Weekend links 406

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Ways Of Seeing will be the next release by The Advisory Circle on the Ghost Box label, and with metallic gold cover art by Julian House.

• “The structure came to Argento while he was tripping on some good acid, a fevered dream logic piecing everything together. […] ‘People came running out, screaming, telling people in the queue “Don’t go in! Don’t go in! It’s all witches!” It just made everyone in line want to get in even more… it was amazing.'” Ben Cobb talks to Dario Argento about the making of a horror masterpiece, Suspiria.

• Mixes of the week: The Wire Playlist by Mary Halvorson, XLR8R Podcast 535 by Sofie, and Out of the Wood Show 93 by Robin The Fog.

• Death by Balloon: Chris Mautner on the horrifying and hilarious world of comic artist Junji Ito.

Look, any honest estimation of the new translation, by Michael Hofmann, of Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz from NYRB Classics is bound to begin with duteous piety, lauding it, since it is a one-and-done masterpiece that’s basically impossible to oversell, as (why not) the single biggest event in publishing in a lifetime, a crucial refurbishment of something English-language readers have been missing out on for a century, and a long-missing piece of Modernism’s ponderous jigsaw. All of which is the case of course. But when we’re talking about a dense, all-but-untranslatable Weimar-era novel, whose only point of reference for Anglophone audiences until now has been Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s meticulous fifteen-hour adaptation from 1980 (one heck of a tease) it feels important to attempt a slight rescue from its own forbidding reputation, because Alexanderplatz is less a book than a living thing, and one that joyously resists the dust heap of bourgeois literary scholarship with its every line.

JW McCormack on the new translation of Alfred Döblin’s Modernist classic

Section 28 protesters 30 years on: “We were arrested and put in a cell up by Big Ben”.

Angelique Kidjo talks reinventing Talking Heads’ Remain In Light on new LP.

• The hidden lives of gay men in the Middle East: photographs by Hoda Afshar.

Al Pacino’s journey with Wilde’s Salomé.

Tenebrous Kate

• Are You Seeing (1969) by Ora | Seeing Out The Angel (1981) by Simple Minds | Sine Seeing (2014) by The Advisory Circle

Weekend links 377

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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

Weekend links 318

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The Meaning of Life by Alice Wellinger.

• A Kickstarter for A Hidden Landscape Once A Week edited by Mark Sinker: “How UK music-writing became a space for unruly curiosity, in the words of those who made it happen”.

• RIP Steven Young, one of the musicians in a cult group of mine, Colourbox, and the “S” in M|A|R|R|S, creators of Pump Up The Volume in 1987.

• At Greydogtales: The Pale Brown Thing & A Dose of De Quincy—Fritz Leiber, Dario Argento, Megapolisomancy, and The Three Mothers.

Pye Corner Audio lists some influences. Zones by Head Technician, another Martin Jenkins project, has just been reissued on vinyl.

• Mixes of the week: The Middle Eastern & African playlist For July by John Doran, and a Pye Corner Audio mix for 20jazzfunkgreats.

Evan Kindley on how the Proust Questionnaire went from literary curio to prestige personality quiz.

• To Surprise a Voice: Max Nelson on the subtitling and translation of foreign-language films.

• How the ’70s dethroned the ’60s as popular music’s Golden Age: Judy Berman investigates.

• “It puts a spell on people.” Ryan Gilbey on Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon.

• “Dennis Cooper fears censorship as Google erases blog without warning.”

Charlie Kaufman on freedom, the future, and the failure of Anomalisa.

Danny Heitman on why Nabokov’s Speak, Memory still speaks to us.

Daphne Oram‘s radical turntable experiments finally come to life.

Adam Kirsch on Walter Benjamin’s genius for surreal visions.

Shotgun (1983) by Colourbox | Baby I Love You So (1986) by Colourbox | Looks Like We’re Shy One Horse/Shoot Out (1986) by Colourbox

Weekend links 290

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The Royal Mint celebrates 400 years of William Shakespeare with new £2 coins. The “Tragedies” design gives Britain the Gothiest coin of all time.

• “I hate successful films that travel on an easy wave of ‘good taste’: for me, that is simply anti-culture.” Cinematographer Luciano Tovoli talks to Alexandra Heller-Nicholas about photographing Dario Argento’s masterwork, Suspiria.

• Mixes of the week: Für die Liebe II, an hour of ambient drift by Matthew Dekay, and Carwyn Ellis Mixtape No. 354 by The Voice Of Cassandre.

• Americans in Europe: Frances Mayes on the enduring mystique of the Venetian lagoon, and David Farley on the trail of Kafka in Prague.

“We’d read that Brion Gysin and William Burroughs had played around with some scientific equipment from Columbia University,” [Jim] Jarmusch recalls. It was “some kind of strobe light that they claimed, by placing eidetic pulses on the outside of your eyelids, could cause states of hallucination and trance. We found out how to check out this machine and experimented with … not fantastic results! In a way though, Luc [Sante] channels ghosts: he’s able to imagine and mentally reconstruct events and places from the past and weave them into stories. He can cross influences like Blaise Cendrars and JG Ballard with James M Cain and Raymond Roussel.”

[…]

If New York celebrates amnesia, perpetual transformation, accelerated obsolescence – and offers newcomers a blank slate, a chance to be born again – then Sante offers a mordantly heretical vision of the city. For him it’s full of layers and depths, of echoes and eerie reverberations, of occult whispers. “The tech crowd thinks that we can’t afford the past to be sitting on our shoulders. It’s a burden, a dead weight. We’ve got to innovate constantly. We have to … disrupt. But the 20th century is littered with valuable stuff – writers, ideas, daily certainties – that gets discarded and that needs to be picked up and looked at again.”

Sukhdev Sandhu profiles writer Luc Sante

The Edge Question for 2016: What do you consider the most interesting recent (scientific) news? What makes it important?

Bradley L. Garrett’s foreword for Secret Tunnels of England: Folklore and Fact (2015), a book by Antony Clayton.

Caitlin R. Green on the monstrous landscape of medieval Lincolnshire.

Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan by Brian Eno.

Arche (live, 2013) by Master Musicians of Bukkake.

A Year In The Country returns for another year.

Kafka (1982) by Masami Tsuchiya | Manhattan (1984) by Seigen Ono | Tunnel (1997) by Biosphere

Weekend links 285

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Some of the art from my collage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray appears on the cover of The Graphic Canon: Volume 2, published this month in a German edition by Verlag Galiani. Out next month (although possibly available now) is the same book in a Brazilian edition from Boitempo Editorial. One of the disappointments this year was having to abandon plans to contribute to Russ Kick’s forthcoming graphic canon of crime fiction. I was overstretched during the summer, and what with projects slipping their deadlines and the trip to Providence there wasn’t any time left for other things.

• For those who missed the first edition, a second and final expanded edition of the Penda’s Fen study/celebration The Edge Is Where The Centre Is.

• Whipping up a storm: how Robert Mapplethorpe shocked America; Kevin Moore on the photographer’s Perfect Moment exhibition.

In the best scenario, metaphysical art distributes the work of understanding among cultural traditions and symbolic systems, and it is along these lines that Carrington’s work has been described as a productive combination of Mexican, Egyptian, Hebrew, Celtic, Greek, and Mesopotamian elements. Her paintings, plays, and stories mix the symbols of alchemy, astrology, Tarot, herbalism, magic, witchcraft, and a personal iconography.

Leif Schenstead-Harris on the life, art and fiction of Leonora Carrington

• Mixes of the week: Hieroglyphic Being collects favourite cosmic jazz of the 1970s; NTS Radio presents an hour of Annette Peacock.

• At Kill Your Darlings: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas enthuses about Dario Argento’s delirious masterwork, Suspiria.

Pye Corner Audio releases a new album (only limited vinyl at the moment—boooo!) and remixes Stealing Sheep.

• The Trip Planners: Emily Witt meets the founders behind Erowid, the online drug encyclopedia.

Woven Processional (1985), music on the Long String Instrument by Ellen Fullman.

• “The Paris attacks prove Charlie Hebdo’s critics wrong,” says Dorian Lynskey.

• Photographs by Danila Tkachenko of abandoned Soviet technology.

Come Wander With Me / Deliverance by Anna von Hausswolff.

• The collages of Guy Maddin.

CAN HALEN

Let’s Take A Trip (1965) by Godfrey | Trip On An Orange Bicycle (1968) by The Orange Bicycle | Last Trip (1968) by We Who Are