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On Expo - Film - In concert

This month's blogs: 2005 April (2) | 2005 April (1)

WWW jahsonic.com

"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show."
(Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Apr 06; 12:52 ::: Future Shock (1970) - Alvin Toffler

Future Shock (1970) - Alvin Toffler [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Future Shock is a controversial book written by the sociologist and futurologist Alvin Toffler in 1970. It has sold over 6 million copies and has been widely translated.

Future shock is also a term for certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies, introduced by Toffler in his book of the same name.

Toffler argues that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". This change will overwhelm people, the accelerated rate of technological and social change will leave them disconnected, suffering from "shattering stress and disorientation" - future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems were symptoms of the future shock.

His analysis of that phenomenon is continued in his later publications, especially The Third Wave and Powershift. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Shock [Apr 2005]

see also: Alvin Toffler - technology - shock - futurism - 1970 - social

2005, Apr 06; 12:30 ::: TB-303

The TB-303 was a synthesizer/sequencer produced by the Roland corporation in 1982 and 1983 that had a crucial role in the development of contemporary electronic music. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_TB-303 [Apr 2005]

see also: acid house

2005, Apr 06; 11:39 ::: The Best of Man Parrish: Heatstroke () - Man Parrish

The Best of Man Parrish: Heatstroke () - Man Parrish [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Reviewer: Adam Holdsworth (London, England) via Amazon.com
Imagine the scene. Its cold, its wet, its middle of no-where suburban London in the mid 80s. I'm fifteen and the only joy music-wise comes on a late Saturday night show on Capital Radio hosted by Mike Allen, a guy who already sounded like your dad, but was just so ahead of his time it was unreal. This ground breaking show, the first to play hip-hop and rap in the UK filled my ears with the exotic sounds of urban New York and LA. This stuff is spirit lifting and the often cartoonish over-production made a grey day into a surreal summer one, where the sky is shocking pink and people dress up like spacemen. It opened possibilities musically I never knew existed till then. Yes, I know that New York was full of gang violence and grafitti but somehow this did not matter over here, its too far away to have an influence for several years.

Well Afrika, LL Cool J, Roxanne (both of them) and all the one-hit old skool hip-hoppers, and above all, Man Parrish, now from a distant era, affected my taste in music for years to come, and the possibilites created by what they did back then have changed music production, in a good way, forever. Even though the sounds have dated and become less crazy over time (sampling superceded all those delicious analog sounds way back then even). When the UK mass media caught on to what hip hop, rap and breakdance was all about, they wanted to focus on the violence, the tribal fighting and the drugs. All well and good, and relevant even. But for me, and I suspect a lot of electronica fans of a certain age and romantic bent, the one thing that stood out was the freaking music. I bought my first Roland synth after hearing this. When I was landing in JFK for the first time, watching night-time Queens get bigger down below, Hip Hop Be Bop was the tune playing in my head - to me, if defined NY better than Sinatra. I hope you buy this, and enjoy re-listening to this LP as much as I did. Nice one Manny. --Amazon.com

Note that Man Parrish was one of the first musical artists to use the word techno in 1982 on Man Parrish (1982) - Man Parrish with the track Techno Trax. --http://www.discogs.com/release/20044

see also: electro funk - electro - techno

2005, Apr 06; 09:10 ::: Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit (1988) - Various artists

Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit (1988) - Various artists
image sourced here. [Apr 2005]

1 It Is What It Is - Rhythim Is Rhythim
2 Forever And A Day - Blake Baxter
3 Time To Express - Eddie 'Flashin' Fowlkes
4 Electronic Dance - K.S. Experience
5 Share This House (Radio Mix) - Members Of The House
6 Feel Surreal - A Tongue & D Groove
7 Spark - Mia Hesterley
8 Techno Music - Juan Atkins
9 Big Fun - Inner City
10 Ride Em Boy - Blake Baxter
11 Sequence 10 - Anthony Shakir
12 Un, Deux, Trois - Idol Making

"I was always a Northern Soul freak," says Rushton. "When the first techno records came in, the early Model 500, Reese, and Derrick May material, I wanted to follow up the Detroit connection. I took a flyer and called up Transmat; I got Derrick May and we started to release his records in England. At that time, Derrick was recording on very primitive analog equipment: 'Nude Photo,' for instance, was done straight onto cassette, and that was the master. When you're using that equipment, you must keep the mixes very simple. You can't overdub, or drop too many things in; that's why it's so sparse.

"Derrick came over with a bag of tapes, some of which didn't have any name: tracks which are now classics, like 'Sinister' and 'Strings of Life.' Derrick then introduced us to Kevin Saunderson, and we quickly realized that there was a cohesive sound of these records, and that we could do a really good compilation album. We got backing from Virgin Records and flew to Detroit. We met Derrick, Kevin, and Juan and went out to dinner, trying to think of a name.

"At the time, everything was house, house house. We thought of Motor City House Music, that kind of thing, but Derrick, Kevin, and Juan kept on using the word techno. They had it in their heads without articulating it; it was already part of their language." Rushton's team returned to England with 12 tracks, which were released on an album called Techno! The New Dance School of Detroit, with a picture of the Detroit waterfront at night. At the time, it seemed like just another hype, but within a couple of months Kevin Saunderson had a huge U.K. hit with Inner City's pop oriented "Big Fun," and techno entered the language.

--Jon Savage, The Village Voice Summer 1993 "Rock & Roll Quarterly" insert.

The music's producers were using the word "techno" in a general sense as early as 1984 (as in Cybotron's seminal classic "Techno City"), and sporadic references to an ill-defined "techno-pop" could be found in the music press in the mid-1980s. However, it was not until Neil Rushton assembled the compilation Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit for Virgin UK in 1988 that the word came to formally describe a genre of music. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Techno_music#History [Apr 2005]

see also: Detroit techno - techno - Neil Rushton

2005, Apr 06; 09:10 ::: Music of the United Kingdom

The UK was, with the US, one of the two main countries in the development of rock and roll, and has provided bands including The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, Queen, Status Quo, the Sex Pistols, the Manic Street Preachers, Oasis, and Radiohead. Since then it has also pioneered in various forms of electronic dance music including acid house, drum and bass and trip hop, all of which were in whole or part developed in the United Kingdom. Acclaimed British dance acts include Underworld, Massive Attack, The Chemical Brothers and Portishead. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_the_United_Kingdom#Music [Apr 2005]

2005, Apr 06; 09:10 ::: Eccentric Lives, Peculiar Notions and trepanation

18th century French illustration of trepanation
image sourced here. [Apr 2005]

Eccentric Lives, Peculiar Notions () - John Michell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

About the Author
John Michell was a Russian interpreter and Chartered Surveyor before publishing his first book, The Flying Saucer Vision, in 1967. This and its successor, The View Over Atlantis (1969), helped to change the attitudes of a whole generation to the culture, wisdom and science of ancient societies. His other books include The Earth Spirit, A Little History of Astro Archaeology, Simulacra, Megalithomania, The New View Over Atlantis, and, with Robert Rickard, Phenomena and Living Wonders. He lives in London.

Laurence Urdang is a professional lexicographer whose interest in words and language is undiminished after almost 40 years' exposure to dictionaries of all kinds. His magnum opus was the unabridged edition of the Random House Dictionary of the English Language.

Product Description:
The passionately misguided individuals profiled in this entertaining book form an unforgettable portrait of human imagination run wild.

Never has so much energy been poured into such oddly misbegotten ideas, inventions, enterprises and movements. The 22 individuals and groups described here with wit and understanding represent the widest range of true eccentricity. Lady Blount believes that the earth is flat; Cyrus Teed, that it is a hollow shell with us on the inside; Baron de Guldenstubbe that statues write him letters. Nesta Webster devotes her life to exposing international conspiracies; John Carden to pestering one young lady. Geoffrey Pyke invents a giant battleship made of ice; and Amanda Feilding and Joey Mellen live in peace and prosperity after drilling holes in their heads. The peculiarities of their beliefs are surpassed only by the boundless enthusiasm with which they defend them, and their stories are all here, told in John Michell's lively prose and accompanied by historic photographs and drawings. --via Amazon.com

In a chapter of his book, Eccentric Lives & Peculiar Notions, John Michell describes a British group which advocates self-trepanation, that is, the drilling of a hole in the skull to allow the brain access to more space and oxygen. The chapter is called "The People With Holes in their Heads".

According to Michell, the Dutch doctor Bart Huges (sometimes written as "Bart Hughes") pioneered the idea of trepanation. Huges' 1962 monograph, Homo Sapiens Correctus, is cited by most advocates of self-trepanation. Among other arguments, he contends that since children have a higher state of consciousness, and children's skulls are not fully closed, that one can return to an earlier, childlike state of consciousness by self-trepanation. Further, by allowing the brain to freely pulsate, Huges argues that a number of benefits will accrue.

Michell quotes a book called Bore Hole written by Joseph (Joey) Mellen. At the time the passage below was written, Joey and his partner, Amanda Feilding, had made two previous attempts at trepanning Joey. The second attempt ended up placing Joey in the hospital, where he was scolded severely and sent for psychiatric evaluation. After he returned home, Joey decided to try again. Joey describes his third attempt at self-trepanation:

After some time there was an ominous sounding schlurp and the sound of bubbling. I drew the trepan out and the gurgling continued. It sounded like air bubbles running under the skull as they were pressed out. I looked at the trepan and there was a bit of bone in it. At last!

There is an active advocacy group for the self-trepanation procedure, the International Trepanation Advocacy Group. Their webpage [1] (http://www.trepan.com) includes MRI images of trepanned brains. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-surgery#Self-trepanation [Apr 2005]

Hole in the Head:
Early in 1965, I heard of someone who had drilled a hole in his head to get a permanently high {sic}. I put it down as another crankish idea and didn't think much about it. Later that year I went to Ibiza, looking for mescalin or LSD. I knew a few people who had taken acid and said it was even greater than mescalin [...] -- Joe Mellen, Other Scenes magazine, November 1970

  • http://www.noah.org/trepan/hole_in_the_head.html
  • http://www.noah.org/trepan/photos

    2005, Apr 06; 08:34 ::: Pure War (1983/1998) - Paul Virilio, Sylvre Lotringer

    Pure War (1983/1998) - Paul Virilio, Sylvre Lotringer [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Product Description:
    "Pure war" is the name of the invisible war that technology is waging against humanity. In this dazzling dialogue with Sylvere Lotringer, Paul Virilio for the first time displayed the whole range of his reflections on the effect of speed on our civilization and every one of them has been dramatically confirmed over the years. For Virilio, the foremost philosopher of speed, the "technical surprise" of World War I was the discovery that the wartime economy could not be sustained unless it was continued in peacetime. As a consequence, the distinction between war and peace ceased to apply, inaugurating the military-industrial complex and the militarization of science itself.

    Every new invention casts a long shadow that we are generally unwilling to acknowledge in the name of progress: the invention of automobiles inaugurated car-crashes; the invention of nuclear energy, Hiroshima and Tchernobyl. The technologies of instant communications have invented another kind of accident: the extermination of space and the derealization of time. Instant feedback is shrinking the planet to nothing, and "globalization" is its ultimate accident. First published in 1983, this book introduced Virilio's thinking to the United States. For successive generations of readers, it remains one of the most influential and far-reaching essays of our time. --via Amazon.com

    see also: war - Paul Virilio

    2005, Apr 05; 22:37 ::: La Pieuvre/Octopus - Félicien Rops (1833 - 1898)

    La Pieuvre/Octopus - Félicien Rops (1833 - 1898)
    sourced here. [Apr 2005]

    see also: Félicien Rops - tentacle

    2005, Apr 05; 07:55 ::: Basic Channel and Lloyd 'BullWackie' Barnes

    photo of Lloyd 'BullWackie' Barnes
    sourced here.

    Basic Channel is a minimal techno duo of Moritz Von Oswald (aka Maurizio) and Mark Ernestus that originated in Berlin, Germany in 1993. The duo released a number of vinyl-only tracks under various aliases, such as Phylyps, q1.1, Quadrant, Octagon, and Radiance, each of which employed their signature brand of dissonant dub techno. The Basic Channel record label, featuring the duo, released only a single CD, a self-titled culmination of edited versions of their extended vinyl tracks, which exemplified their seminal brand of dub informed Detroit techno. Basic Channel influenced various labels, such as Chain Reaction Records and Rhythm & Sound Records, whom have been prolific since the parent label closed in 1995. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Channel [Apr 2005]

    There is no wonder contemporary dub and sound minimalist architects Basic Channel have embraced this cult-reggae legend by releasing an extensive archive of Bullwackie’s music on their very own Rhythm & Sound label. --Craig Terlino in http://www.weeklydig.com/dig/content/2633.aspx [2004 - now offline]

    Reggae Goodies, Vol. 1-2 (1977) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Both volumes of Reggae Goodies came out around 1977 on Bullwackies' City Line imprint (which celebrated the NY subway track ending at White Plains Road, and Wackies' headquarters). They are based on a compilation of 7" A-sides which had appeared over the previous few years also on labels like Versatile, Rawse and Senrab.

    The original sleeve-note of Volume 1 reflected that 'today, reggae music is reaching its peak and this album is a perfect example of the roots of its success. This is an exceptionally well put together album with various artists at their best.' No one could argue - with spectacular contributions like Don Carlos' Black Harmony Killer, Wayne Jarrett's African Woman (to Baba Leslie's Black Horns rhythm), Joe Morgan's Basement Session, and the first time out for Stranger Cole's intense Capture Land, later redone by Wackies and also Half Moon affiliates TAMU.

    Volume 2 derives more from Wackies' Sounds Unlimited Studios in New York, and aims rather for the Lovers in the dance. Ad hoc lineups like Wanachi (with Jah Jah's Call also appearing on Creation Dub) and the Chosen Brothers - here it may be Lloyd Barnes with Wayne Jarrett on one track, and Leroy Sibbles on another - appear alongside regulars like 'Jah Junior' Delahaye, K.C. White, and those 'three attractive young beauties' The Love Joys - with a different mix of their version of The Abyssinians' Sweet Feelings than turns up on their debut album.

    'REGGAE GOODIES, it's more than just an album. It's an experience which can only be shared by you. Get your copy now... There'll never be another of its kind.'

      * Love Joys: I Belong To You
      * Joe Morgan: Basement Session
      * Wayne Jarrett: African Woman
      * John Clarke: John Brown
      * Jah Carlos: Black Harmony
      * African Jamaicans: Loving Man
      * Stranger Cole: Capture Land
      * John Clarke: Recession
      * Jerry Hitler: What's Wrong With You?
      * K.C. White: Selassie
      * Love Joys: Sweet Feelings
      * African Jamaicans: Girl Of My Dreams
      * K.C. White: Lets Love
      * Sel Wheeler & Azul: Love Dream
      * Chosen Brothers: Love Me To The End
      * Roots Hangover: Soon Sunday
      * Wanachi: African Rose
      * Jah Junior: Yes I'm Gone
      * Chosen Brothers: So Much Loving
      * Wanachi: Black Root
    --http://basicchannel.com/item/W-39/40 [Apr 2005]

    2005, Apr 04; 20:26 ::: Anarchy in the UK: ‘70s British Punk as Bakhtinian Carnival

    Jamie Reid's 1977 appropriation/détournement of Cecil Beaton's portrait of the Queen's coronation, 1953

    In July 1998, the British weekly newspaper The Observer ran a fashion feature with svelte models sporting cut-up cashmere tops photographed against the work of the punk graphic designer Jamie Reid. Most notable was Reid’s image for the infamous Sex Pistols’ song “God Save the Queen” (1977) showing her majesty resplendent with safety-pin. Aside from perhaps a wry postmodern reference to the American Vogue (March 1951) fashion shoot which featured Jackson Pollock’s work as a backdrop, it illustrates the recuperation of certain elements of ‘70s British punk, its status now, for some, as a form of radical chic and a style among others.

    Although conscious that writing about punk in an academic context could be considered as further assisting the process of co-option, the intention here is to re-assert and re-frame punk’s radical and more intractable features by drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin’s well-known notion of carnival. It will be suggested that there are not only strong affinities and parallels between many aspects of punk and carnival, but that the former can to varying degrees be legitimately considered as a reincarnation of the latter. Indeed, it is germane to locate punk within the carnival frame. For, as Robert Stam notes: “Bakhtinian categories display an intrinsic identification with difference and alterity, a built-in affinity for the oppressed and marginal, a feature making them especially appropriate for the analysis of opposition and marginal practices . . .” (21). The aim of locating punk within the carnival tradition then, is to redefine and redeem its many subversive features, and in addition, to open up the discourse on punk which in general sees it as an episode in the history of British pop music, a youth sub-cultural phenomenon, or as a manifestation of postmodernism. --Peter Jones via http://pcasacas.org/SPC/spcissues/24.3/Jones.htm [Apr 2005]

    see also: Mikhail Bakhtin - carnival - punk - anarchy - Robert Stam

    2005, Apr 04; 20:04 ::: Marilyn Monroe by Cecil Beaton, 1956

    Marilyn Monroe by Cecil Beaton, 1956
    image sourced http://www.npg.org.uk/live/trbeaton.asp [Apr 2005]

    2005, Apr 04; 19:38 ::: Expansions (1974) - Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes

    Expansions (1974) - Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    see also: Lonnie Liston Smith

    2005, Apr 04; 19:38 ::: Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 (1993) and jazz rap

    Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 (1993) - various artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1
    Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 is a jazz rap album by alternative hip hop artist Guru, released on May 18, 1993 (see 1993 in music) on Chrysalis Records. The album revolutionized jazz rap, and is usually considered the first full-fledged fusion of jazz and hip hop. Live backing is provided by a band that includes Lonnie Liston Smith, Branford Marsalis, Rodney Jordan, Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers. The album also features collaborations with N'Dea Davenport (of the Brand New Heavies) and French rapper MC Solaar.

    Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 peaked at #24 and #91 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and the Billboard 200 albums charts. The single "Trust Me" peaked at #50 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart. In spite of the lagging American sales, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 was a commercial success in Europe, where jazz was much more popular in the 1990s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jazzmatazz%2C_Vol._1& [Apr 2005]

    2005, Apr 04; 18:24 ::: Psycho (1960) and the slasher film

    Psycho (1960) - Alfred Hitchcock [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Psycho: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score (1960) - Bernard Herrmann [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Track listing
    1. Prelude 2. City 3. Marion 4. Marion and Sam 5. Temptation 6. Flight 7. Patrol Car 8. Car Lot 9. Package 10. Rainstorm 11. Hotel Room 12. Window 13. Parlor 14. Madhouse 15. Peephole 16. Bathroom 17. Murder 18. Body 19. Office 20. Curtain 21. Water 22. Car 23. Clean Up 24. Swamp 25. Search 26. Shadow 27. Phone Booth 28. Porch 29. Stairs 30. Knife 31. Search (B) 32. First Floor 33. Cabin 10 34. Cabin 1 35. Hill 36. Bedroom 37. Toys 38. Cellar 39. Discovery 40. Finale

    Some film critics have perceived this film to be the predecessor to the slasher films that would follow in the succeeding decades. In fact, Peeping Tom was released to theatres shortly before Alfred Hitchcock established the slasher film genre for American audiences with Psycho. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peeping_Tom_%28film%29 [Mar 2005]

    see also: Pscyho (1960) - slasher film - Peeping Tom - horror film

    2005, Apr 04; 17:14 ::: Entrails of the Virgin (1986) - Kazuo 'Gaira' Komizu

    Shojo no harawata/Entrails of the Virgin (1986) - Kazuo 'Gaira' Komizu [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0222817/ 4.5/10 [Apr 2005]

    Despite the best efforts of author Jack Hunter to intellectualise this one with phrases like "a bleak, muted document of sexual hysteria with hallucinatory montages" (in Eros In Hell, 1998 - published by Creation Books), what we have here is a piece of unadulterated über-exploitation.

    The crew and models of an erotic photo shoot hide out in a deserted house at night after dense fog makes the country roads inaccessible. There, they embark on power games and lengthy sex sessions (voluntary and otherwise), while unbeknownst to them a monster risen from a nearby swamp is creeping up on them.

    Since sex and death are always an effective combination, this monster is not only out to kill every single member of the party by any means available (including but not limited to shards of glass, meat hooks and jackhammers), but also to rape the females with the rather gigantic organ dangling between its legs. Cue a million sexual positions, gouged-out eyes, girls covered in monster cum, decapitation, masturbation with a severed arm, a fistfuck ending in disembowelment and more of the like.

    Director Komizu, working under his usual pseudonym Gaira, is one of the modern-day masters of the ero-gro genre and if one summarises the film's contents, he certainly seems to deliver here. If the term 'erotic-grotesque' is to be interpreted literally, then Guts of a Virgin goes far beyond. This splatter/porn flick is too far gone to be either erotic or grotesque. 'Graphic-absurd' would be a more appropriate label. Because for all its sexual and violent explicitness, it is above all absurd, due in no small amount to a ridiculously laughable monster, which in actuality is little more than a naked man covered in grime and mud, with a huge fake penis tied in front.

    As a result, Guts of a Virgin sounds more offensive than it is. Yes, it will be met with more than a raised eyebrow by the uninitiated, but hammy acting, clumsy direction and special effects, and none too subtle Eirin censorship (the hardcore close-ups are all there, only resolutely fogged), drastically diminish its impact. Guts of a Virgin almost works as absurd comedy, but those looking for the ultimate porn/horror kick will be better served by a double bill of Deep Throat and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. -- Tom Mes via http://www.midnighteye.com/reviews/gutsvirg.shtml [Apr 2005]

    see also: Tom Mes

    2005, Apr 04; 17:14 ::: Junichiro Tanizaki (1886 - 1965)

    Seven Japanese Tales () - Junichiro Tanizaki [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Junichiro Tanizaki (Tanizaki Jun'ichir?, July 24, 1886 - July 30, 1965) was a Japanese author. Leetes Island Books, which translated In Praise of Shadows, romanizes his name as Jun'ichir? Tanizaki, while Vintage, a company that translated several of his books, romanizes his name as Junichiro Tanizaki.

    Tanizaki was one of the major writers of modern Japanese literature, and remains perhaps the most popular Japanese novelist after Natsume Soseki. In his early years he was infatuated with the West and all things modern, living in a Western-style house in Yokohama, the foreign expatriate suburb of Tokyo, and leading a decidedly bohemian lifestyle. He was first published in 1910 but his reputation really began to take off when he moved to Kyoto after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. The move triggered a change in his enthusiasms, as he abandoned his youthful love for the West and modernity, and became absorbed in traditional Japanese culture, particularly the culture of the Kansai region comprising Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. The change in his attitudes can be seen best in his masterpiece "Sasameyuki" ("A Light Snowfall", published in English as "The Makioka Sisters"), a tale about four daughters of a waning Osaka merchant family. Though his early novels paint a rich atmosphere of 1920s Tokyo and Osaka, during the 1930s Tanizaki turned away from contemporary affairs to write about Japan's feudal past, perhaps as a reaction to the growing mood of militarism in society and politics. After World War II Tanizaki again emerged into literary prominence, winning a host of awards and until his death regarded as Japan's greatest living author. Most of his works are highly sensual in nature, a few particularly centering around eroticism but are laced with wit and ironic sophistication. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanizaki_Junichiro [Apr 2005]

    inspired by Midori

    2005, Apr 04; 16:18 ::: The Key (1983) - Tinto Brass

    image source unidentified

    image sourced here.

    The Key (1983) - Tinto Brass [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    see also: Tinto Brass

    2005, Apr 04; 15:58 ::: Blue Underground

    Welcome to Blue Underground...
    The new DVD company dedicated to guilty pleasures for adventurous movie lovers.

    It’s any time between the late ’60s and mid ’80s, and you’re standing in front of a decrepit movie theater in an unsavory part of town. The titles on the marquee called you like a beacon. You were lured by the reputation of an obscure director, the talents of a notorious star or even the promises made by an amazing poster. You honestly don’t know what you may be getting yourself into, or even if you’ll get out of the theater alive. For some strange and wonderful reason, you are compelled to see movies about psychopaths, cops, robbers, zombies, cannibals, madmen, strange women and more, with an audience often comprised of the same.

    Today those theaters are gone, but that excitement - and these films - remain. These will be definitive discs of some remarkable films, all fully restored, remastered and packed with the most mind-blowing extras in the business. --http://www.blue-underground.com/about_us.php [Apr 2005]

    2005, Apr 04; 15:44 ::: The Girl From Rio (1969) - Jesus Franco

    image sourced here.

    The Girl From Rio (1969) - Jesus Franco [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    see also: Jess Franco

    2005, Apr 04; 15:29 ::: Baba Yaga (1983) - Corrado Farina

    image sourced here.

    Baba Yaga (1973) - Corrado Farina [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Legendary sex symbol Carroll Baker (BABY DOLL, THE SWEET BODY OF DEBORAH) stars as a mysterious sorceress with an undying hunger for sensual ecstasy and unspeakable torture. But when she casts a spell over a beautiful young fashion photographer (the gorgeous Isabelle De Funés), Milan’s most luscious models are sucked into a nightmare world of lesbian seduction and shocking sadism. Are these carnal crimes the result of one woman’s forbidden fantasies or is this the depraved curse of the devil witch known as BABA YAGA?

    George Eastman (THE GRIM REAPER) co-stars in this provocative EuroShocker (also known as DEVIL WITCH and KISS ME KILL ME) written and directed by Corrado Farina and based on the notorious S&M comic Valentina by Guido Crepax. Blue Underground is now proud to present BABA YAGA restored from pristine vault materials and packed with eye-popping Extras, including never-before-seen erotic outtakes from the Italian Censors archives as well as the director’s own private collection. --via Amazon.com

    Baba Yaga
    Baba Yaga (Polish Baba Jaga, Slovene jaga baba, Russian [...]) in Slavic mythology is the wild woman, the dark lady and mistress of magic. She is also seen as a forest spirit, leading hosts of spirits. The word baba in most Slavic languages means an older or married woman of lower social class.

    Baba Yaga in arts
    Creative works inspired by Baba Yaga include:

    • Numerous Russian films and cartoons
    • Baba Yaga (Italian film, 1973, by Corrado Farina)
    • Baba Yaga (a drawing of Baba Yaga's hut by Viktor Hartmann that features in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition)
    • Enchantment (a novel by Orson Scott Card)
    • The Sandman and The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman featured Baba Yaga in a number of stories based on folk tales.
    • Baba Yaga appears in Mike Mignola's comic book Hellboy, in the issue Baba Yaga. She is depicted or referenced in other issues, including the Conqueror Worm and Wake the Devil collections.

    The following Western works bear little or no relation to "real" Baba Yaga but the name.

    • Fables by Bill Willingham occasionally features her.
    • In the RPG series Quest for Glory she is the main villain of the first episode. She briefly reappears in the 4th part.
    • In Vampire: the Masquerade RPG Baba Yaga was a powerful vampire of Nosferatu clan which reappeared after the fall of Gorbachov, killing all of the Brujah clan vampires that controlled the Soviet Union.

    --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_Yaga [Apr 2005]

    2005, Apr 04; 14:58 ::: Bruce Conner (1933 - ), A Movie and the cut-up technique

    image sourced here.

    San Francisco 1965
    While waiting for McClure to leave his place, Bruce Conner and I played around with my parent's car. He posed all over the old Rolls-Royce, but I like his flying lady hood ornament pose the best. --http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/keenan/b1965-5.html [Apr 2005]

    Jamming has become a method of devaluing the cultural capital of the mainstream, of reversing the one-way flow of media. It is to many an almost evangelical trajectory, borne by Beat era notions of 'beatitude' a kind of heartfelt sense of pathos and epiphany through art or artistic gesture. This has won it critics from people Bruce Conner's work in the early 1960s on film shows a screen world of beatific menace and threat; cold war anxiety about nuclear weapons, and trashy cast off material about hot-rod races, nude dancers.

    When cut together the combination of fact and fiction, rare archival and Z-grade schlock in Bruce Conner's films opens a window into the hidden underbelly of postwar US culture. The psyche of America is unveiled as a vast repository of pent-up desire. The cut-up method was an extension of the overall beat project; to symbolically defy the claims made upon everyday life by a post war command economy. The rigidly warlike hierarchical structure of the militarized government of America in the 1950s was met with an explosion of counter cultural resistance movements, beginning with the beatniks. As McKenzie Wark and Mark Davis point out in their books, it is the members of that same once vehemently anti-authoritarian counter-culture thirty five years ago who today still jealously clutch to cultural power within the contemporary Australian media. --http://www.sniggle.net/Manifesti/notes.php [Apr 2005]

    A Movie
    A Movie is a 1958 montage film in which Bruce Conner put together snippets of found footage to a musical score. The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Movie [Apr 2005]

    Conner made his first film, A Movie, in 1958. A startling bombardment of rapidly edited images, this, like all his films, is devoid of linear narrative and is designed to be understood on a subliminal level. As with his assemblages, he pieced his films together out of scavenged materials, and many of his movies explore the intermingling of sex, death and violence he sees as being central to American culture.

    "Bruce's movies changed my entire concept of editing," says longtime friend Dennis Hopper, who contributed an essay to the catalogue for Conner's current show. "In fact, much of the editing of Easy Rider came directly from watching Bruce's films, and, when I look at MTV, it seems they all must've been students of his." --Dennis Hopper via http://www.geocities.com/bakfan_uk/Bruce_Conner.htm [Apr 2005]

    Born in McPherson, Kansas, in 1933, Conner studied art at Wichita University and Nebraska University, which awarded him a B.F.A. in 1956. He continued his studies at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and the University of Colorado. In 1957, attracted by stories of a vibrant art and literary scene, he and his wife, Jean, moved to San Francisco. Conner subsequently became a key figure in the burgeoning Beat community, along with visual artists Jay De Feo, Joan Brown and Manuel Neri, and poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure and Philip Lamantia. After sojourns in Mexico City and Brookline, Massachusetts, Conner resettled in San Francisco, where he continues to work today.

    Conner first attracted attention in the late 1950s with his moody, nylon-shrouded assemblages, which were complex amalgams of such found objects as women's stockings, bicycle wheels, broken dolls, fringe, fur, costume jewelry and candles, often combined with collaged or painted surfaces. Erotically charged and tinged with echoes of both the Surrealist tradition and of San Francisco's Victorian past, these works established Conner as a leading figure within the international assemblage "movement."

    Simultaneously during the late 1950s, Conner began making short movies in a singular style that has since established him as one of the most important figures in postwar independent filmmaking. His innovative technique can best be seen in his first film, A MOVIE (1958), an editing tour-de-force made entirely by piecing together scraps of B-movie condensations, newsreels, novelty shorts and other pre-existing footage. His subsequent films are most often fast-paced collages of found and new footage. Conner was among the first to use pop music for film sound tracks. His films have inspired generations of filmmakers and are now considered to be the precursors of the music video genre.

    During the 1960s Conner became an active force in the San Francisco counterculture as a collaborator in light shows for the legendary Family Dog at the Avalon ballroom, and through his intricate black-and-white mandala drawings and elaborate collages made from scraps of 19th-century engravings, all of which remain icons of the period's sensory-based spirituality. During the 1970s he focused on drawing and photography, producing dramatic, life-sized photograms as well as intimately scaled inkblot drawings. In recent years Conner has continued to work on a small scale, producing collages and inkblot drawings that have been shown in numerous group exhibitions, including the 1997 Whitney Biennial. Throughout Conner's entire body of work, the recurrence of religious imagery and symbology continues to underscore the essentially visionary nature of his work. --http://www.themodern.org/conner.html [Apr 2005]

    Meta-media society
    Other artists such as Bruce Conner, Robert Rauschenberg and James Rosenquist similarly give up the idea of creating totally "new" images. Instead, their works come to function as research laboratories where existing media images are juxtaposed together in order to be analyzed. (During the same years Roland Barthes publishes his articles on the semiotics of advertizing photography.) And, a little earlier, in 1958, Bruce Conner creates his famous "compilation" film "Movie, movie" totally made from the "found" media material. Such a movie - something would not be conceivable just a three decades earlier, when media society was still young and still exited about the possibility of accumulating media records (so even Vertov thought it was necessary to shoot his own material.)

    These artworks of the 1960s signal the arrival of the new stage in history of media, which I will call meta-media society. The tremendous accumulation of media records by that time, along with the shift from industrial society concerned with the production of goods to the information society concerned with the processing of data (which was noted by the early 1970s) changes the game. It becomes more important to find effective and efficient ways to deal with already accumulated volumes of media then to record more or in new ways. I am not saying that the society no longer has any interest in looking outside, in representation and new forms; but the emphasis shifts to finding find new ways to deal with the media records obtained by already existing media machines. This shift is paralleled by the new economic importance of data analysis over material production in the information society. The new "information worker" also does not deal with the material reality directly but with its records. Importantly, both meta-media society and the information society adopt digital computer as their key technology to process all types of data and all types of media. --http://www.crac.org/htmls/levavant.html [Apr 2005]

    2005, Apr 04; 14:54 ::: Carmelo Bene

    Carmelo Bene in S.A.D.E. (1976)
    photo by Antonio Sferlazzo sourced here.

    2005, Apr 04; 14:15 ::: Nerosubianco (1969) - Tinto Brass

    Soundtrack LP cover of Nerosubianco (1969) - Tinto Brass
    image sourced here.

    The soundtrack to the cult 1968 avant-garde movie from Tinto Brass. Freedom was formed in the late summer of 1967 by two ex-Procol Harum members, Ray Royer and Bobby Harrison. Before Freedom had even had time to prove their worth by composing a single measure of music, Brass commissioned them to write fourteen songs for Nerosubianco. According to enthusiasts of psychedelic rock, these are the only songs by Freedom that were any good and they are now considered among the cream of the crop of the genre. A minor classic of late-sixties psychedelia. --http://www.moviegrooves.com/shop/nerosubianco.htm [Apr 2005]

    Still from Nerosubianco (1969) - Tinto Brass
    image sourced here.

    This is where the creators of MTV got all their ideas. But nothing I’ve ever seen on MTV comes close to the mastery of this original from the late 1960s.

    After Heart in His Mouth, producer Dino De Laurentiis offered Brass a chance to make a smaller and even more daring film. Brass chose to update a script he had written in early 1964 immediately after completing Chi lavora è perduto. He had apparently become enamored of the avant-garde filmmakers and decided to one-up them all. He again hired his friend, cartoonist Guido Crepax, to draw the storyboards and to create graphics. Shooting began in October 1967 and the result, NEROSUBIANCO, which premièred at the Cannes festival in May 1968, was a carefully wrought and meticulously structured orgy of free-association. To help explain what is or isn’t going on, disembodied voices occasionally break through saying, in both Italian and English, “Qualcosa come un sogno” - “Something like a dream.” A song goes further: “Didn’t you know that your misty eyes haven’t seen? They’ve been telling lies in dreams.” Anticipating Brass’s later works, the visuals, and even more so the voice-overs, are bluntly sexual-more blunt than even we today are accustomed to experiencing. --http://www.geocities.com/busterktn/tinto4.html [Apr 2005]

    ...Author of such works as Ca Ira, L’Urlo, Drop Out and La Vacanza, Tinto Brass—second only to Carmelo Bene in eccentricity of style—here employs a non-narrative cut-up technique involving all manner of editing devices, freeze-frames and negative effects, in a film shot on location in London by an obviously resourceful cameraman. One suspects that it must have been pretty incoherent in its original form, but as presented here with extensive cuts, it is an incomprehensible shambles, neither sexy enough for the exploitation market nor fashionable enough for art houses.... John Gillett via Monthly Film Bulletin, November 1973, p 230:

    A fellow in Sweden then sent me a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a severely censored Italian broadcast of NEROSUBIANCO, and I was mesmerized. Predictably, I watched it about twice a day every day for the next week. In spite of its slight narrative and its few long takes, and despite its use of less than 25 cameras per take, it’s the closest thing I have ever seen to the movie I had wanted to make: scrambled, rapid-fire, free-association imagery and editing, often coming close to mimicking the human thought process. I re-read the reviews, and I wanted to find the critics who wrote them so that I could throttle them. How could they not recognize that this was perhaps the most revolutionary movie of all time? And perhaps the most exciting? Regardless of poor promotion and bad reviews, how did this movie fail to find an audience? Why didn’t the counterculture embrace it as their cinematic banner? Various scholars cite the works of Kenneth Anger, Bruce Conner, and other experimental filmmakers as the direct ancestors of MTV. No no no no no! They write such things only because they have never seen NEROSUBIANCO, which was the true grandparent of the phenomenon. The film’s production manager, artist-poet-photographer-filmmaker-videomaker Nick Saxton, went on to pioneer the music-video phenomenon. I have not seen his works, but I would be genuinely surprised if they bear much resemblance to the pitiful garbage that MTV and other such stations have been insulting us with for two decades now. --http://www.geocities.com/busterktn/tinto8f.html [Jul 2004]

    see also: Nick Saxton's imdb profile here.

    see also: Nerosubianco's imdb profile here.

    2005, Apr 04; 10:58 ::: Deep Space NYC, Vol. 1 (2005) - François K

    Deep Space NYC, Vol. 1 (2005) - François K [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Track Listings
    1. New Dawn/ Beat Pharmacy
    2. Awade (Joe's Jungle Sounds Dub)/ Instant House
    3. Sandcastles (FK Edit)/ Sydenham & Ferrer Inc.
    4. Queen Version/ Rhythm & Sound w/ J. Lara
    5. Rootsman Dub/ U-Roy & François K.
    6. Bad Friday/ Baby Ford & The Ifach Collective
    7. See This Way/ Jeff Mills
    8. Tightrope (Red One Remix)/ Matrix & Fierce
    9. Fugitive Dub/ Skatalites
    10. Eggy's Pause Button (Re-echoed)/Chicken Lips
    11. Demented (Or Just Crazy)/ Carl Craig
    12. Riddim (Dub)/ Matthias 'Matty' Heilbronn
    13. Heartical Dub/ Jah Warrior
    14. FK on the Beach/ François K.
    15. What Goes Around Comes Around/ Mutabaruka

    Album Description
    Dub has been present in popular music since its early '70s Jamaican reggae roots, also filtering into dance music in later decades, but never widely acknowledged for what it is: a truly groundbreaking conceptual art form equal in significance to other giant aesthetic leaps such as cubism or jazz. It abstracts the essence of music and allows its creator to redefine and reshape boundaries for what might otherwise be a predictable form of expression.

    This is the concept upon which François K., on the heels of a 6-year co-residency at Body & Soul in NYC, has founded with his new weekly event, Deep Space. This compilation brings you a glimpse of what it is like to be there on a Monday night. Fran ois, in his legendary way takes us on a journey and shows us the thread, starting with old and new dub from the Skatalites, Jah Warrior, and Rhythm&Sound, taking it to dubbed-out house with Chicken Lips and Jungle Sounds, further stretching it into MatrixÕs futuristic, electrifying drum&bass and into cosmic techno with Carl Craig, Baby Ford and Jeff Mills. For the occasion, he has also gotten together with dub legends Mutabaruka and U-Roy for original productions exclusive to this compilation.

    This mix CD collection includes many of the songs which have become favorites with the regular weekly crowds at Deep Space on Monday nights, where they enthusiastically flock to experience first-hand the trailblazing and unique Live DJ style he has developed over the span of a 25-year illustrious musical career. --via Amazon.com

    see also: dub - François Kevorkian

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