The Great Lab (2020); speculative architecture by Gytis Bickus. “This room is where the majority of the hallucinogenic substances are archived, within the walls & floors. It seems as though the architecture itself is being affected by the hallucinogenic substances stored within its fabric.”
• “They ran the recording through a vocoder, so it sounded staticky, like a voice infused with white noise, and put it at the end of the song. Then they went home.” Mark Dent on Change The Beat by Beside (aka Bee-side or Beeside), a song produced by Bill Laswell & Michael Beinhorn that includes one of the most sampled vocal lines in hip-hop. A great piece of audio-archaeology: I knew the sample but had no idea this song was its source. I only got to hear the Change The Beat very recently when I found a copy of Materialism, a collection of early Laswell productions, in a charity shop.
• At Unquiet Things: Artist, Chemist, Goofball: Catching Up With Tyler Thrasher.
• DJ Food looks at psychedelic posters created for London’s Middle Earth club.
His last commissioned work for Radio Berlin was a fantastical play he had composed himself. The transcript, titled “Lichtenberg: A Cross-Section,” ranks among the strangest things that he ever wrote. Beings who live on the moon are charged with the task of investigating the career of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, a prominent physicist of the German Enlightenment. The moon beings have uncanny names—Labu, Quikko, Sofanti, and Peka—and they convene as the Moon Committee for Earth Research, which deploys odd contraptions for its work, each of them “easier to use than a coffee grinder.” There is a “Spectrophone,” which permits them to hear and see everything that happens on Earth; a “Parlamonium” that translates human speech into music; and an “Oneiroscope” that allows the researchers to observe human dreams. With the aid of these devices, the moon beings seek to understand why humans are so afflicted with misery. Their investigations finally reach the tentative conclusion that even if humans are unhappy, “perhaps it is their unhappiness that allows them to advance.” To honour the scientific achievements of Herr Lichtenberg, they conclude by naming a crater in his honour, a crater from which shines a “magical light that illumines the millennium.”
Peter E. Gordon on Walter Benjamin’s radio years
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…Brigid Brophy In Transit (1968).
• New music: The Long Song by Drøne.