Friday, October 29, 2021

Hardcore Contiuum (sic that is)


how or why, i know not

but i reposted it with corrected spelling

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Dune dance

 Watched Dune .... what a lot of cobblers.  Was there a single cliche of the genre that they shirked and shied from? 

Let us count the seen-before / heard-before a hundred times... 

Vast, majestic yet forbiddingly austere interiors, shrouded in shadow (hmmm they’ve colonized the galaxy but can’t afford some extra 140 watt bulbs?!). 

Haute couture-like, sculpted and dimensional garments, in sombre hues of black and grey, exquisitely tailored (how about a bit of hot pink for variety's sake, or some fluorescent multi-colored futuristic fabric of the far future?). 

Portentous drum-clattery music, swoops of lustrously dark abstract sound-texture, not unlike a poncified high-def version of Mover-style gloomcore at times... i.e. the usual Zimmerbombast. 

Faintly fascistic massing of troops, serried and regimented formations, huge chants of soldierly loyalty rising up with a vaguely Zulu-like quality... 

A priestly caste that gives off an eerie aura of gnosis. 

LOTR-style, much intense holding of the mutual gaze, shining eyes, plighting of troth, words of honor and glory, destiny and dynasty... 

A prince reunited with his older mentor, who schooled and schools him still in the manly arts of hand-to-hand combat. 

Still fighting with swords for some reason…

Despite being a s.f. nut in my teens, I never read the book.  I was put off by the cover I think - and never liked those sort of quasi-Medieval space sagas, galactic empires struggling for dominance, confederations of alien races etc. In fact vastly prefer s.f. that is terrestial and near-future (10 to 200 years ahead, that sort of range).  Never seen more than 20 minutes here and there of the Lynch Dune when it's been shown on TV. The book does sound vastly more interesting and potentially impressive, from what I've read about it online, than either of the two filmic versions (although this current one does seem to be immaculately executed, albeit within its utterly cliched and played-out terms). 

(And maybe Dune invented those cliches? But that doesn't really help the current viewer, can't be made allowance for).

Just about the only value I gleaned from watching it was realising that not one but two Eon songs derive their soundbite and title from (I assume) the Lynch Dune... 

The phrase "fear - the mindkiller" cropped up twice in the movie, in fact. But I don't recall "the spice must flow" coming up. But then again, I did actually fall asleep towards the final stretch. 

postscript: good to see that Gio Makyo has similar feelings, and even more informed ones having once dug the book:

-Lawrence of Arabia in space. Colonialist fantasy of a white savior coming to lead the brown people to freedom. 

-Yet another sci-fi film that is heavily stuck on Judeo Christian ideas of a “chosen one” Messiah, which I am so over at this point. 

-Ditto for any paranormal mental powers like “the force“. 

-Evil bad empire like that’s totally new… (Starship Troopers remains the only Hollywood film to suggest that maybe we are the big bad empire and not the rebels) 

-Stupid character name of the year: Duncan Idaho. (And I thought Philip K Dick was bad at coming up with character names!) 

-Typical fascination with militaristic iconography. 

-Dialogue mixed really low so they have the headroom to clobber you with the Zimmernator and the special effects sounds.

Another thing that’s really getting overdone is the use of digital filters to give a color tint to almost every scene now. Each location has to be differentiated by Ia pervasive color... gray, green, yellow, whatever. Steven Soderbergh‘s Traffic was really the first to do this Way back when with the saturated dusty yellow Mexico... it definitely has its usage, but it’s just knee-jerk almost every single freaking scene now.

About the Zimmerbombast, Makyo comments:

"So much of the Zimmer score just seems to be multi-synth versions of risers and impacts".

I don't know what that means exactly but it sounds authoritatively dismissive!

Makyo's final observation is telling: 

"Given that the whole allure of science fiction is that we can create entirely new worlds and situations beyond our imagination, why is it that we keep ending up in the same f—king scenario over and over? This wants to position itself between Star Wars and Game of Thrones so badly it hurts"

Indeed, indeed... 

We travel into the far future or the remote reaches of the galaxy - and find only our own past, the same old-old saga narratives, talk of destiny and dynasty...


Friday, October 22, 2021

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Coventry rave exhibition

press release: 

Adi Dowling’s Daylight Robbery Presents: House Is A Feeling

Before, during & after the arrival of house music & ecstasy in Coventry Today, 12 October 2021 Coventry City of Culture Trust announces House is a Feeling, an immersive multi-media exhibition exploring Coventry and the motor city’s very own ‘Motown Story’ in electronic music. The exhibition will be take place in a secret location from November 11th – 28th 2021.

House is a Feeling is a chronological exploration of a music and cultural-revolution in Coventry from 1985 to 1993. This multi-sensory exhibition gives insight into a city before, during and after the arrival of house music and ecstasy and of those involved.

The exhibition explores the impact and legacy of electronic dance music and emerging youth cultures at a time of heightened social injustice, racism and violence, culminating in a musical and social revolution that put Coventry on the map.

The city was one of the epicentres of a new youth cultural expression in the UK and witnessed the birth of its first legal events orchestrated by Amnesia House and The Eclipse Nightclub, the first sanctioned all-night 24 hour club in the UK.

Presented through a series of corridors and curated themed rooms, the exhibition includes transformational theatre; audio documentaries; artist moving image and laser projections. With uncensored accounts tracking the journey of Coventry’s place as the pioneer of this global movement and multi billion pound industry, creating a blue print that was copied world-wide.

The work includes contemporary visual interpretations of the underground drug culture and captures significant historical moments covering themes of racism and city centre violence featuring local people telling untold stories of their experience.

Chenine Bhathena says:

“This exhibition documents one of the last youth and cultural movements of the 20th Century in the UK. The city was at the epicentre of electronic dance music and rave culture at this time. It was a time in hedonistic time in history when the younger generation were fully immersed in the moment, no mobile phones or selfies. It was just pure love for the beat. There was a sense of freedom and spirit amongst that generation that won’t be seen again. The exhibition will give the public a chance to see Coventry’s musical and social-revolution of the late 1980s and 90s.”

Adi Dowling says:

“This is a historical documentation of one of the most important cultural movements of the 20th century and maps the journey of a youth revolution that took over the world. The amazing thing was this was brought together by black, brown and white street kids who had nothing but each other”

House is a Feeling was commissioned by Coventry City of Culture Trust.

The exhibition is funded by Arts Council England and Coventry City of Culture Trust.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Hardcore Continuum Exhibition

Catch is, you have to go to the Nuum's own Ibiza to see it

From the Cyprus Mail, Eleni Philippou reports

"A two-week exhibition comprising of a time-based performance and installation by Emiddio Vasquez is coming to Limassol’s The Island Club and will present a sonic and conceptual experience.

"Hardcore Continuum’s point of departure is a recorded factual encounter between grime music producer Skepta, his young Cypriot cellmate George and a policeman at the Ayia Napa police station. During the conversation, George is asked to say something into a snuck-in voice recorder for Skepta’s future album release, to which he replies “I don’t understand”. This recording made it into the track, Ayia Napa Skit, which was released on Skepta’s debut album, Greatest Hits, in 2006.

"In the first week of Hardcore Continuum Vasquez will speculate on George’s position and train himself on producing UK garage and grime music. Streams and references from music production and pirate radio subcultures, as well as the UK rave culture, will unravel and connect during the week. The performance will be documented on tapes and parts of it will be live-streamed from The Island Club’s Instagram account.

"In its second week, the exhibition will carry on without Vasquez’s presence, transitioning into an installation with the material and sonic leftovers from the artist’s performance. The show will conclude with an event featuring Vasquez’s DJ partner Veronica Georgiou taking place at The Island Club on Saturday, November 6.

"The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Simon Reynolds, who employs the term ‘hardcore continuum’ to delineate what he takes to be the continuous development of UK dance music genres – hardcore, jungle, UK garage and grime – in the 1990s and 2000s. UK garage, in particular, reached its apex in, and due to, the exoticised and mythologised environment of Ayia Napa, but the latter also served as a turning point in the genre’s darker and grimier developments.

"Hardcore Continuum reflects on that turning point by directing the academic term towards the history of radio in Cyprus. In the 1950s, radio transmitted by foreign political actors in Cyprus helped shape ideologies in the Middle East and North Africa, arguably leading to the Suez crisis and complexifying the island’s role in the Levant. Today, radio transmission in Cyprus is closely associated with the ongoing presence of foreign military infrastructures.

"Through a series of sonic and conceptual deconstructions of radio (featuring bat recordings, online videos, ELF radio recordings from Lady’s Mile and Troodos and field recordings from the empty alleys of Ayia Napa in the 2020 summer lockdown), the exhibition tests the notion of a historical ‘continuum’ against the continuously permeative material properties of radio – properties also expressed by the forces of capital, extractivism, and colonialism.

"Exhibition-installation by Emiddio Vasquez. October 23-November 6. The Island Club, Limassol. Opening hours: October23 – 29: 12pm–8pm, October 30 and November 1 – 5: 12pm-6pm, November 6: 12pm-9pm. Tel: 25-252010"