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. :)

Aug
17
2014

New movie review: Maddalena

As promised, after a long pause, here’s the review for Kawalerowicz’s Maddalena.

Enjoy!

Maddalena

Jul
27
2014

Music of the Week – Ennio Morricone – Chi Mai (Maddalena OST)

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.

Jun
15
2014

Music of the Week – Lana Del Rey – Black Beauty

Lana del Rey is, in my opinion, one of the few interesting pop musician in these (quite sterile, artistically) years, one of the few with an original aestethic and imagenary in her work and not only some derivative and / or dull or, even worse, stupid stuff destinated straight to oblivion in a blink of an eye.
Of course, even talented people like Lana suffer from the decadence of the music business (and, overall, of the even worse fall in musical taste and sophistication in masses and mainstream critic) and her production has her flaws: too much songs, some of them too little polished etc, but it’s understandable and excusable, at least in my opinion.

This is an early leak from one of the songs that are now present in her Ultraviolence album, freshly released. Like all the best Lana’s songs, is a story of melancholy and difficult relationship.

May
25
2014

Music of the Week – Ministry – Lay Lady Lay (Bob Dylan cover)

A friend of mine gave me the ispiration to post a beautiful cover of this Bob Dylan classic…Ministry style! So expect an heavy, slighty psychedelic, sludgy trip.

Also, I’ll post new movie reviews soon! Work hasn’t stopped on them.

Bye!

May
4
2014

Music of the Week – Pearls Before Swine – Images of April

Pearls before swine have been one of the most beautiful and influential folk bands in America in the ’60s. This is one of their best songs, taken from what maybe is their masterpiece: Balaklava, a concept album about the infamous battle in the XIX century.

 

Apr
27
2014

The Bishop’s Room

TIme for a new review: After Agostino, another very beautiful movie from Italy, from Dino Risi’s genius. Like Agostino, the original source is a novel from a very talented italian writer, Piero Chiara. The movie it’s a mix between a lot of genres, with some strong gothic overtones. It’s also very subtle and psychological. You can find the review here

 

Apr
21
2014

Music of the Week – Erik Satie – Trois Gymnopedies

To go along with Agostino’s review, it’s time to listen again to the genius of Erik Satie, also used as a soundtrack for Agostino.

Enjoy!