Friday, August 12, 2005

Berlin Super 80 CD/DVD/Book
A DVD-flashback of early 80s Berlin subculture featuring output by virtuosos of the city's underground movie scene who rediscovered Super 8 as an outlet for their creative endeavours.
Accompanied by a compilation of music, covering a huge range of styles and currents - from punk to ingenious dilettantes, this lavish package recalls the walled-in city's unique feel and lifestyle.
By no means a nostalgic review of times long gone, but rather an appraisal of a creative Berlin which to this day exerts its influence on German pop culture and beyond. Featuring Die Todliche Doris, Einsturzende Neubauten, Malaria and many others of the scene's protagonists.
Besides the DVD featuring elaborately restored Super 8 films (running time: approx. 120 minutes), the luxurious package also contains a CD compilation of Berlin bands from the period 1979 to 1984 as well as a 100 page Book with lyrics, essays, background information and photographs by Peter Gruchot. In addition, the DVD itself features extensive bonus material: discographies and photo series (almost 300 photos!) plus an interview with Wolfgang Muller (of Die Todliche Doris).

Siouxsie & the Banshees
Downside Up
55 tracks on 4 CDs, featuring 34 tracks on CD for the first time, including The Thorn EP. 76-page booklet with an introduction by Siouxsie and full track annotation by all 3 band members plus full lyrics for all B-sides, printed for the first time. Sleevenotes by Mark Paytress. 200

Bjork
Drawing Restraint 9
DR9 is the latest filmed artwork by the multimedia enfant terrible Matthew Barney, whose romantic relationship with Bjork has spawned a joint creative effort. This intense soundtrack sees Bjork pick up the Japanese threads of Barney's film, writing music for an instrument called the sho and incorporating Noh theatre in the vocals for "Holographic Entrypoint". As challenging a work as any Bjork has produced, DR9 is not easy listening. Set on a Japanese whaling ship, Bjork's soundtrack is a murky mood piece featuring icy string sprays, sonar blips, and Bjork's distressed, often whale-like vocals. The nearest thing to a conventional song is opener 'Gratitude', in which Will Oldham sings the words of a letter written to General MacArthur imploring him to allow whaling to resume off Japan after the war.

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