There’s a lot of lame Hornboid detritus silted up round the idea of the mix-tape, all the more urgent to clear up for its being half-true, or worse. A letter from a convalescent friend put me in mind to make some, and send them to her: the task immediately turned into an anxiety of close listening – listening with someone else’s ears, a REALLY VALUABLE DISCIPLINE, but really hard to achieve – in case a mere title or phrase or unpoliced sound somehow brought on disastrous relapse. Recorded so far: Robert Wyatt’s Rock Bottom b/w Tyrannosaurus Rex’s Unicorn and Ornette Coleman’s Virgin Beauty b/w the Slits’ Return of the Giant Slits. The last two especially have been a minor revelation through borrowed ears.

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