Thursday, 22 February 2018

Throwback Thursdays Retro Video Project Presents; Jass

The Throwback Thursdays Retro Video Project presents, Jass;

I don't actually know very much about this band but their music is perfect for soundtracks. Jass were apparently a Shefield based band from the early to mid 1980's and part of the same scene as Cabaret Voltaire and Clock DVA and they tread similar ground to the Cab's circa "Three Mantras" and "Red Meca" era. Albeit in a more minimalistic and trance-like way. One of their tracks ("Trap Drip Drop") also shows some influences from Steve Reich's tape-loop works "Come Out" and "It's Gonna Rain". Their entire recorded output seems to consist of an album of demos recorded in 1985-86 and a live album from 1987 and that's it. Needless to say the videos I made are the only ones for this band. Incidentally the group's name comes from the original 1900's spelling of the of the word "jazz".

JASS ~ "OLD FILM LIFE";


For this video I used an early French Pathe film "Sculptures Moderne" which features some crude stop-action animation.

JASS ~ "FRONTIER JUSTICE";


This one uses another Pathe stop-action film.

JASS ~ "SUNKEN SOLDIER BONES";


For this track I used a 1960's silent op-art short made for the Fluxus Art Collective by George Maciunas.

JASS ~ "TRAP DRIP DROP";


This track uses another art film made in the 1960's for Fluxus, this one a series of performance art films made by Frenchman Ben Vautier

JASS ~ "UNTITLED LIVE TRACK NO.2"


This track off the live album uses another film by Ben Vautier although this one is essentially a home movie

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Throwback Thursdays Retro Video Project Presents; Japan

The Throwback Thursdays Retro Video Project Presents; Japan:

Japan is another one of those bands like Simple Minds and, to a lesser extent Ultravox, who went from being a guitar-oriented Post-Punk band to a atmospheric sound using keyboard washes, guitar arpegios and funky basslines to make atmospheric and occasionally danceable music that seemed perfect for film soundtracks.

JAPAN ~ "LIFE IN TOKYO";


After two ablums of forgettable glam funk Japan introduced some electro-dance (via producer Georgio Moroder) as well as thier first flirtation with Asian music although at this point it's basically limited to J-Pop. Accordingly for this video I used a Segundo De Chomon film "Hombres Chinoises".

JAPAN ~ "VISIONS OF CHINA";


For this song off of the 1981 album "Tin Drum" I used a 1908 French silent film

JAPAN ~ "METHODS OF DANCE";


For this song off of the 1980 album "Methods Of Dance" I used a 1962 French performance art film by Ben Vautier which basically consists of him sitting on a jetty holding a sign that says "Look At Me" while the camera records their reactions. It actually kinda works out with the "dance" theme.

JAPAN ~ "GENTLEMAN TAKE POLAROIDS";


For this track off the same album album I used a 1965 Dada German film short by Wolf Vostell, "Sun In Your Head". I also used this film for a Cabaret Voltaire track which I liked better but I thought this one still works.

JAPAN ~ "OIL ON CANVAS";


This insturmental track is off the "Oil On Canvas" live album and uses a short film made by John Cale in 1967 as part of the Fluxus Film Dada art collective.

JAPAN ~ "TEMPLE OF DAWN";


This is another insturmental track off of "Oil On Canvas" using another Fluxus Films short, this one "OPUS 2" by Eric Anderson.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Throwback Thursdays Retro Video Project Pres; Killing Joke

This week on my Throwback Thursdays Retro Video Project; Killing joke.

Killing Joke's 1980 first album practically invented Industrial Rock. There had been Industrial bands since the mid seventies with groups like Throbbing Gristel, Cabaret Voltaire and Destroy All Monsters. But these groups largely rejected traditional rock & roll lineups, riffs and song structures, aside from a few exceptions like Cabaret Voltaire's "Nag Nag Nag" or their cover of the Seeds' "No Escape'. Killing Joke however were clearly a rock and roll band with punishing riffs and pounding drums.

KILLING JOKE ~ "CHANGE";


For this song off the second 1981 album I used footage from the end of the 1916 German Expressionist Horror film "Homunculus". Although little known now this film was one of the influences on later horror films like "Frankenstein".

KILLING JOKE ~ "BLOODSPORT";


This insturmental off the first album uses an early American film "Fire".

KILLING JOKE ~ "$0.36";


This one, also off the first album, uses an earlier fireman film, Edwin S Porter's "Life Of An American Fireman from 1903. I also used this film for a Siouxsie & The Banshess film but decided to keep both versions.

KILLING JOKE ~ "TOMORROW'S DREAM";


Another song off the first album, this time using a short art film "Bad Burns" by Paul Sharits from 1982 made of spliced together strips of over-developed film. Note I had some sound problems on this one. Note also this is not a cover of the Black Sabbath song.

KILLING JOKE ~ "THE FALL OF BECAUSE";


This song off the second album uses a French Pathe film

KILLING JOKE ~ "HARLEQUIN";


This one is off of the fourth album, "Fire Dances", and uses a British film that features some early claymation