Saturday, May 18, 2013

Enjoy The Experience

Welcome to a world of neglected musical misfits and bargain bin freaks; the LSD soaked lounge crooner, the astral trippin’ cowboy, the electronic porno balladeer, the psychedelic disco queen, the yodelling yoga teacher and the queer cult leader ......

For the last couple of weeks I've been leafing through an oddly enjoyable book called “Enjoy The Experience” by Johan Kugelberg. It's probably the most definitive handbook of 'odd' I've read. The book collects the lost fragments and faded dreams of a thousand or so obscure musicians who, despite having no record deal, released their own unique and occasionally brilliant recordings on an unsuspecting and largely indifferent world. It’s a fascinating story, populated by ordinary people with strange dreams and like the most interesting outsider art, the very best of these private press records have a raw immediacy and visionary power seldom heard (or seen for that matter) in the mainstream. If you're looking for a bumper book of weird and ‘out there’ graphic strangeness, this is the book for you. Unmediated by graphic design convention or artifice, many of the record covers function as highly illogical, off-kilter archetypes or pictorial missives of zoned-out eccentricity which perfectly mirror the highly personal and curious music contained within their respective custom made grooves. A plethora of weird gear idiosyncrasies elevate several of the designs beyond the mundane and into the sublime creating a ‘higher key’ vernacular graphic art of blurred amateur photography, awkward layouts, visionary typography and peaked ‘stare at the sun’ high school illustration.

Weird gear all round.

If you’re a seeker of eccentric vibrations from the late 1960s and 1970s this book is pretty much essential. Seek out.

“Enjoy the Experience” by Johan Kugelberg is published by Sinecure Books.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Iran:RPM Soundtrack Design From A Pre-revolutionary Iran

Here's a selection of images from a wonderful book I picked up recently which documents the design of Iranian soundtracks records prior to the 1979 revolution entitled Iran:RPM. What's particularly striking about the book, is that it reveals an emerging popular culture in which traditional and modern values have collided into vibrant and unique forms of expression. Many of these 'graphical' hybrids succinctly illustrate the sheer unexpected range of conflicting cultural ideologies which were present within pre-revolutionary Iran; with lurid sexploitation, cop show theatrics, feminist politics, existential protest song and Persian epics sitting uneasily together to form a most curious and rewarding trip into the hidden cultural history of a pre-revolutionary Iran.

Iran:RPM is published by Magic of Persia with the sponsorship of Salsali Private Museum and Avantgardeglobal.

Saturday, May 04, 2013


A superb weird gear experimental film from 1967 which I discovered via John Coulthartt's often inspired weekend links. Retina gloopage of the highest order. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Up Mix

For those that like their music 'Up', here's another finely curated mix of Italian film, radio and television music from the 1960's and 1970's by Dee [formerly David] Thrussell [head curator of the rather  fine Omni Recording Corporation and front person of Oz 'kinky electronic pop' combo Snog]. Peek here for the companion mix 'Down'.

Up Mix

1. Eco Spaziale #2 - Pietro Grossi
2. La Via Della Droga (seq. 7) - Goblin
3. Stridulum (titoli) - Franco Micalizzi
4. Pronti Per L'Agguato (versione 2) - Franco Micalizzi
5. Vocalisation - Alessandro Alessandroni
6. Spiagge Azzurre - Alessandro Alessandroni
7. Il Colore Degli Angeli - Berto Pisano
8. Playgirl '70 (party music 1) - Piero Piccioni
9. Casanova '70 (finale) - Armando Trovaioli
10. Cavallina a Cavallo - Ennio Morricone
11. Gli Angeli Del 2000 - Mario Molino
12. Preludietto - Alessandro Alessandroni
13. La Guerre Est Finie - Giovanni Fusco
14. I Sovversivi (titoli) - Giovanni Fusco
15. Un Tranquilo Di Campagna (#2) - Ennio Morricone
16. Dedicato Al Mare Egeo - Ennio Morricone
17. Hiasmina - Berto Pisano & Jacques Chaumont
18. Oh My Love - Riz Ortolani (featuring Katyna Ranieri)
19. Stacchi Polizieschi #1 - Pietro Grossi