Matthew Dorey's blog.

Any sugar?

Feb 2, 2018

On giving up alcohol and (some) sugar for (some of) January.

A Diary?

Feb 1, 2018

This year promises excitement so this week I tried to buy a diary. One of those day-to-a-page affairs in which I can scribble down all the things I see and learn about. I thought they might go cheap now the calendar is turning to February. No such luck. There were a few week-to-view diaries going for half price in Waterstones but nothing suitable for my needs. If my urge to write gets too much to resist, I’ll turn to my many Field Notes notebooks.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Jan 25, 2018

A short review of the Oscar-nominated drama.

Spain, New Year 2017/18

Jan 12, 2018

A trip to Spain for New Year.

Top 10 Albums 2017

Dec 31, 2017

Here’s my ten favourite albums of the year…

Top 10 Songs 2017

Dec 29, 2017

Here’s my ten favourite songs of the year, along with a Spotify playlist.

Album Digest December 2017

Dec 27, 2017

December’s album digest features albums by Bjork, Phoebe Bridgers, Watter, and Neil Finn.

Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew

Dec 26, 2017

A recipe for your turkey leftovers this Christmas.

A trip to Iceland. Part 3: Fluðir to Vík.

Dec 17, 2017

For the next day of our Iceland trip we drove from Fluðir to Vik, taking in plenty of waterfalls.

Album Digest November 2017

Dec 7, 2017

November’s album digest features albums by 00110100 01010100, James Holden and the Animal Spirits, Daniele Luppi (with Parquet Courts and Karen O), and Fever Ray.

I Will Make Room For You - Four Tet Remix

Nov 15, 2017

A brilliant remix of a track from Kaitlyn Aurelia’s wonderful album “The Kid”.

Reasons to Stay Alive

Nov 11, 2017

Matt Haig’s account of escaping anxiety and depression is as uplifting and life-affirming as its title suggests.

Beetroot Bolognaise

Nov 5, 2017

A tasty tomato-free Bolognaise sauce made with beetroot.

A Little Lesson in R

Nov 4, 2017

If you don’t vectorise, R will punish you.

Suits Me

Nov 3, 2017

I’ve been wearing a suit to work, it’s fun.

Album Digest October 2017

Oct 31, 2017

This month’s album digest features albums by Four Tet, Rival Consoles, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Mary Epworth.

Three Years

Oct 31, 2017

A little post to celebrate three years of living in one place.

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun

Oct 30, 2017

Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s experimental novel explores the effect of age on memory and circumstance in San Francisco.

Understated Classics #36: The Coral by The Coral

Oct 29, 2017

The Coral’s debut album bristles with excitement and ideas. However, as with most of the albums in this series there’s even more going on under the surface.

A trip to Iceland. Part 2: Reykjavík to Fluðir.

Oct 15, 2017

For the next day of our Iceland trip we drove from Reykjavík to Fluðir, visiting Þingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss along the way.

Georgia O'Keeffe

Oct 8, 2017

Some thoughts on the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition I went to at Tate Modern last year.

Revelation Space

Oct 6, 2017

A review of the hard sci-fi novel by Alastair Reynolds.

Personal ggplot tips and tweaks

Oct 5, 2017

An aide memoire for ggplot settings that I always forget.

A trip to Iceland. Part 1: Reykjavík.

Oct 4, 2017

In February and March, we went to Iceland. In the first of three parts, we explore Reykjavík.

Hello America

Oct 3, 2017

So… has anyone else read this recently? It’s a bit spooky.

The same, but different

Oct 1, 2017

A quick reflection on getting married a month ago. With more pictures!

Album Digest September 2017

Sep 30, 2017

Recent months have been very busy, so this album digest combines a review of the new album by The National with a couple of reviews left over from earlier in the year.

Command and Control

Sep 29, 2017

It took me three years to get through this amazing book on the history of nuclear weapons and their safety.

A little trip to Italy

Sep 28, 2017

A weekend mini-break in Bergamo, Italy.

Understated Classics #35: Snivilisation by Orbital

Sep 25, 2017

Orbital’s third album takes you to some weird and wonderful places.


Jul 17, 2017

Sometimes you glance down and see interesting things in the valleys below.


Jul 15, 2017

From here to there, up and over the hills.

Wonder Woman: A Short Review

Jul 1, 2017

This was a far better movie than I was expecting!


Jun 16, 2017

The struggle to keep creative when a lot of things are going on.


Jun 7, 2017

Some thoughts about the 2017 General Election.


Apr 11, 2017

How and why this blog moved to its new address.

Album Digest March 2017

Mar 31, 2017

Albums by Blanck Mass, The Shins, Rolling Blackouts CF, and JFDR.

Album Digest February 2017

Feb 28, 2017

Albums by Grails, Elbow and Dreadzone.

Album Digest January 2017

Jan 31, 2017

Albums by Mike Oldfield, Bonobo and The xx

Understated Classics #34: Stray by Aztec Camera

Oct 13, 2016

The next understated classic is “Stray” by Aztec Camera. Released in 1990, it features two hit singles and the cover is my favourite colour: green.

Heavyweight Podcast

Oct 10, 2016

A miniature semi-review of Heavyweight, a podcast that I’m enjoying at the moment.

Mira Schendel at Tate Modern

Oct 8, 2016

Mira Schendel was a Brazilian artist considered to be one of South America’s best artists. I visited her retrospective at Tate Modern in 2013.

Album Digest September 2016

Sep 30, 2016

This album digest features albums by Wilco, M.I.A., Local Natives, and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani.

The Threepenny Opera

Sep 24, 2016

A short review of The Threepenny Opera at the National Theatre, starring Rory Kinnear as Mack the Knife.

A New Notebook

Sep 11, 2016

On confronting a new notebook and the joys of where writing takes you.

I Don't Have a Clue, part 43

Sep 8, 2016

Up late, with hot feet and unable to sleep, I type out this confession that I haven’t got a clue what I am doing.

Album Digest August 2016

Aug 31, 2016

Albums by Prins Thomas, United Vibrations, Sarathy Korwar, and Doomsquad.

Adventures with Discover Weekly

Aug 30, 2016

I’ve been using spotify’s music discovery playlist Discover Weekly to find new albums for this month’s album digest. Here’s some thoughts.

BBC Prom 47 at the Royal Albert Hall

Aug 21, 2016

We went to an afternoon Prom to see works by Hellawell, Haydn and Tchaikovsky performed by the Ulster Orchestra.

Album Digest July 2016

Jul 31, 2016

Albums by Aphex Twin, Avalanches, Bat For Lashes, Beyond The Wizards Sleeve, and Islands.

Acts of the Assassins by Richard Beard

Jul 30, 2016

This modern take on the legend of the apostles mixes genres and timelines to heady effect.

Understated Classics #33: Embrya by Maxwell

Jul 20, 2016

The next entry in the understated classic series is Embrya by Maxwell, perfect for summer evenings!

South America Trip Part 12

Jul 19, 2016

The next part of the South American Trip took me through three countries in under a week: from Tupiza in Bolivia, to Salta in Argentina, and then on to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.

The Unlimited Dream Company

Jul 14, 2016

Among my favourite novels by J.G. Ballard, this silly romp through suburban sexual repression glitters with a sinister wit.

Swaptastic Part 3: The Shiny App

Jul 1, 2016

Here’s a shiny app that allows you to explore my Panini sticker swapping model

Album Digest June 2016

Jun 30, 2016

Album Digest June 2016 features albums by Roxette, Tegan & Sara, Flume, and Islands. Overall it’s a pretty poppy collection of albums this month.

Swaptastic Part 2

Jun 29, 2016

Here’s some code that simulates multiple collectors of Panini stickers. How many friends should you recruit in order to minimise the number of packets you have to buy?

In the space between this and that

Jun 25, 2016

Some thoughts on the disasterous result of the EU referendum.

Swaptastic Part 1

Jun 14, 2016

An update on my Euro 2016 Panini Sticker Collection!

Logitech K380 Review

Jun 9, 2016

A review of the Logitech K380 keyboard. I really like this portable bluetooth keyboard for windows and mac devices, it’s well made, useful and pleasant to use.

Euro 2016 Panini Stickers

Jun 5, 2016

How many packets of stickers do you have to buy to complete the Euro 2016 sticker album?

Album Digest May 2016

May 31, 2016

Album Digest May 2016 with albums from Radiohead, Parquet Courts, Brian Eno, and Mark Pritchard.

Werner Bischof: "Point of View" and "Helvetica"

May 23, 2016

We saw two exhibitions of photography by Werner Bischof at the Elysée in Lausanne. “Point of View” explores his international work spanning the years 1945 to 1954. “Helvetica” explores his earlier work while isolated from travel in Switzerland during the second world war.

Something Coming Through by Paul McAuley

May 17, 2016

“Something Coming Through” is a science fiction novel set in the near future. A few years after a brief nuclear war known as “The Spasm”, an alien race known as the Jackaroo introduce themselves to humanity. The novel is funny, thoughtful, and politically charged. I found it to be a good read.

Album Digest, April 2016

Apr 30, 2016

A return for the album digest with albums by Pet Shop Boys, Underworld, Charlie Don’t Surf, and Leon Vynehall.

Lausanne, Switzerland, March 2016

Apr 11, 2016

This was my first trip out of the UK since getting back from South America

The Orb - Alpine EP

Mar 12, 2016

A short review of The Orb’s new little EP “Alpine”.

Album Digest Special: David Bowie

Feb 1, 2016

A special album digest featuring my favourite Bowie albums

The Nutcracker

Jan 29, 2016

For Ingrid’s birthday, we went to see The Nutcracker at The King’s Theatre in Southsea.


Jan 24, 2016

Heads down for MSc Economics revision!

My Favourite Albums of 2015

Dec 31, 2015

Because Top Ten lists are cool…

The Long Post

Dec 17, 2015

I’m writing a long post. Here’s an update.

Second Toughest in the Infants Superdeluxe edition

Nov 26, 2015

Your rails, your fins, your thin paper wings.

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy: Review

Nov 20, 2015

Parachutes, oil spills, cultural anthropology, and the river Styx. Of course.

Understated Classics #32: "They Were Wrong, So We Drowned" by Liars

Oct 31, 2015

Hallowe’en seems like the perfect time to write about this witchy concept album.

The Martian: A Short Review

Oct 18, 2015

A short review of the movie adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian.

My Booker Prize Pick 2015

Oct 12, 2015

My pick for the 2015 Booker Prize is Satin Island by Tom McCarthy.

Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

Sep 29, 2015

Please can I travel back in time and stop myself from reading this junk?

South America Trip Part 11

Sep 14, 2015

The next stretch of my South American journey took me from La Paz to Potosi

Gods of Metal

Sep 2, 2015

This short piece of non-fiction should chill the spines of everyone, whether they are pragmatic about nuclear weapons or terrified of them.

Everything Everything "Get To Heaven"

Sep 1, 2015

A short review of “Get To Heaven” by Everything Everything.

Inherent Vice: A Short Review

Jul 25, 2015

A short review of the Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice.

Understated Classics #31: The White Room by The KLF

Jul 22, 2015

The next in the understated classic series is The White Room by The KLF. Another one of those albums that actually isn’t understated in any way!

Untitled 2

Jul 20, 2015

Rather than spill the beans about another idea for a novel, I’m going to set myself some exercise for blogs posts that tackle the technical problems the idea poses for me as a writer.

First Light, Last Light

Jul 19, 2015

Is it better to get up early or stay up late? Who cares?!

Minions: A Short Review

Jul 9, 2015

A short review of Minions, a film featuring those crazy little yellow guys from Despicable Me.

An Initial Comparison of Apple Music and Spotify

Jul 5, 2015

A comparison of Apple Music and Spotify after using them side by side this weekend.

Album Digest June 2015

Jun 30, 2015

Album Digest June 2015 features five fantastic albums from Hot Chip, Jamie xx, Blanck Mass, Holly Herndon, and The Orb.

Time Is Time and That Is That

Jun 18, 2015

A brief rant about Facebook: I hate the fact that the news feed defaults to “Top Stories” even though I change it back to “Most Recent” every time I log in. It’s a horrible pattern of user abuse that needs to stop. Time is time and that is that.

Learn X in Y Minutes

Jun 3, 2015

A good way to bootstrap learning a new programming language

Jim's Conservatory

May 25, 2015

Another political analogy… sorry!

Like a Rhino Voting for Poaching

May 9, 2015

A political analogy about rhinos that came tumbling out of my head.

Understated Classics #30: Our Aim Is to Satisfy by Red Snapper

Apr 19, 2015

The thirtieth understated classic is Our Aim Is To Satisfy by Red Snapper, an album of downtempo electronic beauty.

Consider the Donut

Apr 11, 2015

The eternal wisdom of Homer Simpson

The Martian by Andy Weir

Apr 3, 2015

A review of The Martian by Andy Weir. A novel about an astronaut abandoned on Mars. In fact, he has survived. But how on Earth (Mars?!) will he get home?

Jodorowsky's Dune

Mar 27, 2015

A review of the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, which celebrates an unmade film and the process of artistic creation if not its success.

A Little Bit Intimidating Really

Mar 22, 2015

Just a little post about getting over self-censorship and imposter syndrome, and just writing something and putting it out there.

How Fireworks Work

Mar 22, 2015

Last night I watched a firework display from my bathroom window. This reminded me to write a post about how fireworks work, which I’ve been putting off for a while.

Glow by Ned Beauman

Mar 16, 2015

A modern novel about a party drug and some foxes, among other things. Very funny indeed.

You Can’t Just ‘Switch Off’ Free

Mar 11, 2015

The times they are a-changin’

Album Digest February 2015

Mar 1, 2015

Albums by Aphex Twin, The Orb, and Susanne Sundfør.

Understated Classics #29: Let It Come Down by Spiritualized

Feb 22, 2015

This album helped soothe my worried mind in a time of crisis and it never fails to help me out.

Writing As It Happens

Feb 20, 2015

Some thoughts on how to capture ideas, emotions, thoughts, and experiences without losing the ability to live the moment itself.

On The Humble Cheese Grater

Feb 16, 2015

A celebration of the humble cheese grater, one of my favourite bits of kitchen kit and gateway to the best comfort food of all time: cheese on toast!

On Jackson X

Feb 15, 2015

I set myself the task of writing about a fictional character for this blog post, so this post is about Jackson X. His surname isn’t really X, it’s just one of the details about him that I haven’t fleshed out yet. This is because Jackson X is the one of the protagonists of the novel I’m (not) writing.

On Voting

Feb 4, 2015

A short post about the benefit and necessity of voting. Written in response to Facebook promoting UK voting registration.

Album Digest January 2015

Jan 31, 2015

Albums by Sleater-Kinney, Azealia Banks, Museum of Love, Parkay Quarts, Flying Lotus, and Röyksopp

Understated Classics #28: The Meadowlands by The Wrens

Jan 18, 2015

The Meadowlands by The Wrens is number 28 in the understated classics. If you’re living life and you really mean it, this is the record for you.

Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks

Jan 3, 2015

A little review of Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks, which I re-read over Christmas.

Happy New Year 2015!

Jan 1, 2015

A little note wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year.

On convictions, whereas to the strength of and belief in same

Dec 30, 2014

Some musings on how we get to know what we’re doing with our lives.

October and November 2014

Nov 14, 2014

An update detailing what I have been up to and a promise of more posts to follow.

Building Brains

Oct 24, 2014

A garbled post about thinking about thinking; taking in David Foster Wallace’s “The Pale King”, pictures of ghosts on Instagram, and teaching computers to love.

Album Digest September 2014

Sep 30, 2014

Albums by Aphex Twin, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Vessel, and The Juan Maclean.

How to generate random numbers in R

Sep 25, 2014

A quick post about how to generate random numbers in R, mostly for my own reference.

All The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

Sep 2, 2014

A single moment of carelessness irreversibly transforms a life in Evie Wyld’s second novel All The Birds, Singing.

Album Digest August 2014

Aug 31, 2014

Albums by Brian Eno & Karl Hyde, Lone, FKA twigs, and Mogwai.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Aug 24, 2014

Not as good as previous Murakami novels, but still a fun read.

Useful Ulysses

Aug 21, 2014

Finding good software is like falling in love…

Understated Classics #27: A Ghost Is Born by Wilco

Aug 19, 2014

See also “Whatever happened to that hat?”

South America Trip Part 10

Aug 18, 2014

From Machu Picchu to Lake Titicaca, Tiwanaku, and La Paz

Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector

Aug 17, 2014

“Who has not asked himself at some time or other: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?”

What IS That Noise?

Aug 17, 2014

Some musings about found sound and vocal samples in ambient music. Like ambient music, I don’t really go anywhere.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Fifteen Observations

Aug 15, 2014

Rather than write a full blown review, here are fifteen observations about Guardians of the Galaxy. See if you can guess if I liked it!

My Amazing Subversive Revolutionary Adolescence

Jul 22, 2014

How the Orb’s Live ‘93 album opened the doorways of my mind.

Understated Classics #26: Come On Die Young by Mogwai

Jul 7, 2014

A review of Come On Die Young by Mogwai as part of my understated classics series of album reviews.

Whatever Happened To That Hat?

Jul 3, 2014

From there to here in 10 years, courtesy of a Wilco baseball cap.

Album Digest, June 2014

Jun 30, 2014

Albums by Watter, Hundred Waters, Parquet Courts and Max Richter.

Album Digest, May 2014

May 31, 2014

New albums by Little Dragon and Coldplay, along with the mini-album collaboration between Röyskopp and Robyn.

South America Trip Part 9

May 27, 2014

From Cuzco to Ollantaytambo, along the Inca Trail to glorious Machu Picchu!

Should I Drop Dropbox?

Apr 15, 2014

The reasons why I am reconsidering using Dropbox to sync my files and what the alternatives might be.

Album Digest March 2014

Mar 31, 2014

Albums by Tegan and Sara, Fanfarlo, Liars, and London Grammar.

South America Trip Part 8

Feb 10, 2014

A tale of two cities: Arequipa and Cusco

South America Trip Part 7

Feb 7, 2014

Next up was a piecemeal section of the trip that took in quite a varied set of sights and helped us get to know the new passengers who joined in Lima. On the first day we took a boat trip out to the Ballestas Islands, a nature reserve that is informally known as “the poor man’s galapagos”. Living there are penguins, sea birds, sea lions and seals. The speed boat out was a little wet and wild (and in fact the return trip was even wetter and wilder) so we all got soaked (twice) but the microclimate around the islands themselves was calm and warm, and we all got good value out of our cameras (if they still worked that is). We even saw a pelican get taken down by a sea-lion which was an interesting if not altogether pleasant display of nature red in tooth and claw. Also, who knew that guano was so valuable?!?

South America Trip Part 6

Jan 12, 2014

Part 6 of the South American adventure. Still in Peru, including Huanchaco, Chan Chan, and the capital Lima.

South America Trip Part 5

Dec 31, 2013

Our first few days in Peru involved some rest and relaxation at a beach resort in Punta Sal.

South America Trip Part 4

Dec 28, 2013

Leaving Baños, visiting Ingapirca, and staying in Cuenca.

South America Trip Part 3

Dec 21, 2013

We left Misahualli for Banos via an hour in nearby Tena to get something for the truck fixed. After that the drive to Banos was pretty short - or at least it seemed that way as I alternated between dozing off, snapping the scenery and… well… dozing off some more. We arrived at a campsite about twenty minutes taxi ride from Banos and this was it, the thing I’d feared most about this trip: the camping. Fortunately, as an odd boy, I managed to secure my own tent - the gadget palace that you can see in my selfie! Getting the tent up was straightforward and all my assorted camping gear seemed to live up to requirements! It chucked it down with rain in the night, so it was good that the fly sheet did it’s job too. It was great fun to lie there listening to the rain, nice and warm and dry. More importantly, I also managed to get some sleep.

Grumble grumble

Dec 19, 2013

Instead of feeling the gratitude and excitement I’ve felt since being here, I’ve spent a lot of time wanting to curl up in the corner and just be… well… somewhere else.

South America Trip Part 2

Dec 2, 2013

Further into Ecuador and over the Andes, to the point where we are just touching the Amazon jungle. Features an encounter with a tarantula.

South America Trip Part 1

Nov 29, 2013

Let’s get started! First up: Quito!

Album Digest, October 2013

Oct 31, 2013

Albums from Four Tet, CHVRCHES, DARKSIDE, and HAIM. A capital month indeed.

The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Oct 21, 2013

Trust me, you can’t go wrong with this.

LS Lowry At Tate Britain

Oct 18, 2013

“Sometimes excessive homage can start to feel like satire or exploitation instead.”

The Reset Button

Oct 16, 2013

A couple of months after hitting the reset button on my life, I found myself floundering a little. Here’s how I tried to set myself straight.

"Art Under Attack" at Tate Britain

Oct 12, 2013

An exhibition exploring the history of art vandalism in Britain over the last five hundred years.


Oct 5, 2013

“Let the psychotics take over. They alone understood what was happening.”

Album Digest, September 2013

Sep 30, 2013

Albums by Arctic Monkeys, BT, Goldfrapp, and Janelle Monáe.

Understated Classics #25: Long Gone Before Daylight by The Cardigans

Sep 14, 2013

The twenty-fifth entry in my understated classics series of album reviews is Long Gone Before Daylight by The Cardigans.

Ellen Gallagher at Tate Modern

Sep 13, 2013

“[A] …collective obsession, no matter how surreal, lends those engaged in it the very conformity that they seek to avoid.”

Album Digest, August 2013

Aug 31, 2013

Albums by Washed Out, Bonobo, and Atoms For Peace.

The Truth About Work

Aug 14, 2013

Sometimes you realise the truth about work is that it isn’t that enjoyable and that you have to move on and do something else for your own sake.


Aug 13, 2013

How making conference posters with LaTeX turned out to be something of a lightbulb moment.

Despicable Me 2: A Short Review

Aug 12, 2013

A review of Despicable Me 2. As a spoiler for the review, I liked it so much that I saw it twice!

Album Digest, July 2013

Jul 31, 2013

Albums by Pet Shop Boys, Fuck Buttons, Holden, and Ramin Djawadi.

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

Jul 30, 2013

A short review of “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane” by Neil Gaiman. Also veers a little into befuddled wonderment about brains and memory.

Ideas for TV shows: Great Mathematicians

Jul 29, 2013

How about a TV show that looks into the lives of well known mathematicians? As I show here, it’s got potential for lots of drama.

Ibrahim El-Salahi At Tate Modern

Jul 24, 2013

Some thoughts on the Ibrahim El-salahi retrospective at Tate Modern.

Point Omega

Jul 23, 2013

A review of Don Delillo’s “Point Omega”, a confusing little novella.


Jul 5, 2013

A review of Michael Frayn’s “Skios”, a good little beach read.

Album Digest, June 2013

Jun 30, 2013

Albums by John Hopkins and Boards of Canada. With honourable mentions for Tricky, The Lonely Island, and The Orb feat. Lee “Scratch” Perry.


Jun 26, 2013

Multiple time lines and murderous shenanigans in Peter Ackroyd’s “Hawksmoor”.

Understated Classics #24: “Reservoir” by Fanfarlo

Jun 24, 2013

A record that may well have saved my life.

Man of Steel: A Short Review

Jun 22, 2013

As Sufjan Stevens once sang, “only a steel man can be our lover”. Or something.

Album Digest, May 2013

May 31, 2013

Four great albums this month from The National, Vampire Weekend, Lilacs & Champagne, and The Phoenix Foundation.

George Bellows At RA

May 29, 2013

Today I went to see “George Bellows 1882-1925 Modern American Life” at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Choucair At Tate Modern

May 25, 2013

This is a short but entertaining show that will introduce you to a talented and underrated artist. This is as important thing to see in the Tate Modern as the greats and I highly recommend it.

Understated Classics #23: "Gorgeous" by 808 State

May 23, 2013

Statistically 1 in 23, a number on a list…

Lichtenstein At Tate Modern

May 21, 2013

A retrospective for the real king of Pop…

The Marriage Plot

May 20, 2013

A novel about love and growing up set in the privileged world of US academia in the early eighties.

Star Trek: Into Darkness - A Short Review

May 17, 2013

Some one please beam up 3D movies already…

Album Digest, April 2013

Apr 30, 2013

Albums by Flaming Lips, James Blake, Wire, and The Knife.

Why I Love "On The Road"

Apr 11, 2013

My love for both the book and the movie version of “On The Road”, explained.

Album Digest, March 2013

Mar 31, 2013

Just the David Bowie album this month.

Consider Phlebas: A Picaresque In Space

Mar 18, 2013

The first of Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels.

Understated Classics #22: "Walking With Thee" by Clinic

Mar 13, 2013

The twenty second understated classic is the fine sophomore effort from Clinic.

A Work Of Art At The End Of My Road?

Mar 5, 2013

An incident with some music and the flickering light on a faulty give way sign.

Album Digest, February 2013

Feb 28, 2013

Albums by Darkstar, Foals, Daniel Hope, and Apparat.

On Pynchon

Feb 26, 2013

A new novel by Thomas Pynchon was recently announced, here’s why I love his books.

A Jigsaw

Feb 11, 2013

A cure for insomnia and so much more…

Album Digest, January 2013

Jan 31, 2013

Albums by Nelly Furtado, Everything Everything, and Frank Ocean.

Album Digest, December 2012

Dec 31, 2012

Albums by Tracey Thorn, Woob, and Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin, with an EP by Burial.

Album Digest, November 2012

Nov 29, 2012

Albums this month by Bat For Lashes, Ital, Björk, and Brian Eno.

A Mountain Story

Nov 27, 2012

A short story about a cat.

Understated Classics #21: "Woob 2" by Woob

Nov 21, 2012

Allow me to share a secret with you…


Nov 10, 2012

Some hopes for the future.

Rust And Bone: A Short Review

Nov 5, 2012

“Rust and Bone” is Jacques Audiard’s follow up to the amazing “A Prophet”.

Skyfall: A Short Review

Nov 3, 2012

Starring Daniel Craig as James Bond and Javier Bardem as a very naughty man.

Album Digest, October 2012

Oct 31, 2012

Albums by Daphni, Laurie Spiegel, Mala, and Ricardo Villalobos.

Stevenage vs Portsmouth

Oct 23, 2012

A match report from tonight’s league one match.

Nonlinear Systems: A Rough Intro

Oct 2, 2012

A start of a series of posts about nonlinear systems.

Album Digest, September 2012

Sep 29, 2012

Albums by The xx, Four Tet, Grizzly Bear, and Nelly Furtado.

Even The Dogs

Sep 23, 2012

After “If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things” and “So Many Ways To Begin” comes “Even The Dogs”, a tougher read but still as beautifully written.

Programming a Carcassonne Game

Sep 21, 2012

A new programming project.

Understated Classics #20: "Folklore" by Nelly Furtado

Sep 19, 2012

Nelly Furtado’s second album is better than you might remember…

Album Digest August 2012

Aug 31, 2012

Albums by Laurel Halo, Grimes, Passion Pit, and Auntie Flo.

Understated Classics #19: "The Dreaming" by Kate Bush

Aug 15, 2012

The Dreaming by Kate Bush, a kooky curio from the dustier part of her discography, is the nineteenth instalment of my understated classics sequence of album reviews; it is well worth your time.

The Gone-Away World

Aug 15, 2012

An awesome science fiction novel about the power of identity, imagination, and nightmares.

Album Digest July 2012

Jul 31, 2012

Albums by BT, Monolake, Actress, and Mohn.

Album Digest June 2012

Jun 30, 2012

Three great albums by Saint Etienne, Liars, and Hot Chip. And a brief mention for Guy Gerber’s Fabric 64 mix.

Some Lessons In Love

Jun 25, 2012

A book about the many experiences we share when we fall in love.

Another Reading List

Jun 25, 2012

More books to add to the “University of life” course list!

CAN "The Lost Tapes"

Jun 24, 2012

A short review of the box set.

Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson

Jun 17, 2012

Gonzo is the biography of Hunter S. Thompson in graphical form. In case you don’t know his work, Hunter S. Thompson was a journalist who invented the so-called “gonzo” style.

Moonrise Kingdom: A Short Review

Jun 16, 2012

The new Wes Anderson movie.

Understated Classics #18: Fabric 12 mixed by The Amalgamation Of Soundz

Jun 5, 2012

What?! We’re allowing compilations now? Yes. Why not?

Album Digest May 2012

May 31, 2012

Albums by Jack White, One Little Plane, Oxia, and Beach House.

Album Digest April 2012

Apr 30, 2012

Albums by Orbital, Battles, Chemical Brothers, and Austin Wintory. Album bingo full house: studio, remix, live, and soundtrack!

Understated Classics #17: "Nearly God" by Nearly God (Tricky)

Apr 19, 2012

“Sit back and let it happen / Let us take your time away.”

April Birthday

Apr 10, 2012

A poem by Ted Hughes that I’ve chosen for my friend, whose birthday it is today.

The Lonely Londoners

Apr 9, 2012

A review of Sam Selvon’s “The Lonely Londoners”, a 1956 novel about the experiences of West Indian immigrants arriving in the UK in the Windrush years.

Net Loss

Apr 3, 2012

The joys (and costs) of independence.

Album Digest March 2012

Mar 31, 2012

Albums by Fanfarlo, Scuba, New Build, Grails, and The Shins.

Album Digest February 2012

Feb 28, 2012

Albums by Burial, John Talabot, Lilacs & Champagne, and The 2 Bears.

Never Mind The Ballards

Feb 9, 2012

Sometimes what seems at the outset like an exciting project can end up as a rod for your own back.

Album Digest January 2012

Jan 31, 2012

Albums by FOE, Leila, Diagrams, a collaboration between Pyramids and Horseback, and a FabricLive mix by Pinch.

Understated Classics #15: "Début" by Björk

Jan 23, 2012

I have many happy memories of Björk’s first album.

The Painter

Jan 13, 2012

A story that may or may not be about things that are going on in my life.

Dreams Of A Life: A Short Review

Jan 5, 2012

A documentary about Joyce Vincent, a woman who was found in her flat in Wood Green three years after her death surrounded by wrapped christmas presents and with the TV still on.

Album Digest December 2011

Dec 29, 2011

Albums from Emika, Pinch & Shackleton, and Radio Slave.

The Amber World

Nov 22, 2011

My earliest memory and how it comes back to me.

Album Digest November 2011

Nov 20, 2011

Albums by Kate Bush, Tom Waits, and Peter Gabriel.

Understated Classics #14: “Clear” by Bomb The Bass

Nov 7, 2011

“I think it’s time to discuss your philosophy of drug use as it relates to artistic endeavour…”

Contagion: A Short Review

Nov 3, 2011

Went along with a few mates from work to rigorously fact-check this movie.

The Philosopher And The Wolf

Nov 2, 2011

It’s about a philosopher and his wolf. The clue is in the title really.

Album Digest October 2011

Oct 31, 2011

Albums by Björk, Coldplay, M83, and Radiohead.

Album Digest September 2011

Sep 30, 2011

Albums by John Beltran, Wilco, The Rapture, and a mix by Four Tet for FabricLive.

Understated Classics #13: "U.F.Orb" by The Orb

Sep 9, 2011

FUN FACT: It was because of the artwork to this album that I repeatedly scrawled onourwayhome onourwayhome onourwayhome on my pencil case at school. I also had a very passable u.f.orb logo drawn on it too.


Sep 9, 2011

I finally took on the challenge of one of sci-fi’s iconic novels. Verdict: it’s iconic for a reason.

Album Digest August 2011

Aug 31, 2011

Albums by Biosphere, Ford & Lopatin, Gus Gus, Instra:Mental, and Jon Tejada.

Understated Classics #12: "Look Sharp!" by Roxette

Aug 16, 2011

A cassette that I got for my tenth birthday really started off my lifelong love of pop music.

Five lessons from a year of blogging

Aug 5, 2011

I have now been writing decent length articles on this site for about a year. I have learned a lot in this time, mostly about writing but also how to express your feelings and how to marshal your ideas and passions into action. For this month’s “five on the fifth”, I would like to share with you some of the things I have learned.

Album Digest July 2011

Jul 31, 2011

Albums by SBTRKT, Bon Iver, Zomby, Washed Out, and Brian Eno.

The News

Jul 25, 2011

A fundamental misconception at work here is that there is some sort of algebra of misery and suffering that allows us to order and sift through tragic events, that allows us to declare one more important than another, and assess the worth of expressing our incomprehension and our sympathy. These beliefs assume that our reserves of sympathy are somehow finite and need to be managed, that they should only be used for the correct situations. This is of course nonsense: you can feel as shitty about any of the events of recent days as you like. It is your choice and yours alone. Personally, I feel terrible.

Understated Classics #11: "Second Toughest In The Infants" by Underworld

Jul 22, 2011

“White car / Blue Mercedes / Happy Shopper / Bouncing Ball”

A Beta Test Of Everything

Jul 19, 2011

Life is not a rehearsal kids!

Why I Love The Jungle Book

Jul 12, 2011

Just the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities… …in my description of why I love Disney’s version of The Jungle Book.

Maps And Charts

Jul 2, 2011

Old maps are a great reminder of human imagination and collective consciousness.

Album Digest June 2011

Jun 30, 2011

Albums by BT, Battles, Lykke Li, and Death Cab For Cutie.

Understated Classics #10: Tubular Bells II by Mike Oldfield

Jun 24, 2011

Tubular Bells II is not really understated in any way, but rather a luxurious and underrated update to the original.

Favourite Numbers

Jun 22, 2011

Mine’s 41. What’s yours?

Concrete Island

Jun 21, 2011

What if you crashed your car, ended up on one of those hinterlands beside the motorway, and no one noticed that you were gone?

Album Digest May 2011

May 31, 2011

Albums by Kate Bush, Africa Hitech, TV on the Radio, and Fleet Foxes.

Understated Classics #9: Tiger Bay by Saint Etienne

May 6, 2011

Motorik instrumentals, dub reggae, English folk, and balearic pop on Saint Etienne’s excellent third album Tiger Bay.

Five Superheroes We Can Live Without

May 5, 2011

… but I reckon they would be a bit of a laugh!

Album Digest April 2011

Apr 30, 2011

Albums by Jamie Woon, Young Knives, Elbow, Katy B, along with Agoria’s Fabric mix.

Why I Love Betty Blue

Apr 6, 2011

A little post about why I love the film Betty Blue so much. It’s not all about the nudity. Obviously it is a little bit about the nudity, but not all.

Five Things To Try When You Can't Sleep

Apr 5, 2011

They work for me… sometimes… your mileage may vary.

Favourite Culture Ship Names

Apr 3, 2011

One of my favourite things about the Culture novels is how the ships are named and having found a list on Wikipedia, I thought I would share ten of my favourites with you!

Album Digest March 2011

Mar 31, 2011

Albums by Salva, Nicolas Jaar, and Julianna Barwick.

More Books

Mar 18, 2011

Perhaps only writing about JG Ballard novels was a bad idea…

Album Digest February 2011

Feb 28, 2011

Albums by James Blake, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Cut/Copy, and The Low Anthem.

Out There Somewhere

Feb 3, 2011

Hurrah for more exoplanets making the news this week. This time it is for a star with a whole bunch of small planets very close to the star, whereas usually they tend to be single gas giants larger even than Jupiter.

Programming an UNO game, part 2

Feb 2, 2011

An update on the progress (or otherwise) of my UNO playing C++ program.


Feb 1, 2011

Another Ballard novel, this time it’s the car wreck sex-o-rama that is “Crash”.

Album Digest January 2011

Jan 31, 2011

Albums by The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Joan As Policewoman, British Sea Power, and The Phoenix Foundation.

In Defence Of Tolerance

Jan 24, 2011

Why do we have to keep explaining this shit to supposedly intelligent people?

Understated Classics #7: 100 Broken Windows by Idlewild

Jan 9, 2011

“You’ve had bad luck / and I know what it feels like / to have bad luck…”

Programming an UNO game

Dec 28, 2010

A semi-simple programming project to keep my mind occupied.

Tales From Home

Dec 24, 2010

Some Christmas stories and some photos of waxwings that my Dad snapped earlier in December.

Understated Classics #6: Arbor Bona Arbor Mala by The Shamen

Dec 3, 2010

Trees are good, trees are good, trees are bad, trees are bad…

The Setback

Dec 1, 2010

Since the run there has been a bit of a hiatus in this blog. I wrote about how running was making me feel better. In fact, I should have said more. I recently stopped taking the antidepressants that I had been taking for eighteen months. This has been my longest period taking such medication but the running made me feel sufficiently good to decide that I could stop taking them.

Movember 10K

Nov 14, 2010

Me and my mo’ went for a run!

Understated Classics #5: A Weekend In The City by Bloc Party

Nov 8, 2010

The fifth entry in my understated classics series of album reviews is A Weekend In The City by Bloc Party. Like many bands, Bloc Party use a difficult second album to talk about difficult things.

The Crystal World

Sep 26, 2010

Another Ballard novel, this time we’re off to a jungle that’s rapidly turning into Crystal. But why? Because it’s Ballard, that’s why.

Understated Classics #4: Substrata by Biosphere

Sep 11, 2010

The fourth album reviewed in my sequence of understated classics posts is Biosphere’s icy masterpiece Substrata.

The Drought by JG Ballard

Sep 8, 2010

Another Ballard novel, this time it’s The Drought (AKA The Burning World).

Understated Classics #3: The Circle & The Square by Red Box

Aug 17, 2010

The third album in the understated classics series is “The Circle & The Square”, the great lost 80s pop record by Red Box.

The Drowned World

Aug 14, 2010

Ballard’s first novel and the first point of call in reading all of them.

Understated Classics #2: Sinking by The Aloof

Aug 12, 2010

The second album in the understated classics series is a moody broody record that wants you to “come on over here and have some fun”…

Understated Classics #1: "Together Alone" by Crowded House

Aug 3, 2010

This sequence of posts lauds under-celebrated albums. First up: “Together Alone” by Crowded House.

J. G. Ballard

Aug 2, 2010

As a project to get reading and writing regularly, I will try to read all of JG Ballard’s novels.

©Matthew Dorey 2018.

A bird is sitting on the grass with a kite.