Archive | March, 2012

Chromatropic at Hidden Noise

21 Mar

Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Rose Kallal, Victoria Morton
24th March – 14th April 2012

The Hidden Noise is pleased to present the first exhibition in Scotland of New York based artist and musician Rose Kallal. A regular collaborator with artist/curator Mark Beasley she has presented her work including at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Lisa Cooley Gallery and MoMa PS1 Her work will be shown alongside paintings by Glasgow artist Victoria Morton and iconic works by Josef Albers and Anni Albers.

Kallal will be presenting a new 16mm film installation Implicate, Explicate, created especially for The Hidden Noise, with a soundtrack produced in collaboration with Mark Pilkington. The overlapping projections appropriate footage from sources as diverse as Brian De Palma’s Dionysus to contemporary 3D simulations of fractals, as well as her own original footage.

For the opening night on 23rd March, Rose Kallal and Mark Pilkington will do a live music performance in the gallery.

The Hidden Noise
First Floor
, 24 Hayburn Crescent, Glasgow,  G11 5AY
0141 339 9186 /

Opening times:
Thurs – Sat 12-5pm or by appointment

Saucer Country

19 Mar

Saucer Country
is a new comic book series written by Paul Cornell, drawn by Ryan Kelly and published by Vertigo.

SAUCER COUNTRY is a dark thriller that blends UFO lore and alien abduction with political intrigue, all set in the hauntingly beautiful Southwest.

The first issue has already been getting rave reviews in the comic press and the series looks set to be a sophisticated and enjoyable take on the UFO lore. With so much rich material to play with, this could really be a fun, wild ride. Writes Cornell:

To know a country, know its mythology. And this is the only modern American mythology.

I’ve also been thrilled to spot this on Paul’s blog:

I should also take this opportunity to once again thank Mark Pilkington, whose fantastic book Mirage Men is one of the few sane works about UFO mythology. Mark is one of the major influences on Saucer Country.

Shucks! I’ll hope to have a cameo appearance in a future issue!


The Abuses of Enchantment

16 Mar


Here’s a video of a presentation I gave at Dr David Luke’s ‘Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness’ lecture series at London’s October Gallery in February 2011.  The talk incorporates and expands upon some of the ideas outlined in my book Mirage Men.

 In this audio-visual presentation Mark shows how military and intelligence operators have shaped and exploited beliefs in UFOs, ghosts, monsters, vampires, and elements from folklore and conspiracy theory to create an armoury of supernatural weapons of mass deception capable of manipulating consciousness on a grand scale. The inspiration for these toys, tools and techniques has come from a range of sources including fiction, cinema, stage magic, advertising and occultism and has, for many of its intended and unintended targets, altered their very perception and understanding of the world around us.

David is putting together an anthology based around this long-running series, to be published in the near future by Strange Attractor Press.

[Video by Gyrus]


Rose Kallal at Hidden Noise

13 Mar

Following the Austin Osman Spare exhibition at Glasgow’s Hidden Noise gallery comes an exhibition of 16mm films by New York artist and musician Rose Kallal – above you can see her film installation Mobius Coil from 2010 and below, The Middle Pillar from 2008.

I’m excited to be playing live electronics with Rose at the opening event on Friday 23 March from 7pm, and then again at Uncle Chop Chop at Nice n Sleazy at around 11pm. Rose will play drums for the UCC performance.

Rose’s films will be showing until late April at The Hidden Noise gallery, 1st Floor, 24 Hayburn Crescent, Glasgow G11 5AY.

Solar Flares Burn For You

8 Mar

With the news media on high drama alert over impending solar flare activity, it seems as good a time as any to post this video, shot in September 2011, of Raagnagrok Allstars grokking out at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, accompanied by the dazzling Bardo Light Show.

Raagnagrok Allstars are, left to right: Mr Andy Cooke on bass, Mr Paul May on drums, Mr Zali Krishna on eelectric sitar, and Mr Myself, off camera, on eelectronics.

Meanwhile, after seven years in the bardo, the first Raagnagrok album, Man Woman Birth Death Infinity, is finished bar the tweaking, and should make an appearance some time this year….


Paper sounds in Z

7 Mar

One of the many highlights of The Wire and Sound & Music’s Off the Page festival this year was the presentation by Andrei Smirnov, director of the Theremin Centre at Moscow State Conservatory.

A preview of his forthcoming book, expanded from a recent exhibition, Smirnov’s talk outlined an early history of electronic music experimentation in Soviet Russia that, until recently, was almost entirely lost.

The 1930s saw the development of a wide range of techniques and technologies that, due to the political upheavals of the time, had been erased by the start of World War II, only to be (partly) re-invented by a second wave of  pioneers in the West, Brits like Tristram Cary and Daphne Oram in the 1950s, and Americans Bob Moog and Don Buchla in the 1960s.

Jaws throughout the auditorium dropped as Smirnov outlined and demonstrated early rhythm machines, sequencers, synthesisers and graphic sound techniques, such as Nikolai Voinov’s Paper Sound system for generating electronic tones and timbres. This is nothing less than a new chapter in the history of electronic music.

The above cartoon, Vor (The Thief), from 1934, employs Voinov’s system for its inventive score, and demonstrates some of the very modern sounds that emerged from these early electronic instruments. I believe that the image below is of one of Voinov’s multi-tracked paper scores.

Smirnov’s book Sound in Z is due from Walther Konig this Spring.

Thanks to Jim ‘Xylitol’ Backhouse for the animation link.

Ken Russell Forever

5 Mar

[click for full size image]

The good folks behind last year’s amazing Scala Forever festival are at it again, with a tribute to the maverick overgrown enfant terrible, Ken Russell.

Once again the retrospective is being crowd-hosted by London’s independent cinema clubs and venues, like Cigarette Burns and Midnight Movies – to my mind one of the most exciting developments in cinema of the past few years. Strange Attractor, along with Electric Sheep magazine, are a proud part of that, screening the under-rated Lair of the White Worm on 14 March at the Horse Hospital.

Meanwhile, on 16 March, Electric Sheep editor Virginie Selavy, contributor Richard Bancroft and myself will be talking about our Ken on the Electric Sheep radio show on Resonance FM.