This week I have been appreciating the work of Matt Berry: actor, writer, comedian, and musician. I’m finding his recently released psych-folk concept album Kill the Wolf mightily superb. It really does reward repeat listening.
As for Berry’s comedic acting, you may know him from Graham Linehan‘s The IT Crowd or as the character Dixon Bainbridge in the first series of the sublime The Mighty Boosh, probably my favourite comedy show of all time.
This week I’ve been watching two of the more obscure shows he’s been involved with, the first being Snuff Box, which he wrote and which co-stars Rich Fulcher, another stalwart of The Mighty Boosh. Berry also composed the music for Snuff Box, a snippet of which curiously appears in the 2012 movie Dredd, emanating from a computer terminal in the Grand Hall of Justice…
The second obscurity is Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace. If there is such a thing as hauntological TV this is it: the six episode series is presented by fictional horror author Merenghi, who introduces selections from a (fictional) never shown low budget cult 80’s supernatural horror hospital drama, Darkplace.
The series is a spoofing masterpiece, complete with deliberately wooden acting, bad special effects, and preposterous story lines. It was created by Matthew Holness, who plays Garth Merenghi and Dr. Rick Dagless, M.D in Darkplace, and Richard Ayoade, who plays Merenghi’s publisher Dean Learner and hospital administrator Thornton Reed in Darkplace. Richard Ayoade also co-stars in The IT Crowd and plays a shaman in The Mighty Boosh. Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh also make appearances in Darkplace. Matt Berry plays Todd Rivers, an actor who plays Dr. Lucien Sanchez in Darkplace.
Episode One of Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace is below, and the rest can be found on You Tube as well. If you’ve never seen it, you’re in for one hell of a ride!
Also check out the movie Bunny and the Bull, directed by writer-director Paul King, who also directed The Mighty Boosh and associate directed Garth Merenghi’s Dark Place. If you’re not aware of all this stuff, I’ve just opened a Pandora’s Box of magnificent surreal comedy for you. There’s more to be found if you keep digging. You’re welcome!
Pines is the new solo project of Lost Trail‘s Zachary Corsa, and this album, A Spirit has been released on tape by the Patient Sounds label. Not quite as drenched in the beauty of decay as the music of Lost Trail, A Spirit is a wondrous melodic journey through a haunted forest, with Corsa branching out onto the banjo and toy dulcimer as well as his usual guitar, piano, loops, and field recordings.
I’ve been enjoying this slice of hazy lazy techno house stuff by Patricia on Opal Tapes, and you might too.
Engravings is the new album from Forest Swords about to drop on Monday 26th August. An exotic adventure in tribal rhythm, dub, and drone, with hazed vocals and interesting instrumentation, the album is currently available to stream via Pitchfork here.
Demdike Stare have produced a great mix for the Secret Thirteen online music and art journal which you can listen to and download here.
Experimental techno/noise/drone artist Laica has two new releases imminent: Environs on the excellent Alrealon Musique label, an excerpt of which can be heard above, as well as an EP on the Phatic Musk label, a teaser for which is below. Definitely something to look forward to!
And while I’m teasing, there’s a teaser for the follow up to Robin the Fog‘s magnificent radiophonic haunt The Ghosts of Bush below…
Above is a one track preview and pre-order of the new album from jazz beat maestro Hello Skinny. Excellent.
Ethereal gothic songstress Chelsea Wolfe has a new album imminent: Pain is Beauty. The above track The Waves Have Come is a delicious taster.
This post-rock drone excursion Where have all the Aliens gone? by Helicopter Quartet is deep and mesmerising.
I leave you with a new kraut/komische/electronica/post-rock/haunt mix I put together under the influence of my alter ego The Ephemeral Man. It’s called Seven tethered trobairitz gaze quixotically into the Eye of Gomorrah.