Weekend links 431

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Postcard collage by Alex Eckman-Lawn.

• “He deserves to be a major figure not only in the history of Japanese music, but in popular music writ large.” Geeta Dayal on Haruomi Hosono, a musician whose solo albums from the 1970s are reissued this month by Light In The Attic.

Erica X Eisen reviews Black Light: Secret Traditions in Art since the 1950s, an exhibition of occult art at the Barcelona Contemporary Culture Centre. Related: Gary Lachman‘s talk from the same exhibition.

• Mixes of the week: Jesús Bacalão’s Light Entertainment Programme 2, Secret Thirteen Mix 265 by Alexander Tucker, and FACT Mix 672 by Rian Treanor.

Whenever horror is criticised, it is criticised for staging a dark carnival of physicality. Perhaps the only sort of media we moralise more than we do horror is that other mainliner of bodily response, pornography.

Horror’s historical ghettoisation has meant that weightier, smarter horror reliably gets labelled as something else. The finest films of our current golden age have been dubbed “elevated horror” and “post-horror”. In literary circles, works of horror seen as sufficiently cerebral get relabelled “Gothic”. It’s certainly true that great horror is always about more than gore. But we should be careful not to gentrify the genre by cleansing it of everything but the philosophy.

MM Owen on the perennial attractions of a perennially despised genre

• “Netflix is a woeful service,” says Jeremy Allen who prefers DVD/Blu-ray to streaming video (as do I). Related: The problem with film aspect ratio on Netflix.

• The Thought Gang album, a Twin Peaks-related collaboration between David Lynch & Angelo Badalamenti from 1993, will be released next month.

Tangerine Dream: Sound From Another World: a TV documentary from 2016. In German but with auto-translated subtitles.

The Thing’s Incredible! The Secret Origins of Weird Tales by John Locke.

Haute Macabre Staff Favorites: Tarot Decks

First Light (1980) by Harold Budd & Brian Eno | Blue Light (1993) by Mazzy Star | Black Light (1994) by Material

A mix for Halloween: Teatro Grottesco

Teatro Grottesco by Feuilleton on Mixcloud

Presenting the tenth Halloween playlist, and another mix of my own. This year the compilation honours the recent Penguin collection of stories by Thomas Ligotti, hence the title and dedication. Whether a Ligotti theme can be perceived in the arrangement depends on the familiarity of the listener with Ligotti’s brand of weird fiction, but even if the mix communicates little in this direction having something to aim for helped me narrow the focus. The presence of David Lynch-related pieces is justified by Ligotti’s inclusion in a collection of fiction inspired by Lynch’s films.

As to some of the other selections: French composer Igor Wakhévitch is a {feuilleton} favourite whose orchestral works are unique, bizarre and often disturbing; Jean-Claude Eloy is another French composer who (like Tod Dockstader) has used electronics to create doom-laden dronescapes; and the piece by Sinoia Caves is an extract from the nightmarish bad-trip sequence in Beyond the Black Rainbow, a film directed by Panos Cosmatos.

Recent changes at Mixcloud mean that listeners can no longer see a tracklist before playback so here’s the detail:

Alan R. Splet, David Lynch, Ann KroeberTextured Night Wind Gently Rises And Falls (2000)
Igor WakhévitchErgon (1970)
CoilCardinal Points (1988)
Tod DockstaderMyst (2005)
Julee CruiseInto The Night (1989)
Jean-Claude EloyFushike-e (1er Extrait) (1979)
Mica LeviLonely Void (2014)
Stars Of The LidTaphead (1996)
Belbury PolyA Thin Place (2005)
Einstürzende NeubautenArmenia (1983)
Igor WakhévitchAmenthi (Attente De La Seconde Mort) (1973)
Sinoia Caves1966 – Let The New Age Of Enlightenment Begin (2014)
Angelo BadalamentiDark Mood Woods/The Red Room (2007)
Bohren & Der Club Of GoreThe Art Of Coffins (2002)

Previously on { feuilleton }
A mix for Halloween: Unheimlich Manoeuvres
A mix for Halloween: Ectoplasm Forming
A playlist for Halloween: Hauntology
A playlist for Halloween: Orchestral and electro-acoustic
A playlist for Halloween: Drones and atmospheres
A playlist for Halloween: Voodoo!
Dead on the Dancefloor
Another playlist for Halloween
A playlist for Halloween

Weekend links 256

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Of a Neophyte, and How the Black Art Was Revealed unto Him by the Fiend Asomuel. Aubrey Beardsley for the Pall Mall Magazine, 1893.

• The occult preoccupations of the 1970s appear to be in the ascendant just now. Whether this is mere nostalgia or something in the zeitgeist remains to be seen but BBC Radio 4 aired an hour-long documentary on the subject this weekend entitled Black Aquarius. The guest list implies an inevitable focus on film and television but Matthew Sweet covered a lot of ground, taking in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley, Dennis Wheatley, The Process Church, and Alex Sanders, the public face of British witchcraft in the 1960s and 70s. Earlier this week at AnOther the focus was on Maxine Sanders, High Priestess of the Alexandrian coven and putative fashion icon even though she was generally photographed naked. Maxine and husband Alex are unavoidable when reading about UK occultism in the 1970s; among other things they were occult advisors to Satanic rock band Black Widow, and also released an album of their own in 1970, A Witch Is Born. Of more interest is Sacrifice by Black Widow, a 55-minute concert for German TV’s Beat Club.

• Jacques Rivette’s OUT 1 (1971) is a film more talked about than seen, in part because of a running time that exceeds 12 hours. So news of a Blu-ray release later this year is very welcome.

• “Bruce LaBruce: taking zombie porn and gay homophobic skinheads to MoMA”. The director goes through his filmography with Nadja Sayej.

• “Art is anarchistic, and when it becomes categorized, it loses impact.” RIP Bernard Stollman, founder of the amazing ESP-Disk record label.

• Magickal (and pseudonymous) synth music by Mort Garson: Black Mass (1971) by Lucifer, and The Unexplained (1975) by Ataraxia.

Kevin Titterton on Angelo Badalamenti and the soundtrack that made Twin Peaks.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 149 by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe.

Rare Decay, a free bonus track from Aurora by Ben Frost.

Alan Garner is celebrated in a new collection, First Light.

• At Dangerous Minds: The Residents’ radio special, 1977.

Black Sabbath (1969) by Coven | Black Sabbath (1970) by Black Sabbath | Her Lips Were Wet With Venom (Satan Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas 1 & 2) (2006) by Boris & Sunn O)))

Night Music in two parts

Night Music One by Feuilleton on Mixcloud

Night Music I
The Hafler Trio – Soundtrack To “Alternation, Perception, And Resistance” — A Comprehension Exercise (1985)
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II: Untitled 4/1 (Hankie) (1994)
Michael Brook – Earth Floor (1985)
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II: Untitled 10/1 (Tree) (1994)
Biosphere – Startoucher (1994)
Black Lung – Rex 84 (1995)
Biosphere – Biosphere (1992)
Holger Czukay – Radio In An Hourglass (1993)
Rapoon – Rains (1993)
Clock DVA – Memories Of Sound (1992)

Night Music Two by Feuilleton on Mixcloud

Night Music II
Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia – Dust (At The Crossroads) (1994)
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II: Untitled 2/2 (Parallel Stripes) (1994)
Harold Budd – The Gunfighter (1986)
Divination – Errata (1993)
Coil – Dismal Orb (1992)
Biosphere – Mir (1994)
David Toop and Max Eastley – Rising Up Before Us Like Things (1994)
Angelo Badalamenti – Night Life In Twin Peaks (1990)
Coil – The Sleeper II (1992)
Jon Hassell – Empire II (1983)
The Grid – Virtual (1990)
Biosphere – En-trance (1994)

After signing up to Mixcloud earlier this year I’ve only managed to compile one mix so here’s an unseasonal attempt to compensate.

Night Music was a bona fide mix on cassette tape that I put together in 1994, intended as a response to Kevin Martin’s double-disc compilation from the same year, Ambient 4: Isolationism. The three previous entries in Virgin’s Ambient… series were fairly routine reworkings of the label’s back catalogue, collections of more-or-less ambient material with light electronica. Martin’s compilation concentrated on the darker, doomier end of the musical spectrum, and also pulled in music from outside the Virgin fold. It arrived as a considerable tonic after several years of diluted techno and psychedelic clichés being marketed as “ambient”.

Night Music is much more of a genuine DJ mix than Ectoplasm Forming. I didn’t have any proper mixing equipment at the time so had to record every other track onto stereo videotape then play back the tape while fading the rest of the tracks in and out from the CD player. The whole thing was recorded live to a C-100 cassette. Rather than run the mix as a single track I’ve kept the two sides separate; both sides were programmed with beginnings and endings so work better this way. I transferred the mix to CD several years ago, and still listen to it every so often. There’s a little too much Biosphere but apart from that I wouldn’t alter the track list.

As usual I’ll be away for a few days so the { feuilleton } archive feature will be activated to summon posts from the past below this one. Enjoy your wassail.

Previously on { feuilleton }
A mix for Halloween: Ectoplasm Forming

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore

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Black Earth by Bohren & Der Club Of Gore.

How to sustain the atmosphere of something you’ve enjoyed without flogging the work itself to death by repeated viewing? In the case of Twin Peaks, the subject of yesterday’s post, you can indulge yourself with spin-off merchandise like this Garmonbozia T-shirt. Or you could try playing the Twin Peaks Murder Mystery Board Game. I own the latter and while it provides some amusement the reduction of the first season’s enigmas to a set of board game rules doesn’t really work that well. Better by far are the two soundtrack CDs by Angelo Badalamenti, Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me, and the first Julee Cruise album, Floating Into The Night. And if that’s still not enough, there’s always Bohren & Der Club Of Gore.

Bohren… are a German “doom jazz” outfit whose origins in the hardcore scene and their enthusiasm for Black Sabbath explains both their name and the appearance of CD covers like the one for Black Earth (2002). But the music within contradicts all expectations. I was first alerted to them a few years ago when I saw them described as being “like the Twin Peaks soundtrack”. An initial “yeah, sure…” scepticism crumbled upon hearing their third album, Sunset Mission (2000), which really does sound like a continuation of Angelo Badalamenti’s slow, dark jazz scores. The fourth album, Black Earth, is better in many ways since it sounds less derivative, further reducing the rhythms to a slow crawl in the manner of doom metal band Earth. In place of the riffs of the doom-meisters you get a sullen saxophone wailing in the dark. Black Earth was followed by the even more minimal Geisterfaust (2005) which happens to have a blue flower on its cover. Coincidence or not? Their most recent album, Dolores (2008), lets some light return with an organ and vibraphone augmenting the slow evolution of each piece. Bohren & Der Club Of Gore are a great band who deserve wider recognition. If you’re a Lynch enthusiast then Sunset Mission and Black Earth are the ones to go for, I’ve been playing them continually all week.

MySpace page
Prowler | Midnight Black Earth

Previously on { feuilleton }
Through the darkness of future pasts
Earth in Manchester