h1

In a Gaddance With Me

May 26, 2014

Finally a chance to quote The Simpsons! Hey, Marge, remember when we used to make out to this hymn? Via El Diabolik‘s brilliant podcast I was hepped to Bappi Lahiri‘s Bollywood outing Everybody Dance With Me that sounds a lot like Iron Butterfly‘s 17-minute stoner classic In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida. Add some TroggsWild Thing for the chorus and you’re there!

If you already gave the brilliant Dawn of the Synth compilations a spin, (part two is my personal fave), you might wanna check out El Diabolik’s World of Psychotronic Soundtracks as they offer great collections of soundtrack music, exotica/lounge cheese, 1980s synth/new wave and whatnot – always giving you an interesting mix with trivia and facts delivered in a nice, conversational way. I’ve added their page to my links so feel free to check that one out. Got the time to give I Ron Butterfly a spin?

h1

R.I.P. H.R. Giger!

May 13, 2014
photo credit unknown

photo credit unknown

Well, as the news became official in Swiss media roughly an hour ago, I am saddened to announce that dark genius H.R. Giger passed away as a result of injuries sustained in a fall yesterday. He was 74 years old.

Mostly famous for his brilliant work creating both creature and set designs for Ridley Scott‘s sci-fi/horror classic Alien, most punkers (including myself) probably came across the Swiss artist via The Dead KennedysFrankenchrist album and that insert poster he provided that ended up getting lead singer Jello Biafra in all sorts of legal trouble (check it out here but it’s definitely, positively NSFW).

A genuine artist who’s surreal vision generated both admiration and disgust – but never left anyone unaffected – he was truly one of a kind and will be missed. Make sure to visit his official website here, write some kind words on the Facebook page here, and check out Alien: Behind the Scenes for a fascinating insight into the making of the 1979 blockbuster:

h1

Charles Bronson

May 10, 2014

Here we go: I was recently asked by Doc Terror to contribute a mix for their Italian Horror Week in June, and instead of culling some choice cuts from my vinyl and CD collection – and this is where the workaholic in me shines through – I immediately suggested creating all-new Call Me Greenhorn tracks instead.

I’ve currently finished up roughly a dozen tracks, with some 3-4 demoed ideas waiting to be worked on, and decided to post a teaser taste on my SoundCloud to start promoting the release (that will be available on Amazon, Spotify, Bandcamp etc. later on). We’re talking a total of between 12-17 tracks and roughly 30 to 40 minutes of various horror/exploitation-inspired sounds. Check out Charles Bronson and get ready for June!

EDIT: My bad, the Italian Horror Week is in July, not June.

h1

Son of Electric Frankenstein

May 3, 2014
image courtesy Sal Canzonieri.

image courtesy Sal Canzonieri.

Well, I haven’t had this confirmed yet, but I did create posters for both Electric Frankenstein and The Kung Fu Killers during the time period, and if nothing else I can plug a pretty damn cool book release.

Son of Electric Frankenstein: More High Energy Punk Rock & Roll Poster & Record Art is the second big book of amazing Poster and Record Cover art, showing Electric Frankenstein’s second decade of artwork collected from where the first book, published by Dark Horse Books, left off. 

Delivering more great art and artists from the world of Low Brow, Underground, Kustom Kulture, Monster Art, it features more monstrous works from the who’s-who of poster legends Peter Bagge, John Pound, Johnny Ace, Coop, Art ChantryDirty Donny Gillies, Derek Hess, Alan Forbes, and more…!

Roughly 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches with 164 pages in glorious full color, the book cost $35.36. Get it at http://www.amazon.com/Son-Electric-Frankenstein-Energy-Poster/dp/1482686481

EDIT: I’ve had it confirmed by Sal Canzonieri himself that I indeed have my work featured in this book.

h1

Do the Robot

May 2, 2014
image courtesy Andy Fielding.

image courtesy Andy Fielding.

Fire up that rocket and head on over to Project Moonbase for their latest episode entitled Robot Disco. For roughly an hour DJ Bongoboy and MC Zirconium gives us android-themed tracks that includes personal fave Cloud Waste and the Calf, a cheesy track from Italian composer Piero Umiliani and Danse Électrique off my latest album Space Kitty 2000 – plus the always hilarious Unnecessary News segment.

Offering up some nice words about not only the song but the album as a whole, they sum it up as “a rather lovely mixture of electronic retro-futuristic numbers”, something that’s much appreciated. Check out the episode here (free download available), get the album here and how about giving The SaintsDo the Robot a spin below:

h1

Shadows of Prey

April 29, 2014

Man, is this a great day or what? I am having a major surge of energy today. After a roughly 30 minute walk in the morning sun and catching the solar eclipse seen in Australia online, I received the news that John Brito Films‘ proof of concept for the coming Shadows of Prey horror/sci-fi series has been made official.

Having already seen the twelve-second animation roughly two weeks ago, it still thrills me to no end seeing this initial concept. In so few words I’d say this is pretty damn great, the music and imagery works beautifully and I can’t wait to see the finished results.

Until then, check out John’s own words about the animation here, and since it’s his birthday, how about writing him some birthday wishes on his Facebook?

h1

Giallos Flame

April 26, 2014

I recently did a live interview with Beyond the Playlist (online in June!) and feel kinda lame as I completely forgot to plug this artist while I had the chance: Giallos Flame! The pseudonym for UK-based (?) multi-instrumentalist Ron Graham, this project is my personal fave when it comes to modern, horror OST-influenced music ’cause his works is second to none. Not only influenced by the Italian-produced exploitation fare of the 1970s and 80s, his works have the sound and feel down so cold that they easily could be mistaken for the real thing. Those lesser morally inclined could probably get away with putting his vinyl records in dusty, pre-worn sleeves and sell to the uninitiated on eBay for impressive sums and none of them would be the wiser.

giallosNow, Ron seems to be quite the reserved, private guy as he’s been active for more than a decade, but I’d be damned if I could find any additional information or interviews online – an interesting experience as it both frustrates you and reinvigorates your inner nerd (actually, giving it a raging hard-on would be a more proper phrase) as it has you clawing for those scraps of knowledge picked up here and there, furiously assembling them in order to complete the picture. It’s almost like a throwback to the pre-internet late 1980s when horror movies could be rare, uncensored edition usually meant “third generation copy” and information about said titles surfaced once every second year in fanzines that took 6 to 8 weeks to arrive in your mail box. If this is a thought-out marketing strategy I gotta hand it to whoever’s behind it for pulling off the intriguing-mystery-artist image in an age where everybody has an online presence, especially musicians that have a tendency to promote every fart, burp and chord produced during the day. All joking aside, like The Active Listener stated last year his obscurity is puzzling.

He’s done some movie work, composing musical scores for low-budget horrors such as Murder-Set-Pieces and Black Devil Doll, and his discography includes several albums and EPs – all on independent labels. Recently signing to Rotary Tower – both a record label and music library meaning you can license his works for media use - there are two new releases in the plans, Archivio Giallo volumes 1 and 2, collecting over two dozens of rare and unreleased tracks into one hour-long retro experience. Both can be streamed in full on SoundCloud (links below) and I also took the time to create a playlist on YouTube, culling together all the tracks I could find. Check him out!

Website: http://giallosflame.blogspot.com
Facebook:
 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Giallos-Flame/223057054378764
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-giallos-flame
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1700116/

h1

Blitzkrieg Hops

April 24, 2014

“Sugar doesn’t come close, We’re making it with maltose…” Well, as I just had an impromptu Skype chat with Nik and The Goat of Exploited Cinema – both brethren fans of The Ramones – I was hepped to the band’s 1995 Steel Reserve beer commercials (that might’ve coincided with Frank Kozik doing some artwork for said business).

Three tracks in total and it was pretty funny giving them a spin. Check ‘em out, make sure to check out Exploited Cinema’s official site here and on Facebook and while on the subject of Los Hermanos Ramone and beer:

h1

R.I.P. Mike Atta!

April 22, 2014

Sad news for the punk rock community: Mike Atta, guitarist of proto-hardcore outfit The Middle Class, passed away this Easter after fighting a four-year battle with cancer.

Forming the band with his brothers Jeff and Bruce, the band was considered one of the first hardcore outfits in the US, at least on the West Coast as The Bad Brains were active in the Washington, D.C./New York area at the same time. Their Out of Vogue EP was released on Joke Records in 1978 and is considered a pioneering record – fetching some impressive sums on eBay.

The band reunited in 2010, and even though he was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer in January that same year, Mike kept gigging with the band until the very end. Rest in peace.

More info at The Orange County Register and The OC Weekly.

photo courtesy the Orange County Register.

photo courtesy the Orange County Register.

h1

An Interview with Dawn Brown

April 14, 2014

(Following my interview with Tal Zimerman regarding his Why Horror? project, I decided to do an impromptu session with Dawn Brown for Swedish Gore Film Society.)

HoM01

Fans of Ray Harryhausen‘s work and Rankin/Bass‘ cult classic Mad Monster Party should definitely check out Dawn Brown‘s current Kickstarter project House of Monsters, that see classic screen monsters such as Dracula, The Mummy and The Wolfman revived in all their stop motion glory.

Having created (and directed) the 2012 short film of same name, Dawn, a Hollywood-based set decorator, is now looking to turn it into a web series. A Kansas native relocated to Los Angeles, she has worked with an impressive list of film makers that include Tim Burton, and she currently finished up The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, giving her time to focus on this project as well as answer a couple of questions I sent her way.

HoM04This is gonna sound weird coming from a horror fan – Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a personal fave – but House of Monsters really struck me as a nice throwback to the fun and naiveté of 1960s horror, and maybe even bringing back an “innocence” to the genre of sorts. What was the reasons for creating it?
Nothing weird about that – I’m a horror fan, too!  I love it all. Yes, House of Monsters is definitely a throwback to a simpler time. The Rankin/Bass classic Mad Monster Party is definitely an influence. Part of the reason for creating it may subconsciously be a reaction to a lot of the stuff that’s being produced these days. Corporate product that is so loud, so fast, so overproduced, so empty. I’m not going to name anything specifically, but I am going to go out on a limb and guess I’m not alone on this. So we made House of Monsters. It’s hand-made. It’s organic. It’s fun and simple, and hopefully something everyone can enjoy.

You’re definitely not alone. I personally haven’t been too impressed with the CGI effects that’s prevalent in the majority of movies these days. Not to take away anything from those programming said effects, but I miss the hands-on craft part of moviemaking. Like you said, it’s organic and, ultimately, human, I guess. Are you a Ray Harryhausen fan as well? What’s your fave film of his? Mine’s Jason & The Argonauts – love the skeleton army!
Mine is Clash of the Titans. Medusa scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid!

The 2012 short film received its share of awards. Was this the reason for deciding to create the web series or was it the growing grassroots support?
Both, definitely. We enjoyed connecting with people so much with the 2012 short, we absolutely want to build on that. We are launching a new studio, The Monster Shop, and this seems like a fantastic first project to get our name out there.

HoM02That’s awesome news! So will it focus on stop-motion animation or all kinds of features?
All kinds of features. We are artists, and our company is a creative services studio, offering everything from character designs, and set designs, pitch packages. All phases of creative development, including production.

So, is the plan to create multiple seasons or will this be limited to a certain number of webisodes?
That depends entirely on the fans. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, we will make as many episodes as we can.

Great! What about a physical release? Any plans of having it released on DVD/Blu-Ray in the future?
Our plan is to distribute through Amazon.com. They offer instant video streaming, downloading or physical discs. It’s your choice! I’m really excited about that.

Sounds great. Technically speaking: I’m amazed by the sheer amount of time put in when it comes to creating stop motion animation. What’s the average amount of hours for creating say a five-minute segment?
We can shoot about a minute a week, so a five minute segment would take 5 weeks to shoot. Add 1 to 2 weeks for post production. If you don’t have sets or puppets ready to go, I would add a week of prep for each week you shoot. So the short answer is 12 weeks for a 5 minute segment – starting from scratch.

HoM05Wow! I thought I was a patient SOB, but you guys must be the Zen monks of the entertainment industry, ha ha ha. So will the episodes be posted monthly, bi-monthly or what? Considering the amount of work, what’s the schedule?
Ha! Yes, animation does require a zen-like commitment! Depending on how many episodes we will have, I want to shoot them all at once and release them all at once. This is the age of binge watching, after all! For example, we’d break down the scripts and shoot all the castle scenes at once, shoot all the village scenes at once, etc. This will allow us to release the episodes as quickly as possible.

Great! Yeah, this is the Netflix-era after all. Can you tell me a little bit about the crew you’ve assembled for this? Being in Hollywood I’m guessing you have quite a nice pool of talent to draw from.
Yes, I am lucky to have a very talented crew. Our core crew is very small. Warren Manser is the character designer. He is a concept artist in the film industry. Current credits include Man of Steel and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Dianne Chadwick sews beautiful tiny costumes. She is a graphic designer in the film industry. Current credits include Oblivion and The Lone Ranger. Jon Neill is a sculptor, his recent credits include master pumpkin carver on the television show, Halloween Wars. I have connections in every level of production and can expand our crew as needed to address whatever needs arise.

That’s great! I know directors like Roger Corman and Russ Meyer preferred to work with a skeleton crew but also heard major directors talking about the advantages of having a large crew where everyone is a specialist in a small field. What’s your personal preference when it comes to crews?
I work for the big studios as a concept artist and we have large crews and everyone is a specialist in their field. So in that respect, I love that. It’s job security. It pays the bills. As a filmmaker, I prefer a smaller, more flexible skeleton crew. I think the more people are personally involved, the more they care about it. And that magic definitely shows on the screen.

Agreed. Speaking of Hollywood: Has the project itself gotten some word of mouth going? I saw USA Today mentioning it this past week and Kickstarter stepped in to fund the project. That must’ve been a blast!
Yeahhoo!!

But has there been any interest by producers, studios etc? Are you planning to pitch this at a later stage?
Right now, I just want to get funded by Thursday and give you guys some really fun and cool monster shorts. My focus is not on the studios, but you guys, the audience.

Sounds great. Best of luck with the project!

HoM03

Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/houseofmonsters/house-of-monsters-the-stop-motion-web-series
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/houseofmonstersmovie

UPDATE: This campaign was successfully funded on April 17th.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 107 other followers

%d bloggers like this: