domingo, janeiro 18, 2009

Any Resemblance To Real-time Action Figures Is Strictly Coincidental.

Yes, I had my fare share of working and partying the last few weeks. Now I’m chilling down at the crib set on a cocoon mode :) During those weeks music kept me company. For proof see down below.

People always ask me what I do for a living. I usually start by saying I’m an Architect. Then I ad that I no longer devote my life to these fine arts and instead decided to go by the name of 'spatial planner' working freelance for a consultancy firm. If for most people being an architect is already something that’s wrapped in veils of mystery, just imagine what they must feel like when they hear the lather.

Of all creatures great and small, bacteria and consultancy firms are probably the most under appreciated.
Bacteria because they accomplish a very useful task, in contrast with their reputation, certainly when it comes down to cleaning up garbage. I’ve been told this numerous times by a friend who’s a civil engineer - and therefore knows practically everything as long it doesn’t involve the arts, literature, philosophy, history or ethics. Another friend, who’s into ‘deep ecology’ even talks about his ‘friends’, the bacteria. Seriously, I find this to be a bit too familiar. Maybe even farfetched but at the same time I have a slight suspicion that this strange expression of love has its limits though, because I get invited to his parties and his ‘friends the bacteria’ don’t. That doesn’t prevent them from showing up though… the party poopers.
Soit, the use of consultancy firms on the other hand is far less obvious to explain to your average Joe six-pack. I honestly think that it would become crystal clear if all of a sudden they would just all vanish into thin air. I understand that it’s kind of difficult to grasp, I know I do, but let it be clear that the benefits of the very existence of consultancy firms has to be astronomical if this already goes beyond the limits of our understanding.

If on the workfloor or the office one speaks about consultancy firms, even in the most broad and general terms – it has been checked, it’s not yet ready – what one aims to address is something that basically, in its most typical form, is plural. It’s THE consultants who are studying hard and long on what you thought was going to be nothing but a rather practical inconvenience. If THE consultants are poppin’ by for a visit it usually means that two or three of them are coming. For the exact nature of this fully voluntary display of multiple personality, there’s a rather lively debate going on among scientists.

A brief, basic observation on my behalf points out that at least one consultant carries a laptop, connects it to a wall socket, a beamer and maybe even to the net and looking professional and ‘deep’ while the others do the talking.
A second one usually is the project manager who gives an introduction, introducing the firm, himself and expressing special devotion to his colleagues (yes, we can do it, we can pull this one). Nowadays these colleagues no longer carry a surname. It’s either John, Michael or just Pete, sometimes even Mary or Jane. This is meant to create a nice cozy, informal atmosphere, just as long one doesn’t ask questions that are too difficult or too critical.
Now, the third one (that's where I come in) usually is an engineer, an architect maybe even an urban planner or (God forbid) a designer. If it’s an engineer that person will very likely be dressed like your next door neighbour when he comes back from the pub after a quick pint with the lads or when he’s been choppin’ wood in the back garden. Hence the limited amount of Mary’s and Jane’s. If it’s an architect, designer or a planner, that person will very likely be dressed in black. A black pair of trousers and a style that would blend in fine in the more fashionable streets of Milan. Topped by a black roll-cover and Colbert jacket. In that jacket there’s a black stylish mobile phone that will give a manifest token of its existence at least once during the meeting whilst churning out chimes produced by a bunch of overactive papoea’s messin’ around with some electronic beats as part of a political correct sustainable experiment in a distant offshore lab.
This architect, planner or designer usually brings a set of plans or sketches along which, he declares, he didn’t produced himself. It’s actually another colleague who did it but who was unfortunately not able to attend the meeting (definitely not in my case, I produce my own stuff). But since he’s hanging around instead of the other, he will be so kind to try to explain them for you if you don’t mind – once, as an attendee, I tried to state that I did mind, just as a folly… big mistake.

If subsequently questions and comments raise conclusive problems or complications for the project to proceed as planned, the standard formulation is that those remarks will be addressed in the most suitable way and if relevant and significant they will lead to the necessary adjustments at the most suitable stage of the process.
Afterwards, as a rule, one never hears anything about them again. Unless, one reminds the consults of this fact again and again and again. Then, usually what follows is a bill with unasked for but nevertheless necessary extra adjustments of the agreed upon fee or the plain notification that the addressed person involved is no longer an active member of the firm.

Of course, the consultants will take in account all reasonable factors implied. After the finalization of the study and the actual realization of the project it will become clear that most factors at stake were not of a knowable kind or anticipatable nature. If drainage is implied this means practically everything that’s situation underneath the surface. If it concerns roads, tunnels and bridges it almost anything that moves. For buildings it’s both.

All of this will be received and accepted with the utmost profound understanding. After all, if the project wasn’t that risky and complex the client surely would have been able to do it himself. And the fact that (the foreseen) problems did occur, even after the intervention and consultation of the consultants, just only shows that assigning them with the project was the only right choice.

Fever Ray – If I Had A Heart I’m pretty anxious to hear the new project of Karin Dreijer from The Knife. A first single.
Luomo – Have You Ever (With Cassy) new Luomo album from last year.
Morgan Geist feat. Jeremy Greenspan – Ruthless City
Daniel Wang – Pistol Oderso
Rodion – Tu Mi Turbi (Extended Club Mix)
Kahana – Michael Forzza A local. I heard he’s makin’ music again
Zombie Nation – Forza (Original) last year’s favorite
Wighnomy & Robag Wruhme – Stekkreflekks Ohne Chill
Codebreaker – First True Love Affair (Jimmy Ross cover)
Loud E – Drums Dutour II
Telepathe – Devils Trident (Rory Philips Remix)
Marvin Gaye – Don't Mess With Mister T from the Trouble Man soundtrack
Mandrill – Fat City Strut
Labelle – Teach Me Tonight
Jennifer Lara – Consider Me
Otis Gayle – I'll be Around
Jerry Jones – Still Water
Jackie Mittoo – Deeper and Deeper
Johnny Osbourne – Sing Jah Stylee
Pivi et les Baladins – Samba
Thione Seck – Mapenda
Latin Playboys – Ten Believers
John Barry – Beat Girl I saw the movie again.
Animal collective – My Girls

Antony and the Johnsons – Another World

Two Turks and one Greek. No this is not the beginning of a lame joke… I’ve seen the Kocani Orkestar play live in my hometown. This is one of their most popular Macedonian songs in the version of… 2 Turks and one Greek

Durmus Çigdem – Siki Siki Baba
Ferdi Tayfur – Siki Siki Baba
Giorgos Xanthiotis – Shiki Shiki Baba

I’ve been digging in our musical pop heritage the last few months. As a couchsurfer travelling around Europe I have the custom to take a gift with me to give to my host. Up until now I used to give chocolates and some typical biscuits but I feel that it’s becoming a bit lame to give Belgian chocolates to an Italian who has really fine chocolate of his own. That’s why I decided to do something else. I’m planning to make a double CD with the best examples of our often underappreciated Belgian pop music. It turns out that this is becoming one hell of a job because I’m discovering so much great old music. Here are some tokens of it. All of them are collector items now.

Los chakachas – Stories
Aroma Di Amore – Gorilla Dans De Samba
Berntholer feat. D. Kotaji – My Suitor
Lavvi Ebbel – Telepathia Telepathia
Luc Van Acker – The Fear In My Heart
Noise Abroad – Vent That Spleen

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