Weekend links 485

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Art by Augustus Jansson for the Queen City Printing Ink Company (c.1906).

• Much of my music listening for the past couple of weeks has been the compositions and soundtracks of the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, so these links are pertinent: Jóhannsson and ensemble live at KEXP in 2010, and a memorial performance of Virdulegu Forsetar from last year.

• “[Her] approach to making electronic music was hard work, too, but it was less about controlling sounds and more about surrendering to them.” Geeta Dayal on Éliane Radigue whose Chry-Ptus has been reisssued by Important Records.

• Safe From Harm: Tim Murray on how Coil helped AIDS awareness on VHS. The video in question, The Gay Man’s Guide to Safer Sex, may be viewed at the Internet Archive.

• In the LRB podcast Ian Penman and Jennifer Hodgson discuss Penman’s new collection of essays, It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track.

• “A land of fog and emotional nightmares.” Oliver Wainwright on why Britain booted out the Bauhaus.

• Mapping Scotland’s Grim History of Witch-Hunting by Feargus O’Sullivan.

• Long-Haired Stars & the End of the World: John Boardley on comets.

My Will by Minimal Compact, a new version of an old song.

• La Danse Des Comètes (1970) by Nino Nardini | Kohoutek-Kometenmelodie 1 & 2 (1973) by Kraftwerk | Cometary Wailing (Valley Plateau) (1981) by Bernard Xolotl

Creel Pone

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One of the many surprises for me about Enter the Void was finding recordings by electronic composer Jean-Claude Eloy mixed into its droning soundscape, notably extracts from his 1979 album, Shànti. I’d been listening to this a week or so before watching the film after having downloaded a large quantity of obscure electronic releases on the bootleg Creel Pone label.

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Flowers Of Evil (1969) by Ruth White.

The Creel Pone project by Keith Fullerton Whitman began with the intention of reissuing in a limited form 100 albums of electronic or electro-acoustic music dating from the period 1947 to 1983 (or 1952 to 1984 according to the label seal); The Analogue Age, in other words. Most of the albums were long out-of-print, and few had ever been available on CD when the project began although some have since had official reissues. The recordings were transferred from vinyl then burned to 50 CD-Rs per album, each release coming in a CD-sized facsimile of the original cover. Simon Reynolds wrote a piece about the label for The Wire in 2010 but I first encountered the releases a couple of years earlier via an acquaintance who was one of the collectors trying to accumulate the entire run. That run finished some time ago so the reissues themselves will soon be as difficult to find as the releases they made available, hence the recourse to mp3, and this cache of almost the entire catalogue. I haven’t listened to everything there yet (iTunes tells me that would take 2.2 days, non-stop)—and I find my patience often runs out with tape-collage electro-acoustic compositions unless I’m in the mood—but some of these albums are so good, the Thomas Köner-like Shànti among them, you have to wonder why they were overlooked for so long. A few of the uploads have tracks missing, and they’re all variable quality, but you won’t find this amount of Creel Pone material anywhere else in a hurry. (There’s also no guarantee they’ll be there for long so don’t complain to me if you’re visiting this post after they’ve all been deleted.)

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Musique Pour Le Futur (1970) by Nino Nardini.

Discogs.com has an incomplete catalogue listing. Several of Jean-Claude Eloy’s albums are now available on CD. Gil Mellé’s excellent soundtrack for The Andromeda Strain was given a limited CD release two years ago but is out-of-print again. For some recordings it seems, the struggle to reach an audience is a continual one.

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The Andromeda Strain: Original Electronic Soundtrack (1971) by Gil Mellé.

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Pythagoron (1977) by Pythagoron™

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Reflecting On The First Watch, We Uncover Treasure Buried For The Blind (1978) by Cellutron & The Invisible.

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Shànti (1979) by Jean-Claude Eloy.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Enter the Void
Cristalophonics: searching for the Cocteau sound
The Avant Garde Project