Slurred Words, Volume 2: Detrimental Connotations

by Johny Brown

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    A ‘paranoia of sound’ surrounds spoken word performer Johny Brown on this deep dive into the 21st Century splintering of consensus, the explosion of extremist politics, and the havoc wrought by Covid-19.

    Spoken word / sound art / drone

    12" lathe-cut record produced in-house direct from the master tapes on a valve-driven RCA studio-quality lathe from the rock n’ roll-era. With a true analogue signal path, recorded and mixed to open reel, and mastered to 12” disc by Dog Tunnel, Slurred Words 2 has the feel of an artifact from a more coherent past. It is also a warning to be on guard against misdirection as we drift towards fragmentary and intangible digital futures.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Slurred Words, Volume 2: Detrimental Connotations via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 15 days
    edition of 50 

      £20 GBP

     

  • Cassette + Digital Album

    All physical formats are strictly limited editions produced in-house direct from the master tapes, with a true analogue signal path, recorded and mixed to open reel, and mastered to cassette by Dog Tunnel, Slurred Words 2 has the feel of an artifact from a more coherent past. It is also a warning to be on guard against misdirection as we drift towards fragmentary and intangible digital futures.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Slurred Words, Volume 2: Detrimental Connotations via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 10 days
    edition of 25 

      £5 GBP or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £5 GBP  or more

     

1.
FORENSIC SERVICES Bank details Salary information Training records Home address Email address Identification Photo Passport number Date of Birth IP address Racial or Ethnic Origin Political Opinion Religious or Philosophical Belief Trade Union Membership National Insurance Number NHS Number / Health History Genetic Data Biometric Data Sex Life and Sexual Orientation The Office Clock 4pm I still have no real idea of who I am And I’m still nowhere near to my dreams LEGAL HIGH And yet… Waking up, taking a legal high, going to sleep, waking up, taking another legal high, going to sleep again. I am not eating I am not associating… I don’t imagine it’s going to solve the problem. We think we are dying because we are poor and we eat badly Now we know it is something else again So many people dying we start calling it ghost disease Ghost ship with skeletons on board then washes up on beach Carrying a viral Pneumonia of unknown cause Unwanted cargo Government mask figures as matter of course Britain’s history as a nuclear weapons state with everything to play for I have woken up late in the wrong part of the city. I am the very picture of weather-weirding due to climate change. Somewhere within the frame of this poem I could well find the key that would save us all Well wouldn’t that be magic And magic is certainly the key here I have the things at hand. They are being ingested a lot Since time shot me dead. DISENGAGED / REINTEGRATED When things went bad There were terms of disengagement and reintegration Courses were compulsory A great deal of soul-searching applied Identity, self-esteem, meaning and purpose. The drivers of radicalisation. Personal grievances that the extremist narrative will exacerbate I reflected fully on all this, right enough You can never stop educating yourself Twenty years ago when my head was in that space My heart hell bent on making a certain kind of impression I would go to a certain pub I would make my way to a certain rally I would look for similar items of clothing, fix on certain signs And we would come together soon enough The thoughts would flow easily, plans quickly made We did not always know where our threat was going to come from We did not always know we would follow through We managed panic though and caused a bit of a stir They were the good days sure enough Things then went bad and all was static for a time Rehabilitation was the word on the tip of our tongues, and I became a dead man, a hollow shell stripped of meaning and purpose Being dead, having nothing to offer, realising you are irrelevant There is not a worse feeling in the world for someone like me But flux is inevitable, plates shift as we speak I now see more extreme groups pushing and pulling Engaging with change using chance as an opportunity I recognise opportunity once more The danger for you is that people on the fringes like me Decide to act by ourselves. You look at me and I smile My face fits these days, my record is clean, my online habits pristine This is the thing though here isn’t it? How would you know if someone has truly desisted from a crime? Or from what you term a crime. I’m not thinking of this as crime I never have done, never will Will It is all about will And the ideals that drive your purpose I feel ready to get a new crew together, boom. CHEMICAL SPILL Two pest controllers found dead at a factory in Norfolk following a suspected chemical spill Users, meanwhile, are said to be running into traffic, and scaling and leaping off buildings Astronomers and skygazers are particularly interested in this year’s blood moon High energy light beaming from the edges of a “weird” star system within our galaxy has been detected for the first time It is heart-breaking watching albatrosses trying to eat plastic thousands of miles from anywhere. STEAM ROOM The smell of decay it’s here on my fingers No amount of steam can cleanse away this toxic feeling The fact that I am disintegrating inside Another friend died today I’m getting used to it now, I know the right thing to say But even now as I say my last solemn goodbyes I can’t help wandering amongst the ghost of old lies And in all the rooms I frequent Where many casual moments of beauty are spent A certain haunting is taunting me badly I must clean up my act DOUBLE MACCHIATO Another day done To finally escape the straight time, work-stretch fear And snatch at other time once again A black Baracuta with its red tartan lining is my only comfort right now Well- worn / much loved / nice to own a touch of class Pockets full of tattered receipts and a singular blue bookies pen For scrawling lines in a waiting notebook An accumulation of beauties, angers and sadness Snatched words keyed into the notes app on iphone too Sentences scavenged from other media sources Ipod with headphones stashed away for now A double machiatto in paper cup A gleaming red Formica topped table I’m apart from all them for a beautiful while Transported from the tired office routine away from the cynical smiles / away from the essence of my failure Which shines a torch on their achievements of ambitions To which I will never be party And through checking my losses I count my blessings I’m alive in this world I’m truly alive in this world I’m keeping faith with the lonely poets I live in hope with the culture bums It’s an early evening moment of beautiful lonely soul Time to burn Time to waste Otherness I hail escapists everywhere DETRIMENTAL CONNOTATIONS Environmental Risk Media and Product Destruction Client Journalist Illegal Immigrant Crisis Actor Imposter Syndrome Close Surveillance Time Stamp To Mask or not to Mask? Rogue Vaccine Naked Lunches Fake News Conspiracy Theories Indefinite Articles Discredited Notions Detrimental Connotations What a Cunt What a Prick What an Arse SUPERCHARGED IMAGE On blue moped Good, loving child Moved to London Within the year. Rising homicide Death stand out Youngest victim Twelve months. Brazenness attack. Homicide detectives Keep open mind Canny about motive. Police they believe Multiple sources Significant line Attackers involved. Boy involved too? Drug dealing London beyond County line operations. Struck black Mercedes 6.30pm Tuesday Stab wounds severe Gone within minutes Men out car Leaving boy Dead at scene. Mortally wounded ground. Where to next? Vision of afterlife Ride to Netherworld Take your chance in Other Land Take your chance in Other Land
2.
OFFICIAL SENSITIVE How many hours have you wasted? How much time have you had on your hands? How much of this have you accounted for? How many remarks are lost to time? How much promise has shaped your destiny? How much of this is on record? How many records have you owned? How many great songs have owned you? And in listening to the great songs how many drinks have you consumed? How many hangovers have followed? How many books have you read in time? How many sentences of real beauty? How many passages of ugly fail? How many moments of simple truth or rash conjecture, complicated notions, impossible situations? How many happy or unhappy endings? Resolution is fake / a man’s character decides his fate / discuss? How much joy in the spirit of collectivism? How many sad enforced lost and lonely nights? How much destruction caused? How many times constructivism won the day? How many moments of illumination creamed by enlightenment? How many conspiracy theories seen through? How many great adventures abandoned? How much delusion does a man need? How many people have you charmed? How many friends have you insulted? How many enemies have you flirted with? How many alien beings have you embraced? How many people have you slept with? How many people have you not slept with? How many people have hurt you? How many people have you hurt? How many people have you offended? How many people have you rejected? How many hows I’m asking you here? I’d count them all but it’s useless and futile, just too time consuming Still it seems as if we’re just getting started here A penny of your why’s for a few more of my hows… How many liberties have I taken? How many laws have I subjected myself to? How many times have I grovelled to the boss? How many times have I laughed like a king? How many times have I bullied, taunted, mocked those less able or as well-disposed as myself? How many times have the bullies ganged up on me? How many times have I endured hatreds, injustices and outright despicable criminal mentalities? How many times have I achieved a justice? How many times have I won? How many times have I lost? How many plans made? How many dreams fade? How many contracts signed? How many conditions agreed to? How many agreements torn up? How much was rain, how much was sunshine? How many hospital beds? How many hours in doctors waiting rooms? How many ablutions? How much strain how much stress? How many pills in the times you were depressed? Counted against the days of sheer happiness? A much smoother surface and no tint in the wash How many Fred Perry shirts? Lacoste, Lyle and Scott, Tachini? How many names have we owned in our time? How many personas have we inhabited? How many times have we flattered to deceive? How many great notices have we received? Unreserved and fully deserved, though most often the opposite of that. How many actors have read our lines? Played out our parts, made love for us, endured hate for us? Died great sacrificial tragic deaths on stage for us? How many great centre forwards have scored us our goals? How many fleeting figures on the wing? How many dependable characters able to harness the defence? How many like us were willing to go out on the offence? How many offensive texts, actually? How many junk e-mails, drearily? How many letters of old? Of paper and pen with a story to be told. How many twitter posts How many Facebook accounts? How many tumblr memories, instagram snaps How much echo how much digital crap How many wars though, it always boils down to how many wars? How de-sensitive are our feelings considering war, porn, crass politics? Are we spiritual minded still? Have we held on to those early ideals? Are we experiencing personal growth? How is my heart these days? My heart? How is my heart these days? To think how many times my heart has been torn To work out the times I have died and been reborn But it’s getting late. How much time can you waste now? How much time have you still on your hands? How much longer can we keep going on? In this uncertain fashion, this worrisome style, opening wounds, spinning the mind, concluding nothing It’s getting late And who are we, what are we made up of, is it to be this, thus…
3.
GHOST DISEASE Jets are grounded at airports with fuselage broke and fucked Boats are stranded in harbour with all commerce stuck The palace has been abandoned it is filled with refugees The politicians humbled naked on their knees And the city is now silent and empty Its office blocks and commerce banks a potential playground for the likes of you and me Imagine that, the art we’ll make, the fun we’ll have The freaky joyous return of the temporary autonomous zone Space to create madness again All constrained spirits set free Another chance once more to indulge in the thing that is me Well a misbegotten soul can but dream Me and my spook cultural shadow, my ever-present ghost disease I am aware now of my needs though I am aware of who I am and this other person I’ve always wanted to be It is time to leave the past in the past and move towards a fully conscious state It is 4am And I am gazing past the clock To the moon that hangs Outside my window Soon it will be dawn And the moon shall disappear A piano will fall in the distance I’ve been here before I will go to work Again…
4.
LEGAL HIGH And yet… Waking up, taking a legal high, going to sleep, waking up, taking another legal high, going to sleep again. I am not eating I am not associating… I don’t imagine it’s going to solve the problem. We think we are dying because we are poor and we eat badly Now we know it is something else again So many people dying we start calling it ghost disease Ghost ship with skeletons on board then washes up on beach Carrying a viral Pneumonia of unknown cause Unwanted cargo Government mask figures as matter of course Britain’s history as a nuclear weapons state with everything to play for I have woken up late in the wrong part of the city. I am the very picture of weather-weirding due to climate change. Somewhere within the frame of this poem I could well find the key that would save us all Well wouldn’t that be magic And magic is certainly the key here I have the things at hand. They are being ingested a lot Since time shot me dead.

about

A ‘paranoia of sound’ surrounds spoken word performer Johny Brown on this deep dive into the 21st Century splintering of consensus, the explosion of extremist politics, and the havoc wrought by Covid-19.

Channeling multiple voices and overlapping stories, Brown’s second spoken word collection with Dog Tunnel takes a deep dive into the myriad themes dominating contemporary cultural life: from the voice of a disillusioned street fighter who liked to ‘cause a bit of a stir’ in his past; to the dispassionate slew of media voices; and the unsteady weightlessness of a downsized former worker now finding himself ‘irrelevant … the worst feeling for someone like me’. Our narrator offers fragmentary insights into a ‘static’ period, when ‘things went bad’, a time of ‘reintegration … identity, self-esteem, meaning and purpose’, before his flame burns fiercely again in a new era of conspiracy theories and ‘crisis actors’. Brown’s dark protagonist starts to ‘recognise opportunity once more’. Amidst all this a fierce sense of unease is building; as this year unfolds, a ‘ghost ship’ washes up, with ‘skeletons on board’. ‘We think we are dying because we are poor and we eat badly. Now we know it is something else again. So many people dying, we start calling it Ghost Disease’.

The ‘Struck black Mercedes’ of Supercharged Image and sparse meditation on ‘county lines’ drug gangs offers no real respite from the gathering darkness, but Brown’s ear for culling the poetic zeitgeist from the staccato rhythms of rolling news prose is compelling and his delivery grounded. Never an easy listen, Slurred Words 2 is a taut and theatrical compilation mixing poetry, spoken word, and sound art. But among this biting take on a fragmentary and confusing era, and a universally difficult year, Brown weaves a compelling structure as he drifts between and blurs characters and situations, and his familiar literate playfulness surfaces in moments of brief respite, warning us all to be on guard against both fake news and ‘indefinite articles’.

Sound improvisation accompaniment, performed live by Dog Tunnel, consists of overlapping harmonium drones, tape loop, and echo unit, fed into the studio’s 2-metre steel reverb plate, imbuing a wash of rich texture and peaks of blaring mechanical distortion. The effect is of a tense and building ‘paranoia of sound’ that builds on Brown’s performance, at times threatening to overwhelm it, subsiding, and then surging once more. Vintage analogue effects further enrich and augment the performance; ‘planes at airports are grounded’, Brown intones flatly, his announcements ricocheting like the Tannoy at some deserted terminal.

All physical formats are strictly limited editions produced in-house direct from the master tapes, with records cut on a valve-driven RCA studio-quality lathe from the rock n’ roll-era. With a true analogue signal path, recorded and mixed to open reel, and mastered to cassette and 12” disc, Slurred Words 2 has the feel of an artifact from a more coherent past. It is also a warning to be on guard against misdirection as we drift towards fragmentary and intangible digital futures.

Artist bio.
Johny Brown is the vocalist in Band Of Holy Joy, he produces and presents the BAD PUNK radio show on Resonance 104.4 FM every Friday night. He has had plays performed at the Traverse in Edinburgh and the Theatre De'Ville in Paris amongst other places. With Inga Tillere he published the book of text and image Field Notes, which also co-exists as a fluid performative arts piece. Slurred Words 2 is the follow-up to his first spoken word record, also released on Dog Tunnel.

Endorsements

Velvet Sheep asked us to talk about the new tracks and to pick a favourite 'Song for Ewe', which of course we were happy to do: velvet-sheep.com/song-for-ewe/dan-of-dog-tunnel-records-song-for-ewe/

Not content with listing this release in their November playlist (blaue-rosen.com/monthly-playlist-favourite-albums-november-2020/), Blaue-Rosen subsequently put this 'poetic sonic summoning' as one of their top releases of the year! Find the full list at: blaue-rosen.com/best-albums-of-2020/.

credits

released November 15, 2020

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Dog Tunnel Records London, UK

Analogue recording and production in SE1, London, UK.

Handmade records, cut on an RCA 70C lathe from the 1940s.

Hand-printed sleeves.

If you want to release with us get in touch, all genres considered, but only projects we like accepted.
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