Polygraph Heartbeat Song by Song

19 June 2018 | AG 12
by Amed B

A Better Time

I bought the steel mandolin at an auction. It had no case and no strings, helpless like a chrome baby in my arms. Kind of hard to play, but easy to make it sing – steel fairy dust, shooting sparks of light like a luchizm painting. Who can really say which time is better than another? As long as you can sit in an easy chair, see the sun dapple the room and let an instrument do the talking, everything is fine.

Polygraph Heartbeat

“You can feel your heart beating, pam pam pam pam...” this is Arthur Lee singing. On his solo album he has his guitar on his back. Good title: Vindicator. Casual love for an instrument. Ted Nugent, Michael Schenker, those guitar dudes with their great album covers, spray paint or photo, American-style guitar heroes, cruising in neon glories. I wanted the cover to be an imitation of Schenker Group, with a polygraph instead of the weird laboratorium vibe. Hard to get hold of one though. In the end using the title seemed enough. Strap anyone onto a polygraph and I bet they start telling lies, bragging or working their way out of it. You can’t keep calm when you’re suspected of lying even when you’re not. An audience can sometimes act like a polygraph. Twisting impossible shapes: spirograph. Imagine the universe expanding into penroseverse. Twisting impossible shapes – imagine your living room turning into a necker cube. Mr Necker had a wondrous profession, he was a crystallographer. I’m only honest in between beats on my polygraph.

Only Your Heartbeat can’t be Beat

The sound of a distant riot in the night, periodic flare-ups of angry voices in the hallway, the neighbours letting go of the forks and spoons and going straight for the knives. Your heart may skip a beat; beat against your chest; stop beating altogether, spill out. Call and response, mr Fricke at work amidst the forests and greenery: Kosmische Phoenixology. Let astral appliances perform a little marvel in the mind’s eye.

Endless Reflection

By Blake Baxter, this tune at some point broke my heart, but maybe it was just sunday afternoon post-rave sentiments, a kind of high-definition digital afterglow, minus serotonin, aided by fatigue.

Can I say this is a cover simply by adopting the title? A blanket is a cover and it may keep you warm. This is a blanket version of the tune on Blake Baxter’s ‘blue album’.  The coolest picture I found at a certain point, after the first Detroit vinyls, that world of tresors, was a tiny snapshot of Juan Atkins in a classy suit drinking a coffee somewhere in a bar, morning or early afternoon. Making night music gets you this relaxed? As soon as I arrived in Berlin (1999), I wanted to check the area where Tresor club was and on the corner was a shop selling safety vaults. Maybe just in my imagination. An endless reflection is a hall of mirrors is an endless reflection. UFOs built Babylon.

Night Borders

The undertow of the normal is that people may flip. The undertone of the day is the fact that night is coming, with borders or without.

Minus the Bloodshed Waltz

Change the battlefield equation minus the bloodshed.  Preference for a slow ¾. A ragtime also should be played a slow as possible, kind of a like a drag. Or at least that is what Scott Joplin said, and he had a right to put his foot down. This is in another tuning than side A. Be a rag-picker, play a rag-man Waltz.


Pygmy tribes, lord of the flies, break away, against the grain, against the tide. Abbé Guichard, Billy Blanco, Couperin, Ponce, Lutz Ulbrich, Zez Confrey, Jimmy de Knight, Tampa Red, Leigh Harline, George Botsford, Turlough O’Carolan (drinking man), Scarlatti, tintinnabuli, tubularly belly, playing pool while listening to Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy, a friend built me a brass knuckle it was spiky, have a need for alchemy, believing the omen is quite risky lucidity, deputy Andy spelling une âme solitaire not so literally, who’s that hanging upside down from the Gidouille so giddily?, hotel room safety, not ready to embrace singularity, playing the chrome mandolin: always salutary.

We’re going to buy ice cream in the rain.

Polygraph Tremors / The Banshee

In the novel Petersburg (1913), Apollonovich - young version - wanders the city with a time bomb in his jacket, not really so sure what is real and what not, not really able to decipher surrounding codes, victim to fantasies of spirituality. Wandering comet. Mobutu built a space rocket. Make music for a city of endless sleep: bring on the banshees, let them wail and lull acerbically. Leeuwenbrug or Albertbrug. You can’t beat your own heartbeat.