Weekend links 549

fuseli.jpg

The Shepherd’s Dream, from Paradise Lost (1793) by Henry Fuseli.

• “16 April. A card from Tom King with news of the tattoo of me that he had put on his arm: ‘The tattoo remains popular, though bizarrely one person thought it was of Henry Kissinger. It also makes for an amusing conversation during intercourse.’ This suggests the intercourse might be less than fervent, my name in itself something of a detumescent.” Alan Bennett‘s diary for the year is always a highlight of December.

• “I know that if I don’t write, say on holiday, I begin to feel unsettled and uneasy, as I gather people do who are not allowed to dream.” The Paris Review removed its paywall on their Art of Fiction interview with JG Ballard.

• “A biologist and composer have turned the aurora borealis into sound to create a magic melding of art and nature.”

If we let it, dreaming gradually erodes wake centrism—that waking consciousness to which Westerners in particular are inordinately attached. You might think of wake centrism as a pre-Copernican-like worldview that presumes waking to be the centre of the universe of consciousness, while relegating sleeping and dreaming to secondary, subservient positions. It is a matrix, a cultural simulation evolved to support adaptation, yet it inadvertently limits our awareness. Wake centrism is a subtle, consensual, sticky and addictive over-reliance on ordinary ways of perceiving that interfere with our direct personal experience of dreaming. To paraphrase the 16th-century British clergyman Robert Bolton, it is not merely an idea the mind possesses, but an idea that possesses the mind. Wake centrism is a flat-world consciousness. It warns us to stay away from the edges, to refrain from dialoguing with dreams and the unconscious.

Rubin Naiman on sleep and dreams

96th of October: an online fiction magazine dedicated to “tales of the extraordinary”.

• “Punk artist Barney Bubbles joins Manet among works given to UK public in 2020.”

• The results of the Nature Photographer of the Year contest for 2020.

• A list with a difference: Twenty Four Psychic Pop Relics by Woebot.

• Merve Emre on how Leonora Carrington feminized Surrealism.

• Mix of the week: XLR8R Podcast 675 by Teebs.

I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (1966) by The Electric Prunes | The Room Of Ancillary Dreams (2000) by Harold Budd | Blue Dream (2001) by Sussan Deyhim & Richard Horowitz

Weekend links 297

floridxfauna.jpg

Crimson Metallic Emergent Skull Crystal Pendant by Kristen Phillips aka Floridxfauna.

The Noise-Arch Backup at the Internet Archive is 30GB of mp3s from noise-arch.net, a collection of cassette-based releases and artwork: “material represented includes tape experimentation, industrial, avant-garde, indy, rock, diy, subvertainment and auto-hypnotic materials…” 30GB is an intimidatingly large amount of material so it’s better to browse The Noise-Arch Archive, a selection of 468 releases.

• The week in erotica: Claire Voon on Ancient Erotic Dreams and Explicit Scenes in the New York Public Library Collection; Melanie Porter on Great Grandporn: Hardcore Pornography of the Silent Era; Cathy Camper on The Comics of Dale Lazarov: Illustrated Explorations of Sexual Inventiveness.

Void Beats/Invocation Trex by Cavern of Anti-Matter (Holger Zapf, Joe Dilworth & Tim Gane) was released this week. The opening number is Tardis Cymbals. Tom Furse condensed the 73-minute album into a 17-minute mini-mix.

Indeed, if you had to “place” ­Williams—put him alongside writers with whom he had something in common—it would be with the mystical autodidacts, the backstreet Rosicrucians more than with the pipe-smoking, tweedy Inklings. To that extent, the only unsatisfactory thing about Grevel Lindop’s book is its title. True, Williams went to Oxford when war broke out and became friends with the famous circle around C. S. Lewis. But he was not an Inkling in spirit. He was not at home in Oxford, and his arrival, far from consolidating the Inklings, actually broke them up by bewitching Lewis, and making Lewis neglect the central friendship of his life, that with ­Tolkien. Another scholar of Old English literature, C. L. Wrenn, said that meeting Williams made you realize why inquisitors thought they had the right to burn people. Tolkien agreed: “Williams is eminently combustible.”

Certainly, Williams’s books had an influence on the Inklings. Lindop is right to say that the central plotline of Many Dimensions suggests the story of The Lord of the Rings. In the Williams novel, it is a stone of great power, rather than a ring, but it has the same effect on those who bear it: They become its possession, not its possessor.

AN Wilson reviews Charles Williams: The Third Inkling by Grevel Lindop

• Russ Fischer recommends five films by Andrzej Zulawski (RIP). Possession (1981) is still the easiest to find, and a good place to start. I enthused about On The Silver Globe (1977–87) last year.

England’s Hidden Reverse: A Secret History of the Esoteric Underground by David Keenan has been published in a revised and expanded edition by Strange Attractor.

The Preservation Man (1962): Artist and collector Bruce Lacey (RIP) filmed by Ken Russell for the BBC’s Monitor.

Barry Adamson: “I’ve been called the outsider’s outsider”.

• At Dangerous Minds: Six degrees of Marty Feldman.

• Mix of the week: FACT mix 536 by Not Waving.

• The Alan Clarke page at the BFI shop.

Umberto Eco (RIP): Porta Ludovica

Possessions (1980) by The Residents | Possessed (1992) by The Balanescu Quartet | Possessed (2001) by Sussan Deyhim & Shirin Neshat

A mix for Halloween: Unheimlich Manoeuvres

Unheimlich Manoeuvres by Feuilleton on Mixcloud

Presenting the ninth Halloween playlist, and another mix of my own. The one last year was pretty abrasive so this year I’ve put together something that’s more concerned with atmospherics and dynamics than jangling the nerves. There’s some continuity in the presence of Roly Porter who brought things to a thundering conclusion last year and does the same here with the final piece from his tremendous Life Cycle Of A Massive Star.

Some of the other music is a bit more obscure than usual, even by my standards. A few people will know that Lull is the name used by Napalm Death’s Mick Harris when fashioning doomy ambience; The House In The Woods is Martin Jenkins aka The Head Technician from Pye Corner Audio; Isnaj Dui is British musician Katie English; Mandible Chatter is (or was) a US duo, Grant Miller & Neville Harson who recorded several uncategorisable albums in the 1990s. Blessings From The Kingdom Of Silence is from their fifth release Food For The Moon (1997), an album I picked up secondhand which I’m surprised to find was a limited edition of 100 copies. As a consequence you may not hear this piece elsewhere.

As before, the tracklist is on the Mixcloud page but I’m repeating it here with dates added for each recording.

Jerzy MaksymiukTitle music from ‘The Hourglass Sanatorium’ (1973)
CyclobeWounded Galaxies Tap At The Window (2010)
Larry Sider & Lech JankowskiSounds & music from ‘Street of Crocodiles’ (1986)
LullThoughts (1994)
LustmordThe Cell (2002)
Robin Guthrie & Harold BuddHalloween from ‘Mysterious Skin’ (2005)
Popol VuhOn The Way from ‘Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night’ (1979)
The House In The WoodsDark Lanterns (2013)
Sussan DeyhimPossessed (2008)
Isnaj DuiNorth (2013)
Mandible ChatterBlessings From The Kingdom Of Silence (1997)
Paul SchützeThe Rapture Of The Drowning (1993)
Roly PorterGiant (2013)

Previously on { feuilleton }
A mix for Halloween: Ectoplasm Forming
A playlist for Halloween: Hauntology
A playlist for Halloween: Orchestral and electro-acoustic
A playlist for Halloween: Drones and atmospheres
A playlist for Halloween: Voodoo!
Dead on the Dancefloor
Another playlist for Halloween
A playlist for Halloween

Made To Measure

mtm1.jpg

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.

mtm2.jpg

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.

mtm3.jpg

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.

mtm4.jpg

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

library.jpg

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.

chaves.jpg

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!