Fragmented Frequencies Nov 13


So do you know about Melbourne’s hidden Kosmische history? A scene developed around men who wore capes and were producing cosmic electronic music as equally strange, beautiful and forward thinking as Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra (1974) and their German contemporaries at pretty much the exact same time. Steve Maxwell Von Braund was in London in the psychedelic 60’s and was profoundly influenced by the likes of Hawkwind and Can. Upon his return to Melbourne in the early 1970’s he purchased a Korg synthesizer and began experimenting. In 1975 with the help of Gill Matthews (Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs) he recorded Australia’s first electronic album Monster Planet, a sprawling highly textured experimental synth suite of mutant cosmic beauty, complete with epic sweeps of crunchy oscillating space jams.  The following year he began working with Geoff Green as the equally interstellar Cybotron, subsequently releasing 3 studio albums and one live recording.

Both the iconic Monster Planet and Cybotron’s painfully rare Sunday Night at the Total Theatre from 1976 have just been rereleased on Melbourne’s new vinyl reissue label Dual Planet and been given deluxe treatment. Monster Planet is a gatefold with extensive liner notes, whilst Cybotron’s live recording recreates the original DIY artwork. This recording in particular is jaw dropping. It’s difficult to imagine how an audience today could cope with such synthesis driven spiritual ecstasy, let alone in the mid 70’s. The liner notes call the suite ‘ecstatic moog ragas’ and it’s an apt description of the wigged out cosmic goodness contained within.

Interview with Kimani Ray Smith director of Evil Feed

“You know when you get your face peeled off it’s kind’ve hard to make it funny,” laughs Kimani Ray Smith, director of gory exploitation schlocker Evil Feed.  A crazy over the top amalgam of horror, exploitation, comedy and fight films, with a suitably excessive body count, fine dining cannibalism and moments of unexpected brutality, Evil Feed is in a world of its own. It’s one of those rare low budget, low brow, low expectations films that actually manages to successfully fuse these diverse and at times conflicting genres together in a natural and frequently hilarious way.

“I love sci fi, I like horror films but I’m not too much into the gore, like Saw and stuff like that,” Smith offers. I was more interested in the comedy horror, I like the grindhouse flavour, you don’t take it serious and it’s over the top. It kind’ve comes from when I was a kid; I was a massive kung fu Asian film freak. So over the top acting, over the top fighting, over the top blood and gore, you know the fun stuff. “

Smith approaches Evil Feed with his tongue digging a crater into his cheek. The tale of a group of fighters looking for their kidnapped sensei, they stumble into a restaurant cum fight club in which the loser of the bout is fed to the patrons. But don’t expect scenes of ravenous lunatics greedily shovelling raw entrails into their mouths in some kind of orgiastic frenzy, Evil Feed is a long way from your genre defining cannibal films of the 70’s like Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox. This is a cannibal film for the foodie generation, fine dining entrails, where extra care is taken to get the seasoning just right, and the special of the house the world famous Dickie Roll. Yep, it’s exactly what you think it is.

“I like the multi genre,” begins Smith, “you think its one thing and then its like, whoa this is serious, or whoa this is gross, or I’m laughing now what the hell is going on?”

That said there’s a certain graphic brutality in some of the deaths that can be a little confronting.

“Every one of these kinds of films its always the 101 ways to die,” suggests Smith. “You have to ask yourself how are we going to kill the person, and in this genre, how fun can we make it? Towards the end when the triad dies by having his face pushed into Brian’s crotchless…it was ridiculous, then of course there’s the way that the Dickie Roll is made. That said some of the kills are in your face serious and make you question what the hell am I watching. It keeps you on your toes.”

Evil Feed recently premiered at the Toronto After Dark film festival and some of the patrons didn’t take too kindly to what they viewed as the sexist, racist and gore elements of the film. To Smith this is ridiculous, firstly they’re at a genre film festival and secondly Smith and most of the filmmakers are African American and Smith’s wife is one of the co writers.

“It’s a horror film,” he laughs in mock exasperation, “it’s a gore film, its an exploitation grindhouse film, it’s a comedy. It shouldn’t be taken seriously, c’mon, enjoy, and have a Dickie Roll on me. “

Evil Feed Screens as part of Monster Fest.

Steve Maxwell Von Braund – Monster Planet (Dual Planet)

“Not only is it great to shine a light on this forgotten period of Australian music, but it’s really pleasing to see such an obscure forward thinking album of genuine synth weirdness treated with the love and attention to detail that befits one of the most iconoclastic and unexpected albums released in this country.”

Full review at Cyclic Defrost