Weekend links 498

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The Sentinel 280, a car design by Syd Mead from 1964.

• “Boris Dolgov did not exist. The man who bore that name may have existed, but there never was a man in the United States with that name until 1956, too late for Weird Tales.” Teller of Weird Tales on the mysterious identity of a magazine artist.

• Saying goodbye to 2019 also meant saying farewell to Vaughan Oliver, Neil Innes and Syd Mead. Related: Vaughan Oliver at Discogs; I’m The Urban Spaceman; a look back at Syd Mead’s vehicle designs.

Lanre Bakare on how ambient music became cool. (Again. This begs the question of when it became uncool, especially when a ten-year-old Brian Eno piece about “the death of uncool” is being quoted.)

Westerners interpreted the peyote experience very differently from the practitioners of the peyote religion, where the focus was “ritual, song and prayer, and to dissect one’s private sensations was to miss the point”. Writers such as Havelock Ellis, who published an essay on his peyote experiences in the Lancet in 1897 (it’s likely that he also administered the substance to his friends W.B. Yeats and Arthur Symons), instead tended to focus on its visual effects. Ellis described “the brilliance, delicacy and variety of the colours” and “their lovely and various textures”. Peyote reached Europe in tandem with the X-ray, cinema and electric lights, Jay notes, and “nothing delighted the eye of the mescal eater so much as the new electrical sublime”.

Emily Witt reviewing Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic by Mike Jay

Peter Bradshaw takes on the thankless task of ranking Federico Fellini’s feature films.

Geoff Manaugh on when Russia and America coöperated to avert a Y2K apocalypse.

• “Music is an ideal medium for interstellar communication,” says Daniel Oberhaus.

Keith Allison on Karel Zeman, a creator of remarkable cinematic fantasies.

•  Japanese Designer New Year’s Cards of 2020.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Vera Chytilová Day.

2020 in public domain.

Sentinel (1992) by Mike Oldfield | Sentinels (2001) by Cyclobe | Sentinel (2004) by Transglobal Underground

Weekend links 384

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Sultans of Swing by Samantha Muljat.

• Pain & Pleasure, Indivisible: Mat Colegate talks to Stephen Thrower (Coil, Cyclobe) about the meeting between Coil and Clive Barker that would have led to Coil scoring Barker’s Hellraiser if the studio hadn’t rejected the music.

• “From Arsedestroyer to Zoogz Rift: 50 underground albums you’ve never heard of” The usual presumption—I’ve been listening to The Groundhogs since the mid-1980s—but it’s a good list.

• More magazines at the Internet Archive: an incomplete run of British science-fiction monthly Interzone; and a complete (?) run of the film magazine for horror (and gore) obsessives, Fangoria.

• “…it’s background music, is what it is. But there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m very proud of it.” John Carpenter discussing his soundtrack music and his new album, Anthology.

• Mixes of the week: Aral Mix 05 by Ellen Arkbro, Secret Thirteen Mix 234 by FOQL, and Samhain Séance Six: Triffid Witch by The Ephemeral Man.

• Dallas Killers Club: Nicholson Baker reads a stack of books about the Kennedy assassinations then draws his own conclusions.

Michael Flanagan on searching for LGBT histories of Neopaganism, the paranormal and the occult in San Francisco.

• At Lounge Books: author Amelia Mangan on horror, old and new, and her favourite things.

• At Monoskop: the (almost) complete works of James Joyce in one convenient epub.

Jillian Steinhauer on Duchamp’s last riddle.

Hell Raiser (1973) by Sweet | Hell’s Bells (1989) by Rhythm Devils | Hell’s Winter (2011) by Earth

Collagescapes

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Oliver Wasow‘s artwork for It’s All Around You (2004), an album by US group Tortoise, contains some fine examples of disjunctive (Surrealist, if you must) collage landscapes. This is a sub-genre of collage that I’ve always enjoyed, especially when it’s carefully done, and I was wondering recently whether Wasow had done anything similar for other groups. Discogs has a few more examples, one of which looks like something from the masters of the photo-collage cover, Hipgnosis.

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But searching was curtailed when I remembered a much earlier example of the disjunctive collagescape on the cover of Sort Of (1972) by Slapp Happy. I’d forgotten all about this superb piece by avant-garde filmmaker David Larcher which really needs to be seen on a 12-inch sleeve; this is one of those collages where the combination of careful composition, equalised light and shade, and concealed edges makes the picture seem at first glance like an ordinary photograph. Whether Larcher has produced more work of this quality, I can’t say. Another of his collages can be found at The Quietus where Cyclobe enthuse about his films. For more elaborate collagescapes you have to look elsewhere, to one of the prime exponents of the technique, Tsunehisa Kimura.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive

Weekend links 263

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Dancing Horse (1972) by Tadashi Nakayama.

• The Wounded Galaxies Festival of Experimental Media takes place in Bloomington, Indiana, on October 7–11, 2015. The event is an offshoot of the earlier Burroughs Century, and the phrase “wounded galaxies” is one of Burroughs’ own. It’s also the partial title of Wounded Galaxies Tap At The Window, the most recent album by Cyclobe who will be performing at the festival. Cyclobe’s Stephen Thrower will be in London later this month for the launch of his new book, Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco, and a screening of Franco’s Vampyros Lesbos (1971).

• Gallery sites showcasing erotic art are often coy about the details of the work they’re exhibiting. That’s not the case with Artists Space, NYC, whose Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play is running from June 14–August 23, 2015.

• “I just loved the songs, and I didn’t mind the age in their voices, and I didn’t mind the fact that they were unaccompanied, it didn’t matter.” Shirley Collins talking to Ben Graham about her love of English folk music.

The more important question is what do we do with psychedelia now? I think the drugs themselves and the experiences they produce in individuals and for society are too important and vital to be pigeon-holed and taken hold of by a bloodthirsty media that always aims to reduce all experience to a few simple straplines for improved consumerism.

Dr Ben Sessa talking to Barnaby Smith about psychedelic drugs. Breaking Convention 2015, the Third International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness, takes place at the University of Greenwich next month.

• “…if someone opens a door or if sunlight falls on them they shoot off the grid and suddenly you have a roomful of what sounds like sick bagpipes.” Will Gregory on the physicality of Moog synthesizers.

• Mixes of the week: The Necromancer-Queens of Neverland, an exotic collection by SeraphicManta, Secret Thirteen Mix 156 by Asusu, and an Ornette Coleman playlist.

• “In 2015, the thought of anything as incendiary as Scum or Made in Britain turning up on TV just seems bizarre.” Danny Leigh on the great Alan Clarke.

• More psychedelia: ‘Art That Transcends‘, my article for Communication Arts, has been posted on the magazine’s website.

Phantasmaphile recommends Thus Were Their Faces, a collection of short stories by Silvina Ocampo.

Earth filmed playing live in Brooklyn, NY, September 24, 2014. The full set, and a great performance.

• At Dangerous Minds: “How Far Will You Go?” Meet Smokey, the outrageously gay 70s cult rockers.

Peter Strickland on six films that fed into The Duke of Burgundy.

Things I Found In Records

Christopher Lee sings!

Polly On The Shore (1970) by Shirley & Dolly Collins | The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood (1972) by Sandy Denny | The Banks of Red Roses (1988) by June Tabor

A mix for Halloween: Unheimlich Manoeuvres

Unheimlich Manoeuvres by Feuilleton on Mixcloud

Presenting the ninth Halloween playlist, and another mix of my own. The one last year was pretty abrasive so this year I’ve put together something that’s more concerned with atmospherics and dynamics than jangling the nerves. There’s some continuity in the presence of Roly Porter who brought things to a thundering conclusion last year and does the same here with the final piece from his tremendous Life Cycle Of A Massive Star.

Some of the other music is a bit more obscure than usual, even by my standards. A few people will know that Lull is the name used by Napalm Death’s Mick Harris when fashioning doomy ambience; The House In The Woods is Martin Jenkins aka The Head Technician from Pye Corner Audio; Isnaj Dui is British musician Katie English; Mandible Chatter is (or was) a US duo, Grant Miller & Neville Harson who recorded several uncategorisable albums in the 1990s. Blessings From The Kingdom Of Silence is from their fifth release Food For The Moon (1997), an album I picked up secondhand which I’m surprised to find was a limited edition of 100 copies. As a consequence you may not hear this piece elsewhere.

As before, the tracklist is on the Mixcloud page but I’m repeating it here with dates added for each recording.

Jerzy MaksymiukTitle music from ‘The Hourglass Sanatorium’ (1973)
CyclobeWounded Galaxies Tap At The Window (2010)
Larry Sider & Lech JankowskiSounds & music from ‘Street of Crocodiles’ (1986)
LullThoughts (1994)
LustmordThe Cell (2002)
Robin Guthrie & Harold BuddHalloween from ‘Mysterious Skin’ (2005)
Popol VuhOn The Way from ‘Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night’ (1979)
The House In The WoodsDark Lanterns (2013)
Sussan DeyhimPossessed (2008)
Isnaj DuiNorth (2013)
Mandible ChatterBlessings From The Kingdom Of Silence (1997)
Paul SchützeThe Rapture Of The Drowning (1993)
Roly PorterGiant (2013)

Previously on { feuilleton }
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