October 10, 2004


As the intense crushing pressure of the start of term recedes (by all accounts, the worst ever at the college --- DON'T EVEN START me on how Toneee education education education Blair is systematically turning all educational institutions in this country into annexes of his Stalinist propaganda regime*) --- I'm delighted to be able to catch up with what's happening on the blogs. Naturally, I wholly approve of the new direction Gutterbreakz has gone in. As Matt rightly pointed out, the mp3 blog can be a lazy and dis-spiriting format, with sound and text actually delibidinizing one another. Nick, however, uses mp3's not as a substitute for discursive consistency but as illustrations of his clearly identifiable aesthetic.

Predictably of course I'm most enthusiastic about Nick's post on the cover art for the Dr Who Target paperbacks of the seventies. Like Nick, any encounters with the pre-Pertwee Who mythos I had as a child took place not --- in those days before VCRs ---onscreen but, virtually, in my head, with the books as primitive but hyper-effective simstim machines.

And the mp3 extract of Malcolm Clarke's Sea Devils soundtrack is a stunning reminder of how gone the BBC Radiophonic Workshop were. Nick is right to draw the parallel with Throbbing Gristle (listening to TG back to back with Delia Derbyshire recently the same thing occurred to me) --- but you really have to hear the atonal electrodelia of Clarke's soundtrack to believe it. ---- btw The Sea Devils, like their terrestrial counterparts, the Silurians, were essentially an appropriation of Lovecraft's mythos (cf The Shadow over Innsmouth especially) --- If you watch that adventure now, you're struck by the way in which the coldubbed electronic swarmsonix dominate, so that the images and dialogue seem like backgrounds to the soundeliriam rather than the other way around.

This post written while listening to the BBC's excellent CD reconstruction of the Web of Fear.

*Except of course, for all its evils, Stalin's regime actually DID something, whereas for the antiproductive Kommisars of Derealising Blairite Kapital, reality is a distraction from the next PR powerpoint presentation.

Posted by mark at October 10, 2004 07:12 PM | TrackBack