Saturday, June 25, 2011

Normal Transmission Will Resume Shortly

A Sound Awareness will be taking a short break for the next few weeks in order to scour Turkey for obscure Anatolian vinyl but rest assured there's more interesting bits and pieces coming up soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

R H Quaytman

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Radioolio Mix

A Sound Awareness is delighted to present an exclusive mix of avant oddness expertly curated by Radioolio. Tracklist in comments.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Once Around The Sun

Here’s another wonderful cultural artefact I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. ‘Once Around The Sun’ is a strange and visionary soundtrack to a forgotten Australian post Woodstock counter culture film. Filmed by sculptor and experimental filmmaker Gordon Mutch, a well known figure in the late sixties Sydney underground,the film set out to document the Australian freakout fraternities first foray into mass open-air festival. As far as I know, the film never made it off the cutting room floor which is a shame as the resultant soundtrack by John Sangster is masterpiece of beautifully restrained pastoral instrumentation and deep, dark, passages of hallucinatory orchestration. This is no cheap soundtrack of low budget psych exploitation but a fully formed cosmic suite of ambitious proportions. Cosmic tones of avant free form improvisation,jazz noir and interstellar big band swing collide. Imagine Stockhausen conducting the Arkestra and your halfway there. At times, the music is strangely propulsive, as strolling basslines percolate up through the deliriously shimmering dissonance and reverb saturated discordance. There are also oddly expansive, staring at the sun moments of peaked outsiderness as home made percussion, tabla, electronics and sitar echo and reverberate in the noon day breeze. Another fine archaeological resurrection by the stellar Australian label Roundtable.

Doo & A Dihash

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines

I’ve been meaning to write something on this wonderful book for a while. Falling somewhere between dusty nostalgia and future world innovation, this book documents the explosion of self published architectural magazines of the early 1960s through to the late 1970’s.

Despite the modesty of their production, many of these ‘little’ magazines punch well above their weight in terms of documenting the socio – political revolution of this period. Before social networking, independent architectural periodicals functioned as radical manifestoes for a new way of living and these small press periodicals were produced to disseminate a startling wide range of experimental theory and practice. Rescued from the dusty shelves of architectural libraries, these missives from another time capture and expose the paradigmatic rifts within the period they were produced, as the optimistic hippie idealism embedded within the Age of Aquarius becomes tempered by the cultural fallout of the late 1960s. The book is beautifully researched throughout and gathers together around seventy small publications as well as extensive interviews and facsimile reprints. Being an architectural non practitioner, what particularly caught my eye was the rather unusual, homespun quality of the design and layout of these publications. Many have a hand crafted, low budget, almost proto punk feel and reading through them feels like sifting through a folk archive of lost and arcane architectural protest. As the book evolves, modernist values tune in and drop out and any blueprint of a unified architectural model lies burning in the streets. Perhaps more importantly, this book serves as a timely reminder that despite our unprecedented access to information we have perhaps lost some of the intense political engagement with the world which was present when these periodicals were produced. Food for thought.

Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines by Beatriz Colomina and Craig Buckley is out now, published by Actar.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The MMs Bar Recording

Having just completed the production of a spoken word recording of my very own, my curiosity was much piqued by this rather strange and everyday oddity coming your way via Trunk Records. It also presented me with the slightest of excuses to post this rather attractive and inspired  logo by Gerald Burney of Design Research Unit

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Graphic Work Of Destroy All Monsters

Formed at a house party in 1973 and playing their first gig at a comic book convention (where they were asked to leave after ten minutes), Destroy All Monsters [DAM] were a multi disciplinary art collective from the Ann Arbor area of Detroit. Comprising of artists, Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Niagara and film maker Cary Loren they were responsible for the proliferation of a vast array of acid soaked visionary art across a wide range of media including paintings, prints, sculpture, film, performance art and of course music. Influenced equally by the avant garde and Sci-Fi B-movies their work oscillates somewhere between the sublime and the ridiculous.

This book gathers together all six issues of Destroy All Monsters Magazine, a self published art ‘zine which was originally published between 1973 – 1979.

To the contemporary eye, many of the images in this book form a strange and disorientating synthesis of proto punk aggression, hippie mysticism and Warholian canniness. Despite much of the work being over thirty years old, much of it still feels contemporaneous and would not seem out of place in the shelves of your local purveyor of retina candy. Visually, the book combines a visceral punk cut & paste aesthetic with stoner chutzpah to create a rather oddly formed mixture of Looneyville high art. Imagine an ecstatic wunderkabinett of discarded visual ephemera recombined into an oozing mass of Day-Glo psychedelic visual gloopage and your halfway there. Densely layered collages compound consumer culture kitsch with aggressive counter culture subversion resulting is an explosion of hallucinatory misprint and sensorial overload. This book is a joyful graphic noise and very much worth your attention.

A facsimile reprint of the Destroy All Monsters Magazine 1976-1979 is out now published by Primary Information.