on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2016 30 Jul

Some Strange And Broken Windows for August

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 5 Comments

I absolutely loved this book! Unapologetically grim, „Available Dark“ mines the ripe but overlooked black metal culture of the 80s and 90s to great effect. A must read for readers who appreciate a good anti-hero but would love a female one, as Cass Neary is what you’ve been waiting for. It has a bit of Chuck Palahnuik vibe (think Diary), and is a great follow up to the excellent Generation Loss.


Rachel is right about Elizabeth Hand’s Available Dark, and just a few days back, you can read – here – about some of Elizabeth’s favourite albums.  Apart from the thriller of the month (read, in case you’ll give it a chance, at first, the German translation of „Generation Loss“ – „Dem Tod so nah“ ist ein fantastischer Thriller, der beginnt in den frühen Tagen des CBGB’s in New York, ein Muss für Freunde der Fotografie und knallharter psychologischer Thriller mit Tiefgang), this month’s recommendations are a rather wild mix full of surreal effects and experiences, disturbances and distortions.

After Robert Macfarlane’s slow walking excellence, it’s for sure a pure delight to encounter Geoff Dyer’s new travel stories. I had to laugh out loud more than once when he, for example, tried to follow the footsteps of Paul Gauguin on far away islands. Dyer’s book is much more witty, but always has a dark edge. After I read his essay about „The Forbidden City“, I put it immediatley on the list of 100 places I don’t want to see before I die. Jazz also turns up, remember, Geoff has written the cultish „But Beautiful“, though I’m a bigger fan of his books about American photography (have a look, Lorenz and Jan!) – and Tarkowski’s weirdest film! :)

Meanwhile, one of our „Philosophica“ of early summer, has been translated into our home language. Yes, I’m referring to Sarah Bakewell’s brilliant book about the French existenzialists.

The reissue of the month is dedicated to a long-lost album that makes the expression „freak folk“ look rather tame and childish. Andrew Male has written a short and essential review for this month’s time travellers.

There might be a lot to write about our album of the month, Ian William Craig’s Centres, but even better, there is  even more to listen to – for me, it is a culmination of aethetics that the likes of Frost, Fennesz and Hecker have worked on in recent years. And with all the songs and song fragments buried and freed from the ashes here, it’s a unique elaboration of the spirit of „My Bloody Valentine“. And very different from the pioneers. This is an album made for headphones.


P.S.: If we would have a column for the best „TV series of the month“, it would definitely be Netflix’s Stranger Things (Season 1), with its unique melange of nostalgia, creepiness, 80’s flavour. Horror, loss and the values of friendship: Bloodline (Season 2) is worth watching, too.

This entry was posted on Samstag, 30. Juli 2016 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Jan Reetze:

    I will see what the library has!

  2. Lajla:

    Müssen wir schon wieder wandern gehen? :)

    Danke für die tempting tips!

  3. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Besser nicht in Beijing. Und die Fussstapfen von Gauguin können mir auch erspart bleiben. Geoff ist ein richtig cooler Typ, ich war mal, als er noch in London wohnte, bei ihm zuhause. Ihm habe ich u.a. Entdeckung von The Necks und deren Album Drive By zu verdanken!

  4. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Und, Lajla, nächste Mal,
    geht es um die verschollenen Tagebücher des Polarforschers Scott :)

  5. Lorenz:

    Vielen Dank fuer den Tip. Ein Mensch mit so vielen unterschiedlichen Talenten (und Veroeffentlichungen), den es fuer mich noch zu entdecken gibt! Da ich die Necks hier kennen gelernt habe, habe ich es ja dann auch ihm zu verdanken.

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