Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Blind Date

So if you see one of my earlier posts, the 99PROBLEMS ep3, you'll see it's a radio show about dating. For the show we came up with the idea that I should go on a date and record it. I couldn't muster up the balls to ask someone out on a date for myself so my friend and colleague Onyee asked her friend Matthew Parker if he'd be interested in going a blind date which will be recorded from start to finish for a radio show. He was totally up for it.. his text back was 'sure.. why not?' (or something along those lines).

And so it was, I was to go on a blind date with a man. After much deliberating we decided the Spurstowe, although pricey, would be right for the event. Not too loud, not too formal, warm and fun.

The date went ahead as planned, recording recorded as planned, editing happened all in time for the show.. but, yes there's a but. I couldn't bear hearing it as it was being broadcast during the show.. I got all sweaty and clammy. We lowered the volume and talked over the top of it. My fellow announcers asked questions about how I felt and I answered with honesty. Too much honesty for such a public forum.

Anyway here is an edit, the one I made to play in the show... I feel OK having it up here where I do not have to comment. Make of it what you will. It's pretty boring to the uninvolved but does tell a tale of it's own...

Experimentation Dateism by clairurbahn

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


An exciting new Radio Show requests your head!!

A new radio show
CAMP – as family, relaxed, nurturing environment
UNIVERSE – as all encompassing, everything is one, the intertwining of all subjects
CITY – as cosmopolitan, forward thinking, progressive and constant evolution

A radio show of new style, broadcast in two 1hr blocks over one day (Thursday, midday and midnight) in which the listener is exposed to different subjects (classes) of the Camp Universe City’s curriculum. Each class gets half an hour – four classes a day.

The CUC curriculum consists of 8 carefully selected classes:
• Philosophy
• Social Science
• Music
• Art
• Biology
• Film
• Lunchtime (food)
• Sweets (moments/objects/people of wondrous proportions)

Each class in the curriculum will be conducted by a tutor (scholar of that subject).

Once a month the scholars gather to present two topics within their subject to the CUC collective. All scholars discuss and dissect everything brought to the table, opening up the topics to be represented and viewed on from each scholar’s perspective. What unfolds is recorded and brought to the NTS audience as a new way of learning new subjects from the people.

As a CUC tutor you will be expected to have a thorough and fresh understanding of your subject. You will be open minded and unafraid to speak your mind on all matters involved in the CUC curriculum. You will be happy to dedicate one whole day per month (entitled The Gathering of The Heads) to gathering, presenting, discussing and recording for the CUC radio show. In preparation for this day you will do in depth research into your subject and bring 2 topics to the table to present. It is expected that your chosen topics are exciting, somewhat groundbreaking and evocative.

The Gathering of The Heads:
One day a month we will gather from 9am – 5pm for a heavily scheduled and somewhat formal day of discussion and recording. As we will have one day to record all 8 hours worth of air-time, we will present, discuss and record as if it’s going live-to-air. Chaired by one person, all scholars will have one hour (broken to a half hour in the morning and half hour at night) to present their two chosen topics, as everyone will be micro-phoned, all scholars are encouraged to speak their views on the presented topics and offer any additional information. Topics of discussion will not be disclosed prior to the gathering of The Heads. The only time the microphones will be off is during the one hour lunch break and two half hour morning tea/afternoon tea breaks.

The Heard Audio:
The recorded dialogue from The Gathering of The Heads will be lightly edited and aired over a period of one month on NTS: Every Thursday midday-1pm & midnight-1am
45% funny, 55% serious ///////// 80% love, 20% hate


Here's episode 3 of 99 PROBLEMS entitled 'The Dating Game'. In this show we introduce Dr Marcel Frieberg, a psychologist who has done a lot of dating in his time, we're re-acquainted with Sir Harold of Hackney who has written a dating poem especially for 99Problems, and I went on a real-life blind date and recorded it for the sole purpose of this show. The date went well, the airing of the date --- not so well.. You also hear tunes from Ian Dury, Big Toe's HIFI, Nick Holder and Tom Tom Club.

Monday, 6 December 2010


Episode 2: A Lot of Weird People Standing Around. A gathering of Rohyp, C_BASS and Dirty Barry to discuss the weird freakish people/animal/objects. You hear tunes - The Doors, The Pixies, !!! and Broken Bells, stories of a fish masterbator, a koala and The Big Man neighbour, recordings from a high-tech preacher in Soho and the sweet sound of coffee being crafted.

Monday, 15 November 2010


99 Problems is a radio show on London Fields Radio based at Wilton Way Cafe in Hackney which I produce and co-host with Rohyp.

London Fields Radio is basically a radio studio set-up in the corner of a cute cafe.. shows are hosted and played through the soundsystem live and recorded to be aired as a podcast via mixcloud. All this while people are eating bacon butties, reading the Guardian and arguing over what the difference is between a gibraltar and a cortado.

The 99 Problems show synopsis: a 70/30 mix of banter-meets-music bi-weekly podcast show offering insight into the problems facing those that dwell in Hackney. Each show is interspersed with field recordings from gigs we attend, people we talk to and sounds we hear of interest + special guests and carefully selected tunes of particular interest.

The first episode was entitled 'Hustlers of Hackney' and was recorded on Sunday 14th of November with special guest Dirty Barry. Dirty Barry bought the tunes and told stories of hustling cornflakes, speakers and religion.

Listen to the show and you'll hear about the stereotypical hustlers in Hackney and how to avoid them, hustling stories from hustlers and the hustled + interviews from Broadway Market stall holders, recordings from Wednesday's M.I.A gig at Brixton Academy and tunes from Simian Mobile Disco, Busta Rhymes and Curtis Mayfield.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Duke Garwood_Snowblink_Howe Gelb

Last night as I poured pints, ate crumble and slurped on lemon and nettle tea, Duke Garwood,Snowblink and Howe Gelb with Lonna Kelley played at Cafe OTO.

Duke Garwood


Howe Gelb

For a snapshot listen to the soundcloud widget below. The first track is Duke Garwood, and the rest: Howe Gelb and Lonna Kelley. It's pretty special I recommend you check it out.

Duke Garwood + Howe Gelb by clairurbahn

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

An OG Composition

Awake early, meet a friend for a run, quick shower than downstairs to leisurely prepare a breakfast of orange, grated apple, plum, grated fresh coconut, sunflower seeds, banana and a sprinkling of cornflakes, coffee and an in-depth discussion on how to build a portable confessional... bid the friend farewell (he's going to London's oldest pub for a pint at 1pm) then upstairs to clean room.. pick up guitar, turn PARD ON, pick up flute, turn PARD ON, laptop open, sing PARD ON... etc ..

New Shoes by clairurbahn

Saturday, 9 October 2010


Tony Allen celebrated his 70th Birthday last week. To mark the occasion he performed at the multi-faceted Barbican on Wednesday 6th of October. Other musicians on stage included: pink suited Finnish jazzman Jimi Tenor, former Soul II Soul dancer Wunmi Olaiya, former James Brown sideman Pee Wee Ellis, British jazzman Byron Wallen (who is the trumpeter heard in this audio) , Fela's son - Sean Kuti and Johannesburg vocalist Thandiswa.

I just read the Telegraph review and am naturally inclined to start writing a report-style review.. must.. not.. use.. cliche.. review.. words..

So, maybe 6 years ago I went to a Toots and Maytals and Lee Scratch Perry gig and it blew me away how much it was like a religious experience -- some all encompassing wave of love and joy washed over the entire venue and music united everything to become one. I know, re-reading that makes me want to delete it and make it less.. umm... spiritual. But, that is how it was seeing Toots live... And, watching this gig, and most notably for me, Thandiswa, gave me the same feeling.

I advice you put your headphones on and listen to this.

I haven't done anything to it but turn it from a wav to an mp3.

Thandiswa by clairurbahn

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


The Time Attendent

Position Normal

Mark Dicker of Time reading HP Lovecraft's 'At The Mountains Of Madness'

Here is the third episode of THIS CITY PLAYS which features the final chapter of The Exotic Pylon Live at The Vortex gig.

You'll hear Position Normal & The Time Attendant performing live along with Mark Dicker of Time reading At the Mountains of Madness + a brief encounter with Dolly Dolly.


Friday, 3 September 2010


Jonny Mugwump hosts a show on RESONANCEFM called THE EXOTIC PYLON RADIO SHOW. On Friday the 13th of August he hosted the first of what is to be a regular live event showcasing artists in line with the show's musical offerings. The gig was called THE EXOTIC PYLON LIVE AT THE VORTEX (yes, it was held at The Vortex in Dalston, East London).

Performing on the night were The Time Attendant(an Exotic Pylon Pyloneer)with Mark Dicker from Time reading exerts from HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness, Position Normal and Cindytalk.

I recorded the evenings audio output including interviews from performers, crowd members and staff from The Vortex and edited it all to deliver a 3 part This City Plays series.

Here you have the first part which features CINDYTALK playing live with a full band.

THIS CITY PLAYS feat. CINDYTALK by clairurbahn


Sound Art Quiz by clairurbahn

In this audio you hear a live sound art quiz hosted by Tony Herrington, Editor-In-Chief & Publisher of WIRE Magazine as part of this months 'The Wire Salon'. You can play too. There are 6 pieces of sound art, define the origin of each piece using the multiple choice options below.
Answers provided within the audio.


A. Amplified recordings of human bones being cracked
B. Radio frequency emissions in the ionosphere caused by lightning strikes
C. The clicks of sonar-dolphin echolocation devices recorded on an Environ-Ears Recording System
D. The cracking of ice deep inside an Icelandic Glacier
E. A bioelectrical recording of the voltages produced by the electrical field of a cannabis sativa plant, amplified and used as the control signal for battery powered oscillators
F. A microphone moving around inside a woman’s vagina
G. Recordings of a surgical liposuction procedure to remove fat from an obese Phillipino man
H. Recordings of the carcass of an African gazelle being devoured by maggots, sourced by placing contact microphones in the abdomen of the dead animal
I. An analogue cassette recording of a plague of grackles gathering on telegraph wires and swarming over the town of Cottonwood, Arizona, USA
J. A solo performance of US Noise artist Hive Mind
K. The audio component of an installation piece by the US sound/visual/performance artist John Duncan
L. A recording of the vibrations made by traffic passing over Hungerford Bridge, sourced by placing contact microphones on the bridge’s struts
M. A recording of an amplified electric guitar being dragged behind a pick up truck along back roads and dirt tracks in Texas, USA
N. A solo performance by Japanese Noise guitarist KK Null
O. Neon gas pulsating in an electrical field ‘contaminated’ by the frequencies emanating from a human body
P. Multi-layered ambient recordings made inside an abandoned swimming pool in the zone of exclusion at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear plant

THE WIRE SALON presents We Hear A New World: Microphony, Technology & The Rise of Sound Art.

For this edition of The Wire Salon, artist/writer Salomé Voegelin, author of Listening To Noise And Silence (Continuum), Helen Frosi, curator of the Soundfjord gallery, and critic/sound artist Will Montgomery discuss the new philosophies and practices that have emerged in recent years to map and calibrate the new world that has been revealed by 21st century sound art.

The Wire Salon is a monthly series of salon events, hosted by The Wire magazine, and dedicated to the fine art and practice of thinking and talking about music. The evenings, which take place on the first Thursday of each month, will consist of readings, talks, panel discussions, film screenings, DJ sets and even the occasional live performance.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

THIS CITY PLAYS ep.1 feat. Connan LIVE

THIS CITY PLAYS is a ten minute radio program which captures live performances in London. The live recording is cut up with words from performers, crowd members and venue staff.

Episode ONE: Connan Mockasin plays live in London to release his debut solo album entitled THE SNAT.

THIS CITY PLAYS captured the live performance and talked to Will Rickets who plays percussion and The Snat - who the album is named after.

THIS CITY PLAYS by clairurbahn

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Sun Ra Arkestra live at Cafe Oto by clairurbahn


Keiko Kobayashi is Taigen(bass and vocals in Bo Ningen)'s mother.

She used be called 'Joan Baez of Japan' at 70's folk movement in Japan

Taigen with mum Keiko Kobayashi by clairurbahn

Bo Ningen Live at Cafe Oto by clairurbahn


The audio ambient sounds come from a Bo Ningen gig at Cafe Oto .. members of Bo Ningen performing under a different name playing a different style of music. Other sound effects come from sitting by the lakeside at Hampstead Heath, The Creators Project and Lovebox (Roxy Music performing live).

Love is the Drug by clairurbahn

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Fur Hood, FourColor & Hervé Boghossian

FUR HOOD with unknown characteristic mug

Fur Hood (live at Cafe Oto) by clairurbahn


I'm the invisible man- Hervé Boghossian (live at Cafe Oto edited) by clairurbahn


FourColor (live at Cafe Oto) by clairurbahn

Fur Hood, Fourcolor and Hervé Boghossian all performed at Cafe Oto last Sunday. The space proved excellent for recording as the crowd were all totally into the music and appreciative of others ie. quiet. (if you listen closely you can hear someones mobile phone alarm going off at the start of FourColors' performance)

I went along just because I wanted to be drowned in sound with no idea what would be on. Fur Hood are a threesome from Glasgow with jilted sounds sometimes droney, sometimes perky. This track I've uploaded is a cover from Twin Peaks (which one.. I'm not actually sure.. anyone know??!).

Hervé Boghossian was a one man wall of stand-the-fuck-up sound. He stood behind a table. On the table sat a laptop and numerous unknown technical machines (mental note to self: attempt to record gear used for instances such as this). His guitar was strapped around him and the delay from strum to sound was quite significant. He was blank faced and concentrated throughout his performance and played tracks unlike the next --- FourColor aka Keiichi Sugimoto who played one long start-beginning-and-an-end track.

Before we move onto to talk about Keiichi I must explain the screaming in HB's audio. This is a 'Clair Urbahn' edit. I saw HAIR the musical recently and recorded some of the performance - this is what you hear in the first quarter 'I'm the Invisible Man'. HAIR, fyi, sits in the OK category purely because just before half time everyone on stage got naked. Had this not have happened, the only interesting thing I would be noting here would be how I slipped my heels off and fell asleep.. (somehow I could sleep through all that vibrato ALL THAT VIBRATO btw was completely unnecessary, just a splash of shrill will do.. just a splash)

Keiichi Sugimoto also creates music under the moniker FilFla and fonicais, and is part of Minamo (a 4 piece who've just released an album entitled Dureé on 12k). I am kicking myself for turning the PARD off about 7 minutes before Keiichi finished his performance.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Here's a few of my ATP crew - Rohyp aka Rach, Aubrey and Rupert

Another episode in the ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES recordings. Here I present to you Spiritualized playing the opening song from their 'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space' album. The song is called 'Ladies and Gentlemen... you get the picture. They played the entire album from start to finish. It is their 3rd studio album and came out in '97.

As you can see from the photo (credit to Rupert) they had a choir and orchestra.

Spiritualized played on Sunday - the last day. Possibly one of my most enjoyed days on this earth.

Check out the line up:




6.00pm-7.00pm - DANIEL JOHNSTON
8.00pm-10.00pm - SPIRITUALIZED performing Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space


2.00pm-3.15pm - BOREDOMS performing Boadrum
3.45pm-4.45pm - THE TIGER LILLIES
5.15pm-6.00pm - JUANA MOLINA
10.00pm-11.00pm - JOANNA NEWSOM
11.45pm-12.30am - THE XX
1.00am-2.00am - COCOROSIE


3.15pm-4.00pm - VIV ALBERTINE
11.00pm-11.45pm - THE RAINCOATS
12.30am-1.15am - TRASH KIT



10.30pm-12.00am - SPYKIDELIC
12.00am-2.00am - DECLAN ALLEN


10.00pm-12.00am - MANISH AND SUMMERS
12.00am-2.00am - ROUGH TRADE DJS





10pm - FARGO
Midnight - A SERIOUS MAN




I have recordings from Daniel Johnston, Boredoms, Joanna Newsom, CocoRosie, The XX, Viv Albertine and The Raincoats and will post them here in due course.

Spiritualized - Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space (live ATP) by clairurbahn


Unexplainable for it hasn't any rhyme or reason. Put headphones on and listen.

Syndicated by clairurbahn

Saturday, 5 June 2010


Crystal Castles performed a live instore at Rough Trade last week to a crowd of 200. First 200 people to buy their new album (their 2nd self titled) got a free wristband for entry.

the performance was pretty good - she was men-ill.. crowdsurfing bending screetching and generally looking heroin addict k-induced chic. He was hot (but which bearded man isn't). They played for 40 minutes. They'll be playing at The Roundhouse in September.

Crystal Castles - Crimewave (live Rough Trade instore) by clairurbahn


OK I live central Shoreditch in a big church which goes by the name of Chaplegate. There are 14 of us - mostly women and gay men. Obviously this makes for plenty of party times.. a bottle of wine turns into three days of complete anarchy. More often than not going downstairs to make a morning cup of tea means encountering a kitchen table occupied by some of Shoreditches elite mumbling, consuming and avoiding sleep.

This morning I was awoken by TEAM GROCERY fucking around on the balcony catching the morning sun screaming 'Clair Clair get the pard .. I masterbated in a funny place'. I got up and recorded ... the result is boring as shit BUT I thought it would be a good introduction to many more Chaplegate recordings to come...

p.s photo features ERIN and EVE on the Balcon

Saturday Morning at Chaplegate by clairurbahn

Friday, 4 June 2010


Couples Are Creepy by clairurbahn

Viv Albertine of The Slits fame played at ATP, Butlins last month. It was just her on stage playing in an intimate surrounding to a blissfully quiet, attentive crowd. All her songs were much like this posted. She was great with heaps of in-between-song banter and humble honesty.

I recorded 21 bands during the weekend.. all of which will be posted on here as they become topical - this particular track - Couples are Creepy is the first to hit the site due to it's relevance.. couples ARE creepy (except Rohyp and Brad... cause i'm basically a part of your coupledom.. WE'RE not creepy).

The pic is of Viv with Sid of The Sex Pistols - she said during the concert "Sid was bought up by a junkie so i don't really know what kind of start he had".

Londoners can catch Viv playing at Strummerville in mid June.. Strummerville is a charity aimed at supporting new musicians set up after Joe Strummer's death. The site is interesting with some good downloads, events and info.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010


Crimin-ale Wave by clairurbahn

one night at Chaplegate - prior to it becoming my home - Brian aka Aunty Fuata, Luigi and some others concocted what was to be my perfect mate - Ale, both female and male. Ale was made of paper.. pen and a little mayo. Our creation was too beautiful to behold, too beautiful for this world. So, much to our dissapointment Ale's life ended by cremmation.