Weekend links 495

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Angelus Novus (1920) by Paul Klee.

• “Compared to [László] Krasznahorkai’s earlier fiction, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is funnier and more stylistically accessible—despite its length and seemingly endless sentences—but it is also his most unremittingly ruthless work,” says Holly Case. Elsewhere: “Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming may not bring joy or consolation, but reading it is a mesmerisingly strange experience: a slab of late modernist grindcore and a fiercely committed exercise in blacker-than-black absurdity,” says Sukhdev Sandhu.

Zeitraffer (“Time-lapse“) is an exhibition devoted to Tangerine Dream which opens at the Barbican, London, in January. Also coming in January is a new album, Recurring Dreams, by the current iteration of the group which will be available on CD and double vinyl. I was impressed by the last TD release, Quantum Gate, so I’m looking forward to this even if it is only a reworking of popular pieces from the Virgin years.

• RIP Gershon Kingsley, an electronic music pioneer best known for the silly but fun albums he made with Jean-Jacques Perrey, and for being the composer of that evergreen synthesizer novelty, Popcorn.

The first major study in English of ancient Greek sexuality—especially the way relationships between men were both common and celebrated as a perfect embodiment of love—A Problem in Greek Ethics helped set the stage for the modern-day gay rights movement. But it did so surreptitiously, behind closed doors, as required by the times. Symonds printed it privately in 1883; a print run of just 10 copies reduced the risk that it would fall into the wrong hands. The typesetter complained about the content. Symonds circulated it cautiously, to people he trusted or had reason to think would be discreet. Until now, researchers believed that only five copies survived.

Rachel Wallach on the discovery of a sixth copy of John Addington Symonds’ landmark study

Contagious Magick of the Super Abundance is a book of art by the late Ian Johnstone, former partner of John Balance and cover artist for some of the last releases by Coil.

Dennis Cooper‘s favourite fiction, poetry, non-fiction, film, art, and internet of 2019. Thanks again for the link here!

• At the BFI: Hannah McGill on the umbrellas of cinema, and Jasper Sharp on 10 essential films by Yasujiro Ozu.

• Bobby Krlic, aka The Haxan Cloak, talks to Claire Lobenfield about creating the soundtrack for Midsommar.

Joker and Chernobyl composer Hildur Gudnadóttir: “I’m treasure hunting”.

Joshua Rothman on how William Gibson keeps his science fiction real.

Samantha Rose Hill on Walter Benjamin’s last work.

Scientific phenomena photographs of the year.

The Dream Before (1989) by Laurie Anderson | Angel Tech (1994) by The Grid feat. Sheila Chandra | Angel Tech (1994) by Pete Namlook & Bill Laswell

Psyché Rock

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Messe Pour Le Temps Present (1967).

Electro-acoustic composer Pierre Henry probably wouldn’t thank you for calling Psyché Rock his finest moment but it’s a favourite of mine. It’s also his most well-known composition although most people know it as a putative inspiration for Christopher Tyng’s theme to Futurama. The YouTube version here is the original mix. Many other uploads are later remixes which disgracefully downplay the wonderful out-of-time synth shrieks.

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Too Fortiche / Psyché Rock / Teen Tonic / Jericho Jerk (1967). Credited to “Les Yper-Sound”.

Psyché Rock was the second track on Messe Pour Le Temps Present, an album of music composed in part with Michel Colombier. (It was also released on an EP with three other Henry/Colombier tracks, and later as a single in its own right.) The Messe section of the album was the score for a Maurice Béjart dance piece, a small example of which can be seen here. There’s also this silly dance sequence from French TV featuring stripping meter maids.

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Moog Indigo (1970).

Another French composer, Jean-Jacques Perrey,  looked from inner to outer space in 1970 with E.V.A., a track on his Moog Indigo album. This sounds very similar to Psyché Rock, albeit less wild and much more groovy, and may also be an inspiration for the Futurama theme. This train of associations has given E.V.A. a life beyond its album release.

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As to Futurama, there’s a mass of clips and themes of differing lengths out there. I’ll mention Fatboy Slim’s remixes only to say that I’ve never been very enamoured of Quentin’s compositions so the less said about him (and them), the better. Les Jerks Électroniques De La Messe Pour Le Temps Présent Et Musiques Concrètes De Pierre Henry Pour Maurice Béjart was available on CD as recently as 2009 in a package which shows some of the equipment used to produce its sounds.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The music of Igor Wakhévitch