago ( which is full of amazing stuff obviously ) but I was particularly wowed by Gerhard Richter’s collection of paintings which were themselves inspired by the work of John Cage. Utterly arresting, expansive art, really powerful up-close.

Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke

I’m not a great joke teller & a lot of my anecdotes probably stray onto dangerous ground, but I have one from when I was a young man that I can sort of redact enough detail from to avoid trouble, just…

In my days as a young apprentice in the world of live sound, I worked with a great team of guys doing an annual music mini-festival. The days were long & hard work, some of the acts were truly awful… but it was proper baptism of fire stuff & I learned a lot. Plus we had a great laugh – sound crews are sort of like bands, you become a bit of a gang, sticking together against adversity & all that.

The penultimate day of the festival we were leaving the venue late at night, totally knackered, desperate to get food & sleep. We’d parked the van up early that morning, right in the first row of parking at the venue. Another vehicle was tight in front of us, so after a quick glance in the mirrors we reversed into what had definitely been an empty space behind us earlier – we were first on the grid as it were, after all. Crunch. That horrible metal-on-metal, headlamps breaking sound you get from a low-speed automotive collision. Fuck. We jumped out of the van – a jet-black Mercedes had somehow got itself in a space that wasn’t really there. The van was untouched – the Merc had a bit of damage. Nothing too awful, but we’d definitely pranged an expensive motor. No-one was about. Not a soul. An earnest discussion was had & a decision reached. We decided that the driver of the Merc was probably a rich twat & they shouldn’t have stuck their car there in the first place. Somewhat guiltily, we drove off into the night, knowing we’d done wrong but also with a big dose of “aww, fuck it”.

The next morning we’d got there early again to do the last day’s soundchecks & stuff. We were sat having a brief tea-break in the cafe– bar when one of the promoters turned-up. Smart suit, cigar, we’d spotted him around before. He came up & generously said “can I get you lads a drink or anything ? I just wanted to say what a great job you’ve done, all my bands have said they’ve had terrific sound  – thanks for your hard work…” etc. etc.  He was nice guy. We chatted for a couple of minutes, asked which bands were his, whether he’d enjoyed the whole thing…blah blah…

“Yeah, it’s been great, really good. The only thing is, I got back this morning to find some bastard has pranged the front of my car & just fucked off without leaving a note or anything. Bloody livid”.

Not one of us missed a beat. Not a single quivering lip, red face…not a sign.  “Oh, how awful, so sorry mate, what a shame eh… Anyway, we must crack on. See you around. Cheers”

We got backstage & howled with petrified, horrified laughter.

Wyrd Question Daze: Rupert Lally

My name is Rupert Lally, I’m a composer, sound designer and multi-instrumentalist. I live in Switzerland. I have worked as sound designer and composer for theatre, tv and film for over 20 years and I’ve been releasing my own music since 2004. As a solo artist I’ve probably become best known for creating soundtracks for famous novels such as Dune, High Rise or The Day Of The Triffids. I’ve worked with labels such as Spun Out Of Control, Modern Aviation, Third Kind and Subexotic, to name just a few. My most recent release was two tracks for ongoing Lifefiles series on Mat Smith’s Mortality Tables label. I‘ve also self-published two novels, with a third due later this year and have been writing a blog about underrated films, You Need To See This, since 2015. I’m currently about to begin touring a new children’s show, Pixel, with Momentum Dance Theatre around schools in Switzerland.

What are your novels ‘Solid State Memories’ and ‘Backwater’ about?

Solid State Memories is about a neuroscientist, who discovers that her memory has been tampered with and tries to find out why. Backwater is about two teenagers, modern day Matthew and Bronze Age Aife, who both discover portals through time and use these to change the fate of the world. Both novels are technically Sci-Fi/fantasy but in a fairly loose way. I’m not a huge fan of the Asimov/Heinlein school of Sci-Fi, I’m much more drawn to the JG Ballard/Ray Bradbury version of the genre – where the science fiction elements are just a useful tool to look at aspects of existence and human experience – Backwater also includes the themes of climate change and gender politics, for example, and in many ways all my books, including the new one coming out this year and the one that I‘m in the middle of writing, are really about memory and time.

What genre/s are you writing in and why?

As I say, there’s been a Sci-Fi or speculative fiction element to my books, as well as a thriller element. As with Sci-Fi, I find the structure of a mystery or a thriller narrative provides an useful shape or spine to the sort of stories I want to tell, even if they’re not necessarily a traditional thriller. That being said, the book I‘m currently in the process of writing abandons all that and is a metafictional take on the undergraduate novel. Although that too is something that’s there in all my novels to date: A love of playing with the reader’s expectations and perhaps the form itself – for the first 8 or so pages in Solid State Memories, you‘re not sure of the protagonist‘s gender; in Backwater you experience the portals with their modern day numerical dating system through the eyes of Aife, who has no comprehension of them and both have non-linear narratives. My scriptwriting tutor at University once gave me a great piece of advice: Make sure you’re actually writing a script, not a novel in disguise. The way we tell stories should use the medium they’re being told in to the full. There are things that you can only do in a novel – get inside a character‘s head, chose what information you give to your reader – that you cannot do in a visual storytelling medium and I’ve tried to explore that.

Who are your literary influences and how did they shape your imagination?

The main one would be Stephen King, whose books were hugely influential to me as a teenager and who I re-discovered in my 40s and now appreciate even more and realize how much he’s influenced me as a writer in terms of style. Aside from him, J.G. Ballard and John Fowles, both of whom I discovered whilst at University, for the way they played with literary forms in their work; John Le Carré, Len Deighton and Colin Dexter, for their thriller writing and, most recently, Julian Barnes and Kazuo Ishiguro for the way they both move effortlessly between genres and yet manage to keep a unique individual style.

Tell us about your experience with self-publishing

It’s been 90% positive. It started out of necessity. My first novel Solid State Memories was originally included as a PDF with the album of the same name. When Third Kind agreed to re-issue the album as physical vinyl, I felt it was important to give the novel a physical version as well. Because of the need to get copies to the label, I settled on Amazon‘s own direct publishing service for expediency and ease of being able to send copies all over the world. I‘m sure some will see using Amazon as making „a deal with the devil“ but it’s the same as using Spotify or iTunes – there’s an obvious ethical dilemma and compromise there. However for me personally, being based outside of the U.K. or U.S. and needing to sell/send copies to both of those territories, it’s still the most effective option. It also offers easy integration with a Kindle version and far from being just the necessity that I originally saw it as, self-publishing has given me the same artistic freedom that I have with self releasing my music on Bandcamp.

You have a third novel coming out this year – what’s it called and what is it about?

It’s called Teenage Wildlife, and as with Solid State Memories, it will have an accompanying soundtrack album. Ostensibly, it’s a thriller set in 1987. 17 year old musician, Rob, has his world thrown into disarray when his girlfriend goes missing. However, like all my books, it’s also about other things – memory, time, growing up and this time because of the main protagonist being a musician, there’s a large element based on my own experience of playing in bands as a teenager.

Where did you come from and where are you going?   

Originally, I’m from Brighton in the U.K. As for the second part:  if you mean creatively, I have no idea – I’ve never had a plan for what I’m doing. Otherwise, heading (hopefully) slowly towards death, like we all are.

What preoccupies your mind these days?   

Getting older, worrying about my kids’ futures and the world we’re leaving behind for them.

Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell   

That first coffee in the morning, a hug from my kids or my wife, laughter, my family, a forest.

Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares

In the house where I grew up we had two sets of light switches for the hallway upstairs – one downstairs by the door and one upstairs on the landing itself (I suppose most people have the same if they live in a house). I come home and the house is dark. I mean to switch on the light by the door but switch on the light for hallway upstairs instead. A few seconds later it’s switched off again from upstairs. I call out to ask “who’s there?” But there’s no answer. I switch on the light upstairs again and the same thing happens. Eventually I start to climb the stairs in darkness. Then I wake up. I also have a reoccurring nightmare about rushing for a train or a bus with one of my kids and one of us being left behind.

Have you ever had an uncanny experience?   


Art for album ‘Lost To The Past’ by Rupert Lally

How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?

Having grown up in the city I really appreciate living in the country now and the two albums that I released on Modern Aviation, Lost To The Past and Wanderweg, are based on a sense of place both now and in the past. On the other hand, I can create work anywhere – even sitting on a plan or in a rehearsal room and so much of what I do is ultimately drawn from the internal landscape of my mind, whether it’s imaginary places in my novels or music inspired by my favorite novels.

Art for album ‘Wanderweg’ by Sarah Batchelor

What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?

I had a long conversation at Easter with a woman and her teenage daughter who are Ukrainian refugees. Politics aside, their strength and optimism despite having to leave their entire life and family behind was inspiring and made me wonder if I would be able to cope if I was in that situation.

Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke

Rabbit hops into a butcher’s shop and asks “Excuse me do have any lettuce?” Butcher says: “No, this is a butcher’s shop“. Next day, the rabbit comes in again, asks the same question. The butcher says: “Look I told you, yesterday – this is a butcher’s, we don’t sell lettuce, we only sell meat – like rabbit. If you come back in here again asking for lettuce, I‘m going to nail those big floppy ears of yours to my chopping board and cut bits of you up for my customers.“ The next day the rabbit comes in again. “Excuse me,” he asks the butcher, “do you have any nails?” “No…” the butcher replies. “Oh good!,” says the rabbit, “Do you have any lettuce?”

Rupert Lally

Bandcamp – – Books – – Pixel – – “You Need to See This” blog

Wyrd Question Daze: Veryan

Who am I?

I’m a female electronic musician based in Scotland. I’ve self-released music through my Bandcamp page as well as on Cue Dot Records, Bibliotapes, Dustopian Frequencies and will shortly be releasing albums through Shady Ridge Records and Werra Foxma.

I recently started to produce a new quarterly EP and e-magazine called ‘Insights & Sounds’ where I interview musicians, artists, and creatives about a word of their choosing. Along with their chosen word they give me a sound sample which I use to create a three track EP to accompany each edition of the magazine.

Where did you come from and where are you going?

I was born and raised on a small island which felt very isolating as a teenager. All the bands I wanted to see live never toured there, so getting to gigs could be a bit of a challenge sometimes.

In later years, I lived and worked in London, before briefly living in Yorkshire and then finally settling in Scotland. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve moved further away from other people. I’ve come to realise that I’m much happier as a result.

What preoccupies your mind these days?

Health and longevity, in the main. We’re a good hour’s car journey from the nearest town so you need to take care of yourself. There’s loads of work that needs doing in terms of house renovations and turning the swampy garden into a space where we can grow most of our own food. So, I need to be fit and strong enough to get things done, and I also hope to enjoy living this life for as long as possible.

Name a favourite taste, touch, sound, sight and smell

Taste: dark chocolate.
Touch: stroking a purring cat sitting on your lap.
Sound: a blackbird singing as the sun sets.
Sight: the vivid oranges, reds, and yellows of early autumn and my husband’s smile.
Smell: freshly ground coffee beans.

Describe one of your most vivid dreams or nightmares

I own a talking cat that sounds exactly like Jack Nicholson. I can never remember what he’s said when I wake up though, which is annoying!

Have you ever had an uncanny experience?

Back on this small island I grew up on, I was on a very busy bus during the summer season when two guys and a girl got on. One of the guys was wearing a t-shirt of a band I really liked, so I shouted the band name and pointed to the only available seat next to mine thinking that I could at least have a decent music-related chat for however long we were on the bus together!

I’d never met him before but when he sat next to me, I got a closer look at him and said: “You’re not going to believe this, but I’ve got a photo of you at home!” Intrigued (and probably a bit unnerved), he and his two friends gamely agreed to meet up with me later so that I could show them the photo and prove I wasn’t just some crazy weirdo!

Everyone was taken aback when they saw it and he confirmed that it was indeed him. It was taken three years previously on a ferry to France where we were travelling to see a rather obscure gig. I’d just had my photo taken with my friend and “bus guy” was sitting on the seat directly behind me.

How does your sense of place affect the way you express yourself?

It’s a constant theme. My debut album was about the sea and the coastline around where I grew up; ‘Hireath’ was about a sense of longing to return to that “home” knowing that I never could and it wouldn’t be the same; ‘HERE’ was about not being able to settle in Yorkshire; ‘HERE//NOW’ was about moving on from that disappointment and having to start again; and my first vinyl album, which comes out on Werra Foxma Records in June, is called ‘Reflections In A Wilderness’, which is about living here in Scotland.

I often hear the term “my forever home” and always wonder what that feels like to have such a strong connection to a particular place. I’ve always felt I’ve never quite fitted in or belonged anywhere, until now. I think I’m pretty settled here in Scotland – at least for now, maybe that’s more to do with not being around other people, though. Who knows?

In terms of how else ‘place’ affects how I express myself … I wear more jumpers and wet weather gear than I used to!

What has particularly touched or inspired you recently?

The online music community on Twitter, Instagram and Bandcamp has been incredible. I’m genuinely blown away at the generosity of other people taking the time to listen, buy, comment on, and share my music more widely.

Also, other musicians have been amazing in their support and encouragement. More recently, through ‘Insights & Sounds’, so many have willingly and eagerly supported the project and given up their time to do interviews and create sounds for me.

It’s all very heart-warming in what feels like a horribly self-centred and spiteful world at times.

Tell us a good story, anecdote or joke

I lived and worked in France for a short while in the mid-80s. One day, I walked into a bar and accidently dropped a load of loose change on the floor. It was when Centimes were still around. They were so small and fiddly and went rolling off in all directions, under tables, down the cracks in the flag stone floor. Literally everywhere. So, automatically I swore quite loudly (in English) as I bent down to pick them all up!

As I was on my hands and knees scrabbling around to retrieve as many of the wretched things as I could, I saw two feet appear before me and this very deep Liverpudlian voice said: “Excuse me. Do you know if Daly Thompson won the decathlon?” I looked up only to  see Ian McCulloch from Echo and the Bunnymen standing before me!

It turns out I’d chosen to go into the same bar the Bunnymen were drinking in that afternoon before playing a gig at a nearby venue. I ended up joining them for a very quick drink – although Mac didn’t hang around.

I did have a good chat with Bill Drummond, though, who was managing the Bunnymen at the time prior to his KLF days! I seem to recall that he’d just decided to try some creme de menthe and was buying them for everyone at the table regardless of whether or not they wanted one!

The Bunnymen seemed like a decent and friendly bunch – at least they were on that particular afternoon.

Bandcamp – – Instagram – – Twitter

Veryan’s track for the excellent Mortality Tables label