Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

 

A very quick pick of the week this time, as I’m working on a short story and some music for an imminent deadline (more news on that soon).

This weekend I will also be geeking out to the maximum as Saturday is new Doctor Who, and Sunday is new Game of Thrones! 

Y A Y !  

 

The publicity pic for new Who
The publicity pic for new Who

 

Also on Saturday, premiering on BBC America is a new sci-fi series Orphan Black, which looks interesting. You can watch the opening scene here.

Also, while we’re geeking out on genre TV, there’s a pretty neat (and gruesome) werewolf transformation from Eli Roth‘s Netflix exclusive Hemlock Grove show – all 13 episodes of which will be up there on April 19th. Don’t think I’ll subscribe to Netflix just for that, but hopefully I’ll be able to watch the show eventually, because it looks like it has potential. Obviously, the clip isn’t suitable for kids or people who don’t want to see gruesomeness, but you can watch here.

Did you watch the BBC’s In the Flesh, about the aftermath of a zombie outbreak, where Partially Deceased Syndrome sufferers are rehabilitated?  I mentioned it last week, and have only seen the first episode so far, but really enjoyed it. The third episode airs on Sunday. Catch up here.

 

 

This week I have mostly be listening to (in no particular order, but all good):

 

A Circle is Forever by The Big Ship ~ link here.

Orz by Joan Skyler ~ link here.

eaT biscuiT by Gut Nose ~ link here.

– Kosmische Constellation mix by Günter Schlienz ~ link here.

Tales from the Black Meadow by The Soulless Party ~ link here.

Recurring Universe mix by Emerging Species ~ link here.

– The latest episode of Philippe Petit‘s radio show ~ link here.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

 

– I’m going to start this week with one of my all-time favourite artists, Kris Kuksi.

The Recreation
The Recreation

I would love a grand hall filled with his wondrous sculptures. I’d spend many hours there, exploring the intricate detail of these baroque masterpieces in awe.

Kris-Kuksi-Liner-AM-44

Capricorn Rising
Capricorn Rising

“A post-industrial Rococo master, Kris Kuksi obsessively arranges characters and architecture in asymmetric compositions with an exquisite sense of drama. Instead of stones and shells he uses screaming plastic soldiers, miniature engine blocks, towering spires and assorted debris to form his landscapes.

The political, spiritual and material conflict within these shrines is enacted under the calm gaze of remote deities and august statuary. Kuksi manages to evoke, at once, a sanctum and a mausoleum for our suffocated spirit.”

~ Guillermo del Toro

Triumph
Triumph
Triumph (detail)
Triumph (detail)
Triumph (Detail)
Triumph (detail)
Triumph (Detail)
Triumph (detail)
A Heroic Abduction
A Heroic Abduction
A Heroic Abduction (detail)
A Heroic Abduction (detail)

There’s oh so much more to discover at kuksi.com.

 

– A fascinating thirty-part series made in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive has begun on BBC Radio 4. Each episode of Noise: A Human History, is 15 minutes long, and can be found on the iPlayer here.

 

Incidentally, all the radio programmes on the BBC iPlayer can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Access to TV programmes and live TV streaming is normally restricted outside of the UK, but they can be view with a proxy unblocker thingy. Technical terminology, I know. But look, here’s a couple of examples. If you use Google Chrome you can use the Hola Unblocker extension here, which allows you to use the UK’s BBC iplayer and the U.S’s Hulu as if you were in country. Sweet! I think Hola might be available for other browsers too. There’s also Tunnel Bear which does a similar thing, and I’m sure there are others.

 

– And hey – here’s another tip. For my radio fix I use the Radio Downloader, which allows you to download BBC radio programmes (and podcasts) for you to listen to in your own time. You can even ‘subscribe’ to things, so that they’ll download automatically. So perfect if, like me, you’re not able to tune in to things like Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere or Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone when they air live.

 

– While we’re talking BBC – there’s a short prequel to the brand new Doctor Who episode “The Bells of Saint John“, which airs next Saturday (YES!) here

 

– And I’ve just realised that the first episode of BBC THREE‘s 3 part drama about the aftermath of a zombie uprising and the rehabilitation of “Partially Deceased Syndrome” sufferers In the Flesh has already been on. The second episode is tomorrow (24th). I haven’t watched it yet, but it certainly looks interesting. Go Here.

 

OK – time for some music:

 

The cover for the 'Hello Skinny' album
The cover for the ‘Hello Skinny’ album

 

– The eponymous album by Hello Skinny is magnificent. Full of jazz-techno-avant-garde goodness. Listen and buy here.

 

Alrealon Musique is an independent label dedicated to experimental music. They support an eclectic mix of artists who are producing some great albums. It’s pointless talking about genre here, as the music frequently transcends them. The best thing to do is to go discover their amazing sounds for yourself here.

– The good folk at Alrealon Musique are very kind, enthusiastic, and encouraging. It’s a rare and precious thing. They asked me to put together a mix for them, and so I did! It’s a heady mixture of psychedelic, ambient, haunt, and electronica. I would be delighted if you took the time to listen to it – here.

– Also, Dave Fleet aka Laica‘s latest Numbers Broadcast show on internet radio station Future Music featured a great showcase mix of Alrealon Musique tunes. You can listen to the entire show here.

 

– There’s a new SPEKTRMODULE podcast by Warren Ellis! It’s here.

 

Cover for 'Music for Film' by 'Giant Claw'
Cover for ‘Music for Film’ by ‘Giant Claw’ on the ‘Constellation Tatsu’ label                    

 

– There’s some truly amazing sounds coming from the U.S tape culture.  

Two of my favourite labels are Constellation Tatsu, which can be found here

   and Geweih Ritual Documents, which can be found here.

So much wyrd and wonderful music to be explored on both those labels.

 

The cover for the 'Long Arms' EP by 'Insect Ark' on the 'Geweih Ritual Documents' label
The cover for the ‘Long Arms’ EP by ‘Insect Ark’ on the ‘Geweih Ritual Documents’ label

 

OK, that’s it for now – until next weekend…

 

*)

 

 

 

Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

 

Greetings traveller, and welcome to this week’s round-up of links to things that resonate with and inspire me…

 

John Coulthart is an artist and designer whose work includes illustration and design for albums, books, and comics.

haunter2006

John’s blog is where he catalogues “interests, obsessions, and passing enthusiasms”, and is a constant source of interesting thoughts about art, music, culture, and beyond. Chances are I’ll be passing on links discovered on his blog here every now and then. Highly recommended, John’s blog can be found here.

 

– Which leads me in smartly to a great discovery made on John’s blog: the 1982 animated science fiction film Chronopolis by Polish animator Piotr Kamler, with a  electronic score by composer Luc Ferrari.

image montage from Chronopolis taken from John Coulthart's blog
image montage from Chronopolis taken from John Coulthart’s blog


     Beguiling and bold, Chronopolis is available to watch on Ubuweb here.

 

Also mentioned on John Coulthart‘s original blog post (which can be found here) are two other classic animated science fiction films by French animator and director René Laloux.

These two I remember fondly from my youth:

Les Maîtres du Temps / Time Masters (1982), which can be watched here.

And the magnificent La Planète sauvage / Fantastic Planet (1973) here.

tumblr_lyy4d2wrDl1r65fqbo1_500

 

– A new six part BBC Radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s fantasy series Neverwhere begins today (March 16th), and promises to be quite brilliant. The impressive cast includes James McAvoyBenedict Cumberbatch, and Christopher Lee. The Neverwhere homepage is here.

 

– There’s about a week left of the Kickstarter for The Mill at Calder’s End – a Victorian Ghost Story Puppet Film. They’ve already reached their initial goal, so this is definitely happening, but it’s worth checking out, even if only to watch the trailer. Here.

 

– @SeraphicManta on Twitter indirectly reminded me that I somehow still haven’t read any of American horror/weird author Thomas Ligotti‘s books yet. I really should. In the meantime there’s a good 2011 interview with Ligotti on the Weird Fiction Review website here.

 

– While I’m delving into interviews, there’s nice one with experimental/drone/folk musician Michael Tanner, of Plinth, United Bible Studies, The Cloisters and other projects here.

The cover image for "Music for Smalls Lighthouse" - one of my favourite Michael Tanner albums.
The cover image for “Music for Smalls Lighthouse” – one of my favourite Michael Tanner albums.

If you haven’t yet heard any of Michael Tanner’s music, you’re in for a real treat. His Bandcamp is here.

 

– And there’s a great personal retrospective of the musical career of Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner in the Quietus interview here.

 

Some more amazing music I have been listening to and would recommend:

 

– The new Revenant Sea album on the Auditory Field Theory label. Music for deep space and flotation tanks. Check it out at the AFT site here.

 

Cover artwork for the 'Stalking Horse' album 'Specters' by Drew Millward
Cover artwork for the ‘Stalking Horse’ album ‘Specters’ by Drew Millward

– A wonderful alternative rock band called Stalking Horse. I’d don’t like to compare the sound of one band to another, even though the influences may be apparent. Doing so may put people off, or give the false impression that the newer work is an inferior derivative. The Stalking Horse album Specters is vibrant and exciting, and I really want you to go give it a listen or three. Here

 

The Black Polygons. Sublime lo-fi haunty drone cinematic soundscapes. Here.

 

– The decaying beauty of Love Cult‘s debut album Fingers Crossed. Here.

 

– The precursor to Robin the Fog‘s defining tribute to the BBC’s Bush House and Radiophonic Workshop, “The Ghosts of Bush” has been released. It’s called Earl Grey Whistle Test, and can be found here

 

Atomic Shadow creates “experimental ambient electronic music that echos the Mid-Century pioneers. Musique Concrete, Radiophonic Workshop, tape loops, sine waves and ring modulators.” Look, here he is: 

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I know – cool, right? I mean – he has a Control Centre of vintage equipment…

600395_571542776189486_604529438_n

Mind blown. I’m so envious! The music’s great too: the Bandcamp is here.

 

tomb-raider-2013-hd-wallpaper-2

I had a long weekend with a stinking cold last week, and I played the new Tomb Raider game. All the way through. It’s vivid, visceral, and incredibly exciting.

 

I suppose that’s quite enough content to be pushing for one week…

 

 

 

 

The Matter of Contradiction

 

 

 

Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

This is the first of what I intend to be an ongoing weekly post of “stuff that I find interesting. There will be no particular order or reasoning behind the stuff – there will doubtless be plenty of links to music, and geeky stuff, and arty creative stuff, and historical or mythological stuff, and – well, whatever really.

As I said: stuff I find interesting!

Some of it will be recent, some not so recent. No rules. Apart from that it will all be stuff that I like, and maybe you will like some of it too?

It’s a weird word: stuff – don’t you think? One of those words that, the more you say it, the weirder it gets. Or maybe it just gets irritating. Stuff. Sorry.

Anyway…

 

Saudade City cover art

–  Eon Heart is a label devoted to releasing electronic / experimental music inspired by science-fiction. Listen here.

– An extensive archive of works by electronic pioneer Delia Derbyshire is available to listen and download on Ubuweb here

– A brand new BBC Radio adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Eric started this week. You can catch the first episode on the i-player here.

– And if you’re quick you can also catch the BBC’s 2010 adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness here. (Episode One is available until the 12th March)

– Issue 22 of the excellent Lovecraft Ezine is available to read for free here.

feb-issue22-rev-2

If you dig it, please consider buying/subscribing to the Kindle, Nook or iPad version for only $2.99 an issue. The editor, Mike Davis does a grand job putting the Ezine together for the love of it – and I’m sure he would appreciate the financial support. Also – Issues 1-9 can be bought as a bundle for $4.99, which is amazing.

– For aspiring screenwriters, an archive of surprisingly current film scripts to download is right here. At the moment it includes scripts for Argo, Anna Karenina, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, The Master, and Moonrise Kingdom.

tourismposterwww-scarfolk-blogspot-com

“Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever.”  For more information, click here.

– Game of Thrones Season Three is coming. The extended trailer is here.

– Internet Jesus, Warren Ellis posted an excellent list of podcasts that he follows here.

– The brilliant Numbers Broadcast show (hosted by Laica), which features on the Internet radio station Future Music, has a sublime guest mix by Utopian tones/Dystopian drones maestro oh/ex/oh for it’s 33rd show. You can listen to the broadcast in it’s entirety here

Spoicke – the new album by United Bible Studies – is one of the most beautiful releases I’ve seen, and the music is magnificent too. Here, take a peek

United Bible Studies - Spoicke - p

All 77 of the physical release sold out very quickly, but Deserted Village are offering ways to receive a free download of the album on their Twitter feed here.

Also, check out the Deserted Village Bandcamp here, and if you’ll indulge me, listen first to the incredible “splatter-folk” masterpiece Misery Together by Thinguma*jigsaw 

– I’m a big fan of Radiohead, so the Atoms for Peace Radio 1 Essential Mix is, well, essential – as is the album, Amok, which has just been released. Listen to the mix here.

– Listen/buy the vibrant electronic-noise-psych-industrial-house-dub-wyrd-pop-techno eponymous mini album by Acteurs here.

– And finally: experience the awesome “gorgeous neo-kraut trails and class freakdom” of the split release between “English psych-heads” Gnod and the “Venezuelan stoner” Bear Bones, Lay Low here.

 

CREEPS & NACREOUS CLOUDS LAUNCH

 

I am very pleased to have finally released my debut short story collection into the world, as well as a double album!

The fiction is a collection of dark fantasy/horror stories called CREEPS. Almost twenty four thousand words of strange tales, available as a digital download with bonus song ‘I Try’ here:

You can read one of the stories from the collection here

and an extract from another one here

The stories were written over a period of several years, stemming back to when I was participating in a creative writing course with the Open University. Over the past few months I have revised and polished the stories to the finished state they are in now.

 

The album is called Nacreous Clouds. A little under two hours of beguiling electronica, available as a handmade double disc CD-R album limited to just 40 copies or digital download here

Here’s what the physical album looks like:

CD1

There are a variety of different designs

CD2

Finally, limited to just 10 copies, is the Box Of Ephemera.

This contains a handwritten copy of CREEPS (each one of which took about 50 hours to complete), a physical copy of the lovingly crafted double disc album Nacreous Clouds, 36 printed photographs of my Shades of Grey project, an “Inspirational dice game”, an original piece of art, and a one year membership of the mysterious Club Ephemeral, details of which will remain exclusive to Box of Ephemera owners for now – all contained within a genuine Romeo & Juliet Habana cigar box.

There will only ever be 10 of the Box of Ephemera. 

They are also available here

Here are some glimpses of what it looks like:

BOX1

BOX2

BOX4

BOX5

My beautiful wife, Natasha, was invaluable with helping me with the design of this release. She made the CD packaging, and without her this release would not exist. Thank you so much for your assistance and encouragement, my love.

This album was produced using open source music creation and mixing software, and the built in microphone from my camcorder – except for the track ‘I Try’, which was recorded using a ‘Zoom H1’.

Profits from this release will go towards upgrading equipment, and the next Ephemeral Man release.