Thursday, 10 December 2020

You - Gloria Griffin (1978)



 Gloria Griffin - YOU (1978)

This is soo good! So infectious. So DISCO JESUS! It makes me wanna go to church in the 70s! The rhythm is craazy awesome. The break at l.50 is classic then the bass kicks in, noice! I first heard this on the Cultures Of Soul Records comp Greg Belson's Divine Disco: American Gospel Disco (1974 To 1984) that came out in 2016. Get Down or Get on Up ah! On the Jesus juice!

"There have been lots of people
 No one like you!"

Monday, 30 November 2020

Mo Movies 37


I'm not in my usual rhythm for watching movies for some reason. Since my last movie post I've watched a hell of a lot of telly & listened to loads of music though. This includes the entire 80 episodes of Schitt's Creek plus the debut seasons of Ratched and The Queen's Gambit as well as seasons 3 & 4 of The Crown. These tv shows are all highly recommended but you know that already.

Then there is the politics of the authoritarian far left that are insidiously usurping fun, reason, liberty, civilised discourse and freedom of speech. They are disguised as people doing good by using slogans (& co-opting causes) that you agree with but when you look at the fine print of what they are doing and what they want, it's usually the opposite of your core values. Keeping track of Orwellian 2020 is absolutely concerning and consuming me. It's frightening. I think because this ideological revolution doesn't look the same as past revolutions ie. people revolting in the streets, rebels in the hills, military overthrowing Governments etc. but is coming swiftly through institutions (big tech, media, retail giants, schools, universities, corporations, probably the HR department for whoever you work for) people are not taking it seriously, if they know it's happening at all. Just have a quick look at The BBC, The Guardian, Oxford University, Google, Scottish Parliament, Chicago University, Patreon, The New York Times and you will soon realise these people are not following what regular rational working people think and value. They are espousing absolute nonsense while discrediting common sense à la Foucault. You must bow down to their zealous illiberal ideology or you will not get paid or get to do your PHD & ultimately you will not get to have a differing viewpoint. Sorry but this is REAL and it's happening and it's alarming!

Also Ive been listening to a lot of music instead of being in the mood for late night movies. Disco, Funk, Spiritual-Jazz, Funky Lebanese Pop, Gospel-Disco, Cumbia, 80s African Boogie, Latin/Tropical Disco, New Wave Funk, Sudanese Jazz, 80s South African Funky-R&B-Disco-Pop, Somalian Disco, Japanese Soul-Funk-Disco-Boogie, 70s Soundz of The French Caribbean and more. Listening to a lot of records from labels such as Habibi Funk, Ostinato, Analog Africa, BGP International, We Want Sounds & Cultures Of Soul. Then there's my dark side where 80s Industrial and Scandinavian 80s/ early 90s Black Metal are all I want to hear. Prince also rules as usual: Controversy, 1999 & Originals now being the platters du jour.        

Anyway telly though...Ratched was my big surprise this year. I didn't even wanna watch it but Emma kept putting it on. By episode four I was well and truly hooked. The direction, cinematography, period detail, colours and plot were all gloriously over the top. Sometimes it felt like Hitchcock, Kubrick and Paul Thomas Anderson were directing this cinematic telly extravaganza all at once! The director/show runners were definitely channelling their spirit. There was not one weak link in the astounding ensemble cast. I find it hard to comprehend a lot of people giving it a lukewarm response. Then again who cares? I fucking loved it so that's all that really matters! I didn't realise episode 8 was the final one so I was so disappointed to be whipped up into this delirious excitement to then not know when or if ever there will be another episode. I did see somewhere that there is going to be another season. 

I've now reassessed season three of The Crown. I now believe it to be nine mini-drama film masterpieces and one very good one. Getting over the casting choices for me was the biggest hurdle. In the first two seasons I only knew John Lithgow and he was so ensconced into the character of Winston Churchill I couldn't recognise him anyway. 

Season 4 of The Crown is also some of the highest quality telly ever made. The thing is I really didn't know these stories until Lady Di & Maggie Thatcher turned up (I became a teenager in the 80s). Even then I only knew the headline but rarely the story behind it. So it's all fascinating to me. The makers of The Crown have finally become quite unforgiving and sometimes scathing of these characters we all know and hate (and many love). Whilst Charles had previously been quite sympathetically portrayed now his scoundrel is unveiled. Kudos must to go to the continuing outstanding portrayals of Philip, Charles, Margo & Anne by Tobias Menzies, Josh O'Conner, Helena Bonham Carter & Erin Doherty. There is however a new contender for most outstanding acting performance in The Crown and that goes to the surprise packet of the year Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher. I've always found Scully to be a bit of a sleepy actor to the extent I thought she must have been addicted to Oxycontin whilst filming the excellent series The Fall (2013-2016). Anyway when she turned up here as The Iron Lady I almost fell out of my chair because I didn't know it was coming. I went from "Oh this is just sleepy Scully doing Maggie!" during the first episode to "That's Margaret Thatcher! I can no longer see Scully!" during the second. 

To people who have not been converted to the splendiferousness of The Crown I am recommending one episode. Fairytale is episode three of the fourth season and if it was a theatrical release it would sweep the Oscars and win eleven. Fairytale is a fairytale in the truest sense of the word ie. it's horrifying! This is the story of how fucked up everything was for Lady Diana at the palace and inside her own head before the wedding to Prince Charles. It's absolutely harrowing and brilliantly executed by all involved. I was a bit "whatever" on the portrayal of Diana by Emma Corrin but after watching several documentaries about Diana's life I'm getting that Corrin's depiction is actually pretty close to the enigmatic real life Diana.    

I've been listening to some movie podcasts and watching some movie you-tubers. I'll discuss the state of this often perplexing milieu in my next post. For now here are some lil' reviews of some movies I've recently watched. I know I've missed over 50% of the flicks I've watched but hey life gets in the way sometimes.  

JD's Revenge (1976)
For a blind buy this was a wicked and wild ride of the finest kind. In the 90s I became obsessed with 70s African American movies and particularly the tunes and soundtracks. I never heard anyone ever recommend JD's Revenge so I didn't bother checking it out until this recent blu-ray release. I mean if Arrow are releasing a movie it's like a 94% chance that it will be bloody good and I was not wrong. This is a blaxploitation flick with a difference. It fits into to the Blaxploitation-horror sub-genre and the sub-sub-genre of Blaxploitation-possession movies. First of all you get all the good stuff: The 70s threads, the cars, the vernacular, the youthfully fit beautiful bodies, the afrocentric interior design, the jazz-funk, the soul, the hair, the night clubs, the strip joints, the bars and the bloody violence. One of the best things that sets this movie apart from the pack is that it's set in New Orleans and not only that we get some amazing vision of what I assume is Tulane football Stadium, some spectacular fevered evangelism and flashbacks to 40s gangster shiiiite. Two couples go out for a night on Bourbon Street and are coaxed into a hypnotist show by a spruiker. Isaac (Glynn Turman) volunteers to be hypnotised which is a mistake that causes a crazy spiral of strange, disturbing, violent and confusing events. This ensemble cast (including Lou Gossett, Joan Pringle, James Watkins, Earl Billings etc.) are all in stellar form and the film craft is class sending this straight into my top Blaxploitation top 10 with the bullet. My favourite film discovery of 2020 so far!

Onibaba (1964) 
I knew nothing about Kaneto Shindō's cult classic of 60s Japanese horror going in and that was a good thing. So you can stop right here and go watch this film which I highly recommend. I guess to say an arty cult Japanese film is weird is a bit cliche and perhaps culturally off point but here it is definitely warranted. A film set in 7 or 8 foot high grass is probably unlike anything you've ever seen. Two women, a wife (Jitsuko Yoshimura) & her mother in law (Nobuku Otowa), are living in a hut amongst the giant grass surviving somehow through a brutal wartime famine. They are visited by Hatchi (Kei Satō) who reveals to the wife that her husband Kishi was killed after they both deserted the army. Sex, violence and horrific shenanigans ensue. For 1964 this is pretty racy stuff! Onibaba is one of my cinema (well telly) events of the year. The acting and highest calibre film-making coalesce into one of the best Japanese films period. This year I've seen a hell of lot of Japanese movies so that's saying something. Now I'm excitedly on the lookout for whatever else Kaneto Shindō directed.

Seconds (1966)
Terrific haunting sci-fi identity change story with a twist. Stars Rock Hudson directed by one of the all-time great film directors John Frankenheimer. What more do you need?

Life Is Sweet (1990)
I haven't revisited 90s Mike Leigh films, well, since the 90s. I've watched his early BBC Plays Of The Day Abigail's Party (1977) & Nuts In May (1976) several times this century. They remain brilliant & hilarious, absolute classics. When I put this blu-ray on however I thought geez this hasn't aged well at all. It took until about a third of the way in for me to start to engage and stop thinking about switching it off. Women with mental illness and shit men doing shit things is the order of the day here. Worth watching for the cast although Jane Horrocks really over acts her character Nicola letting down the rest of the amazing ensemble cast of Claire Skinner, Jim Broadbent, Alison Steadman, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis, Stephen Rea etc. This is hardly my favourite Mike Leigh movie but it's another stellar performance from Alison Steadman so...

Threads (1984)
Devastatingly realistic portrayal of WW3 and the following nuclear winter. The tone from Barry Hines (Kes 1969) & Mick Jackson might be pitch black but you cannot look away. This is film-making at its most compelling. If you thought last year's Chernobyl was a barrel of monkeys, your eyeballs ain't seen nothing yet. A MASTERPIECE! 

Titanic (1997)
This was a first time watch for me as I would have thought I was way too cool for overhyped hollywood blockbusters back in the day. An unsinkable ship hits an iceberg then sinks. Aw no! Chuck in a love story involving Leo DiCaprio & Kate Winslet's boobs. Also never trust Billy Zane on a boat. It's pretty spectacular particularly the second half when the ship finally hits the iceberg. James Cameron could have dropped the entirely unnecessary device of the story being told by Rose, a survivor, to a bunch of current day Titanic investigators and it would have been a great film instead of "Pretty good...a bit of a slog though".

Anti-Christ (2009)
This contains the most fucked up scene I've ever seen in a film ever and I've seen a few. Arty psycho-sexual Euro horror of the highest calibre. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are outstanding as the two stars of this utterly compelling Lars von Trier shocker. Enter at own risk.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Wild Fire ‎– The Dealer


Prime pimpin' 1977 synth-disco-funk from from The West Indies. They had the mighty cricket team and music scene! A heyday, a golden era, the good times...

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Wave Of Rave (Countdown In Cold Bass City) - Wonderboy aka Marc Acardipane

When the future was the future. Another 90s compilation of gems has recently been released by the hardcore techno gabber gloomcore maestro. It's the most modern thing you'll hear this year! What happened to the future, forward momentum and innovation? I've gotta stop asking myself that boring question and just come to terms with the fact that the thrilling accelerated mid-late 20th century music innovation era is over! 

Another classic from The Most Famous Unknown - Expansion Pack 1. Acardipane was on such an unstoppable roll in the 90s. Nobody put out as much quality music as he did. What a fucking legend.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Lo Five - The Art Of Living & Her Majesty's Coroner for Wirral - Esoteric Healing: friend or foe?

Another terrific album from Lo Five. It's influenced by family tragedy, the ever present threat of COVID in 2020, lockdown blues & Stoic philosophy. Their LP from last year Geography Of The Abyss was so fucking good it placed high in the end of year Space Debris charts.

Then there's this which I think is a Lo Five side project. You definitely gotta check this out. It's one of the best eerie experimental electronic things that the people have heard in ages. If The Caretaker has actually really retired I'd be happy if Her Majesty's Coroner for Wirral took up the slack of his workload & did like 80 LPs of this gear. Esoteric Healing: friend or foe? is just way too short! I want way way more! 

Monday, 31 August 2020


REVIEW — The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (1981) | Ruthless  Culture

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (1981)
For starters electronic music pioneer Bernard Parmegiani does the soundtrack here. Don't worry he really gets there in the final fifteen minutes. Walerian Borowczyk was a polish porn, animation and surreal film director. This is a fairly mental plot that I cannot even begin to describe. It surprisingly had element s of gialli (black gloves), slasher (body count) and a whodunnit? (everyone in a mansion trying to figure out who the killer is). Bestest thing though is a bow and arrow murder. Even though it is in Victorian times but they had guns then so it's still an archaic murder weapon. Delirious demented transgressive fun. A must watch for Polish Art film enthusiasts

Nurse Sherri (1978)
Well when you have zero expectations the only was is up. I fucking loved this. It's an Al Adamson movie and after watching the great documentary Blood & Flesh: The Real Life & Ghostly Death Of Al Adamson, I was sure that I'd always avoid his product. Out of the blue though I bought this at the Vinegar Syndrome sale. I didn't want anything challenging or intellectual or political so I thought well tonight's the perfect night for Nurse Sherri. For a start this is an amazing document of the the times, the cars and streets. Imagine if Langdon Clay took film footage of the cars he photographed in the 70s. This would be it! This really is an eyeball treat for mid/late 20th Century cars and streets. I wouldn't have cared if there was a plot or not, they could have just driven through these streets in this array of vehicles and I'd have been happy. Don't forget the hair, fashions, architecture and interior design: A feast. I was looking at one building in total admiration building thinking it must have been some kind of funky club or bar but no it was a bank! The story here is wild. A cult leader dies but he supernaturally lingers on throughout the movie. There's some T but not really any A. We get dudes in business suits in the middle of the desert, a car chase, a car doing a spectacular tumble down a cliff with mucho pyromania, possession, chanting, saucy nurses, digging up graves, dudes with no eyeballs, sleazy doctors, psychiatrists quoting Yeats what more could you ask for? I really enjoyed this. If you like outsider art this is the real deal but done with aplomb. Late night movie of the week.

Hollywood Horror House aka Savage Intruder (1970)
Psych-sploitation meets Baby Jane histrionics meets slasher with all round good performances and quality cinematography and editing. Exploitation films never cease to amaze me with their sometimes high quality craftsmanship. An ageing ye olde Hollywood actress is living the retired life in a mansion in the hills after a successful but tumultuous career. She has a large staff and the temptation of alcohol is never far away. Enter her new wheelchair assistant Vic who seems to have quite the bad attitude. If you love shenanigans of the wrongest kind like relationships between a young man and someone who's old enough to be his grandma, phoney drug scenes, psychedelic-slasher flashback sequences, demented mannequin scenes etc. this is for you. This absolute curio is surprisingly watchable. Late Night Movie Of The Week.

Sette orchidee macchiate di rosso (1972) 

Seven Blood Stained Orchids (1972)
Umberto Lenzi had a great run of Gialli. He's one my favourite Italian directors of all time, you may think that's outrageous but he had bloody good strike rate. This film starts out of the gate with a burst of murders. At the five minute mark you are thinking this is going to be the highest body count in a film ever but they slow down a bit as the plot focusses more on the search for the murderer. One of the best things is that the murderer is called The Half Moon Killer. As far as giallo go Seven Blood Stained Orchids is right up there as one of his most conventional before Lenzi really went totally balmy with batshit crazy classics Eyeball (1975) and Spasmo (1974). Here is where the tropes were coalescing and consolidating into hallmarks of the genre, a peak era before it all got a bit tired. Anyway we've got shiny knives, beautiful and incredibly fashionable sex workers, a murderer wearing black gloves, sensational mens fashions, belligerent/bad cops, gorgeous women being killed in various states of undress, dial up telephones, priests, amateur sleuths, spectacular cars, POV Kill scenes, interior design to die for, phoney drug addicts, even phonier hippies, odd pop culture, tape recording machines, an absurdly convoluted plot, a score from legend Riz Ortilani, stunning cinematography and don't forget the hairdos! 

Solamente nero (1978)

Solamente Nero aka The Bloodstained Shadow (1978)
Classic Giallo! You gotta love one of the best giallo tropes: The murders are all connected to a dodgy painting. It's also got the other good stuff: Priests, wheelchair bound old people, J&B, OTT gay characters, hidden away adult simpleton children, dodgy psychics, red herrings, doll violence, a body count, backyard abortionists, childhood trauma...all that's missing is a blind man! One of the aspects that sets this Giallo apart is the Venice setting. There's boats, including a spectacularly thrilling action sequence but no cars. The grandeur is dilapidated. 1978 is further from the 60s than most films in this genre so the fashion is more beige, less outrageous but some we do get some splendid knitwear and hair. The psychedelic pop art and kitschy interior design is pretty much non existent. We do get ye olde churches, homes that are more like museums with way too many spooky artefacts, knight armour, weapons, sculpture and paintings everywhere. A classic 70s love scene ensues between the two main protagonists where they make sweet love on a rug by an open fire. The soundtrack is fantastic! I mean how could you go wrong with Stelvio Cipriani composing with Goblin members performing. I nearly forgot there's a shonky peadophile too. It's got the lot! Solamente Nero is directed by Antonio Bido who made that other wonderful and atypical giallo Watch Me When I Kill (1977). He seems to be undervalued in the general scheme of things in Italian cinema which is a shame because he made at least two classic films. 

Lily Tomlin and Art Carney in The Late Show (1977)

The Late Show (1977)  
Charming 70s neo-noir. A mis-matched pair of misfits end up embroiled in a series of crimes. The duo of Lily Tomlin as Margo and Art Carney as Ira do tip top awry chemistry. These two are glorious fun with Ira being the ex-detective old codger and Margo as the off kilter but witty cat lady. It all begins when Margo's cat is catnapped. Shenanigans and hi-jinx ensue in this low key yet bloody gritty crime caper. If you love your 70s neo-noir, Altman, Allen etc. but you've never seen this, then you are in for a real treat.  

What Have They Done To Solange (1972)
This was the first Giallo I ever saw that was set outside of Italy. This one gets right to the gruesome point with the victims being stabbed in the vagina. The doctor shows us some graphically grim X-ray evidence post-mortem no less.What Have They Done... is set in a posh all girls Catholic senior college somewhere in picturesque England. Male teachers are sleeping with the students although it's pointed out at one stage "at least they're 18." Giallo staples like Glistening knives, black gloves, red herrings, sleaze, amateur sleuths plus an outfuckingstanding Ennio Morricone score are all present and accounted for. We also get naughty catholic school girls, row boats, bikes and a slice of quaint England. This flick is beautifully filmed, pretty cohesive plot-wise and put together elegantly. An almost classy Giallo! We get an early appearance from I Spit On Your Grave's legendary Camille Keaton along with Fabio Testi, Christina Galbó, Karin Baal etc. Late Night Movie Of The Week.

The Pyjama Girl Case (1977)
Strange, strange, strange! That's really saying something for a Giallo film. Well this flick is in that interzone of Giallo and Poliziotteschi. Once again we get the Giallo taken outside of Italy. This time it's Australia with the story being loosely based upon a famous unsolved Aussie murder. It's set in Sydney but it's almost like a post-apocalyptic film as the metropolis' streets are almost always deserted. They must have filmed it on Sundays. In the 70s everything shut down on Sunday in Australia. So city streets were empty. Sunday was for home, mass, junior football, roast or fish & chips if you were lucky.

The score here is Riz Ortilani at his most cheesy, disco and best. There are several hippy psych glam songs however performed by the mysterious & enigmatic Amanda Lear, who I thought was a man until I looked her up, that are fucking fabulous. So we get loads of empty, oh so empty, Sydney captured wonderfully by the cinematographer. Pyjama Girl Case is not full of your usual Giallo genre tropes. We do get the occasional red herring and a retired detective (Ray Milland) doing the real sleuth work for free as the actual cops have no idea what's going on. Much is made of the generational gap between the old timer and the trendy new detective's techniques. This is a pretty sophisticated film but while it does have a complex narrative structure it's actually fairly cohesive. This is more like a really bleak, brutal and nihilistic art film. You might need to give it a second watch too, just to get a handle on the nuances. Quite the surprise packet of a film. An absolute curio for adventurous film viewers.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Ana de Armas, LaKeith Stanfield, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)

Knives Out (2019)
Excellent, if a little slow, 10s update of the Whodunnit in a mansion genre. This is set in America and really could have been a four or five part prestige television series for FX or HBO. This star studded cast all put in sterling performances. Although I must admit to not being a Daniel Craig fan (can't fucking stand him) so it was a struggle to get used to him doing a southern American accent but hey I got there. Why didn't they just get a southern American though? Minor quibbles aside yes Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Collette, Christopher Plummer etc. are terrific. The real star here though is Ana Celia de Armas Caso who plays Marta the deceased multi millionaire's personal nurse. Was it suicide or was it foul play?  Don't expect a fusty old stuck in the house investigation. This is more like a modern tv crime drama dressed up as a whodunnit. Enjoy the ride that doesn't get too convoluted although perhaps the final explanation plot device could have been dropped to make this film more lean. 

Nude per l'assassino (1975)

Strip Nude For Your Killer (1975)
Edwige's Fenech's Hair!

That was going to be my review. All a Giallo enthusiast would need to know is all right there. Edwige is in it! She has amazing hair! This would also infer there is more amazing stuff like great fashion, glamorous 70s interior design and that Fenech probably gets naked at some point. The title then implies much more nudity & death Giallo style. See how 8 words is pretty much enough to tell you about this film. That would have been sufficient if I was in a certain mood but there is so much more to discuss here. This is a high point in nasty macho Giallo. Surely this was the lofty batshit crazy peak and the genre could only go down from here. 

It starts out with an abortion that goes awry: Let the nasty, sleazy and murderous shenanigans begin. Over-poured J&B, lots of nudity, lots of great 70s underwear, splendid swimwear for women, dodgy 70s swimwear for men, so much sleaze, fun phoney paint splattered gore, the fashion, OTT campy homosexuals, sleazy photographers, the bars, the pools, the saunas, the men who don't take no for an answer, the women who put up with it, violent lesbians, so much fluff muff, implied consensual incest, a killer in full black biker leathers complete with black gloves & helmet, darkrooms, photographic proof, a body count and more.

Strip Nude For Your Killer was really pushing the boundaries of good bad taste but it somehow got away with it with colourful charm, incredible cinematography, absolute audaciousness and flashy direction. God knows what a bunch of kids in their early 20s would make of this today. I certainly would like to be in that viewing room and for the discussion afterwards.

Over the past 8 or 9 years I've been trying to figure out what film the following scene was from as it is an unforgettable moment in the history of cinema.

There's this sad fat guy Maurizio (Franco Diogene) married to the lesbian Gisella (Lia Amanda). One day Maurizio basically kidnaps a female colleague Doris (Erna Schürer) and speeds through the streets of Milan in a spectacular and quite lengthy set-piece of crazy driving through busy city traffic. He finally gets the woman into to his flat to try and have sex with her but she says no. Then he forces himself some more upon her so Doris says ok. But by the the time the obese Maurizio gets down to his giant white underpants he's already done his business. He cries that he's never been able to actually get to do it with a woman like he's some kind of sad victim. Doris who is unharmed and unfazed just laughs it off and says it happens to all men as he cries in a pathetic tantrum. She leaves while Maurizio is still having an episode. Next he's crying into and talking to his deflated blow up sex doll saying she is the only one he can do it with. This historic scene is only comparable to Joe Spinell in Maniac (1980) for a portrait of the sheer delirious lunacy of pathetic sexually dysfunctional men.

While Maurizio is vile he has tough competition with perhaps the sleaziest protagonist in a film ever Carlo (Nino CastelNuovo) the photographer for The Albatross Modelling Agency. Carlo starts out the film sexually harassing a woman he doesn't know and his bad behaviour is relentless right up until the final scene. This dude has absolutely no redeeming features and yet he wins. He's an accessory after the fact, for a laugh he strangles his girlfriend fellow photographer Magda Edwige Fenech who just laughs it off and then they have some more sex.

This film comes highly recommended but be prepared this was Italy 1975 style.    

[*Blogger's new improvements are bullshit. A usual 5 minute job to put on some images just took me bloody 45 minutes]

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Laying The Ghosts To Rest - Nick Edwards


Laying Ghosts To Rest is the 3rd excellent album in as many months from Nick [Ekoplekz] Edwards. We all thought he was winding up his career them bam three irresistible albums in a row. This one is the best too. In fact this might just be the finest recording Nick has ever done.

A personal history of electronic gunk is displayed here & moulded into shapes for 2020. The trakz here are less attached to the tyranny of the beat than the previous two albums. The LP meanders off into all sorts of cosmic, psychedelic, delicious, ecstatic, melodic, idyllic, dark and even somewhat familiar zones. Energie-Piek the 7th tune is spiritually like old School ambient-house complete with its vestiges of 80s electro along with the vibe of weary elation that the sun’s about to come up. Trak 8 Saturnine is just lovely amorphous ambient squiggling featuring euphoric synths.

Laying Ghosts... just feels loose like never before. Right now Nick’s at a creative peak where it seems he could go anywhere sonically & it would not be a mistake. Perhaps the title is a hint at where his brain-space is right now. Maybe he's letting go of his own artistic & aesthetic prejudices. All of his previous constraints and shackles. Perhaps Edward’s can see a new previously unimagined vision unfolding for his creativity. Laying Ghosts To Rest does feel very intuitive & that more new horizons are just awaiting his arrival. This music is brimming with the positive confidence of whatever's coming next is going to be well worth waiting for. I can't get enough of it. I’m so enraptured by Laying Ghosts... that it’s on constant reeeewind! round this house. Here’s to the future! The one we want. We can’t go back, we’ve travelled so far.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Movies 35 - The Crappest So Far

The Invisible Man (2020)
Great action horror that had me flashing back to the glory days of late 80s/early 90s thrillers. High octane and horrifying action. Since his lukewarm debut Insidious Chapter 3Leigh Whannell's directing chops have skyrocketed with his previous film Upgrade (2018) and now this undeniable 2020 gem. While we always knew he was a fabulous writer, producer and right hand man to writer/director James Wan he has now come out of that shadow to become the powerhouse force to be reckoned with in Hollywood right now. I'm eagerly anticipating his next project. How many directors can you say that about in 2020?

The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971)
Stylish if a little off putting at the start as you slowly realise a third of the film is going to be spent in the courtroom. This is part police procedural too but there is just enough beautiful murdered women for it to qualify as a Giallo. The opening is pretty fantastic. After a somewhat lack lustre first half the intrigue then picks up to keep you from your ever present 2020 distractions for the second half. Is it just me or is the ongoing coffee gag so tedious and perhaps lost in translation? Many Giallo tropes with a nifty plot. For Gialli enthusiasts going deep into the genre.

If You Meet Sartana Pray For Your Death (1968)
If you can get past the smugness of Sartana (Gianni Garko) you are in for a Spaghetti Western treat. Garko's not half as smug as 60s icons i hate ie. Sean Connery (as Bond) and Clint Eastwood (as any fucking role he plays way beyond the 60s too). We get the stuff.... gold, stagecoach robbery, Gatling massacres, double crossing wives, coffins, coffin makers, saloons, card games, fast gunslinging, Mexican gangs, dynamite and more. There's also hints of mysticism amongst the nihilistic bloodshed which is odd. While this is the first film prepared as a vehicle for Garko as Sartana he appeared the previous year in Blood At Sundown as Sartana but was the antagonist. After this 1968 effort there were four official sequels and in true Italian style there were a bunch of rip offs or "unofficial sequels" which ripped off the name Sartana and his style.

Relic (2020)
SPOILER ALERT. Relic is the worst. This contains the most unconvincing dialogue and characters I've encountered since Lost Gully Road (2017?). Relic is so boring. Then when it attempts to come to life it's like two horror movies in one. Suspense just isn't built and you just wish all the characters would die via a scary monster but one of them is the monster (?). The filmmakers obviously like Jonathan Glazer's masterpiece Under The Skin (2013). Scarlett Johhaannssenn's alien character's human skin suit was a minuscule part of that great film but here Gran's is the whole movie (?). Oh who fucking cares don't waste your time on this bullshit! 

Phantasm (1979)
Great fun sci-fi/horror cult movie that is bananas entertainment. It was a first time watch for me and it was a strange experience. I've had the fabulous soundtrack since the 90s and always assumed the film was some kind of boring ghost story. Wrong. This is a very peculiar and unique horror flick inside a balmy sci-fi film. Or is it the other way around. Late night movie of the week.

The Candy Snatchers (1973)
A heist/horror flick of the darkest variety. This is an infamous near mythical cult flick that has been pretty hard to see until Vinegar Syndrome tracked down the actual owner of the film's rights and released it on blu-ray in the last 12 months. One thing I'm often amazed by is how great the cinematography is in many exploitation films. This 4K transfer is beautiful but that can't help the nasty subject matter. SPOILER ALERT! The best way to describe this is Family Plot (1976) meets Bay Of Blood (1971). I wonder if Hitchcock saw this movie? This is a whole lotta sinister wrong fun, a pure lost treasure. Not for those with weak stomachs but highly recommended.


*Six films in over a month? What's going on in Space Debris land? Well I'm very distracted by all of the things. Mainly it's the politics but it's music too.

I've been listening to lots of music again. Going through my usual winter obsessions of Cabaret Voltaire, Suicide & Throbbing Gristle. Ghosteen Nick Cave's astounding masterpiece from last year is still enthralling me to no end. I'm also very impressed with two 2020 Nick (Ekoplekz) Edwards albums as well as all the ekoplekz archives and their final release Wrekage 2011-2019 which is a vital compilation of rare tracks. The new Moon Wiring Club remix album Tabitha Reverb is triffic plus recent things from Emily A Sprague, Katie Gately, Gabor Lazar, N Chambers, Sun Araw & C. Lavender.

I dug out those old Soul Jazz New York Noise compilations the other day along with No New York and Ze's Mutant Disco and fuck they're all good. They just make all that post-punk revival shit seem well just shit, which it is! I went through the entire hypnagogic 2010 cannon which was surprisingly still fucking awesome. I'm now going to go backwards through the other years. 2009 & 2008 if I recall properly are the other two peak years. After 2010 it all went glowstick & vaporwave & whatever else but the new crop just weren't as good. Also on the hi-fi have been other old or archival stuff from Prince, Steve Kilbey, Game Theory, The Chameleons, The Sound, A Certain Ratio, Circle X, feedtime, King Snake Roost, Lo Five, Assembled Minds, Global Communication, Fennesz, Pita, Burial, Basic Channel, Vladislav Delay, Danizindan Pojidon, Haruomi Hosono, Nocturnal Emissions, Clan Of Xymox, Ramleh, Merzbow, Manuel Goettsching, Ranil and more. Been listening to some 2020 archival comps like Join The Future: UK Bleep & Bass 1988-91 on Cease & Desist, Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave & Hardcore from Soul Jazz, Cadence Revolution: Disques Debs International Volume 2 released by Strut Records and Pacific Breeze Volume 2 issued by Light In The Attic.

My main distraction, apart from the constant threat of COVID-19 in Victoria, is that 1984/Brave New World is happening right before my very eyes with the possibility of it clashing with _______ (insert favourite Fascist Police State movie or book) in the USA at least. Virtue signal alert! Just for the bloody record, I can't believe I have to do this, I'm anti far-right and anti far-left. I'm issue by issue based politically. I don't follow a doctrine but I dig liberty and being an individual. Freedom is really fucking cool when you think about it.

So I'm preoccupied by the riots and oncoming civil/race war in the USA which is quite possibly caused by the internet, twitter, facebook, algorithms, confirmation bias, lack of debate and the death of actual journalism ie. not activists writing for the nyt. Everything seems to be a false narrative. Everyone has become deranged so this could lead one to suspect several Marxist revolutionary points have been reached ie. de-stabilisation and chaos. I hope this is paranoia but the hard left are playing a weird and disconcerting game where nothing is debated or transparent and there is no actual leader with any coherent plan. Is it all clandestine? To be revealed in due course? Like if Joe Biden wins will there be a party coup where the far left overtake the party and America?

Anyway all the hard left seem to do is set up trip wires and Kafka traps ie. Robin Diangelo's White Fragility. You are racist! Denial of your racism means you're racist! It's very healthy and good for your mental state. I especially worry for those developing mentally right now and what harm this confusing insanity may cause. You must be subservient to blm otherwise you are not an ally and will be un-personed. Normal black, white and everyone else in-between are being tricked and radicalised without their knowledge. "I'm cool black lives matter they're oppressed!" We all know this and want change particularly with regard to police and penal schemes. There needs to be well considered legislative reform yesterday. I don't know anyone in real life, the media or the internet who doesn't want that. Dig a little deeper however and you find the blm organisation saying things like they are trained Marxists who have come to dismantle the nuclear family, some dodgy racial stuff like white people are genetic defects etc. etc. You are literally not allowed to call that shit out without repercussion. This is similar in the lgbtq milieu. You can't say "Wait a minute trans-kids doesn't sound like a very good idea." That makes you a transphobe, you tripped the wire. You literally are not allowed to say this if you do it means you condone youthful suicide apparently. My brain is sick of it!

"Science nah that's like logical and proves stuff so nah. Reason nah we can't win our shouty games with that. Regressive race theories! Yeah great lets look at everything through a racial lens I'm sure this wont be racist at all. History yeah nah I mean we'll have some of it to support our religion...I mean cause, but we probably don't need the bit where like communism causes a hundred million deaths cos that might be a bit of a downer for all the people we need to convert to Marxism."

People are bowing down to the destruction of civilisation because they think they're being right on, don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, risk being ostracised or fired from their job.

With regard to the Portland riots. There are several narratives going at once so you just pick the one which suits your ideology. If you want to go any further than that to try and find the truth you risk being shouted down by the hard left and far right. The reality is somewhere beneath the the layers of lies that both conflicting ideologies are piling onto the actual facts.

I'm a great admirer of the writer Jon Ronson. On twitter I argued that the riots were much more complex than his fascist police state New York Times narrative led him to believe. His response was to take down his tweet and not engage with his couple of critics. So even great men are now bowing down to the hard left and not willing to investigate the truth. Me questioning that narrative has led to accusations of me being a fascist and a nazi. People don't even argue a few points anymore they just invoke Godwin's Law immediately. This pathetic level of discourse is unfortunately the norm now. Ronson of all people, I would have thought was a complex enough human to not just choose one of the narratives on offer. A day later he posted an article about the riots from the guardian written by Maeve Higgins saying she was a "brilliant pal". Which narrative do you think The Guardian went with? So he's removed his original tweet, not engaged with critique of the issue but doubled down on his position by posting his mates article. This is 2020! It's fucking schizoid and demented.

In a show of support against antisemitism with Planet Mu records online (which was brought on by a spate of racial bullshit directed at the Jewish from WileyCorbyn, Ice Cube, Nick Cannon etc.) I ironically have been called a fascist and a nazi pig. I Noted in a tweet that the blm organisation have not been immune to a bit of antisemitism but oh no that was wrong think I was just yelled at and called a racist with no debate. I was presenting the truth, it's all there online for you all to read...but no I went against the moment's narrative so I am the nazi (?) for sticking up for the people who have faced the most horrific extreme wrath of actual literal nazis.

Someone from heritage media tried to say that the history of antisemitic black Americans was bogus. I've been alive since the 70s so I just know this is bollocks! Yes there are groups of Jews & African Americans who formed great alliances and have been fighting against oppression for a long time, most importantly during the civil right movement. FACT. But that doesn't cancel out the FACT that Professor Griff, Jesse Jackson or Louis Farrikhan weren't vitriolic in their hatred of Jews. Just acknowledge the facts whether they are nice or horrible. Media get your shit together. Stop being activists. It's in nobody's best interests. Why did you ever think it was? It's like everyone has become scared of facts. This is all too bizarre.

If you don't belong to an ideology and just want the facts you are not welcome anywhere. That's fine because identity politics and people's need to belong are what has brought us to this moment in 2020. People need to get over this shit. You don't belong anywhere. You are born, then you live and then you die. Get on with your life, do your stuff, be good at something, be bad at something, stop politicising the minutiae of everything in the world because ultimately the only place you belong for most of the history of time is in the ground.

This cultural schizophrenia is disrupting my life, brain, health and sorry my blog. If you wanna see me fighting for moderate well considered political debate go on my twitter (So unhealthy, I know...I'm gonna quit soon!). On instagram I do all the stuff I love music, art, family, my dog, look at otters and general silly shit. It's a political free zone for my own sanity. This is hopefully the last political rant on my blog ever. I need to get back to the music and the movies and the fun. The stuff life is made of. Sorry people. I'll try and contain my derangement so that I may resume normal transmission shortly.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

While My Guitar Gently Weeps featuring PRINCE

So I said to Emma "How about Prince doing Creep?" 
She said 'salright'

Then she said "Have you seen this?" I rolled my eyes at the thought of Tom Petty and Steve Winwood appearing on the same stage but hey Jeff's there with his warm and dulcet tones, George's cute lookalike-y son is on guitar and little ole legendary Prince is off in the fringes on the side somewhere. Halfway through I was thinking:

"Why on earth did they even invite Prince. They've let some other dude do the main guitar break what a waste! Tom Petty's singing is insufferable. This is some bullshit heritage rock boredom for lovers of The Last Waltz. For me there's TWO concert* Films: Stop Making Sense & Sign O The Times. The rest don't come anywhere near close! I can't even see Prince now, he's just lost amongst a bunch of rock bores. This is a bit shit"

At the 3 minute mark it looked like maybe Prince had left the stage but before I got way too grumpy the camera captures our invisible lil hurricane Mr Rogers Nelson majickly manifest into the limelight...and well here you go. This is your sonic treat of the week. OMG!!! The following 3 minutes are magnificent bliss. Dhani Harrison almost loses his mind at the guitar wizardry on display right before his eyes. When Prince cracks a smile it's pure gold because he knows he's feelin what we're feelin and that's that he is astonishing and the fucking best. PURE JOY. A GIFT.

*On audio I'm only into Velvets/Lou live plus every live thing Throbbing Gristle ever did.