Facebook Twitter Tumblr Stumbleupon

The Toppibots

Laptops, like horses, alter the credo of time
Ed Baxter – Figaro/Pravda

The Toppibots meet up to plan our next move. After the last shambles I’m taking no chances and will be telling everyone what to do. Dierdra argues with me that in order to make the music of free electronic laptop improvisation there can be no leaders. I have a simple two part answer for her. First, I inform her that if she doesn’t shut up I will have her thrown out of the band, even though I’d really really hate to have to do that. Then I tell her how much money she’s going to get paid on our upcoming Japan tour. On hearing this she shuts her fat mouth and starts eagerly agreeing with everything I say. She’s such a squirming sycophant!

The Toppibots. Left to right – Tixie, Kaffe, Mitsuka. Andrea

The Toppibots band:
Andrea Neumann ~ ever since she went crazy and turned on her partner Annette Krebs like a demented rotweiler, I’ve wanted to work with Andrea. It was under my prodding that she gave up twanging that stupid piano frame and took up a proper instrument – the laptop. Based in Leipzig, Germany when she’s let out of the fruit and nutcase farm.

Mitsuka Yoshida ~ international bukkake artiste extraordinaire, she works exclusively with female puppets – a gesture which has scandalised the traditionally male bukkake community. Even though she’s a vital part of our group in funding terms, I can’t help but feel there’s something creepy about people who spend their lives among puppets. It’s like working for the Arts Council. Mitsuka is also the mother of 6 abandoned brats so either she is very fond of screwing or else Japanese contraception isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Her base – Xinjing, Manchukuo

Kaffe Matthews ~ performing micro-conceptual works, injecting loud corpuscles into quiet bodies, dreaming up outdoor sonic projects that generate blissfully huge funding, proposing steam driven aleatory systems encased in musical concrete ‘n’ diamante cyborg exoskeletons. I am also an international catwalk style icon beloved by millions. Crush, kill, destroy! Base – Essex and The Isle of Unst, UK.

Dierdra Radigue ~ composing for missing instruments, blagging, rock band arranging. Base, Paris, France.
Two weeks into rehearsals, Andrea decides to stop taking her medication and we have to return her to the asylum in Germany under armed guard. Quite out of the blue, she has embraced radical Islamic fundamentalism and is arrested trying to buy large quantities of acetone and nails. If only she’d told me she wanted to re-do her nails. I have warehouses full of nail varnish remover stored in Essex – along with several tons of Mac make up – just in case the economy collapses.

Short of a member, I take a huge risk and promote my companion tree sprite Tixie Pow Wow Golly Nosh to the band. This causes some consternation among the other band members who can neither see nor hear Tixie. Even that dyed-in-the-wool animist Mitsuka insists that there is no such thing as tree sprites. After I pull the heads off a few of her dolls and mutilate them she generously agrees with the other band members that I am best placed to judge ‘sprite’ issues.

Reconformed, the plan is to drive forward the Toppibot’s new post-tedium project – a generously funded five month long residency in Japan, January 2021. Joy in new lackey Omorashi Yagai brought on board to facilitate this.
E’er, I will gaze upon Mount Fuji Corporation. PING!

Tree Sprites

In a post-financial age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairies, eldils and tree sprites should be respected.
Will Hutton, The Economist.


All too many of my friends and admirers find it disconcerting to discover that I, Kaffe, one who has a naturally incredulous, fiercely rational spirit should believe in tree sprites. Tree sprites are a phenomena reported by many improvisers who utilize wooden instruments. Contrary to common opinion, when the tree inhabited by a tree sprite is cut down, the sprite neither dies nor moves on to a new forest. The sprites become trapped in the wood, which is why you’ll never find a tree sprite in a saxophone even though many a puffy-cheeked improviser will tell you otherwise. Violins and cellos are entirely another matter. I often come across expensive instruments whose stupid owners have no inkling are home to a bushy-tailed garrulous tree sprite.

It is still the custom in many parts of Europe to cut down a tree and bring it into the city. People cut branches and fasten them on every crib and pied a terre. The intention of these customs is to bring home to each dwelling the blessings which the tree sprite has in its power to bestow.
J.G. Frazer – The Golden Bough


I remember being in the middle of a long conversation with a violin a few years ago when its owner – an obnoxious Scandinavian lady called Charlotte Hug – frog marched over like a toad and demanded I explain why I was talking to her violin. Apart from giving her my filthiest Kaffe look (rumour has it that it can spilt a rock in half) I ignored the rude cow completely, made my apologies to the noble, gentle sprite and took my leave gracefully.
I do feel dreadfully sorry for tree sprites doomed to a life of almost solitary confinement but the plain fact is that many people and in particular improvisers are just too plain stupid to see what’s in front of their fat faces!


You will hear many contradictory things about tree sprites. How they are described though depends on who has witnessed them. Smart insightful gifted people such as I, Kaffe, know that they excel in demonstrating such abilities as agility, knitting, IT skills and pandemonium. Some regard them as agents of Satan or the Conservative Party while others see them as a nuisance to be terminated by throwing the offending tree sprites wooden base of operations onto a crackling fire. Like the vampires in Buffy or Blade III, once their homes are burnt the poor sprites burst into flames and are utterly liquidated for all time.


Kaffe and her first sprite experience

She is the fairies’ midwife,
Her wagon spokes made of long spinners’ legs,
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
Her traces, of the smallest spider’s web;
Her collars, of the moonshine’s watery beams;
Her whip, of cricket’s bone; the lash, of film.
Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Act I, scene IV

My first encounter with one occured when I was eleven. During summer hols, I was out camping with a group of boys who adored and worshipped me. We had a gigantic fire burning and the boys were working frantically to ensure I remained warm and dry and cosy as a miserable persistent rain was falling. As I sat there eating the Ambrosia creamed rice, hot chestnuts and strawberry jam that Edwin had rustled up for me, some fast moving creature came down from a nearby tree, whacked me on the head, and flew back up the tree while laughing an eerie cackling kind of noise. Thinking about it now, the sprite sounded a lot like Maggie Nichols, although I didn’t know this at the time.
At first, I was very angry. Very angry indeed! I was just slowly eating my pudding demonstrating my superior ladylike manners to the boys, minding my own business, when this beastly being bashed me on the head, even though I was the last person it should have hit. There were five typically dumb members of the male species to hand, all of whom one would have thought made far more sensible targets than myself.


But then I realized that I was the only one who perceived the sprite. Hitting me very hard on the head was the sprite’s way of making contact with the only special and extrasensorily gifted person in our little group – moi, Kaffe. I had been chosen!

How I met my companion sprite – Tixie Pow Wow Golly Nosh.


Everyone who is familiar with my amazing work assumes that my companion tree sprite – Tixie Pow Wow Golly Nosh (to give its full name) – must live in one of my violins. This is rubbish and a lazy assumption.

Here is the story of how I befriended Tixie. I was performing in Brussels with a bunch of idiot musicians and, fed up with their inability to listen to my excellent suggestions, decided to get some fresh air. ‘Fresh’ and ‘Air’ are not two words that come together readily in Belgium so let’s simply say that I took myself off for a wander around the flea market at Place Jeu de Balle and around Rue Blaestraat.

As I wandered past a dusty smelly antiques shop I distinctly heard a thin little voice call out, ‘Kaffe. Can you come in here please’. The voice sounded so small and desperate that instantly my heart went out to it. I imagined a defenseless child in parlous circumstance. Once in the shop, however, the only thing that greeted my eyes apart from the mound of overpriced junk was the shabby proprietor – a dirty grubby old man who was probably born masturbating to animal pornography.


Again, I heard the little voice. ‘Kaffe, can you buy me please. I’m trapped in this old 30’s wooden tennis racket’. The voice did indeed seem to be coming from an old tennis racket.
‘What are you doing trapped inside of a tennis racket?’ I asked.
‘Shut up, you idiot’, shouted the little voice. If the shopkeeper sees you talking to a tennis racket he’ll have you locked up in the asylum with Andrea Neumann faster than you can say “John Wall”.
‘Can’t the proprietor hear you speaking?’, I asked the tennis racket.
‘Look. I told you once. Just shut up and do as you are told. Pay whatever the shopkeeper demands for the tennis racket. He hates you stupid English and if you haggle he’ll tell you to fuck off’.


So it was I ended up giving the shabby disgusting proprietor the equivalent price of a Mulberry Jody shoulder bag for a ridiculous old tennis racket. The grip tape was frayed to nothing, the hoop was warped, the handle was bent and the string face had very little to commend it. Put it this way. Throughout my life, men have described me as fit. As a young girl I excelled at many athletic disciplines and still do. Indeed, I have chased many a male opponent from the court with my backhand. I simply couldn’t see myself hitting an ace with such a useless racket.

Once we were out of earshot I began questioning the racket. The answers came thick and fast and were satisfactory.

‘I am a tree sprite’, said the little voice. ‘My name is Tixie Pow Wow Golly Nosh and I lived in an ash tree until the bad men of the British Lawn Tennis Association came and chopped down my home. Relocation, relocation, relocation. They took me to a saw mill and divided me into a thirty seven superior quality tennis rackets but naturally my consciousness could only live in one individual racket so I chose this one. I’ve sat in that shop waiting thirty eight years for someone raving mad enough to hear my voice to come along’.
‘What happens when they come along’, I asked, not realizing the tree sprite was talking about me.
‘You are the raving nutter who came along. I’m talking about you, Kaffe, ya dumb Essex munter’, said Tixie.


At that point I propped Tixie the tree sprite who lived in a tennis racket up against a pharmacists and calmly walked into a tobacconists. I was gone for fifty minutes as I also decided to have a latte in Café Nero.
When I returned, Tixie was furious.
‘Where the hell were you and what were you doing? You’ve been ages!’, screamed the little tree sprite.
‘I was shopping followed by a leisurely quest for latte if you must ask’.
‘What do you mean by leaving me in the street, you slag. I might have been nicked by the Brussels version of a gang of Essex chavs. What the fuck were you thinking, woman?!!’
‘It’s easier if I demonstrate, Tixie’, I replied. ‘In my left hand is a can of lighter fluid and in my right is a powerful cigarette lighter’.
‘What are you going to do with them’, said the sprite, whose voice shot up by and octave and two semitones. Tixie seemed to have lost all its arrogance in one fell swoop and was now sounding extremely nervous and frightened.
‘Simple. I’m going to burn your disrespectful little tree sprite ass into a pile of gilded splinters. And then I’m going to incinerate those splinters until there’s nothing left of you but a pile of fine ash ash. Then I’m going to cremate the ash ash until each particle is as burnt as a hashish addict’s fingers. How does that sound?’

The results were as I expected. Nobody – I repeat – nobody defies Kaffe and gets away with it. Tixie was terrified and straight away promised to obey my every whim, no matter how imperious and demeaning, until the end of time and never to be rude to me again let alone speak out of turn in my presence. Tree sprites are very very unlike people in that when they make a promise they have to keep to it for life. My very own tree sprite – called Tixie no less – how cool is that??!!!

Laptop Sprites

An artificial-intelligence program called the Electronic Judge is dispensing justice on the Brazilian streets. The program is installed on a laptop and methodically witnesses reports and gathers forensic evidence at the scene of an incident. It then issues on-the-spot fines and can even recommend death sentences.New Scientist, May 2010


Despite becoming accustomed to Tixie the tree sprite who lives in an old 30’s tennis racket, no-one was as surprised as me to discover that laptop sprites exist as well. Many is the time I have been in the middle of a laptop concert when the laptop sprites intervene. This is delightful! No sooner do the Laptop sprites take possession of a laptop than they carry one’s improvisation off into unexpected territories. Often, I am reduced to mere spectator, which is excellent. It gives me a chance to catch up on my emails in the one place I can escape the paparazzo, the needy, clinging fans and my battalion of fawning lackeys – onstage. PING!

Facebook Twitter Tumblr Stumbleupon

Facebook Twitter Tumblr Stumbleupon

1. You did what you did you have a date scheduled with your maker….may she had Mercy on your soul. What you did is the worst crime ever committed in improvisation, it was borin and calculated. If the arse electornica was indeed what you were after then that’s what you should have taken, not the time of an innocent audiences.
You had no right to decide when it was time for taking the laptop to their ears. You are a Piece of shit of the worst kind.
I hope that the victims are at play and that their minds are in hiding from pain of your creul world.

posted by who calls me Beresford anymore monday july 2018

2. Would this even be a big deal if i was doing the same music as your doing with a multi threaded unix based processor workstation with lots of RAM? NO, it wouldn’t. But because my best computer is a laptop from Dell, we must be sleeping together. Grow the fuck up.

posted by Brian Marley tuesday july 2018

3. Very interesting and well said. You are the most logical, unbiased insane person yet….

posted by no-one calls me Beresford anymore monday july 2018

4. It’s really a shame that other msuicians are pointing fingers at this kaffe over what laptop she’s chosen not to use! How do you not understand that she’s suffering right along with the rest of her huge collection of laptops? I saw her playing at the Freedom of the City festival and the lid fell off her laptop and all the hamsters escaped, some of them hiding in a saxophone filled with water. She’s lucky enough to be in Trondheim with her sonic bidet right now and I’m glad she’s not left here dealing with shit like this! Who would you turn to if your laptop exploded onstage? YOU DON’T KNOW BECAUSE YOUR NOT IN HER SHOES!!

posted by marina rosenfeld tuesday july 2018

5. wow something new! someone getting slagged off for the laptops and the funding money!!!! maybe it’s just normal jealousy in my city…

posted by Buckhardt Strangl walpurgisnacht july 2018

6. haha, kaffe. that picture never said anything about your violin. i dont give a shit, although you look like some kind of mutt regardless
posted by Anton Lukoszevieze friday july 2018

7. kaffe baby baby……if u r an essex gurl..come on..dont act like a white trash….come on..have so pride…..DAMNIT!

posted by Butcher de John aka wikiwikiman sunday july 2018

8. aww traler trash. So ya made your private profit…why is that afraid of us?
fuck you and fuck your fake electronica.

posted by Marianthi Papalexandri Saturday august 2019

9. Ha ha and lord haw haw. Really, you guys are too funny! .. Trailer park? .. Idiots. I live in a big mansion in Essex – so big in effect that I fulltime employ on contract three local Philippines ladies as the cleaners along with Mrs Prevost the cooking lady, an army of technicians and software programmers and my own driver Ludolf who hails from Austria and is also a bodybuilder!!! Ludolf could so easily twist off your fat heads with one little findger it makes me laugh. I am NOT such an idiot you donkey cracker asses … but come on .. keep postin’ your insults and see what I don’t call down upon your fat heads.

posted by Kaffe MAtthews Thursday May 2024

10. bring it on you fucking SKANK HOE!

posted by Mark Wastell Monday May 2017

11. oh nice, but notquite good enough.
gonna have to think a lil harder to come back at us bitch.
posted by somebody called me Baresford Monday June 2017


posted by Scanner wednesday May 2019

14. keep up the good work.
posted by Michael Prime aka Prime Numba Monday May 2017

15. Thanks Michael :) sweet of u x

posted by Kaffe MAtthews Thursday May 2024

19. I meant Scanner’s picture, you dumb sket.
posted by Michael Prime aka Prime Numba Sunday May 2017

20. Thanks Michael :) sweet of u x

posted by Kaffe MAtthews Thursday December 2025

21. Hi Kaffe. Ignore these skagheads who iinsult ‘n’ you calling u traila trash. I fink u look really buff in ur piccie. I love dat top u wearing. Is it Zara? xx

posted by Helena Gough Monday january 2016

22. no, it’s from Topshop, babes :) xxx

posted by Kaffe MAtthews Tuesday March 2025

Facebook Twitter Tumblr Stumbleupon