Sunday, 30 October 2011

InnerSpace Volume 1

Evening, morning, afternoon... whatever time it is when you read this I do hope all is going well. Today on the blog is something special and hopefully something that I will be doing a lot in the future. This one is for all you music lovers out there. This is the first in a series of compilations I will be putting out. Some with the help of some friends, some just songs that I will do on my own. I thought for the first compilation I would enlist the help of my partner in crime and fellow disco deviant, Sir Daniel Lee Harvey. I have been friends with Daniel for a couple of years now and man has this guy introduced me to some fantastic pieces of music so naturally I thought I would ask him to contribute five songs for the comp. Daniel and I are both involved in the fantastic online magazine, Seven Shades of Black ran by the legend that is Soraan (who hopefully will aid me in a compilation sometime!).
The idea behind the compilations is simple. Providing the readers with a nice collection of musical treats. The idea is to create compilations based on themes but I figured for the first one we would just share five songs each that we are listening to a lot. Really happy with how this has turned out and hopefully if anyone is reading, you will too. So without further or do, let's take you through the tracks:

1. Sven Libaek- Music For Eels
Pete: To start off the compilation I thought I would use this lovely little number. I think this is from a documentary about sharks from the 60's or 70's. It just seemed right that the compilation should start with this, really sets a happy tone for the rest of the album!

2. Oddisee- Clara Barton
Daniel: Oddisee grew up in Mary Land which is in the Mid Atlantic Region of America. He was surrounded in Hip Hop and Soul as well as the myriad and influence of musicians on both sides of his family. A friend of Oddisee introduced him to hip hop production and showed him the basics to dissecting a track and creating a whole new ambiance out of it. From then forward Oddisee focused upon beat making and within time, he joined the Low Budget Crew, a legendary family of producers, mcs and djs. Oddisee grew his reputation through networking with already established rappers and released several collaborative albums that would show a palette of different music approaches he showed an interest to. This late solo album in particular is a favourite of mine; it has such a fresh take on the sound we are all use to when comparing soul and hip hop together.

3. Sir Mack Rice- Dark Skinned Woman (Parts 1 and 2)

Pete: I came across this fantastic track when I chanced upon one of the many amazing compilations of the fantastic Stax Records and fell in love with it straight away. I must confess I don't really know of his other work but going by this song, I am in for a treat. The introduction to this song is amazing and needs to be sampled if it hasn't already!

4. Jimmy McGriff- Criss-Cross
Daniel: What can I say about this one, that it’s Jimmy McGriff. I have so much admiration for this record due to how the instruments all blend in with each other through deep jazz and funk rhythms. It’s the kind of music that circulated the Bronx and other urban circles in 1970 and today it still remains an integral part of cultural history. I think the music illustrates the true meaning of what the genre is about. I’ve been a fan of this record since my early teens and first discovered it when I was voyaging Out Of Time in Ipswich. The album cover wasn’t different from the rest that other funk groups were creating. It had the pose of a black woman looking flirtatious and innocent, but I knew it was going to be good, there was just something about it. The name didn’t ring a bell nor did the title, but I decided to take my chances. I got home and played it straight away on the turntables in my bedroom. The needle began to slip on the groves and then you would get the sound of the bass rumbling through the sub woofer and then slight dapples on the jazz organ which would integrate with a beat from the drum. Its good music and simply that, my favourite track on the record will have to be this one, everything about it is mouth-wateringly delicious.

5. Space Ranger- Plastic Love (Featuring Captn K)
Pete: Now this song blew my mind when I first heard it. I took a chance on an album called What About The Magnetic Fields? by Space Ranger after hearing some re edits on Youtube and melted when I heard this track. It's one of those tracks that has a great juxtapostion like 10CC's beautiful "I'm Not In Love". It's a song that is quite beautiful and almost sensual but has a sad contrasting message to it. It was hard to put just one track on the compilation from this fantastic album but I think I have found one that fits in perfectly with the rest of the tracks.

6. Lucio Battisti- Prendila cosi

Pete: As if one beautiful song wasn't enough. I thought I would treat you lovers out there (stay blessed) to one of the prettiest and genuinely beautiful songs that my ears have ever been treated to. This has to be one of my favourite songs of all time... especially more poignant now that I have someone in my life I can share and dedicate this song to (I love you so much baby if you are reading). I first discovered this song in a brilliant edited form from the fantastic and highly recommended Super Value0 Super Funk compilation. My heart melted then and when I heard the full version... it melted all over again. A stunning song that you can share with your loved one or just listen to so you can have a skip in your step. Just listen to the chorus and the fantastic use of trumpet and strings. Beautiful!

7. Rocco Raimundo- Give Me Your Love
Daniel: For starters, I thought he sounded like a bit of a porn star and I wasn’t very touched by the opening of the track, it had a continuous bass and drum line, very ministry of sound, but once you got deeper, it pulled you in with these contagious hooks. The echoes on the vocals as well as the slender cuts from rhythm to rhythm marry each other very nicely. There are not many djs or producers that can manage to insert a new aspect without damaging or diluting any of the original elements. It’s a track that can get anyone dancing, with or without your John Travolta white suit.

8. CFCF- COMETRUE (D eon Remix)
Pete: I first heard this fantastic remix on Beats In Space a while back. If you don't know what BiS is then you are seriously missing out. What can I say about this track? CFCF is one of my favourite produces from recent years with a string of fantastic songs and remixes under his belt. I just love the almost Asian sound that is has. It has an almost dreamlike feel to it too. It's a shame summer has left us. Imagine listening to this when the sky is a deep orange on a cool summers evening lay on a field with friends... oh boy!

9. Dudley Perkins- Flowers
Daniel: This song was recorded sometime in the summer of 1999 however it was left unreleased until 2002. It was the first record Dudley Perkins released and if you think about the time it was originally produced, the sound coming off it has a futuristic kind of nostalgia. I always have had a liking for Perkins flow, it isn’t too bouncy or concise; it just falls on through with the day-dreamy kicks of the beat. He raps on subjects that have relevance to issues happening within today society and on that note alone, I can quite happily say, he’s adds to the contribution of philosophical lyricism and yes I'm speaking on Gil Scott Heron and Sly Stone level.

10. Suff Daddy- VICES
Daniel: Suff Daddy, you will need a neck brace at reaching distance when listening to his beats. I’ve picked this one out because it has a fractured backbone of vocal samples, electronic bass lines and scratches. It’s something you would expect to hear in some ghetto on another universe. Suff Daddy is someone who likes to mould together other fractions of genres. He manages to create a seamless beat from putting two completely creations together. On this track in specific, if you listen to the intro, there is a run of woodwind and then it follows in with the thunderous crash of vocals and bass. Suff Daddy is a scientist when it comes to music construction and if you listen to more of his work, than you will begin to see the formula.

So there you have it guys. The link to the album is down below as well the link to the Seven Shades Of Black Facebook page where you can check out more fantastic articles, pictures, music from the rest of the SSOB crew. I would like to thank Daniel for not contributing some fantastic music for the comp but for the fantastic words on each song. I would also like to thank him for helping me build a fantastic library of music... thanks so much man, you are amazing! As are you guys, hope you like compilation.


InnerSpace Volume 1
Seven Shades Of Black Facebook

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Justice- Audio Video Disco Review

Well the time has finally come. What has it been like 3 years? 4 years? Yeah, something like that. The world's favourite French duo (sorry Daft Punk... seems like the buzz from your amazing Tron Legacy soundtrack has faded... come back soon though please!) are back with their second album. Of course, this is not a big shock (well, if you've just woken up from a loooong coma then i suppose it will) as the hype train has been going along at full speed like the bullet train for a while now. Right off the bat, I will freely admit that I was fucking scared of this moment. How the hell can you follow up a fantastic album like Cross? When I first heard "Civilization" I thought, "This is it!? All this time and you give us what sounds like an unused track from your debut!?". Like I said, I was scared. Scared that I would hate the forthcoming album from my beloved Justice. In fact, stupidly, I was quite a negative so and so about it. Well, today I picked up a copy and today I will review this album.

I won't be giving a track by track look at this album because that takes the fun away from listening to the album for yourself. First thing I would like to say is big respect to the Justice boys. Going for a completely new direction musically. There is a clear influence of prog rock with this album (which shouldn't be a surprise to fans because if you have heard the rejected Fabric mix and... yeah this hardcore... the photos on Gaspard's Myspace page from way back, you will know the sort of music the guys like). Being a fan of prog rock myself and music from the 70's to early 80's this is a pleasant surprise to me. One thing I will say before I carry on is after some research, apparently the boys had to learn new instruments and techniques to get the wide array of sounds you hear on the album. As a musician myself, that aspect appeals to me also.

First things first. What a beautiful looking cover. I think the copy I picked up was the "deluxe" silver edition. I could be wrong though. If it is, awesome, if not... no biggy it's still a nice presentation, especially the the use of silver "mmmm shiny things!!!!!". Inside is quite nice too, really simply presented and a nice foreword by Pedro (Busy P W.T.F!?). There is also a nice looking mini posted as you can see in the photo below. The disc art itself is nothing to write home (or on your blog) about as it's just a disc but hey, it's silver i guess! If you where one of the lucky 30 to pick this album up from Colette in Paris you would have got a nice Justice coin with your copy... lucky bastar... So now it is time to tell you about the actual music on the album right? Ok then...

Like I said, I'm not gonna go into each track and pick them apart. You will know what the deal is anyway if you have heard Civilization and Audio Video Disco plus the minimix released some time a go. You know that the guys have picked up the guitar and other new instruments for this one. This album isn't gonna give you the next D.A.N.C.E or the next Waters Of Nazareth. You aren't going to get many floor fillers with this one. What you are gonna get is two guys who want to try something new and go in a different direction. Some of the major similarities I noticed listening to this was the stuff like Goblin. Throughout, there are some moments that sound like the music has been lifted from an Italian giallo or horror movie from the 70's. In fact Helix has a part of it where it sounds like the creepy aspects of Goblin's Slow Circus. Of course the more seasoned prog rock fans will pick up on more. To tray and describe everythign about this album would be hard. One certainty is that like Cross, there are no skippable tracks. OK the guitar work and the drums might not be technically brilliant but the simplicity just works well. There are moments that scream Justice like the main parts of songs like Helix and Civilization and also some subtle reminders of the old Justice we love that are dotted around in every song. Don't get me wrong, this is a new side of Justice but the stuff we love is still there. I feel this review is doing the album a great injustice (don't!) but all i can say is this sounds like what a good prog rock album should sound like: breaking traditions and keeping the listener interested.
Overall, this is a very solid body of music. Old fans and new fans a like should be able to appreciate this. You are not going to be blown away by the technique of the instruments but it's awesome to see the guys again doing something completely different to what we are used to. The production and things like sampling and programming are top notch but that's to be expected. My expectations where well and truly blown. I feel guilty that I almost lost faith in my boys from Paris as they have provided me with hours of bliss and one of the best live sets I have ever experienced. It would be interesting to see if they tried to take this album and incorporate parts into a live show but that would be very challenging and just not possible in places without bringing other people on stage. There is also the excitement for what's next and what sort of remixes we could see both from Justice themselves and from other talented producers. Will Justice remix songs in this new style? Can people turn this rocky body of music into a piece of electric bliss? What will their sets and possible live shows be like? This album has got my juices flowing. The Justice fanboy from a few years a go is back. All these months dreading this album... how bad is that!? Guys, you have to at least give this album a listen. I still adore the first album and consider it in my top 10 but man, this was a nice surprise. Well done to Justice not only bringing out a great album but for the work they put into it. I would happily give this album a 9/10. Go into this one with an open mind, I can understand why some of you will dread it, I used to be like that.

We <3 U EDREC!


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Mr. Oizo- STADE 2

Hey guys and girls.
As most of you already know, Mr. Oizo announced that there will be a new album released very soon. This is actually, pretty old news so I'm doing this post just say how excited I am for this album! Most people are excited for the new Justice album which, I must confess, am not too excited for. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy the hairy Parisian duo is back (Gaspard man crush REIGNITED!) but from the sampler that has been released... sounds very samey. I do love the fact that the guys have gone in a new almost prog rock direction with the album but from the sampler... it just sounds samey. Hopefully, when it's released I'll be blown away and play the album non stop. Initially, I was dreading they'd just be doing a Cross Part 2 or making the album sound like it was someone trying to replicate that "Justice sound" but yeah, like the new direction!
Back to the point of this post. Like I was saying, I'm am so friggin' excited for this album. I am especially excited after hearing the snippet of Douche Beat doing the rounds in many Youtube clips and the studio quality preview also the FRANCE7 track that Oizo put up on his Soundcloud. Very exciting tracks that if you are reading this and haven't listened... why are you still reading!? It's not as if an Oizo track can let you down. I know for a fact that the album is going to reek of fucked up brilliance and I'm going to love it so much! I even love the artwork designed by the illustration/ Design king, SO_ME. The cover is adapted from a very famous David Hockney piece and boy does it look awesome.

I will definitely be picking this up and doing a review on here and on the Youtube page. Hopefully, if all goes well I might be able to get my hands on an early review copy so if I do, expect a review as soon as I get it, if not... I'm sure some better informed blogs will satisfy you until I pick it up myself. Not gonna lie, the wait is killing me! I'll be a very happy chappy when I listen to this album. In fact here's a review for you already.... GO BUY IT! Quentin is one of my all time favourite people ever and a huge influence on me creatively. Whether it be his music, film, exceptional music or his oddly amusing tweets... I just love the guy! This and the Justice album are going to end a very sad year for Ed Banger (Stay Black Mehdi. Hope the parties are good wherever you are!) Ed Banger... release wise, these are going to end a good musical year for Ed Banger (boy do I love the SebastiAn album). So, like Rubber... there was no reason for this post but I just had to write how excited I am for all of this! Thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment and hope everything is going good where you are.


Before I go, please check out Seven Shades Of Black's new issue... I will be doing a post dedicated to this magazine that I contribute to but yeah for now, check out the new issue... especially if DJ Mehdi touched you like he did me and the rest of the SSOB team:

Seven Shades Of Black Issue 3

Friday, 7 October 2011

The Man With The Severed Head

Here we have it folks, the first review on the Mondo Squallido blog. To celebrate the birth of the new blog, I thought it would be only fair to review an even more amazing film. It seems fitting that my first review would be of a film that is the first of many films from the new line by Arrow. The guys who gave us the diverse Arrow Films label and the amazing Arrow Video sub label. This my friends is the first release from their new venture, Arrowdrome. How friggin' amazing is that name!? Already you should be drooling. I know I was when I heard the name a few months back. Before I get on with the review, let me tell you a little bit about Arrowdrome.
Arrowdrome is essentially a sub label that provides the fans and newbies a like a source of affordable, collectable and a diverse range of cult films ranging from the trashy to the downright scary. A lot of the films being released are already available by Arrow through their influential and popular Arrow Video label both in blu ray and DVD formats. However, once a film already released on DVD via Arrow Video appears on the Arrowdrome label, the Arrow Video release will be discontinued. So you better go out and get your greasy mits on those titles before some arse puts them on Ebay charging ludicrous amounts (psst.... especially the special DVD edition of Battle Royale). Besides that, the titles are cheap, well presented and provide people new to these sorts of films an easy way of owning some great cult classics. The way I see it, it's like Arrow but with Shameless prices!
I won't go in to too much detail now about what you get in this edition of Man With The Severed Brain but as you can clearly see Arrow are treating you again to some goodies.You get the disc (obviously Pete, come on), a nice booklet and reversible artwork so the standard, treats from the lovely Arrow people. Like I said, more detail later on the review. Speaking of which, isn't it about time I actually talked about the movie!?
The film opens up with a nice gang of criminals taking part in the lovely of activity of robbing a jewelery store. However, it all goes pear shaped when due to well placed idiocy (oh the film world, we do love you) one of the criminals sets off an alarm while trying to steal a lovely pearl necklace. The gang tries to escape but disaster strikes when Paul Naschy's character gets shot in the head. Realizing that they can't exactly take him to a hospital they do the next best thing and seek help from a doctor friend of theirs who is somewhat indebted to them.
After some rather funny dialogue between henchman of the year and the rather sympathetic, pathetic drunk doctor (as pictured above) we find out that Naschy's injuries are much too severe for the doctor to preform any surgery himself without proper medical help from a hospital. After some brilliantly dubbed conversation (we'll get to that later) the doctor suggests that the gang seek the help of his hilariously named friend (especially in the French audio option) Professor Teets who just so happens to be an expert on the human brain and again is just so conveniently in the middle of brain transplant experiments and research (again, got to love the film industry).
We are then introduced to Professor Teets (who by the way, is one of the coolest looking cats ever). The doctor (whose name I forgot to mention before is Dr. Ritter) tells his professor friend of his problem. We find out that Teets can't use his hands and that his wife does all the practical work while he uses his genius and guides her through their experiments. Apparently, you also have to always wear black leather gloves if your hands don't work... so now you know. After some gentle and then not so gentle persuasion from the doctor and head of the gang, the professor and his wife agree to help. However, they need a fresh corpse to dissect the brain from and funnily enough they know who exactly to use.

They decide they want to use the brain of a rival gang member by the name of "The Sadist". We are then introduced to the lovely sounding character in a club while one of the weirdest and seemingly misplaced scenes I've seen for a while is played out. Basically, it's a psychedelic stage show involving two cavemen and a woman which isn't really odd. What's odd is that during the scene the woman just disappears into thin air... not due to bad editing but apparently as part of the show... it's hard to explain but worth witnessing. The next few scenes involves "The Sadist" doing his thing and being a typical gang member. Now, I won't go into too much detail how they kill him because it plays out pretty well. He basically leaves the club, gets seduced by the token babe of the rival gang and then shot. Simple. However, the way they decapitate him... in fact no, it ruin it by telling you. All I will say is idiocy and trains equals a very creative and unintentionally funny decapitation.

So we get back to the main story and the operation is preformed in an actually, beautifully shot form. We don't really see much but it's still quite effective and one of the better parts of the film which is actually just a simply shot, point and shoot affair. After a while the rival gang gets wind that "The Sadist" is dead and go on the attack. Meanwhile there are complications with the operation. It seems that Paul Naschy has developed some of the impulses "The Sadist" would have and slowly breaks down into a psychotic mess.
Not much really happens after this. The gangs attack each other. People get killed one by one. The only real thing that happens is the somewhat carnal violence of Paul Naschy's character and to tell you the truth, he is terribly unused and and the pay off is somewhat overwhelming to say the least. The film ends with pretty much everyone dying including Paul Naschy who gets shot the hell up by the police who are maybe just a little too late to the party. Overall, this film isn't too bad but it's not exactly great either. The main draw for the film is Paul Naschy and he only seems to have a tiny amount of things to do. The story is rather bland and nonsensical in places. There seems to be a theme of "well, we gotta resort to plan b" going on throughout. The genius of the film for me was the absurdity and unintentional hilarity. Don't even try to watch this with the English dub if you want to take this film seriously. The French audio is your best bet apart from Teets which sounds hilarious. This to me feels like a bad Jess Franco film... I mean the ones where they are just boring and not "so bad they're good". The ironic thing is the production collective behind this film involves Franco, go figure.
The film may be somewhat lacking but it's still watchable. The best part of the film is the edition itself. Not only is this presented well in both packaging but picture but you also get some really nice special features. You get a really loving and heartfelt tribute to Paul Naschy including clips from his better known films and anecdotes from talking heads such as directors and the editor of Fangoria magazine. You also get a trailer which is a must for any DVD release in my opinion. Last but my no means least you get the additional erotic scenes. Oh boy are these entertaining! If they where included in the film they would be as pointless as Mattei's porn scenes for Franco's 99 Women. They are just hilariously out of context and hilariously acted but I have to say... they are the best shot things about the film, which is funny in itself.
Initially I picked this title up because it was the first Arrowdrome release. Even though the film itself isn't very good, this edition is a welcomed addition to anyone's collection. Arrow have done an amazing job with this release. That combined with the price tag really means there is no excuse for you not to have this in the collection. You will laugh at the sheer absurdity of the film. The over the top story which seems 30 years out of fashion, the stupidity of the characters, the terrible English dubbing and of course the comical hanky panky scenes. I am happy to have this in the collection, great job Arrow!

Peter Davies

Monday, 3 October 2011

The new blog.

Hello one and all.

Welcome to Mondo Squallido. I used to run the blog anotherclicheddesign and the Youtube page of the same name. Lots of things have changed since then. I now reside on the Matteiofthedead Youtube channel and will be doing my main blogging on this page.

So what is Mondo Squallido? Well children let your uncle Pete tell you. Mondo Squallido translates to Squalid World. I came up with the title for a series of videos I began to make on my Youtube channel where I would review sexploitation, adult, sleazy and sexually extreme films. The title was inspired by those glorious Mondo films from the 70's and 80's and just seemed to fit. Whether or not the Italian is totally correct is another option but hey... where was the quality control in those exploitation films we all love?

While I have been away from blogging, a lot of stuff has also happened in my life. I am now currently at Liverpool John Moores University starting my Film Studies course. Therefore, I decided to talk about films, review films properly ad it came to me that I can do a quick review on my Youtube channel and do more in depth reviews here on the blog. I won't just be reviewing films however, here I will discussing all sorts of things related to the seedier side of popular culture. Hopefully, I will have guest posters on here in the future.

So there you have it chaps and chappettes. The first post on the Mondo Squallido blog. The first of many hopefully. Please feel free to check out the link down below to my Youtube page or any links that are posted on ere. I'm here to share my passion and my ever growing education of the films, books, music.... culture (or sub culture for some of you peeps). I hope you enjoy it too.