Jun
5
2016

Music of the Week – Psychoviolets – Too Little Too Late + News

I did some other minor tweaks to the site: I corrected the cinematografo.it links in the cinema reviews page (they changed their site structure some time ago and thus the link didn’t work), marked a broken link, added a new one and updated a copy of the Philippe Billè’s essay on the Albert Caraco article and did a small update on the review of Cheap and Nasty’s Cool Talk Injection page, with some first hand corrections by the drummer of the band himself, Leslie Riggs.

This week I’m sharing with you one of the most obscure and interesting tracks of the psychedelic garage rock movement that was quite big in the late ’80s/ early ’90s.

The Psychoviolets were active between the early ’80s until 1995, changing names a couple of times (but they recorded only with two monickers: The Ultraviolets in 1990 (Changing Times LP) and the Psychoviolets for the following releases). Despite being American, they signed with a German record label, Maniac Records. They haven’t released a lot of material during their period together, the most notable one maybe is the 20-track album (Teen Trash Vol 2) recorded for the Teen Trash serie of the Maniac Records label, which features old and new material, with some unreleased tracks. They disbanded after a brief time of this release because of ongoing quarrels inside the band and drug abuse.

They are notable because of their various influences (new wave, raw garage, psychedelia, sad ballads) and their fascination with creepy introspection, a quite morbid one, that can be clearly heard both in music and themes. They predated the so-called garage revival by a long shot: the sound that they were presenting started becoming (relatively) popular only in the early/mid 00’s…

This track is the title track of one of their EPs, titled “Too Little Too Late”. Enjoy :)

 

Jun
4
2016

Some minor tweaks…

Finally I started to update the site older contents. I tweaked the FM Towns emulation page (removed old links for UNZ and XE emulators and replaced with working ones) and the wanted and found pages…these last two didn’t receive an update in YEARS (June 2013 the wanted one and October 2012 the found one)…

Feel free to browse the new contents and have a good time. See you for the next, more consistent, update.

 

May
22
2016

Music of the Week – Screaming Dead – A Dream of Yesterday

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…

Feb
14
2016

Music of the Week – The Dead Boys – Not Anymore

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.

 

Jan
17
2016

Music of the week – King Dude – My Mother Was The Moon

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:

Sep
13
2015

The curtain goes up one more time…new movie review: from the Life of the Marionettes

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!

 

Jul
29
2015

New movie review: Forbidden Love Games/Juego De Amor Prohibido by Eloy de la Iglesia (1975)

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.

Apr
19
2015

Music of the Week – G-Schmitt – No. 6

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…

Mar
8
2015

Music of the Week – Hardcore Superstar – Standing on the Verge + News

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.

 

Nov
30
2014

The mist of illusion is back

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. :)