Hyperbolic Tessellations

Featuring : Miles Davis


Davis was 47 years old when he was asked to play Carnegie Hall in 1974, which followed four years of relentless touring. He had played the venue numerous times before and recorded a live album there in 1961. By 1974, Davis had been dealing with depression, cocaine and sex addictions, and several health problems, including osteoarthritisbursitis, and sickle-cell anemia. He had also lost respect with both critics and his contemporaries because of his musical explorations into more rockand funk-oriented sounds.[2] Influenced by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Davis wanted to avoid individual songs and instead record extended movements that developed into a different composition.[3] He played his trumpet sparsely and became less of the focal point for his band, whom he allowed more freedom to improvise and with whom he rarely rehearsed, so that the young musicians he enlisted would be tested to learn and play together onstage.

In 1935, the political climate in Italy (under Mussolini) became unacceptable to Escher. He had no interest in politics, finding it impossible to involve himself with any ideals other than the expressions of his own concepts through his own particular medium, but he was averse to fanaticism and hypocrisy.

Music journalist Erik Davis compared Davis’ trumpet sound to “a mournful but pissed-off banshee“, and Cosey, Lucas, and Gaumont to “somewhere between and beyond James Brown and Can“, amid “quiet percussion passages [that] emerge like moonlit clearings”.[12]

In his early years, Escher sketched landscapes and nature. He also sketched insects, which appeared frequently in his later work. His first artistic work, completed in 1922, featured eight human heads divided in different planes. Later around 1924, he lost interest in “regular division” of planes, and turned to sketching landscapes in Italy with irregular perspectives that are impossible in natural form.

In a retrospective review for JazzTimesTom Terrell said that the album’s kind of music would never be heard again and described it as “tomorrow’s sound yesterday … a terrifyingly exhilarating aural asylum of wails, howls, clanks, chanks, telltale heartbeats, wah wah quacks, white noise and loud silences.”[26] According to Down Beat, the frantic burbles of congas on “Moja” and “Tatu” predated oldschool jungle by 20 years,[14] while Spin magazine’s Erik Davis found its anguished, ferocious music extremely impressive, especially when listened to loud. He contended that the group improvisation on tracks such as “Wili” foreshadowed the drum ‘n’ bass genre: “Miles was invoking the primordial powers of the electronic urban jungle”.[12]

Around 1956, Escher explored the concept of representing infinity on a two-dimensional plane. Discussions with Canadian mathematician H.S.M. Coxeter inspired Escher’s interest in hyperbolic tessellations, which are regular tilings of the hyperbolic plane. Escher’s wood engravings Circle Limit I–IV demonstrate this concept. In 1959, Coxeter published his finding that these works were extraordinarily accurate: “Escher got it absolutely right to the millimeter.”

Miles Davis – Wili (Part 1)

from Dark Magus, recorded on March 30, 1974, at Carnegie Hall in New York City

Image: Encounter, M.C. Escher, lithograph on wove paper, May 1944. Source. See Symmetry Work 63 here.

In the background, on a gray wall, these human figures increase their mutual contrast toward the center. One white and one black representative of each kind detach themselves from the wall surface and walk into space, carefully avoiding a tumble into the circular hole in the floor. Thus going round, they can’t help meeting in the foreground. During the whole way, up to the end, the black pessimist keeps his finger raised in a gesture of warning, but the white optimist cheerfully comes to his encounter, and so they finally shake hands.

From “The Regular Division of the Plane”, one of the lectures that were never given by M.C. Escher, 1964.

Escher on Escher: Exploring the Infinite, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., NY, 1989.

Like a binary Necronomicon

Featuring : Zone Démersale

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 11.05.12

Zone Démersale’s Figura makes us think of the oceanic abyss of the Benthos, that weird community of organisms adapted to extreme pressures and absolute darkness, devouring each other and the dead from above in an elegant and grotesque ballet.

Also of the vast conceptual expanses that philosophers and psychonauts have explored over the ages, full of strange zones that induce obsession, and threaten sanity. There be epistemological monsters here, says a shrill wave of synthetic noise.

Its eeriness is the same we find contained by certain M.R. James’ paragraphs, just before the shadow becomes a horror, and by specific drones in John Carpenter, monolithic structures whose elusive and awful truth we are not designed to comprehend, like a binary Necronomicon.

We float in Figura’s pool, surrounded by these things, we admire their flickering fuzz and their magnificent poise, the power with which they displace the strange liquid where we are suspended, enthralled and appalled by the possibility of revelation.

Zone Démersale – 2

Get Figura from Yerevan Tapes, and previous material from Boring Machines.

[Artwork excerpted from the Northern Demersal Scalefish Managed Fishery in Australia]



The 80’s were a terrifying time

Featuring : Daniele Ciullini


Daniele Ciullini, an Italian ‘mail-artist’, may have been active at the tail end of Throbbing Gristle’s (first) existence, but in his use of primitive, hypnotic electronics and the art-by-mail network…they had a few things in common.  Although I do hope he fared better at the hands of the Italian Post Office than GP-O did with the GPO.

Flowers in the Water seems playful enough, with its tape hiss, innocent bassline and a drum machine that sounds like it was made out of fuzzy felt.   But then that mournful synth appears as mournful synths are want to do.

And suddenly we’re looking at the damp white walls of a summer holiday hotspot in the depths of winter.  Thick grey clouds taking up the substantial sky that stretches off to who knows where.  As if some of Hull had found its way to Northern Italiy and the resultant matter / antimatter explosion had released a cloudburst of ennui over a country poised to release Italo on the world [thanks for that btw].

Ciullini described his music as ‘sonic Polaroids’.  Fragments of his life in sound.  Over thirty years later and that lone synth’s power remains heartbreaking.

Daniele Ciullini – Flowers In The Water

Domestic Exile (Collected Works 82-86) came out on April 6th on Ecstatic Recordings.  It’s sold out in most places but you seem to still be able to grab a copy here.

Eyes, chessboards, melting fingers

Featuring : Ratkiller


This has to be one of the best blasts of aural information we’ve heard come off a cassette in a while. Playful, noisy, weird – a mostly indefinable mess of squirmy ugly sexiness. Ratkiller doesn’t sound much like what you’d expect someone called Ratkiller – grindcore? goregrind? gorecore? – to sound like, and is therefore totally the most appropriate name for this project.

Ratkiller – A’la Gourmet

Tape artwork features eyes, chessboards, melting fingers and blasts of colour. So does the music.

Buy Ratkiller’s Comfortably Declined from Baba Vanga

Gif by n-lite




Featuring : 555


We are watching the messy scrap that is the UK political campaign with a grimace underpinned by feelings that are hard to describe.

They are hard to describe because, at least in paper, they sound like the sort of destination we aspire to reach:

  • The dark epiphany that descends upon the Lovecraftian hero as he realises that humanity is but a defenceless baby babbling away in a cradle rocked by slimy monstrosities.
  • The unhinged violence lurking under the monotonous, allegedly rational grid of a Ballardian autobahn.
  • The moment when Roddy Piper dons his visor and gazes at the crowd around him, and detects those skeletal invaders getting on with their day, amidst an unsuspecting (or complicit) humanity.

Those are the scenarios of our favourite fiction, the ones we (botchedly attempt to) represent in this blog of yours.

They are also an exaggerated version of our feelings when we read the papers and we watch the news, when we see the army of grimacing clones levitating through empty industrial parks, surrounded by mannequin-like people blandishing placards with facile slogans, when we ponder that our society might be as paranoid and nasty as one might infer from the things this well-informed army campaigning for their vote is peddling.

Are “we” really like that? If that’s the case, then the awful truth that slowly dawns upon us is that we are in fact the Monster, a standard ending in the Lovecraftian opus. Burn us with fire, trap us with the Elder sign!

We don’t want it.

And when we are optimistic, we don’t believe it either. We think that we can do better. This is why we have started working on the manifesto for our own political movement, one that we will get kick-started as soon as we are done with Bloodborne, sadly not in time for this general election, but maybe for the next one.

Our vision is thus: while the political mainstream is appealing to fear of the outsider, nostalgia for the past and dread about the future, we shall call for the opposite. An embrace of the outside, policies to overcome the puny boundaries of this Island and expand in all directions: under the seas looking for Leviathan and Atlantis, into space, past the veil of reality itself, crashing through astral planes to liaise with the spirits of our past, the post-human scions of our future, and even the fair peoples of Europe.

Our ultimate goal is to leave this fair land to the pixies, turn our nation into a roving caravan of psychedelic gypsies marching down the axes of an invisible Tesseract, blasting from their speakers blissful jams such as the ones we are posting today.


Whenever we run into the countryside, it is looking for the confluence of feelings and the spiritual healing contained in Calidonia County’s The Ghosted Years.

It conveys with its subtly undulating harmonies the feeling of serene joy with which the walker beholds the fields expanding into the horizon, from a vantage point reached after a day of hard marching. The irregular, organic drip-drip of its rhythms could represent the flow of the streams, or the pace of her progress, as she accumulates the loveliest of all tirednesses in her bones, as if the hand of a benevolent God itself was nudging her towards an afternoon nap under the trees of its Garden.

Calidonia County – The Batteries in God’s Hands

Go and get this tape for Moon Glyph (again!).


555’s Swan River Yogue is based in a live performance at New Orlean’s Swan River Yoga.

Consistent with our vision of the future, and also with the sounds and sights of Calidonia County, the mood is of exploration, openness and possibility, but taking place in an abstract ocean over which stretches a Proteus-like archipelago.

Each of its islands represents an essential concept around which we orbit in a dream-like daze, grasping, if only for a moment which is enough, the oceanic undercurrents, migratory flows of colourful birds, and trade in gifts that binds these things together, and us with them, in a graph of astounding beauty.

555 – Twin Verses

Get the tape from Constellation Tatsu. Here is 555’s Patreon page.

(We nabbed the artwork above from Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky gallery).


Featuring : Apostille

LSSN034 1400X1400Today we bring you Apostille.  Who is occasionally known as Michael Kasparis.

We’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Mr Kasparis  perform live twice.  Once in the band Please (at the excellent Yes Way festival) and once in support of Group Rhoda (who released her first record on his Night School label).  On both occasions, it’s fair to say, you couldn’t keep your eyes off him.  For Kasparis live is a maelstrom of internalised occult energy straining and leaking out into the room.  Like a faulty containment tank on your nuclear reactor of choice — we were irradiated in his glow.

Today we post Apostille.  In particular, Olivia’s Eyes, a weird and winding synthpop song.

Weird in as much as it includes multiple duets, only one of which isn’t between Kasparis and himself.  The manic heckling of “do you really want to know” is perhaps the live voice we were used to but before long the two Kasparis’s are one and the creeping dread continues apace — like Throbbing Gristle in pop-infiltration mode, only more verbose.

The winding: a relentless synth melody and drum machine, seemingly set in motion to keep order and instead finding themselves mere observers of the malevolence around them.

Perfect synthpop then.

Apostille – Olivia’s Eyes

Olivia’s Eyes is taken from the album Powerless.  That’s out on Monday (27/4) on Nightschool Records.  You can get it right here.

mp3 download on mp3ice | cheap e liquid | fathers day uk 2015

Sparkle tortoiseshell

Featuring : Kara-lis Coverdale


Sparkle tortoiseshell, stuttering howl. Man-glitch in bitstream. Breathing in the fumes of sounds. Noises reassure and tumble – arpeggiated id.

Singing glass, full of snarl. Recoils at fingertips. Sense patterns before they are fully perceived.

Blue sucked through eyes. Soul-emptying water. Atrocities of stones.

Knuckles seek truth. Gnaw at the earth.

Spaces in-between words a collapsed vortex.

Kara-lis Coverdale – Saps _h

Buy Aftertouches by Kara-lis Coverdale from Sacred Phases

Jordan Pontell