Featured Album: Resolution (2017) by Krisis

Article – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

Krisis (aka Shannon Michels) is a Wollongong-based music producer who’s been tinkering away in his studio on beats and soundscapes for the better half of his life now. His new instrumental album Resolution is the culmination of this work.

“I had 17 years of my work to make something from. I chose to choose tracks from the last five years to give it some sort of coherence … my music has evolved.”

The Gong, as it’s known, is a seaside city of almost 300,000 on the east coast of NSW characterised by picturesque beaches and surrounding bushland. This natural beauty cocoons Wollongong’s heavy industry, the city’s beating heart that lights up the night sky like some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare.

Wollongong_at_night

By Robert Montgomery [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

In Resolution, the influence of his hometown and the hip-hop sensibilities that Krisis was weaned on are evident. The tracks It Isn’t Any Fun and Respek reflect these roots and from track to track, you can feel the evolution. The Bottom, Got Dark and Hard Labour thump, brood, and evoke imagery that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Philip K Dick novel, and the lighter, more contemplative tracks Tribute, New Dawn and The End Is A New beginning speak a language that suggests maturity that only comes with experience.

Among its influences, the album draws on triphop, dubstep, trap and ambient music to present an eclectic collection of tracks that reflect urban living, science fiction themes, and the fragility of humanity. It’s a solid collection of sounds that illustrates the breadth of ideas and moods that Krisis is able to evoke through his soundscapes.

Pump up that bass and give it a listen.

10407108_474053162737875_3881560407110368822_n

Follow and support Krisis on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Artist Showcase – Bryn DC

Art – by Bryn DC
Words – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

Config

Heret I

This accepted reality is but a delicately thin veil. What lies beneath, one can’t even begin to comprehend. Unless of course, you are artist Bryn DC, whose body of work explores this realm of unimaginable horror, bringing nightmares to life through sculpture, photography and moving images.

The year is 2006. The place, a student house in Canberra. Like the others at this party, I am an aspiring young artist, drawn by the promise of something deliciously bohemian and debaucherously dangerous. Not quite Dogs in Space, but still very exciting to a wide-eyed country boy like me. Every room buzzes with an energy that only the young, inspired, and hopeful can create. The bottle in my hand is empty. This minor setback leads me to the kitchen where I retrieve a fresh bottle from the fridge. I remove the twist-top lid and flick it in the general direction of the bin when I am accosted by a tall teenager with angular features.

“Birdseed under the eyelids!” he shouts, wild eyes gleaming under a floppy fringe, “Can you imagine anything more painful?” He gesticulates the action with his hands. As strange as he is, he certainly has my attention.

Flashforward three years, after I’ve escaped our nation’s Capital Territory to settle in Melbourne, and I’ve all but forgotten about this strange boy. Unbeknownst to me, the strange boy has outgrown Canberra and I am surprised to learn that he’s living a suburb away, on the couch of a mutual friend. In need of a place to stay until he finds his feet, he moves in to the spare room of our Brunswick house with my brother and me. With two cats and a backyard, this arrangement is good, if not a little chaotic. The place has become some kind of halfway-home for artists and backpackers. I move out, and life goes on.

Another three years pass, and it comes to be that once again, I have a spare room that Bryn DC ends up living in. With more cats and more backyard, it is slightly less chaotic—though not by much.

Situations and living arrangements change again and again. Every now and then our paths cross, but there is always one constant with Bryn DC, and that’s his passion for horror and art.

Over the years, like many of us, he’s tried his hand at a variety of disciplines to expand his knowledge, and to find his true calling as an artist. The journey has brought him to now, where he’s landed with both feet firmly on the ground, in photography. Drawing on his wide range of skills and experience in special effects and sculpture, he’s able to tell tales that span horror, alternate dystopian timelines (both past and future), and all in a style that is truly recognisable as his own.

The proof is in the pudding.

For more art and full credits visit: https://bryndc.com/


Follow and support Bryn DC at:

https://www.facebook.com/bryndcphotography/

https://www.instagram.com/bryndc/

 

 

22 animators collaborate on Rick and Morty season 3 trailer

Rick and Morty continues to be the most exciting thing on television at the moment, and with season 3 set to air at the end of the month, we can’t wait to check it out.

To prepare us, Adult Swim has released “Exquisite Corpse”, a promo for the coming season that showcases no less than 22 different artists.

Following the format of the surrealist parlour game of the same name, each artist has contributed a segment of their choosing to the completed piece. Individual segments are informed by only a small fraction of the whole, in this case, the last frame of the segment preceding.

For more details on the creation of the trailer and the animators involved, check out this article at itsnicethat.com.

Comic – Mike & Liam: don’t touch my dictaphone

Comic – Story by Morgan Thistlethwaite / Photography by Just ‘n Idea Productions

Starring Andy and Mog as Mike & Liam, the photos for this comic were taken many years ago with our good friends at Just ‘n Idea Productions, who were also responsible for our very first promotional images.

The comic was going to appear in a Potato Revolution ‘zine that never left the planning phase and now it’s here for your viewing pleasure.

To see more fantastic photography from Just ‘n Idea Productions, follow them on Facebook, Instagram or visit the website.

Featured Podcast: Tales from the Mind Boat

Article – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

Tales-From-The-Mind-Boat-1

Artist Trav Nash has achieved a lot in his time. I first met him in his previous incarnation as a comedian and room-runner for a modest little comedy night called Death Star Comedy back in 2011.

Death-Star-Comedy

When not weaving one of his high-energy comic stories on stage, you could find him each week, somewhere off to the side, making sure that proceedings went smoothly and drawing in his ever-present sketchbook.

Since then, among the many projects he’s managed to complete are, a point-and-click adventure game, and also an online comic.

The Trav Nash of today has moved away from the mantle of comedian but still tells stories that you can sometimes hear at storytelling events, like Bazaar Tales, in and around Melbourne. If you do manage to see him, you’ll find that he still carries his sketchbook (a necessary accessory if ever he gets made into a collectible action figure).

This sketchbook yields a bountiful collection of drawings that you can see and buy here on his Tumblr.

Sketchbook in hand, he’s still just off to the side making sure proceedings are running smoothly, but it’s no longer a comedy night he’s running but his day-by-day existence, chronicled in part by Tales from the Mind Boat.

Each episode features Trav’s musings and attempts of making sense of the world as he sees it. There’s also a story from his own past or that of a guest and the package is woven together by the soothing musical sounds of Tim Whitt. Sometimes funny, sad, poignant, or strange; what each story shares is that that they are all true.

With a list of guest storytellers that includes Justin Hamilton, Jon Bennett, Rob Hunter, and a huge variety of equally-entertaining people that you may not have heard of (but probably should), this podcast is well-worth the half an hour of your time that it asks.

Interested but don’t know where to start? Here are some recommendations:

Good-Grief-Peanuts-square-itunes-300x300If you want to hear Trav’s standup material, Episode 46 features a live recording of his 2011 show “Good Grief”.

Episode 50 is an off-script tangent on what the podcast means to Trav. Guest storyteller Gabe Hogan tells of a truly startling post-gig experience in the outer suburbs of Melbourne.

In Episode 61, Trav documents the process of telling a story at Bazaar Tales. Included is a live recording from the night that has potatoes in it.

For more Tales from the Mind Boat, go to iTunes and follow the show on Facebook.

Iggy Pop and David Bowie – two decades of uneasy collaboration Part 2: the ‘80s

Music review / Article – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

Iggy_Bowie_1986In this two-part series, I look at every album that, for better or worse, rock icons David Bowie and Iggy Pop share credits.

Find Part 1: the ‘70s here.

Tonight from 1984 is Bowie’s follow-up to the commercial success of Let’s Dance (1983).

david-bowie_tonightDavid Bowie – Tonight (1984)

Iggy’s presence on this record is not comparable to that of Bowie on the Iggy Pop records. However, including Tonight, Iggy is credited on five of the nine tracks with this mess of an album.

Don’t get me wrong, Blue Jean (with its mini-film Jazzin’ For Blue Jean by Julien Temple) is a classic pop song and Loving the Alien Doesn’t fair too badly either, but these two tracks show little to no evidence of input from Iggy.

For the title track, Bowie brought in Tina Tuner to duet with on this neutered (drug references removed) reggae version of Iggy’s song, and it sounds as bad as it looks on paper, believe me.

Neighborhood Threat, also from Lust For Life, makes the cut as well. Iggy’s 1977 version sounds very much like a precursor to what Bowie ends up doing on Scary Monsters and Super Creeps (1980). Perhaps if Bowie had delivered his version a few years earlier, it could have sounded better than it does here.

The third Iggy Pop cover present is Don’t Look Down from New Values (1979), his first solo record without Bowie. The original is a decent soul-influenced track that wouldn’t feel too out of place on Bowie’s Young Americans (1975). For some reason, Bowie gives this a reggae twist as well.

Two original tracks are credited to the pair: Tumble and Twirl and Dancing with the Big Boys. The former rolls along just like its namesake. With a heavy horn rhythm section, this track feels very of its time but solid, nonetheless. The latter includes Iggy on vocals and is very much a signal of what Bowie’s next studio album will sound like.

An album with less than fifty percent new material, Bowie said of Tonight:

…I thought it a kind of violent effort at a kind of Pin Ups.

Pin Ups was a collection of covers from 1973 released to cash in on the success of Aladdin Sane.

Blah-blah-blah_iggy-popBlah-Blah-Blah (1986)

Iggy says this is not his album. The most well-known song on here is the re-worked Johnny O’Keefe track Real Wild Child (Wild One). Half of the album is written with or by Bowie. It’s sound is a pop album with some kind of punk rock edge. It’s even got Steve Jones on it, how punk is that? Mind you, the tracks written with Jones don’t sound anything like the Sex Pistols.

Still, the tracks credited with Bowie sound like what he will do in future with Tin Machine (1988-1992). For those that don’t know, Tin Machine was Bowie’s attempt to shed his popstar skin to become one of the boys. Those boys included, not coincidentally, the Sales brothers—rhythm section from the Lust for Life (1977) album.

However Iggy feels about it, Blah-Blah-Blah is a solid album and his most commercially successful. Also, Cry for Love (one of the three songs co-written with Jones), is a killer track.

This is the last album that Iggy and Bowie will make together.


Never-Let-Me-DownBowie’s following studio album Never Let Me Down (1987) features a cover of Bang Bang from Iggy’s Party (1981). It pales in comparison to the original but it’s better than anything that features Mickey Rourke rapping on it.

Iggy Pop and David Bowie – two decades of uneasy collaboration Part 1: the ‘70s

Music review / Article – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

Bowie_Iggy_1977In this two-part series, I look at the albums that rock-icons David Bowie and Iggy Pop, for better or worse, share credits.

Post_Pop_Depression_(Front_Cover)Iggy Pop’s album Post-Pop Depression (2016) was unfortunately timely. Recorded in secrecy with Josh Homme and friends the year before, it was released in the months following the death of David Bowie. Not only is it the poignant statement of a punk-rock god feeling that perhaps he’s not long for this world, but also a great addition to an already-impressive body of work. It was this album that got me thinking about the relationship of Bowie and Iggy.

Individually, the pair are no strangers to collaboration. Each have a string of recordings that draw on the talents of others, but among those, the entwined relationship of this pair is unique. It’s also fair to say that one may simply not exist as we know them today without the influence of the other.

This relationship tracks back to the early ‘70s. Before Bowie brought Ziggy Stardust to the world, Bowie saw something in Iggy that many overlooked, and that was the great song-writing at the core of the ensuing chaos that Iggy’s band The Stooges had become synonymous with. So convinced was Bowie of this talent, that he travelled to America to find Iggy, and while there persuaded him to sign with his own UK management. Bowie’s intention was to bring attention to Iggy’s music to an audience that he felt was deserved.

Lou-Reed_TransformerBy the time Ziggy Stardust hit the stage in 1972, Bowie was neck-deep in behind-the-scenes side-projects such as producing Mott the Hoople’s All the Young Dudes, as well as Lou Reed’s now-classic Transformer. The Stooges had, by this point, broken up and their future was unlikely, so when Bowie approached Iggy about joining him in England to do another Stooges record but with a different line-up, Iggy agreed.

Bowie learned the hard way that Iggy wasn’t quite ready allow him to step in on the process in the same way that prior projects had. Finally, he had no option but to step back and let Iggy record the album his own way. The completed recordings were then handed to Bowie for mixing.

Iggy-and-the-stooges_raw-powerBowie did what he could with what he had and Raw Power was released in 1973. Multiple attempts to mix this album exist, and Bowie’s version is certainly not the best. It would be another three years before he and Iggy would attempt to work together again.

During this time, Bowie’s career continued to blossom. Ziggy Stardust rose then fell, and Bowie found success in the US and it’s the hangover from this superstardom that started Bowie down the path toward his “Berlin trilogy” phase. In 1976, Bowie and Iggy began work on the tracks that would become The Idiot, Iggy’s debut album as a solo artist.

Iggy_Pop_-_The_IdiotIggy Pop – The Idiot (1977)

A wonderful piece of work. The angular sounds and electronic swagger that feature on this album is nothing like what Iggy has done before or since. Essentially, it works as a template for the musical direction that Bowie would explore further while in Berlin.

The opening track Sister Midnight would find its way onto Bowie’s 1979 album Lodger as the re-worked Red Money. More recognised, however, is the Side A closer, China Girl, which became the second single from Bowie’s 1983 album Let’s Dance.

To me, Bowie’s polished version always sounded like a karaoke cover, only emphasised by the accompanying video that features a suited Bowie crooning along with a microphone in front of what could be a wallpapered stage in the corner of a cheap bar.

Iggy-Pop_Lust-For-LifeIggy Pop – Lust for Life (1977)

This follow-up to The Idiot came quickly. Written, recorded and mixed in eight days, the sound of this record is far more in line with the sound with which Iggy is known. A true classic, the title track bounces onto the stage with an infectious energy that is still imitated today, but never equaled. Lust for Life sets the upbeat tone for this album, barely taking a breath between tracks.

Turn Blue is the exception to this rule. This Blues-based track is a confessional of how Iggy’s drug addiction thwarted previous efforts to collaborate with Bowie.

Bowie’s influence on this album is strong but far less imposing than it was on The Idiot and sits closer to what his presence was on Lou Reed’s Transformer (1972).

Once again, the last track of Side A would find its way onto a following Bowie album, as well as becoming said album’s title.


david-bowie_tonightFind out all about Tonight (1984) and beyond, when we explore the continued collaboration of Iggy and Bowie throughout the 80’s in part 2 of this article.