Monday, August 29, 2005

[MP3] Kompleksi vs. Citizen Omega: 'No Alternatives'

Here's another Kompleksi demo track (together with Vaasa's Citizen Omega) for you to kiss asses/arses over or to stone us to death:

http://www.phinnweb.org/kompleksi/sounds/no_alternatives.mp3



'No Alternatives'

Living on the minimum wage
this is the New Age

Her name is Dolly
she carries her earthly possessions
around in a shopping trolley

[chorus]
They gave us no alternatives
they gave us no alternatives
they gave us no alternatives
...

I listen to your voice
telling me I've got no choice
You pee down from your ivory tower
tax cuts can't buy more purchase power

Nine to five is such a drag
at least you don't have to live in a shack
More flexible working life
you'll rest in your afterlife

You tell us to squeeze our belts tighter
while you go on with your fat life
Saying we should see things brighter
and the expensive taste of your wife

They gave you a pink slip
and your boss a golden handshake
Replaced by the microchip
someone should have hit the brake

Let's demonise the underclass
they are lazy, stupid and ugly
Together cry the high brass
let's treat them roughly

[spoken:]

She used to work till eleven
she held a 12-gauge shotgun
told her children:
"don't cry, we'll meet in heaven"

Quartal cashflow, innovative cluster,
drastic growth in global business, global networking,
brain leak, budget deficit
Engage in your brave fight against the windmills

Welfare society is not cost-efficient enough
outsourcing, competition
They'll call our bluff

We should work twice as much
with a pay half as much
For the elite to get twice as much
'cause their tax cuts are a nice touch

Corporate takeover
shareholders, roll over
You buy their jingo
you talk their lingo
The economy gibberish
and bullshit bingo

Human shields for economy
brainwashing and lobotomy
A field experiment in social Darwinism
it's the scam called capitalism

Heaven 17: 'Come Live With Me'


I was thirty-seven
You were seventeen
You were half my age
The youth I’d never seen
Unlikely people meeting in a dream
Heaven only knows the way it should have been

Here today my tomorrow
Where you lead I will follow
All that kissing
No passion missing
Come live with me
Kiss the boys goodbye

Dinner parties followed
And all my age implies
My friends began to talk
I began to realise
If half the things they say
Are quarter true of me
Then how can I eclipse the youth
You gave to set me free

There was something in your smile
That was hard to reconcile
The time had come to testify to reason
Though years will not erase
Remembrance of those days
At least there’s no submission to heart's treason

Here today my tomorrow
No more shame only sorrow
All that kissing
There’s something missing
Come live with me
Kiss the boys goodbye

Now there’s nothing left to cry for
And there’s nowhere left to go
Just another hopeless fight
But how were we to know
The strong are sometimes wrong
But the weak are never free
The choice we made we can't evade
Don’t try to follow me

Here today my tomorrow
No more pain only sorrow
All that kissing
There’s something missing
Come live with me
Kiss the boys goodbye
Come live with me
Kiss the boys goodbye

-Heaven 17

Saturday, August 27, 2005

More Kompleksi Consumer Feedback

I received more consumer feedback on pHinnWeb's mailing list concerning Casionova's review of our demo and some positive comments the review raised on the list. However, some guy expressed that he disagrees:


Whew! Too much ass kissing here.

Somebody needs to learn to sing, play keyboards and write better beats before I waste my hard earned dollars on this underpolished retro slag. Electro has been stale since the mid 80's and acts like this certainly do not help the "scene's" legitamacy at all. Electro trash is just an excuse for crappy musicians to release records to suckers who think punk is about not being able to play an instrument, being a DJing is the coolest thing since Beck, it is cool to wear Adidas wind suits, and it is wicked to fuck up the city with cans of spray paint, perfecting their "art" in crappily done "wild style" murals of some stupid nickname like JILB or ZOMOZ.. or even better see how many times they can write it on a wall.

I think the guy from Wire was way too nice in not mentioning the lack of musicianship. True the lyrics are mildly entertaining, but the lack of musicianship far outweights this. However, I do not believe their efforts to be a total waste, as bedroom music is about pleasing yourself, not other people. Nobody has to buy this record and if people do and lord only knows why, ACTUALLY enjoy it, then ok. Futher more, if they practice hard enough, they could actually pull something off in the future that does not seem stale and a repeat of what has been.

Yours truely, *****


To which I answered:


Thank you for your consumer feedback, it is now duly filed. Heh, this sort of Weltschmerz actually makes me laugh aloud every time. It's kind of funny to think I might personally help in demolishing some scene's alleged "legitimacy". Are you a progrock fan, by any means...? -pH


Well, along the years I have received from some people comments that indicated, for example, that I shouldn't be maintaining a Website because I can't really write code. I still do. I shouldn't be DJing, because I can't really beatmatch and mix records. I still do (my answer to this was the concept of kommandomixing). So, now I hear that I shouldn't be doing music, because, A) I "lack real musicianship", i.e. I'm not a "real" musician, B) I can't sing. I still do.

Everyone is a critic, it seems. My answer to all these people has been and is that they are free to try their hand themselves in being a "Webmaster" or a DJ or creating music. It's very easy to pee down from one's ivory tower and criticize others that they are trying to have an effort. It's much harder to create something yourself. Maybe the point is that some people just have the will needed to do that. Some people don't.

And if you think my argumentation is lacking here, well, then I have no other answer than that you shouldn't be bothering yourself and wasting your precious time at all with the efforts of Mr. pHinn if you don't find them along with your own tastes.

By the way, I don't wear an Adidas wind suit. Never have.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Tonight: manSEDANse Preparty @ Klubi, Tampere



manSEDANse

Worst Finnish Translation Songs

While we are on the "Worst of" subject, here's another list: of the worst cover versions of international hits translated into Finnish. Especially in the 1970s "golden years" of Finnhits these translated versions sung by local artists were popular, but here are included some "gems" all the way from 1960s to the present day. For example, how about some classics by The Beatles in Finnish? You'll be amazed by how they had nerve to translate just everything: Lou Reed, David Bowie, King Crimson... and of course the biggest disco hits of the 70s! With commentaries in Finnish.

http://www.turkku.com/music/fin_karmeat.phtml

Bad Album Art Galleries



http://www.zonicweb.net/badalbmcvrs/

http://diegeekdie.net/gallery/

http://porktornado.diaryland.com/albumcover.html

http://www.cenedella.com/stone/archives/2003/10/worst_album_cov.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/gallery/0,8542,1343471,00.html

But where's the cover gallery of worst Finnish album covers? I think for example some of the yesteryear works of Poko Records would have their rightful place there...

Pekka Lahtinen: Maailman yhdentyminen



If you're a conspiracy buff and can read Finnish, check this out. (The Usual Disclaimer: pHinnWeb does not... etc.) Thanks to Matias for the tip.


http://www.free-webspace.biz/heavenlyjerusalem/Maailmanyhdentyminen.htm

MAAILMAN YHDENTYMINEN
Historian petollisin hanke toteutumassa
Pekka Lahtinen:

--------------------------------------------------
TÄTÄ KIRJAA POLIITIKOT EIVÄT HALUA SINUN LUKEVAN.
TÄTÄ KIRJAA KUKAAN EI HALUA SINUN LUKEVAN.
TÄMÄ KIRJA PALJASTAA AIVAN LIIKAA.
Joten lue tämä kirja - ja levitä kirjaa eteenpäin.
--------------------------------------------------
Vaikka kirja on kirjoitettu jo vuonna 1994,
on se nyt ajankohtaisempi kuin koskaan aiemmin.
Koska kirja vedettiin pois myynnistä pian julkaisun jälkeen,
ei se ole tätä ennen päässyt suuren yleisön tietoon.
--------------------------------------------------
(Pahoittelen mahdollisia kirjoitusvirheitä tässä
kirjan ensimmäisessä sähköisessä versiossa)
--------------------------------------------------


Juri informed me that Mr. Lahtinen has also written the following books:

Tekijä(t):Lahtinen, Pekka
Teoksen nimi:Luojan lukuja : Raamatun numerologian ihmeellisiä
löytöjä / Pekka Lahtinen ; [julkaisija: Tampereen kristillinen
yhteisö ry.]
Julkaistu:[Tampere] : P. Lahtinen, 1996 (Saarijärven offset)
Ulkoasu:122 s. : kuv. ; 20 cm

Tekijä(t):Lahtinen, Pekka
Teoksen nimi:Ufojen arvoitus ratkeaa / Pekka Lahtinen
Julkaistu:Tampere : TKY, 1997 (Cosmoprint)
Ulkoasu:175 s. : kuv. ; 21 cm

Tekijä(t):Lahtinen, Pekka
Teoksen nimi:Verkko kiristyy : EU:n taustalla on suuri, salainen
suunnitelma: maailmanhallituksen perustaminen / Pekka Lahtinen
Julkaistu:Tampere : Tampereen kristillinen yhteisö, 1999
(Saarijärven offset)
Ulkoasu:224 s. : kuv. ; 21 cm


Some more conspiracy stuff at:
pHinnWeb's Neuro Links

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Kompleksi review by Casionova, Australia



Tim Bray a.k.a. Casionova from Australia, a big Finland fan and a musician with a mighty arsenal of 80s Casio ware has written a review of Kompleksi's demo I gave him when he was playing in Tampere last September. Here is by the permission of its author the text originally published at http://casionova.com/blog/?p=77:


"August 25, 2005
Kompleksi Review
Filed under Things I Dig, Finland is F.A.B.!

Kompleksi are Mike Not and pHinn with guest appearances by other Finnish electro underground luminaries such as Unidentified Sound Objects, Polytron and the Club Telex Noise Ensemble.

Kompleksi are pure electro-trash, a genre I just made up now for Kompleksi but I am sure has already been used by cooler writers for uncooler bands. In case that has happened then how about electro-nasty? Being a fan of trash film and video nasties, (I saw Turkey Shoot this week - antipodean trash at its best - go see it, oh that's another review) I was drawn to Kompleksi not only because of their trash film references but they truly are a video nasty for the ears. Enlightened entertainment that doesn't give a rat's arse what the world thinks of it.

If you are a sad sad sad person and don't appreciate giant mutants or exploding heads then you may not appreciate the nuances of the Kompleksi sound, and your disposition is way too serious so go away now please.

Electro-trash/Kompleksi sound: finely crafted electro beats with synth riffage to DIE FOR (via the hands of zombified schoolgirls) overlayed with some very special vocal stylings. If your typical electro vocals are deadpan then Kompleksi have taken this a step further with undeadpan vocals. As in the living dead undead. If your mind works differently to mine then you could say they are incorrect vocals, with 'correct' vocals being the kind exemplified by those EVIL (insert your country here) Idol programs.

The Kompleksi vocal style is desperately needed the world over to mitigate the effects of (insert you country here) Idiot and could possibly make the cojoined Warner Brother twins gnaw themselves apart. These are the best incorrect vocals I have heard since the early nineties such as the GUY from The Sugar Cubes, (boy did Björk go downhill after she left that band!), and Tom Ellard of Severed Heads - in fact if you dig Severed Heads Kompleksi could be Ellard's mutant Lovechild.

Now for the songs:

'(I Ain't No) Lovechild' is a pretty cool track (smooth transition huh?),

'Porno Tampere' is a lovely downbeat ode to Kompleksi's hometown.

'Moscow 1980' is the hit single destined to rocket up the charts, if it's not on high rotation on MTV in three months then you can spank me HARD. Even if it is, you can still spank me HARD. This is the perfect tune to have in your ultra-cool record crate next to your Finnish version of 'Moscow Moscow (Volga, Volga)' (well, it is in mine). By the way, why the hell do DJ's cart their records around in shiny cases bought from DJ stores, when a milk crate flogged from behind the shops is the perfect size for LP's and has handles that don't break? Heh?

If you are a DJ with a SHINY CASE and care about the torque of your direct drive turntable then the 'SWT NG FCK THNG' is the track for you and your sweaty dancers. For the love of Zog though, don't forget to laugh!

Of course I cant forget to mention the excellent homekeyboard usage (an early Yamaha PS (03?) I believe) on 'Sarah Pain', awesome dancefloor goodness and glorious incorrect vocals on 'Spiders in the Sky', and the joyful sixties bounce of 'Son of My Father' with Jean Jacques Perry style synth - an electro lounge classic for our current mid-apocalypse world!

My favourite Kompleksi track is the Bowie tribute, 'The Only Star In My Sky'.

I will finish this review now because I'm typing it when I should have gone to hospital to get a drip stuck into me but couldnt be arsed making the trip so I am nauseous, delirious and the whole world keeps spinning around my head and listening to Kompleksi ain't helping things much.

Do yourself a favour and download a Kompleksi tune now, before the invasion fleet arrives. Oh and if you're a record mogul - please be a nasty bastard and release their music, we all know you will rip them off but at least the kids get Kompleksi in the record stores - vinyl please so the DJ types won't have to lower themselves to touch it. Thanks to pHinn for slipping me the Kompleksi Demo disc!"

- Tim Bray a.k.a. Casionova, Australia


By the way, the keyboard on 'Sarah Pain' Casionova mentions is the mighty Yamaha Portasound PCS-30 from the 80s (pic above), also used on the live performances with Club Telex Noise Ensemble (all available as MP3s at here). It was meant for kids and other people learning to play, and originally came with special cards (pic below) with the lyrics and notes of some standard tunes like 'Summertime', 'Edelweiss', etc., plus a magnetic tape on the card you could slide through the slot on keyboard, after which the keyboard started play the bass chords of said tune, and you could play yourself by following the lights next to each key... Sadly, I have missed the cards, so no more pre-programmed "Summertime" sessions for fun and delight.



Earlier

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tonight: Eclectro Lounge #19


[large image]

EcLECTRO LOUNGE #19
Wednesday 24 August 2005
2000-0200
@ Apadana, Suvantokatu 7-9, Tampere, Finland
free entrance!
age limit 18

Electroindiegroove with Kompleksi (Lal Lal Lal, Mate Recordings) DJs Mike Not & pHinn.

Listen to previous Eclectro Lounge DJ sets.

Harro Koskinen 60 Years



Harro Koskinen, a Finnish visual artist, is 60 years today. A prominent figure in Finnish underground scene of the day, Koskinen raised some controversy in the late 1960s with his satirical pig works. The most notorious of them was "Sikamessias" ("Pig Messiah"), depicting a crucified cartoon pig, which resulted in a court case where the artist was convicted of blasphemy. pHinnWeb congratulates.

Harro Koskinen: The Official Homepage

Harro Koskinen Biography @ Pop Corn & Politics Exhibition, Kiasma

Suomen Talvisota 1939-1940 @ pHinnWeb

R.I.P.: Luc Ferrari, Electronic Music Composer



"Within a day of losing one of its greatest inventors and proponents, Bob Moog, electronic music has now lost one of its greatest compositional voices.

Paris-born composer Luc Ferrari was a pioneer both of electronic and instrumental avant-garde music. He was the founding director of the Groupe de Musique Concrète in 1958 and was, along with Pierre Schaeffer, one of its leading practitioners. As a documentary producer, he profiled composers from Varèse to Cecil Taylor. He continued as an active composer, teacher/lecturer, and "sound hunter" throughout his life."

http://tinyurl.com/brdcb

Luc Ferrari @ Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Rat's Progress

Oh well, it seems the amount of my happiness/unhappiness is always related to the amount of money on my bank account. Yes, my latest gripe originated from certain financial problems I've had lately, the nature of which better left undisclosed. Believe it or not, if not for having to worry about money all the time, I could say that I would be quite satisfied with the life I'm living. And that's the dull, sad materialism around which it all seems to revolve. I can't imagine if my life was better or not if I only had enough wealth to have myself a secured existence. Probably my problems were only of a different sort. "I'd rather cry in an Alfa Romeo than in a Lada" (Lada is a cheap Russian brand of cars popular in Finland too), as the ad slogan was in film director Lauri Törhönen's now-legendary 80s turkey about yuppie life, The Insiders. I have to admit that material concerns, such as gathering myself a shitload of money, are not too high in my current general agenda. Whereas a monk leaves everything else to dedicate his life to God, I have totally and completely dedicated my life to art (in its various guises). This is what gives me my purpose, and this is what keeps me going on. Only when that existence is threatened some way and its somehow ephemeral nature revealed, some personal cracks start to (re)appear. Thus, coming to some sort of self-knowledge has been a long and painful process where one's strengths are best found out by having to face one's weakest points.

Ever wondered what goes on in the mind of a man who mysteriously "snaps" one day, and starts to shoot totally unknown passers-by from his window, and finally himself? Has that come about of some vicious circle of falling of mental dominoes, one by one, until he can't take it any more, and only finds his way out through an irrational, murderous, irreversible act? What are the circumstances leading to this worst case scenario, this boiling point? How come his friends (if he has any) or neighbours never suspect anything strange in his behaviour leading up to this fatal event?

I think this sort of latent madness in people is more common than is believed, and only some good luck and having proper safety nets around one will prevent any more fatalities such as this to happen. And these "safety nets" being mainly social and financial (which is why I am a strong proponent of Scandinavian type of welfare state, whatever the Anglo-American detractors of it might say). As for me, I have seen myself what happens when a close person "snaps", even though the consequences were not that dramatic as described before, but enough so to leave their mark. Enough for me to realize this could well happen to me too if pushed too close to the edge, enough to start looking for any preventing personal precaution. Perhaps the main problem of this person was being unable to talk and express one's problems and letting the "steam" just build up inside -- until...

Monday, August 22, 2005

R.I.P.: Bob Moog, the Inventor of Moog Synthesizer



From http://www.moogmusic.com/


Bob's Body Leaves Us

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - August 21, 2005 - Bob died this afternoon at his home in Asheville, N.C. He was 71. Bob was diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme or GBM) in late April 2005. He had received both radiation treatment and chemotherapy to help combat the disease. He is survived by his wife, Ileana, his five children, Laura Moog Lanier, Matthew Moog, Michelle Moog-Koussa, Renee Moog, and Miranda Richmond; and the mother of his children, Shirleigh Moog.

Bob was warm and outgoing. He enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. He especially appreciated what Ileana referred to as "the magical connection" between music-makers and their instruments.

No public memorial is planned. Fans and friends can direct their sympathies or remembrances to http://www.caringbridge.com/visit/bobmoog.

Bob's family has established The Bob Moog Foundation dedicated to the Advancement of Electronic Music in his memory. Many of his longtime collaborators including musicians, engineers and educators have agreed to sit on its executive board including David Borden, Wendy Carlos, Joel Chadabpe, John Eaton, David Mash, and Rick Wakeman.

We'll miss you Bob.


Robert Moog @ Wikipedia

See also:
The History of Electronic Music @ pHinnWeb

pHinn, A John Lennon Lookalike?


[Some authentic fan mail to pHinn]

My life is not total doom and gloom. Recently a totally unknown girl came to talk to me at Yo-Talo and told me I've got similar facial features as John Lennon! She added that she is a big fan of Lennon. Well, what do you know; I was quite flabbergasted.

[MP3] Paavo Harju: 'Valo tihkuu kaiken läpi'



Listen as MP3 to 'Valo tihkuu kaiken läpi' ("Light Drips Through Everything") by Paavoharju on Fonal Records album Yhä hämärää ("Still Dark"), one of the most fantastic Finnish songs I've heard this year.

Paavoharju's album is a fresh combination of acoustic and electronic sounds, with lo-fi ambient soundscapes, a touch of experimental and haunting melodies, sung by a chanteuse with an amazing voice.

Artist: Paavoharju
Title: Yhä hämärää
Format: CD
Total lenght: 38 minutes
Catalogue Number: FR-37
Released: 7.2005
Label: Fonal Records
ISRC: FI-SSP-05-00012 - 00022

A Rat In A Maze...


"The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction."
- William Blake: Proverbs of Hell


... of its own making? I don't love my life so much that I would resist too much the idea of having to give it up. If you lived for years in poverty yourself, you'd understand it. I'm basically a Raskolnikov type who does his best to stay away from evil but does not know if he succeeds, because there's an immense gap between his high ideals and in how the world actually works. My problem -- and perhaps my ultimate downfall in the future -- is that I refuse to prostitute myself.

I gave up the "bourgeois" life of getting myself a so called proper higher education (I'm a university dropout) and a "career" because I could see the emptiness of it all for myself. I don't mean to criticize any of you who chose that path yourselves -- it just didn't work out for me. Depression also had a lot to do with it, for which I underwent therapy (which ended only recently) and Prozac treatment (which still goes on) -- so compared to what I used to be (a neurotic, suicidal, uncertain nervous wreck with an extremely low self-esteem and the feeling of being a small insect being caught helplessly in a web in some hostile alien world) I guess I'm OK now, though my life is still not exactly dancing on roses.

The academic world only filled me with repulsion; with its overall stiffness, hegemonies and pecking orders, the fierce competition between faculties for general appreciation, financial resources and so on: resulting in intellectual backstabbing and personal vendettas between academic personnel on all levels and which were apparent everywhere, heavy sarcasm and obvious contempt towards their students by certain frustrated professors... (My own father being a university lecturer in social psychology and a well-appreciated man on his own field, you understand there was additional pressure from my family directed towards me to gain merit of my own in the world of academia.) And student politics disgusted me too, with all those status-seeking social climbers and future bureaucrats in the making.

Well, perhaps it's easier to understand me if you're aware of the fact of me-myself-and-I being obviously a nonconformist, a non-joiner, an outsider by my own volition and even without it. I don't know why this is so, I think it just has been always the case. When I was a kid, I'd rather often stay on my own than join the games of others which I thought were stupid and childish. It's ridiculous, really: I don't know what's the point in resisting all and everything. Perhaps it's because I'm oversensitive in certain ways, which results in myself being very critical towards my surroundings. I have burned more bridges behind me than I can even count.

However, I consider myself still being a learning and developing organism. Therefore I try not to repeat my earlier behaviour patterns: having to deal with certain sort of people and situations is still bound to cause conflicts, though. My fuse burns slowly, but when I explode, I explode hard. I don't like untrustworthy people or rip-off merchants. I don't like rude, pushy people who are oblivious to other people's emotions. I don't like the yes-men sort of people trying too eagerly to please everyone, because I always suspect they do this just for their own personal gain. I don't like people who lack identity of their own and therefore too blindly follow trends (I say "too blindly" because I can't claim being totally immune myself to this, as just another member of culture) and what is currently deemed fashionable (and this applies also to certain political ways of thinking, as e.g. being a neoliberalist -- or a fascist -- only because your neighbour happens to be). Sometimes I don't even know if I like myself.

I am well aware that I am not liked by everyone. I don't always have the strength to be a sort of nice and jovial person who whispers sweet nothings to everyone's ears. I tend to be socially awkward, sometimes moody and edgy. These days the usual medical explanation for the behaviour of people like me seems to be Asperger's syndrome, i.e. slight autism. I am not officially diagnosed but I can well identify with those people who are. When I was younger, I used to be awfully shy. I hoped I had been swallowed by the earth every time I had to open my mouth in public. I blushed easily which made me a subject of mockery by my peers, about fire engines and red traffic lights... I am still uneasy with people.

In some senses I'm a strict and severe man, who does not suffer fools gladly (and that's why staring into mirror comes so hard to me). Yes, I'm a very complicated man. Very simple at a first glance, but when you peel off some layers, you will be faced with a riddle inside an enigma. And I am the one who is most puzzled with that riddle.

People are usually so afraid of loneliness. I have always been lonely, therefore it doesn't make much difference to me any more. On the contrary, solitude of your own making is not so bad, because you can choose if you are lonely with other people, or if you're that on your own. The latter option I've often found a fruitful and creative state, so I tend to go for it. It only gets bad when you have to face other people. "L'enfer, c'est les autres"...

My conclusion here is that of a fatalist: there is a lot of hard work yet to be done, and I can do my best to alter my own attitudes, and to some extent, my external circumstances, but the outcome may be that my efforts are simply not enough. Therefore I have to accept the possibility of defeat as one end scenario.

I am not going to give up totally now, though, even if these texts so far might have lead one to think so. I have only laid down the present facts of my existence as I see them. There must always be that glimmer of hope, however faint that might be.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Rat Pushed Into A Corner

And that's exactly what I am. Some certain things recently have made me realize this in a painful way, as the result of which my trust on people has reached its all-time low. I'm tired of all bullshit (certain) people pour on me. I'm at the moment totally prepared to take on any attacks from those people, any muck-throwing, and it's getting on me. That has made me reach again some more unpleasant parts of my personality. A rat in a corner will attack, it has no other recourse. It is not a nice or a cool or a well-behaving creature; its only goal is survival which exceeds everything else.

I am aware of the fact that there is a lot of repressed rage and aggression in me which I have learned to keep in control somehow -- but just don't push me. And unfortunately I'm a sort of person who, once hurt or insulted, will never forget and finds it very hard to forgive. I hope this doesn't sound like I have a need to justify my actions or defend myself, or to make myself a blameless victim, because I'm far from innocent myself. I just do my best (but do I succeed?) to get out of these vicious circles (or you might call it "bad karma", if you're inclined to believe in that sort of thing) -- which might mean endless escaping and running away from a lot of people and situations.

There are moments in life when situations just seem to reach some sort of boiling point, and things are not plain everyday pleasant and nice any more. Suffice it to say that the foundations of pHinnWeb and pHinn himself are more fragile than you would like to believe, and behind that facade some very ugly and scary things are going on all the time.

A tightrope walker survives only because he doesn't look down, doesn't think about the abyss beneath him, just goes on. Let me tell you that I've just glimpsed into that abyss, and my options now are: keep walking or fall. I'm sorry that this is very vague and I can't explain it any further, because I'm aware that the situation would only get worse if I made any more noise about it than I already have.

Last night one person was kind enough to tell me that I will go down to history. Well, that really doesn't matter to me now. I don't consider myself a self-destructive or suicidal person (any more), but at the moment I'm not really afraid of dying, even if I had to leave this mortal coil just now. That would mean several (grandiose? lunatic?) plans unrealized, like an unfinished symphony (heh), but unfortunately that's life for many people, anyway. I don't know about my place in history; perhaps there will be some sort of footnote in some cultural history written in the future, but it's not my task to conjecture about this. I am well aware that I live only on borrowed time, time which may run out just any moment. This realisation and understanding make me the person that I am.


From Richard Wilhelm's and Cary F. Baynes' translation of I Ching: Or, Book of Changes" - hexagram 30, "The Clinging, Fire":

Nine in the third place means:

In the light of the setting sun,
Men either beat the pot and sing
Or loudly bewail the approach of old age.
Misfortune.

"Here the end of the day has come. The light of the setting sun calls to mind the fact that life is transitory and conditional. Caught in this external bondage, men are usually robbed of their inner freedom as well. The sense of the transitoriness of life impels them to uninhibited revelry in order to enjoy life while it lasts, or else they yield to melancholy and spoil the precious time by lamenting the approach of old age. Both attitudes are wrong. To the superior man it makes no difference whether death comes early or late. He cultivates himself, awaits his allotted time, and in this way secures his fate."

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Correction to Gigolo Swindle Article



I wrote some time ago a blog entry about Gigolo Records' The Great Gigolo Swindle compilation -- of which I, honestly, had never heard when I wrote my "Great Electroclash Swindle" article in summer 2002. It seems I was wrong about the compilation's original release date. Shame, it would have been nice to be of inspiration.

I stand corrected as Steve Teeri writes:


"Let me first say I am a happy pHinnWeb list member, and enjoyed your "Electroclash Swindle" article a great deal when it came out.

But...

I must point out that The Great Gigolo Swindle mix CD in fact came out in 2000, not 2005, and was the 50th release for Gigolo records. If you look at the records that had come out by that point, most weren't too bad, not like the sludge Gigolo released in the 2000's. Below is a link to the discogs listing for the original release as proof:

http://www.discogs.com/release/101761

The story, as I heard, was that the CD came out with a very well put together picture book by the graphic designers for Gigolo records, Abuse Industries. Of course they used a ton of Arnold Schwarzenegger imagery, since he was the face of Gigolo records at that time. Unfortunately, this came out right when Arnold sued Gigolo for using his image without permission. All the copies of the CD and Multipage booklet were taken back from distributors under threat of lawsuit. A few copies did manage to get out, as a matter of fact I am the owner of one myself.

I got all this info from Carlos Souffrount, the DJ of the mix CD. I should also mention that Carlos went out of his way to play really good, and frequently obscure B-sides from the Gigolo catalog, and in my opinion he did a fantastic job. The CD also features BMG of Ectomorph and Paris the Black Fu of Detroit Grand Pu Bahs, doing a radio call in show in the back ground. Paris is doing a fantastic Arnold impersonation by the way.

My biggest message is, Carlos Souffront is one of Detroit's best kept secrets, and to claim he is on the Electroclash bandwagon is just plain false. He's played Detroit parties for years and has a reputation for delivering high quality music every time."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A New Colin Wilson Interview



Here is a brand new interview of the British author Colin Wilson (born 1931).

Excerpts:

"Any intellectual who divides opinion as much as Colin Wilson has for almost 50 years must be onto something, even if it is only whether humans should be pessimistic or optimistic."

"In books on sex, crime, psychology and the occult, and in more than a dozen novels, Mr. Wilson has explored how pessimism can rob ordinary people of their powers.

"'If you asked me what is the basis of all my work,' he said, 'it's the feeling there's something basically wrong with human beings. Human beings are like grandfather clocks driven by watch springs. Our powers appear to be taken away from us by something.'"

"The critics, particularly in Britain, have alternately called him a genius and a fool. His autobiography, published in hardcover last year, has received mixed reviews. Though lauded by some, the attacks on it and Mr. Wilson have been as virulent as those he provoked in the 1950's after he became a popular culture name with the publication of The Outsider."

"That book dealt with alienation in thinkers, artists and men of action like T. E. Lawrence, van Gogh, Camus and Nietzsche, and caught the mood of the age. Critics, including Cyril Connolly and Philip Toynbee, hailed Mr. Wilson as a British version of the French existentialists."

"The Outsider was translated into dozens of languages and sold millions of copies. It has never been out of print."

"He never lost belief in the importance of his work in trying to find out how to harness human beings' full powers and wipe out gloom."

"'Sartre's 'man is a useless passion,' and Camus's feeling that life is absurd, and so on, basically meant that philosophy itself had turned really pretty dark,' he said. 'I could see that there was a basic fallacy in Sartre and Camus and all of these existentialists, Heidegger and so on. The basic fallacy lay in their failure to understand the actual foundation of the problem.'"

"That foundation, he said, is that human perception is intentional; the pessimists themselves paint their world black."

"Mr. Wilson has spent much of his life researching how to achieve those moments of well-being that bring insight, what the American psychologist Abraham Maslow called 'peak experiences.'"

"Those moments can come only through effort, concentration or focus, and refusing to lose one's vital energies through pessimism."

"'What it means basically is that you're able to focus until you suddenly experience that sense that everything is good,' Mr. Wilson said. 'We go around leaking energy in the same way that someone who has slashed their wrists would go around leaking blood.'"

"'Once you can actually get over that and recognize that this is not necessary, suddenly you begin to see the possibility of achieving a state of mind, a kind of steady focus, which means that you see things as extremely good.' If harnessed by everyone, this could lead to the next step in human evolution, a kind of Superman."

"'The problem with human beings so far is that they are met with so many setbacks that they are quite easily defeatable, particularly in the modern age when they've got too separated from their roots,' he said."

Colin Wilson @ Wikipedia

[Thanks to Juri for the tip.]

Earlier:
Colin Wilson on the "Right Man"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Finnsleaze Namechecked at Fleshbot



http://www.fleshbot.com/sex/found/finnsleaze-115167.php informs you that: "Over the last several months, we’ve bought you online collections of vintage men's magazines from the US, the UK, Sweden and Japan—but somehow managed to overlook this treasure trove of smut material from Finland lovingly curated by the folks at PhinnWeb. Is it just us, or do all those double consonants and umlauts make everything seem really … dirty?"

Finnsleaze @ pHinnWeb (adults only)

Pebbles from the Shores of Thousand Lakes - Finnish Nuggets Vol. 1


[Blues Section, perhaps the best band to represent Finnish Nuggets/Pebbles spirit of garage psychedelia]

pHinnWeb has under its Beyond the Calico Wall page, dedicated to 1960s garage/psychedelic rock, a Finland subpage which introduces some bands and tracks that might be included if there was a Finnish version of Nuggets and Pebbles, famous compilation albums and boxes of 60s garage/freakbeat/psychedelic rock.

Making your own home compilation tapes and CD-Rs is always a lot of fun. Jani Hellén has compiled his own unofficial home compilation called Pebbles from the Shores of Thousand Lakes - Finnish Nuggets Vol. 1: Garage, Beat, Psychedelia & Proto-Punk from Finland 1964-74. The tracklist is:

01 - Danny & The Islanders - 'East Virginia' (1964)
02 - Eddy & The Lightnings - 'Shut Up' (1964)
03 - The Renegades - 'Cadillac' (1964)
04 - Jim & The Beatmakers - 'My Only One' (1964)
05 - The Renegades - 'My Heart Must Do The Crying' (1965)
06 - Ernos - 'Harha' (1966)
07 - Eero ja Jussi And The Boys - 'Kaipaan sua' (1967)
08 - Irwin Goodman - 'Haista itse vaan' (1967)
09 - Blues Section - 'Call Me On Your Telephone' (1967)
10 - Blues Section - 'Hey Hey Hey' (1967)
11 - Topmost - 'Longin For June' (1967)
12 - Ernos - 'Maria Louiza' (1968)
13 - Tasavallan Presidentti - 'Driving Through' (1969)
14 - Wigwam - 'Luulosairas' (1969)
15 - Charlies - 'Taiteen kritiikistä' (1970)
16 - Suomen Talvisota 1939-40 - 'Kekkonen-rock' (1970)
17 - Suomen Talvisota 1939-40 - 'Kasvoton Kuolema' and 'Sirhan Sirhan' (1970)
18 - Virtanen - 'Elektroninen Xtaasi' (1974)

As the criteria has been used that the track should be an original (not a Finnish translation/cover version) or an arrangement of some "trad" song. The Renegades (UK) is included because they recorded in Finland, and Jee jee jee, the history of Finnish rock, considers the band -- at the height of their popularity in this country -- almost Finnish.

Hellén plans for Volume 2 more Ernos (which he calls "Finnish Zombies") and some tracks from the second album of Charlies, allegedly much heavier one than their film soundtrack Julisteiden liimaajat which has gained a cult reputation. Also considered is Kirka's 'Hetki lyö', even though it is a translation of The McCoys' 'Beat the Clock', since the original is not too well known internationally, and Paroni Paakkunainen's innovative arrangement bringing more depth to Kirka's version.

So, you can't find this compilation from any shops, but you might try looking for its individual tracks from (Finnish) public libraries, friends' record collections, or if you have some extra money burning in your pockets, even buy some existing albums with these tracks (remember pHinnWeb does not encourage any illegal file sharing, kids!), and make your own copy of the compilation, so happy hunting!

More info:
Beyond the Calico Wall: Finland


[Suomen Talvisota 1939-1940 epitomized the day's raunchy underground spirit in Finnish rock music]

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Saturday, August 13, 2005

[MP3] New DJ Mixes from Slavic Walkmen's July 2005 Parties



New MP3 DJ sets from Slavic Walkmen's July 2005 parties (Tampere, Finland) for pHinnWeb's own "Net Radio". Note: available only till mid-September 2005. The quality of mixing/beatmatching may vary according to individual DJ, but at least the tracks themselves are always of prime quality!

(Special thanks to Sakke for providing diskspace for these ones.)

***

Sets from Slavic Walkmen Birthday Party, 20 July 2005:

Art Barf-Uncle - Finnhits Disco & cosmic freak-out set

pHinn & Myrkky-Antti Eclectic exp/retro/electro/IDM/whatever set
[tracklists]

Lasso800 etc. - IDM & drill'n'bass set

***

Mike Not & pHinn Disco sets @ Slavic Walkmen Does Underground Disco, 23 July 2005 [tracklists]:

pHinn - set I

Mike Not - set I

pHinn - set II

Mike Not etc. - set II

***

All soundfiles available through pHinnWeb at the moment.

In all our mixes we are committed to the Kommandomix Manifesto.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Viimeaikaisia musiikkifestivaalikokemuksia DJ:nä

Sorry, this following entry is in Finnish only, but I have no time or energy now to translate this into English. Perhaps later...

---

Keikkapromoottori X, missä helvetissä rahani viipyvät? Sähköposteihin ei vastata eikä miehestä kuulu mitään. Alkaa jo vähitellen vituttaa tämä koko farssi.

Hieno juttu, jos teille muille musiikkifestivaali Y toimi, mutta minulla on vähän toisenlainen tarina kerrottavana -- ruikuttajaksi leimaantumisen uhallakin. Olin nyt toista vuotta soittamassa levyjä kyseisessä tapahtumassa, ja täytyy sanoa, että molempina vuosina hommasta jäi itselle täydellinen räpeltämisen maku. Viime vuodesta jäi päällimmäisenä mieleen, että hra X lupaili minulle alun perin "hotellimajoitusta", mikä sitten paljastuikin jatkoiksi herran itsensä luona, ja epätoivoista yritystä nukkua siellä pari tuntia samaan aikaan, kun kaikenlaista jengiä lappaa jatkuvasti sisään ja ulos erilaisille jatkoille ja takaisin. X lupasi myös korvata minulle matkakulut ja "vähän päälle", mutta loppujen lopuksi kostuin reissusta pelkät matkakulut. Alkaa vähän pelottaa jo, että tänä vuonna ei tule edes jälkimmäistäkään. Teille työssäkäyville 82,40 euroa, mitkä matkakustannuksiin meni, ei ole ehkä raha eikä mikään, mutta kun on itse työtön ja samassa kuussa pukkaa läjä muita laskuja maksuun, niin siinä alkaa jo pikku hiljaa olla epätoivoinen olo tällaisestakin summasta.

Tänä vuonna meille (Mike Not ja minä) oli ilmoitettu, että artistipassit saa keikkapaikassa B. Sinne sitten marssittiin rautatieasemalta levylaukkuja raahaten. Keikkapaikassa B meille ilmoitettiin, että meidän täytyykin mennä keikkapaikkaan C hakemaan näitä passeja, ja meille ulkopaikkakuntalaisille annettiin epämääräiset ohjeet, missä tämä keikkapaikka C sijaitsee. Aulassa meitä sitten palloteltiin portilta toiselle kunnes onneksemme törmättiin tuttuun skeneihmiseen, joka ohjasi meidät artistipasseja jakavan henkilön luoksen.

Tänä vuonna meidän piti alkaa soittaa levyjä keikkapaikan A loungessa yhdeksältä ja lopettaa kahdeltatoista, mutta saimme kuulla, että levarit ovat jossain toisessa paikassa ja että meidän pitää odottaa kunnes ne tuodaan paikalle. No, kuinka ollakaan, odotus venyi lopulta kahdeksi tunniksi. Sillä välin asiaa vetvottiin, vatvottiin, palloiltiin ja ihmeteltiin; välillä meille sanottiin, että voimme mennä AA-saliin soittamaan, mutta juuri kun olimme laittamassa settiä valmiiksi siellä, väliin pukkaa jo toisia tyyppejä aloittelemaan omaa esiintymistään siellä. Yhdentoista pintaan sitten huomasin, että nyt odotetut levarit ovat saapuneet alakertaan. Niitä sitten soundcheckailtiin aikansa ja yritettiin saada hieman jo epätoivoisen tuntuisesti ääntä kuulumaan. Olutlipukkeita (ruhtinaalliset neljä kummallekin meistä) saatiin niin ikään odotella parisen tuntia, kunnes herra isoherra suvaitsi saapua tuomaan niitä. Vaikutti siltä, että kaikkiin kysymyksiimme vastuuta palloteltiin ihmiseltä toiselle, ja vakiovastaus kaikkeen oli, että "kyllä Äksä hoitaa"... Niinpä.

Lopulta sitten ehdittiin soittaa joku runsas tunti aikatauluun merkitystä kolmen tunnin setistä ennen kuin kaupunki Z:n omat pojat jo vaativat päästä puikkoihin. No, mikäs siinä sitten; onneksi kuitenkin keikkapaikka A:n loungen yleisö näytti pitäneen musiikkivalinnoistamme (vanhaa ravea ja EBM:ää) ja jotkut jorasivat täysillä, joten aivan täydellinen paskan maku illasta ei onneksi jäänyt, ja ehdittiin moikata muusikkotuttaviakin paikan päällä.

Mitä itse juttelin tuttujen artistien ja DJ:den kanssa, kaikki sanoivat minulle saman asian: jokaisen setti oli ollut myöhässä aikataulusta ja viivästynyt. Tuttu muusikko sanoi minulle viivästyksistä, että: "C'mon, tämä on tyypillistä festaritouhua", mutta silti asia pisti kyllä ihmetyttämään. Hotellissa meidät oli majoitettu samaan huoneeseen eräiden toisten DJ:den kanssa, ja kuulimme että heillä oli ollut vielä huonompi onni settinsä keston kanssa kuin meillä: he eivät olleet päässeet soittamaan levyjä ollenkaan.

En tiedä, olen nyt yhdeksän vuotta tehnyt pHinnWebia (joku teistä on ehkä kuullut tästä) ja vaikken tahdo asialla elvistellä, olen luultavasti tehnyt helvetin paljon ilmaista työtä (lähinnä promolevypalkalla yms.) suomalaisen elektronisen musiikin ja underground-skenen edistämiseksi, josta on hyötynyt varsin moni tyyppi. Mutta jos tämä on osoitus siitä respektistä ja asennoitumisesta, jota kaikesta vaivannäöstä huolimatta tältä skeneltä saa osakseen, niin asiat ovat kyllä varsin heikoissa kantimissa, ja voi alkaa miettiä, että kannattaako vaiva enää jatkossa. Olen nyt orientoitunut jo siihen, että matkarahojani en saa koskaan takaisin, ja loppukuun aterioiminen menee kynsien syömisen merkeissä, mutta sitähän se underground-eläminen on, vai mitä?

(Lisäys 2, myöhemmin samana päivänä:)

Ja tiedoksi tännekin, ettei kenellekään jää epäselväksi: juttelin nyt festivaali Y:n luotettavamman edustajan N:n kanssa aiheesta, ja näyttäisi, että liksat sittenkin järjestyvät. Eli big thanks, N!

pHinn lupaa ikävänä ihmisenä pitää lisää melua, jos asiaan tulee vielä mutkia, mutta täytyy nyt luottaa siihen, että nettiaikana läpinäkyvyysperiaate koskee kaikkia; niin pHinniä, Äksiä kuin muitakin. "Ei oikeutta maassa saa ken ei sitä itse hanki."

(Lisäys 3:)

Kuten arvata saattaa, sain näistä viesteistä osakseni vihaista palautetta yhdellä keskustelufoorumilla, jossa minua mm. syytettiin siitä, etten tajua, että tällaisten festareiden ollessa kyseessä rahojen saaminen vie aikansa, kun kaikille esiintyjille pitää maksaa. Vaan jos tämä yhteyshenkilö osoittautuu toistuvasti epäluotettavaksi ketkuksi, jolla on esimerkiksi tapana salaperäisesti kadota, kun maksamisen aika tulee, niin kyllä siinä tulee pelko istumalihaksiin ja paniikkireaktio rahojen saamisesta varsin helposti. Miksihän on aina niin, että jos ihminen alkaa julkisesti vaatia oikeuksiaan, hänet leimataan "valittajaksi" ja "itkijäksi"? (Muistan taannoisen tuottaja Markus Selinin ja Aku Louhimäen kiistan Paha maa -elokuvan lopullisesta versiosta, kun Selin oli tuohtunut siitä, että Louhimies oli mennyt "itkemään" asiasta tiedotusvälineille.) Lisäksi samaisella foorumilla minua myös syytettiin ko. henkilön julkisesta ristiinnaulitsemisesta, ja että minun palkkioni saamisen pitäisi olla vain minun ja tapahtuman välinen asia. Mielipiteeni on, että ihmisen, joka on vastuussa tämän suuruusluokan operaatioista monille artisteille, DJ:lle ja muille järjestäjille, toiminta täytyy voida olla tietyssä mielessä läpinäkyvää. Jos yhtä esiintyjää huijataan, on todennäköistä että sama toistuu myös muiden kohdalla eikä se ei ole enää kahden yksityishenkilön välinen asia.

Olen saanut nyt privaattimailin kautta pari muutakin keikkapromoottori X:ää koskevaa kommenttia tämän aikaisemmista ohareista ja muista törttöilyistä, jotka ainoastaan vahvistavat käsitykseni siitä, että tein oikein nostaessani julkisen metelin asiasta. Siltä varalta, että joku päättäisi nostaa metakan siitä, että mainitsen ihmisten ja paikkojen nimiä tekstissäni, joka tulee julkisen nettihaun kautta löydettäväksi, olen vaihtanut ne nyt aakkosten kirjaimiin. Asioita seuraavat kyllä tietävät, mistä ja kenestä on kyse.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tonight: Eclectro Lounge #18


[large image]

EcLECTRO LOUNGE #18
Wednesday 10 August 2005
20:00-02:00
@ Apadana, Suvantokatu 7-9, Tampere
free entrance
age limit 18

Wham bam, thank you, ma'am! Kompleksi DJs Mike Not & pHinn play nu & old electro, IDM, techno, Detroit, new wave, disco, ambient, synthpop, funk, acid house, old skool hiphop, EBM, new beat, spacepop, retro...

Kompleksi-DJ:t Mike Not ja pHinn selvisivät täpärästi hengissä UMFista, jossa tamperelainen täystuhotiimi näytti Turun house-olmeille, kuinka Kårenin pubin tanssilattia räjäytettiin vanhalla ravella ja vuosikerta-EBM:llä. Tänä iltana jatkoa seuraa Apadanassa elektroindiegrooven merkeissä, sinne! Kalja on halpaa eikä maksa mitään sisään. Avaruus on edelleen paikka, robotit huokailevat kiimassa, r&b, bling bling eikä kiksu juhli läsnäolollaan -- oletko valmis kosmiseen tajuntaräjähdykseen?



Listen to earlier Eclectro Lounge sets as MP3s

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

[MP3] 9 August 2005: New Eclectro Lounge Mixes



Added to the site on the 9th August 2005:

Art Barf-Uncle @ Eclectro Lounge, 13 July 2005 [MP3]

pHinn & Mike Not - back-to-back set I [MP3]
[tracklist]

pHinn & Mike Not - back-to-back set II [MP3]
[tracklist]
(NOTE: this MP3 available now is only a stub of the set's first 21 minutes, not the full set; I'll try to get it soon complete to the Web, and will notify you on this blog... don't you "love" technology?)

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All MP3 files currently available at pHinnWeb

In all our mixes we are committed to Kommandomix Manifesto

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Turn to the Left -- New Date



Rescheduled due to the London bombings:

TURN TO THE LEFT
Artists' Fashion Show + live music and DJs
291 Gallery, 291 Hackney Road
13th August 2005, 8pm-late, £3 entry

Curated by Jessica Broas and Pil and Galia Kollectiv in collaboration with 291 Gallery.

With Artists and Designers:

Sarah Baker
Diann Bauer
Jessica Broas
Cast Off Knitters
Chicks On Speed
Kate Forbes
Juri Hashimoto
Pil and Galia Kollectiv
David Mabb
Sophie Macorquodale
Emily McMehen
Gail Pickering
Pam Richardson
Bettina Schroeder
Tai Shani
Heidi Stokes
Tatty Devine

Live music by:

Anat Ben-David
Bishi
The Lazy Ones
Tits of Death
The Vichy Government

DJs: Jet + Suhail Malik

More info here.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Matrioshki, The Belgian Sopranos?



Finnish TV2 has shown during this summer a Belgian crime drama series of ten episodes called Matrioshki (2004), as its Finnish title Tyttökauppiaat ('The Girl Traders'). Directed by Marc Punt and Guy Goossens, Matrioshki follows a Belgian criminal gang that travels from Antwerp to Lithuania to recruit young Eastern European girls.

The story starts in Vilnius, Lithuania, where a gang of criminals are recruiting local girls to work as dancers in Belgium and Holland. A blonde girl called Daria is anxious to leave behind the life of poverty in the family with her abusive father but her friend, tall and dark Kasandra is more suspicious by the deal offered by a Belgian "businessman" Ray Van Mechelen, in fact a hardened, sleazeball-like criminal (played by Peter Van den Begin, who creates one of the most evil creep-looking TV villains ever). First of all, the contract offered for the girls to sign is written all in Greek...

Kasandra, like her ancient namesake in Greek mythology, acts as a prophet of doom -- eventually doomed herself -- whose warnings will go unheeded, telling Daria she will only end up as cheap prostitute in Europe, but Daria refuses to believe Kasandra. Nico Maes, a Belgian journalist who's making a story on woman trafficking from Eastern Europe prompts Kasandra and Daria's brother to contact police but in the end this is futile, and Daria, with a bunch of other girls, both Lithuanian and Russian, embark on a journey to Belgium, after a "training period" in Cyprus. Meanwhile, Kasandra's fate is sealed in the hands of local criminals working as accessories to Van Mechelen's gang.

We have already witnessed the cruel execution of two Eastern European dance girls-turned-prostitutes in the hands of Ray Van Mechelen and his henchmen. The operations are formally led by an elder businessman John Dockx whose violent, ruthless and intimidating son Vincent becomes in the course of series Ray's nemesis in the power struggle over the strip club called 69 in Antwerp, Belgium, run by the gang. At Club 69 Daria and other girls are reluctantly first turned into strippers, then virtually prostitutes offering sexual favours to the club's clients in a backroom. The criminals have confiscated the girls' passports and visas, so they are actually held as prisoners at the club. Some girls refuse to have sex with clients and find themselves in trouble with their ruthless contractors. A sensitive girl called Luna is raped by one of the clients and ends up braindead in a hospital.

Matrioshki is a tale of cruel exploitation and treachery, filled with ugly scenes of sex and violence reminiscing Martin Scorsese's mafia films such as Goodfellas or David Chase's Sopranos on TV, also following closely the complicated relationships between criminals and their victims. (As with Tony Soprano, these criminals seem to have some human traits too; in the end we almost start to feel pity even with the main villain Ray Van Mechelen who is trying to maintain a desperate relationship with a Russian girl called Kalinka who is among the girls a hated accessory for the criminals, but he has to dump her because of the demands of Vincent -- if possible, an even more disgusting character than Ray -- leading to the fateful conclusion of the series.) The difference here only is that this time the backdrop is -- instead of American-Italian mob life depicted by Scorsese or Chase -- Belgium's sleazy and dark Eurotrash scene.

And it's not nice watching: girls are being physically and mentally abused all the time, informers talking to the police killed. In one scene a girl throws up over an elder client, disgusted by the idea of having to give him a blowjob. Nico Maes, the journalist intending to expose the gang in a newspaper is intimidated by Vincent. People are blown up, their kneecaps are crushed with a pool cue, they are stabbed with scissors or banged to death with a baseball bat. Girls are turned against each other, according to if they are willing to participate in the whoring game or not.

It's a misogynistic nightmare which reveals the ugliness of human trafficking business in all its stark bleakness as girls are sold and traded like slaves from one owner to another. Backstabbing intrigues are followed as everyone tries to exploit or rip off each other. Some well-meaning Belgian men are trying to help the girls to escape from their virtual prison of sex slavery, but these hapless, lovelorn guys only end up in trouble for their efforts with their own misunderstanding families.

It is also interesting to hear that clips from Matrioshki are to be incorporated into an educational video Amnesty International will be distributing to high schools and potential sex trafficking victims across Europe.

Besides being shown on Canal+ and VTM in Belgium, the series also aired in The Netherlands (RTL4), while the series has also been sold to FX (UK and Brazil), M6 (France), LAPTV (Latin America), Ren TV (Russia), SBS (Australia), TV2 (Finland), RTV (Slovenia), LRT (Lithuania), Latvian TV, Kanal 2 (Estonia), RTVFB (Bosnia) and TV Markiza (Slovakia), with other territories pending. In Benelux, Universal also released the series on DVD in the beginning of April 2005.

Producer/director Marc Punt of Independent Productions has also confirmed plans for a second series.

Matrioshki: the official site (in Flemish)
Matrioshki @ High Point Films
Matrioshki @ Flanders Image
Matrioshki @ Allocine (in French)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Eclectro Lounge #17



This was a pretty ordinary Eclectro Lounge night (with all its technical frustrations, the worry about the lack of audience, etc.) The guest DJ Alexcore (a.k.a. Alex Regan of Slavic Walkmen posse) played a set of "covercore", twisted cover/plunderphonics/pirate mixes of tracks from Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Flying Lizards, etc.; the sort of stuff that V/VM Records is specialised in. It blew your mind (see the pic above). And Alex got my headphones back, that I already thought having lost forever -- they had been lying somewhere at Klubi -- the only bad thing was that I had already bought new Koss headphones, and thus wasted extra 59 euros of my thin montly budget.

The tracklists here

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Lalo Schifrin: The Hellstrom Chronicle



Argentinian-born composer for film and TV soundtracks, Lalo Schifrin is truly one of my favourites. His best-known work is probably the theme music to the original TV series of Mission: Impossible (1966), which has been also revamped for its new film remakes. Personally I like the best Schifrin's soundtrack for Don Siegel's Dirty Harry (1971) which works as its own work of art alongside the film, combining a striking jazz funk score to some more avantgardistic touches. 'Scorpio's Theme' with its frantic, violent mood and tempo changes, and haunting wordless female choruses is one of the undeniable classics of any motion picture music ever made.

From the liner notes to Dirty Harry Anthology:


Schifrin's memorable Dirty Harry score, with its signature motif for Harry (played on electric piano) and unsettling theme for the psychotic killer Scorpio, is a masterpiece of the genre. Several critics -- who rarely notice film music, much less write about it -- mentioned the composer's contribution. Time cited the "excellent, eerie jazz score by Lalo Schifrin": Variety said "Lalo Schifrin's modernistic score is very effective." The L.A. Weekly referred to "Lalo Schifrin's watery, ghostly score", and The New Yorker declared that "Lalo Schifrin's pulsating, jazzy electronic trickery drives the picture forward."

It was hardly trickery, of course; that's the art and craft of composing for film. In the case of Scorpio's theme, the use of wordless voices came from the fact that "the killer was very disturbed, deranged", Schifrin explains. "He was hearing voices."

It was a highly original choice, like so much of the score: the combination of jazz and rock elements; an avant-garde use of strings; and in Schifrin's words "a motif of pathos" (also on electric piano), heard when the kidnapped girl's body is found and again at the end of the film after Harry finally dispatches the madman.


Schifrin's score for the 1971 Academy Award-winning documentary film The Hellstrom Chronicles was released on CD in 2003.

---

Artist: Lalo Schifrin
Title: The Hellstrom Chronicle -- The Official Score by...
Cat.No: ALEPH 029
Year: 2003

1. The Hellstrom Chronicle (Life Evolves) 4:05
2. Primeval Beginning and the Deadly Traps 9:02
3. Horror Montage and the Harvester Ant Community 8:28
4. Metamorphosis 4:13
5. The Termite World 6:40
6. African Drums, Moths and Communication 3:38
7. The Acts of Love 5:27
8. Bees, Wasps, and Mayflies 6:57
9. Rampage of the Driver Ants 8:13
10. The Hellstrom Chronicle (Finale) 2:19

Album produced by Lalo Schifrin and Nick Redman.

Music recorded on April 15th 1971 at MGM Studios Stage I, and April 29th, April 30th, May 5th, 1971 at Samuel Goldwyn Studios Stage 7.

---

The Hellstrom Chronicle won the 1971 Academy Award as Best Documentary feautre. It may be the most compelling documentary even made about the insect world, even though its narrator isn't real and its premise isn't something with which every scientist will agree: that insects will eventually triumph over mankind and inherit the earth.

The idea belonged to executive producer David L. Wolper, who in 1966 made a National Geographic special about insects, entitled 'The Hidden World', on which Walon Green had served as associate producer and Lalo Schifrin had been one of two composers (creating an improvisational score for the film's most offbeat sequences).

Wolper hired Green -- who by this time had written the now-classic Sam Peckinpah western The Wild Bunch -- and Green began two years of production involving eight camera teams travelling to eleven countries on four continents.

Green himself was one of three principal cinematographers, filming locusts in Ethiopia, mayflies in Minnesota and moths in California. Other cameramen shot termites in Uganda, bees in Japan, spiders in England, butterflies in California and driver ants in Kenya.

Nobody knew what to call it, so for a long time it was simply 'Project X'. Eventually there was a series of titles, including 'The Insects', 'The Silent Enemy', 'The Aliens' and 'The Quiet Contenders'. None lasted more than a few days. Recalls Green: "I shot all this insect footage and cut it together as a straight documentary. The film absolutely did not work. It was a disaster".

Green realised that the film needed a narrator, but his first choice -- a real Scottish scientist who was already preaching mankind's doom -- had contracted hepatitis and was unavailable. It was David Seltzer (another former National Geographic filmmaker who would later pen The Omen) who came up with the idea of creating a fictional scientist to perform the same function.

Green named him Dr. Nils Hellstrom, and the film became The Hellstrom Chronicle. Actor Lawrence Pressman played the self-described 'heretic' and the film now had a narrative device that both strenghthened its message and helped guide the audience through it strange world of bugs and tiny winged creatures.

The score was equally crucial. Green recalls: "Music was everything in The Hellstrom Chronicle". It was really the dialogue of the film. There was a story thread, but the mood and suspense and tempo of the film was predicated on the score. We never thought of anyone but Lalo."

By 1971, Lalo Schifrin was much in demand as a composer for films (with Oscar nominations for Cool Hand Luke and The Fox), television (with multiple Emmy nominations for Mission: Impossible) and records (with four Grammys, including one for his Jazz Mass). One of his most acclaimed works was for Wolper's three-hour documentary The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which he turned into a dramatic cantata that was performed at the Hollywood Bowl.

Schifrin found Hellstrom an irresistible creative challenge. "The music was a fiction within a fiction", he says. "I had to create the aural world of the insects. What would they hear? We don't know. I had to invent it. Then I had to translate and expand it into the human dimension, so the human ear could hear what the insect hears. But this was all my imagination. That's what really inspired me to do it. It was fantastic."

He began by creating "a catalogue of sounds", including dozen of exotic percussion instruments and the unusual sonorities produced by the analogue synthesisers of the the time (both Moog and Yamaha) as well as the traditional orchestra. But the music he had in mind was so unconventional that it could not be notated in the usual fashion. So in several instances he drew visual impressions to try and convey the desired tonalities to the musicians.

Schifrin recalls working late at night in his studio and watching insects buzzing around the lamp on his desk. "I couldn't help thinking that they knew I was writing about them", he says with a smile.

The Hellstrom Chronicle score was truly unique -- not just because Schifrin used an African thumb piano, Mexican clay shakers, Dharma Indian bells, Japanese kabuki drums and an Egyptian sistrum, among many other instruments from around the world, but because the score encompasses a stunning variety of approaches and techniques: aleatoric, serial, jazz-rock, even a fuque for harpsichord. "The movie is almost a different dimension", the composer explains. "Even the strings sometimes sound like an electronic instrument."

The score was recorded in April and May 1971 using several different ensembles, including a 53-piece orchestra; smaller groups that included strings, keyboards and percussion; and electronics alone. "I could have done a really avant-garde concert of this music", notes Schifrin. Adds Green: "I would compare the music to that of a horror film, where you heighten the mood and atmosphere but you don't have something warm and embracing. It was like a weird tone poem for acid droppers".

The film won the Grand Prix du Technique at the Cannes Film Festival, and the most perceptive critics cited the music. "A wonderfully inventive, evocative score", wrote Newsweek. "An outstanding, intricate and relevant score", said Variety. Wolper himself called the music "hauntingly beautiful", and Green singled out the composer for praise in accepting the Oscar.

"I had to play a balancing act between eliciting an emotional reaction from the audience, and at the same time keeping that objective coldness of the insects, which are almost like machines", says the composer. "It was a totally different experience. Not only did I like this project, it became very difficult for me to go back and do regular movies after this. Because The Hellstrom Chronicle pushed my imagination to the limit."
- Jon Burlingame



The phantasmagoric world of Dr. Hellstrom and his alarmist vision of a future Earth demolished and overrun by vast hordes of a remorseless, implacable and unreasoning enemy -- the insects -- makes The Hellstrom Chronicle a fascinating and beautifully shot docudrama, treading a fine line between a cunningly realised "truth" -- the theories of Hellstrom -- with a marvellously rendered look at the creatures themselves in all their colourful, cruel and grisly weirdness. Out of the primordial gunk of the universe's origins came the tiny beings that shaped and sculpted themselves to fit their environment, honing and refining until they had modified their molecules into a perfect survival mechanism -- a custom-designed construct built to withstand everything the Earth could throw at them and more. Nils Hellstrom (Lawrence Pressman) fills us in on the possible threat to society the insects pose, which is deftly intercut with superb photography of the creatures munching, mating and mowing down the opposition.

The aural landscape of such an alien world could of course have taken many forms. The beauty of its strangeness, coupled with the freedom to showcase the 'sound' of the multifarious protagonists, allowed composer Lalo Schifrin a rare treat -- he could give full vent to his not inconsiderable musical imagination and run riot with a score that had played in his head but found no suitable filmic home before now. This liberation, a release if you will, from conventional musical constraints, not only benefitted the picture by adding a subtextual layer of narrative resonance, but also in environmentally establishing for the audience what the insects may actually see, or hear. While it is inevitably impossible to know what insects see or hear, or even if they do, Lalo's avant-garde approach made the world of Hellstrom unmistakably real, and the film is all the more compelling because of it.

One of the most surprising things about the score is how varied it is. Not only in its extraordinary range of instrumentation and wild plethora of musica exotica, but in its sudden mood and tonal shifts, illuminating a dark world with a piercing shaft of light, or evoking the feeling of an impenetrable monsoon being warmed and dried by a gentle sun. Amidst the barbarity and unthinking cruelty of an insect's life, moments of subtlety, kindness, and yes, even love emerge. Listening to the music straight through, without the attachment of the stunning visuals, it tells its own incredible story -- that of a world's birth a demise perhaps -- or an emotional catharsis -- accelerating, peaking, breaking like a giant wave -- full of fury, torment, anger, but at its heart, in its soul, celebrating the great joy of just being alive.

In organising this enormously complex score for presentation on compact disc, it was decided to arrange the music largely (although not entirely) chronologically, in substantive blocks with each grouping of individual pieces adhering to a specific section of the film. The documentary begins with the white-hot molten stream of creation boiling, bubbling and coagulating the tissue of the universe, and 'The Hellstrom Chronicle (Life Evolves)' opens with a gentle precursor which gives way to the frantic pounding of those lava eruptions. As the torrent subsides, life appears if by magic, taking form, gaining sizr, until a monstrous insect is framed against the title card. 'Primeval Beginnings and The Deadly Traps' eerily evokes the very essence of molecular cell structures fermenting in the primordial stwe, later to take root as plants and vegetation sooon to be inhabited by wondrously designed creatures. Of course, the plants themselves can be dangerous and 'The Deadly Traps', those organisms that lure and trap their unsuspecting prey are shown in lethal action. The flight of winged insects is brutally curtailed once they have settled on the sticky green and yellow leaves that seemed oh so inviting. As the Cobra Plants and Venus Flytraps go about their shocking business we hear the first statement of the 'pathos' theme, a recurring motif throughout the score that gently reminds us of creation's inevitably tragic continuum. Pathos transitions into unexpected beauty as we view verdant clusters of gorgeous Sundew Traps, sultrily gulping in the sun, seemingly oblivious to the carnage. The Sundew theme, a pretty melody for synthesiser, brings this section to a mordant and elegiac conclusion.

The eerie and unearthly swishes, thwips and whoomphs of 'Horror Montage' accompany rapid-cut shots of insects in strictly kill-or-be-killed situations. Here the quickest survive, as out of the camouflage leaps the hunter on the unsuspecting prey. A dizzying display of tongues, claws and jaws, clash and lash, wreaking havoc in the trees and on the ground. The machine-like quality of the music here is desperately effective; as Lalo says, it "is so close to actual sound effects, it very likely will prove difficult for a listener unless possessed of an unusually acute ear, to separate one from the other". (For any reader who might wonder what 'Horror Montage' look like written out on a music sheet, you should try to find a copy of Irwin Bazelon's Knowing The Score: Notes On Film Music (1975) which reproduces a page.) 'The Harvester Ant Community' focuses on the industrious building and societal abilities of the ants, and also their adeptness at defence when they are in turn attacked by a marauding band of red ants. The music here is light, delicate and very tonal before descending into extravagant chaos with the red ants' onslaught.

'Metamorphosis' brings forth a lovely theme for the life cycle of a butterfly. Tentatively delineating the awkward state of the chrysalis, the freedom for escape in unfettered flight is given luscious wing by this intriguing combination of strings, synthesiser and percussion. 'The Termite World' is a potpourri of strange and unusual sound textures, using the cymbalom as a featured instrument to lure us into the unbelievably weird termite domicile. Their territory is as alien as it gets, and the score here is appropriately evocative of some science fiction hell. When a break appears in the termite mound and the creatures become vulnerable to attack, the music becomes the unspeakable nightmare of a terrain total collapse. 'African Drums, Moths and Communication' takes us to the scorched earth world of the locusts as the drum beat out their insistent rhythmic warning. The moths can 'hear' and 'speak' to each other across vast distances and their synthesiser calls of hope and harmony plaintatively curl and cross, circumventing the globe.

'The Acts Of Love' begins as a bossa nova for a young couple parked, and embracing at a drive-in. Their tender mating segues into the more primitive, but no less engaging love rituals of the Wolf Spider, and later the Black Widow. Culminating with the Widow killing and eating her lover in a wild orgy of violence, conveyed musically as a psychedelic freak-out, the track allows Lalo the luxury of incorporating three distinct forms of jazz into a hedonistic melange of cool sounds for nocturnal conjugation. 'Bees, Wasps and Mayflies' is the only track on the album that differs substantially from the way the music is used in the film. Beginning with the waterphone, an instrument perfectly suited to Lalo's unique sensibilities (he employed it more effectively than any other film composer), the bees hum and thrum doing their thing until terrorised by an airborne patrol of wasps. Although parts of this music are included in the scene, the 'airplane' effect of the wasp attack was deemed a bit too radical, and was replaced by cues tracked from elsewhere. The 'trilling' motif of the mayflies recurs at different times and is also used to begin the CD.

'Rampage Of The Driver Ants' is the score's tour-de-force. An amazing sonic battering ram of assaultive textures, this dazzling example of musique concrete perfectly brings to vivid and savage life the unremitting brutality and senseless destruction wrought by the driver ants -- the most ferocious strain of the species -- a blind, coherent army of terror whose death marches paralyse with fear all that are caught in the path. In the movie it is terrifying to watch, and the filming of it, with Walon Green himself one of the cameramen, is magnificent. 'Rampage' takes every elemeny from the true musical avant-garde and utterly reimagines it for the cinema. It is fair to say there's no cue like it in any other major motion picture, and while it is not the easiest listens for the undiscerning, it is a work of immense talent and creativity. The whole film inexorably builds to this point and its cumulative power is undeniable. The aftermath, 'The Hellstrom Chronicle (Finale)', recapitulates the 'pathos' theme and the 'Hellstrom' motif, before gently recalling the 'Sundew Traps' for the end titles.

The ideal fusion of music and image occurs when smart, savvy producers and directors have the courage to give their chosen composers the freedom to invent an aural world that will complement, enhance and inherently distinguish the movie they have made. It's a risk, like all great leaps of the imagination, but when it works, my, it's a beautiful thing. Less and less in this day and age will any filmmaker impart that level of confidence in a composer. More and more the reliance is on what has worked in the past, imbuing all moves with a formulaic homogeneity that stifles any progress, musically or otherwise. What we can be thankful for is that once there was a better time, and that Walon Green and Lalo Schifrin were there to take advantage of it. It is true that Lalo even considered retirement from film composition after Hellstrom, fearing that he'd never again be allowed to break new ground. Thankfully, lo these many years and film scores later, Lalo is still out there, banging on the door of innovation, and more often than not being invited in...
- Nick Redman

The Official Website of Lalo Schifrin
Lalo Schifrin @ Wikipedia
Lalo Schifrin @ IMDB
Lalo Schifrin @ Space Age Pop

The Hellstrom Chronicle @ IMDB
The Hellstrom Chronicle review @ Time Out

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Paul Auster: Moon Palace



Marco Stanley Fogg (a.k.a. M.S.) is an existential drifter. Even his very name is a combination of some great explorers of history: Marco Polo (an Italian who was supposed to visit China in the 13th century), Henry Morton Stanley (an American journalist who found David Livingstone in Kenya in 1871) and Phileas Fogg, a character created by Jules Verne for his book Around the World in 80 Days.

M.S. is an orphan whose mother has died in a traffic accident when he was only eleven years old, after which he was raised by his slightly eccentric but loving uncle Victor, who is an ill-fated musician. M.S. does not know the identity of his father. M.S. arrives to study in a New York college in the mid-1960s, as his only possession the tweed suit and vast library of books inherited from his uncle. He lives in a small apartment which only furniture consists of the crates of his uncle's books. Gradually M.S. drops out of the college and sustains himself for awhile by selling away those books little by little to an antiquarian shop, after he has read them all, of course. The "furniture" of his apartment dwindles away
as he sells the books, and in the end he will find himself living in an empty room. It's obvious Marco's both mental and physical condition are deteriorating, and after he has been evicted from his apartment, he lives as a sort of hermit (or perhaps "bum" would be a more appropriate word) in Central Park. He is finally saved from a certain death by his friend Zimmer and a Chinese girl called Kitty Wu, with whom M.S. soon finds himself to be in love with. M.S. recovers and soon gets a job with a grumpy old man called Thomas Effing ("f-ing", get it?), who is blind (or is he?) and confined to a wheelchair. Effing wants to dictate M.S. his own obituary, and what unfolds is an amazing story covering over half a century, and even providing the key to the personal origins of M.S.

This is another great book from Paul Auster with characters that are totally lost in trying to search some sort of meaning in their lives. As in other books of Auster, coincidences (or Jungian synchronicities), surprising connections and a strange sense of metaphysical mystery also play a large part in Moon Palace. And here too the sense of loss hangs very prominently in the air. The very bottomline of also this work of Auster is very humane: it seems M.S. Fogg is an intelligent but hopelessly pathetic drifter, willingly trying to give up his life all the time but always saved by a helper of one sort or another, as a proof a human kindness found even under most peculiar circumstances.

To make the structure of narrative even more interesting, there is also another book inside this book as Thomas Effing dictates M.S. his memoirs to be published as his own obituary.

(Also the life of the mystical inventor and a real-life character Nikola Tesla is vastly paraphrased here connecting to Thomas Effing's story. I think the life of Tesla would certainly be worth of a major movie, yet to be made.)


I had jumped off the edge of a cliff, and then, just as I was about to hit bottom, an extraordinary event took place: I learned that there were people who loved me. To be loved like that makes all the difference. It does not lessen the terror of the fall, but it gives a new perspective on what that terror means. I had jumped off the edge, and then, at the very last moment, something reached out and caught me in midair. That something is what I define as love. It is the one thing that can stop a man from falling, the one thing powerful enough to negate the laws of gravity.

---

Perhaps that was all that all I had set out to prove in the first place: that once you throw your life to the winds, you will discover things you had never known before, things that cannot be learned under any other circumstances. I was half-dead from hunger, but whenever something good happened to me, I did not attribute it to chance so much as to a special state of mind. If I was able to maintain the proper balance between desire and indifference, I felt that I could somehow will the universe to respond to me. How else was I to judge the extraordinary acts of generosity that I experienced in Central Park? I never asked anyone for anything, I never budged from my spot, and yet strangers were continually coming up to me and giving me help. There must have been some force emanating from me into the world, I thought, some indefinable something that made people want to do this. As time went on, I began to notice that good things happened to me only when I stopped wishing for them. If that was true, then the reverse was true as well: wishing too much for things would prevent them from happening. That was the logical consequence of my theory, for if I had proven to myself that I could attract the world, then it also followed that I could repel it. In other words, you got what you wanted by not wanting it. It made no sense, but the incomprehensibility of the argument was what appealed to me. If my wants could be answered only by not thinking about them, then all thoughts about my situation were necessarily counterproductive. The moment I began to embrace this idea, I found myself staggering along an impossible tightrope of consciousness. For how do you not think about your hunger when you are always hungry? How do you silence your stomach when it is constantly calling out to you, begging to be filled? It is next to impossible to ignore such pleas. Time and again, I would succumb to them, and once I did, I automatically knew that I had destroyed my chances of being helped. The result was inescapable, as rigid and precise as a mathematical formula. As long as I worried about my problems, the world would turn its back on me. That left me no choice but to fend for myself, to scrounge, to make the best of it on my own. Time would pass. A day, two days, perhaps even three or four, and little by little I would purge myself up for lost. It was only then that any of the miraculous occurrences ever took place. They always struck like a bolt from the blue. I could not predict them, and once they happened, there was no way I could count on seeing another. Each miracle was therefore always the last miracle. And because it was the last, I was continually being thrown back to the beginning, continually having to start the battle all over again.

---

Causality was no longer the hidden demiurge that ruled the universe: down was up, the last was the first, the end was the beginning. Heraclitus had been resurrected from his dung heap, and what he had to show us was the simplest of truths: reality was a yo-yo, change was the only constant.

---

He was working himself now, no longer burdened by the threat of other people's opinions, and that alone was enough to produce a fundamental change in how he approached his art. For the first time in his life, he stopped worrying about result, and as a consequence the terms "success" and "failure" had suddenly lost their meaning for him. The true purpose of art was not to create beautiful objects, he discovered. It was a method of understanding, a way of penetrating the world and finding one's place in it, and whatever aesthetic qualities an individual canvas might have were almost an incidental by-product of the effort to engage oneself in this struggle, to enter into the thick of things. He untaught himself the rules he had learned, trusting in the landscape as an equal partner, voluntarily abandoning his intentions to the assaults of chance, of spontaneity, the onrush of brute particulars. He was no longer afraid of the emptiness around him. The act of trying to put it one canvas had somehow internalized it for him, and now he was able to feel its indifference as something that belonged to him, as much as he belonged to the silent power of those gigantic spaces himself. The pictures he produced were raw, he said, filled with violent colours and strange, unpremeditated surges of energy, a whirl of forms and light. He has no idea if they were ugly or beautiful, but that was probably beside the point. They were his, and they didn't look like any other paintings he had seen before.


Moon Palace @ Wikipedia
A vast site dedicated to this book

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Monday, August 01, 2005

New pHinnMilk Comics Collages


[large image]
"Tell All The Children" (29 July 2005) © pHinn 2005


[large image]
"Don't Eat Those Lumps of Sugar" (29 July 2005) © pHinn 2005


pHinnMilk Comics by pHinn (not for children)

Kompleksi on East Village Radio (NYC)



New York City's East Village Radio has played both sides of Kompleksi's 7" on their Short Bus Radio show with Chupacabras and Speculator, on 18 July 2005:

"We play songs we wish were played on our short bus back in the day. The driver would always be yellin' 'Shut up you retards, I can't hear the radio'. So this is for short bus driver Mr. Monroe. Past guests have included Pappawheelie, DJ Overdose (Viewlexx/Murder Capital), and Legowelt (Bunker/Creme). Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes rock, sometimes not, sometimes electronic... It all depends on the weather and how we feel. Usual suspects are italo disco, detroit techno, old school electro, chicago house, minimal electonics, new wave, disco, punk rock, freaky, poppy, old, new, soul, hip hop, rock n roll, gangster funk, soundtracks, etc. Now get on the bus!"

Playlist for 07.18.05

Mya and Mirror - hesitation
Xclusiv - fools are friendly
pico - malaguena
the erotic drum band - jerky rythm
Hananas - from here to eternity
Circus - dirty love
omar s
fred brown - roman days
liasons dangerous - peut etre... pas
1000 Ohm - love in motion
Connie - experience
yaz - bring your love down
whispers - rock steady
Til Tuesday - voices carry
Cruisin Gang - tap dancing
kompleksi - i ain't no love child
perverse teens - la baboute
OMD - messages
Sphinx - when i'm in love
marrs - anitina
m. pittman
herb alpert - rise
Blowfly - too fat to fuck
kevin harrison
frederich schikowski
kompleksi - moscow 1980
world class wrecking crew - turn off the lights

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