States of Ecstasy 1 by K. Lenore Siner some of whose work may be seen in Witch-Ikon: An Exhibition of Contemporary Witchcraft Imagery at Mortlake & Company, Seattle.
• Emily Temple compiles a list of “40 creepy book covers”. A shame that she (or Lithub) can’t also credit more of the artists and designers responsible. Searching titles at ISFDB would turn up many of the missing names.
• Blogging has suffered in recent years from the onslaught of social media but some persist in maintaining the form as a creative act. Poemas del río Wang is one such, its scope best seen in this alphabetical index.
• Mixes of the week: XLR8R Podcast 510 by Moodprint, Secret Thirteen Mix 232 by Alex XIII Maerbach, a mix for The Wire by Sadaf, and FACT mix 621 by NHK yx Koyxen.
Out next month: Mute: A Visual Document, being a visual history of Mute Records by Terry Burrows and Daniel Miller.
• Nick Soulsby on “the myth and majesty of Vangelis’ timeless Blade Runner soundtrack”.
• Compound in the new album by Yair Elazar Glotman. Stream it in full here.
• Killed by Roses (1963): Eikoh Hosoe’s photographs of Yukio Mishima.
• Oriental Traditional Music from LPs & Cassettes
• Hours and hours of Blue Jam. Oo ab welcome.
• 65 books of prints by Katsushika Hokusai.
• Alpha (1976) by Vangelis | Rêve (1979) by Vangelis | Flamants Roses (1979) by Vangelis
Il Fascino Della Morte (1988) by Albin Brunovsky.
• One of the forthcoming books featuring my cover art is Behold! Oddities, Curiosities, & Undefinable Wonders, a story collection due to be published next month by Crystal Lake Publishing. Bleeding Cool talked to editor Doug Murano about the collection and its contributors.
• Six episodes of Tom Keating on Painters, a TV series from 1983 presented by Britain’s most well-known art forger. In six further episodes Keating examines the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.
• Opening at the Guggenheim, NYC, at the end of this month: Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897.
The most potent form of gatekeeping is religion. When certain beliefs are deemed sacred, they are put beyond questioning. To challenge such beliefs is to commit blasphemy. The accusation of cultural appropriation is a secular version of the charge of blasphemy. It’s the insistence that certain beliefs and images are so important to particular cultures that they may not appropriated by others.
In Defence of Cultural Appropriation by Kenan Malik
• Mixes of the week: FACT Mix 605 by Anthony Parasole, and Secret Thirteen Mix 224 by Fanny Kaplan.
• Artist Tom Phillips at 80: “I’m still reading books. Nothing changes and everything changes.”
• Negative Chambers is a new album by Yair Elazar Glotman and Mats Erlandsson.
• “Pornhub is the Kinsey Report of our time,” says Maureen O’Connor.
• “Postmodernism is dead. What comes next?” asks Alison Gibbons.
• Cat Street View
• Mystic Eyes (1965) by Them | Mystical Dream (1965) by The Roland Kirk Quartet | Mystic Green (1985) by Rain Parade
Études (2015) by Yair Elazar Glotman.
The work section of this website is still lacking the addition of some recent commissions but I have managed this week to get the albums section up to date. If I don’t talk about my work in the music world very much that’s because it’s been scaled down in recent years. I am still working regularly for the Subtext label, however, and the releases shown here are all the recent designs bar the latest one which will be out in February.
Almost all my work for Subtext involves preparing artwork I’ve been sent, and applying the relevant text information (or “label copy” as the big record companies prefer to call it). That’s generally easy work but the minimal style of Subtext means that some designs go through several iterations before everyone is happy with the results. The Signal album by Emptyset required the careful cropping and adjusting of James Ginzburg’s photos to get something that sat well in the square of the album sleeve. Almost all the artwork here was selected by the artists; if it wasn’t then it was prepared with their approval. The individual web pages show the full layouts, and also have all the necessary artwork credits.
As to the audio content, Subtext releases operate in the nebulous intersection between noise, drones, sound design and ambient music. The albums by Paul Jebanasam and FIS were featured this month on a list of the Top 30 Drone Records of 2016. See the label’s Soundcloud page for samples.
I’ll be posting another work update—if I get round to it!—next week.
Emptyset (2015 reissue) by Emptyset.
Signal (2015) by Emptyset.
Continuum (2016) by Paul Jebanasam.
Frenzy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2016) by Cevdet Erek.
Barotrauma (2016) by Eric Holm.
From Patterns To Details (2016) by FIS.
Blessed Initiative (2016) by Blessed Initiative.
A painting from the Projekt Babelturm series by Wessi.
• “The first thing I would say is that I have no idea what authentic psych music is, and I have no wish to pursue that either. To me the idea of real psych is a paradox. I can’t see how you can have such a thing as real psychedelia when the whole thing is based on a psychedelic drug that gives you hallucinations and illusions and layers and layers of unreality.” Rob Chapman talking to Ben Graham about his new book, Psychedelia And Other Colours.
Elsewhere in a rather psychedelic week: Rob Young reviewed Chapman’s book for the New Statesman; Dangerous Minds posted “Hypnotic video of how a psychedelic masterpiece is made“; and in Germany a homeopathy conference “ended in chaos in Germany after dozens of delegates took a LSD-like drug and started suffering from hallucinations.”
• Coming soon from Dark Entries (so to speak), another collection of Patrick Cowley‘s music for gay porn films.
• Jonathan Barnbrook works some quotes from JG Ballard into the British Road Sign Project.
• “Sorcery is more popular than football in Morocco,” says writer and filmmaker Abdellah Taïa.
• “If you’re going to make something, you should try and be wild,” says Mica Levi.
• Coca-Cola Milanese: Patrick Ellis considers the state of the world’s fair in 2015.
• Hear two pieces from Collapse, the forthcoming album by Drew McDowall.
• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 162 by Ketev (Yair Elazar Glotman).
• Emptyset’s Signal transforms Earth’s ionosphere into sound art.
• Paul Laffoley: The Force Structure of the Mystical Experience.
• Fuck off, Star Wars, Ben Wheatley’s High Rise is on its way.
• Ideologic Organ
• Psychedelic Ride (1967) by The Ides | Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear In Smoke) (1974) by Hawkwind | Psychedelic Sewing Room (1989) by Bongwater
A City on Pluto (1940) by Frank R. Paul. Related: Paul’s predictions about life on other planets.
• 23 Skidoo’s Peel Session from September 16th, 1981. Only 18 minutes of music but I’m thrilled for its being unique material that’s never been given an official release. There are many more Peel Sessions at the uploader’s channel, not all of which were reissued on the Strange Fruit label. Download favourites in their as-broadcast form (some with John Peel’s introductions) before they vanish or get blocked like the 1981 Cabaret Voltaire session. Related: Wikipedia’s list of Peel Sessions.
• Mixes of the week comprise two collections by Jon Dale of strange and beguiling Italian music: The Prevarications Of The Sky Against The Earth and La Verifica Incerta; the Summer Window Mix (“telly detritus, new-not-new synth nonsense & off-colour pop oddities”) by Moon Wiring Club; and Secret Thirteen Mix 158 by Haunter Records.
• “Hello, this is David Bowie. It’s a bit grey out today but I’ve got some Perrier water, and I’ve got a bunch of records…” Two hours of the Thin White Duke playing favourite music on BBC Radio One, 20th May, 1979.
Some of Vidal’s guests were writers, not exactly his favorite group. “Writers are the only people who are reviewed by people of their own kind,” Vidal said in an interview. “And their own kind can often be reasonably generous—if you stay in your category. I don’t. I do many different things rather better than most people do one thing. And envy is the central fact of American life.”
Frank Pizzoli reviews Sympathy for the Devil: Four Decades of Friendship with Gore Vidal by Michael Mewshaw
• Yair Elazar Glotman’s new album, Études, conjures “bone-rattling resonance, thick, alien-like atmospheres, and percussive fragments”. Stream it in full here.
• London’s Lost Department Store of the Swinging Sixties: Inge Oosterhoff on the splendours of Biba.
• It’s that Ungeziefer again: Richard T. Kelly on 100 years of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.
• The History of Creepy Dolls: Linda Rodriguez McRobbie explores the uncanny valley.
• At Dangerous Minds: Matt Groening tells the story of The Residents in 1979.
• The NYT collects NASA’s photos from the New Horizons Pluto flyby.
• The Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments
• Written on the Body: tattoos in cinema
• The Doll’s House (1981) by Landscape | Voodoo Dolly (1981) by Siouxsie and the Banshees | Devils Doll Baby (1986) by Sonny Sharrock