East of Hell/Dreams Less Sweet

– February 9, 2014

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a l’est de l’enfer (East of Hell) Matthieu Canaguier, France, 2013 45 min., Video

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Surabaya: a maze of concrete and iron. At the heart of the city, a whole generation of young Indonesians gather around an underground music: Black Metal. This movement, originated in Europe, has been reinvented by local groups: Western codes mingle with Indonesian beliefs.

The film follows the destinies of three members of the music scene: Tony, both showman and underground businessman, Eric, the clan leader, the veteran, and Andung, mystical and lonely. They make us discover a lively cathartic, music both blasphemous and sacred. -Matthieu Canaguier

Psychic TV: Dreams Less Sweet
Produced by Sam Zimmerman, Edward O’Dowd and Genesis P-Orridge, USA, 2103
47 min., Video

Psychic TV was founded in 1981 by Genesis P-Orridge following the break-up of the pioneering industrial group, Throbbing Gristle. From the outset, as the band name indicates, the concept for the new group focused heavily on video. In interviews, Genesis proclaimed, “Psychic TV is a video group who does music, unlike a music group which makes music videos.”

In Psychic TV’s earliest days, they collaborated with Derek Jarman to create films for several of the songs for the first record, which they then mixed into their stage show with stacks of televisions. Also during this period, they initiated the Temple of Psychic Youth, an occultist network in parallel to Psychic TV, for which they produced VHS propaganda. This video material ultimately brought the group into conflict with Scotland Yard, leading to the end of the group in the U.K. in 1991.

So video plays a central role in the first decade of Psychic TV’s history, although today awareness of much of this original work has dimmed. Revisiting this agenda, Psychic TV invited 47 artists to create a collective film set to the group’s acclaimed second album, Dreams Less Sweet, in a process drawing from the cut-up technique originated by Genesis’ friends and mentors Brion Gysin and William Burroughs, as well as the VHS networking practiced by the Temple of Psychic Youth in the 1980s. The resulting work captures the reverberations of the group’s original obsessions, the return of the repressed. – Sam Zimmerman

About Dreams Less Sweet:

Many parts of this album are field recordings from potent locations, such as the caves under Medmenham Abbey used by the Hellfire Club in the 18th century, with instrumentation ranging from traditional shamanic instruments to machine gun fire and fierce dog barking. The song titles and lyrics stake out millennia-spanning occult themes that were early hallmarks of the group. The album was recorded using Zuccarelli Holophonic sound, a binaural recording technique using a mannequin head to create an immersive effect 3D sound in stereo.