Holly Herndon creator of possibly the best record of the 10s Platform (2015) is back with a new LP. How excitement. Only one listen in...more thoughts about Proto later.
Friday, 7 June 2019
Thursday, 16 May 2019
It says this:
'Baron Mordant bows out with MM’s last full-length emission as eMMplekz meet an EMS Synthi-A 'Out of Town'…IBM' at bandcamp. Does that even make sense? More to the point did you expect that to make sense?
While there may not be a forthcoming eMMplekz LP as far as I know, Mark Of The Mould is close enough. It's Baron doing his thing with words and voice, only this time he's doing the music himself. That's no bad bad thing either as this is the gentleman who brought us one of the few all time classic albums of the 00s in Dead Air (2006). He IS a sonic technician as well a man crazy with his use of language. Mordant has a sharp insight into the absurdity of his/our lives. The word onslaught isn't quite as dense as that on those four great eMMplekz LPs as there's breathing space with longer stretches of sonic interludes. Also included in the album release is an entire instrumental version of the LP. Which I must admit I haven't listened to yet so I dunno if he's remixed or dubbed the fuck out the original tunes.
Still Baron Mordant is our modern day melange of Ralph Hutter, John Cooper Clark and Ian Dury except his lyrics have been encrypted into a microchip and then spat out randomly and wrong. We get to picture his/our fragmented decaying minds and attention spans. A bunch of useless/mindless/alienated snippets are heard emanating from Mordant's vocal chords. There are snapshots depicting our ridiculous relationships with the modern urban world and all the weight of technology that goes with it. While Baron remains belligerent, he's slightly more focused, poetic and even melodic compared to eMMplekz like he was on some of the more song oriented tracks from Mordant Music. Musically there's a hundred years of electronic sonic debris spilling out of an infected computerised music machine. However there is no doubt Mark Of The Mould is a 21st Century concoction albeit of the delirious, combustible and noxious kind. Somewhere on the internet they laughably tagged this as dance music, I'd like to see you try.
'There's thousands of LPs like this.' says Ian but there isn't though that's why this is probably THE sonic document of 2019...well It's looking likely.
*I've written about Mordant previously here & there & everywhere & this one.
**Thanks to Simon @Blissblog for alerting me to this in the comments section of that Ekoplekz review.
***I'll probably do a proper review with a deeper dissection of the album at a later date, hey I'm only 10 listens in.
Thank you for the music IBM (Baron Mordant, Mordant Music and eMMplekz)
Wednesday, 15 May 2019
So There's this.
An untimely new Moon Wiring club album which is a cd only release this time, I do believe. The discombobulating thing is that it's not being released at Christmas time. Moon Wiring Club have only done this once before when they issued Somewhere A Fox Is Getting Married in honour of Will & Kate's unveiling of Pippa's arse. Ghastly Garden Centres has just come unexpectedly out of the blue though. Perhaps they're having a release change up at The Blank Workshop. Who knows what's going on. What a delightful mid-year treat. Can't wait for it to arrive.
Sunday, 5 May 2019
The most exciting musical news of the year is this here new cassette from Ekoplekz Kirlian Visionz. Only a handful of listens in but it sounds mighty to these ears. I think this is is the first of three new albums to be released by Ekoplekz in 2019. A new eMMplekz album would be good too but I'm not sure if that collaborative project is still operational. Kirlian Visionz is another archival release of Ekoplekz material. According to the Seagrave label's twitter account this tape was compiled by The Fissure Family (?). Described variously as 'studio fragments' and 'several years of audio Shrapnel'. Don't let that put you off though as it's quite a cohesive (well as cohesive as Ekoplekz can be) little set. Track 2 Junction 18 is outstanding, he could do a whole LP of this kinda exhaust-y sonic bass debris and I'd be very happy. Perhaps Nick would have left off certain tracks from proper releases as he might have thought they sounded too close to his influences like Mouse On Mars (Kirlian Skank) or AFX (Nocturnalis) but these two tunes are just Ekoplekz homages that just end up sounding like Ekoplekz, like Ekoplekz doing a cover of these artists and totally making them his own. In fact what I assume will be side two (track 6-10) of the tape is pure fucking gold. Oh and the rest is good too.
Friday, 3 May 2019
I've been wondering what happened to Panabrite. I think I did a search like a year ago and found nothing. It turns out he's now just using his own name instead of the Panabrite moniker. So now he's the artist formally known as Panabrite aka N Chambers. He's choosing to leave out his full first name which is Norm. Norm Chambers used to run the fabulous Lunar Atrium blog back in the day which introduced me to loads of great music. Panabrite released a spate of terrific albums from 2010 to 2016 including Nordsee, Contemplating The Observatory, Soft Terminal, The Baroque Atrium, Blue Grotto, Cortex Meridian & Pavilion. I've only just realised he's released 5 albums under his own name since 2014, so that's rather exciting news. Air Example, from initial listens, sounds like Norm at the top of his game, giving any of those aforementioned Panabrite albums a run for their money. This is really cool meticulous electronic stuff and yes there are aquatic moments for your atmospheric listening pleasure. It even gets a bit dubwise in places. The best thing these ears have come across in 2019.
This glorious tune is taken from the N Chambers cassette Idea Region released in 2018 via Muzan Editions. I've just managed to track down a digital version of Idea Region at bandcamp, the tape is now sold out. Idea Region is just one of three albums he released last year. It might even be better than the new record. This aural splendour features bliss-scapes that turn sinister, underwater metagalactic drones, celestial oceans dripping with empty space, 5th world miniature toy gamelan orchestras and even something that sounds like Genesis P-Orridge leaving a static-y cosmogonic phone message.
Just discovered this recent marvellous dj mix from Mr Chambers too. Synth & Percussion Zones Vol. 1 was uploaded a month ago and it's an all vinyl set featuring avant-garde, electronic and experimental fringe dwellers such as Cleve Pozar, Daniel Palkowski, Giusto Pio & Mike Vickers. This made my day. Hopefully he will continue going down this musical path with more crate diggin deep cut goodness.
Wednesday, 1 May 2019
But British Telly Though...
Over the last month movies old and new have really been put on the back burner as I've re-watched Line Of Duty again from season one through to the new season which is its fifth. That's a hell of a lot of telly. I could go on and on about the actoring, the amazing nefarious and clandestine storylines, the incredible tension created on screen and the masterful production but you probably already know all about that otherwise you're missing out, get on board! I've said this before and I'll say it again Line Of Duty is quite possibly the best cop show ever.
Oh and then there was Bodyguard (2018) which is another Jed Mercurio creation (He being the creator of Bodies & Line Of Duty). I missed it last year so I watched this six part series too. That was some spectacular telly right there. No wonder it was the highest rated drama in recent British TV history. Keely Hawes, who plays Julia Montague, has got to be the greatest living actress right now.
Also binged the first season of Derry Girls from 2018 which is fantastic unlike the embarrassingly unconvincing teen comedy-drama of 2019 Sex Education. Derry Girls is set in Northern Ireland in the 90s. It's about a bunch of catholic teenagers, their families and the troubles. Very bloody funny, great acting, terrific little plots and convincing characters. Sister Michael the unpredictable, negative and sardonic nun is without doubt my favourite character. It's great to see some Irish telly (yeah I know Northern Ireland is technically the UK but you know what I mean) which is rare for me. The only other good Irish TV shows I can actually think of from recent memory are The Fall and Father Ted. I'm sure there must be other good stuff but it just doesn't reach me. Bring on season two.
I thought I'd never seen this before but it turns out I had. A sleazy good fun 70s British horror film with red herrings galore, family curses and bloody murder. The sound design is vey Suspiria-esque with its stormy weather, loud electronic score and noise. A giallo/slasher/supernatural/haunted kinda thing. Well worth checking out.
The Making Of Halloween (2010)
I found this on an old hard-drive so I have no idea if it's some kind of Blu-ray extra or a stand alone doc. The production quality is high though. This is a pretty good look at the the paradigm shifting 1978 horror classic Halloween directed by John Carpenter. We've got all the right talking heads including Jamie Lee Curtis, PJ Soles, John Carpenter, Debra Hill etc. Documentaries like this either interest you or take the magic out of film making for you. If you're in the former camp you'll probably enjoy it although you might already know much of what is being regurgitated here and if you're in the latter camp it might just be a little bit too boring, demystifying and/or annoying.
Bay Of Blood aka Twitch Of The Death Nerve aka Carnage aka Blood Bath (1970)
Mario Bava's proto-slasher giallo that comes unencumbered with the usual police procedural plot device. It's been documented before that Friday The 13th movies must have definitely ripped off some of these kill scenes. The phones, the fashion, the cars, the interior design and the bucolic setting all add to the incredible aesthetic of this stylishly put together movie. Bay Of Blood is a cohesive giallo plus it has a great ending. You don't need me to tell you this is a classic.
House Of Mortal Sin aka The Confessional (1976)
Wow I've never seen this before and what a little beauty it is. Where do I start? A Catholic priest (Anthony Sharp) gaslights a beautiful woman (Susan Penhaligon) who accidentally becomes an obsession of his. A brutal bloodbath ensues but you never quite know where the plot is going. House Of Mortal Sin is a total revelation for me. English horror from the 70s just keeps surprising me. We've got some very groovy 70s interior design, cars and fashion just before punk happened. Interesting take on Catholicism, that is now just as relevant if not more so than ever. I was brought up a catholic (now lapsed) and I never understood why priests couldn't get married. They should have women priests and married male priests and gay priests and whatever Jesus would want...er ok that's my rant. Watch out for the sensational uniquely Catholic death scene, all I can say is incense is involved. Highly recommended.
The Swimmer (1968)
Pretentious, corny American shit that reminds me of all the awful American literature we had to put up with in school (That shit was not a patch on Russian, English & French literature was it?) This film looks and feels more like the early to mid 60s than the late 60s. I'm going to use a phrase previously used in another Frank Perry directed film review: This is arty-farty navel gazing horse shit of the worst kind. Ned Merrill (Burt Lancaster) has the lame idea of swimming a lap of everyones pool in his neighbourhood on his way to eventually reaching his home on top of the hill. It's telegraphed early on that perhaps Ned's home and life mentioned may not be waiting for him when his stupid backyard jumping adventure is complete. Or that maybe this whole film is all in Ned's head. The film hits rock bottom with possibly the corniest scene in the history of film where Ned and some kid pretend to swim a lap of an empty pool. This made me want to poke my eyes out, chop off my ears and sever my head. Am I supposed to get emotional about these smug shallow upper middle class wankers? Why I watched the whole thing is a mystery to me. It gets even more awful as the soundtrack is incongruous and just plain bad music. The Swimmer's definitely strange but not in a good way, more of a naff way. If you wanna spend an hour and a half watching a fit 50-something year old Burt Lancaster in just his swimming trunks (he gets nude too) then this film is for you. Not for me.
Don't Go In The House (1979)
I needed a fire cleansing after the bourgeois travesty of the previous film. An old favourite like this was never going to disappoint. It starts out with a man catching fire in the first minute and it doesn't let up as it zips along at great pace. Much pyromania throughout as the disturbed Donny (Dan Grimaldi), who is hearing voices, goes mental with his flame thrower. Not forgetting the classic disco scene where Donny, in his brand new disco threads, sets his date's hairdo on fire. The soundtrack is excellent with mucho disco, some rock and the legendary Richard Einhorn supplying the score of delirious electronic interludes. Now this is what I call a movie worth watching!
God Told Me To (1976)
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
This was another movie mentioned in the first few pages of Men, Women & Chainsaws. It had been a while since I'd last watched it so I thought why not? Sleepaway Camp is an endlessly enjoyable and re-watchable flick with that memorable ending. Anything set in modern times that includes a death by bow and arrow is well worth watching I reckon. This is a teen angst slasher film of the highest order. We've got accidental death by boat, Paedophiles, nerds, crazy Aunties, bullies, realistic nasty dialogue, dads having sex with other men, men beating children, actual young actors playing young teens, death by a swarm of bees, mental 80s fashion, brutal curling tong violence... I mean it's got the lot! Many slashers don't stand the test of time but Sleepaway Camp seems to have gained in reputation over the last 35 years to become one of the all time classics of the genre that it is today. Who am I to disagree? This movie would be in my top ten best slashers of all time. Get out your quarter length t-shirt and let the good times & body count roll. One of the most unforgettable films in history.
From the golden year of the slasher comes this below average generic flick. They forgot to add in suspense or were just so incompetent they couldn't figure out how to. The legend of Madman Marz (similar to that of Cropsey) is told around a campfire at a summer camp which summons Marz back into crazed action. Marz goes on a slightly gory rampage and most of the camp's adults are killed. There are some odd moments like the lady playing a recorder on her own in a boat in the dark, the long hot tub love scene while a cheesy slow jam plays as Marz pervs through the window etc. One of the movie's saving graces is the very cool minimal electronic score. The best thing though is the excellent dark electro folk tune Madman Marz that plays over the closing credits, which is like Human League collaborating with Comus. Madman is for slasher completists only.
Blood Rage aka Nightmare At Shadow Woods aka Slasher (1983/87)
Now this is an entertaining slasher depending on what you consider entertainment that is. If you are mature and middlebrow forget it. This not necessarily a good film, it's the sort of silly movie you should watch off your head with your mates or when it's 1.00AM and you can't sleep or when you're 15 or perhaps never. Tonally Blood Rage is all over the place. Some actors are fully camping up the melodrama while others are severely underplaying their roles. Sometimes it's a little bit funny and other times it's a bit grim. There are exciting passages then really fucking boring ones. The gore and Richard Einhorn's soundtrack however are quite spectacular. A couple of identical twin children are involved in a murder at a drive in. The wrong twin Todd (Mark Soper) is sent to a mental institution. Ten years later Todd escapes causing his twin brother Terry (also Mark Soper) to go into a murderous frenzy. Special mention must go to Louise Lasser who puts in a splendid nutsoid performance as Maddy, the mother of the twins. I can't beleive David Lynch has never cast her in one of his films. All I've got to say is 'That is not Cranberry sauce'.
Sunday, 7 April 2019
A New Leaf (1971)
Elaine May's directorial debut starring Walter Matthau and Elaine herself is a charming little film despite the huge production dramas behind the scenes. A spoilt trust fund adult Henry (Matthau) runs out of money. He decides the answer to his problems is to find a rich heiress to marry while keeping up appearances as still being wealthy himself. He finds Henrietta (May), a nerdy klutz, who fits the bill perfectly and the hi-jinx roll on from there. A silly black comedy that's worth watching at least once.
Play It As It Lays (1972)
This is based on the Joan Didion book from 1970 so while it was released in 1972, it's definitely a late 60s film in vibe man. Arty-farty navel gazing existential horse shit of the worst kind or kinda groovy nonsensical, but with its own internal logic, meditation on the meaninglessness of life and how life affirming nihilism can be. I'm going for the latter this time but when I first saw this movie a couple of years ago I was absolutely in the first camp. Pretentious Moi? Frank Perry, I think that's Katy's late uncle, directed this time capsule of California and the emptiness of the film industry, fame and life itself. If you like the sound of all that then no worries, but otherwise steer clear. Another one I discovered on my Anthony Perkins investigation and he stars here once again with Tuesday Weld.
Romeo Is Bleeding (1994)
Noticed this was streaming on Stan (an Australian streaming service similar to Netflix), got five and a half minutes in and that was it. Oh My God what pretentious, generic and embarrassing crap those minutes were. Did I need to give it more time? It felt like I gave it a lifetime!
Dressed To Kill (1980)
After the surprise beginning of Angie Dickinson flicking the bean in the shower there's an absurdly lengthy museum scene which really seems to serve no purpose (except to to drive me & Emma crazy) as it could have been condensed into less than a minute. Once you get past the gallery scene, the film really begins and the suspense builds like only a Hitchcock rip off can. Academy award winning hair goes to Nancy Allen. Good funny twisted movie. Look out for false endings.
It's funny, it's sad...I can't really think of anything to say about this film as I've seen it so many times. I don't even know if it's good or bad.
The Hot Rock (1972)
I gotta say I wasn't expecting much from this crime-heist movie as I'd never even heard of it until a couple of years ago. It's a Twilight Time release though so I thought I'd roll the dice. The Hot Rock starts off unassuming but unrolls quite nicely with unexpected twists and turns and never misses a beat. Robert Redford is peak handsome Redford but he's not just that, his actoring is good, along with the ever reliable George Segal. An enjoyable lil crime film.
The Honeymoon Killers (1969)
This was a first time watch for me and woah! it's the best discovery I've made in ages. This film has been on my radar for something like 30 years and it didn't disappoint. The filmmakers get you in, in the opening seconds of this movie and it just doesn't ever lull. Amazing story, perfect pacing, wonderful characters, strangely erotic, viscerally violent and it's based on a true story apparently. Raymond Femandez (Tony Lo Bianca) and Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) develop a criminal scheme of ripping off lonely spinsters via a lonely hearts correspondence club with diabolical consequences. You think 'I wish there were a hundred films like this' but then you realise the uniqueness of The Honeymoon Killers is part of what makes this so great. A quintessential cult movie.
Steve Burns (Al Pacino) is a heterosexual cop who goes undercover into the underground gay leather bar/S&M scene to investigate a series of murders that have occurred. An absurd little film set in the NYC cesspool era that's rather enjoyable although it does become quite strange towards the end. The ambiguous ending is not going to be for everyone so I'm not sure if I can actually recommend it but it is a fascinating curio from the end of the new Hollywood era so... I mean if you're into film history, Friedken, Pacino, Spinell or gay history you've probably already watched it anyway....
The Fly (1986)
Is this David Cronenberg's last great film? I Loved it when I was a teen and I was kinda shocked by it now as a somewhat older human. Quite sexual and erotic to begin with and then it turns into an absolutely grim monster movie. Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis are terrific as The Fly's main stars. Much more gory and sad than I remember though.
Gimme a fuckin break here Netflix. What a load of cods wallop! I thought this was going to be somewhere along the lines of the cyber-thriller Nerve (2016) or at least just as exciting after hearing many recommendations but that was not to be. A good premise executed poorly. A cam girl somehow gets her identity stolen then things go out of control from there but the suspense just doesn't build to high levels like it should, it gets pretty stupidly annoying and I just got fed up. Netflix original movies are losing their allure and I just can't imagine pressing play on one in the near future to be quite honest. They do some good series telly like Glow, Dirty John, The Sinner, Ozark, Mindhunter etc. but fuck I dunno what the hell is going on in their movie department.
Nail Gun Massacre (1985)
This was mentioned just too many times on The Hysteria Continues podcast for me to ignore. I had to finally seek it out. Confusing, low budget trash of the highest order. This movie could have almost been good. There's a killer on the loose, who is driving a hearse, wearing a motorbike helmet with a nail gun as their weapon of choice. Plenty of boobs and blood on the dusty backroads of Nowhere-ville Texas. For cult film enthusiasts, slasher completists and fans of bad acting. Nail Gun Massacre has some of the strangest dialogue ever caught on film. This is definitely not very good but it's often entertaining.
Monday, 25 March 2019
THE SUN AIN'T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE
My favourite singer of all time is dead.
As stated by me on twitter:
Thursday, 7 March 2019
Abducted In Plain Sight (2017)
Well I'll be. This is next level true crime. Abducted In Plain Sight is the most bizarre, fucked up and fascinating story I've ever heard. There's not even a murder. This documentary was so compelling even the phoney 70s film filters in the flashbacks didn't distract me. Right from the very beginning I was perplexed. This story just kept getting more and more mental as it continued. Even the most batshit crazy film maker could not have come up with a story half as outlandish as this, it's so wrong. This film has left a lingering disturbia in my brain that I can't shake.
A Star Is Born (2018)
Bradley Cooper's vanity project isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I imagine wankers are writing think-pieces on the problematic nature of this movie but whatever. It's about a shit-cunt alcoholic musician (Cooper) who gets an up & coming musician (GaGa) to fall in love with him. Lady GaGa is pretty good but the rest of the movie is mostly crap. Awards must go to the dog though, he/she was brilliant and broke my heart.
*I Also thought Bradley Cooper could play Gary Ablett Senior if they were ever to do a bio-pic on Ablett's life. That wouldn't be uninteresting you know.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Here's the catch one of the worst films in history contains some of the most astounding filmmaking ever. If you hate Queen you are almost certainly not going to enjoy this movie. I have a thing though for rock bands going disco (Rolling Stones, Kiss) and a thing for proggy 70s bands going 80s pop (Yes, Rush etc.) but most of Queen's other music I still find fucking tedious though. The tone of this film is all over the place. It's a bio-pic, drama, faux concert, parody of a bio-pic and a lookalikey contest all in one mess. However the centrepiece of the film is Queen's appearance at Live Aid, which is a miraculous film sequence. It's like no other and worth watching just for that alone. It had me saying 'How is this not actually Live Aid?' I don't get how they did it but it's very impressive.
*Also impressive is how bad the lookalikey for Bob Geldof is. They got all the other lookalikeys correct but Bob...no, good laugh though.
Dystopian future films have become less enticing as the world gets closer each day to a fascist police state. It's more like watching the news now rather than enjoying a dark sci-fi fantasy. So Matt Damon & Jodie Foster do their stuff but who cares right? Not me. Elysium had a total 70s/80s sci-fi vibe. Halfway through Emma asked me 'Are you enjoying this?' I had to say 'Er...not really it feels a bit like a computer game'
Death Wish V: The Face Of Death (1994)
OTT vigilante revenge violence doesn't get much crazier than the Death Wish Movies. Good old Paul Kersey (Charlie Bronson) doesn't have much luck in his private life does he? His new Mrs, Olivia (Lesley-Ann Down), gets her face disfigured by violent gangsters and then the revenge begins. Some of these scenes of vengeance are very inventive. This is filmed in Canada so New York just doesn't look like New York. Michael Parks is brilliant as Tommy the gangster who is Olivia's ex-husband. By this stage you are either in or you're out when it it comes to Death Wish films.
Pretty Poison (1968)
I knew next to nothing about Anthony Perkins except for Psycho and the following couple of crappy sequels until I saw this blu-ray two or three years back. I pulled it out the other day after hearing it mentioned on a podcast. Pretty Poison is a tight little movie that I can't believe isn't more well known, maybe it is (?). An ex-con (Perkins) becomes entangled in a relationship with high school girl Sue Ann (Tuesday Weld) after seeing her during marching practice in a park. Their relationship starts off intriguing and ends up diabolical. This is one of the most perfectly realised films I've ever seen. Why isn't this on the (stupid) canonical lists?
Five Miles To Midnight (1962)
Anthony Perkins stars with Sophie Loren and Gig Young in this stylish and suspenseful thriller set in Paris which is a French/Italian co-production. The tension and claustrophobia created here is palpable. A dysfunctional married couple get an out when Robert's (Perkins) plane crashes and he is assumed dead. He secretly reappears to claim his life insurance policy then the film intensifies even more. I can't believe the cult-builders haven't managed to make it a cult movie yet. I recommend.
Wait Until Dark (1967)
Intense & disturbing thriller starring Audrey Hepburn, Richard Crenna, Alan Arkin, Efram Zimbalist, Jack Weston and Julie Herrod. Wait Until Dark is an incredibly clever story that will have you gripped from the get go. Susy (Hepburn) is a recently blinded lady who inadvertently becomes entrenched in a heroin smuggling plot. This story feels like something that could have been made today which you could probably slot quite easily into the home invasion sub-genre. I assume this was originally a play as it all takes place pretty much inside one apartment. Well worth a look.
I haven't seen this since it was first in cinemas. I didn't think much of it then and I don't think much of it now. A great theme tune and logo doth not maketh a great film. The tone here is all over the place and it's just not that funny. The only saving grace for me is the hilarious Rick Moranis character. One for pre-teens or nostalgists but beware, Emma used to love this film as a child and could pretty much recite it, now she cannot believe how daft it is. Some things are best left in the past.
Tuesday, 5 March 2019
I was listening to Pontone's Bleep Mix from like 10 years ago so I decided to have a look at their inactive but legendary website to see if there were some good mixes I may have missed. The old site is gone but they have made a return in 2019 with 3 new Pontone mixes already. There is only a handful of their archival mixes on the new look site. I assume they will be adding more new and archival stuff soon. Check it out.