Jay DJ Heroin(e) Linden Blair
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Ratatat, Past and Future

Ratatat - Shiller artworkIt seems Ratatat are get­ting ready to fol­low up their 2006 sopho­more release Clas­sics, which I thought was leaps and bounds above their debut self-titled, and cer­tain­ly one of my favorites from that year, if not this decade. Two weeks ago they released the sin­gle Shiller, whose A-side you can lis­ten to here. Both tracks are creepy and less beat-dri­ven than their recent stuff, for sure, and I’m glad to see them reach­ing again this time around. “Shiller” will be fea­tured on their forth­com­ing LP, LP3, which Evan Mast describes as being “wild­ly dif­fer­ent than any­thing we’ve done” as well as “by far the best album we’ve ever made,” in this inter­view with Audio­junkies. Hey that sounds promis­ing doesn’t it.

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Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

Ira Cohen’s Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda

maya wakes to pigeonsSome would say that the spir­it of the psy­che­del­ic 60’s is dead. Per­haps, but there will always be this ves­sel for it to live on. For those unaware, Inva­sion of Thun­der­bolt Pago­da has once again been re-released, this time by Arthur Magazine’s DVD imprint, Sat­ur­na­lia. Inva­sion of Thun­der­bolt Pago­da is Ira Cohen’s 1968 Mylar Mas­ter­piece, and is hailed as the only true psy­che­del­ic film. About a month back I was lucky enough to attend the DVD release par­ty for this film, and see Mr. Cohen do a read­ing of some of his poet­ry, as well as the band Brain Dam­age play a live score to a piece one of the mem­bers had done using for­got­ten mylar film from Cohen’s archives. To top it off, Sun­burned Hand of the Man played live over the film, doing their ver­sion of the sound­track.

This film stands the test of the time like no oth­er, sim­ply because there will nev­er be a sin­gle thing like it. Pos­si­bly the most inter­est­ing part is the soundtrack(s), as there is no actu­al dia­logue and the way in which they com­pli­ment the film is stun­ning. This par­tic­u­lar release of the film comes with 3 sound­tracks. The orig­i­nal Angus MacLise score, joy­ous lake, one by Acid Moth­ers Tem­ple and anoth­er by Sun­burned Hand of the Man. It also includes the extras done by Brain Dam­age. Although at 30$ it is some­what pricey, it’s an absolute neces­si­ty for all lovers of psy­che­del­ic art and expres­sion. You can pur­chase it from the Arthur mag­a­zine web­site.

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

Gem of the Past

There are some musi­cians who seem to inten­tion­al­ly stay obscure, only want­i­ng their music to be heard by those who try very hard to find it. Vir­ginia Ast­ley cer­tain­ly is one of these. Mak­ing music from 1983–96, her albums were almost all sold in Japan on very lim­it­ed vinyl edi­tions. Now it’s almost impos­si­ble to find any of her music, and I doubt that she has any objec­tion to peo­ple down­load­ing it since almost every­thing she’s done is out of print or impos­si­ble to find with­out pay­ing crazy prices or get­ting incred­i­bly lucky in a record store.

I first heard Ast­ley on a mix a friend gave me, and from that one track I was imme­di­ate­ly entranced. Ast­ley makes music that feels like a gar­den on a warm spring day, with beau­ti­ful, min­i­mal instru­men­ta­tion and lush melodies. It awakes a range of emo­tions, from joy to some­thing so beau­ti­ful it’s sad. I only have her debut, From Gar­dens Where We Feel Secure, but appar­ent­ly her lat­er stuff is some­what more syn­the­sized and employs vocal which can be very dark. The debut is instru­men­tal and sooth­ing, and real­ly incred­i­ble to lis­ten to. If you can find it online it’s a must down­load. But for now here a few tracks off that debut… if you have any­thing else by her PLEASE con­tact me.