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

2005, May 03; 11:04 ::: Status: archived

2005, May 03; 11:04 ::: Mae West (1893 – 1980)

Mae West from the cover of Mae West: An Icon in Black and White by Jill Watts
image sourced here.

Face of Mae West (can be used as Surrealist apartment) (1934-35) - Salvador Dalí

Mae West Lips Sofa (1936-1938) - Salvador Dalí

2005, May 03; 11:04 ::: Josephine Baker (1906 - 1975)

Josephine Baker in a burlesque outfit

Poster by Paul Colin for the Révue Nègre, 1925

Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 - April 12, 1975), born Freda Josephine McDonald, was an African American dancer, actress and singer, sometimes known as "The Black Venus." She became a French citizen in 1937.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Eddie Carson and Carrie McDonald, she entered vaudeville as a teen, gradually heading toward New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, performing at the Plantation Club.

On October 2, 1925, she opened in Paris at the Théâtre Champs-Elysées, where she became an instant success for her erotic dancing and appearing practically naked on stage. After a successful tour of Europe, she returned to France, where she starred at the Folies Bergère, setting the standard for her future acts. Already a star, she performed in a skirt made only of bananas, often accompanied by her pet leopard, Chiquita, who was adorned with a diamond collar. The leopard frequently escaped into the orchestra pit, where it terrorized the musicians, adding yet another element of excitement to the show.

In a short while she was the most successful American entertainer working in France-whereas in the U.S., she would have suffered from the racial prejudices common to the era. The writer Ernest Hemingway called her "the most sensational woman anyone ever saw." In addition to being a musical star, Baker also starred in several successful films, among them Zouzou (1934) and Princesse Tamtam (1935).

Upon marrying her manager Giuseppe Pepito Abatino-a Sicilian stonemason who passed himself off successfully as a Sicilian count-Baker transformed her stage and public persona into a sophisticated cultural figure. (The marriage was reportedly a publicity stunt and not legally binding). At this time she also scored her greatest song hit "J'ai deux amours" (1931) and became a muse for contemporary painters and sculptors.

She was so well-known and popular that even the Nazis, who occupied France during World War II were hesitant to touch her. In turn, this allowed Baker to show her loyalty to her adopted country by participating in the Underground. In one apocryphal story, Hermann Göring himself invited her to dinner one evening, already suspecting her of involvement in the Resistance. Realizing that the wine he forced her to drink was poisoned, she managed to excuse herself and escaped from the chalet through a laundry chute. After the war, Baker was awarded the Croix de Guerre for her underground activity.

Yet despite her popularity in France, she was never really able to obtain the same reputation at home. Upon a visit to the United States in 1936, she starred in a failed show with the Ziegfeld Follies; her personal life similarly suffered, and she went through six marriages, some legal, some not.

Though based in France, she supported the American Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s, and protested racism in her own unique way, adopting twelve multi-ethnic orphans, which she called her "Rainbow Tribe." For some time she lived with all of her children and an enormous staff in a castle in France. (Baker had only one child of her own, stillborn in 1941, an incident that precipitated an emergency hysterectomy). On tours of the United States, she refused to perform in segregated nightclubs, and her insistence on mixed audiences helped to integrate shows in Las Vegas. Nevertheless, her career was on a downturn and she was near bankruptcy until she was bailed out and given an apartment by her close friend, Princess Grace of Monaco, another expatriate American entertainer living in Europe.

On April 8, 1975, her fortunes seemed to be turning to the better when she was the star of a retrospective show in Paris, Joséphine, celebrating her fifty years in the theater. The show opened to rave reviews, but Baker never benefited from it. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage less than a week later, and the show was cancelled.

Josephine Baker went through six marriages: foundry worker Willie Wells (1919, divorced), Pullman porter William Howard Baker (1921, divorced), Giuseppe Pepito Abatino (1926, publicity stunt, not legally binding), French sugar magnate Jean Lion (1937-1940, divorced), French orchestra leader Jo Bouillon (1947, separated 1957, eventually divorced), and American artist Robert Brady (1928-1986, married 1973, also not legally binding, separated 1974).

Baker wrote several autobiographies, each containing a different story about her family and career.

She became the first American woman to receive French military honors at her funeral, which was held at L'Église de la Madeleine. She was interred at the Cimetière de Monaco. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Baker [May 2005]

2005, May 02; 22:34 ::: Camp

Ironic attitude
Camp has been from the start an ironic attitude, embraced by anti-Academic theorists for its explicit defense of clearly subordinate forms. As such, its claims to legitimacy are dependent on its opposition to current views of normality; camp has no aspiration to timelessness, but rather lives parasitically on the strength of dominant culture. It does not want to present basic values, but precisely to confront culture with its waste, to show how any norm is historical. This rebellious utilisation of critical concepts originally formulated by modernist art theorists such as Theodor Adorno, who were radically opposed to the kind of popular culture that camp endorses, can be understood as a deeply reflexive problematisation of the problematisation of taste itself that modernism represented.

gay liberation
As a cultural challenge, camp can also receive a political meaning, when minorities appropriate and ridicule the images of the dominant group, the kind of activism associated with multiculturalism and the New Left. The best known instance of this is of course the gay liberation movement, which used camp to confront society with its own preconceptions and their historicity. Female camp actresses such as Bette Davis also had an important influence on the development of feminist consciousness: by exaggerating certain stereotyped features of femininity, such as fragility or moodiness, they undermined the credibility of those preconceptions. The multiculturalist stance in cultural studies therefore presents camp as political and critical.

Academic appropriation or proliferation of camp
While the success of postmodernism granted camp a place in mainstream art and literature analysis, as well as a certain weight in contemporary social theory, it also meant that its extended sphere of influence was likely to affect the use of the concept. As a part of its adoption by the mainstream, camp has undergone a softening of its original subversive tone, and is often little more than the condescending recognition that popular culture can also be enjoyed by a sophisticated sensibility. Comic books and westerns, for example, have become standard subjects for academic analysis. This is not, however, the kind of seriousness that Sontag advocated for camp, to which exaggeration and outlandishness was essential. This uncomfortable situation-the normalisation of the outrageous, common to many Vanguardist movements-has led some to believe that the notion has lost its usefulness for critical art discourse. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp [May 2005]

see also: camp

2005, May 02; 22:34 ::: Disco: Profound and unfortunate

The 1989 edition of the Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music describes disco as 'a dance fad of the Seventies with a profound and unfortunate influence on popular music.' --David Haslam via http://www.lrb.co.uk/v22/n01/hasl02_.html [May 2005]

see also: popular music - disco - dance - 1970s - influence

2005, May 02; 19:07 ::: An A-Z of music people

A - Patrick Adams - Masami Akita - Steve Albini - Tony Allen - George Antheil - Juan Atkins - Roy Ayers - B - Afrika Bambaataa - LLoyd Barnes - Joe Bataan - Chris Blackwell - David Bowie - Glenn Branca - Johannes Brahms - James Brown - Donald Byrd - C - John Cage - Terry Callier - Candido - Manu Chao - Rhys Chatham - Joe Claussell - Ornette Coleman - Bootsy Collins - Stanley Cowell - Patrick Cowley - George Clinton - D - Claude Debussy - Manu Dibango - Sir Coxsone Dodd - Nick Drake - Sly Dunbar - E - Brian Eno - F- Grandmaster Flash - G - Francis Grasso - Serge Gainsbourg - Rudy Van Gelder - H - Herbie Hancock - Martin Hannet - Larry Heard - Jimi Hendrix - Kool Herc - Bernard Herrmann - Loleatta Holloway - J - Grace Jones - K - Frankie Knuckles - Kraftwerk - Fela Kuti - L - Patti Labelle - Bill Laswell - Larry Levan - John Lydon - M - David Mancuso - Bob Marley - Derrick May - Malcolm McLaren - Jeff Mills - Jackie Mittoo - Moodymann - Moondog - Marc Moulin - Tom Moulton - Giorgio Moroder - N - Milton Nascimiento - Michael Nyman - O - Olatunji - Yoko Ono - John Oswald - Genesis P-Orridge - P - Augustus Pablo - Richard Pinhas - Theo Parrish Lee Perry - Elvis Presley - R - Duke Reid - Sylvia Robinson - Arthur Russell - Luigi Russolo - S - Pharoah Sanders - Pierre Schaeffer - Scientist - Arnold Schoenberg - Tee Scott - Adrian Sherwood - DJ Spooky - Karlheinz Stockhausen - Richard Strauss - Igor Stravinsky - Sun Ra - Sylvester - T - Leon Thomas - Linval Thompson - King Tubby - Edgar Varèse - W - Tony Wilson - Doug Wimbish - Z - Frank Zappa - Peter Zummo [May 2005]

2005, May 02; 14:25 ::: Delinquent Boys (1955) - Albert K. Cohen

Delinquent Boys (1955) - Albert K. Cohen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In 1955 Albert K. Cohen wrote Delinquent Boys. He attempted to look at how such a subculture began. Cohen found that delinquency among youths was more prevalent among lower class males and the most common form of this was the juvenile gang. Cohen, a student of Sutherland and Merton, learned from Sutherland that differential association and cultural transmission of criminal norms led to criminal behavior, while Merton taught him about structurally induced strain.

Delinquent subcultures, according to Cohen, have values that are in opposition to those of the dominant culture. These subcultures emerge in the slums of some of the nation's largest cities. Often, they are rooted in class differentials, parental aspirations and school standards. Cohen notes that the position of one's family in the social structure determines the problems the child will later face in life. Thus, they will experience status frustration and strain and adapt into either a corner boy, college boy, or a delinquent boy.

Corner boys lead a conventional lifestyle, making the best of a bad situation. They spend most of their time with peers and receive peer support in group activities. These boys are far and few between. Their chances for success are limited. Cohen argues that their academic and social handicaps prevent them from living up to middle-class standards.

Delinquent boys, on the other hand, band together to define status. Their delinquent acts serve no real purpose. They often discard or destroy what they have stolen. Their acts are random and are directed at people and property. They are a short-run hedonistic subculture with no planning. They often act on impulse, often without consideration for the future. Members are loyal to one another and allow no one to restrain their behavior.

Stealing, in the delinquent gang, serves as a form of achieving peer status within the group, with no other motive. Cohen declared that all children seek social status, but not everyone can compete for it in the same way. Reaction-formation, a Freudian defense mechanism, serves to overcome anxiety, as a hostile overreaction to middle class values can occur. A delinquent subculture is created to resolve problems of lower-class status.

Much of Cohen's work has been both praised and criticized. It helps to answer questions that remain unresolved by strain and cultural deviance theories. His notion of status deprivation and the middle-class measuring rod has been very useful to researchers. His theory, however, fails to explain why some delinquent subcultures eventually become law-abiding, even when this social class position is fixed. Later, he expanded his theory to include not only lower-class delinquents but also variants of middle-class delinquents and female delinquent subcultures. Cohen's theory stimulated later formations of new theories. --http://home.comcast.net/~ddemelo/crime/cohen.html [May 2005]

see also: subculture

2005, May 02; 09:03 ::: Fashion advertising

Sergio Rossi advertisement
image sourced here.

Guiseppe Zanotti advertisement
image sourced here.

Missoni advertisement
image sourced here.

2005, May 02; 09:03 ::: Censorship in the United States

Imagine a list of the 100 greatest erotic movie scenes. I doubt more than a quarter of them would be sex scenes per se. Many would be scenes of kisses and dancing and gorgeous costumes. A few might be entirely symbolic, like Louise Brooks' fatal embrace in PANDORA'S BOX. Some would just be a man or woman lookin' good, like Lana Turner's bouncy sweater-girl promenade in THEY WON'T FORGET or Elizabeth Taylor in her infamous white one-piece in SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER.

If such a list existed I can flat guarantee that all 100 have this in common: no matter when they were made there was social pressure to block, suppress, censor, dilute, discourage or destroy each and every scene on the list. And every scene on that list, no matter how good it may be, is different than it would have been if the creators had been left to do whatever they thought best artistically or commercially. That feels terribly wrong to me.

In many ways America leads the world in freedom of the press. In Canada you can be arrested for denying the holocaust. Britain has a fairly broad state secrets act and libel standard. Many European countries have limitations on racial "hate speech" that a mullah would envy.

America is a great country for people who want to publish political tracts or history, but we have a remarkable history of being backward in all sexual matters. We lead the world in expressive freedoms, provided you don't want to talk about sex.

Being geographically isolated we've always been good at deluding ourselves about our relative virtue. In some ways we were the world's freest nation in 1860, but since we had slavery it's sort of comical to talk about how free we were. We teach our kids that America abolished slavery as part of our whole progressive heritage without mentioning that we were the last western country to do so (except Brazil) and were viewed with some disgust by the entire rest of the civilized world; much the way South Africa was viewed during apartheid. --Chris, Atomic Cinema, http://www.cinebizarre.com/essay_eroticphil.htm [May 2005]

see also: censorship

2005, May 01; 23:45 ::: Anselm Kiefer

Melancholia (1990-1991) - Anselm Kiefer
image sourced here.

Anselm Kiefer's Melancholia,1990-91, is one of four large-scale lead sculpture airplanes that the artist created in the past decade. It joins other important works by Kiefer already in the Museum's collection, including four large paintings and three artist's books. In both its title and its form, Melancholiamakes reference to Albrecht Dürer's Melencolia I from 1514, which represents the melancholic temperament through a depiction of an angel-winged woman sitting grounded with her head in her hands, a tetrahedron positioned on the left side of the work. Kiefer's lead-winged creation with a crystal tetrahedron on its left side recalls the ravages of the air raids of World War II, which ended the year the artist was born. Kiefer's art explores recent German history without memorializing; rather, it speaks of a transcendence of such oppositions as spiritual and material, heaven and earth, emphasized through his use of symbolic images such as the grounded airplane. Kiefer chooses his material, in this case lead, not only for its physical properties, but for its signifying values as well. Kiefer's sculptures in lead comment on the dual nature of ideas, history and forms of expression, exposing what is "real" by encompassing oppositions. Melancholia,the first Kiefer sculpture to enter SFMOMA's collection, expands the Museum's holdings of key works by the artist, among which are the following paintings: Die Sechste Posaune(The Sixth Trump), 1996; Osiris und Isis(Osiris and Isis), 1985-87; and Seraphim,1984, and Unternehmen Seelöwex(Operation Sea Lion), 1975, both fractional gifts of Vicki and Kent Logan. --http://herreros.com.ar/melanco/kiefer.htm [May 2005]

Anselm Kiefer
Anselm Kiefer (born March 8, 1945, Donaueschingen) is a German artist. He studied with Joseph Beuys during the 1970s. His works incorporate materials like straw, ash, clay, steel, and shellac. The poems of Paul Celan have played a role in developing Kiefer's themes of German history and the horror of the Holocaust, as have the theological concepts of Kabbalah. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselm_Kiefer [May 2005]

Neo-expressionism was a style of modern painting that emerged in the late 1970s and dominated the art market until the mid-1980s. It developed as a reaction against the conceptual and minimalistic art of the 1970s. Neo-expressionists returned to portraying recognizable objects, such as the human body (although sometimes in a virtually abstract manner), in a rough and violently emotional way using vivid colours and banal colour harmonies. The popularity of the style, or partially even the style itself, was created by aggressive marketing and media promotion by the art dealers and galleries. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-expressionism [May 2005]

2005, May 01; 23:45 ::: ADHD

Einstein, March 14, 1951, unknown UPI photographer
image sourced here.

Though ADHD is classified as a serious disorder, many people have a different perspective and note the positive aspects. Some people believe that ADHD can be beneficial and find hints of ADHD in the lives of many famous people in history. Though such post mortem diagnosis is questionable, it is intriguing to ponder the evidence that people such as Thomas Edison might have been diagnosed as having ADHD if the current DSM criteria had been developed long ago. Other historical figures who have been proposed as ADHD candidates include: Hans Christian Andersen, Ludwig van Beethoven, Winston Spencer Churchill, Walt Disney, Benjamin Franklin, Robert and John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, Jules Verne, Woodrow Wilson and the Wright brothers.

To see ADHD positively may seem somewhat problematic to anxious parents but it is at least a perspective that should be kept in mind. With or without hyperfocus, a common manifestation, ADD/ADHD in combination with successful coping skills may be utilized to achieve remarkable accomplishments. The list of historic figures and persons currently well-known in a wide range of fields who have displayed ADD/ADHD symptoms is impressive and may be source of inspiration. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD#Positive_aspects [May 2005]

Mainstream treatments
The first-line medication used to treat ADHD are mostly stimulants, which work by stimulating the areas of the brain responsible for focus, attention, and impulse control.

These include:

  • Caffeine -- though not an official mainstream treatment, the ubiquitous use of caffeine means that it probably one of the most frequently used, unofficial treatments for ADHD. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and cola soft drinks. Many students and adults will self-medicate with caffeine. Signs that one is self-medicating would be the observation that one's focus improves with the stimulant, and that one cannot function as well without it. Users often report that drinking caffeine in the evening does not impair their sleep, and that in fact, it may help soothe and relax them, thus helping them sleep better. Drinking only 1-2 cups daily is probably not self-medication, but someone who needs over 5 cups daily throughout the day in order to stay awake and focus may possibly be self-medicating.
  • Nicotine -- found in cigarettes, many students and adults will self-medicate by needing to smoke several times daily.
  • Methylphenidate --- Methylphenidate or MPH, is an amphetamine-like prescription stimulant commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. It is also one of the primary drugs used to treat the daytime drowsiness symptoms of narcolepsy. As of 2004 there are currently three non-generic drugs that contain Methylphenidate: Ritalin, Concerta (a timed-release capsule), and Focalyn (containing only dextro-methylphenidate, rather than the usual racemic dextro- and laevo-methylphenidate mixture of other formulations).
  • Amphetamines ---Amphetamine is a synthetic stimulant used to suppress the appetite, control weight, and treat disorders including narcolepsy and ADHD. It is also used recreationally and for performance enhancement. These uses are illegal in most countries. It is a commonly abused drug. Amphetamine can be snorted, taken orally, smoked, or injected.
  • Atomoxetine ---Atomoxetine hydrochloride is a prescription drug used in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is classified as a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and is approved for use in children, adolescents, and adults. However, its efficacy has not been studied in children under 6 years old. Its advantage over stimulants for the treatment of ADHD is that it is not considered to have significant abuse potential, is not scheduled as a controlled substance and has proven in clinical trials to offer 24 hour coverage of symptoms associated with ADHD in adults and children.
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD#Mainstream_treatments [May 2005]

Stimulant: Ritalin
A stimulant is a drug which increases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and produces a sense of euphoria or awakeness. Stimulants can be used as recreational drugs, or therapeutically to increase alertness. They are also used and sometimes abused to boost endurance and productivity as well as to suppress appetite. Examples of stimulants are caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine.

Some stimulants, as for example Ritalin, have been shown to help with ADHD. This is often called a "paradoxical effect", since ADHD is commonly thought of as "hyperactivity" and stimulants would be expected to increase activity, but another effect of sympathetic nervous system stimulation is an increased ability to concentrate on mental tasks. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimulant [May 2005]

see also: psychiatry

2005, May 01; 12:33 ::: Frances Cobiasa

image sourced here.

image sourced here.

2005, May 01; 12:33 ::: Spirit (1968) - Spirit

Spirit (1968) - Spirit [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Spirit was an American jazz/hard rock/psychedelic band founded in 1967. The original lineup of the Los Angeles-based group was Randy California,(guitars) Jay Ferguson (vocals), Mark Andes (bass), California's stepfather, drummer Ed Cassidy, and keyboard player John Locke. The new band was originally named the Spirits Rebellious (after a book by Kahlil Gibran) but was soon shortened simply to Spirit. All but Locke had been part of the band The Red Roosters in 1965. California and Cassidy had also played together with Jimi Hendrix (then known as Jimmy James) for three months in 1966.

Ed Cassidy is notable as one of the most accomplished drummers in rock and was instantly recognizable by his shaven head and proclivity to wear black. He was considerably older than the rest of the group (he was born in 1923). His earlier career was primarily in jazz and included stints with Cannonball Adderley, Gerry Mulligan, Roland Kirk and Lee Konitz prior to joining Spirit, he was a founder member of Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder.

The group's first album, Spirit, was released in 1968. Their only true hit was I Got a Line on You from their second album, The Family That Plays Together, also in 1968. They also went on tour that year, backed up by Led Zeppelin. In 1969 they were offered to open for Hendrix at Woodstock but turned down the offer. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_%28band%29 [May 2005]

inspired by Mojo compilation, The Roots of Led Zeppelin:
1. Little Richard - Long Tall Sally 2. Garnet Mimms - As Long as I Have You 3. Robert Johnson - Traveling Riverside Blues 4. Bukka White - Shake 'Em On Down 5. Santo & Johnny - Summertime 6. Bert Jansch - Black Waterside 7. John Renbourn - Nobody's Fault But Mine 8. Spirit - Fresh Garbage 9. Muddy Waters - You Need Love 10. Howlin' Wolf - Killing Floor 11. Blind Willie Johnson - In My Time of Dying (Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed) 12. Davey Graham - She Moved Through the Bizarre/Blue Ragga 13. Joan Baez - Babe I'm Gonna Leave You 14. John Fahey - Dance of the Inhabitants of the Palace of King Phillip XIV of Spain 15. Owen Hand - She Likes It --http://www.turnmeondeadman.net/Zep/Originals.html [May 2005]

2005, May 01; 11:26 ::: Nastassja Kinski

Nastassia Kinski with Marlene Dietrich doll and movie director James Toback, Hollywood 1983, photo Helmut Newton.
image sourced here. [May 2005]

Nastassja Kinski, photo Helmut Newton?
image sourced here. [May 2005]

Nastassja Kinski (born Nastassja Nakszynski on January 24, 1959) is a German-born model and actress, and daughter of actor Klaus Kinski. She is one of the great beauties of the 1980's and 1990's.

By the age of 16 Nastassja had Hollywood at her feet but her potential as an actress was often compromised by her defiant personality. As a young actress in Hollywood, her room mate was budding movie star and Hollywood bad girl Demi Moore. Nastassja had become notorious for her relationships with older men (Roman Polanski, Marcello Mastroianni) while she herself was a minor. Her most notable screen roles include the title role of Tess (1979), (directed by Roman Polanski), Cat People (1982), Paris, Texas (1984), as Dudley Moore's love interest in Unfaithfully Yours (1984) and as Mathilde in À ton image (2004). In the mid-1980's she settled down with Egyptian film producer Ibrahim Moussa with whom she had three children: Algae, Aljosha and Sonja. After her divorce, she fell in love with legendary composer/producer Quincy Jones and had another daughter, Kenya Julia Jones.

Her oddest role is widely considered to be Susie the Bear in The Hotel New Hampshire, where her character essentially lives her life in a bear suit.

She speaks German, English, French, Italian and Russian fluently. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nastassja_Kinski [May 2005]

2005, May 01; 11:02 ::: Gene Tierney

Gene Tierney
image sourced here. [May 2005]

Gene Eliza Tierney (November 19, 1920 - November 6, 1991) was an American film actress. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Tierney [May 2005]

inspired by José Bénazéraf

2005, May 01; 09:58 ::: Klaus Schulze

Klaus Schulze at the Ars Electronica, 1980, Linz , Austria
image sourced here. [May 2005]

Klaus Schulze (born August 4, 1947) is a German electronic musician. Born in Berlin, he was a member of the original Tangerine Dream that recorded the LP Electronic Meditation in 1969, but left the group to form Ash Ra Tempel with Manuel Göttsching the following year. Again, however he chose to leave a newly-formed group after only one album, this time to mount a solo career.

As a solo artist, he has had a prolific career, with more than 40 original albums to his name since his 1972 release Irrlicht, some highlights being 1976's Moondawn, 1979's Dune, 1986's Dreams, 1990's Miditerranean Pads, and 1995's In Blue (featuring one long track with electric guitar by his Ash Ra Tempel's pal Manuel Göttsching).

Through his career, he has worked mostly in the musical vein of the abovementioned Tangerine Dream, albeit usually with a more reflective, dreamy edge, not unlike the ambient music of contemporary Brian Eno. Since the 1980's he has also been trying dark ambient or working with more contemporary techno dance music such as trance. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_Schulze [May 2005]

2005, May 01; 09:48 ::: Hot Butter (1971)

Hot Butter (1971)
image sourced here. [May 2005]

"Popcorn" is a reasonably famous early synth-pop instrumental. Composer Gershon Kingsley (of Perrey and Kingsley) first recorded it for his 1969 album Music To Moog By. Stan Free rerecorded the instrumental and released it under the name "Hot Butter" in 1971. The record was one of a rash of Moog based releases that define "early synth-pop" for many people born in the 60's and 70's.

It's one of those pieces where, if you grew up in Europe, the United States or another European influenced country, you've probably heard it. The title most likely refers to the short staccato, or sharp "popping", sound used: --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popcorn_%28song%29 [May 2005]

2005, May 01; 00:46 ::: Orlan

image sourced here. [May 2005]

2005, May 01; 00:09 ::: Tonto's Expanding Head Band

image sourced here. [May 2005]

Two musicians with different roots and extractions, Malcolm Cecil and Albert (Bob) Margouleff meet after both have pursued different paths, both driven by their interest in the same instrument: the Model III Moog Synthesizer.

Malcolm Cecil is a British jazzman of value, who works during obscure years (the 60's) with Mike Gibbs, Stan Tracey and no one less than Mike Westbrook. After a brief and sterile interlude at BBC (Brrrrr....), he will work as a sound engineer and he will have the merit to introduce at the Marquee the 4-tracks recording system. With the money earned at BBC he will travel through Africa and Asia, experimenting with traditional instruments and musical structures from those Continents. His journey seems to stop in Singapore, but with the last BBC money he jumps to the USA, where he will earn his bread at the Mediasound Studios.

There, he will meet an excellent Moog Synthesizer programmer, Albert (Bob) Margouleff. Tonto's Expanding Head Band sees the light.

Zero Time is actually the only valuable album they make (if we exclude some "singles" and other unofficial recordings). To be precise, they'll make also an LP with the title It's about time, but this is a product that will follow later on, insecure and where not even the two musicians will sound like their old self, in an attempt to explore ways that they already left years ago.

Zero Time moves about the research of sound and musical theory that could be compared with the one of Beaver & Krause. However, the duo Cecil/Margouleff moves inside some more complicated harmonics, that combine the pure technical exploration of the electronic instrument (the Moog III) with the some more complex variations in the field of musical theory and influences from other harmonic structures (mostly from Asia), without forgetting some pure and simple mathematics.

Aurora is a simple composition that uses tonal shifts of a whole octave that are moved along one single note. Each one results in a 35 seconds long phrase. Riversong is modulated on an octave with 17 tonal shifts (instead of the 12 normally used), making it sound like an Indian Raga (using, more or less, the same structure). Despite of all these theoretical musical components, their music has a high emotional impact and it's far from being just a sterile exploration of musical composition techniques. And their sincerity is a fact. Both aim to interlace different musical structure into one that leaves the listener free of associate the music with emotional states and even meditation, without falling into the sterile use of electronics or a false sense of meditative state.

Unfortunately, the market is not wide enough to guarantee the economical survival of their music. They will be found, some years later (1974), in the more commercial Ravi Shankar & Family, produced by George Harrison. This project will mark the beginning of the worst kind of cultural contamination that will ever wash upon the musical scene and will involve many big names, like John McLaughlin among the most famous, in this forced pursue of the "Indian dream" that will try to transport thousands of people into a culture that can impossibly fit into the schemes of the Western one, resulting only in an alienation from reality and in an escape from all kind of contact between the listener and the real world.

Once more, a very interesting musical product is obliterated by a matter of "fashion". --http://home.versatel.nl/rdans59/Recensions_8.htm [May 2005]

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