This week I’ve been enjoying the Ghost Power album, a collection of groovy instrumentals from Tim Gane and Jeremy Novak. A heavier use of synthesizers and samples than you usually hear from Gane, together with trace elements of his previous project, Cavern Of Anti-Matter. The highlight is the final track, Astral Melancholy Suite, a 15-minute synth odyssey that includes an extended sequencer run of a kind usually associated with the Berlin School.
The comic-book details that decorate the packaging are credited to Samplerman, whoever they are. There’s further continuity here with Stereolab who borrowed graphics from French comics for the artwork on some of their singles and EPs. I’ve never been a fervent collector of Duophonic releases so it was years before I realised that the graphic on this cover for Instant 0 In The Universe…
…was swiped from this page in the fabulously rare Saga de Xam.
Update: Samplerman is here. Thanks, Dave C!
Diane (1977) by Mimi Parent.
• Richard Pinhas expounds upon his favourite musical choices for Warren Hatter. The influence of Robert Fripp has always been to the fore in the Pinhas oeuvre—an early track by Heldon is titled In The Wake Of King Fripp—so there was bound to be a King Crimson album on the list. But which one? Click through the selections to find out.
• Vinyl is the product of a toxic manufacturing process, as well as being difficult to recycle without releasing yet more toxins, but you seldom see these issues discussed by today’s quality-conscious vinyl fetishists. Jono Podmore talks to some of the people trying to create an eco-friendly disc.
• “…these Renaissance images shock us because they are so frequently ithyphallic: Christ has risen, but not in the way we have come to expect.” Hunter Dukes on ostentatio genitalium in Renaissance art.
• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine on those music projects that used to be described as “hauntological”, with an emphasis on The Machinery of the Moment, a new release from The British Space Group.
• “Like Delia Derbyshire jamming with This Heat.” Jesse Locke tours the Broadcast discography.
• 50 Watts announces the birth of 50 Watts Books, a publisher of strange and/or unusual art books.
• “Black lights turn this North Carolina mine into a psychedelic wonderland.”
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Bill Morrison Day.
• Black Lightening Light (1968) by The Shy Guys | Black Light (1994) by Material | Transmission Nine: Black Light (2013) by Pye Corner Audio
Pillow Studies (1493) by Albrecht Dürer.
• “Without ever writing a song, without ever fronting a group, Khan changed the face of British music.” Michael Hann talks to Morgan Khan about bringing New York Electro to the UK with his Streets Sounds label.
• James Balmont offers “an introduction to Japan’s visceral cyberpunk cinema in five cult films”. This reminds me that I’ve not seen Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo films for years. Time to reacquaint myself.
• At Aquarium Drunkard: 15-minutes of Alice Coltrane from 1970, talking about her music and performing with Pharoah Sanders et al. Amazing.
• Clive Hicks-Jenkins presents Beauty & Beast, an animated fairy tale made to showcase his toy theatre design.
• Carl Dreyer’s horror masterpiece, Vampyr (1932), is released on blu-ray by Eureka in May.
• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine explores the mysteries of the Egg Language.
• DJ Food unearths paintings by Syd Mead for a Celcon Steel brochure, 1965.
• Jamie Sutcliffe enters The Strange World of Junji Ito.
• Mix of the week: Isolatedmix 117 by Refracted.
• Keeley Forsyth‘s favourite music.
• Electrocharge (1980) by Blackbeard | Electrodub1 (1980) by Chris Carter | Ano Electro (Andante) (1993) by The Sabres Of Paradise
Cover of Tom Veitch Magazine #1 (1970).
• RIP Tom Veitch, a writer with whom I almost created a comic-book series in the 1990s. Things didn’t work out for a variety of reasons but we had some good conversations. All the news notices focus on his writing for comics, a career which ranged from angry, political strips with Greg Irons to typical franchise fare. But he had short stories published in New Worlds magazine when it was at its peak under Michael Moorcock’s editorship, and in Quark, a short-lived paperback magazine edited by Samuel Delany & Marilyn Hacker. Veitch was also among the first 35 contributors to John Giorno’s Dial-a-Poem service when it launched in 1968, part of a select group that included John Ashbery, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. Related: An interview with Tom Veitch on William Burroughs at Reality Studio.
• “I won’t deny that I thought very much about a post punk influence on it. Everybody knows that I love post punk, but I didn’t want to copy anybody.” Robert Hampson talking to Jonathan Selzer about the return of Loop.
• “What Joyce and Eliot, Ulysses and The Waste Land, had in common was a showiness, an overt ambition as well as a magpie approach to literature as assemblage.” John Self on the year 1922, “literature’s year zero”.
• At Spoon & Tamago: All of Japan’s 47 prefectures captured in expressive typography.
• At Public Domain Review: Composition (1905) by Arthur Wesley Dow, a book for art students influenced by the example of Japanese prints.
• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine on the unending attempts to solve The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
• Mixes of the week: Fact Mix 846 by Ehua, and Soylent Green – No Escape by The Ephemeral Man.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Matthew Suss presents…Joseph Cornell Day.
• At Bandcamp: A guide to Alvin Lucier.
• Loop The Loop (1980) by Young Marble Giants | Q-Loop (1995) by Basic Channel | Loop-Loop (1996) by Michael Rother
Jam III (2021) by Kotaro Hoshiyama.
• “Powell and Pressburger are peerless in realizing what Orson Welles would term plotless scenes—extra bits that ostensibly do not advance the story, but are a story unto themselves, and aggregate such that they’re vital to how we understand the characters who are living the story.” Colin Fleming says thanks for the Archers.
• A short promo for The Incal: The Movie. Hmm, okay. A film that adapted all 300 pages of the original story without changing anything or trying to explain away the weirdness would be worth seeing. But I doubt that’s what this will be. Read the book.
• “If a single word distills the New Wave aesthetic, it’s plastic…ironically flaunted artificiality became a leitmotif of the era.” Simon Reynolds reviews Reversing Into the Future: New Wave Graphics 1977–1990 by Andrew Krivine.
• Mixes of the week: a mix by Princess Diana Of Wales (not that one) for The Wire, and At The Outer Marker Part I, a Grateful Dead Twilight Zone mix by David Colohan.
• The Bloomingdale Story: read the never-before published Patricia Highsmith draft that would become Carol (aka The Price of Salt).
• At Spoon & Tamago: Multiple panels form collaged portraits painted by Kotaro Hoshiyama.
• New music: Pyroclasts F (excerpt) by Sunn O))), and Loop return with Halo.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: William E. Jones Day.
• Plastic Bamboo (1978) by Ryuichi Sakamoto | Barock-Plastik (2000) by Stereolab | Black Plastic (2002) by Ladytron