Category Archives: Gary War

Hunting whales of emotion in the ocean of a catatonic Solaris

Featuring : Gary War + Torn Hawk


(Still from Sad Stonewash by Luke Wyatt, more about it below)

There is a room in the manor of the 20JFG where we go when our connection with ‘reality’ becomes too tenuous, perhaps having shaken off the last lingering remnants of post-Halloween shame, which involves cleaning the blood caked under our chewed-out fingernails, wiping off the nameless stuff specking the porcelain in the toilet, filling the cracks in the masonry of the walls of the cellar, re-stocking our supply of heavy-duty bin liners and so forth.

In that room, we store a device that generates super-immersive metaphors about the ‘real’ situation of the world in a language that our bizarre-attuned senses are able to parse. It is called the Ballard-o-matic.

Today, it renders the following scenario in our Virtual Reality headset:

Every screen no matter how tiny, is a portal into a land of ghosts projecting finger-tendrils that suck people inside their murky country of absolute mediation, stasis and eventual suffocation by the colossal forces of nostalgia. Feelings are blunted in an overload of info-sludge, and fractally projected reverberation.

So far, so poltergeist.

Zcom are a crack force fighting to restore a balance in the flow of creative energy between people-land and ghost-country. They deploy advanced scanners to reveal the seams in the fabric of the costume of the spectral Godzilla that so mesmerises us. They hunt down whales of emotion in the ocean of a catatonic Solaris. They are the ultimate barrier to dissolution in eternal regress.

We stroke the garish Citadel miniatures of their avatars at the protective altar set in the mantelpiece of our fallen manor.

Luke Wyatt’s ‘video mulch’ the Sad Stonewash is a parade of revenants from that ghost country, summoned in a séance where a VRC is judiciously battered with a docksider shoe until it spills a load of lies (errors) which are selected, processed and arranged in a composition that reveals a hidden truth akin to the glimpses of the Face of God sought by that Christian TV-watching sect in William Gibson’s Virtual Light.

What is this truth?

Perhaps that the Day of Judgement foretold in the Abrahamic religions has been rendered redundant by the humdrum resurrection of the flesh into a stream of decomposing pixels wandering media limbo.  Perhaps that is what celebrity culture consists of, a search for immortality which is indeed attained, like Herbert West Reanimator attained it.

Be careful what you wish for – we’d rather be forgotten.

Luke Wyatt also produces the soundtrack for Sad Stonewash, under the guise of Torn Hawk. The music is ectoplasmically brooding, like the boogie with which Chromatics would have soundtracked the beginning of Drive, if only they had let their thrilling throb be infected by the entropic malaise at the heart of the American post-industrial hinterland (cf. Implog’s Holland Tunnel Drive, Ike Yard’s Night after Night).

Torn Hawk – Tarifa

We found out about these two things in this Sci-fi-o-rama post. Here is the Torn Hawk website, and some more information about the (sold out sorry) Tarifa EP.


Gary War pulls impressive psychic aikido moves to suck the ghosts out of the machine, and sketches a dreamscape where they can ‘survive’ in our colourful world of ever-continuous change and contingency.

There are no straight lines or angles in this dreamspace, its shape is unclear and its structure haphazard, the result of a slow process of soul sedimentation, bombardment by kosmische radiation and garage-punk asteroids.

Over its lonely mesas roam and swirl shadow trovadours strange and beautiful like Bradbury’s Martians. Oblivious to us they glide down the twisted canyons in gossamer wings, enigmatic pilgrims caught in a strange loop, humming a song that Gary War captures with primitive electronics. We will never understand them, and that’s why we do.

Gary War – Wasted Place

Wasted Place is included in a forthcoming release split between Gary War and Purple Pilgrims in Upset The Rhythm. Pre-order it here.

Gatekeeper Video Premier Day 2 – Oracle

Day 2 of the Gatekeeper video premier week brings the ‘Oracle’, and a terrifying depiction of what happens when a group of teenagers in Hackney try to order pizza using their weird Uncle’s ouija board. Press ‘Play’ and ye may pass through to the next day….

(A couple of weeks into the future)

The King mopes in the cyclopean boogie chamber of the Nastic Mothership, awaiting for the puny envoys from Mankind to offer something worth the survival of their civilisation. He is half a mile tall, and wears an outfit that looks like a Rammellzee extravaganza designed by Jack Kirby. He is impatient, rather keen on bombarding Earth with enough gamma rays to turn the end of year celebrations into a re-enactment of the finale of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The sergeants of the Nastic fleet stand ready by their planet-busting ordnances. The time of reckoning looms close, why should these hairless apes expect any better than the Betelgeusians or the Centaurians?

The King speaks in his vocoderised growl. The envoys tremble at the powerful vibrations.

-So what do you have to say, you 20jazzfunkgreats insects?

-Listen to us, master of all that wiggles in this sector of the galaxy, we know that our planet disgusts us, our leaders behave in petty and vindictive ways and have forgotten the ways of the funk. Our populace revel in the shallow cult of the Autotune. But don’t punish all for the sins of the few, we tell you, our planet has potential as a cultural contributor to the wider empire, we have brought proof with us.

-And what proof is this, scum?

The 20jazzfunkgreats envoys slide a couple of record sleeves from their pouch, and respectfully lay them at the feet of the sulking colossus.

-We have scoured the music temples of our planet for a worthy offering, mighty overlord, aware as we are of your enjoyment of the genuine synthetic sounds that most of our peoples’ abandoned with the arrival of the digital technologies. Take them to your turntableship at once and broadcast them across the fearless Nastic fleet, look into the eyes of your race and witness its joy. There are many more where these come from, goodness didn’t end with the 1980s. We don’t deserve to be purified quite yet, at least not all of us. We are happy to give you the coordinates of some of the most evil ones, for your magma drones to obliterate at once.

-Hrumph, you test my patience, you puny creatures. I should melt your whole species and recycle the remains into holy vinyl to be embossed with songs of tribute to the Booty gods, but who knows, maybe you are right and it is not yet time for your deliverance. Lackeys, take these musics to the Pastorius vessel, and beam the sounds up through the battle channel. This better be good, feeble midgets. Untold tortures await those who waste the time of the boogie master.

A tense wait ensues, then sound. 20jazzfunkgreats illustrate the sounds with inappropriate commentary.

Awesome image sourced through the very greatest Sci-fi-o-rama

Kristal Klear’s pristine synthetic boogie re-enactments have been provoking some waves amongst the ranks of the human resistance. Premier sites representing the coalition for the willing have already spoken about his output. This piece, by the name of ‘Persuaded Me’ sounds like Harold Faltenmeyer (who we know you dig) reading the newspaper in bed on a Sunday morning before going jogging across Beverly Hills, under a dawn sky whose perfect gradients are an imperfect approximation of your absolute wisdom. Or that moment of lazy reminiscence that never went into Daft Punk’s ‘Discover’, soothing pastel taking the place of strident glitter.

Kristal Klear- Persuaded Me

Kristal Klear’s Persuaded Me is included in a 12’’ record your hordes will surely be acquiring.

Gary War’s is perhaps a less obvious proposition, but one we are sure you will appreciate in your eternal omniscience.

In their most recent output, a 12’’ by the name of ‘Police Water’, released by the aptly named ‘Sacred Bones’ label they have grafted the synthetic flights of fancy of 1980s pop, as re-appropriated by a coterie of cold wave believers, into the bewildering charivari of echo and reverb that infects the opus of bedroom maestros such as Ariel Pink, John Maus or Paul Rosales. Layers of sound pile upon each other like Persian rugs of intricate design smoothing the metallic edges of the corridor of a spaceship jumping into weirdo hypersoul-space.

Gary War- Grounds for Termination

Did 20jazzfunkgreats convince the King of the Nastic? You will have to await until the New Year to find out. If the apocalypse didn’t happen, leave us a comment saying ‘thank you’. And for Christ sake, buy the records!