Weekend links 417

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Cover of How To Destroy Angels (Remixes And Re-Recordings) (1992) by Coil. Artwork: Fine Balance (1986) by Derek Jarman.

• It’s that man again: “According to the late great short story writer Robert Aickman, the problem with our excessively modern world is not that it is strange, but that it is not strange enough.” Scott Bradfield on a writer who can no longer be described as neglected or overlooked.

• Coil may have expired over a decade ago after the death of John Balance but the posthumous releases persist. Latest of these is How To Destroy Angels, an album-length presentation of music (or audio) by Coil and Zos Kia (John Gosling) from 1983/84.

• “Two decades ago, a renowned professor promised to produce a flawless version of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated novels: Ulysses. Then he disappeared.” The Strange Case of the Missing Joyce Scholar.

• At Dangerous Minds: The Fool: The Dutch artists who worked for The Beatles (and made their own freak folk masterpiece). Previously here: The art of Marijke Koger.

• RIP Nick Knox. The Cramps were always best when playing live, as here in 1986 when they performed songs from A Date With Elvis on Channel 4’s The Tube.

• “The McKenzie Tapes is a collection of live audio recordings from some of New York City-area most prominent music venues of the 1980s and 1990s.”

• Beyond the veil: two extracts from Death by Anna Croissant-Rust, one of two new books from Rixdorf Editions.

• Impulse Responses: composer Deru on scoring with the Cristal Baschet.

Fleshback: Queer Raving in Manchester’s Twilight Zone Chapter 1–3.

• “Puzzler says he has cracked code to stolen Belgian masterpiece.”

• Mix of the week: FACT mix 657 by Beatrice Dillon.

Jenzeits

Death Have Mercy (1959) by Vera Hall | Oh Death (1964) by Dock Boggs | Oh Death (1967) by Kaleidoscope

Weekend links 350

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Transition H50 (2016) by Jessica Eaton.

• One of my weekend posts in 2012 contained details about Taking Tiger Mountain, a low-budget feature film put together in 1983 by Tom Huckabee using footage originally shot in Tangier and Wales in the 1970s. Huckabee’s film is a strange “experimental” work of science fiction, based in part on William Burroughs’ Blade Runner script (no relation to the Ridley Scott film apart from the title), and described here as “a psychotropic apocalyptic odyssey”. The most notable aspect of the film for many will be the presence of a young Bill Paxton in the lead role, something I was reminded of when Paxton’s death was announced earlier this week. Five years ago there was only a short clip of Taking Tiger Mountain available on YouTube but since then a full copy has appeared; watch it here while you can. (The widescreen frame is cropped, and the sound is all in one channel but it’s still watchable.) Tom Huckabee talked about the film’s production (and the Burroughs connections) to Beatdom. A curio that deserves wider attention.

• “With Biller, the references come thick and fast. In The Love Witch, she channels, among others, 50s Hitchcock, Douglas Sirk’s lurid lushness, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s deadpan gaze, Nicholas Ray’s poetry, Sam Fuller’s tabloid style and Todd Haynes’s revisionist sexual politics. […] Then add the Technicolor, widescreen, haute-Hollywood “women’s pictures” of the 50s, a touch of Hammer Studios, The Wicker Man, Rosemary’s Baby and any number of studio melodramas and musicals.” John Patterson talks to director Anna Biller about her new film, The Love Witch.

• Mix of the week is the Anxious Heart Mix by Moon Wiring Club, another excellent blend of electronica, industria and dialogue samples from the outer limits of the televisual sphere. Also of note this week: VF Mix 83, an Adrian Sherwood selection by Pinch, XLR8R Podcast 479 by Chris SSG, and Secret Thirteen Mix 213 by -N.

• “Anthropologically, this was going on all around me: it was amazing and nobody was dealing with it like that, so I just went for it.” Hal Fischer on his photo-art series, Gay Semiotics, which is on display at Project Native Informant, London, until 1st April.

• Coming in May from Luaka Bop, World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the first-ever compilation of Alice Coltrane’s scarce releases on the Avatar Book Institute label.

Cinephilia looks back at Robert Wise and Nelson Gidding’s film of The Andromeda Strain (1971).

• Psychedelic Speed Freak: Remembering the blistering experimentalism of Hideo Ikeezumi.

• More witchery: S. Elizabeth talks to Pam Grossman about art, film and hex power.

• At The Quietus: Harry Sword on the strange world of Surgeon.

Leonor Fini playing cards

The Feathered Tiger (1969) by Kaleidoscope | Taking Tiger Mountain (1974) by Brian Eno | Plain Tiger (1985) by Cocteau Twins

Weekend links 235

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Shadows (1974) by Pawel Nolbert & Lukasz Murgrabia, one of three images recreating Francis Bacon’s Triptych–August 1972.

Breaking the Code (1996), a BBC film by Herbert Wise based on Hugh Whitemore’s stage play about Alan Turing. Wise’s film has been linked here before but it’s relevant again thanks to the release of The Imitation Game. Derek Jacobi played Turing on stage and screen, and Whitemore’s script managed to deal with Turing’s life and work without insulting the man or the intelligence of its audience.

• “…if you listen to A Beacon From Mars by Kaleidoscope or if you listen to some Turkish taxim then something starts happening.” Robert Plant talking to Julian Marszalek about the music that excites him.

• “CGI has become wearingly dull and clichéd. Can its deep weirdness be recovered and filmgoers’ minds stretched again?” asks Jonathan Romney.

The cult of the Thirty-Seven Nats is unique to Burma. […] The junta’s attempts to subdue nat worship had an unintended effect: the role of the nat wife was embraced by an already marginalized group. Homosexuality is illegal in Burma and has been since its British colonizers instituted a late-nineteenth-century ban on “intercourse against the order of nature”. Government restrictions opened a professional vacuum, says scholar Tamara C. Ho. Becoming a nat kadaw offered the achauk—a Burmese term for gay and transgender men—both “a vocation and queer visibility”.

After the Green Death by Will Boast

• “Cat memes and other frivolities aren’t the work of an Internet culture. They’re the work of an American one, ” says Caitlin Dewey.

• Hear the cavernous reverb of Berlin’s Kraftwerk captured by Emptyset’s James Ginzburg and Yair Elazar Glotman.

• Take part in the first #psychedelicpride photoshoot in central London on Saturday, December 13th.

• Mix of the week: FACT Mix 470 by Jonny Trunk who also appears in the list of vinyl hoarders below.

• Queer Noise: Abigail Ward on the history of LGBT music and club culture in Manchester.

More photos of the steampunk exhibition at 751 D-Park, Beijing, China.

A chronological list of synth scores & soundtracks.

• Animated photography by Julien Douvier.

• A Third Ear Band archive at SoundCloud.

The secret lives of vinyl hoarders.

Taxim (1968) by Kaleidoscope | Water (1970) by Third Ear Band | Love Is The Devil (1998) by Ryuichi Sakamoto

Weekend links 205

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King’s Cloak (2012) by Alice Lin.

• The week in Finnegans Wake: illustrations by John Vernon Lord for a new Folio Society edition; The Guardian‘s review from 1939; Christina Scholz explores Joyce’s use of the Ant and the Grasshopper fable; Sheng Yun wonders when Dai Congrong will compete the first Chinese translation of the book; Stephanie Boland on riverrun, the latest theatrical adaptation.

• It’s Robert Aickman‘s centenary year so Faber are reissuing several volumes of his peerless “strange stories”. And it’s good to see the great Clark Ashton Smith finally receive the blessing of Penguin Classics.

• The Teenage Boyfriend of the Beat Generation: Marcus Ewart slept with Allen Ginsberg (who showed him how to give a proper blowjob), and had an eight-year relationship with William Burroughs.

Yet another advocate of shorter work time was JS Mill. He dismissed the ‘gospel of work’ proposed by Thomas Carlyle in part because it drew a veil over the real costs of work, including slave work that Carlyle sought to defend. Instead, Mill advocated a ‘gospel of leisure’, arguing that technology should be used to curtail work time as far as possible. This stress on technology as a means to shorten work time was later to feature in Bert­rand Russell’s 1932 essay, ‘In Praise of Idleness’.

David Spencer on The Case for Working Less

• More Steve Moore memorials: Mitch Jenkins put the pages from Unearthing online, while Pádraig Ó Méalóid posted a personal appreciation at The Beat.

Linda Marsa on how psychedelics are helping cancer patients deal with their illness.

• The Weird Album: art by Enrique Alcatena (including some Lovecraftian pieces).

• Didgeridoom: Director Ted Kotcheff talks to Robert Barry about Wake in Fright.

The Jealous God (1985), a comic strip by Alejandro Jodorowsky & Silvio Cadelo.

• The Dune in Your Head: Ethan Gilsdorf on the greatest SF film never made.

50 minutes of Kraftwerk on Rockpalast in 1970. Astonishing.

• At 50 Watts: Sheet-music covers from Sweden in the 1920s.

Harvard discovers old library books bound in human skin.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in England and Wales.

Wyrd Daze has reached issue 5.

Kaleidoscopes at Pinterest.

Flight From Ashiya (live on TV! 1967?) by Kaleidoscope (UK) | Lie To Me (1969) by Kaleidoscope (US) | Kaleidoscope (1984) by The Rain Parade

Ballet Mécanique

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A film to round off a week of connected posts. Ballet Mécanique (1924) is more Dada than Surrealist if you want to get strict about the taxonomy, but the latter movement grew out of the former, and this short experiment by Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy is a pioneering piece of work however it’s labelled. The film was photographed by Man Ray who used a variety of techniques including animation and kaleidoscope shots to present a “ballet” of machine parts and kitchen utensils. Some of the kaleidoscope images are so close to the opening shots of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) you have to wonder whether a viewing of this gave Lang ideas.

Ballet Mécanique has been provided with many scores over the years, from player pianos and sirens to more traditional arrangements. The copy at the Internet Archive has a contemporary score but like all silent films this can always be replaced with music of your own choosing.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Dreams That Money Can Buy
La femme 100 têtes by Eric Duvivier
Metropolis!
Entr’acte by René Clair