Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

 

Hello, and welcome to another selection of some of the things I’ve been enjoying over the past couple of weeks.

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There’s a fascinating interview with Gaahl of the band Wardruna, the music of which focuses on Nordic pagan spirituality, particularly the runes of the Elder Futhark. The interview is hosted by The Quietus, and can be found here.

Wardruna’s second album Runaljod – Yggdrasil was released at the end of March, and is truly magnificent. Samples of the first four tracks of the album, with commentary by band members Kvitrafn and Gaahl can be experienced in the video below.

 

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Also on The Quietus is a short piece about The Dark. Outside project, organised by Stuart @Frenchbloke Mclean. 24hrs of unheard music to be broadcast in the Scottish Wilderness on 31st August/1st September, then perhaps never heard again. I wish I could be there in person, for it will undoubtedly be a magical experience. I will be there in spirit, however, as I have contributed a track from my alter ego The Ephemeral Man called Ragnarok

Read The Quietus piece here.

 

Jetsam + Gareth E. Rees @ Union Chapel's Daylight Music
Jetsam + Gareth E. Rees @ Union Chapel’s Daylight Music

 I’d like to introduce you to a Kickstarter project looking to raise funding for an collaborative album for the band Jetsam and The Marshman Chronicler Gareth E. Rees. The following quote is taken from the Kickstarter page: 

“A Dream Life of Hackney Marshes is a 35 minute sonic journey through the marshes of London’s Lower Lea Valley, a borderland between Hackney, Walthamstow and Leyton. On the marshes you drift through a landscape of Victorian reservoir systems, pylons, cows, Blitz rubble, illegal raves, graffiti, herons and kestrels. The piece evokes our sense of this place both as a refuge from the pressures of the city and as a unique space where London’s memories fill the bomb craters and pool among the ruins. 

The piece weaves song, spoken word, acoustic and electronic sound with the stories, histories and eccentricities of the Marshes and its inhabitants, be they people, pigeons or pylons. From invocations of the city skyline, to attempts at flight, laments and love songs, this piece has something for everyone and through this Kickstarter campaign we’d love to share it with you all.”

There are rehearsal extracts to listen to, and perks include downloads of the album, and signed copies of the forthcoming book The Marshman Chronicles by Gareth E. Rees. The Kickstarter page is here.

 

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Random Mysterious Excellent Blog For You To Go Explore!

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The Golden Age: an endless joy of pulp art, and more!

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This really is a treasure trove, and is being regularly updated.

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The Golden Age can be found here.

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I recommend this this Pink Floyd remix tribute album:

 

Welcome to the dark electronic soundscape of The Duke St Workshop. Their album Lexicon Of Paragon Pines is “a concept album loosely built around 1970’s Cold Cases.”

The player below is cued up to track 18, so you might want to rewind back to track one – click through to reach the Bandcamp page for purchase. The limited CD version has sold out, but the digital version is a snip at £5.

 

And I leave you with a promo video of The Duke St Workshop’s Squirm, shot and directed by Wizards Tell Lies and The Revenant Sea man Matt Bower.

 

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Reading List: May/June 2013

 

NOS4A2                                                 ~    Joe Hill

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft    ~    Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez 

Locke & Key: Head Games                   ~    Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows          ~    Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom       ~    Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Locke & Key: Clockworks                      ~    Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Locke & Key: Omega 1-5                      ~    Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

 

My Goodreads page is here.

 

 

Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

 

 

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In the wake of the new Boards of Canada album, I thought it might be an idea to re-visit the bands namesake – the National Film Board of Canada, especially as some people might not have gone so far as to explore what can be found there.

Of particular interest to me, and presumably to the members of the band also, is the “Outside the Box” output of the organisation, which it announces to be a collection of “Experimental films, humorous films and films that make you go ‘Wha…?’ “

Here is the classic trippy 1972 short film Series 4 by Normand Grégoire:

 

Series 4 by Normand Grégoire, National Film Board of Canada

 

Or rather, I’ve tried to embed the video, but I’m not sure if it’s going to work properly – there are some links just above, and if you click on the one that says Series 4, it’ll take you there.

The Outside the Box page on the National Film Board of Canada website is here.

 

If you haven’t yet delved into the mighty, mystical world of Lost Trail, then now is the perfect time, as they have recently released a retrospective compilation from their last two years of work. People unfamiliar with the nuances of drone music may find these soundscapes perplexing at first, but I urge you to persevere. This is music to walk, create, or meditate to; music to lie on the floor and stare at the minutiae of the ceiling to; music to get lost and found to. 

 

If you click on the green title on the Bandcamp player above, you’ll find lots more Lost Trail wonders, and for only $8 you can buy a handmade CD-R edition of the Pages From The Alamance Hymnal album, which will include a new and exclusive track recorded especially for each order, which will be released nowhere else, as well as “a few other surprises”

 

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Also falling into the “must have” category is this outstanding release by the Front & Follow label, a 50 track 2 CD edition collecting the EP’s from the Collision/Detection experimental audio project from Long Division with Remainders. A browse through their Soundcloud account here will reveal some snippets from the release. Look how beautifully packaged it is:

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A quick reminder that the experimental writing, art, and music zine Wyrd Daze is set to be released on the June 18th, and can be pre-ordered here

It’s limited to just 50 copies, and almost half of those are gone already, so don’t delay! 

 

 

Iain Banks the quarry

I leave you with the last interview with one of this planet’s greatest writers, Iain Banks, who sadly died on the 9th June. Here.

 

 

The Ephemeral Man’s 1st Birthday!

 

Please forgive my indulgence as I wax lyrical about The Ephemeral Man, who is one year old today! (6.6.13)

Woot!

no. 5.6 of a series of 36 black & white photographs posted in the first six weeks of The Ephemeral Man
no. 5.6 of a series of 36 black & white photographs posted in the first six weeks of The Ephemeral Man

 

Life is an intricate thing: dazzling, maddening and magnificent. It shapes and defines us whether we like it or not, and we had best heed the inner-self we shelter so keenly, for we know what we want far more than we admit to others or ourselves. Sometimes life is kind, sometimes not. It is almost certain that life will not proceed quite as we expect it, but it is often the better for it, even if only in retrospect.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.            – Dr. Seuss

In a little over a month, I’ll be thirty-eight years old. How I’ve changed! Yet the core me is the same as it ever was. I am, at heart, an introverted geek who loves to dwell in worlds of imagination and creative fugues. 

From the 2013 photographic series "January"
From the 2013 photographic series “January”

 

Last year I decided to adopt an alter ego so that I could create outside of the restraints that the mundane me might hold over myself. 

The adoption of the moniker The Ephemeral Man seemed to appropriately evoke the often fleeting state of unmediated creativity within which such magnificence (whether subjective or otherwise) often occurs. 

When I am The Ephemeral Man, nothing else matters but the intent to creatively express and experience.

To begin with I started a Tumblr blog, and set myself a six week challenge.

[ It’s worth noting that The Ephemeral Man has a bit of a fixation with the number 6 – probably influenced by my love of the classic 60’s programme The Prisoner The Ephemeral Man was officially born on the 6.6.12, and I have it in mind that he has a lifespan of 6 years ] 

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The challenge was to keep to a schedule of posting. Mondays I would post some photography, art, or other kind of “oblique expression”. Wednesdays, an “Eclectic Mix” of music. Fridays, a “Psychedelic Exploration” mix, and Sundays, a “strange episodic tale of a gelatinous blob called Pid”. This last I wrote and read myself, using my camcorder to record the 3-5 minute episodes. It was lo-fi but fun, and I’m toying with the idea of re-vamping the project with better recording, effects, and music.

[ Episodes of Pid’s Pod, as well as all of my mixes, photography, art, and writings during that six week period and beyond can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of the archive of my Tumblr blog here. There is also a direct link to Episode 1 of Pid’s Pod here ]

 

The image used for a mix I  called "Mr. Jacobi's Erroneous Equation"
The image used for a mix I called “Mr. Jacobi’s Erroneous Equation”

 

After the six week stretch was completed, I moved on to “Phase two” of The Ephemeral Man, which consisted of experimental mixes, artistic postings, and quasi-experiential writings from the curious (unravelling?) mind of the alter ego. This last is a side of The Ephemeral Man that I’d like to develop further in the future, but at the time I became distracted by an urge to create original electronic music, by no small part inspired by the lo-fi experimentation of modern tape culture and the output of projects like Ricky Eat Acid and Lost Trail

I realised that I didn’t need lots of expensive equipment to start making music; I didn’t really need much of anything at all except the determination to create. And so, using my laptop running some open source music creation software, my camcorder for field recordings, the internet for public domain samples, and the open source software I use for mixing, the first Ephemeral Man album Nacreous Clouds was born. I’ve since begun to upgrade my equipment and refine the use of what I have, but I’m proud of this first album.

 

To celebrate The Ephemeral Man’s birthday, Nacreous Clouds is now available digitally for “pay what you like” – so you can download it for free, or throw a few virtual coins my way if you wish. There are some of the limited double-disc editions of the album left too, which are now only £6 each.

There are also a few of the very limited Box of Ephemera left (there will only ever be 10 of these), which contain:

– a handwritten copy of my dark fantasy short story collection Creeps (each copy of which is just under 24,000 words & took about 50 hours to complete)

– limited edition handcrafted Nacreous Clouds double-disc CD-R

– 36 printed black & white photographs from the Shades of Grey project 

– “Inspirational dice game” (includes a die) 

– original piece of art on an 8 X 6 inch canvas board 

all contained within a genuine Romeo & Juliet Habana cigar box!

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The Box of Ephemera has now been reduced to just £30. A content reduced digital version of the Box is also available for £6. Shop here.

 

I mentioned my dark fantasy short story collection Creeps above. You can read one of the stories in full here, and an extract of another here.

Creeps is now available in new digital formats: mobi, pdf, and rtf – with epub coming soon, for only $5 (which is about £3.25). You can buy it here.

And if you’d like to read a nice review of the collection, there’s one here.

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Today is also the pre-order launch day of Wyrd Daze, an experimental collaborative zine with writing, art, and a music download. I’m really excited about this, and the response from those I asked to contribute exceeded my expectations.

My contributions to the zine are: an alt-reality sci-fi weird-fiction story called Arthur Chance and the Lacuna Breeze, and four new Ephemeral Man tracks. The full list of contents can be found here

My intention is for the zine to be available for free, with buyers paying just for the cost of shipping. However, I’ve left the “pay what you want” option open because the zine is costing me more than $300 to produce, and any donations would increase the likelihood of a second issue.

There are just 50 copies of the zine available, so snap them up quick here.

 

I’ve also produced a special extended version of The Ephemeral Man’s contribution to the Wyrd Daze zine as a CD, with two extra tracks not on the Wyrd Daze compilation. Limited to just 25 copies, they can be bought here.

 

And as if all of that is not enough cause for celebration, début print issue of The Famulus – A journal of neo-fabulism is now available to pre-order, and to that I contributed a short story called Raven and the Boggart and a suite of exclusive Ephemeral Man music!

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The full contents is listed as follows

– SIGHTING THE TRIPLE KIRKS: a psychogeographic essay by Kieron Bacon 
Artwork by Paul Watson 

– RAVEN AND THE BOGGART: a modern Fairy Tale by Leigh Wright 

– EDGE OF THE CITY – OCCULTISM IN EAST LONDON: an artistic exploration by Ada Jusic 

– WALKING IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH: an examination of Corpse Roads and their history by Dr. Lucy Ryder

Plus free download of a specially created hauntological soundtrack by the Ephemeral Man

The zine is limited to 50 copies, and when I looked yesterday, 32 of those had gone already. Pre-order here.

 

Happy Birthday, Ephemeral Man!

 

 

 

Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

 

I’ve got some short films and trailers for you this week, starting with a couple of fan-made Judge Dredd films. First the complete short Judge Minty, which has remarkably good production values for a fan film, and has obviously been made with much care and love.

Next is a trailer for a proposed web-series set in the Dredd universe called Cursed Edge. (The Facebook page is here.)

 

Now for some trailers of upcoming TV shows due to premiere this Autumn.

Karl Urban (who played Judge Dredd in the brilliant 2012 film Dredd – and apparently there is still a chance that we might get to see a sequel) stars in this promising sci-fi-police-cyber-drama Almost Human, by creator/executive producer J.H. Wyman and executive producer J.J. Abrams, who both worked on Fringe.

 

Next, a British-American co-production re-imagining Dracula. You may think you’ve had enough of vampires, but with showrunner Dan Knauf, creator of the amazing HBO series Carnivàle, as well as the producers of Downton Abbey and the director of The Tudors, this is looking good.

 

A premise that probably shouldn’t work but just might is a modern re-telling of Sleepy Hollow. This could be fun…

 

And finally, it’s time for what may very well be the best short film in the history of the universe and everything: Fist of Jesus. No, really!

The makers of Fist of Jesus are looking for funding for a feature film called Once Upon a Time in Jerusalem, which just has to happen. You can find out more information at fistofjesus.com or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.