Mother’s Day 2017

It has been a hell of a busy w/e.

On Friday, our debut Dub EP was released on major stores as a download. There are a few teething problems with the Beatport version but I have been assured by State51 Conspiracy that things are going to run smoothly from now on and it should be up there in a bit. I had a lot of fun making the EP and we are well underway for the second, follow up EP.

Saturday was spent walking. I trundled all over town and down to the PO depot – the reason was that I had just been sent a TRAKTOR AUDIO 2 Soundcard. It is a beast of a thing and tiny but quite cute. It is the same size as a metric beef patty. Look at this –

Saturday night was spent in great company trying out the Soundcard and a newly built TRAKTOR F1 MIDI Map. It is based on DJ Endo’s MIDI Monster F1 mapping and has proved a lot of fun. Whilst I had not used the four decks available due to the mapping – it felt like I was strapped on to a rocket riding roughly.

Sunday was Mother’s Day – Kathryn was out walking a Westie/Maltese Cross Terrier so I woke and got fueled on espresso before catching the bus to Ripon to head to Home Farm.

Mum was a bit under the weather due to a very nasty cold and Dad was preparing to go to the rugby. When it was just Mum and me (after Dad went to Leeds – they won) we just sat and enjoyed each other’s company. Something we never really did when I lived at home. It was nice just to sit there and have a natter with the woman who carried me for nine months and still carries me to an extent (misplaced metaphor?).

I managed to bring my camera and hoped to get some images of Mum – however, she refused to have her photo taken. So, I set about trying to see the different textures on the brickwork and stonework on the farmhouse and surrounding buildings. There is a great variety of stuff to see in the microcosm of a lens – here is the album, embedded on my Flickr page:


 

I also had Kathryn’s LCA in attendance – I will try and post the results from that up here in a few days time when I get the images back.

Whilst at the farm I managed to see Jess, my sister’s black cat. Jess is a bit of an enigma – I never know when she is going to be at home but it is always a pleasure to see her. She is a Speaking Cat – when you say “Hello Jess” she will respond with a ‘Meow’ – quite how this came about, other than a loving Mum in my sister, is lost in the depths of antiquity – Jess is around fifteen or sixteen years old and doing great for her age: in fact – she is the cat that made me warm to Cats. She is a lot of fun and it is a pleasure to share her years with her. Here are two photos of her –

 

When I arrived back in Harrogate (with a floor lamp I was given on the farm) I found a wife covered head to toe in flour and egg. Kathryn had been making Courgette & Lime Muffins and they taste delicious – she hot-footed it to her folks to spend some time with her mum and Dad (I figure she may need a break from me) and I set about doing my show – below you can listen to the show – it is a lot of fun to do.

Dreaming Of A World Without Borders: Utopian Visions From The Past

I found the below article on theconversation.com – I will credit it with appropriate Canonicals, but I wanted to share it here, on my blog – If I have done anything wrong then please let me know. But, with Brexit, Mayism & Trumpism at the forefront of the western political psyche, I thought it a poignant post.

In the age of heavily restricted migration, passport control seems a natural prerogative of the state. The idea of abolishing passports is almost unthinkable. But in the 20th century, governments considered their “total abolition” as an important goal, and even discussed the issue at several international conferences.

The first passport conference was held in Paris in 1920, under the auspices of the League of Nations (the predecessor of the United Nations). Part of the Committee on Communication and Transit’s aim was to restore the pre-war regime of freedom of movement.

Indeed, for much of the 19th century, as an International Labour Organisation report stated in 1922:

Migration was generally speaking, unhindered and each emigrant could decide on the time of his departure, his arrival or his return, to suit his own convenience.

But the World War I brought harsh restrictions on freedom of movement.

In 1914, warring states France, Germany, and Italy were the first to make passports mandatory, a measure rapidly followed by others, including the neutral states of Spain, Denmark and Switzerland.

At the end of the war, the regime of obligatory passports was widespread. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles, which established the League of Nations, stipulated that member states commit to “secure and maintain freedom of communications and of transit”.


Freedom of movement was on the agenda at the Treaty of Versailles. Imperial War Museum London

Fences are easier to build than to dismantle. The 1920 Paris conference recognised that restrictions on freedom of movement affect “personal relations between the peoples of various countries” and “constitute a serious obstacle to the resumption of normal intercourse and to the economic recovery of the world”.

But its delegates also assumed that security concerns prevented:

for the time being, the total abolition of restrictions and the complete return to pre-war conditions which the Conference hopes, nevertheless, to see gradually re-established in the near future.

To facilitate freedom of movement, participants agreed instead to establish a uniform, international passport, issued for a single journey or for a period two years. This is how we ended up with the format of the passports we use today.

Participants also decided to abolish exit visas and decrease the cost of entry visas.

Close but no cigar

During the conferences that followed, several resolutions again highlighted the goal of abolishing passports, but concluded that the time was not yet right. In 1924, the International Conference of Emigration and Immigration in Rome maintained that “the necessity of obtaining passports should be abolished as soon as possible” but in the meantime advocated other measures to facilitate travel. These measures included an increase in the number of offices delivering passports, allowing emigrants to save time and money.

In Geneva in 1926, Polish delegate, Franciszek Sokal, opened proceedings by bluntly asking the parties to adopt “as a general rule that all States Members of the League of Nations should abolish passports”.

At that time, passports and visas were still regarded as a serious obstacle to freedom of movement, as a Mr Junod from the International Chamber of Commerce said:

Could not the Conference adopt a resolution contemplating the abolition of passports at the earliest possible date? Public opinion would regard this as a step in the right direction.

But by then, most governments had already adopted the uniform passport and some of them saw it as an important document that was meant to protect emigrants. As the Italian delegate reminded the conference that conditions had changed after the war and the passport was “particularly necessary as an identification document for workers and their families; it provided them with the protection they needed, enabled them to obtain permits of sojourn.”

Another delegate alluded to the Soviet Union when he refused to restore the pre-war regime. He said:

conditions had changed so much since the war that everyone had to take into consideration a good many things they could formerly ignore.

Passports were never supposed to be forever. www.shutterstock.com

Discussions about passport abolition resumed after World War II.

In 1947, the first problem considered at an expert meeting preparing for the UN World Conference on Passports and Frontier Formalities, was “the possibility of a return to the regime which existed before 1914 involving as a general rule the abolition of any requirement that travelers should carry passports”.

But delegates ultimately decided that a return to a passport-free world could only happen alongside a return to the global conditions that prevailed before the start of the first world war. By 1947, that was a distant dream. The experts advised instead a series of bilateral and multilateral agreements to attain this goal.

World leaders were still talking about banning passports as late as 1963, when the UN Conference on International Travel and Tourism recognised “the desirability, from both an economic and social point, of progressively freer international travel”. Once again, it was estimated that “it is not feasible to recommend the abolition of passports on a world-wide basis.”

Now, neither the public nor governments consider passports as a serious obstacle to freedom of movement, though any would-be traveller from Yemen, Afghanistan or Somalia would no doubt argue differently.

It takes less than a century, it seems, to see the absence of freedom as a natural condition.

It Lives To See The Light Of Day – ‘Dub Force’ Is Out!

It’s here!

After about a year’s worth of effort, me and Allan have finally got it out to the public – Dub Force has seen the light of day!

We took our influences from Lee Perry, Mad Professor, King Tubby & Mikey Dread to create a real roots album – we think it is a release of pedigree. Currently it is available in the bigger of the download stores (all of them except Beatport at the minute) but we are working on blanket coverage.

‘Over the moon’ is n understatement!

Letter #11

Now then, this is a matter I am fuming about – I have signed numerous petitions and called on respective MP’s (when in Northumberland and East Yorkshire – China … let’s say I wasn’t represented).

The fact that our nation’s policy makers are in-debted to the factions that they may have to legislate against is a no-brainer: ‘McDonalds Healthcare’ & ‘Monsanto Bottled Water’, ‘Murdoch News” … (naw wait!) could all be a reality unless these measures are curbed.


Dear Andrew Jones,

In order for the UK to have a true democracy, the interests of the electorate should be at the core of government policy.

As long a big business and the media fund political parties, the interests of their sponsors and a desire to remain in power, prevents a government from fulfilling its duties.

Electoral funding should be minimised. It should be financed with public money, by a process that reflects an equal distribution to either parties or MPs. A process to be decided by parliament, if the motion is agreed.

Media owners hold to much influence over voters. This does not benefit the electorate, but their own interests and is facilitated by their sponsorship of politics.

The same applies to corporations, in which MPs should be allowed no investments, financial (or positional) for life.

Andrew, this may sound like a radical gesture – but it is common sense: I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,
Andrew Backhouse

Gearing Up For Friday

This Friday (the 24th March 2017) sees mine and Allan’s debut dub release in the majority of download stores. We are hoping to direct people to the Beatport store but in the meantime here is the Bandcamp link.

Guerrilla Dub System – Dub Force

A New Venture

I am a bit of an amateur artist – as in I do arty things but I do not do it professionally (or well).

My online HQ for this sort of thing is www.andybackhouse.com – a collection of photographs and recording, a giant post-it note of assorted output if you would.

One of the more recent venture on that site was the start of my podcast, Mr Backhouse’s Loudspeaker.

Now available on iTunes and Google Play – to name a few services – it has proved to be a bit of a laugh. I have had some great feedback from people I admire and respect and the a local poet seems to like it to. Yes, it is poetry – I admit it, I am pretty shoddy when it comes to the written word – but this is nonsense poetry and I am damn good at it.

To see for yourself – you can subscribe here or search for it on your music store.

Here is the artwork I made for it –