The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Gig #132: Of late 41: Black to Comm, Günter Schickert, Acronym & Kali Malone, Christoph de Babalon, bod [包家巷], The Cool Greenhouse, dj. flugvél og geimskip, Gum Takes Tooth, Martina Lussi, Steve Spacek, Croatian Amor (feat. Yves Tumor & Puce Mary), Zaïmph, Aleksi Perälä


Black to Comm
Günter Schickert
Acronym & Kali Malone
Christoph de Babalon
bod [包家巷]
The Cool Greenhouse
dj. flugvél og geimskip
Gum Takes Tooth
Martina Lussi
Steve Spacek
Croatian Amor
Aleksi Perälä


Black To Comm Angel Investor
‘With an eye for perfection in imperfection, Hamburg’s Black to Comm (inspired by the spirit of the MC5 track) has graced the world with an artform that cannot be summed up in a single word. A musical astronaut, the man behind it all, Marc Richter, has become highly sought-after to take audiences into higher planes. His body of atmospheric work is covered in a darkness offset by the rhythmic twinkle of faint lights, as if stars were on-switches. The intriguing paradox that is Black to Comm’s futuristic take on the land that time forgot has yielded countless albums adorned with surreal visuals: for instance, the project’s 2014 self-titled release managed to illicit a post-rock sound through non-traditional means, ultimately speaking to Richter’s role as a benevolent Dr. Frankenstein. Now, Black to Comm has returned with its latest creation: a sinister take on the outer limits of the avant-garde.’ — Jenna DePasquale


Günter Schickert Ceiling
‘Günter Schickert’s debut Samtvogel (1975) was one of the most significant guitar albums of the krautrock era. Points of comparison from today’s perspective are Syd Barrett or Pink Floyd’s more adventurous early recordings. Schickert’s follow-up, Überfällig (1980) was released on the legendary Sky label. Once again a milestone recording, it showcased Schickert’s hypnotic echo guitar which developed into one of the hallmarks of the krautrock sound. Schickert’s new album Nachtfalter, translating as “moth” in English, carries on from these beginnings, making it hard to believe that he has in the meantime reached pension age. Recorded during the scorching hot summer of 2018, Nachtfalter shows the pioneer of the echo guitar sounding his very best.’ — Forced Exposure


Acronym & Kali Malone A Sunspot
‘Acronym and Malone, who previously collaborated on one of Vaagner’s Event Series cassettes, use their debut release as a certified duo to present circuits of thought and feeling frequently heard in drone music, ambient, electronica, and downtempo techno. Rather than trying to mash these palettes into some newly prescribed form, they focus on building accumulative dialogues among crafted structures of synthesis. For me, one of the album’s main successes results from how they present multiple ways of understanding the Buchla 200 series synthesizer looming on the album’s cover: a canonical machine that, even for someone like me who doesn’t know too much about hardware, carries a mythological significance.’ — CookCook, TMT


Christoph de Babalon Harakiri
‘As an affiliate of Digital Hardcore, Fat Cat and the recently founded V I S, CDB has tirelessly explored the intersections of breakcore, illbient and drum and bass. His work is at once uncompromising yet stylish – broken, punishing rhythms collide with dreary, doom-laden melodies and those eerie in-between spaces of vintage Unit Moebius or Deutsch Nepal. With Hectic Shakes he delivers a meditation on the ‘inner abyss’, the sort of abyss that lulls the listener into his sound world with next to no resistance. “Shakes and Shivers” fixates itself on deceptively playful grooves with eerie, nightbus-to-nowhere atmospherics whilst opening cut “Harakiri” manages to distort familiar jungle tropes into something even die hard devotees of the sound will find fresh.’ — Alter


bod 包家巷  The Recurrence Of Infections 复发感染
‘bod [包家巷], real name Nicholas Zhu, is part of a new wave of artists and labels including Nozomu Matsumoto and Quantum Natives who are shaping music and art from the virtual realm forward. In ‘The Recurrence of Infections’, Zhu terraforms layered electronics, melancholy chanson, Far eastern instrumentation and sci-fi cinematic tropes in the richly detailed, 38-minute title track, to offer something like the soundtrack to a scrolling tour of his Museum of Virtual Art, while the ‘Infection Supplement’ extends another 9 minutes of abstract, cinematic arrangement recalling the surreal, experiential feel of Kenji Yamamoto’s +you & space x album.’ — boomkat


The Cool Greenhouse Cardboard Man
‘Operating very much on the principles of repetition, irony and repetition, enigmatic bedroom project The Cool Greenhouse exist in diametric opposition to me and you and our stupid short attention spans. Often, Greenhouse’s lyrics are deliciously sharp: the David Cameron takedown of “I’m a West Ham supporter / Or was it Aston Villa?” on ‘Cardboard Man’ springs to mind, but plenty of the lines here deserve a T-shirt. His voice is littered over every minute of the EP, but we never learn a thing about Tom Greenhouse – except perhaps that he’s fond of Mark E Smith, Julian Cope and No Bra – because every line is delivered through a thick layer of irony. Somehow, it never gets tiresome; Greenhouse has a rare ability to deal very much in irony and sarcasm without ever becoming annoying.’ — Cal Cashin, TMT


dj. flugvél og geimskip Elsta lag í heimi
‘dj. flugvel og geimskip (aka Airplane & Spaceship) is the one-person orchestra of Steinunn Hardardottir that draws influences from a thousand worlds. Defined as electronic horror-music with a space twist, the music is a mix of playful beats, cool bass, catchy melodies and high-pitched vocals. Her live performances are colourful and poetic and her music deals with alien worlds, mysteries, dreams and dangers of the night. Her concerts are like a strange blend of music, horror stories, poetry and theatre. The audience is left feeling like they are in a vivid dream or have traveled to outer space.’ — sonar 2019


Gum Takes Tooth In the Moog Sound Lab
‘Two man everything machine endlessly seeking what-the-fuck aural mesmerism in a maze like arrangement of sound system culture, riffs and pan-cultural psychedelics. Dark primal frequencies are felt and not heard, unremitting circular drums shatter and rebirth whilst vocals provide an astral guide through dizzying new sound worlds.’ — GTT


Martina Lussi Difusion Is A Force
‘Lussi employs field recordings, processed instrumentation and effects-heavy guitar throughout the project, with lead track ‘Expectation or Obsession’ featuring the sounds of both sports crowds and choral singing merging over synthesised strings. The album is described by the label as “a reflection on fractured times where familiar modes and models change their meaning with the ever-quickening pace of communication.” The track titles consist of “innuendos, empty phrases and claims – flirtations with perfume names and ironic assertions.”’ — Henry Bruce-Jones, FACT


Steve Spacek Goes Around
‘A trippy, broken and energetic five minutes from Steve Spacek, which, as the title infers evokes a cyclical, repetitive structure. Founder and member of the electronic three piece Spacek, Steve has been releasing solo since 2005, fusing elements from across both the electronic and acoustic spectrum. As per, his eclectic sound permeates through, in all its interesting and scatty glory.’ — STW


Croatian Amor (feat. Yves Tumor & Puce Mary) Eden 1.2
‘Loke Rahbek, a key figure in Copenhagen’s experimental scene, has used the Croatian Amor alias for his most dramatic impulses, those that require a mix of ambient soundscapes, power electronics and vocal manipulation. He has presented the project as a kind of fantasy grounded in the horrors of postmodernism, one that can explore “virtual communication” and an “overload of information.” On 2017’s Finding People EP, Rahbek relied on human disorder—samples of heavy breathing and panicked pleas—to drive home his message. On Isa, the disruption is far more mechanic.’ — Resident Advisor


Zaimph Coiled Fall
‘Zaïmph is the solo project of artist, musician and performer Marcia Bassett. Zaïmph’s recordings and performances shimmer with a dense, dissonant and often unsettling electronic aura, shot through with flashes of meditative beauty. Her preferred sonic toolkit includes prepared guitar, keyboard, cracked drum machines, custom-built noise/drone boxes, processed environmental sounds and tabletop effects. As a co-founder of Philadelphia’s shambolic psychonauts un, tectonic drone pioneers Double Leopards (with Jon Chapman of Dunedin’s EYE), and the psych-folk drone trio GHQ, Bassett is deeply entwined with the American noise underground, and has mapped regions still only dimly understood by subsequent sonic travellers.’ — AltMusic


Aleksi Perälä NL-L56-18-07446 B2
‘Aleksi Perälä believes in the power of vibration. The Finnish electronic musician, who lives in rural Wiltshire, England, is a follower of something called the Colundi Sequence: a musical system, created by his friend Grant Wilson-Claridge, that harnesses microtonal differences in pitch to create sparkling, crystalline fields of sound. You don’t need to understand the intricacies of Colundi to appreciate Sunshine 3, the third and apparently final installment of a series for the Dutch label Clone Dub. The way the album fuses clean-lined machine rhythms with the vivid detailing of classic IDM is plenty thrilling in its own right. His drums, which toggle between four-to-the-floor pulses and the syncopated snap of classic electro, have the satisfying thwack that has distinguished recent Aphex Twin recordings, full of crisp snares and sternum-thumping rimshots, while his layered pads and staccato counterpoints have an almost three-dimensional feel.’ — Philip Sherburne




p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Ha ha. ** Mark Doten, Hi! Such a pleasure and honor, and such an amazing novel! Love to you, maestro. ** Bill, Hi, Bill. Thanks a lot for the alert on that Cypher comp. I’ll hit it. Evenson’s a serious goodie. Excited for his new one. ** YoudontKeaton, Oh, but I do. I’m weirdly good at doing meetings, everyone remarks on that, and I have no idea why. No, I def. don’t need religion. I count my lucky stars daily. Partying and writing is a luxury. As is a finger in the butt, I suppose. Well, depending on the butt. I’m, sure you meant a luxurious one. Hit it. ** Steve Erickson, Oh, okay, hm, about the Simon film. Well, it must be somewhere. Interesting, thanks for sharing your thoughts on ‘Climax’. We are not dissimilarly disposed to it, it seems. Our heater will finally be replaced next Monday, so many fingers crossed that Paris’s current mild-ish February hangs out until then. Orson Welles’ paintings! How curious. Interesting set of gigs you’ve got there. ** Bernard Welt, Bernard! You eye de-sorer you! Mark’s a super good reader, and I think hearing him helps one negotiate how to read his writing if one is normally stand-offish re: complicated prose. Basinski should be great. Is he doing that ‘Ambient Church’ show there? I’m seeing him in Paris, non-‘Ambient Church’, next month. Wow, busy future incarnate right there. Excellence. And, wait, you sorted Paris in the summer? July in its entirety? That is totally mega! Congrats to you and to me and to all the local bears and so on and so forth ad infinitum! ** _Black_Acrylic, Excellent wondering topic there. Huh. Right? ** Mark Gluth, Hi, Mark! I just heard from Michael that they’re back in Paris this weekend, so I’ll confer with him pronto. Awesome. Well, if it really is a 12 day shoot, it won’t be too bad of a delay, and that pause will surely be very well worth it. Yeah, I obviously like ‘overworking’ and seem to gravitate to it. Great, yes, I will wrap myself in whatever is necessary to stay at least semi-warm until next Monday when the heater fix will finally be in, and then the world will get as toasty as I want again! Will do on the Krug songs. Take care, bud, and I so look forward to seeing you! ** Misanthrope, Ha, DC is for sure the happening place, even if most of what’s happening there is wreaking hell on all of us. But hey. Marie Kondo is really hanging in there in this hit-and-run world. ** Nik, Hi! Very cool about sharing it with the Conjunctions editor. Mark seems like a potentially Conjunctions-friendly writer. ‘Styleless’ is definitely intriguing me. I really do need to take a dip. I’ll hit an English-friendly bookstore and pluck something off its shelves. Thanks, man, for the moral support on my film script prioritising. That will definitely help me ward off our TV producers’ grumpiness. Yes, the new film is set in a house that is being transformed into a home haunt by a weird family. That’s the one. Well, we’re borderline finished with the script. The producer of ‘PGL’  has said he wants to produce it, although he hasn’t read the script yet, so I guess we’ll see. We’ve raised some funding, but we need to raise a lot more. That’s pretty much where we are du jour. Thank you for asking. Excellent Wednesday on your end. What happened? ** Right. I’ve made your monthly gig (see: above). As always, my hope is that you’ll be something like me when I made it — very curious to discover new, adventurous music by artists whom, in many cases, I previously didn’t know. But your approach is entirely up to you, of course. In any case, see you tomorrow.

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  1. A Haunted House movie? Sounds tempting coming from you and ach. On U.S. cabe there are tons of cheezy “Haunted House” shows with people running about with all sorts of sound and video equipment trying to capture the “Paranormal” and getting all excited every time they hear so much as a squeak in the floor.

    Loved the all-girl “Ghostbusters” from a couple of years back, BTW. Reitman’s son is planning to “revive the series” meaning it’s bee another Sausage Party. FEH! Kate McKinnon RULES!

  2. I’m sure this comparison isn’t original, but the Cool Greenhouse remind me of Sleaford Mods with a tone of detached sarcasm instead of anger. I remember liking Spacek’s first 2 albums – and that they were in a more trip-hop/R&B vein than the glitchy song you posted – but I haven’t followed him since then.

    I finished transcribing my interview with Patwary and will try to turn it in tomorrow. The subject of my final question was a documentary he made last year about the Wu-Tang Clan last year. I found it frustrating because it’s only 17 minutes long and includes some fascinating details (the snare drum sound on “Bring Da Ruckus” is actually a paint bucket) but the interview subjects seem to be rappers he’s friends with (Joey Bada$$, A$AP Rocky and Ferg) or random people I’ve never heard of. He told me that the editing was rushed, completed in only 2 weeks, so that it could be released on the exact 25th anniversary of ENTER THE WU-TANG (36 CHAMBERS) and that the length was dictated by Sony Music.

    How extreme is the haunted house in the script? Is it aiming for fairly traditional scares, or going in the “Instagram experience” direction?

  3. Digging that Acronym & Kali Malone collab. I’m no authority on the Buchla 200 synth but I do always enjoy hearing sounds made from interesting hardware. On the subject of gear, I recently got myself a Roland TB303 mug so that drinking a nice cup of tea can become a mindwarping acid house experience.

  4. Haha a luxurious one. Exactly what I need. Or maybe just a nasty beachy squid one hehe. You do seem awfully professional for a writer sometimes, maybe its good manners. Music is so funny part of my brain just wants to live Led Zep everyday. The only song I know on guitar is “Take Me Awhile” by Coverdale/Page. I still listen to the GD a lot. I’m gonna be in a punk band someday. LOL have you seen the AIC video for The Devil Put Dionsaurs here? Reminds of you doing TV. Here’s some blog stuff… Signed: P. Grant

  5. Hey Dennis, cool about conferring with Michael. So I was wrong, it’s 108 scenes…and I think Michael means shots, not what my writer’s mind thinks of as a scene. Still a ton though.

    Anyway, I small favor to ask you on behalf of my comrade, Allison Grimaldi Donahue. She’s editing an anthology of writing from Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and is wondering if you would be interested in writing a blurb for it. I have a piece from my in progress novel in it, and Trinie Dalton has something in it too. I guess a related request is if you would be down to celebrating it’s release on here? Trinie may have asked you this concurrent to me, so massive apologize for the double communication if that is the case.

    Take Care,


  6. hi d.

    just checking in to send my love & care even tho it’s been a long time no see. been listening to puce mary ever since adam’s post-PGL obsession [tho he was a fan prior too]. spacek as a group named after sissy at all or no relation?

    i’ve been learning about the postcolonial construction of decadent ideas of race over the last few weeks. quite glad i still have ‘mountainhead’ by juche to go because i feel these ideas and having a solid grounding + learning in them now will help reveal new layers to that work. i rewatched “avatar” the james cameron movie the other day as an extension of this and enjoyed it for the first time; a bizarre professional whiteness narrative which is a little racist but never stops being fascinating.

  7. One more thing: do you know if Aleksi Perala’s SUNSHINE 3 has been released yet, or if it comes out Friday? After further listening, I liked his song the most out of all the music I dug through today. It really evokes the best ’90s IDM without feeling like a nostalgia trip. But the album isn’t up on his Bandcamp page although Pitchfork has reviewed it. Have you heard the whole thing yourself?

    You’ve featured SB the Moor here on a past Gig Day, if I remember correctly. I also listened to their new album on Bandcamp today. They describe it as “glamorous emo rap,” and that’s actually an accurate description. There’s some noisy production and one instrumental song which layers the sound of ringing phones over beats, but it’s relatively accessible and much of it seems heavily influenced by Kid Cudi. I liked it, but not enough to want to pay for a download.

  8. Hey D.!

    Nice gig. All I’ve heard from here is the new Christoph de Babalon (which I do enjoy, but find a little hard to ‘get’ for whatever reason) and the new Croatian Amor album, which I adore. Have you heard the whole thing? I think you’d really love it; it does some really interesting stuff with language (obviously, from the track you shared) in a way that I don’t hear in a lot of experimental electronics.
    Tell me how you like Balzac if you do end up picking him up! I’m curious to see what you think. That’s wonderful that you’re almost finished with the script. It’s totally an exciting idea. It’s funny, I’m watching all these vampire movies for class, and for the campy one’s I guess it’s obvious that the best parts are always the practical effects, and the justification of using them is such a bore usually, so… I highly doubt you’re making a campy horror movie, but giving intense focus to the haunted house for effects, and by turning the focus of the movie to the effect itself, seems like a totally natural way to fix that problem / an inherently interesting thing to explore. Does that make sense?
    Also, that reminds me, if you haven’t already, you should check out the Jean Rollins movie “The Rape of the Vampire”. I watched it for class, and totally loved it… well, the first twenty or so minutes. The rest has some very interesting big concepts but totally falls apart imo. It has a very homemade horror movie vibe that I think you’d connect with. Have you seen any Rollins movies?
    My Wednesday was pretty great aside from internship work that’s empty tedious wok. Lot’s of prep for movies and working on writing, fortunately. How was your Wednesday?

  9. As far as my personal taste is concerned this is your best gig post ever. I have a really long day at the office ahead of me so looking forward to getting some flow (it always feels like betrayal to put music in the background but is it really?).

    I broke up with my boyfriend yesterday. It was a classic case of a relationship continuing past its ideal expiration date because of being in love with being in love more than with the actual person. I feel like I have a lot more energy already for stuff that I pushed aside during the relationship. I wonder how much breakups have changed since the invention of movies and especially TV made them inevitably feel corny and scripted in addition to the whole expectable range of emotions. Before did people feel like they were in a play or novel?

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