A SERBIAN FILM (Accent)

Note this film was banned yesterday in Australia, despite being passed with a R+18 in April. Details here:

A Serbian Film banned by the Classification Review Board

A Serbian Film reminds you that you can’t unwatch a film. Like Irreversible, I Spit on Your Grave, Salo and a few other excessively violent, transgressive and sexually provocative films, it will stay with you. It’s the debut feature from Srdjan Spasojevic and it aims to shock. He has that in common with Von Trier, it’s shamelessly exploitative, and unrepentantly manipulative. He’s trying to push our buttons and he succeeds. The opening scene is a five-year-old child impassively watching a porno video, the actor mechanically grinding away at the starlet all kitsch and tasteless. His mother catches him and chastises the father for leaving his videos where the kid can get to them. “Relax, it’s fine,” he says, “I saw my first porn at his age.” The father is the actor in the film.

Critics have panned this film as overly excessive, suggesting that its depravity cloaks a lack of substance. Others have suggested that it can be read as a metaphorical representation of the morally bankrupt vacuum left in the former Yugoslavia. Yet it reads more like a comment on the pornification of our culture, where women, men, even children have been reduced to sexual commodities by mass media. This is an edited version, yet it still retains representations of necrophilia and the rape of a baby, so one wonders what has been cut out to secure the R-rating. South Australia has banned it and JB-Hi-Fi wont stock it.

Yet it is fascinating, particularly in its total disregard of the taboo. It moves so far beyond what is acceptable that it leaves the viewer bewildered. Yet it can’t simply be dismissed for it’s gratuitous nature. It’s a film about power and manipulation; the sexual violence is ultimately a means to an end. Unlike Pasolini’s Salo, Spasojevic does seem to take a certain salivating delight in the depravity drawing it out much further than it needs to go. The only response is to shut down. Unfortunately however you can’t unwatch it.

Bob Baker Fish

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Fragmented Frequencies Sept 2011

william-ryan-fritch

The Woozy churning noisy experimental dance music of Sydney based post punks Scattered Order is relentless, encasing a dark hued pallor around even the most sugary of house like beats, making you feel somewhat sea sick with their heady mashes of sonic reference points and techniques. Perhaps a more apt description might be post post punk and then post all the other stuff that followed, because these days one wonders if anyone remembers punk beyond the Sex Pistols on a barge singing God Save The Queen on Rage.

The band, which began as a duo and are now a trio have been around for 25 odd years in various incarnations, and you can tell. Who else would use samples from US talk show host Donahue? (If you don’t know imagine Oprah crossed with Jerry Springer 30 odd years ago). They’ve just released A Solar Rush Towards a Treble Heaven EP on cdr and via download on bandcamp, and though they tend to move stylistically from release to release its hard not to hear traces of the likes of Throbbing Gristle in their hypnotic soups of dub, dance and noise. They’re launching it in their only Melbourne show for the year at the Workers Club on the 24th of Sept with guests electronic percussion duo Peon, Trjaeu, Young Romantix and Wolf 359 who are steadily gaining a reputation for their mind numbing live shows. This is all encompassing full body music. Every space is filled, it’s like the music has escaped from the musicians and is careering off downhill under its own momentum.

Lost Tribe Sound is a relatively new label from Arizona and they’ve gone for an earthy analogue, somewhat rustic approach to sound. It’s the brainchild of Ryan Keane, a member of eclectic sonic duo Tokyo Bloodworm, who would incorporate musique concrete techniques with modern classical sounds to strange hypnotic effect in their music. Their last album Palestine is an absolute cracker, further distinguished by being the last release on English label Moteer. Having released albums from Melbourne’s own purveyor of gentle electronics Part Timer, the folktronica of Pollution Salute and a label sampler offering morsels from Aaron Martin and Benoit Pioulard, the real star of their label is a peculiar guy who goes under the moniker Vieo Abiungo. His real name is William Ryan Fritch and is probably best known as a member of Anticon rapper turned bandleader Sole’s Skyrider band. Yet that outfit barely scratches the surface of this precocious talent.

His debut Blood Memory (Lost Tribe), was a moody exploration of the place where film music, modern classical, experimental and tribal music intersect, rough, raw and dark, yet undeniably powerful. It was so textured, so accomplished that it was impossible to believe that it was the work of only one man. Yet his most recent work, And The World is Still Yawning (Lost Tribe), two years on actively highlights this fact. The You-Tube clip for the single (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j3V9rSkUUk) features Fritch alone in a room, playing every instrument you hear, marimbas, harp, flute, clarinet, violin, guitar, you name it. The album feels lighter, at times somewhat poppier, though still tapping into similar concerns as its predecessor, yet it’s not as thick. Light has penetrated the murk, and the density has been replaced by space. It’s clearly the work of an artist growing in confidence and though you’re never quite sure what it is exactly, you can’t help but feel it. It’s available on both vinyl and as a download and comes with a limited remix disc.

You can download the b-sides for free at http://vieo.albm.fm/albums/vieo-abiungo

Cumbia is party music, a mixture of African beats, and South American melodies that originated in Columbia and his since spread across the continent. In recent times there has been a renewed interest in Chicha, a Peruvian blend named after cheap alcohol from the Andes thanks to a couple of great compilations from Barbes. Melbourne’s Cumbia Cosmonauts are more space age, a duo with an electronic bent on the genre, creating DJ culture faux dub cut up cumbia jigs. Vostok – 1 (Scattermusic) is their latest, a 4 track EP that sounds like they’ve taken to cumbia with an electronic blowtorch then launched it into space with an abundance of blips and beeps, vocal samples, imbuing the traditions with relentless though somewhat stilted dancefloor beats. Check out http://thecumbiacosmonauts.bandcamp.com for live dates and to download the Ep.

Bob Baker Fish