Weekend links 543

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Adolph Sutro’s Cliff House in a Storm (c. 1900) by Tsunekichi Imai.

• Good to see a profile of Wendy Carlos, and to hear that she’s still working even though all her albums (to which she owns the rights) have been unavailable for the past two decades. I’d be wary of praising Switched-On Bach too much to avoid giving new listeners a wrong impression. The album was a breakthrough in 1968 but was quickly improved upon by The Well-Tempered Synthesizer (1969) and Switched-On Bach II (1973). And my two favourites, A Clockwork Orange – The Complete Original Score (1972) and the double-disc ambient album, Sonic Seasonings (1972), are superior to both.

• “[Sandy Pearlman] told me that one of the main inspirations was HP Lovecraft. I said, ‘Oh, which of his books?’ He said, ‘You know, the Cthulhu Mythos stories or At The Mountains Of Madness, any of those.'” Albert Bouchard, formerly of Blue Öyster Cult, talks to Edwin Pouncey about BÖC’s occult-themed concept album, Imaginos (1988), and his affiliated opus, Re Imaginos.

• More electronica: Jo Hutton talks to Caroline Catz, director of the “experimental documentary” Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes.

• At the V&A blog Clive Hicks-Jenkins talks to Rebecca Law about his award-winning illustrations for Hansel and Gretel: A Nightmare in Eight Scenes.

• New music: Archaeopteryx is a new album by Monolake; What’s Goin’ On is a further preview of the forthcoming Cabaret Voltaire album, Shadow Of Fear.

Celebrating A Voyage to Arcturus: details of two online events to mark the centenary year of David Lindsay’s novel.

• “Streaming platforms aren’t helping musicians – and things are only getting worse,” says Evet Jean.

• At Spoon & Tamago: the cyberpunk, Showa retro aesthetic of anime Akudama Drive.

• At A Year In The Country: a deep dive into the world of Bagpuss.

Sinister Sounds of the Solar System by NASA on SoundCloud.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Shirley Clarke Day.

Mary Lattimore‘s favourite albums.

• Solaris, Part I: Bach (1972) by Edward Artemiev | Bach Is Dead (1978) by The Residents | Switch On Bach (1981) by Moderne

Weekend links 451

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Manifold (2015), a painting by Samantha Keely Smith which will appear in April on the cover of Life Metal, a new album by Sunn O))).

• At Expanding Mind: Professor and queer historian Heather Lukes talks with Erik Davis about Silver Lake riots, gay bikers, house ball scenes, the nostalgia for repression, and the joys and challenges of working on the online archive The Grit and Glamour of Queer LA Subculture.

A Stroke of Ingenious: Chatting Fear and Fantasy with Darius Hinks.  Also this week, Darius Hinks’ The Ingenious (for which I created the cover art) was featured in a Barnes & Noble list of seven attractive (if hazardous) fantastic cities.

• “From the late ’60s and through the ’70s broadcasters invested in home-grown kids’ television, and much of it was decidedly weird.” Paul Walsh on the vanished, thought-provoking strangeness of British TV.

That late surrealism still needs rescuing by curators and critics is perhaps not a sign of its defeat but of the breadth and pervasiveness of its triumph. Could we have Pablo Picasso or Jackson Pollock without surrealism? What about David Lynch, JG Ballard or Angela Carter? As an influence, it’s easy to give [Dorothy Tanning] a crucial place in the canon of feminist art. Louise Bourgeois was born just a year later than Tanning but only started to sew after Tanning had exhibited her first sculptures.

Lara Fiegel on the weird, wild world of Dorothea Tanning

After its own death / Walking in a spiral towards the house by Nivhek, a new album from Liz Harris (Grouper) “recorded using Mellotron, guitar, field recordings, tapes, and broken FX pedals”.

• At Dangerous Minds: Michael Rother (Neu!/Harmonia) on the forthcoming reissue of his solo albums from the 1970s.

Clesse by Clesse, another pseudonymous musical project by Jon Brooks (The Advisory Council et al).

• After Dark: The art of life at night—and in new lights by Francine Prose.

Elena Lazic on where to begin with Gaspar Noé.

• Mix of the week: Headlands by David Colohan.

Steven Heller‘s confessions of a letterhead.

• RIP Albert Finney.

• Void (2009) by Monolake | Void (2013) by Emptyset | Void (2014) by The Bug feat. Liz Harris

Weekend links 429

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• Julia Holter’s next album, Aviary, will arrive next month with a cover design bearing astrological symbols (a cryptic message?) and what looks like a grimoire page in the background, although I may be reading too much into this. Whatever the esoterics signify, the album is a double, and going by the sound of new song I Shall Love 2 it’s going to be a good one. Aviary will be released on 26th October just in time for the witch season.

Donna Ferguson talks to Oscar Wilde’s grandson, Merlin Holland, about the manuscript for The Picture of Dorian Gray which includes more openly homoerotic sentences than were included in the printed versions. A facsimile of the manuscript is now available in a limited, numbered edition from SP Books.

• The final single in the excellent Other Voices series from the Ghost Box label is released later this month. Something Out Of Nothing is by Sharron Kraus and Belbury Poly.

…we’re still trying to operate this new, paranoid society on what amounts to a psychedelic substrate—with little or no awareness of how our sets and settings are determining our results. The set and setting of the advertiser yield addictive behavioral design and persuasive technologies. The set and setting of the investor lead to algorithmic trading and winner-takes-all, extractive businesses. The set and setting of the military lead to drone warfare. The set and setting of the politician lead to targeted propaganda and digital fascism.

America is unconsciously living in a psychedelic landscape and having a bad trip. We don’t realize that we are living in a media environment that offers us an unprecedented capacity over reality. The world may have always been a consensual hallucination to some extent, but never before have we built our world so completely.

The internet is acid, and America is having a bad trip, says Douglas Rushkoff

Photographia Erotica Historica is a tiny leatherbound collection of antique pornography from Goliath Books.

Why is the Federal Government threatening an indie book publisher with $100,000 in fines?

• Undead, undead: my illustrations for Dracula are featured at Dangerous Minds. Thanks!

• The Vinyl Factory meets Japanese composer and musician Midori Takada.

• Exploring HP Lovecraft’s Gothic roots by Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes.

• From 2013: Dario Argento discussing his films with Alan Jones.

• Aurora Mitchell on Electro pioneer Doris Norton.

• Mix of the week: XLR8R Podcast 558 by DJ T.

Aviator (1970) by Michael Chapman | Aviation (2000) by Fluxion | Aviation (2001) by Monolake

Weekend links 316

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Stasis, the second album by Pye Corner Audio for the Ghost Box label, will be released at the end of August. Design, as always, is by Julian House.

• “In the modern internet world you have what I talk about as the ‘War of the Certain’: people insisting that their absolutist viewpoint, in 140 characters, is exactly the right way to think, and anyone who doesn’t agree with them is terrible. If you’ve grown up reading Robert Anton Wilson this is awful. Having all of these certain people with no nuance or doubt, and no understanding of multiple-model agnosticism, is not going to go anywhere good.” Writer John Higgs talking to Ben Graham about RAW, Discordianism and related matters. A related matter: Higgs talks to Alan Moore about virtual-reality mysticism, creating a new counterculture, reinventing magick, and the eternal nature of time.

• Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon is out this month so features and interviews are proliferating. I’ve been avoiding them for the usual spoiler-shunning reasons, but this was worth noting: Refn’s mood-establishing playlist for the production. More Neon Demon: Cliff Martinez talks about working with Refn.

• ” ‘Paint me like one of your French girls” takes on a whole new meaning in Nicole G. Albert’s book Lesbian Decadence: Representations in Art and Literature in Fin-De-Siècle France,” says Rachel Wexelbaum.

The decaying low-baroque tableau of conjugal tenderness, features eaten away by the syphilis of time, played so well, on an anvil of whitewashed cement, alongside a municipal bowling green, that it became the provocation for a pedestrian expedition testing the Brexit boundaries of a timeless mead-hall England, before the fleet of plundering Papist Normans came sailing over the horizon. Just as tabloid gangs of Albanian drug-trafficking white slavers were now reputed to be sneaking ashore on Romney Marshes, at Deal and Camber Sands, on their Rigid Inflatable Boats, kayaks and leaking air mattresses. Could anyone bring themselves actually to cast a vote for Brexit, a commodity that sounds like a cereal bowl of Nordic cattlecake manufactured from wood shavings with an added ingredient to purge the bowels?

Iain Sinclair and company head south in turbulent times

• At Dangerous Minds: a video recording of Psychic TV live in Manchester, 1983 (I’m in the audience but up on the balcony so you won’t see me), and an interview with dub maestro Adrian Sherwood.

The Columbia Years, 1968–1969: fabled recording sessions by Betty Davis are to receive an official release by Light In The Attic.

We’re Here Because We’re Here – Jeremy Deller’s silent commemoration of the soldiers of the Somme.

• Inside Las Pozas, Edward James’ Surrealist Garden in the Mexican Jungle.

• The body as amusement park: A history of masturbation by Barry Reay.

Nicholas Olsberg on the mirage of an ideal metropolis.

The Strange World of…David Toop

Static Electrician (1994) by ELpH | Static (1998) by Redshift | Static (2001) by Monolake

Weekend links 296

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Mars (variant design): one of three new posters for NASA by Invisible Creature.

• “If the point of Sade’s work was to marry sexual frustration and release to the practice of interpersonal violence, he could confidently gaze out on the landscape of our popular culture and declare it a fait accompli.” Hussein Ibish on The United Sades of America.

• Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them by Nicola Twilley. Sean Carroll explains the importance of the discovery.

• Another This Heat interview: Bruce Tantum interrogates Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward about being a group ahead of their time.

The English word comes ultimately from Greek magike (in which the original Persian word is spliced with tekhne, “art”), while the Persian magos “one of the members of the learned and priestly class” ultimately derives from magush, “to be able, to have power”, from which we may also derive the word “machine”. So my social hierarchy is your magic, and my magic might be your craft—or even your machinery. My religion is your magic. Your religion is my fairy lore. Or your religions might be a mass of fakery and trickery and foolery. Hence in making magic into an intellectual discipline, I theorize based on my observations, which might not be mine but those of others, heritable observations. But because what I do looks very like empiricism, as I examine materials for the tricks or fooleries, or for the real alterations, checking my results against descriptions of previous experiments, what I do feels like science, feels like the template for Baconian empiricism and its great instauration.

Diane Purkiss reviewing The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment, edited by Brian Copenhaver

• The Strange World Of…The Residents: Sean Kitching talks to The Residents’ resident artist, Homer Flynn.

• At Strange Flowers: film of Natalie Barney in 1962 reminiscing about Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust.

• From Battleship Potemkin to Baker Street: Ian Christie on Sergei Eisenstein’s trip to London.

• Mixes of the week: Krautrock Mix by Tarotplane, and Mix #15 (Transversales) by Jon Brooks.

• From Rock en Stock (France, 1973): Can and Agitation Free in live performance.

• Twenty classic British folk-horror stories: a selection by Kai Roberts.

Immemory: a Flash version of Chris Marker’s CD-ROM.

Cronenberg Valentines

Static Gravity (1980) by Chrome | Zero Gravity (2001) by Monolake | Gravity (2013) by Roly Porter