26 April 2017

The New Underground Detective

For some time I have been perplexed about the Underground Detective (2006) international mail-art collaboration between the OKOK Society, Circuit 47 and Deepkiss 720, as the font was boring old Times New Roman and the superimposed images were of low resolution. Now I've found the single-layer originals so have put them in there instead of the pixillated annoyers, retypeset the work in Adobe Garamond Pro, as a single block of text as was originally intended, and deleted my drawing that didn't really fit, but does here [left]. Download here [102pp PDF].

13 April 2017

The Violet Lens - Issue 1

Mark Reeve's monochromatic collage/text contemplation document, that examines the block sinister of black magic, terrorism, serial killing and deep state conspiracies. This is the lo-fi freedom "silhouette" edition in praise of photocopiers. Also includes a related spoken word audio track.
Version 1.3 2017 | A4 44pp | 4.4mb PDF

138 Years & Counting

Back in the 1990s, I got my kicks by making experimented mix/compilation audio-cassettes and trading them throughout the international mail-art network. I was always on the lookout for suitable LPs, homemade recordings and other sonic gold that could be utilised, and so comprehensively trawled the charity shops, etc. One memorable day I was searching amongst the groaning shelves of the Salvation Army charity shop in Norwich, Norfolk, England, when my keenly-practiced eyes magnetically alighted upon something I knew was special.

It was an official but obviously home-produced (usually a good sign) audio-cassette, of all-black shell with a full-sized white self-adhesive label on one side, bearing only the title, "138 Years & Counting", and the name of its creator, "Michael A. Clark", neatly imprinted into the fabric by a manual typewriter. There was no cover or inlay card, but stuck to the outside of the transparent case was a small rectangular gold label stating "The Christian Israel Foundation" and its Walsall, West Midlands, address. Its rudimentary packaging and small-run, domestic-duplicated nature suggested it was intended more for internal circulation amongst the organisation than the general public.

With a well-spoken, middle-class British accent, Mr Clark begins the tape - a 72½-minute lecture with no augmentative music or sound-effects - by informing the listener that it was originally recorded on 11 July 1982, as "a special supplement" to the article 'Battle-line USA', which appeared in the March 1982 issue of The Link magazine, and in a separate pamphlet issued by Destiny Publishers USA. He then launches into an unrelenting, astoundingly complex oratory concerning world-crumbling "End Times" Bible prophecy coming true in real-time. This impending cataclysmic doom appears to be the plan of some sinister unnamed occult cabal, and is evidenced by contemporary event-linkage backed up by Hebrew kaballistic gematria analysis.

Mr Clark's obsessive research, macabre logic and eerie revelations juxtaposed with his deadpan delivery evoked a most peculiar, strangely hypnotising, effect, and for research purposes only the entire 138 Years & Counting conundrum has been remastered directly from the aforementioned found tape and formatted as a 128kbps MP3 audio file, that can be downloaded for free here.

No Demonstrational Meaning

In Autumn 1999 I was stuck, so wandered the middle-night streets in haze, searching for a reason or three. I found zero answers, and resolved to immerse in simple creativity. One night I made spontaneous voice readings of any excerpts from my & Liam Olan's OKOK Manual (Luminous Press, 1999) into an antique ribbon microphone and homemade effects unit. The loose-leaf nature of the manual facilitated the random read and chance connections of the segments spoken, and the whole thing ended up as the No Demonstrational Meaning audio-cassette (Luminous Press, 1999). A review of it by Henry Holt appeared in Fluctuationist Newsletter Issue 9 (February 2000):

Some people just have to create art for art's sake, with no thought towards money and fame. The OKOK Society - a North Wales-based magical-art "cult cult" - are sure in this camp. For their latest release they've filled up one side of a TDK C90 with a mono monomaniacal spoken word rant by a single male augmented by a primitive echo effect beat box type backing. It's content is heavy on the scatological, dis- or anti-social substream, but this isn't some Freudian freakout, apparently, as it consists of random segments from the mostly found/channelled OKOK Manual, that seems to be the group's grimoire.

The speaker boldly informs us that this tape's "Purpose: transgressional apex," but it doesn't really reach any aegis. The sound quality, intent and atmosphere is somewhat reminiscent of the Cambridgeshire 'unscene' band, Alien Brains, i.e. a lo-fi bedroom take-it-or-leave-it recording, that is what it is. Some of the words are hard to make out, which defeats the object, but I suspect this is more intentional than careless engineering.

I quite agree with the makers that this tape has "no demonstrational meaning," and see little reason for releasing it at all (apart from a career suicide). It may succeed as a statement of "anti-art", but so could almost anything. Whether scripted or not, the word-deliverer comes across as very alone, a ballistic psychotic afflicted by horrific boredom and doomy desperation in the Wilderness Lodge, going off on a constant crazed existential angst barrage whilst thinking of old mines and shaking his fist at the global hiss.

Overall, No Demon... is a very unpleasant listen, like eavesdropping on someone's private hell, and you won't want to do it again. I label this work as an admittedly unusual but mostly dreary attempt to shock, like the crypto-fascist/serial killer fanzines that are thankfully not all the rage in the male underground scene now. The OKOKians are a vanguard new tendency of the Welsh avant-garde; their quantum vortex is huge and the ooomph and ability are there, so hopefully they will drop the Uncertainty Principle, hit the cassette culture sweet spot in the future, and never come down.

This historically unimportant and disowned recording has been salvaged from the memory hole and reformatted as a 45-minute, 128kbps MP3, that can be freely downloaded here.

10 April 2017

Listenings & Watchings

Jack Hargreaves: The Master.
CW Chanter: A New Religious Movement & exposer of sham ones.
Kali Tribune: That which lies out of focus, dwells in the details.
John Razimus: The anti-occult occult investigator.
WeaponCollector: Knuckle dusters, trench knives, tutorials, etc.
IKS Exploration: Real history every Friday (WWII bunkers, etc).
Black Lotus Kult: Lectures by Michael Bertiaux, etc.
Where Did the Road Go?: A paranormal & related radio show.
Gnostic Media: Conspiracy research & publishing.
angusbarron: Urbane urban Christianity.
Weird Texas EVP: Finding things off the "paranormal map".
Occult Demon Cassette: Unintentionally bizarre VHS tape finds.
reamce: From the Depths & Werewolves of Sodom podcasts.
Killendel: A spiritual existential ontology.
Gérard Grisey: The spectralist pioneer.
Rakta: A pagan trance sensation band from São Paulo.
Punkike Punk: The vibrant Spanish punk scene.