Sunday, September 7, 2014

The For Carnations ::: Promised Works

Originally released by Matador as "Marshmallows" and "Fight Songs", these long out of print recordings are repackaged and renamed. Conceived in the early 90s, The For Carnation was the vanity project of Brian McMahan (Slint vocalist) and it conducted a number of earnest experiments with ultra-music, as the recordings contain here demonstrate. The results are curious and quietly compelling. Over the course of three releases, McMahan garnered contributions from David Pajo (Slint), Doug McCombs and John Herndon (Tortoise), Tim Ruth (Evergreen), and brother Michael McMahan (Dead Child), among others.

1- Grace Beneath The Pines
2- How I Beat The Devil
3- Get And Stay Get March
4- On The Swing
5- I wear the Gold
6-  Lmyr, Marshmallow
7- Winter Lair
8- Salo
9- Preparing To Receive You



Low ::: I Could Live in Hope

Legendary American slowcore act Low formed in Minnesota in 1993. Their debut, 'I could live in hope' marks the beginning of a wonderful journey of one of the greatest american bands in recent times.  Good with: wines, pills, depression, suicide, oncoming winter weather, lying down and staring at the ceiling. Understated, gentle and devastating beauty.

1- Words
2-  Fear
3- Cut
4- Slide
5- Lazy
6- Lullaby
7- Sea
8- Down
9- Drag
10- Rope
11- Sunshine



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Biosphere ::: Cirque

'Cirque' was originally released by Touch seven years ago in 2000, and they have finally seen fit to re-issue the record so those of us who missed it first time around can hear what all the fuss was about. Interestingly too, it hasn't dated much at all - of course there are things where you have to think about the context of the time, but Jenssen's expert blend of minimal dub-leaning techno and gorgeous ambience is masterful and hugely enjoyable. This is where he really began to experiment beat structures and the framework of 'dance' music, yet he submerged the rhythmic elements so far beneath his expertly crafted drones and field recordings that it's difficult to place this in the same genre as more dancefloor oriented work. Take the Basic Channel influenced 'When I Leave'; vinyl crackle and dissonant pads float around gloriously before being punctured by a pulsating bassline and then a simple, minimal 4/4 thud to bring the track together perfectly. Elsewhere 'Iberia Eterea' takes a jazzy hi-hat rhythm and pushes it through a haze of lo-fidelity noise and buzzing synthesizer drones giving it the quality of an ancient movie seen through the eyes of David Lynch. It's easy to see on this album where acts such as Deaf Center managed to mine so much inspiration - Geir Jenssen's work has served to influence so much modern electronic music that it is almost crucial to re-visit everything the man has to offer. A gorgeous record.

01. Nook & Cranny 4:03 
02. Le Grand Dome 5:36 
03. Grandiflora 0:48 
04. Black Lamb & Grey Falcon 5:08 
05. Miniature Rock Dwellers 1:04 
06. When I leave 5:55 
07. Iberia Eterea 6:38 
08. Moistened & Dried 2:25 
09. Algae & Fungi Part I 5:43 
10. Algae & Fungi Part II 5:18 
11. Too Fragile to Walk On 4:52


Biosphere ::: Substrata

Substrata by Biosphere is one of the all-time classic ambient albums, if not THE all-time classic album. Chilling atmospheric tones with ambient samples of ice, snow, forests, Twin Peaks-samples and Russian radio broadcasts… Substrata is difficult to describe in words alone. This is one album that every ambient fan needs to hear, if not own. For my own part the album is never far from my stereo. From the initial drone of an aircraft high overhead to the rambling monologues of later tracks every minute sends a chill down your spine. 
Biosphere’s work is often described as “dark ambient” but to me this sounds too negative as every piece of music Geir Jenssen composed expresses so much different feelings and his albums are not simply a couple of “drones” thrown together. Neither is Substrata.   Substrata is inhabited by the vast spaces spreading across the artic region, endless nights and midnight sun, sub-zero temperatures and northern lights.

Substrata isn't a formless piece of sound; each section, or chapter, has a definite core structure that the listener can dwell on for the duration. Tracks like Kobresia, Times When I Know You'll Be Sad, and Chukhung have a clearly defined structure that relies on a single melody to progress its way through the track. It is a careful contemplation on the power of repetition of a single idea. The second a motif or idea is finished you find yourself wanting to hear that sound again, and again, and again. That subtlety is really the true power that lies beneath Substrata. Nothing about it grabs your attention violently but rather seeps into your mind over time, slowly growing and growing until you can no longer ignore it. Again, like forgotten and ignored environment, you being to learn each and every curve of the sounds and the shapes. It is the hidden beauty that makes affection all the more exciting, and always keeps you coming back for more.

01. As the Sun Kissed the Horizon 1:47 
02. Poa Alpina 4:11 
03. Chukhung 7:35 
04. The Things I Tell You 6:28 
05. Times When I Know You'll Be Sad 3:44 
06. Hyperborea 5:46 
07. Kobresia 7:13 
08. Antennaria 5:05 
09. Uva-Ursi 3:00 
10. Sphere of No-Form 5:48 
11. Silene 7:54

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Subliminale ::: In(tro)duxio

This is why I post.  This is the kind of recording that makes all the hard work search and uploading absolutely worthwhile.  This is the kind of recording that just begs to be shared, that begs to survive the dark hole of audio forgetfulness.  Subliminale was a project involving members of T.O.P.Y. TV and so of course it comes very highly recommended.

01- Untitled


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Apocalypse Culture by Adam Parfrey (mobi & epub)

*New Link*

Since his influential collection Apocalypse Culture was first released in 1987, the award-winning writer Adam Parfrey has been credited with discovering and revealing the inner workings of cults and unusual pop culture histories. With "Love, Sex, Fear, Death," Parfrey has captured the cooperation of primary players in the most secretive and talked about cult of our time.

"Apocalypse Culture is compulsory reading for all those concerned with the crisis of our times. An extraordinary collection unlike anything I have ever encountered. These are the terminal documents of the twentieth century."—J.G. Ballard

For years I've been a little leery of this book. First published in 1987, this anthology of doomster essays has become a fixture on the bookshelves of every Tom, Pierced Dick, and Harry. After finally reading it, I have to admit that my prejudice against those who think that being cool means reading lots of ReSearch magazines kept me away from what is actually a fascinating volume, wherein the most absurd, inexcusable positions are defended with calm intelligence and witty rationality. With essays ranging from the sexual liberation of necrophiliacs to strong cases against art and agriculture, editor Adam Parfrey's collection is one that Tristan Tzara would enjoy, if he were to rise from his mouldy grave in search of good bathroom reading.

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Manhood of Humanity by Alfred Korzybski

In "Manhood Of Humanity" a vision of our future begins, fired in the trenches of World War I. Here in print Korzybski begins the task of solving the problems of the world, each page radiating optimistic humanity.

The problem comes down to whether human 'nature' can change, involving an accepted definition that 'man is an animal'. Indeed our political-social institutions, etc., operate with an animalistic, ruthless tooth-and-claw "survival of the fittest" as the 'strongest'. Despite that Charles Darwin(1859) in his "survival of the fittest" meant a survival of the best adapted, not 'strongest'. Therefore Korzybski decided that a functional re-definition became necessary, in order to better differentiate the evolutionary development. Where plants have an equivalence to Chemical-binders: capacity to convert energy(for example, photosynthesis) into growth, etc. Next that animals have an equivalence to Space-binders: capacity to move to find food. While humans have an equivalence to Time-binders: capacity to improve on the accumulated abstractions of others then transmitting it for future generations. From which has developed Philosophy, Sciences, Engineering, our libraries, etc.

This led as a result to new explanations involving predictions upon old problems, ultimately having surprising consequences. For example, why do revolutions along with wars happen? Well because Science, Engineering, etc., as a time-binding process progresses geometrically, whilst our moral, social 'opinions'('prejudices'), etc., progresses arithmetically, non-empirically. For example, on many occasions people in discussion groups have protested against technological progress, yet it is not the technology that becomes the problem but their uses due to mis-evaluations. Further that our values for power(charisma as in leadership or-both exchange as in wealth), status(esteem), life-style, etc., remains based on a duplicity which involves the subjugation of the living by prostituting the time-binding knowledge created by the dead.  Instead Korzybski advocates co-operation in place of 'competition'; whilst self-improvement in place of 'greed', 'territorialism', 'capitalism'.

Thus Korzybski argues that humans are not by 'nature''fixed innate', but changeable through nurture; however to discover how this becomes possible, further why we 'copy animals in our nervous reactions'(the consequences)- required further research, culminating in "Science And Sanity".

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Erotism: Death & Sensuality by Georges Bataille

Taboo and sacrifice, transgression and language, death and sensuality—Georges Bataille pursues these themes with an original, often startling perspective. He challenges any single discourse on the erotic. The scope of his inquiry ranges from Emily Bronte to Sade, from St. Therese to Claude Levi-Strauss and Dr. Kinsey; and the subjects he covers include prostitution, mythical ecstasy, cruelty, and organized war. Investigating desire prior to and extending beyond the realm of sexuality, he argues that eroticism is “a psychological quest not alien to death.”

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Coincidence by Aleister Crowley


By Aleister Crowley

Chapter XL: Coincidence

Cara Soror,
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

When I was writing that letter about prophecy, I was hot and bothered all the time by my faithful sentinel, the well-greaved Hoplite that stands at the postern of my consciousness, ready to challenge every thought—and woe to the intruder who cannot give the countersign!  This time the dear old ruffian thought the matter serious enough to report Higher Up.  "It is put plainly enough, emphatically enough, incontrovertibly enough" was the gist of his communication "that the first and most irretrievable trick of the enemy is to dupe you into passing Captain Coincidence as 'Friend,' whereas he is naturally the most formidable of all your foes when it comes to a question of proof."

Quite right, Sergeant-Major!  But it is not only about prophecy, but about all sorts of things, in particular, of course, the identification of angels and similar problems.

Well, we have captured quite a few lads of the company of Captain Coincidence; let us have them up for examination and learn what we can about their weapons and other warlike matters!
I take our first prisoner from Magick.
The most famous novel of Fielding is called Tom Jones.  It happened that FRATER PERDURABO was staying in a hotel in London.  He telephoned a friend named Fielding at the latter's house, and was answered by Mr. Fielding's secretary, who said that his employer had left the house a few minutes previously, and could only be reached by telephoning a certain office in the City at between 11 o'clock and a quarter past.  FRATER PERDURABO had an appointment at 11 o'clock with a music-hall star, the place being the entrance to a theatre.  In order to remind himself, he made a mental note that, as soon as he saw the lady, he would raise his hand and say, before greeting her: 'Remind me that I must telephone at once to Fielding,'  when he met her.  He did this, and she advance toward Him with the same gesture, and said in the same breath, 'Remind me that I have to telephone to Tom Jones'— the name of a music-hall agent employed by her.
Here comes another, this time completely crazy!  Nothing "Literary" about it; no sense anywhere; a pure freak.

A friend of mine, A, rang up a friend of hers, B, at her flat in Holland Park, some 3 or 4 miles west, and a p'int to the Nor'rard, of Piccadilly Circus.  After the usual series of "they don't answer", "line's engaged", "unobtainable", "line's out of order", "line's temporarily disconnected at the subscriber's request", an appeal to "Supervisor" got her connected instantly.  Yet another girl friend, C, appears in, and vanishes from, the story; she said "Oh, what a pity, you've just missed her; she went out five minutes ago.  I think she'll be back in an hour's time, try then."

A waited impatiently, and rang up once more.  Again the series of nonsense-difficulties about getting the connection.  At last the answer came.  This time yet one more girl friend D.  "Oh, what a pity!  You've just missed her; she left the box not five minutes ago."  "Box," screamed A, "what box?  Have I got mixed up in a Trunk Murder?" "Why, this box," replied D, calmly.  "What — — box?" shouted A.  "Isn't that her flat?"  "Her flat! are you crazy?  This is a call-box in Shaftesbury Avenue."  Collapse of A's confidence in the sanity of Nature.

One may note that there was no similarity in the names of the exchanges, or in the numbers.
It is the most grotesquely impossible case of "wrong number" that ever came my way.

Now for one or two oddities.  Recently, needing to relax, I borrowed three "thrillers" from different sources.  In every case, the plot turned on two men being so alike that no one could tell them apart.  (Rupert of Hentzau, John Chilcote, M.P., Melander's Millions.)

I traveled from Louisville to Detroit by a railroad whose nickname was the "Big Four", my object being some business connected with my Book 4.  The name of my express was the "Big Four"—it left from No. 4 platform at 4 p.m.  My sleeping berth was No. 4 in Car No. 4; and my ticket was No. 44,444. I ought to have been April 4, I suppose; but it wasn't.

Last week a letter from me appeared in the Sunday Dispatch with regard to the Everest Mystery of 1921.  I expressed my view that the two lost climbers, last seen on an easy snow-slope near the summit, had simply been blown into the air by one of the sudden gusts of incredible fierce winds which are common at those heights, and dashed to earth perhaps a mile away.

After reading this, I went to a friend's room to borrow a book, picked up her Shakespeare's Histories, and, opening it at random, came upon:
They that stand high have many blasts to shake them,
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
Richard III, Act I, Sc. 3.
Now here's a story that's too good to lose; not the mistiest phantasm of an ideogram how to class it; for one thing, it's chock-a-block with moral lessons and economic theories and political summats; but there's coincidence in it somewhere, and under coincidence down it shall go. Even if only by coincidence.

From 1895 e.v. onwards I dealt with Colin Lunn.
"Of all the tobacconists under the sun,
There is none, there is none, like the great Colin Lunn—"
of Sidney Street, Cambridge.  When I started round the world, alas for fidelity!  I began to forget him.  By 1906 e.v. the operation was practically complete.

In '42 e.v. I spent a few days with friends in Cambridge.  Sauntering along K.P. (King's Parade to you, madam!) on my way back to the station with half an hour or so to kill, I thought I would pop in to Lunn's new shop there, and pass the time of day.  He might have something to take my fancy.  So I did.  Needless to say, I didn't know the shopman from Adam, as he did not offer me a view of his identification mark.  I asked after old friends; we gossiped of old times and new; presently he observed, putting a hand under the counter: "I think this is yours sir." "How do you know who I am?  I've never seen you before."  "Oh, yes sir, I was the odd-job boy at the old Sidney Street shop; I remember you quite well."  By this time there lay on the counter a strange familiar-unfamiliar object—a pipe that I had left for some minor repair before hurrying off to the East 37 years before!  I am smoking it now.

And you can draw your own beastly conclusion!

Here is a last, a passing strange account of a coincidence—or should it come under "Answers to Prayer."

A young enthusiastic "Heaven Born" (=I.C.S.)* parlous pious, was engaged to an exquisite chaste damosel in Lutterworth.  Praised and promoted by his appreciative chiefs in Bombay, he felt his future sure enough to go home on leave, marry her, and bring her out to India.  At their parting, she had given him a ring; naturally, he set great store by it." But the climate had thinned him; it was loose; playing with it as he talked with a friend on the ship, it slipped from his finger, and fell into the harbour." He suppressed an expression of annoyance.  "Well that's past praying for," laughed the friend—unhappily an infidel, not a true friend at all.  The young man stiffened.  "It is?" he answered solemnly and emphatically; "We shall see."  And he retired to his cabin to lay his grief before the Lord.

The ship arrived at Aden without incident.  While she was coaling, it was the idle habit of some sailors to bait a hook with a large piece of pork, and fish for sharks. An hour later they caught a fine specimen, and hauled it aboard.  They cut it open.  No ring.

I hope you don't think I'm letting my pen run away with me:
"Pens!  Good Lord,
    Who knows if you drive them or they drive you?"

* Indian Civil Servant.

No, I have not forgotten that I am here to instruct as well as to amuse: also, to make certain observations which will, I flatter myself, be rather new to you.
I plunge headlong.

Everything that happens, no matter what, is an inconceivably improbable coincidence.  You remember how you had to begin when you first came to me for help.  I said to you, "Here are you, and no other person, come to see me, and no other person, in this room, and no other room, at this time, and not other time.  How did that come about?"  The answer to that question is the first entry in your Magical Diary: and, with a slightly different object in view, the first step in the practice of Liber Thisharb and the acquisition of Magical Memory.

Why, hang it all; the events of the last hour, even, might have gone just an infinitesimally little bit different, and the interview would not have taken place as it did. Consider then, that factors stretching back into Eternity—all the factors there are!—have each one contributed in its degree to bringing this interview about.  What a fantastic improbability!  Yet here we are.

Chance blindly rules the Universe.  But what is Chance?  And where does purpose intervene?  To what extent?

I shall now conduct you, no less firmly than Mr. E. Phillips Oppenheim, to Monte Carlo.
(Excuse me!  I was just called to the telephone.  Somebody of whose existence I was not aware has fallen ill in Ireland—and bang went my plans for tomorrow.)

You walk quietly into the Casino; it seems to you that the excitement is even more noticeable than usual.  You see a friend at the table "Here in the nick of time!" he gasps.  "Black has just turned up for the 24th time running."  You press forward to plank the maximum on Red.  The wheel spins; Black again! "Forty thousand she-devils in the belfry of St. Nicholas Rocambole-de-Ronchonot!"
"But --- but" (you stammer when spirits of hartshorn have revived you)  "in the whole history of the tables a colour has never turned up more than 24 times running!"

My poor friend, what has that got to do with it?  True, from the start it is countless millions to 1 that there will not be a run of 24 on the red or the black; but the probability on any single spin (ignoring zero) is always one to one.  The black compartments do not contract because the ball has fallen into any one of them.

Anyone who gambles at all is either a dilettante, a crook, or a B.F.  If you could get the B.F.'s to understand the very elementary mathematics set forth above, good-night to gambling!  And a good riddance, at that!  Well, there is one advantage in the system; it does help the intelligent man to steal a march on his neighbours!

In all this the important point for my present purpose is to show you how entirely this question of probability and coincidence is dependent on your attention.

The sequence B B B B B B B at roulette is most unlikely to occur; but so, in exactly the same degree, is the sequence B R B R R B R or any other sequence.  The one passes unnoticed, the other causes surprise, only because you have in your mind the idea of "a run on black."

Extend this line of thought a little, and link it up with what I was saying about the Magical Diary; you realize that every phenomenon soever is equally improbably, and "infinitely" so.  The Universe is therefore nothing but Coincidence!

How then can any event be more improbable than any other?  Why, very simply.  Go back to Monte; proclaim that at Table No. 3 Black will turn up 7 times running, after this next spin.  (Or, of course, any other series of 7.)  Now you see how Coincidence links up with Prophecy!

A fortiori, Coincidence is destroyed by Purpose, if, wishing to enlighten you on the subject, I write this letter and post it to your address, your receipt of it is no longer Coincidence.  So then coincidence must be entirely both unforeseen and unintentional; in other words, absolutely senseless.  But we have just proved that the Universe is nothing but Coincidence; it therefore is senseless.

So, having established the asymptote of our hyperbolic hyperbola, and shewn it to be asynartete, why should we not acquiesce, and say olive oil?

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,

Mushroom's Patience ::: Weird Monsters

Another release on the Atro-Fact label.  More wonderful obscurity from this Italian act.

Materials excerpt never released from "Roma, Wien.", "The Spirit of the mountain", "Water" recording sections.

01-Yesterday, i sung very well - (Roma, Wien.)
02-Zeit... no more - (Roma, Wien.)
03-Morel (remixed) - (The spirit of the mountain)
04-Biosphere (Water)
05-Central Column (Water)
06-When the world was elsewhere (Roma, Wien.)
07-Final Snapshot (Water)
08-Venus (Water)
09- Weird Monsters (Roma, Wien.)



Mushroom's Patience ::: Eh?

I am addicted to Mushroom's Patience. 

This one is released on the Atro-Fact label and according to the site "is the story of post human man and this is the sound of the post human interrogative lament". I love it.

1- Eh?



Magic ::: Marionette Karma

Obscure insane madness from this Japanese artist.  Don't really know too much about it and judging from the info I found online neither does anyone else.  Here it is, hope you enjoy it.

A1 Castle in the Darkness
A2 Prayer
A3 Music for Magic I
A4 Elu so da nida
A5 ...5
A6 Dance I
B1 Kapuri
B2 Song of Sacrifice
B3 Dance II
B4 Music for Magic II
B5 Magic
B6 Mass


Mushroom's Patience ::: Water

Italian avantgarde band based in Rome. Their music melts acid jazz, noise, electronics, experimental sounds and improvisation.

They formed in the early 1980s and released various cassette demos via their own label Atropina Manufactory. The debut on vinyl came in 1991 with "Dicer's Oath". Mushroom's Patience continued to exist in the underground and to release very limited and hard to find material, until they signed for Austrian label Hau Ruck!, which reissued many of their deleted records on vinyl, as well as brand-new works on CD.  Highly recommended!

1. Untitled (4:19)
2. Untitled (7:16)
3. Untitled (5:20)
4. Untitled (2:05)
5. Untitled (9:50)
6. Untitled (5:37)
7. Untitled (1:00)
8. Untitled (6:23)
9. Untitled (1:40)
10. Untitled (5:33)
11. Untitled (4:22)
12. Untitled (7:03)
13. Untitled (4:16)



Monday, July 14, 2014

The Eye in the Triangle: An Interpretation of Aleister Crowley by Israel Regardie

*New Link*

This is the masterful biography of the Magus Aleister Crowley, written by the one person most qualified to write it. Israel Regardie was a friend and student of Crowley, and served as his personal secretary for some time. In this book, Regardie manages to write a fair and balanced view of Crowley. It is an intelligent and insightful look into Crowley's life, Magick and Mysticism. Dr. Regardie interprets all this from the wisdom of experience. A member of the Golden Dawn, O.T.O. and A.A., Regardie writes with deep insight and compassion, openly revealing his own feelings, and thus providing a unique insight into Crowley. This book is the classic biography of Crowley!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy by Seth C. Kalichman

*New Link*

Paralleling the discovery of HIV and the rise of the AIDS pandemic, a flock of naysayers has dedicated itself to replacing genuine knowledge with destructive misinformation—and spreading from the fringe to the mainstream media and the think tank. Now from the editor of the journal AIDS and Behavior comes a bold exposé of the scientific and sociopolitical forces involved in this toxic evasion. Denying AIDS traces the origins of AIDS dissidents disclaimers during the earliest days of the epidemic and delves into the psychology and politics of the current denial movement in its various incarnations. Seth Kalichman focuses not on the “difficult” or doubting patient, but on organized, widespread forms of denial (including the idea that HIV itself is a myth and HIV treatments are poison) and the junk science, faulty logic, conspiracy theories, and larger forces of homophobia and racism that fuel them.

The malignant results of AIDS denial can be seen in those individuals who refuse to be tested, ignore their diagnoses, or reject the treatments that could save their lives. Instead of ignoring these currents, asserts Kalichman, science has a duty to counter them. Among the topics covered: Why AIDS denialism endures, and why science must understand it. Pioneer virus HIV researcher Peter Duesberg’s role in AIDS denialism. Flawed immunological, virological, and pharmacological pseudoscience studies that are central to texts of denialism. The social conservative agenda and the politics of AIDS denial, from the courts to the White House. The impact of HIV misinformation on public health in South Africa. Fighting fiction with reality: anti-denialism and the scientific community. For anyone affected by, interested in, or working with researchers in HIV/AIDS, and public health professionals in general, the insight and vision of Denying AIDS will inspire outrage, discussion, and ultimately action.

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Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism by Henrik Bogdan, Martin P. Star

*New Link*

Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr offer the first comprehensive examination of one of the twentieth century's most distinctive occult iconoclasts. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was a study in contradictions. He was born into a Fundamentalist Christian family, then educated at Cambridge where he experienced both an intellectual liberation from his religious upbringing and a psychic awakening that led him into the study of magic. He was a stock figure in the tabloid press of his day, vilified during his life as a traitor, drug addict and debaucher; yet he became known as the perhaps most influential thinker in contemporary esotericism.

The practice of the occult arts was understood in the light of contemporary developments in psychology, and its advocates, such as William Butler Yeats, were among the intellectual avant-garde of the modernist project. Crowley took a more drastic step and declared himself the revelator of a new age of individualism. Crowley's occult bricolage, Magick, was a thoroughly eclectic combination of spiritual exercises drawing from Western European ceremonial magical traditions as practiced in the nineteenth-century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Crowley also pioneered in his inclusion of Indic sources for the parallel disciplines of meditation and yoga. The summa of this journey of self-liberation was harnessing the power of sexuality as a magical discipline, an instance of the <"sacrilization of the self>" as practiced in his co-masonic magical group, the Ordo Templi Orientis. The religion Crowley created, Thelema, legitimated his role as a charismatic revelator and herald of a new age of freedom under the law of ''Do what thou wilt.''

The influence of Aleister Crowley is not only to be found in contemporary esotericism-he was, for instance, a major influence on Gerald Gardner and the modern witchcraft movement-but can also be seen in the counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and in many forms of alternative spirituality and popular culture. This anthology, which features essays by leading scholars of Western esotericism across a wide array of disciplines, provides much-needed insight into Crowley's critical role in the study of western esotericism, new religious movements, and sexuality.

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The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence by Susie Linfield

In The Cruel Radiance, Susie Linfield challenges the idea that photographs of political violence exploit their subjects and pander to the voyeuristic tendencies of their viewers. Instead she argues passionately that looking at such images—and learning to see the people in them—is an ethically and politically necessary act that connects us to our modern history of violence and probes the human capacity for cruelty. Grappling with critics from Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht to Susan Sontag and the postmoderns—and analyzing photographs from such events as the Holocaust, China’s Cultural Revolution, and recent terrorist acts—Linfield explores the complex connection between photojournalism and the rise of human rights ideals. In the book’s concluding section, she examines the indispensable work of Robert Capa, James Nachtwey, and Gilles Peress and asks how photography should respond to the increasingly nihilistic trajectory of modern warfare.

A bracing and unsettling book, The Cruel Radiance convincingly demonstrates that if we hope to alleviate political violence, we must first truly understand it—and to do that, we must begin to look.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SoiSong ‎::: xAj3z

The late Peter Christopherson claimed that this album was the best thing he had ever done and indeed he and Ivan Pavlov certainly made a fantastic album.

What strikes me most about xAj3z is its celebratory mood. This is especially evident in the trumpet calls at the end of the album during “Ti-Di-Ti Naoo” and it is hard to not feel utterly content while the piece plays out (have SoiSong discovered the audio equivalent of Valium?). The contemplative vibe to this album is a marked difference between this album and the duo’s other works (including the SoiSong EP) despite there being so many stylistic similarities between them all. Even on the tracks that I found hard to get into at first (both “J3z” and “Mic Mo” are little too easy listening electronica for my liking), it is difficult to ignore the bliss that runs through the music.

1 Amkhapaa    
2 T-Hu Ri Toh    
3 J3z    
4 Mic Mo    
5 Paer Tahm    
6 Dtorumi    
7 Ti-Di-Ti Naoo    


Monday, June 16, 2014

Siglo XX ‎::: Under A Purple Sky

My last Siglo XX post for now.  This one from 1989.

01.Baby Divine (3:52)   
02.When Will It Be Me (4:07)   
03.I Send You My Tears (3:59)   
04.Untouchable Flame (3:55)   
05.Body Meets Body (3:44)   
06.Alice (3:27)   
07.Vanity Lane (3:14)   
08.City In Dust (3:16)   
09.Summers Die (4:48)   
10.Waiting For A Friend (3:29)


Siglo XX ‎::: Fear And Desire

Fantastic release from 1988.

1 Fear And Desire
2 Everything Is On Fire
3 Lost In Violence
4 Sorrow And Pain
5 35 Poems
6 On The Third Day
7 My Sister Called Silence
8 The Pain Came 7:12
9 View Of The Weird
10 Silent Crowd


Siglo XX ‎::: View Of The Weird

1987 sure was a productive year for Siglo XX.  This is their 12" release from the same year.

A - View Of The Weird
B - Silent Crowd


Siglo XX ::: Flowers For The Rebels

More goodness from this Belgium group.  This one also dated from 1987.

1 Sister In The Rain    
2 Fear    
3 No One Is Innocent    
4 Afraid To Tell    
5 Sister Suicide    
6 Till The Act Is Done    
7 Shadows
8 Flesh And Blood    
9 Ride    
10 The End Of The Night    
11 Dead Man's Cave
12 The Beginning        


Siglo XX ::: Antler Tracks II

Here is the second edition of this underrated Belgian band. If you have already downloaded their first album below you simply must have this second part also.

1 The Naked And The Death    
2 Lines Of Hope    
3 Individuality    
4 Obsession    
5 Factory    
6 Caraibean Nightmares
7 Art Of War    
8 La Vie Dans La Nuit    
9 Youth Sentiment    
10 Autumn    
11 Dreams Of Pleasure    
12 In The Garden    
13 Silent House    
14 Room (Sittard - 11.11.83)    
15 Into The Dark (Leiden - 16.01.82)    
16 Progress (Den Haag - 08.01.82)    
17 Beginning (Sittard - 11.11.83)    
18 Art Of War (Sittard - 11.11.83)