'History erupts in sometimes disturbing ways in the palimpsest that is present-day Berlin. You can’t just focus on one time period when you visit the city. Today’s Berlin opens up within a hall of mirrors that reflects and refracts all those other Berlins. To speak about the Berlin of the past 26 years requires the vocabulary of the Cold War. You find that this discourse still operates within the semiotics of the murderous Third Reich, utilising the grammar of the First World War as inflected in the vernacular of Expressionism. Prussian imperialism provides the city’s basic syntax. One nonetheless must be fluent in history, then, before attempting to read Berlin.' - Frank Garrett
From 2008 -Paper presented at Uncanny Media, Utrecht, Netherlands.
'David Bowie's now-defunct rock-opera trilogy's first instalment 1. Outside is filled with uncanny mediations of rock music's chameleon. The inner sleeve booklet is titled The Diary of Nathan Adler, or the Ritual Art-Murder of Baby Grace Blue: A non-linear Gothic Drama Hyper-Cycle. Behind this long-winded title, is the story of a murder, narrated by several characters through both text, music and images.
Bowie, however, is the narrator of all these different voices, using technology to distort his voice into these different characters as separate entities. His voice and presence haunts the entire album in uncanny forms, just as all images in the booklet are distorted images of Bowie himself, made into uncanny doubles. The story begins with the murder of Baby Grace Blue, who is enacted by Bowie himself. Symbolically, Bowie is murdered by himself, while Baby Grace haunts the entire album's Gothic and labyrinthine structure.' - Steen Christiansen
In The Pogles, Mr and Mrs Pogle were a homely couple living quietly in a tree root until the day Mr Pogle found a magic bean which, when planted, became a huge talking plant fond of bilberry wine. When the baby son of the Fairy King appeared in the branches of the plant it was up to the Pogles to protect him from a beak-nosed old witch.
"The first Pogles was a single one I made intending to do a series, but, quite rightly, the BBC said it was too frightening cos the witch was a proper witch, and they said witches are alright in fairyland and places like that, but not in the back garden" — Oliver Postgate
'Hauntology is, simply put, “the past inside the present”. The aesthetic movement involved retro-worshipping pastiche, nostalgia, memory, and childhood dreamstates, in one confusing kaleidoscopic tilt-o-whirl. Ghost Box’s creators goal, with the label, was to reference a very particular period of British culture, from roughly 1960 to 1970. Jim Jupp & Julian House were calling upon a kind of folk memory of a particular age bracket of Britons, creating a mythical town square where likeminded freakniks could gather on gush over title sequences and vintage gear.
Hauntology perhaps raised more ire than any other internet-fueled genre, with many journalists finding it pretentious, with its Marxist underpinnings and Critical Theory lexicon. Perhaps even worse, some find hauntology to be “nostalgic”, examples of a decadent society. There’s nothing left to do, man, nothing left to say. Nothing can be seen that isn’t shown.
It is, perhaps, to Ghost Box’s credit, and telling of the state of our current that Ghost Box are here to herald their 10th anniversary (in typical atemporal fashion, in their 11th year). Because Ghost Box had their finger on the trigger of a number of societal ailments, and possible cures – most notably, the death of the music industry and of creativity.
Because, you see, hauntology references the past inside the present. It references the media we see and watch and share and remember, and re-creates those sensations in uncanny new shapes. It’s a bricolage from the yellowed shards of yesterday, spun into funky tinsels of tinny beats and far-out organs, modern day head records, for heads and by heads.' - forestpunk
'Often referred to as a modernday Factory Records, Jim Jupp and Julian House’s retro-referencing, forward-looking Sussex-based label, celebrates its 10th anniversary – and they’ve given us a rare interview.' - CARL GRIFFIN
'In 1920s Hamburg, a dancer couple created wild, Expressionist costumes that looked like retro robots and Bauhaus knights. The dancers were Lavinia Schulz and Walter Holdt, and through the new Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) online collection, their tragic, forgotten story can be rediscovered.' - Allison Meier
From 2012 'Gothic Music traces the sound of the Gothic from the eerie echoing footsteps that haunt gothic novels to the dark soundscapes that give contemporary goth nightclubs their dark atmosphere. This broad perspective enables Isabella van Elferen to widen the scope of gothic music—which includes bands such as Christian Death, Bauhaus, The Damned, and The Sisters of Mercy—from its roots in the contemporary goth subculture to manifestations in mainstream literature, film, television, and video games, while also offering a musical and theoretical definition of gothic music that is lacking in current scholarship. Bringing together versions of the Gothic in all media, van Elferen connects those to the subculture—a historical and theoretical connection that has not been made previously in gothicist or goth scholarship. Whether giving voice to the spectral beings of early cinema, announcing virtual terrors in video games, or intensifying goth’s nocturnal rituals, gothic music truly represents the sounds of the uncanny.' - University of Wales Press
A Hitchcock mashup where Kubrick is the villain. "Jimmy was having a rather beautiful day until he bumped into Jack and things got weird." Directed by: Adrien Dezalay, Emmanuel Delabaere, Simon Philippe.
In Time Machine [Roger Doyle] brings us his most personal record to date. The album centers on a series of answering machine messages of Doyle’s family, close friends, colleagues and lovers, all of them recorded in and preserved from the late 1980’s.
This haunting spectral and deeply emotional meditation on the passing and creating of life is both nostalgic and powerfully of the moment. Faithful companions and family members have tragically died, children have grown to adults and new life has been born. Time Machine intermingles sadness, melancholy, joy and triumph in a manner that makes this one of the most poignant releases of 2015. - Heresy Records
Later incidents are chaotic. As I stared at the uncannily lighted door and windows, I became subject to the most extravagant visions - visions so extravagant that I cannot even relate them. I fancied that I discerned objects in the temple; objects both stationary and moving; and seemed to hear again the unreal chant that had floated to me when first I awaked. And over all rose thoughts and fears which centered in the youth from the sea and the ivory image whose carving was duplicated on the frieze and columns of the temple before me."
"Newcastle’s hauntological master of drones" - The Quietus
HP Lovecraft inspired Post-Rave Hauntology Rituals and Radiophonic Occult Synth Horror Soundtracks, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
All digital noise intended.
Thank you for listening.
Produced & Mastered September 2015, North East Weird Noises.
'Ghost Box have taken advantage of building upon the natural and startlingly iniquitous pathways often furrowed for family television and education from this period. This was the era of ultra-violent public information films, of educational Radiophonic records with morbid, bleak poetry, and constant spurts of horror in television such asDoctor Who (1963-1989), Children Of The Stones (1977), The Tomorrow People (1973), and The Owl Service (1969). The populism of magic(k) and esoterica seems, in hindsight, to have found its way into almost every possible form, from boxes of Sainsbury’s Corn Flakes resembling Summerisle suns to Play School presenters releasing pagan folk records.' - Paul Higham
Steven Shaviro's review of Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams)
'The greatest strength of Inventing the Future, to my mind, is that it does indeed turn our attention towards the future, instead of the past. A big problem for the left today is that we have too long been stuck in the backward-looking, defensive project of trying to rescue whatever might be left of the mid-twentieth-century welfare state. While it is perfectly reasonable to lament our loss of the safety net that was provided by mid-twentieth-century social democracy, the restoration of those benefits is not enough to fuel a radical economic and political program. Looking nostalgically towards the past is far too deeply ingrained in our habits of thought. We need to reclaim our sense of the future from Silicon Valley and Hollywood. As Srnicek and Williams put it at the very end of their book,
"Rather than settling for marginal improvements in battery life and computing power, the left should mobilise dreams of decarbonising the economy, space travel, robot economies – all the traditional touchstones of science fiction – in order to prepare for a day beyond capitalism."
Post-capitalism (or better, communism – to use another word that is absent from this book) today has only a science fictional status. It’s a hidden potentiality that somehow still manages – just barely – to haunt the neoliberal endless present. Our rulers have been unable to exorcise this potential completely; but thus far we have been equally unable to endow it with any sort of substantiality or persistence. Inventing the Future looks beyond this impasse, to extrapolate (as all good science fiction does) a future that might actually be livable. This is its virtue and its importance.' - Steven Shaviro
'Stone Tape neophyte John Doran reviews the brand new Peter Strickland BBC Radio 4 radio drama adaptation (at a play back in the freezing cold, pitch black crypt of a London church), while old hand Richard Augood heaps praise on the original blood-curdling TV play. *CONTAINS SPOILERS*'
'Annebella Pollen’s The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift is a revelation. This scholarly book explores England’s most fascinating and forgotten youth movement. Through a detailed examination of the highways and byways of esoteric thought and alternative politics in the early 20th century, as well as plentiful photographs (many taken by a young Angus McBean, an active kinsman in the late 1920s), it reconstructs a radical moment lost to history, a future that never happened.
Formed by John Hargrave in 1920, the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift were an extraordinary mixture of the archaic and the hypermodern. A back-to-the-land movement that used the techniques of contemporary advertising, it offered a holistic, dazzling vision. As Hargrave wrote in 1924: “The method of the Kibbo Kift is based upon a direct appeal to the senses by means of colour, shape, sound and movement, that is, by every form of symbolism.' - Jon Savage
'To mark the arrival of Samhain, Newcastle-based hauntology/drone master craftsman Joseph Curwen has put together a special hour of HP Lovecraft-inspired music. It was broadcast on Spool’s Out Radio, tQ contributor Tristan Bath’s weekly radio show focusing on music released on cassette tape on London’s Resonance FM.
The piece, comprising a single 60-minute composition and built upon a reading of HP Lovecraft’s 1924 short story The Rats in the Walls, is a sickening hypnotic mix of beats, haunting synths and distorted voices, perfect for costume parties and ritual sacrifice. Joseph Curwen’s Shunned House tape previously featured in tQ’s list of Albums of the Year 2014, and he has recently supported the likes of Sly & the Family Drone live in concert. The Rats in the Walls will receive a physical release at some point in the future.' - The Quietus
'The evidence of death and dying has been removed from the everyday lives of most Westerners. Yet we constantly live with the awareness of our vulnerability as mortals. Drawing on a range of genres, bands and artists, Mortality and Music examines the ways in which popular music has responded to our awareness of the inevitability of death and the anxiety it can evoke. Exploring bereavement, depression, suicide, violence, gore, and fans' responses to the deaths of musicians, it argues for the social and cultural significance of popular music's treatment of mortality and the apparent absurdity of existence.' - Bloomsbury
'Peter Strickland is directing an audio version of cult 70s horror The Stone Tape with Romola Garai, Julian Barratt and Jane Asher, while Eve Myles and Naoko Mori star in a new radio adaptation of Koji Suzuki’s Ring' on 31st October 2015
Gorgeous wintry electronics. A Rest Before the Walk blends the radiophonic atmosphere of bygone TV horrors with an icy, digital folk sensibility. The fourth self-released album from pscycho geographical electronics investigator Keith Seatman.
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