Weekend links 379

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Male Nude, Leg Up (1952) by Horst. From a series of photo prints at Wessel + O’Connor Fine Art until 5th November.

• At Bandcamp: “Tuareg guitar mixed with traditional rural folk”: Eghass Malan by Les Filles de Illighadad; “Pan dimensional spacecraft hover over ancient pyramids on worlds undreamed of”: Lemurian Dawn by Memnon Sa.

Songs of Discomposure: Quietus writers pick their most disturbing pieces of music. Also at The Quietus: John Foxx on his collaborations with Harold Budd and Ruben Garcia.

Eros In Arabia, the first album by Richard Horowitz, has been deleted since 1981, and is consequently very difficult to find. Freedom To Spend are reissuing it next month.

JG Ballard—The Interview Concordance. A companion to the concordance of Ballard’s published works. Some of the interviews may be found here.

• At Dangerous Minds: The Male Figure: Bruce of Los Angeles and the perfection of midcentury beefcake.

• Mixes of the week: XLR8R Podcast 508 by Jennifer Cardini, and Secret Thirteen Mix 231 by Alex XIII.

Post Punk: a set of postage stamp designs by Dorothy for punk and post-punk bands.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Kanban: The exquisite art of historic Japanese store signs.

• At Greydogtales: Photography of the Folk Horror Revival.

The Spomenik Database

• The Secret Life Of Arabia (1977) by David Bowie | Arabian Knights (1981) by Siouxsie And The Banshees | Arabiant (2002) by Radar

Power Spot by Michael Scroggins

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I was going to post this anyway but there’s a coincidental connection with yesterday’s post in the person of Richard Horowitz whose keyboards can be heard on the soundtrack. The music is Power Spot, the opening number on the album of the same name released by ECM in 1986. Also present on the album are Brian Eno (who co-produces with Daniel Lanois), Michael Brook and others. I’d tell you that Power Spot is a great album but then I like everything Hassell does so I’m rather biased. But it is a great album.

Michael Scroggins’ video was commissioned to accompany the release of the album, and if it looks of its time today it’s still an impressive piece, not least because Scroggins says it was created through live improvisation. That puts it in a different class to earlier abstract accompaniments for music which are either animated frame-by-frame or created independently with the music added later. (Thanks to Paul Schütze for the tip.)

Previously on { feuilleton }
OffOn by Scott Bartlett
The Flow III
Chris Parks
Len Lye
Matrix III by John Whitney
Symphonie Diagonale by Viking Eggeling
Mary Ellen Bute: Films 1934–1957
Norman McLaren
John Whitney’s Catalog
Arabesque by John Whitney
Moonlight in Glory
Jordan Belson on DVD
Ten films by Oskar Fischinger
Lapis by James Whitney

Made To Measure

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When you’ve sated yourself on a group’s back catalogue there’s always the solo albums. In the case of Tuxedomoon there are a number of these to choose from, thanks to several of the band members being both multi-instrumentalists and talented songwriters. Some of the more offbeat solo outings may be found among the albums released as part of the Made To Measure series, an offshoot of the excellent Belgian record label, Crammed Discs. Crammed have been Tuxedomoon’s label for some time, and seem increasingly unique in a world where independent labels tend to cater to narrow genres and small, select audiences. Crammed’s roster of artists is extremely eclectic, ranging from the expected Euro-pop and dance releases to a wide range of traditional and contemporary music from around the world.

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Made To Measure Vol. 1 (1984). Painting by Fernand Steven.

From 1984 to 1994 the Made To Measure series released over 30 albums that represent the more esoteric side of an already fairly esoteric label. All of the early releases were numbered, and Tuxedomoon happen to be on the first release, Made To Measure Vol. 1, together with Minimal Compact, Benjamin Lew, and Aksak Maboul. The series title refers to all of the music being “made to measure” some pre-existing work—film, theatre, dance performance, etc—although some of the later releases were simply an excuse to put out new music by an established Crammed artist. In addition to the first release, Tuxedomoon members Blaine L. Reininger, Peter Principle and Steven Brown were regular contributors to subsequent albums. Two of the Steven Brown albums, A Propos D’Un Paysage (MTM 15, 1985) and Douzième Journée: Le Verbe, La Parure, L’Amour (MTM 16, 1988) are marvellous instrumental collaborations with Benjamin Lew that are very different in tone to Tuxedomoon but well worth seeking out. Brown also recorded a soundtrack album, De Doute Et De Grace (MTM 22, 1990), with readings by actress Delphine Seyrig. The series has been discontinued in recent years but the MTM numbering was resurrected for the latest Tuxedomoon album, Pink Narcissus, which is MTM 39.

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Desert Equations: Azax Attra (1986). Photography by Georg Gerster.

I’ve still not heard all of the Made To Measure series, and I don’t like everything I have heard—I have to be in the mood for Hector Zazou’s quirkier moments. Aside from those mentioned above, the notable releases for me would include Desert Equations: Azax Attra (MTM 8, 1986) by Sussan Deyhim (here credited as Deihim) & Richard Horowitz, an album that led me to acquire almost everything Sussan Deyhim has recorded; If Windows They Have (MTM 13, 1986) by Daniel Schell & Karo; Nekonotopia Nekonomania (MTM 29, 1990) by Seigen Ono; Water (MTM 31, 1992) by David Cunningham; Sahara Blue (MTM 32, 1993) by Hector Zazou; Glyph (MTM 37, 1995) by Harold Budd & Hector Zazou. Sahara Blue exemplifies in miniature the eclecticism of Crammed Discs, being a tribute to Arthur Rimbaud featuring (among others) John Cale, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Gérard Depardieu, Khaled, David Sylvian, Bill Laswell, Lisa Gerrard, Sussan Deyhim and Tim Simenon.

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For those wishing to explore further without shelling out on mysterious, unknown quantities, I’d recommend The Made To Measure Résumé (1987), a compilation of tracks from the first 16 MTM releases, and an ideal introduction to the series.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Subterranean Modern: The Residents, Chrome, MX-80 Sound and Tuxedomoon
Tuxedomoon on La Edad de Oro, 1983
Tuxedomoon designs by Patrick Roques
Pink Narcissus: James Bidgood and Tuxedomoon

Weekend links 26

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The interior of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County “Old Main” Building, 1874. Reblogged over the past few days on numerous Tumblr postings, none of whom had bothered to find out any details about the picture. I’m with Silent Porn Star on the contextless reblogging issue.

Keith Richards et Mick Jagger à Londres, TV interviews with the Glimmer Twins from 1968 with some remarkable footage in the second half of Jagger filming the penultimate shot of Performance. That French video site requires further exploration. Also there is a short film from 1961 with Jacques Lasry demonstrating the Cristal Baschet. Related: Jacques Doyen & Jacques Lasry play their Cristals while Arlette Thomas and others read French poetry. I wrote something about the mystery of the Cristal two years ago this week.

• Two great album cover blogs from Jive Time Records: Project Thirty-Three is “a shrine to circles, dots, squares, rectangles and triangles, and the designers that make them come to life on album covers” while Groove Is In The Art “celebrates the era when psychedelic graphics and pop art met the mainstream”.

• At A Journey Round My Skull: Night Hallucinations: illustrations by Jaroslav Šerých for Tales of the Uncanny (Prague, 1976); Snark, Strangeness and Charm, Mahendra Singh’s illustrations for Lewis Carroll and others.

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Laurence Chaves illustrates De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater at Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

Austin Osman Spare: Fallen Visionary at the Cuming Museum, Southwark, London in September, “will be the largest showcase of [Spare’s] work in a public museum since his death in 1956.” Jerusalem Press are publishing an expensive monograph to accompany the exhibition.

Freeing “Pale Fire” From Pale Fire; “the next big Nabokov controversy”. Probably not but the thesis is an interesting one.

Quintessential ‘topiary’ in Gandalf’s Garden: Barney Bubbles, head shops and Op Art graphic design.

• Monster Brains discovered some more paintings by Thomas Häfner.

• Spaceweather’s Northern Lights gallery.

The passion of Krzysztof Penderecki.

• More Bookshelf porn.

White peacocks.

Sussan Deyhim: Daylaman | Desert Equations (for Brion Gysin) (with Richard Horowitz) | An interview at WorldStreams.

Several links this week via Adrian Shaughnessy’s Twitter feed. Thanks!