Hello, my fellow readers…long time no see,uh?
I’ve been really busy with my personal life, so I haven’t got time to transcribe and upload the new articles I’ve written yet, or to upload and/or reorganize the existing contents of the site (an operation that sooner or later will be needed). But I hope in doing so in not too much time…after all, if you’re still here after a silence so long, you too are gifted with the precious virtue of patience. :)
Some days ago I’ve read an article about a new reunion, with the possibility of recording new material, of one of my favourite underground bands from the early 80’s: the Screaming Dead, hailing from the UK.
They had a brief life in the first half of the decade, releasing various demos and EPs, later collected together in the rare “Bring Out Yer Dead” collection released in the 90’s, more or less when the group reunited for the first time (and which later released the more industrial oriented, but also good, “Death Rides Out”, a collection of old and new material recorded in that vein), an original mix of punk and new wave (they moved gradually from the former to the latter, without losing raw power in the process) with a strong horror-decadent-romantic aesthetic that was quite uncommon at the time and now is hailed among the pioneers of the genre, both musically and aesthetically.
One of the founders, guitarist Tony McKormack, in the late 80’s founded the pagan goth group Inkubus Sukkubus, which is still active and got some of it’s well deserved success. While quite different from the Screaming Dead, this project has some points in common with it and can be seen as a coherent progression from the Dead’s sound and themes.
But now, let’s hear one of the early Screaming Dead best songs, in my opinion, from the most sophisticated phase of the band. A Dream of Yesterday…
Hailing back from 1977, in the tornado of the punk revolution, the Dead Boys proved to be among the most interesting and original acts among the countless bands that surfaced at the time.
The Dead Boys (and their frontman, Stiv Bators) influenced and contribuited to shape a lot of the music that was slowly forming at the time. Glam, heavy metal, new wave (with the seminal post-Dead Boys band, Lords of the New Church).
Stiv was a close friend of a lot of the people which belonged to the alternative music milieu, who ended in forming seminal bands for the time to come. In particular he was a big friend of Michael Monroe, from Hanoi Rocks, and ended sharing a flat with him for some time. A lot of the Dead Boys sound, in particular the most hidden components, like the subtle melancholy that pervades this song, ended up in Hanoi Rocks (and later Monroe’s) sound.
Sadly, today the Dead Boys are quite forgotten, at least for the general public, while the Lords of the New Church got a slightly better remembrance…
I chose this song, straight out their debut album, because of it’s intimistic, intense and melancholic mood: a mix of self-destruction, introversion with a strong, energetic and painful will to live, to fight and go on, despite the difficulties and confusion, inner and outer, which is one of the key elements of the piece.
I hope you will enjoy it.
Below, a cover version of it recorded many years later (1996) by Michael Monroe, in the “Peace of Mind” album. It’s a bit heavier and more modern sounding, without betraying at all it’s inner core.
Hello and happy new year, my fellow readers! Time to return after a long silence with a very good song from a very promising musician from the 2010’s: King Dude.
King Dude is an artist who became quite famous (at least, in the underground) in the early 2010, when he switched from his early experimentations with metal to a very particular, even if at times quite repetitive, shade of blues / country folk, with strong dark/wave shades. He partnered recently for some EPs with Chelsea Wolfe, another rising star from the underground, and this is the way a lot of people got to know him, including me.
He also collaborated with other musicians, even some very distant from the wave / acoustic music like the black metal band Urfaust. Like Chelsea Wolfe, he likes to flirt and experiment with the extreme spectrum of music too…
Even if his production it’s really abundant and discontinuous, I find him quite a good listen. This song is one of my favourite: minimal, dreamy, balanced and with daunting female vocals singing a very heartfelt shadowy fairy-tale like story of confusion and loss.
There is also a very nice live version of this song with Chelsea Wolfe. watch it here:
Hello, my fellow readers. One more movie review has been posted to the site today, for one of the less know works of the brilliant Ingmar Bergman, from the Life of the Marionettes. You can read the review here .
A more general update is awaited in the next weeks, like replying to your mails: unfornately I’ve been very busy, so I didn’t have the time do to so! Please be patient, you’ll receive a reply if you have written to me.
See you on the next update!
Hi my dear readers…Illusion City is back with new content! I’m offering you a review for one of the most well hidden gems in Spanish exploitation, a political erotic thriller shot in the middle of the ’70s by the brilliant and obscure Eloy de la Iglesia, an author who surely deserves more recognition than the little he has…
Enjoy the review and wait for new content! I’m planning to release more reviews and writings soon, along with a major update of the emulation section, in particular with new emulators for the Japanese computers on the Android platform.
Hello again! I have a new music proposal for you, my dear readers with enough patience to wait for new updates…
Today, we’ll explore G-Schmitt, one of the most original and seminal post-punk groups from Japan. They were active in the second half of the ’80s, fronted and guided by the mysterious Syoko, a very charming singer, I like to think her as the Winona Rider of the Japanese post punk, with an obsessive and introspective vein as a constant in their music.
What strikes me the most while listening to their creations, is the incredible diversity of influences and the originality in them, without being dispersive. At the contrary, their music and aesthetic is very coherent, and consist in hypnotic, atmospheric recollections, a phantasmagoria of times gone by and wild dreams and obsessions. They alternate sweetness and harshness in a very natural and flowing way, coherent to the overall character of Japanese culture, with a very strong, and subtle, passion, masked on the surface by the fragmented guitars and cold synths.
After disbanding, Syoko, the true mastermind of the band and the only permanent member, recorded a solo EP and one LP before disappearing into obscurity in 1992. Where has she been since then? Nobody seems to know! If you do, please drop a line or write a comment.
Here is the first track of their second EP, no.6 (a clear reference to Chanel no.5) for your listening pleasure…
Hi guys, long time no see, eh? I’ve been extremely busy with my personal life and I’m more dissatisfied about the way the Internet is going every day.
I decided, then, to adopt a more quiet line and don’t jump in the crazy run everyone seems to be into these days. I’ll update the site every once and then and I’ll be trying to quietly bring quality material for those who are interested.
I’ve written a couple of articles (mainly a revision and expansion on the one about Albert Caraco, some toughts about the present state of the web and some commentaries about some music albums, books and movies) but they are still on paper and need a revision. I don’t know how much time it will take for them to be posted, but sooner or later they will. Soon I will also update the pages about the stuff I’m looking for and Majin’s from Shin Megami Tensei soon, I hope in a couple of weeks in the worst case scenario.
Meanwhile, some very short news:
– The Screamer, a very old (1984) J-RPG for the Japanese Computers (PC-88, PC-98, Sharp X1..) has been finally fan-translated in it’s PC-98 version. I’ve been planning to write a couple of lines about it for a while, for now, if you are interested, you can grab the fully translated game here
– PAR codes for finding the Majins in Shin Megami Tensei have been found on the Gamefaqs forum. Check out the updated page here when I will collect the info (soon!).
And now, music time! One of my favourite tracks in the Hardcore Superstar album, dated 2005. Mellow, a bit cheesy but sincere and heartfelt.
Hello, it’s been a while, isn’t it?
After a long time without updates, Illusion City is ready to return back on track again. I’ve been very busy with my personal life and thus the time to dedicate to this project has been very little and instead of posting sloppy stuff I decided to keep quiet instead. But now, I’ve got more time and some new ideas. In the following weeks you can expect:
-Updated articles and essay (in first place, the one regarding Caraco, which needs a big overhaul and improvement with a whole new section)
-New cinema reviews
-The return of the music of the week appointment, even if maybe it will be every two weeks instead of once a week:
See you soon, my friends. :)
As promised, after a long pause, here’s the review for Kawalerowicz’s Maddalena.
After a long pause, because of being busy in my personal life, Illusion City comes back with new updates…
This time, I’m posting the original version of one of Morricone’s most famous works, a tune that came along with “Come Maddalena”.
Both of these were originally featured for the first time in an obscure arthouse movie of the early ’70s, Maddalena, directed by Polish filmmaker Kawalerovicz. It’s an interesting effort even if not without flaws and I plan to polish what I’ve written about it and post a review for it here one day or another (sadly my spare time diminished a lot).
However, enjoy this beautiful tune. My favourite part, personally, is the wonderful bridge.