Tuesday, July 18, 2017
This was the Cabs flaunting the latest technology back in 1982 when cheap VHS cameras gave easy access to all sorts of television detritus. It’s essential lo-fi sound and vision gave the project an immediacy lost as the technology improved. This was electro-punk at its best, and it still has the power to wean "art" kids off their IPhones if more widely seen/heard. With its disconcerting media loops, voices from the ether, primitive electronics, and elemental drum machines, "this is", as Stephen Mallinder sings, "entertainment, this fun". Someone at MOMA would eventually notice their dystopian beginnings and include a Cabaret Voltaire video in its permanent collection (Peter Care's vertigo-inducing video of "Sensoria"). Cover design and typography by Neville Brody
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
My latest acquisition is the Lorre-Mill DOUBLE KNOT, a banana-cabled instrument that has formed an unholy kinship with it neighbor, my Serge M-Class synthesizer. Who knows what kinds of perverse sonic couplings will result? Non-linear, non-pitched centered modulated “noise” should ensue. Fun. Available from the good folks at CONTROL, the only synth store that matters. Many thanks to Roe Enney for initial patches and advice.
Friday, May 19, 2017
UNDERTOW, the latest album by Wolf Eyes, those purveyors of injurious aural wreckage seems either a step forward or back depending on one’s threshold for moments of extreme noise terror. Released via the bands’s own Lower Floor Music label, it allows a bit more atmosphere and space into the pieces without sacrificing the power of something to move you (undertow, get it?). It’s cover artwork suggests the surrealism of Max Ernst’s “decalcomania” and it’s embrace of the subconscious or subterranean. Or more contemporaneously, a lyric like “I count every deceit as they repeat”, the way we hear the loose-lipped politics of Donald Trump.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
PHAROS OF CHAOS is an astounding 1983 documentary about writer/actor//activist/sailor/stoolie Sterling Hayden that follows this conflicted/contradictory man as he ambles around his barge docked somewhere in France. His "performance" here is nothing short of a spectacle of disintegration as he smokes hashish and drinks bottle after bottle of wine. The film has the feel of a series of outtakes or a mid-period Warhol film, revealing, repulsive, and very sad at the same time.