Where 20JFG give you brief reviews of horror and sci-fi books, films and video games as part of our training programme for those Telepathic Inter-Dimensional Wars we expect to erupt any time soon, and also as a way of introducing some fucking awesome music in a suitable nerdy way.
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Artwork above by Dean Kuhta
It is with utmost excitement that 20JFG have received the news about Guillermo del Toro’s work on the adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, one of the pseudopodia poetry master’s most chilling and cthonically beautiful tales. Although Dan tells us that we shouldn’t hold our breath for this film, which del Toro has been trying to make for a long time, unsuccessfully because of annoying financial constraints, we can but hope praying in front of a symbol of the Old Ones carved in a stone of a colour that shouldn’t exist and composition that scientists have been so far at a loss to identify. Perhaps he has managed to fool those stupid coke-addled film execs into giving him moolah to shoot ‘The Hobbit’ and he’s using it to film ‘At the Mountains…’ instead, or don’t both stories involve a quest under the mountains where slimey creatures dwell? I’d most definitely pay dearly to see that fat bourgeois Bilbo Baggins facing the Shoggoths instead of twitchy skaghead Gollum, I’m gonna give you riddles Baggins, I’m gonna give you riddles
No matter what happens with the film, we wholeheartedly recommend you read the book, where a geological survey of Anctartida’s cold wastes leads to an exploration of Cyclopean ruins hidden by colossal mountains where no human foot has tread, and a final confrontation with the indescribable alien presences which survive in their bosom, our main man John Carpenter was reading too, and The Thing, one of the best films ever made, was in no small way (another) homage to Lovecraft’s genius.
The cold and beautiful synths of Galaxy Toobin’ Gang’s ‘Entering Snake Pass’ (out on Creme Organization soon) are transmitted through the same feeric wave-spaces as those of Laurie Spiegel, Terry Riley or Tangerine Dream and convey perfectly the sensation of simultaneous wonder and alienation that the members of the Peabody expedition must have felt when flying between the abnormally regular shapes of a monstrous mountain range hidden deep into the heart of a eternal screaming whiteness, or as HPL put it,
Our sensations of tense expectancy as we prepared to round the crest and peer out over an untrodden world can hardly be described on paper; even though we had no cause to think the regions beyond the range essentially different from those already seen and traversed. The touch of evil mystery in these barrier mountains, and in the beckoning sea of opalescent sky glimpsed betwixt their summits, was a highly subtle and attenuated matter not to be explained in literal words. Rather was it an affair of vague psychological symbolism and aesthetic association – a thing mixed up with exotic poetry and paintings, and with archaic myths lurking in shunned and forbidden volumes. Even the wind’s burden held a peculiar strain of conscious malignity; and for a second it seemed that the composite sound included a bizarre musical whistling or piping over a wide range as the blast swept in and out of the omnipresent and resonant cave mouths. There was a cloudy note of reminiscent repulsion in this sound, as complex and unplaceable as any of the other dark impressions.
Galaxy Toobin’ Gang is William T. Burnett and Elliot R. Lipp. The former, who also goes by the aliases of Speculator and Grackle is having one of this tunes, ‘Jungle’, released as the first reference of Capablanca discos, our homey Hugo Capablanca himself has made a remix of it with T.Keeler and we can tell you in advance, it’s utterly dreamy beautiful balearic bliss. Ah, we are so excited.
I purchased M. John Harrison’s ‘Things that Never Happened’ following the advise of that wise Lord Nuneaton, and having finished its first short story, ‘Settling the World’ I can say I’m in love already, and I don’t know if this is good or not given the skill that Mr. Harrison has at creating disturbing atmospheres. No, scratch that, I love disturbing atmospheres and I love this shit, you should, too. Anyhow, ‘Settling the World’ contains a strange account of the Alien colonisation of Planet Earth which begins by stating the following,
With the discovery of God on the far side of the Moon, and the subsequent gigantic and hazardous towing operation that brought Him back to start His reign anew, there began on Earth, as one might assume, a period of far-reaching change
(Which would have made Philip K. Dick proud)
To then take you in a trip down God’s Motorway, which happens to begin in Southend-by-sea, no less. Enormous wagons carry through this enormous dimension-spanning road a hidden load the nature of which Oxlade, an agent of the security services, attempts to elicit,
‘What sort of motor drove them, I had no idea- they seemed to toil, none moved at more than five or six miles an hour- and yet a sense of enormous power hung like a heat-haze over each carriageway, and the ground trembled beneath my feet’
With a throb surely as Earth-shattering as the one coiling alive in the invisible zenta vibrations of 20JFg faves Boris. In their new album ‘Smile’ (Japan-only release for now) we see them reasserted as the heavyweight champions of heaviness, carrying out scorched land operations through regions of genre brutal like a Minotaur roaming the halls of thee misty psychedelic labyrinth, no matter what volume you play them at they always sound so fucking loud.
We do for one welcome the arrival of our Japanese tinnitus-inducing noise overlords, take that, laws of acoustics.
Here you have the album opener, ‘Message’, a paranoid piece of EBM psychosexual blues which would have been a perfect soundtrack for Oxlade’s final confrontation with the gigantic Beetle God in Settling the World. It is a breath of fire which burns the skin strangely funky (must be that conga) like TV on the Radio if they came from Cimmeria instead of Brooklyn, find them locked in a vicious chainsaw duel with frothing Alan Vega, sort of re-enacting the beginning scene of Highlander. Blixa watches leaning against a damp concrete wall with a cigarette which is all ash dangling from his thin lips. Good shit, more power for 2008’s pantheon of power, power.
I have recently decided to revisit Philip Jose Farmer’s wonderful Riverworld series, a saga which describes the adventures of a humanity resurrected on the shores of a river which coils like a snake in the heart of a valley surrounded by an unaccessible mountain range, a few of these humans have seen the space of resurrection where the naked bodies of billions floated in stasis before awakening as over watched by a group of mysterious cloaked individuals, and endeavour to discover why did this take place, the question is, is the Riverworld a new chance or stage, a purgatory were, if we behave we will be able to attain enlightenment, or a cruel scientific experiment carried out by immortals full of ennui? This might make you think of Lost, but it’s way better, you should most definitely read it.
SALEM have been making a few waves since we posted them here a couple of weeks ago. We were rather sure this would happen because what they make is quite special, think of the ghostly melodies of My Bloody Valentine swirling like magic mist around the slender silhouette of a Chromatics’ charcoal eyed ghost roaming empty avenues which resonate with echoes of Burial’s mystery, and you aren’t even starting to get there, because the only way shall is by listening to their beautiful music, damaged torch songs which create an aural space where those fairy folk who didn’t die away when the soil of the woods was covered with concrete and wires dwell, they became something else in a changeling from green and brown into black, white and grey, strange grainy shadows like the vampires of David Lynch’s Nadja.
I think that if those who resurrected humanity into the Riverworld had kind feelings, they would perhaps have sung something along the lines of ‘Whenusleep’ while beholding the masses of flesh and closed eyes rotating in the abyss, right before sending them to their bodies scattered along the shores of the eternal river.
WE HAPPEN THIS SATURDAY YEAH
Come and talk about this shit while we play the evilest music in the new spanking Penthouse soundsystem 8-1AM Free entry, pay in blood.