Holger Czukay by Ursula Kloss, from the cover of Czukay’s Moving Pictures (1993). (The painting is a pastiche of Holbein’s portrait of Georg Gisze.)
• RIP Holger Czukay. The obituaries have emphasised his role as the bass player for Can, of course, but he was just as important to the band as a sound engineer and producer: it was Czukay’s editing skills that shaped many of their extended jams into viable compositions. Post-Can he recorded 20 or so albums by himself or with collaborators, several of which can be counted among the best of all the Can solo works. Geeta Dayal and Jason Gross remembered their encounters with Czukay, while FACT reposted their 2009 interview. Czukay’s final interview was probably last year when he talked to Ian Harrison for Mojo magazine.
For my part, I was astonished when Czukay phoned me out of the blue one day in 1997 to thank me for sending him a video I’d made in the 1980s. This was a scratch production created with two VCRs that set 300 clips from feature films to Hollywood Symphony, the final piece on Czukay’s Movies album. Years later, MTV showed a couple of similar video collages that Czukay had made for Can so I sent a copy of my effort to Spoon Records thinking he might be amused. His public persona was often one of a wacky mad professor but the jokiness was allied to an impressive technical skill and curiosity. Most of our brief conversation was taken up with my answering his questions about my primitive video recording.
• “Every pebble can blow us sky-high”: A reconsideration by J. Hoberman of The Wages of Fear, directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot.
• Dario Argento’s masterpiece of horror cinema, Suspiria, is 40 years old. Martyn Conterio looks at five of its influences.
• Mark Korven’s Apprehension Engine: an instrument designed to play the music of nightmares.
• The mystery of the Voynich Manuscript solved at last? Nicholas Gibbs thinks so.
• At Dangerous Minds: The macabre and disturbing sculptures of Emil Melmoth.
• Jonathan Meades reviews A Place for All People by Richard Rogers.
• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 229 by Erin Arthur.
• The ten creepiest objects in the Wellcome Collection.
• Rob Chapman’s essential psychedelia reading list.
• It’s Just A Fear (1966) by The Answers | Fear (1992) by Miranda Sex Garden | Constant Fear (2002) Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
3 thoughts on “Weekend links 377”
Do you still have that video? It’d be a shame if such a labor of love were to remain unnoticed forever.
Yes, I still have the video although I don’t have any means at the moment of transferring it from tape. I also don’t have a YouTube account and I’m not really desperate to start one.
The thing with the video piece is that it was impressive at the time simply because few people would have bothered to spend two weeks (or however long it was) syncing 300 clips to a vinyl recording using two VCRs. You can do this kind of thing today with great ease via digital video, and YouTube is filled with similar efforts. Consequently it wouldn’t seem impressive at all today (and the quality was pretty poor in places).
The final point is that many of Czukay’s recordings are pulled off YT by his record label and management. The same goes for Can, group and solo. So there’s no guarantee that anything I uploaded would remain there for long.
Thanks for the response. I hear you absolutely. I made a couple of video projects back in the late eighties/early nineties involving consumer hi-fi VCR and camera in lieu of a second machine, which involved a lot of audio bouncing and tricks to cheat the effect I was looking for, audio feedback, etc. I don’t say this to pester you, but I lost that stuff to a big impulsive, self-imposed purge, regret it sometimes, and would encourage anyone who put such work into something to preserve it somehow. There are professionals who will digitize tape for a reasonable price. Also, Vimeo is the way to go. Less attention and takedowns. RIP Czukay.
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