The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Gig #108: Of late 40: Wormed, Klein, Lauri Ainala, Felicita, Helena Celle, Tobin Sprout, AnD, Steven Warwick, Screen Time, Kamixlo, Linda Sharrock In The Abyssity Of The Grounds, Mai Mai Mai, Radian, Circus Devils, Robert Pollard, MMMD


Lauri Ainala
Helena Celle
Tobin Sprout
Steven Warwick
Screen Time
Linda Sharrock
Mai Mai Mai
Circus Devils
Robert Pollard


Wormed Eukaryotic Hex Swarm
‘When WORMED reach out into the void, the results sounds far more like a dark space opera inhabited by bizarre aliens, genetically and technically evolved meta-humans struggling for power and survival in galactic empires. On their third full-length Krighsu the fast rising Spanish Sci-Fi tech death prodigies are telling a dystopian cosmic story with lyrics and music joined into an overarching concept. Odd-time signatures, avalanches of breaks and complex rhythmical as well as melodic patterns will excite every aficionado of extreme technicality, while growls down-tuned strings and double-bass assaults will more than satisfy extreme metal connoisseurs. While being outstandingly skilled musicians WORMED are avoiding any self-indulgent show of prowess for its own sake. Instead the five-piece from Madrid clearly lays its emphasis on creating atmospheric songs, which develop and grow along the underlying story.’ — Wormed


Klein Marks of Worship
‘Klein’s latest is a form of cathartic release. The young London-born artist by way of Los Angeles, Surulere and Lagos, told press that music wasn’t something that was encouraged in her traditional Nigerian family, nor was she secure enough to tell friends about the music she was making until now. “I was really sad and I sort of needed something for myself; something therapeutic because I felt like I needed to cleanse myself of all this bad energy so I decided to make a song about praise and worship. I get WhatsApp messages from my auntie’s preaching to me so I tried to translate that into a song.” What we get is Klein paying tribute to her global roots in the video. Directed by Akinola Davies Jr., “Marks of Worship” is a five-minute spoken word layered over visuals of a dispirited Klein at an otherwise festive traditional Nigerian celebration before taking part in a purification ritual.’ — Track Record


Lauri Ainala Orpokotijuhlat Saarella 4
‘Liturgical nostalgia and the hypnotic power of religious ritual seems to be the primary forces on these ten unnamed compositions. From the soulful droning of an organ to fragmented choirs creating wordless melodies, the album is interspersed with hints of ceremony and a darkness lurking behind the light. The source of sound always feels as though it’s coming from a distance, through a veil or calling out from a memory. The album’s trajectory is more consistent with movements of a greater piece than a series of separate songs, although many do have distinctive moods or qualities that allow them to stand as sonic portraits. The majority of Orpokotijuhlat Saarella seems to be manipulated patchworks of field recordings, with a striking juxtaposition of natural and human-made sound. Ancient voices reach through static and the crackle of dying fires. It’s akin to looking at faded photographs and imagining a fuller version of the environment contained within. There’s a sense of awe, of grandeur, and even melancholic remembrance.’ — Black Metal and Brews


Felicita A New Family
‘PC Music’s Felicita has been responsible for some memorable tracks over the past few years, particularly on their 2014 Frenemies EP, and today he’s announced a new EP, A New Family , and shared a video for its title track. The song is a warmly demonic burst of noise that reminds me a lot of the sadly forgotten early-’10s UK band Teeth, and it’s built around the nonsensical but catchy whispered chorus: “Trick/ cool/ volvic/ yeah/ spray it and we’re wet, wet.” The video, which was directed by Matt Copson, only adds to the track’s allure: It’s a haunting and unsettling game of spin-the-bottle that morphs into something alien and unfamiliar.’ — Stereogum


Helena Celle Streaming Music For Biometrics
‘Helena Celle is the synth work and multi-dimensional audio practise of Glasgow-based musician Kay Logan. A dedicated 21st century polymath, Logan’s interests lie in the power relationships inherent in technology, how to harness aleatoric practise in a discipline that is often rigid and in exploring the interface between computer science (Logan is also a computer programmer) and sound. Her music is a deliriously sun-burnt foray into abstract techno and a very personal take on an electronic music language that remains obscure to outsiders but here rendered a unique form of emotional communication.’ — Night School Records


Tobin Sprout Future Boy Today/Man Of Tomorrow
‘Tobin Sprout was the Scottie Pippen to Bob Pollard’s Michael Jordan in the mid-’90s iteration of Guided By Voices, contributing some of the finest songs to the band’s most revered albums. Now that GBV’s “classic” lineup has dispersed once again after spending the early part of this decade reunited, Sprout is back with his sixth solo album, The Universe And Me, a look at the mind of a young boy in the tumultuous transition to manhood. The project was a seven-year labor of love, with Sprout digging up old childhood memories and long-lost demos while writing songs behind a piano in his Michigan home studio. Some of those older tracks made their way to the album, including electric psych-pop gem “Future Boy Today/Man Of Tomorrow,” a typically soaring Sprout composition that was originally intended for GBV.’ — Stereogum


AnD Where Are You Going To Take Me
‘Now regarded as one of the most uncompromising production outfits on the European techno scene Berlin / Manchester noiseniks AnD widen their musical vision across these four tracks without leaving behind the raw aesthetic and driving energy that has characterised their music and their live performances over the last few years. From the kind of straight up 4/4 pounders that have made the closing slot at Electric Deluxe’s Awakenings events their own, to experiments with off-kilter drums and caustic noise this EP is as good a statement of AnD’s present and future as you’ll hear all year.— Perc Trax


Steven Warwick CTFO
‘The Berlin-based producer and artist Steven Warwick presents a unique audio-visual ‘mixtape’ on PAN, compiled of a series of darkly lyrical and sonic musings, as well as personal snapshots, written stories and videos taken across trips whilst residing in LA and Berlin. Arriving as his first musical release under his own name, Warwick (aka Heatsick)’s latest venture also utilises a new sonic repertoire allowing for a new route for his music, “It’s a reset in a way, creatively and emotionally”. Titled Nadir, the release reflects on a somewhat sardonic, and at times melancholic and unsettling mood. Recorded in both Los Angeles, New York and Berlin, it is a soundtrack and document of time spent in and around those environments both urban and rural.’ — PAN


Screen Time waking at dusk and hearing the wind
‘These are pieces that combine electronic and acoustic sources. With a couple of exceptions, even the electronic sources are modeled on sounds we hear in life. Sometimes I think the pieces share a mood. My thanks to two marvelous musicians – Renata Bratt who plays cello and Ben Blechman who plays 5-string violin (he has a low C string below the 4-string instrument’s G.) Besides playing my raw charts with insight and a sure grasp of what would work, they each provided extras. In particular, for tracks 3 and 5, though I provided frameworks, they both contributed melodies, accompaniments, and etherialized knockings and scrapings. True, I did then edit their recordings quite a bit. Almost certainly, any infelicities now audible are more likely to be my work than theirs.’ — Lee Ray


Kamixlo Bloodless Y (Evian Christ Remix)
’21-year-old Chilean Kamixlo is setting dancefloors across London alight with his signature style of Latin-infused club bangers. The musician and DJ takes the best in Reggaeton, Bachata and Cumbia and gives it a modern twist unlike anything you’ve heard before. Along with his friends and Bala Club comrades, Blaze Kidd, Uli K and END GAME, the DJs are gaining traction for their inimitable sound. He’s fresh from releasing his EP Demonico on the imprint run by Berlin label PAN and grime producer Visionist.’ — i-D


Linda Sharrock In The Abyssity Of The Grounds Untitled
Gods is the first major release of new material since, arguably, her 1989 LP with Wolfgang Puschnig on ECM, by one of free jazz’s most important icons, whose transition via a debilitating stroke into deep, guttural wordlessness has seen her enter a new realm of primal vocal raging. This is Linda Sharrock, best known for her show-stealin’ voice work on ex-husband Sonny’s two albums Black Woman (1969) and Monkey-Pockie-Boo (1970), recorded in 2014 for over two hours at her wailing, heart-stopping best, flanked by the stellar (In) the Abyssity of the Grounds (Theresa Eipeldauer (voice), Mario Rechtern (soprano, alto, baritone, saxoline, voice), Max Bogner (guitar, electronics, voice), and Didi Kern (drums)). A truly stunning, demented, and absolutely essential bombardment of relentless energy by one of the giants of avant-garde music.’ — Cafe Oto


Mai Mai Mai Nel Sud (Live Extract)
Φ (Phi) is the third and final installment in Mai Mai Mai’s Mediterranean trilogy, pushing the project deeper into a vivid interzone of digital synthesis and scorched ritual. The album opens with a searing collaboration with avant-folk instrumentalist Luca Venitucci, locked into a lofty duel of distorted drones, before pivoting to a throbbing oblivion of jackhammer bass, seething feedback, and combat samples. Later passages ooze through industrial spoken word, technoid voodoo hallucination, seasick prayer loops, and nightmare exotica, assisted in places by Italian experimental percussion legend Lino Capra Vaccina (of 1970’s “golden age” groups Aktuala and Telaio Magnetico).’ — Boring Machines


Radian Scary Objects
‘Over the course of their first four albums, Radian perfected a painterly approach to sound construction. What makes the instrumental Austrian trio exceptional is its ability to wrest seemingly endless possibilities by fine-tuning the grain of every sound. On their fifth album On Dark Silent Off, Radian take the tactile dimension of their music even further while also introducing groove and drama basically for the first time. On Dark Silent Off bristles with a passion that you don’t hear on their back catalog. It’s not like past Radian records are stiff, but the band always sounded slightly removed as it supplied you with a constant flow of sensory input. This time, they connect with your heart too.’ — Saby Reyes-Kulkarni


Circus Devils Mother Skinny
‘A loud and invasive meditations on childhood and war, Mother Skinny is a good record for kickers and screamers. Ohio’s Circus Devils have been lurking under the radar since 2001 and Mother Skinny is their eighth album. As always, the band is steadfast in their unpredictability.’ — Jack Rock


Robert Pollard Dunce Codex
‘“Dunce Codex ”appears on Robert Pollard solo record Lord of the Birdcage. Pollard took a bunch of poems he had written and made them into songs for the album, which was apparently a new approach for him.’ — Sound It Out


MMMD Malproksime
‘MMMD’s music has always reminded me of Howard Shore’s scores for The Lord of the Rings films, and as such, my listening has always been guided by that association. For me, Som Sakrifis was heroic music, war music, music by which pastoral hobbits fought against evil wizards and abominable orcs and glowing eyeballs, when outcomes of such battles meant everything to every thing, big or small, dwarf or elf, human or tree. Its overwhelming oppressiveness brought me into a breaking world, vied over by many, but plagued by absolutes. With Pèkisyon Funebri, MMMD has signified a formic return after a brief cartographical break from its regularly scheduled programming. It’s a quiet return at first, as opener “Az álmok itt érnek véget (rész 1)” culls an open landscape, a place where blood has been shed by neighbors who have found themselves equal under a force more terrible than God. “Qoxra” follows, a tremor-inducing dirge for everything that has been lost since “Liberig Min.” What follows is as nerve-wracking as it is steadying, and while my complete ignorance of Greek language obscures my semiotic reading of Pèkisyon Funebri as a multi-movement piece, my feeling is that its slow, plodding drones are of great human import somehow.’ — Jackson Scott, Tiny Mix Tapes



p.s. Hey. I think at least a few of you know that my nephew Cody Reding is a writer, but few if any of you know what an awesome writer he is, but you can find out, if you like, which I highly encourage, because a short fiction piece by him called OXBLOOD FERRAGAMOS has just been published on Fanzine. Please read. ** H, Good morning to you. The Jean Lorrain book is lovely fun. I believe that’s the only book I’ve read by him, actually. Oh, you prefer early Ashbery, okay, gotcha. ** Montse, Hi! It was a nice birthday, yes. Is the application form fun at all? Spoken by someone (me) who has a bit of a questionaire fetish. Oh, do you know the Spanish filmmaker José Val del Omar? I just discovered his work recently, and it seems pretty amazing. He was a contemporary/friend of Lorca, Dali, and others. Anyway, I made a post about his work that’s coming up. Have a lovely day, pal! ** Dóra Grőber, Hi, Dóra! My pleasure about the books. Oh, cold sesame noodle is kind of heaven. Or it is when it’s made right. If you ever get a chance to try it, try to get Szechuan style (spicy!), if you can. You have your degree! Wow, that seems like it was quick! I think I lost track of time! That’s so great! Wow, so do you feel like a new person or more adult or something magically now? My day … hm, not too, too interesting. Zac and I have to make this kind of document describing what kind of performers we’re looking for re: our film to give to the person who’s helping with the casting. So, like, actual age, visual age, gender, height, build, the demeanor/ qualities of the different roles and so on. So I spent part of the day working on a draft of that, and Zac and I will flesh it out together today. Gisele and Jonathan Capdevielle and I are doing the last rehearsals of ‘Jerk’ before it plays in Montreal next week, so we conferred about that. My friend Jason McBride, who’s writing the Kathy Acker biography, said he wants to interview me about Kathy for the book, so that should be interesting. And I started eating Zac’s sesame noodles, and they are god. So, now that you’re an official, degreed-up person, how did you spend your first post-student day? ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh. Thanks, man. Yes, that is an interesting press, and, based on the Lorrain, their books look quite  lovely as well. ** Sypha, Hi. Oh, that’s okay. I hope your cat with the great name is feeling better today. Worrisome stuff. I do remember you propping Lorrain. I’m wary of that new Sade translation but very curious about it too, of course. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. ‘Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne’ is definitely much stronger than his first film. Thank you for your Bresson wisdom. ** Steevee, Hi. Oh, whatever, about that Australian critic’s thing. I read everything I can about Bresson, and there are critic detractors out there. In fact about, oh, a month or something ago I met a fairly big film critic here, and when I mentioned Bresson, he rolled his eyes and put his fingers in his mouth and made mock-gagging noises. ‘Politically dangerous’, ha ha, get a fucking life. That’s so ridiculous. ** Ken Baumann, Hi, Ken! Oh, you like Farmer’s work? I just recently discovered it. It’s really terrific. I just got and am going to read that book she did with Tiny Hardcore. Mid-March should be A-okay. I talked to Zac, and he said we can push whatever out of the way to see you. Are you just coming for fun? Oh, man, Iceland is so, so great. You really have to get out of Reykjavík. Zac and I rented a car and spent a week-plus driving all the way around the island/country, and it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. It’s just nonstop sublime beauty, that place. Well, let me know about Paris whenever it’s good, and love to Aviva and you, and have a sweet day! ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. I initially misread your sentence as saying the blurb would ‘light up’ Sypha’s street, which I liked. My pleasure re: the books post, naturally. Bon day! ** Jamie, Howdy! It is possible to enjoy oneself with a fucked up back, it’s true. I’m one of the rare non-Dutch people, it seems, who really likes the Dutch language, how it sounds, etc. I did learn to speak and understand it a little when I lived in Holland, which I suppose colors me. Anyway, it sounds like your time there was like my every day in Paris since my French is so primitive. I like imagining what people are saying around me, and I almost always imagine them speaking like genius poets. I’m a big fan of osteopathy. I’ve been helped enormously by osteopaths. I think it’s like a form of magic. Obviously, there are amazing ones and ones that aren’t so amazing, but I do definitely recommend that. And it sounds like you went to one yesterday, yes? And do you feel a difference? Well, initially we were told they were aiming for the series running around Halloween time in 2018. (The first of the three episodes is set on Halloween.) I don’t know if that’s still the thing. Today I think I’ll just work and do some film prep stuff with Zac and maybe visit/meet with Gisele. I think that’ll likely be its totality. How did the writing go? How were the fish, chips, and, most importantly (?), sea? I think it’s wise and lovely that you like the 4 books posts best. I like them a bunch too. A painless and prosperous Thursday to you! Painkilling love, Dennis. ** B, Hi! I do really look forward to being inside and exploring the Armory one of these days. It looks enticing inside there in photos. Wealthy people plus booze does sound either like a fun trip or a complete nightmare. Glad it was the former. Oh, that’s so nice of you to read him ‘My Loose Thread’. Thank you! Have a most excellent … what day is it … Thursday! ** Cal Graves, Cal, hi! It wasn’t too shabby. The b’day. Glad it’s over though. Glad the technical changing numbers part is over, I mean. No, I don’t believe I’ve heard of ‘Ambiencé’. 720 hours long?! Wow, what in the world. How is that possible? Obviously, I’m going to race over and see what that’s all about in a second. Thanks a whole lot for alerting me to that. Take care. ** Bernard, Hi, B. Ha ha, you have Zac’s and my blessing to do that. Yes, I read it on my birthday! It was easily one of my best gifts. (I only got two gifts other than yours, but they were very good.) You’re in NYC again? You’re always there of late. Well, not always, but still. Cool. Staying in the same spot? That Judson Church event sounds like an alley-upper. I do remember Rick Herron. I just read something about him somewhere the other day, and I thought, I know that guy. Cool that his thing killed so well/badly. You sound good and like you’re having a grand old time. Very nice to hear, bud. ** Right. There’s the latest of my gigs featuring music I have been listening to and feeling into lately, and you will do whatever you do with my gig posts over the course of today, I reckon. And that’s that. See you tomorrow.


  1. Dennis, I love your gigs. I always forget to tell you I knew of Carla dal Forno and Katie Dey thanks to one of your posts. Today Felicita has caught my eye. I still haven’t downloaded the application form, I’m procrastinating a lot these days. Val del Omar, yes! I discovered him a few years back in a retrospective here in Barcelona. I made a post for the old blog, but I totally understand you don’t remember because it was ages ago. Xet doesn’t remember either. I remember his films were hypnotic and modern. His collages were very cool too. He’s pretty unknown in Spain and it’s a shame. It’s great that you’re featuring his work here! Love,

  2. Hi!

    I’ll keep that in mind!
    Thank you! Well… I kinda thought it’ll bring a feeling of ‘adultness’. I’m not sure about that but it’s definitely a great and liberating feeling. I’ve been in a good mood ever since so I guess it was well worth it.
    Do you like this part of the process? When you have to describe the roles/characters like this? I’m curious because when I was younger I always made these ‘character sheets’ where I detailed all of the characters I came up with and I found great pleasure in it, so to me, it sounds like fun.
    This is a shame but I haven’t read anything from Kathy Acker yet. Do you have any recommendations about where I should start? How did the interview go?
    Recently I came up with a photo-shoot idea and now I finally had the time to go out and buy some stuff for it. So that’s what I did today. I was semi-successful but I got the most important thing (a very visible, sparkly silver eyeshadow) so I can start working on it now. I’m pretty excited, I’ll tell you about it if and when the results live up to what’s in my head!
    How was your day? I hope it was lovely!

  3. Anthology is doing a Val del Omar retrospective later this winter.

    As for Bresson’s politics, they changed with the times. I’ve always interpreted LANCELOT DU LAC as an indictment of the Vietnam War, although who knows if that’s what he really intended? THE DEVIL, PROBABLY is the best film I’ve seen about the failures of the counterculture, along with THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE and Fassbinder’s THE THIRD GENERATION, and L’ARGENT is an attack on the yuppies who would replace it.

  4. Hey Dennis,

    How are you?
    I hope you had the best birthday. <3

    So I got some bad news. Asger feels he'll be too stressed with applications in February, so he can't join to Paris… but I still want to go, so I'm looking into it atm, I might be able to stay in my friends old room there as she lives here… Crossing my fingers. Otherwise I guess a hotel, but that'd be more fun with company.

    School's started and things have been intense as of late, but also really good. Going to meetings and being in the "program" and doing service is also quite time-consuming, but good for me. Speaking of which, have you gotten my emails? Since it's new, I just want to make sure I sent them to the right address.

    Have a good day!


  5. A fascinating selection as always. I’m most drawn towards that AnD track, which is doing something innovative with the industrial techno format. It’s like a deconstruction of the genre while still remaining a part of it, if you know what I’m trying to say.

    I just sprang for the reissue of this early 90s acid techno record by Unit Moebius, a 17-minute psychedelic freakout that was the first release on Holland’s renowned Bunker label. It’s the kind of thing that makes for a good winter soundtrack, I feel.

  6. I have a great idea for an article: interviewing Olivier Assayas about his taste in music for the magazine published by the Rough Trade record shops and given out in their stores. I particularly love his use of music in COLD WATER, CARLOS & SOMETHING IN THE AIR. I’ve talked to Assayas’ publicist, and he too thinks it’s a great idea. Now I just have to wait for the editor at the Rough Trade magazine to get back to me.

  7. Morning, Dennis!
    I like the sound of the Dutch language too, especially when it’s Hannah and her two sisters chatting. I’m beginning to become aware of different dialects too, which is cool. I’d like to learn a bit of Dutch, but I’m not great at language learning and I really want to start learning French soon, so it may take some time. Have you had French lessons? Your comment about imagining people talking like genius poets totally made me lol. You think that’s because it’s French? Whenever I hear French I assume that something smart’s being said, or something of great consequence at least.
    I’m glad that you have such a high opinion of osteopaths! That’s great to hear. I’m just back from my first appointment with one who comes highly recommended from a good friend, and I see what you mean about magic – it was like she was hardly doing anything, but it felt like loads was going on. Kind of trippy. And the 45 minute appointment flew past. I feel pretty pain-free now, but she said that I’ll probably feel pretty sore tomorrow. How’s your back doing?
    I think my favourite tracks here today were the Klein piece and the Steven Warwick one, but I only made it about halfway through the post and poor wifi stopped me from hearing any more tracks. I’ll listen tomorrow.
    So, was your Thursday good? Hope the movie prep went well. What’s your Friday like? I’m doing a cleaning shift at work, which might sound awful, but is quite enjoyable.
    My writing consisted of going over two pieces that were started for a postponed meeting of our group two weeks ago. Man, they weren’t great, but I’ve submitted them anyway. I think I need to write more or think about my actual writing more. My ideas are okay, but my sentences are clunky.
    It’s insanely icy here, you know the way where you can’t walk with any confidence and only take tiny wee steps?
    Hope all is very well with you.
    Lots of love,

  8. Hey Dennis,

    cool gig today. the helena celle record is excellent. it’s really emotive and beat-driven even though she’s coming to it from a quite abstract territory… reminds me almost of clouddead or something like that? non-sample instrumental hip hop
    she also plays bass in the truly excellent punk band ‘anxiety’ that i think you would love if you don’t already:
    steven warwick and felicita records are both great as well and linda sharrock band were off the walls when i saw them last year. very great.

    hope you’re keeping well

  9. Hey Dennis,
    Catching up, I enjoyed the book day as always. I was only vaguely familiar with Jean Lorrain from Derek McCormack’s FB post from a little while ago and the others were all new to me.

    Tomorrow I’ll check out the gig – esp. intrigued by Radian and Linda Sharrock. Are you a fan of her work from the ’70s? And how do you like the new Tobin Sprout album, if you’ve heard the entire thing?

    Struggling to keep the political climate from poisoning my mind. Started reading Jenny Erpenbach’s Visitation and Genet’s Miracle of the Rose to try and fortify myself. You a particular fan of that Genet? Never got to it for some reason.

  10. Dennis,

    This was a great gig. I loved that Klein song. The whole gig was a nice background to work stuffs.

    Amiencé is really really cool. It’ll be 30 days long, shown once then destroyed. The “short teailer” was 7 hors 20 mins long, which was an effort to get thru but very cathartic. There’s 30 or 45 mins of one of the characters balancing a plank of wood on a fulcrum rock and, holy shit, when it finally set it was amazing–i’ve never felt something so profound about something so inane. High rec.

    Today I watched a Heaven’s Gate video tape w Do explaining their beliefs. Never know how heavy the influence on Jeppesen’s Victims. It almost makes the book more vicious, really surges a reread.

    Sincerely, Cal

  11. Fascinating lineup today, Dennis. I’m only familiar with the new Radian, a favorite last year.

    I have to hunt down the Christopher Kang and Jean Lorrain books from yesterday. Kang actually didn’t have a goodreads profile, wow! Well he does now.


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