XXJFG


16th April 2014

Not even on drugs!!

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(art is Glitched Soup by Evgeny Kiselev.)

Aha! Yes, now this is the stuff. Dance music that has risen from the very sod of the earth!

Some people are getting very excited about Ninos du Brasil having a 12″ out on DFA later this year. Why? Why concern yourself with things that don’t exist yet, when, any second now, a frankly superb slab of pagan cyber-samba – influenced by, among other things, Sepultura – is about to be dropped by Hospital Productions, crushing everything in its path?

Novos Mistérios deserves to kickstart an armada of new scenes. From that album:

Ninos du Brasil - Legioes Des Cupins

We’re not all about roadworks-strength industrial and trepanning techno! It’s OK to dance and feel happy!

Not even on drugs!!

Konono no. 1 – Paradiso

Listen to Legioes Des Cupins back to back with Konono no. 1′s 2004 banger Paradiso, on repeat, until you get so dizzy that you puke.

Ninos du Brasil’s excellent Novos Mistérios LP is forthcoming on Hospital Productions

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Epilogue -
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14th April 2014

Wall of Mutilation

Featuring:

Shadow Shadow

shadowshadow

Pop music, even at its most pedestrian, is an escape from reality and mortality through the super-natural and the super-heroic, like 3-4 minute long capsules of the mythical and the psychedelic. The question is, escape where? Elizabeth opens the wormhole, what lies beyond?

Mainstream pop often provides a stylized and simplified version of reality, where episodes of the day-to-day, in particular romance and our struggle against the tyranny of time are hyper-saturated and magnified, providing an icon for nostalgia and community. No problem with that.

This blog prefers the uncanny, the macabre and the extreme – darker versions of our reality where the bad things that people do are embodied into evil agencies, creatures and conspiracies, which I guess makes us optimists about the nature of mankind, as if evil was something that could be extricated from us, and placed, say in that naughty corner at the centre of infinity (impossible geometries, natch) where Azathoth gnaws in his post-angled chambers to the tune of an invisible piper.

Shadow Shadow weave these two warps together. When we wrote about their Fleetwood Mac vs. Lucio Fulci hit ‘Riviera’ , which also provides the title track for their debut album, we described them as pop icons in a gothic version of our world where people live,  go to the launderette, fall in love, and die (in droves, and very stylishly) as if they were characters in the setting of a Dario Argento film.

Shadow Shadow – Riviera

The rest of the album sees them exploring other aspects of this other reality and the emotions of its people – including politics (Skull Drums), memory (Treasure Island), holidays (Sunset Bending) physics (A Thousand Lost Golf Balls) or memory (1000001). Their approach is a wall of sound where the exact position of each melody, beat and sigh cannot be determined exactly, their lyrics hermetic but hinting at a wider lore (say, unlike the gazing into the fathomless abyss of a weird id which is The Knife’s music), their structure and crescendos those of an Eurovision contest candidate in a world better suited to our inclinations.

As we look for meaning, we fall down the rabbit-hole.

Shadow Shadow – 1000001

Get the album here.

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11th April 2014

A beginning is a very delicate time

Featuring:

Brian Eno & Toto

Dune (Lynch 1984) [1080p ITA].mkv_snapshot_01.38.55_[2012.03.18_07.10.57] I’ve seen Lynch’s Dune more times than I can remember.  On VHS (standard and widescreen).  As clips embedded in the CD-Rom version of Cryo Interactive’s classic (at least it was to me when I was a kid) videogame.  On innumerable DVDs (TV cuts included but not that Japanese DVD edition I held in my hands then saw the £100 price tag in the Cinema Store circa 1999) and finally on one of the three different Blu-Rays I’ve imported from all over the world.

It’s an obsession.

I once tried to win some of these at a hospital fete I went to with my Nan.  I tried and failed.

I once tried to win some of these at a hospital fund-raising fete I went to with my Nan. I tried and failed.

That it’s a complete disaster of a film is pretty much accepted by this point (a perception egged on by Lynch).  The second and third acts are truncated to the point of parody, doubly so if you luxuriated in the Freeman sequences from the novels, here reduced to a few brief scenes.  And then there was a massive, planet-wide uprising that stopped all Spice production…in a montage…for five minutes.

But it’s worth every oblique glimpse into the film it could have been.  If you place the screen in your peripheral vision you can sometimes catch the true film underneath.  So scarred by the experience was Lynch that he barely speaks of it, only rejecting that there was a 4 hour cut and talking extensively about the Mexican wood used in the sets.  It’s a folly then, a gigantic $50m folly and it’s so glorious and transcendent and perfect at being just that.  It manages to be both a fantastic evocation of the novel and completely apart from it.

And then there was Toto.

Dune-6

Given Lynch’s hatred of the 70s and pretty much everything Toto represent I’ve never been able to understand their involvement.  What’s even more baffling is that what came out is this weird, operatic, digital new age music that’s not anything like the plains down in Africa.  Not universally, of course, there’s still some questionable stuff on there.

There’s a simple theme that runs throughout that Lynch seems to have locked onto as it acts as a bed to the vast majority of the film, no doubt pushing out some of the other pieces Toto wrote.  The best of several realisation of this being ‘Paul Meets Chani’.  Full on digital pan pipes from the off the Vienna Symphony Orchestra soon gets in on the act, creating this rolling, multifaceted look at the same simple theme over and over again.  Perfectly grandiose and mystical and operatic in all the ways the film tried (and eventually failed*) to be.

Toto – Paul Meets Chani

What seemed to make vastly more sense was getting early 80s Eno involved.  Straight off the back of the Apollo documentary Soundtrack (later re-edited and released as For All Mankind) Eno was deep in the planetary scale Ambient.  His Dune is the Dune of the desert night.  Of spiritual forces flooding up from beneath  the sand and into the stars.  Of a God’s eye view of the dunes and a psychic sense of the worms that move below them.  It’s called the Prophecy Theme and it perfectly compliments Lynch’s symbolic interpretation of Pauls precognition.  Apparently Lynch shot far more of these symbolic montages than made the film.  It’s also rumoured that Eno had produced an entire Dune score and that this was just an excerpt.  That I’ll never experience either of these things is deep and unremitting sadness.

Brian Eno – Prophecy Theme

There are several versions of the soundtrack out there.  One from 1984, then a different version from 1997 with all sorts of technical problem, then finally a 2001 version with the technical issues fixed but which only got a tiny release.  Filmtracks has loads of good info here.

Lynch’s Dune is 30 this year and I love it more than ever.  And that, not its anniversary, is why I wrote this post.

Bonus Lynch interview from back when he seemed quite optimistic about the film.

*it “tried and died”.

 

 

Comments

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  1. Wow you encapsulated the many reasons why I love this film, flaws and all. I went to see it in Belgium at the Cinema with my Mum. I think we won tickets from a fast food chain….It just blew my mind.


    Yours sincerely

    chris

    16th April 2014


  2. Thanks Chris!


    Yours sincerely

    20jazzfunkgreats

    17th April 2014


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