13 06 2011

Jodorowsky's Dune Trailer


Production underway on JODOROWSKY'S DUNE

It was announced today (May 12, 2011) that L.A. based Snowfort Pictures, Camera One of France and Koch Media of Germany have begun production on Frank Pavich's sci-fi documentary JODOROWSKY'S DUNE. Shooting has wrapped in France, Switzerland and the U.K. with filming to continue this summer in the United States. Picture will be completed by late fall.

The documentary covers cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky and his 1974 attempt to create a big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal science fiction novel, DUNE. While the ambitious production collapsed after two years, Jodorowsky's team of then relatively unknown concept artists continued exploring the themes and styles started on the project and ended up changing modern science fiction forever: H.R. Giger went on to Ridley Scott's masterpiece ALIEN, Dan O'Bannon wrote ALIEN and TOTAL RECALL, Jean "Moebius" Giraud created artwork and futuristic worlds for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, TRON, and THE FIFTH ELEMENT and Chris Foss would go on to work on ALIEN and SUPERMAN.

Jodorowsky, whose films SANTE SANGRE, EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN have recently been released on Blu-Ray in the U.S. and who can currently be seen acting in Kamen Kalev's THE ISLAND which screens in the Director's Fortnight, is excited to share his vision of what might have been, "Failure simply makes you change your way. And I hope, in this picture, the audience will be able to see what I did. It's an incredible world."

Director/Producer Pavich researched JODOROWSKY'S DUNE with producer Stephen Scarlata. The two previously worked together on the cult-underground music documentary N.Y.H.C. Pavich also co-produced DIE MOMMIE DIE (Special Jury Prize - Sundance 2003) before concentrating on television production. Scarlata has mainly focused on feature screenplays. The film is being produced by Travis Stevens of Snowfort Pictures (A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE), executive produced by Donald Rosenfeld, who has Terrence Malick's THE TREE OF LIFE in competition at the festival and co-produced with Michel Seydoux of Camera One, who have Alain Cavalier's PATER screening in competition.

Stevens in announcing the production said: "This is a rare, intimate look at the creative process of one of history's most mind-blowing filmmakers. The access he afforded us was incredible. We're excited to be partnered with Camera-One and Koch Media in order to share it with the world."

Moritz Peters of Koch Media adds: "Fans of Jodorowsky, Giger, O'Bannon and the rest of the artists will now have a chance to see how they approach their work. We're avid supporters of adventurous sci-fi films, and happy to be co-producing one that covers such a fantastic subject."

With interviews completed with Alejandro Jodorowsky, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, Michel Seydoux, and the surviving original team, the production heads to the U.S. to conduct interviews with industry executives, filmmakers and film critics to put the film into perspective.

Adds Pavich, "I am incredibly grateful that we are the ones who are getting to tell the story of this never-realized film from one of the world's greatest film directors. We hope to be able to impart to the audience a taste of what Jodorowsky's version of Dune might have been like."

13 06 2011

Film list June 2011 #1




12 06 2011

Masami Akita interview




Calm Before The Storm [2011-05-26]

Late last year Merzbow(aka Masami Akita) released his largest cd set since the 'Merzbox'- the release in question was 'Merzbeint' a collection of twelve CD’s which charts the unknown and undiscovered side of Japans king of noise- his more quite, subtle and soundscape based side. Masami kindly agreed to give M[M] a interview (his third for the site) discussing this new set and other recent developments in the world of Merzbow.

m[m]First off tell us a bit about how you came across the tape recordings that make up the Merzbeint set all these years later?
Masami In 2009, I did some cassette releases for the Blossoming Noise label based in the usa. The cassettes released were all works from the early 80s. The master tapes  for theses were all on cassette and I just dubbed onto CD recorder, and then transformed them to digital files. Then some other US labels asked me to release a cassette tape. I was looking for the reason for a cassette release and it might be good to releasing works which made by cassette master recording-I mean MTR(cassette multi track recorder). Unfortunately my old MTR were all broken and gone. I was using Tascam Porta Two, but trying  to buy MTR at Yahoo auction …I found some, but they looked like junk and  there was no guarantee that they’d work. But finally I found new MTR at online music instrument shop- This was a Tascam MF-01 and I bought two. It's cheaper than Porta Two, but it works. no problem. So then I was able to release  some cassette tapes from MTR recording which recorded period during late 80s- early 90s. In this research, I found lots of recordings from this period. Soleilmoon asked me to releasing 12 CD box set, and I thought it might be good to release these recordings.

m[m]When you found the tapes that make up 'Merzbient’ – did you find any other unreleased work & if so do you plan to release these?
Masami I've know the existence of these tapes from before , but I have the idea of selecting these tapes for one  theme until last year. I have lots of unreleased tapes and I hope to releasing them on another box set on near future if possible.

m[m]Please tell us a bit about what has been done with the sets recording when they were transferred from tape to compact disc? Have the been remastered or cleared up in anyway or edited?
Masami All the tracks were original on 2 -4 track cassette tape. so, all material was remixed volume and EQ of each channels. Next I dubbed it to CD and then used audio editing software on the computer and cleared up and re-edited, but there was no overdubbed or effects added. The  materials is very close to the master recordings, because I wanted to keep the essence of the original recordings much as possible

m[m]Please give us a full list of what you used to create the tracks on the whole of the Merzbeint release?
Masami Various scrap metals, various metals/ tin box with piano wires, various percussion by small objects, paper, stone, woods, kitchen objects etc.
contact mics, audio mixer, motor, electric fan, gas stove, guitar, violin, thermin, various effects. etc. but no synthesizer.

m[m]Why did you decide not to release any of the recordings at the time they were original made?
Masami I didn't intend to release them, because they were originally made as raw materials for other release, so they were not completed. Also I never used them as original, because I was mixed them very randomly and in  a cut-up under the concept of exchanged music which I was fascinated during this period.
For example, CD 10 'MatHNAS' was originally made for raw materials for my mail collaboration between Christoph Heemann/HNAS, and it was released as 'sleeper awakes on the edge on the abyss' album.

Masami Now I listened to the recordings after more 20 years later and I think they can be completed works of  improvisation music. so, I want to keep time-line of each recording and keep the title which I wrote just for identification on original cassette tape, or name of product of cassette tape as Maxell, AXIS etc.
Otherwise, these recordings are continuing in similar vein to albums like 'Storage'. but my direction now has changed to more loud and brutal cut-up.

m[m]The packaging for the 12 disk box set is made up of pictures of Japanese gardens and landscapes- where about's are theses located & whose idea was it for this design concept?
MasamiDesign concept was by Soleilmoon and I just selected the pics.

m[m]who decided on the runing order of the box set & why didn’t you decide to do it purely in date order?
Masami I decided on the running order. I don’t really think it's important to keep chronological recording order for this collection, as this box set is one whole concept 'Merzbient' and not documental concept such as the Merzbox.

m[m]As this collection is seen as you take on ambient- who are some of your favourite ambient artists, pieces or records?
Masami I took the name 'Ambient', because originally these recordings were not fully realized themselves, they became realized with other tapes( exchanged music) or other musical operation (cut-up, random live mix). so, these tapes are raw materials and background, but  there also very easy listening music.
I don't know exactly who I’d count as ambient music artists, but in that type of bracket I like La Monte Young, Terry Railey, Angus Mclaise,etc.
m[m]Do you plan to do any future work in the form of the ambient/ stripped/ down material that’s found on the 'Merzbient’ set?
Masami I don't know what I will be doing in the future. but I was very inspired by these old tapes, so they will probably reflect on my future works.

m[m]Recently  you become very interested in the deathcore scene- how did this come about? And what do you see as key/important records with-in this scene?
Masami I'm listening bands like: Trigger The Bloodshed, Burning The Masses, Veil Of Maya, Wrath And Rapture, Throne Of Judgement, Taking Your Last Chance, Sons Of Aurelius, Maroon, Neaera, Heaven Shall Burn, Miss May I, My Bitter End, Here Comes The Kraken, Fuck Your Shadow From Behind, Contortionist, Circle Of Contempt, Conducting From Grave, Beneath The Rising Tide, Born Of Osiris, Red Shore, Chelsea Grin,
I think they are all very cool, look clean, technical, fast  and have a new rhythmic approach...I especially appreciate vegan straight edge death/metalcore bands.

m[m]Do you think the deathcore has influenced your recent work & can you see your self doing a Merzbow take on deathcore?
Masami Not really, but probably some influence for my duo with drummer Balazs Pandi- this is a duo I’m involved that’s influenced by Sun-Ra and deathcore.

m[m]Do you still pay any interest to today’s noise scene & if so who are some of your favourite projects at present?
Masami I pay little attention to the so called 'noise scene' , so I don’t really have a favourite project  with-in this scene

m[m]You recently put out a collaboration between you and Zev on Cold Spring records entitled 'Spiral Right / Spiral Left' - how did this come about? Did you work on the tracks together or did you file swap & what do you see as the albums concept?
Masami It had been planed from many years and finally realized. I’ve appreciated Zev’s works from long time ago and I'm very glad to work with him.
We exchanged files and mixed each others work. We selected the cover artwork from uk hermetic philosopher Robert Fludds illustration called 'The Chaos Of The Elements' which indicates the four elements fighting  against each other.

m[m] Have you been effected by the recent tsunami in Japan & how do you think the Japanese authorities have dealt with the situation?
Masami I still haven't found the words really, because still continuing aftershock and nuclear crisis every day and we can't see the end.. it’s a really brutal  convolution of nature. We must change to more use of nature and biomass energy to generate electricity and no more nukes.

m[m]What release wise have you got lined up next?
Masami My next project is 3 series CD of theme of Cows on  the Hypogogia label that’s based in the UK. The project is a collaboration between Paul from Amomali/ Hypnagogia label and myself. He gave me the information of cows shelter in Vandarin, India, and I was deeply impressed by  their activities in helping injured cows in india. I'm vegan and don't drink milk, but I'm also appreciated hindu lacto vegetarians who living with cows in very friendly situation and drink their milk.
Otherwise, 'merzbient' will be issue on analogue 15 or more LPs box set with some extra tracks! And Merzbow+Balazs pandi second album will issue on ohm resistance, usa. this is featuring our latest live in NYC 2010

m[m]Can you tell us a bit more about cows project & how sonically is this gong to sound?
Masami 'Merzcows' project is dedicated to activities of 'Care for Cows' in Vrindavan, India. Paul from the Hypnagogia visited their place, and told me how beautiful the cows at there. Musically I’ve tried to make it warm and organic sounding by using granular synthesis, oscilators and tone generator etc.

Masami  Additionally my next CD is entitled 'Flax' and it  will be releasing on label  based in  Kiev, Ukraina. The albums final mix was done on the day after 3.11 kanto-north Japan earthquake and the day of hydrogen explosion of Fukushima nuclear power plant no-1. So, we develop the idea of make relationship between nuclear disaster, because Kiev is near the town of Chernobyl. Coincidentally this April is 25 years anniversary of nuclear accident in Chernobyl.

Thanks to Masami for his time and efforts with the interview. Info regards Merzbow can be found here, and 'Merzbeint' is now out on Soleilmoon records – for more info and to buy direct drop in here. Oh and as always the pictures of Merzbow through-out the interview are used with kind permission and are © Jenny Akita.

Roger Batty
12 06 2011

DeMEGO017C Stephen O’Malley רומיאו Cassette



Stephen O’Malley

Part 2 of a 3 cassette series on [d]EDITIONS MEGO. SOMA's lucubrate excursion researching repetitive minimalist/primitive solo electric guitar is presented here in the form of pure abstraction and over-saturation. Recorded at the underground venue/library UGANDA in January 2011, situated in Jerusalem's new city. רומיאו projects one man's personal encounters within Jerusalem's "old city" walls for a repeated time: the intensity, dementia and absurdity of the human condition; the magnetism & repulsion of Solomon's ruin; encountering primitive arcane spiritualism & beauteous living passion; and being affected & subjected by these encounters.

Romeo (40:09)

‏Stephen O'Malley : Guitar ‏Recorded at Uganda, Jerusalem seventeenth January two thousand eleven
Salute: Itamar, Uri, Gisèle, Ola, Ilan, Maya, zaf, Doron, Dumitrescu, Ana-Maria, O.B.E.Y. brothers, Sonne Adam, Pierre, Rehberg and Demian Johnston.
‏Artwork by unknown & Alexander Binder
‏Listening instructions: focused, intently and without distraction or other purpose.

Edition of 250 copies


11 06 2011

Kindertotenlieder article from 2007


Kindertotenlieder - Gisele Vienne's Teenage Dreams

The dark side appeals to Giselle Vienne. It’s much the same with the two teenage boys at the heart of Kindertotenlieder, the collaboration between Vienne, American novelist Dennis Cooper and musicians Stephen O’Malley and Peter Rehberg marking the UK debut of this French-based theatre-maker. With a title culled from Mahler’s Songs On The Death Of Children and references to Austrian pagan ritual, Vienne and Cooper update such morbid elegance to look at how adolescent fascination with the black-clad iconography of what’s playfully dismissed as the Goth scene can be taken all too seriously. 

“It’s the story of a boy who kills his suicidal friend,” according to Vienne, “and the return of the dead teenager. It’s about how far we can take fantasies of killing someone in real life. I’m very interested in the fact that there are certain places you can have morbid fantasies, then take pleasure in letting them out through going to a concert. Because of our morality, most of us don’t let our fantasies go too far. But here the kid gets confused, and doesn’t know how to live out his fantasy in society.”

Such seemingly extreme material won’t come as a shock to fans of Cooper, whose novels, the latest of which is God Jnr, mine similar terrain of homo-eroticism married to explicit violence and set to a pop cultural back-drop. Add an array of life-size puppets to a show primarily performed by two female dancers playing the two doomed youths, and a live score performed by O’ Malley, leading light of drone metal band Sunn O))) (pronounced Sunn, with the symbols representing how the band “revolve around Earth,” an act Sunn O ))) formed in tribute to) and Rehberg of fellow-travellers Pita, and Kindertotenlieder is a rare collaboration of left-field forms that treats the aesthetics of black metal subculture with respect.

“It’s definitely accessing Goth culture,” according to Cooper, now also resident in France. “but taking all all that teen stuff seriously. But we were also looking at this ancient Austrian festival of Krampus, where once as year people dress up in these authentic pagan costumes then go into town to beat the shit out of people they think have sinned.”

Kindertotenlieder is the third collaboration between Vienne and Cooper, who first came together for 2004’s I Apologise, followed a year later by A Young Beautiful Blonde Girl. Vienne, a trained puppeteer of Austrian/French descent and weaned on visual and performance art, contacted Cooper, then living in Los Angeles, after becoming enthralled by his fictional depiction of love and violence. Such elements are evident too in Kindertotenlieder.

“There’s tension between the boys that’s both homosexual and homophobic,” Vienne says. “And when it comes out, that’s when fantasies can go wrong.”

Vienne studied close to Germany’s Black Forest region in the early 1990s, becoming exposed to the burgeoning Berlin underground of the time. A particular inspiration for her practice was Heiner Muller’s epic, Hamletmachine. Bringing together such seemingly disparate contributors fascinates Vienne. The musical input, however, is crucial.

“Stephen is kind of black metal,” Vienne says, “but there’s something very romantic going on within it. Peter can go off in a completely different direction. He’s very jubilatory, so the music can go from being very dark to hyper-pleasurable. Other music can be just as dark but can be very aggressive.”

Cooper was already a fan of Sunn O))) prior to O’Malley’s involvement. “Stephen’s music elongates time,” he says of the band’s sustained one-note dirges performed clad in hoods and robes. Unsurprisingly, O’Malley sees his music as ceremonial.

“It took me months to see the connection between our dynamic and anything theatrical,” he admits down the line from Tokyo, where Sunn O ))) are on tour prior to this week’s Glasgow dates. “Then Giselle told me about a tall blonde dancer who would warm up to Sunn O )))’s album. I found that shockingly surprising.”

Given that Kindertotenlieder concerns O’Malley’s immediate constituency more than the others, though, how does he feel about its representation?

“It goes beyond iconography,” he says, “to the nature of identity. People become very attached to its strong personality, but growing out of that is the whole process of developing a charisma. Some people,” he admits, “never do. Like myself,” he jokes.

The day after we speak, Vienne and Cooper are recording a radio version of Cooper’s text, Jerk, which the pair plan to bring to the stage in a solo puppet version next year. Following its Tramway opening, Kindertotenlieder will tour Germany, Sweden, Norway and France, stopping off at Nottingham en route. Accompanying the show’s Glasgow dates will be a full gig by KTL, the name under which O’Malley and Rehberg collaborate, at the all too appropriate Nice N’ Sleazys. William Bennett, vocalist of the equally confrontational duo, Whitehouse, will DJ.

“All these elements I put together,” Vienne says. “I need these tensions.”

Despite such a melting point of extremities, Vienne is acutely aware of keeping things in perspective. 

“Dennis is often attacked for the content of his fiction,” she says, “but in the end it is just fiction. The whole thing about Kindertotenlieder is about where morality should act. Everyone has urges, and I may feel sometimes like killing my neighbour, but how then should we be true to our fantasies?”

Kindertotenlieder, Tramway, Glasgow, May 24-26. KTL play Nice N’ Sleazy’s, May 27

The Herald, May 22nd 2007
11 06 2011

Saturday playlist #2




IMBOGODOM The Metallic Year LP
HEX VESSEL Dawnbearer LP
MICHIO MIYAGI Masterpieces of Koto 2LP

11 06 2011

Saturday playlist #1




AUTOPSY Macabre Eternal 2LP
GROUPER AIA : Dreamloss LP 
GROUPER AIA : Alien Observer LP  

02 06 2011

Joe Preston's Garden


Hand's First Flower?

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