1969 – pre-punk punk

As I perused the listings, there was one that I could not miss under any circumstance. The king of punk, Iggy Pop, in January 1991.

Hearing Iggy’s first band, the Stooges, had been a life-changing moment for me. Their self-titled album was pretty much my bible. It was druggy, dumb and completely primal. I’d never heard anything quite like it and even though that band had pretty much fallen apart by the time I was born, I grew to love the three Stooges albums as much as any music I’d heard. It was my guitar teacher, Harry, who played them to me first. He played Raw Power and it floored me: “Raw Power has a healing hand / Raw Power can destroy a man!” I hadn’t the faintest idea what this Raw Power was (and still don’t) but I loved the sound of it and knew I required as much of it as possible in my life. Iggy was the living embodiment of that complete don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. The wailing guitars and primal rhythms made so much sense to me. I was enraptured by its intensity and ferocity. It was perfect.

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite
from: Spaceships Over Glasgow

In a strange coincidence, the young Braithwaite and Aitchison first caught sight of Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton at a public meeting in Bonnybridge, near Falkirk, called to address the town’s mid-90s spate of UFO sightings. In the book, he ponders the possibility of hiring someone, as Jimi Hendrix did, to watch out during Mogwai gigs for alien craft drawn to the music. So, does he still believe?

“Oh, more than ever!” he says. “Through my life, I went through periods of doubt, but the New York Times UFO expose from a few years ago threw me straight back in. I mean, I don’t actually know what they are, but there’s definitely weird things flying about, 100%.”

Braithwaite Interview, Guardian


1969 – pre-punk punk

theon cross

rare brilliance with flaws

i’ve been too enamored of cross… it took me awhile to feel the detrimental effect of the sax player. it’s become so bad, the sax players monotony, that i can’t listen to cross anymore… though he’s totally brilliant. there is also, again, i was slow to hear it, a bit too much influence from miroslav vitous, of weather report fame, though he broke with them when they became to commercial.

until, his latest album: intra-I, where these flaws my be lessening. i’m not sure. easy to reach to rap and latin. not sure that direction isn’t the same as his drawing on vitous and being overrun by an inferior sax player.

what would he be, entirely on his own?

maybe he needs seven years in his own wilderness to perfect his own agenda, and not compromise it.

he does have the perfect, equally brilliant drummer.

but too much melodramatic brass negates them both as much as the negating sax player of the first two albums. some of the electronics work beautifully, so perhaps that might be kept. but given his penchant of poor, weirdly overriding and negative band members, i fear that might become yet more filler he doesn’t need.

i want to, but am not convinced of his fusionist tendencies. its all seems arbitrary, and opposed to the perfectly clear purist tendency of his own commitment to the tuba. for that, he might look to the trombone compositions and performances of zorn; and, to the sax playing of dolphy, perhaps a musician with a similarly unique approach to an instrument.

for what it’s worth, in the interstices where i’m not hearing ‘correctly’….

then, there is ‘Universal Alignment’ of Intra-I, that gives my critique legitimacy. perhaps the best composition of cross’s yet.

theon cross

I told you so – US Civil War began with Reagan

It began with the political strategy of Karl Rove to polarize the bastions of White Liberalism from White Conservatism, city from country, San Francisco and Austin from Columbus and Miami, privileged middle class centrists from under-privleged working class rightists, secularists from theocrats, identity politics from patriotism, pro-choice from pro-life, education from politics, intelligence from celebrity, citizen rights from consumer rights, race from nationalism, gender from self, justice from power. And the list goes on.

Bourdieu once pointed out that the Left is several symbolic revolutions behind the Right.

Sentence - sumbolon moving through western currents- coins or bones broken in two parts along an unpredictable divide, the break the proof the holders of the halves are the partners of a contract - even if the holders are not the original partners -- i.e., Ronald Regan with Herbert Kohl laid a wreath at the the Bitburg SS Cemetery, and five months latter Nakasone paid tribute at the National Yasukuni Shrine where WWII war dead are commemorated, signing the registry with his official title. the contract: fascism.

China and Korea protested the later but no one protested the former. In the United States, fascism has long lain dormant. And now its is on the threshold of civil war, again.

The United States today is, once again, headed for civil war, and, once again, it cannot bear to face it. The political problems are both structural and immediate, the crisis both longstanding and accelerating. The American political system has become so overwhelmed by anger that even the most basic tasks of government are increasingly impossible.

The legal system grows less legitimate by the day. Trust in government at all levels is in freefall, or, like Congress, with approval ratings hovering around 20%, cannot fall any lower. Right now, elected sheriffs openly promote resistance to federal authority. Right now, militias train and arm themselves in preparation for the fall of the Republic. Right now, doctrines of a radical, unachievable, messianic freedom spread across the internet, on talk radio, on cable television, in the malls.

The consequences of the breakdown of the American system is only now beginning to be felt. January 6 wasn’t a wake-up call; it was a rallying cry. The Capitol police have seen threats against members of Congress increase by 107%. Fred Upton, Republican representative from Michigan, recently shared a message he had received: “I hope you die. I hope everybody in your family dies.” And it’s not just politicians but anyone involved in the running of the electoral system. Death threats have become a standard aspect of the work life of election supervisors and school board members. A third of poll workers, in the aftermath of 2020, said they felt unsafe.

The problem is not who is in power, but the structures of power.

Under such conditions, party politics have become mostly a distraction. The parties and the people in the parties no longer matter much, one way or the other. Blaming one side or the other offers a perverse species of hope. “If only more moderate Republicans were in office, if only bipartisanship could be restored to what it was.” Such hopes are not only reckless but irresponsible. The problem is not who is in power, but the structures of power.

Stephen Marche


For ‘We Late Egyptians,’ protest is NOT enough: Science has been and IS the Cause of the downfall of humanity and the planet. Science is the great force of Nihilism that Nietzsche prophesized.

Today, there is NO effective protest method in the western world to combat what is nothing less than a slaughter of democracy. Not in the US, not in the UK, not in the EU.

Yet, the most effective ‘protests’ in all three of those territories, are led by their neoliberal, austerity ‘governments’. By ultra-right anti-democratic ideologues and fools, and the Robert’s court opposed to human rights, human justice, human equality, and human dignity.

And the greatest en masse supporters of these protesters are the UK and EU parliaments, along with the US congress, along with the national banks, the lobbyists, the global corporate elite, the IMF, the World Bank, the stock exchanges, and the national party organizations that support them.

The original leaders of this global revolution in support of the anti-democratic right, were Thatcher and Reagan.  Their revolutionary method was based on a series of strategies: eliminating taxation for corporations, the elimination of all social welfare, both strategies of which have meant the privatization of taxation and dumping trillions of dollars into the pockets of the already rich.

Thatcher and Reagan began the revolution against democracy, particularly against the post-World War Two democratic order established by FDR, and it’s been the combination of the digitization of the economy, and, the ramping up of social media, that has allowed globalization to occur and undermine the nation state and all the civic values and constitutions that pretend to uphold them.

The FACT is that democracy has been still born. It never existed. But now, even the possibility and poorly functioning version of it, and even the fantasy of it’s existence has been destroyed. Perhaps that’s a good thing. Or, might be a good thing if history reflects these developments in 50 or 100 or 200 years from now; so, future generations might learn what a fantasy the last 200 years have been.

The FACT is that the GLOBAL environment has been destroyed. The FACT is that it cannot and will not be saved. The FACT is that science has failed because the illusion is that science is neutral, while it has since its founding mechanicism and rationalism has worked in league with Capital to produce this state of catastrophe. Science has produced capitalism and allowed it to go rogue against everything it knows. And science repeatedly operates anti-humanistically. Science created the machine that has produced our cesspool world. Science created mechanized warfare, and continues to. Science is nothing more, today, than an notary that poorly attempts to explain how science has destroyed humanity. Science is the archivist and the documentarian of how it itself has ruined an entire world, Earth.

So much for the scientifically caused ‘Enlightenment’. Science is no different than mass media: it simply normalizes and mitigates, unscientifically, the utter catastrophe it itself has visited on perhaps the only unique planet in the cosmos that until now, has supported life. Science, that created the atomic bomb and normalized that by spreading it around the planet, now pretends to suggest that it itself, science, can get humanity out of the impossible hole it has created.

So, let’s put this in perspective: science has created global warming, climate change, capitalism, the ideology of progress, and yet, represents itself as the great savoir, against, itself. To put this in historical terms: modernity IS science; and modernity has destroy the very humanism it created, and a great percentage of the rest of the life on the planet. And it’s not that we were not forewarned. The anti-science philosophers and critics from the 16th through the 19th centuries were many, Nietzsche being the greatest of them.

What’s to be done? Probably, nothing, now. It’s too late.

I told you so – US Civil War began with Reagan

Faith in -196C: pioneers of resurrection – a photo essay – Giuseppe Nucci

Olga Levitskaya, 24 years old trans-humanist and neuro-biologist, after a fundraising event hold in the cosmonauts’ museum, to support the development of the cybersuite

Neurobiologist and transhumanist Olga Levitskaya, 24, pictured in Moscow, is among those who believe that, through science, humans will reverse death. Photograph: Giuseppe Nucci The Guardian picture essay

Faith in -196C: pioneers of resurrection – a photo essay

The photographer Giuseppe Nucci meets the cosmists and pioneers of transhumanism who make up the first cryopreservation society in Eurasia. Its storage conserves more than 80 bodies from around the world with the aim of bringing them back to life in the futureby

In Moscow at the end of the 19th century a librarian of poor origins started reflecting on how future human beings, raising themselves from a condition of conflict and divisiveness, would eventually be able to defeat evil and death through a technological and cultural revolution. His name was Nikolai Fedorovich Fedorov. In the long run, the philosopher’s beliefs permeated Russian culture, inspiring scientists, mystics and artists who shared a peculiar, spiritual-philosophic doctrine later known as cosmism.

Moscow, Russian Federation, December 2017. In the musem-library named after Fedorov, some cosmists prepare celebrations on the occasion of the anniversary of Svetlana Semenova’s death. During the years, this place has represented the very heart of the Russian cosmist movement, and is to these days engaged in promoting and developing Fedorov’s ideas and thought.
In the museum library named after Fedorov, cosmists prepare to mark the anniversary of the death, in 2014, of Svetlana Semenova, a leading researcher into Fedorov’s works, whose DNA has been preserved. The library, seen as the heart of the Russian cosmist movement, is engaged in promoting and developing Fedorov’s ideas and thought.
Cosmists during the annual meeting on the occasion of the anniversary of Svetlana Semenova’s death.
Left, cosmists during the annual meeting on the anniversary of Semenova’s death. Right, Misha Ivanov and Elena Milova, two delegates at a conference on anti-ageing.
Anastasia Gracheva, activist of the Russian Cosmist Movement
Semenova’s daughter, Anastasia Gracheva, a Russian cosmist activist, studies objects in the museum. Her mother’s body is preserved by the cryopreservation society KrioRus with the aim of bringing her back to life some time in the future.

Fedorov’s ideas have been spread by Russian cosmists, whose thoughts have merged into a wider international philosophic movement known as transhumanism.

Alexey Samykin and Igor Trapeznikov – activists of the Russian transhumanist movement – inside Kriorus headquarter during the making of the company documentary by the German channel Galileo.
Two transhumanist activists, Alexey Samykin and Igor Trapeznikov, pictured at the KrioRus headquarters during the making of a documentary by the German channel Galileo.
Alexey Samykin and Igor Trapeznikov activists of the Russian Transhumanist movement inside Kriorus headquarter during a Cryopreservation exhibition for a documentary about the company by the German channel Galileo. Bodies’ cryopreservation costs about 35.000 USD while brains’ cryopreservation costs about 18.000 USD. Cryopreservation of humans is not reversible with present technology; cryonicists hope that medical advances will someday allow cryopreserved people to be revived.

Transhumanism is a cultural movement that encourages scientific and technological discoveries to enhance human physical and cognitive capacities. It believes that a future most people dismiss as science fiction is just around the corner. Transhumanists say that by 2045, humanity will experience “singularity”, a theory predicting human and artificial intelligence can be fused.

Filippo Polistena, founder of the Polistena Human Cryopreservation, and his collaborators prepare the body of a cryopatient to be sent to Russia in a cemetery in Bologna, Italy, November 2017. Kriorus is making numerous deals outside of Russia to promote the practice of hybernation and carries out directly the training of collaborators.
Filippo Polistena, founder of the KrioRus subsidiary Polistena Human Cryopreservation company, and colleagues, prepare the body of a client in Bologna, Italy, to be sent to Russia. KrioRus is making numerous deals outside Russia to promote ‘hybernation’.
One of Kriorus’ technicians about to enter the cooling chamber before the immersion into liquid nitrogen. In the cooling chamber the bodies are covered with dry ice to homogeneously drop body temperature to -78C. The use of the mask is mandatory, because the carbon dioxide vapours produced by sublimation can cause asphyxia.
A KrioRus technician prepares to enter a cooling chamber, where bodies are covered with dry ice in order to drop their temperature to an initial -78C. The mask is necessary to guard against asphyxiation by the carbon dioxide vapours in the chamber.
During the twice-a-week storage maintenance, Ivan Stepin, deputy director of Kriorus and member of the transhumanist moment, waits for the end of the storage filling.
Ivan Stepin, deputy director of KrioRus and member of the transhumanist moment, waiting for twice-a-week storage maintenance to be completed.

Russian transhumanists established KrioRus, the first cryopreservation society in Eurasia, in 2003. Today it conserves 81 human bodies, from Russia, the US, the Netherlands, Japan, Israel, Italy, Switzerland and Australia, as well as animals. It is based in Sergiev Posad, a residential neighbourhood more than two hours north of Moscow.

Outside a liquid nitrogen and dry ice factory called Pole of Cold at the periphery of Moscow during stockpiling operations. This company was founded by Russian transhumanists Eugeny Zimin and Andrey Shvedko, who previously worked for Kriorus. The cost of liquid nitrogen is about 10 rubles (£0.1) per litre while the cost of dry ice is higher, about 80 rubles (£0.8) per kg.
Outside the liquid nitrogen and dry ice factory Pole of Cold, on the periphery of Moscow.

Signing a contract to be cryopreserved is an act of faith in scientific research, whose progress in the fields of life extension and medicine make some people believe that humanity is inexorably heading towards immortality. While awaiting technological their hoped for resurrection, the bodies of KrioRus’s clients float in storage units at a temperature of -196C.

With death many people’s greatest fear, cosmists and transhumanists can offer a seductive myth of immortality.

Faith in -196C: pioneers of resurrection – a photo essay – Giuseppe Nucci

Permanecia Voluntaria – recovered Mexican pop film

There was also a time when people would sit in the aisles so they could dance along with the musical numbers.

A poster for the film Santo v the Evil Brain
“In the beginning, the biggest challenge was the disdain for popular cinema,” says García Besné.

“I’ve heard important people say that these films should have been burned. What I tried to do was put these films in the proper context and explain why they were made and why people wanted to see this kind of cinema.

“It’s about getting people to see things through different eyes. Mexico is a very class-ridden country, and we’re very used to saying, ‘Well, that’s not worth much’, or, ‘That’s just rubbish.’”


A poster for La mujer murcielago (The Batwoman)
Permanecia Voluntaria – recovered Mexican pop film

Phuong Tâm – nhac kich dong (action music)

Magical Nights compiles recordings from 1964 to 1966, her final years singing. It is a testament to Vietnam’s embrace of rock. The music initially trickled into the French high schools, a legacy of colonial rule, then later via the Americans – a growing presence since the 1950s, as the Vietnam war escalated. In South Vietnam, performing foreign music was permitted but recording it was not, given that all cultural products were vetted by the authorities. But the influence of foreign music could not be quashed, so composers began writing Vietnamese songs in styles including the twist, surf, hully gully and mashed potato. All this music was known locally as nhac kich dong (action music).

Magical Nights: Saigon Surf, Twist & Soul 1964-1966 is out now on Sublime Frequencies


Phuong Tâm – nhac kich dong (action music)


Yet, despite her predilection for pushing boundaries, Yano remains remarkably unassuming about her early work. Was it radical to be self-producing her albums? No, not really, she just thought it would be easier that way. Was it unusual to use an ARP synthesiser in 1976 (a year before it appeared on David Bowie’s Low)? She shrugs and says she never really thought about it.