Category Archives: Married in Berdichev

20jazzfunkgreats best of 2010: Paranormal Beauty Contest

As we approach thee end of 2010, we open the gun locker, gaffer tape a flashlight to our pump action shotgun and slide into the vietcong tunnels of what went on this year. There be monsters there.

Being the all encompassing unstandardised weirdoes that we are, we make no attempt at ranking our choices, or to classify them by format. We just about manage to drop them into different buckets which aren’t quite genres, but a chromatic scale of the kirlian aura colours that they impressed upon us.

Let’s begin with black. Things that go slash in the night.

Chris Carter – The Space Between: Optimo music present to us a resurrected artefact from the dawn of our current philosophies.  Instrumental sides to the freestyle battles of Gods.

Chris Carter – Clouds (posted 2008)

Cold Waves and Minimal Electronics Vol. 1.: An urban survival guide for the modern existential hero. Can be read as a cyberpunk anthology, or as a collection of fashion tips for the cavalcade of the damned.

Eleven Pond- Watching Trees (posted in 2009)

Florene – Homemade Extacy. Those blips you see breaking the speed limit in your radar, lt. Strumpf, as you swig on your hip flask behind a battered roadside advert in the scorching Texan night, they aren’t your average joy riders. No, they are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and they are looking for a rave.

Florene- Homemade Extacy (new post)

Gatekeeper: Giza.Herr Mannheim, I think that upgrading the operating system of our robotic assembly line with a code sequence downloaded from an anonymous source located somewhere in the sidereal voids wasn’t such a hot idea.

Gatekeeper- Serpent (posted Dec 6th)

Indian Jewelry: Totaled. Dorothy is bored in her house in the middle of the desert. A whirlwind takes her to a world of impossible colour . She jacks a pickup truck and storms down the yellow paths with her gang of metal men and talking beasts, under a black cloud of flying monkeys. Oz is toppled and anarchy ensues.

Indian Jewelry- Excessive Moonlight (posted May 18th)

Liars: Sisterworld. This is the sort of pop music that fills the airwaves in those desolate places where prepubescent worshippers of a pagan cult slaughtered all the adults.

Married in Berdichev: Readying. Walking down the private collection of the Hunterian museum at night, where beauty stands still, preserved in aspic.

Married in Berdichev- I Need the Sun (posted July 27th)

Model Man – Shouldn’t I be Dead by Now? Dry ice and airbrushed laser beams thunder over a brutal coastline as Tron’s less binary characters engage in fatalistic plans for their escape.

Model Man – Shouldn’t (posted October 18th)

Mueran Humanos: S/T. The dead are not quiet in Mueran Humanos’ album. Within, walls continue upright, bricks meet, floors are firm, and doors are sensibly shut. Silence lies steadily against the wood and stone. And we who walk here… walk alone.

Mueran Humanos: Festival de las Luces (New post)

Psychic Ills- FRKWYS 4: Doomsday ragas kinaesthetically synchronised with the infra-red output of the Predator’s mask, while manhunting in the Arabian desert.

Psychic Ills- Mantis (Juan Atkins Remix) (Posted August 26th)

Puerto Rico Flowers: 4. Me and Bauhaus getting it on in the abandoned abattoir (a love story).

Puerto Rico Flowers: Let’s Make Friends (new post)

Salem – King Night: Filling 20JFG’s lungs with bewitching dreams since 2008, Salem deliver the album that brushes past any middling concerns of genre partisans.  Exquisite beauty lurking beneath waves of delay and syrup.

Salem – Frost (New Post)

Scorpion Violente: Uberschleiss. The Gabber Meinhof aren’t a wild bunch of decadent noisemongers hellbent on collapsing society by industrial means. No, they are the research & development department of the survivalist massive, prototyping sonic armaments to be deployed against the undead hordes crawling from an oversubscribed hell.

Scorpion Violente: Viol et Revanche (posted October 18th)

Teeth of the Sea: Your Mercury. Sexual transcendence you achieve while your flesh dissolves under the leathery wings of the bat people of The Beastmaster.

Teeth of the Sea: A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. (posted October the 7th)

Xander Harris – Urban Gothic Synth drenched ode to Brian Keene.  A mix tape of all our favourite horror scores ripped to shreds and assembled into terrifyingly catchy shapes.

Xander Harris – Opening Credits (posted August 20th)

We have the best tunes, but we don’t have enough ammo

There was an interesting feature in Wired UK (Yeah, we read Wired UK, we like to stay hot on the heels of the digital revolution when we are not busy with our debauched flesh reversing exercises) about transmedia, and how the boundaries between content (visual/interactive/read/geo-localised, as in Alternate Reality Games and all that jazz) are vanishing as histories, characters, universes leap across media with the abandon of feisty goats climbing the holy mountain of cross-platform revenue generation. Which surely is an understandable thing, people invest big bucks on a franchise and by spreading their creative memes like butter across a zillion channels they are more likely to at least strike gold on one, hopefully watch the network effects unfold to cash in everywhere else.

Nothing new here mutter the interweb rapscallions, look at Star Wars- toys, novels, video games and TV series, George Lucas got every outlet covered didn’t he, and he’s from the 1970s? Indeed he did, God damn his Jar Jar Binks spawning first-shooter swapping soul, but the crucial issue here is that he did sequentially and opportunistically, milking the midi-chlorian* pumped cow in subsequent phases, as new media became mass, from the West End Games RPG to Knights of the Old Republic to the forthcoming Bioware produced Massive Online Game. The dude improvised.

Here we are talking about cross-platform strategies designed at inception, with interdisciplinary teams slicing and dicing universes, telling bespoke stories in heterogeneous yet complementary media, having characters but glimpsed in the background of a forgettable TV episode of Franchise Z become the stars of a video game with references to a conspiracy that you can chase across a collection of mock websites and even in the streets of some city with your fellow dweebs, to the chagrin of the constabulary, while someone records the whole show on some shoddy handheld camera and edits into an unforgettable TV episode so that the cycle of Franchise Z can be complete.

Notice something missing from the previous rant?

Music.

Why don’t crazy bands have a transmedia strategy in place? Look at Lady Gaga, the most supposedly cutting edge of all beat-by-the-pound yet somehow infectious pop divas, shouldn’t their fans be given a chance to impersonate her and battle it out with Bayonetta in their Xbox 360s? Shouldn’t they be given a chance to absorb her mythology in anime format? Play an ARG in the role of a winged psyche ops odalisque hot on the heels of her nemesis, Gogo, as resuscitated post her Kill Bill chain reaction mishap? Nah, fuck that, she’ll have a video. With lesbians. And Beyoncee. Wow, far out.

Now, really, we have enough bands out there crafting bizarro hallucinogenic universes for an army of fucked up media dudes/designers/sci-fi writers/interactive story-telling weirdoes to paw over with their synergistic claws, bring it on. Why the fuck don’t Hawkwind have a Games Workshop tabletop tie-in? It’s a no-brainer!

Anyway, today we leave you with some music that in its spare ambiance, subtle frights and floating instants of dust-speckled beauty would lend itself to adaptation into episodes of an understated survival horror classic, before everything kicks off. We hope you enjoy.

Get in touch if you need a transmedia strategy for your outfit, we are total amateurs and we’ll ruin your lives. But it doesn’t matter, that will give you enough material for a comeback.

Tin Man sounds blue, blue metal reflecting neon lights in an abandoned condominium where you wake up one night, devoid of memories, austere german techno blasting from the speakers of an unspeakably expensive custom-made sound system embedded in the white walls of the bedroom. Every beat provoking a surge of abstract LED icons in the chitinous command console, infinitesimal shifts in the walls, one second claustrophobic, the one after expansive. A cursory investigation reveals but blurry mementoes from someone else’s life, a hieratic beauty smiling from a professional portrait taken in a diminutive Mediterranean island, an unfinished game of mah-jongg, modern composition CDs still shrink wrapped, a napkin smudged with lipstick, drops of blood in the kitchen sink.

It is ridiculously stylish and cold like a Michael Mann totem, yet at the same time it glows with a gradient rainbow of oranges in its intense commitment to sonic craft, block graphs of Basic Channel reverberation, phantasmagoric echoes stolen from a dead TV channel, dream-like whispers surfacing from a black pool of sound which in its subsonic zest merges with silence. It is minimal wave, most literally.

Go back to bed sleepwalker, this is your home.

Tin Man-Stand by Me

You should get Tin Man’s Scared from White Denim.

If at the onset of Resident Evil 4 Leon had taken a different path, not the one ending in the house where the first of the Ganados awaits, but the one leading to a solitary pond through equinoctial woods populated by spectres, this is the music that would have made him gasp not in fear but in awe.

In ‘I Need the Sun’, from Readying, her new album, Married in Berdichev sings like the forsaken undine that dwells in that pond, over an etiolated backdrop which is the sound of nature’s serene cycle, drips of water spilling from invisible tributaries, the rustle of life burrowing furtively past dead leaves harbinger of green to come, and the stasis of the bird of prey staring from its vantage point under battalions of thunder standing formation in a watercolour sky.

In its hypnotic accumulation of layers it makes us think of Brian Eno’s ambient oeuvre, if he had been raised by wolves, or the most recent and ominous Scott Walker, caught in zen rapture at the centre of a Shinto Garden designed by chance and time. It is very beautiful stuff which spreads from the speakers to cover everything around you with a misty shroud, edges are blunted and figures burred. Across this parallel world you stumble in ghostly reverie, after the source of a diffuse light that can never be reached.

Married in Berdichev- I Need the Sun

Sister Electra’s ballad

It is the fate of some stars, when they die, to reincarnate here in this planet, or perhaps elsewhere, it’s not for us to say. A child of features faded like a watercolour blur was born the day Electra, brightest of the Seven Sisters, collapsed into itself in the absolute silence of the constellation of Taurus, breaking the heart of a million astronomers. She was predestined to shine upon this world but she didn’t want to, plagued by vivid dreams of eternal and peaceful stasis in a void compared to which the womb is but hellish cacophony. She hid in closets at night and dig holes in the ground, she held her breath underwater trying to capture, if only for a moment, that Nirvana which is to spin numb drawing a perfect pattern in the tapestry of the universe. All to no avail, frustration, rage and pain constant exits in the path to elusive balance. She didn’t know who she was deep inside and for that I don’t know if I should feel thankful, or full of pity. Either way, she passed by me in her erratic orbit across this chaotic world, these are the songs she left with me before disappearing into the distance.

vibes

It is music that crawls, rumbling blues basslines and drums bashed by Jaki Liebezeit’s brutalised lil’ brother, it is music that soars too, guitars shriek like buzzards scared off the carrion by a powerful lion, then wah wah trotting funky like the hind quarters of a manky Hyaena that knows something you don’t, gnarly shamanic lullabies hovering over the lo-fi distortion field like poisonous butterflies. It is environmental science seen from the point of view of the foot soldiers, it’s a fucking mess, we love it.

Vibes- Prisms of Fame

Taken from the Vibes 7” out in Not Not Fun, go to Gorilla vs Bear for another tune.

pinkpriest

A millenial spider dwells in the cold interstices between the stars spinning a glimmering thread of liquid silver which ties the universe together, in Wolf Cub or Witch Hunt Pink Priest summon it from the cold nooks and crannies where it hides when the sun comes out, so it can envelop us in a beautiful shroud while we sleep, puncture our throat with jaws of pure black, and inject us with the sweetest poison.

Pink Priest- Wolf Cub or Witch Hunt

marriedinberdichev

Married in Berdichev is the music of closing the door of a penumbrous alcobe most carefully, sitting in the unmade bed, tracing the lines in the unkempt sheets while staring at the intersection of two ochre walls where the shadows become the onset of Goya’s blurriest nightmare, a congerie of  shapes melding into each other acquiring solidity and volume, the cold dead and bloated body of a sultan of the revenants mouth agape and blind eyes deep set in the caves of its cranium steps outside of the portal you just created and spills upon the room to tell you the secrets from beyond and take you away because it’s against the rules to walk with the breathing when you know all of that. You squash it like an annoying bug and watch it retreat into the shadows with a wry smile, your magick is stronger.

Married in Berdichev- Feet in the Water

agal

When you reach a certain depth under water, it is hard to tell where is up and where is down, if you aren’t careful and watch for the spirals of iridescent bubbles escalating into the blue you might find yourself diving into the abyss when you search for the surface. A Gal does precisely that, confident and brave, following a treasure map scribbled down by Kim Gordon many years ago, which identifies the position of a metal box lying lonely in the rocky surface, open its latch to find a sun shining inside it, a lovely hum pervades the absolute silence of the bottom of the sea, a vortex of radiance swirls to the beautiful melody of that guitar.

A Gal- Diver

This post goes with a big thanks to Bathetic Records, who have sent us a big box of goodness, cassette tapes, cassette tapes.

I have meant to tell you about this for quite a while, you might remember how we mentioned over Christmas that our most admired beat berserkers Foot Village were making some sound trinkets available for remixing by whoever thought he/she/it had what it takes, well, the outcomes are available here for you to check out & be blown away. There’s much to love, Anavan, IE or Death:Sentence Panda! to mention but a couple. We are going to have some cool stuff coming up in regards to Foot Village, and Upset the Rhythm too, very soon. So keep your ears peeled kids, good shit spreads.

gavinrussom

And just so you can begin your week in a most psyched way, here you have an astonishing collection put together for us by that dark master of the synthetic drone, Gavin Russom. Watch him stepping for a moment from the dark belly of the machine to present us with a lovely collection of spiritual utterances, reverberating spells  & radiant esoterica. Enjoy!

Gavin Russom- 20JFG mix

Tracklist

1.   Shaker Traditional Hymn-I Will Fight and Never Slack
2.   Trio Bulgarka-Slunste Zaide (At Sunset) –
3.   Haitian Ceremonial Music-Rhythme Rassemblement
4.  West Indies Spiritual Baptist Traditional Song
5.   Meredith Monk – Selection From Vessel: an Opera Epic
6.   Karcharpaya Kantu – Andean Ritual Music
7.   Guajira Ven – No1 De No1
8.   PCP – Jane and Jeff Hudson
9.   His Name is Alive-Hope
10. Kate Bush-How to be Invisible
11. Abdourahman Surizehi-Allahu –
12. The Mahavishnu Orchestra-You Know, You Know