Dave McKean is one of my favourite artist and source of inspirations, this multi-talented English artist works with various mediums such as illustration, photography, graphic design and also filmmaking. He is also a jazz pianist, and a comic artist who has worked with DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics. His work incorporates drawing, painting, photography, collage, digital art and sculpture, creating somekind of abstract and surreal imagery. He has created some of my favourite album artworks from various solo artists/bands such as: Tori Amos, Buckethead, Alice Cooper, Fear Factory, Testament, Kreator, Front Line Assembly, My Dying Bride, Project Pitchfork and Skinny Puppy just to name a few. I really love the way he use ‘delicious’ texturings, unique placement of typography and (sometimes with the use of) vibrant colors, I’m not ashamed to admit that he absolutely plays a big role in developing my artistic sense. After the jump, check out some rad cover artworks by Dave McKean!
Jason Hopkins is the mad scientist behind Abhominal, he created deranged, deformed and freaky creatures behind this moniker. This UK based artist works with sketch and 3D program, experimenting with “flesh” and form to create what he call as “perfect posthuman beings”. I remember stumbled across his dA gallery like two years ago, one of his piece really caught my attention. Untitled 5 looks like a deformed creature sitting alone, needs to be loved. Holy shit, beautifully ugly creature! From his writings, I can tell that he’s obsessed with science fiction, evolution, human genetic and everything in between. But to create such strange beings, I have no idea whats inside his insane mind. Well if you havent seen much of his creations, I urge you to browse through his website while jamming Creation Is Crucifixion and started to question yourself: WHO IS THE ENGINEER? Abhominal is the answer! Now lets step inside Jason Hopkin’s laboratory and meet his freaky creatures, after the jump!
If you are a fan of post-punk, anarcho punk, deathrock or anything in between, you should not forget A Touch Of Hysteria. They might be short-lived and unknown, but trust me this gem is really worth to listen. Came from Ambleside – UK, they were formed in February 1982 as a four-piece (The Pilgrim on vocals, Fran on guitar, Alec on bass & Chris on drums). They only released a self titled (five tracks) demo tape in 1983, which later re-released as 12″ vinyl via Demo Tape Records in 2006. I’m not quite sure if you still can get a copy of the vinyl, since its limited to 200 copies and I couldnt find any info about the record label. They took their musical influences from The Mob and Southern Death Cult, and often covered The Mob’s “Witch Hunt” on their live performance. Well in my opinion, musically they incorporated ‘crunchy’ 70′s punk riffings, gloomy post-punk melody, tribal-ish yet punky drumbeats and energetic ‘anarcho’ vocals. The demo tape opened with an instrumental song “Non Compos Mentis”, which has its own groove. The other four tracks are also memorable and groovy. This one became one of my fav album, cant stop jamming the tunes! I think they’re still doing live show nowadays, their first reunion gig was held in 2006 as a tribute to the drummer Chris – whose comitted suicide in 1996 (he joined the shoegaze outfits Lush, after left the band). Well nuff said, enjoy the hysteria after the jump!
I’ve been knowing this dude since the first year I joined dA, I remember at that time I dont find many Indonesian artists that into deranged and dark arts. Abomination Imagery is the moniker, and Bahrull Marta is the man behind all of this madness! Hailing from Jakarta – Indonesia, he started doing digital art since 2007. He’s working mostly with digital collage mixed with drawing and photograph, all of his pieces could bring your imagination to abomination! His artworks are dark and macabre, with the use of colors and textures that rather unique – sometimes looks like paintings. By what I mean ‘macabre’, no its not like ‘guts everywhere’ or boring shit like that. He has his own style, a bit abstract and surreal yet still dark. He has done artworks both for local and international bands such as Bloodcraft, Dawn of Disease, Exussum, Elude Fearra, Funeral Inception, Houwitser, Profanus Nathrakh, Sickmath, Sacrificial Slaughter, Sinister and more. Enough said, feel the abomination after the jump!
What comes in your mind when you heard about ‘South Of No North’? Charles Bukowski? Fuck yes, but we aint gonna review a book right now! I’ve been doing a lot research on Greek’s post-punk/wave scene lately, havent heard much but sure I’m loving the tunes by Alive She Died, Art Of Parties, Metro Decay and South Of No North. The last name mentioned is played heavily on my playlist right now! Hailing from Athens – Greece, South Of No North formed in November 1983. They played a dark yet melodic post-punk, influenced by groups like Bauhaus, Joy Division, Stranglers and suchs. Their first album “Lacrimae Christi” (1984) has more dark and slow tempo, kinda reminds me of UK Decay. While other albums: “Fell Frozen” (1986) and “South Of No North” (1989), have more melodic and upbeat tempo (its like a mix of Pink Turns Blue, Nick Cave and The Cure in my opinion). They also have shared the same stage with Nick Cave, on one of their early gigs in Rodon – Greece. Their releases are no longer available by their first labels, but Dead Scarlet Records re-released the albums and also their final album “Rajah”. “Fell Frozen” is a really catchy song, you’ll fall in love with this band instantly! Well check out some flicks, after the jump!
I’m back again with another awesome gem I found via youtube, sadly I couldnt find more info about this obscure post-punk band from UK named Burning Skies of Elysium (or simply Elysium for short). I have no idea when they were formed, but their first 7″ singles titled “Summer House” released in 1984. After that followed by another singles: “Carousel” (12″ singles, 1985) and “Alone” (7″ singles, 1987), and their final release on LP titled “The Last Revolving Door” (1987). Musically their ‘poppish’ and melodic sounds kinda reminds me of The Cure, but vocal wise kinda like a more ‘romantic’ version of Southern Death Cult. I’m not that old, but seriously the atmosphere that Elysium created made me feel nostalgic everytime I listen to them! What so unique about them is, they incorporated the use of Saxophone on some of their songs (listen to “Death of the Clowns” or “Far From the Crowd” for example). Damn, its like X-Ray Spex playing a darker tunes! “The Last Revolving Door” became one of my fav post-punk/gothic albums, a must listen to all of you fans of obscure post-punk out there. Enough said, feel the nostalgia right after the jump.
Late 70′s, the hardcore scene was getting big in Los Angeles. But dont forget about the darker legacy of California’s punk rock scene, that damned offspring is called Deathrock. Bands with spooky atmosphere started to rise from its coffins : Christian Death, Kommunity FK, The Naked and The Dead, 45 Grave and Burning Image just to name a few. Speaking about the last name, Burning Image might be not as big as Christian Death or 45 Grave. But when it comes to deathrock, well they are my honey. During their early years (1982-1987), they only released a 7″ single (with the songs “The Final Conflict” and “Burning Image, Burning”) which caught Jello Biafra’s attention. They were then invited to play on one of Dead Kennedy’s show, they also shared the same stage with 45 Grave, Specimen and Butthole Surfers. And after recorded a few more songs, the band disappeared in the summer of ’87. They reformed in 2004 after Moe Adame (guitar/vocals) met Jello Biafra, a collection of their old materials titled “1983-1987″ (2004) and an album titled “Fantasma” (2009) then released via Jello Biafra’s label Alternative Tentacles. I’d say Burning Image is less ‘melancholic’ than (early) Christian Death, but still has its own power. Haunting yet raging vocals, powerful drum beats, noisy and ‘atmospheric’ guitar riffings: “Fantasma” is a must listen for all deathrock / gothic fans out there! Yes they refused to die, “Oleander” (2011) is available as digital download which can be purchased here I believe. Enjoy the spookiness, after the jump!
The year was 1983, the kids got bored with politic and revolution bullshit. Who said punk’s dead? They did not, they revived as a new positive form. As journalist Richard North stated in a February 1983 article in NME, “So here it is: the new positive punk, with no empty promises of revolution, either in the rock n’ roll sense or the wider political sphere. Here is only a chance of self awareness, of personal revolution, of colourful perception and galvanisation of the imagination that startles the slumbering mind and body from their sloth.” The ghouls and the night creatures started to dragged themselves out of the cave, the so called ‘positive punk’ (later known as goth) bands emerged: the likes of Bauhaus, Play Dead, Siouxsie and The Banshees, UK Decay, Blood and Roses, Ausgang and many others. Pale faces, big hairs, all dressed in black: punks has never been as ghoulish as this. Check out a rad documentary about positive punk movement (based on an NME article by Richard North), features some killer old punk footages and performances, also interviews with Blood and Roses, Brigandage, Glen Matlock of Sex Pistols, Siouxsie Sioux and music journalist Jon Savage, right after the jump!
There’s something contradictory about Cenin’s artworks, the subjects rather dark, strange and surreal, but with the combination of vibrant colors. I’d say, this is a psychedelia surrealism! Cenin von Catlien is the alter ego of Turkey-based visionary artist Burcu Çorbaci, her medium is traditional drawing with the use of colored pencils, crayons, felt-tip pens and markers. Cenin means “fetus” in English, she lives and works in mind, womb, tomb and Istanbul. Her subjects of drawing concerns self alienation, the feelings of death-melancholy-despair, fear, occultism, gnosticism, depressions, self destruction, traumatic feelings of being born and everything in between. I noticed that some of her drawings mainly focus on woman, child and fetus. Also the expression of that creepy “dollish” face, she has her own characteristic! Cenin’s works have been exhibited in Poland, Germany, Brazil and also her hometown Istanbul. She made several illustrations for some underground fanzines, and also has been featured and interviewed in several publications such as Yeni Harman magazine (Turkey), Imagine The Imagination: New Visions of Surrealism book (published by Negoist, Poland), and a few others. Check out some of her rad artworks, after the jump!
When I heard the word “Rostov”, well what comes in my mind is Andrei Chikatilo a.k.a The Rostov Ripper. But no, we aint gonna talk about that maniac right now. Lets move on to Rostov-on-Don, my friend just recommend me a post-punk band named УТРО (well according to google translate, its read “Utro” which means “Morning”). I couldnt find more info about this band, their lastfm page only said that УТРО is a side project of another Russian post-punk band Motorama (which is one of my fav band). Have no idea if УТРО is the ‘darker’ alter ego of Motorama, or only featured some of the members. But sure, the music is much more gloomy than Motorama, its like Motorama meets Joy Division and The Birthday Party. I cant tell more, even their website kinda freaks me out! You’ll find nothing but weird things like old shoes, fork, spoon, vintage photos, random lines, symbols and illustrations. Some of the images linked to strange videos, but if you are lucky enough to click one of the image it will self download their songs. Well check out some weirdness, right after the jump!