v a p o (u) r w a r e

have been perusing soundcloud and bandcamp and immersing myself in the strange world of half-drowned nostalgia that is vaporware, this odd genre that exists in liminal spaces and mines 80s and 90s tracks, distorting them out of all recognition.  bandpass filters and chopped and screwed beats, limited edition cassette only issues and a sense that the (mainly) Western world of postmodern culture is collapsing into itself.  it is unable to sustain its structure, or centre (and of course we go back to the totemic ‘the centre cannot hold’).  maybe the centre never could hold.  maybe there never was a centre.  that is, possibly, what vaporware suggests.  more to come on this, i presume, unless i get back into Depeche Mode and forget this whole sorry incident called the ‘2010s.’


Do I need Welsh dollars? My passport? Cardiff is a primal scream. I see a woman walk into the Prince of Wales pub wearing a see through skirt and a thong. I see many, many drug addicts and vagrants making their way up and down High St. In Kong, the mead is eight quid a bottle and we’re in any Europe capital. But the day sees morning drinkers in the Spoons downing pints like only the UK can muster: tepid ale washing down a microwaved full English. This is the Great Western and it has that familiar Witherspoons atmosphere. The ghost of Tim Martin beating an old man around the face with a wet shoe.

Bute Park offers a beauty and respite that’s outstanding and the architecture of the University is gorgeous. I spot this neo-classical beast.

And shortly afterwards I’m here;

But I can’t make my feelings coalesced: the Taff runs as clear as glass at this point but I’m all over the place, sewn to this phone and discombobulated. There’s a thread but it’s torn. I head back to the hotel and pick up a free newspaper.


What is this? It is cash only, “no cards, only cash,” and it is the faded splendor of the Hotel Atlantic (Kempinski) and the old girl is having a facelift. Beneath the marble title is a facsimile of marble. I suppose it’s progress. We walk and nearly get side-swiped at every road crossing by bicycles and there are maybe one, two beers on tap. It’s the Reeperbahn, served by a surly hipster, and then the u-bahn and maybe a bahn mi and I feel like I’m in my very own bain marie. I’m tired and I should be asleep. A ham berk taking pictures of cars and losing precious moments.

Cheese Update

So, cheese. Cheddar I find is too sharp for breakfast and does not play nicely with the other, softer flavours. It’s a bully of a cheese and now ubiquitous in UK supermarkets. But could that be about to change? Stay tuned for more scintillating updates on cheese.

That Middle Way

Is this the middle way, then, bleary eyes, and a hangover that won’t quit? I search for something in your eyes that might equate to sparkling passion but all I find is a direct debit chit and a parking receipt to a National Trust car park. I wonder who I am – am I a John Raymond Baxbury stumbling to a spiritual death, a Chaucerian character caught in some animal facsimile, a greying fox hunting around bin bags and slipping on bin juice on a Sunday morning, my head hitting the wall with the death dull thump of a rotten apple? ‘Life’s what you make it,’ goes the song. But the middle way has its onerous burdens beyond the pop song.

The Joy of the Debut

There’s that fearlessness, and it is to do with the invention on the fly, the trammelled ways have not yet been put in place. It can be gauche or breathtaking in equal measure and it is art’s taking your first unaided steps, the tottering around. Is it because it is unbounded by expectations: I think so. There’s a freedom of limb, of mind, of voice that rarely returns. After this the world of people wanting something like this, or something like that, and you can’t catch this quicksilver again. It’s like bottling magic, impossible, that swagger that comes from looking at the task with the calm eyes of

But then they take it away

And it will never return?