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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.