Jan
15
2017

Music of the Week – Kory Clarke – Opium Hotel

Hello, my dear readers. For this time, I want to propose you a little oddity that I found some time ago. It’s the tile track off the first album of Mr Kory Clarke, the leader of the late ’80s/early 90s band Warrior Soul (one of the best and less understood of their times), recorded in 2003.

I plan to review the album because of it’s nature of a bizarre experiment so here I will only say that it’s songs are a very strange blend of spoken-word poetry, electronic beats, groovy and trippy hard rock filled with visions of rage, dreams and a stubborn antagonist spirit. Quite interesting, uh? Not always it succeeds, but sure is quite unique and worth mentioning.

The title track maybe is the more “traditional” sounding of the bunch. It’s a short and very nice bluesy song that I’ve appreciated a lot. I hope you will do the same.

Jan
5
2017

PC88 Update

I’ve decided to anticipate the first update of the site. It regards the PC88 emulation section, which wasn’t updated for a long time, more than one year.

The scene saw some vitality in the latest months, so I updated the page accordingly to what happened in the emulation scene.

There is two brand new emulators (XM8 and Excite88, however the latter is still in it’s infancy) and some of the most important old ones (M88, X88000) got a recent update.

I’ve also added some more info on the page as well. You can visit it here.

Jan
5
2017

Music of the Week – Marilyn Manson – Coma White

Happy new year, my fellow readers! May be this 2017 a less troublesome year for us all. Many things have shaken the world during the past year, and we’re living a time marked by great doubts, partial visions and global paranoia. However, life goes on and still offers a lot of positive possibilities to all of us, in all it’s great mystery…

To start this year, I’ve decided for once to post a very famous song. It’s one of Manson’s best, Coma White from the Mechanical Animals album, in late ’90s. I chose it because it reflects quite well the time we’re living and has, despite all, a shade of light in it, buried deep inside.

Speaking about the site, I’m planning to write some new material, but I don’t know yet when it will be released. I hope to put some new material here soon.

Again, happy 2017 friends…and now, Coma White:

Nov
20
2016

Music of the Week – Zakk Wylde – Lost Prayer

2016 hasn’t been a very easy year, but fortunately there have been some nice surprises too. One of them is the return of the acoustic/introspective version of Zakk Wylde (of Ozzy Osbourne’s and Black Label Society fame) with a direct sequel of Zakk’s first solo album, Book of Shadows, released twenty years ago.

I didn’t expect much (very rarely sequels are better of or on par with the original) but I have been very surprised to hear an excellent and fresh album. Of course, there is nothing really new on it, but it’s a traditional blend delivered in a very personal and heartfelt way. Exactly like the first Book of Shadows was…

This is one of my favourite song on it, Lost Prayer. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

Nov
20
2016

Suggested Reads: Brain and Deep Learning

“The Brain vs Deep Learning Part I: Computational Complexity — Or Why the Singularity Is Nowhere Near”

http://timdettmers.com/2015/07/27/brain-vs-deep-learning-singularity/

A very detailed and rich dissertation about AI and it’s comparison with human intelligence. The article confronts (and refuses) the singularity hypothesis and, doing so, offers an excellent panoramic on the current state of research in many fields: AI, biology, neurology. The author himself is a researcher in the field of AI. It’s definitevely one of the best articles I’ve ever read on the subject for the richness and variety of it’s scope and offers a lot of food for tought. Even the comment section is very interesting to read. Highly reccomended.

Read it if you’re interested in: AI,informatics,biology,philosophy,neurology and problems about the concept of the mind.

Nov
13
2016

A new section: suggested reads

Time for a new section here on Illusion City…I’ve decided to share, over the time, some of the most interesting articles and reads that I find during my time spent on the net. They will cover all my main interests (science, philisophy, art, music etc) and some oddities and novelties. I will also soon collect all of these suggestions to a single page on the site too.

The first of these reads, is dedicated to the memory of Leonard Cohen which sadly passed away six days ago, on 7th November, aged 82…may he rest in peace.

“St. Leonard’s Passion”

St. Leonard’s Passion

A fond and passionate recap on Leonard Cohen in occasion of his (sadly) last album. It has a very strong anectode from a difficult concert on the Wight island in 1970.

Read it if you’re interested in: music, Leonard Cohen, poetry

Nov
1
2016

Music of the Week – Maria João Pires – Chopin – Nocturne No. 13 in C minor Op. 48 No. 1

Time for some music of a very different kind from the composition that I usually post here…for the first time since the inception of illusion city, I’ll share some classical music to you, which I listen fondly but rarely share or talk about.

This is one of my favorite composition from Chopin’s Nocturnes played by one of the best interpreters. The whole suit was recorded in 1996.

Enjoy!

If you want to listen to all the nocturnes (1h 52 min):

Oct
23
2016

Music of the Week – Death in June – Cathedral of Tears (Studio II)

Hi guys, it’s time to post a neo-folk song, a genre that I haven’t exposed much on these pages but that I’m very fond of…

This is a song from (the very controversial for some) Death in June, one of the most influent bands (even if the only permanent member for decades has been the leader Douglas P.) in the field.
Starting from a sound quite similar to the one of Wire with their previous band Crisis (active until late 70s) and then landing to electronic and folk experiments with Death in June, they helped in shaping the sound and the mood of a new kind of folk music, one full of gloom, melancholy and an overall dystopian outlook, mixed both with the (at the time) emergent movement of new-wave and industrial/tribal electronics.

This song gives the title to the 1993 EP in which is contained and, in my opinion, is the best version of it overall. In case you’re wondering, the statue depicted on the cover is located in Spain. Enjoy!

Oct
14
2016

Caraco article expanded!

Finally after a VERY long time I’ve updated the article about Albert Caraco. It’s quite a big addition and adds a lot of important points so be sure to read it!

Albert Caraco

Oct
2
2016

Music of the Week – Dave Vanian and the Phantom Chords – Haunted Garage

Hello, my fellow readers…long time no see, eh? :)
I’ve completed the trascription of the update for the Caraco’s article, I only miss some quotes from a book that I haven’t access to now, but I will in the next days.

Meanwhile, after a long time, let me to share a good tune with you.

This one is from the obscure unreleased album (in 1990) from the solo project from David Vanian, of the Damned’s fame, after his band came to a stop in 1989.

The unreleased material, in my opinion, in much better than the released one (in  the band only official album, dated 1995). It’s a very powerful and original mix of punk, gothic rock (two genres that the Damned contributed to shape in different phases of their career), rockabilly. The result ? A very good haunting, minimalist and romantic sound.

This song is, in my opinion, one of those which expresses at best their peculiar sound, which predated in many ways the following psychobilly sub genre.

I was undecided with this song and the wonderful Joe Meek’s cover, “Johhny remember me”, an obsessive and morbidly haunting classic (if you don’t know it, do yourself a favor and listen to it!), with a twisted history behind it that  could fill a whole article. But this is another story…

Enjoy the Phantom Chords for now.