ltmurnau: (CX)
... ohhh pleasedontsuck pleasedontsuck....

From this morning's CBC:

Filmmaker Ben Wheatley is 'a cup of tea away from anarchy'
British director's new film, High-Rise, explores the intersection of condo life and class warfare
By Matt Meuse, CBC News Posted: Apr 16, 2016 8:00 AM PT Last Updated: Apr 16, 2016 8:00 AM PT

"They say you're only two meals away from anarchy," British director Ben Wheatley tells On the Coast host Gloria Mackarenko.

"You know, I like to eat. I'm probably about a cup of tea away from anarchy, usually."

Wheatley's new film, High-Rise, tells the twisted story of a utopian condo complex on the outskirts of a gentrifying city, and its rapid descent into chaos.

The transformation takes three months in the film. But in real life, Wheatley reckons it would be much quicker. In the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis, he realized he only had a day's worth of food in his house, and no real cash or valuables.

"I started looking around at the people in the street going, oh, I'd have to fight them, wouldn't I, for food," he said, laughing. "It would collapse really fast."

The film is based on a novel written by English author J. G. Ballard in the 1970s. Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, a resident of the titular High-Rise.

The book was speculative fiction at the time, but Wheatley finds it to be remarkably prescient.

"When I reread the book in my mid-40s, I realized that it wasn't predictive science fiction anymore, it was much more like I was reading pages out of a newspaper," he said. "It was a bit depressing."

To capture the feel of the novel, the film is set in a sort of alternate-history "super 70s," as Wheatley describes it — an ambiguous, highly-stylized representation of the era.

As if to highlight this, the film ends with an archival monologue from former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, whose right-wing economic policies dominated British politics in the 80s.

"Hearing Thatcher in the air [at the end of the film] is like the ending of John Carpenter's The Thing," he said, referencing a classic 80s horror film with a similarly bleak ending. "When I hear that voice, I get a slight twinge of fear. I find her disconcerting and terrifying."

"It's saying that the whole thing is cyclical and it will start again. And we have the hindsight of knowing what's going to happen next."

Parallels with modern Vancouver

The city in the film is implied as London, which is currently facing housing affordability problems not unlike Vancouver's. Prices are surging in both cities, and many blame investors who use real estate as a way of making and storing money.

Wheatley said the practice of treating real estate primarily as an investment has a devastating impact on cities.

"I always think of it as a bit like when these investors buy Van Goghs and stick them in a vault somewhere," he said. "The art gets turned into money, becomes abstracted and then put away, and it no longer serves the point it had in the first place. So, you know, if you do that to a city, you basically kill it."

"And what happens when no one can afford to live in the city? Do we all have to live on the outskirts and just look to it like Oz or something in the distance? I don't know, it's terrifying."

High-Rise was screened Friday night as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival, with a wider Canadian release on May 20. He'll be giving a master class as part of the festival Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Vancity Theatre.
ltmurnau: (CX)
Day 18 - Your Beliefs


I believe what J.G. Ballard believed:



What I believe

I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.

I believe in my own obsessions, in the beauty of the car crash, in the peace of the submerged forest, in the excitements of the deserted holiday beach, in the elegance of automobile graveyards, in the mystery of multi-storey car parks, in the poetry of abandoned hotels.

I believe in the forgotten runways of Wake Island, pointing towards the Pacifics of our imaginations.

I believe in the mysterious beauty of Margaret Thatcher, in the arch of her nostrils and the sheen on her lower lip; in the melancholy of wounded Argentine conscripts; in the haunted smiles of filling station personnel; in my dream of Margaret Thatcher caressed by that young Argentine soldier in a forgotten motel watched by a tubercular filling station attendant.

I believe in the beauty of all women, in the treachery of their imaginations, so close to my heart; in the junction of their disenchanted bodies with the enchanted chromium rails of supermarket counters; in their warm tolerance of my perversions.

I believe in the death of tomorrow, in the exhaustion of time, in our search for a new time within the smiles of auto-route waitresses and the tired eyes of air-traffic controllers at out-of-season airports.

I believe in the genital organs of great men and women, in the body postures of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Princess Di, in the sweet odours emanating from their lips as they regard the cameras of the entire world.

I believe in madness, in the truth of the inexplicable, in the common sense of stones, in the lunacy of flowers, in the disease stored up for the human race by the Apollo astronauts.

I believe in nothing.

I believe in Max Ernst, Delvaux, Dali, Titian, Goya, Leonardo, Vermeer, Chirico, Magritte, Redon, Duerer, Tanguy, the Facteur Cheval, the Watts Towers, Boecklin, Francis Bacon, and all the invisible artists within the psychiatric institutions of the planet.

I believe in the impossibility of existence, in the humour of mountains, in the absurdity of electromagnetism, in the farce of geometry, in the cruelty of arithmetic, in the murderous intent of logic.

I believe in adolescent women, in their corruption by their own leg stances, in the purity of their dishevelled bodies, in the traces of their pudenda left in the bathrooms of shabby motels.

I believe in flight, in the beauty of the wing, and in the beauty of everything that has ever flown, in the stone thrown by a small child that carries with it the wisdom of statesmen and midwives.

I believe in the gentleness of the surgeon's knife, in the limitless geometry of the cinema screen, in the hidden universe within supermarkets, in the loneliness of the sun, in the garrulousness of planets, in the repetitiveness or ourselves, in the inexistence of the universe and the boredom of the atom.

I believe in the light cast by video-recorders in department store windows, in the messianic insights of the radiator grilles of showroom automobiles, in the elegance of the oil stains on the engine nacelles of 747s parked on airport tarmacs.

I believe in the non-existence of the past, in the death of the future, and the infinite possibilities of the present.

I believe in the derangement of the senses: in Rimbaud, William Burroughs, Huysmans, Genet, Celine, Swift, Defoe, Carroll, Coleridge, Kafka.

I believe in the designers of the Pyramids, the Empire State Building, the Berlin Fuehrerbunker, the Wake Island runways.

I believe in the body odours of Princess Di.

I believe in the next five minutes.

I believe in the history of my feet.

I believe in migraines, the boredom of afternoons, the fear of calendars, the treachery of clocks.

I believe in anxiety, psychosis and despair.

I believe in the perversions, in the infatuations with trees, princesses, prime ministers, derelict filling stations (more beautiful than the Taj Mahal), clouds and birds.

I believe in the death of the emotions and the triumph of the imagination.

I believe in Tokyo, Benidorm, La Grande Motte, Wake Island, Eniwetok, Dealey Plaza.

I believe in alcoholism, venereal disease, fever and exhaustion.

I believe in pain.

I believe in despair.

I believe in all children.

I believe in maps, diagrams, codes, chess-games, puzzles, airline timetables, airport indicator signs.

I believe all excuses.

I believe all reasons.

I believe all hallucinations.

I believe all anger.

I believe all mythologies, memories, lies, fantasies, evasions.

I believe in the mystery and melancholy of a hand, in the kindness of trees, in the wisdom of light.

- J. G. Ballard
(published in Interzone #8, summer 1984)

Day 1 - your current relationship
Day 2 - where you’d like to be in 10 years
day 3 - your views on drugs and alcohol.
day 4 - your views on religion.
day 5 - a time you thought about ending your own life.
day 6 - write 30 interesting facts about yourself.
day 7 - your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.
day 8 - a moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.
day 9 - how you hope your future will be like.
day 10 - discuss your first love and first kiss.
day 11 - put your ipod on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up.
day 12 - bullet your whole day.
day 13 - somewhere you’d like to move or visit.
day 14 - your earliest memory.
day 15 - your favourite tumblrs.
day 16 - your views on mainstream music.
day 17 - your highs and lows of this past year.
day 18 - your beliefs.
day 19 - disrespecting your parents.
day 20 - how important you think education is.
day 21 - one of your favourite shows.
day 22 - how have you changed in the past 2 years?
day 23 - give pictures of 5 guys who are famous who you find attractive.
day 24 - your favourite movie and what it’s about.
day 25 - someone who fascinates you and why.
day 26 - what kind of person attracts you.
day 27 - a problem that you have had.
day 28 - something that you miss.
day 29 - goals for the next 30 days.
day 30 - your highs and lows of this month
ltmurnau: (Default)
- in their "Gateways to Geekery" intro series:



Gateways To Geekery: J.G. Ballard
by Jason Heller February 18, 2010

Why it’s daunting: J.G. Ballard was 78 when he died in 2009, but even at that grandfatherly age, many people still viewed him through a lens of violence, perversion, and sheer weirdness. He’d earned that reputation, of course. David Cronenberg made Ballard’s most infamous novel, 1973’s car-wreck porno Crash, into an equally puzzling, off-putting film. It’s easy to forget that Empire Of The Sun, Ballard’s account of spending his childhood in a Shanghai internment camp during World War II, is also the basis of the Steven Spielberg film of the same name, and that Ballard’s 50-year career spanned everything from pulp science fiction to magic realism to stinging satire to moving memoir. Still, many challenging, unsettling themes recur obsessively throughout Ballard’s work, and can make his sprawling catalogue tough for newcomers: Armageddon, sexual deviance, the subjectivity of time, the thespian qualities of human identity, the spiritual liberation of flight, and above all, the barbarism pulsing just beneath the skin of civilized society.

Possible gateway: High-Rise
Why: Published in 1975, High-Rise is Ballard at the height—no pun intended—of his powers. Set in a self-contained, tightly hierarchical tower block in England, the timeless story isn’t so much a warning about the future as an autopsy of the eternal now: As the building’s pampered residents begin to degenerate, without real provocation or awareness, into a state of being both feral and sublime, Ballard takes a detour around morality and presents this teeming, tribal anarchy as an inevitable reaction by the collective conscious against contemporary life. After passing through the depths of experimentation with The Atrocity Exhibition and Crash, Ballard used High-Rise to synthesize avant-garde science fiction with the sharp, clinical realism for which he would become known, a style partially a side effect, Ballard himself said, of the aborted medical studies of his youth. A cautionary tale minus the caution, High-Rise thrusts readers into an incest-ridden, cannibalistic labyrinth of the psyche that most never picture outside their own nightmares.

In spite of such grotesque abandon, the clarity and concision of High-Rise are remarkable. What often gets lost in the rush to paint Ballard as some highbrow shock-monger is the brilliance and rigor of his prose; wielding inventive similes, lucid depravity, and surgically crisp dialogue, he turns High-Rise from a mad stampede of orgiastic chaos into a measured, even stately parade of terror. His detractors dismiss his detachment as dryness, but Ballard’s deadpan, hermetic voice keeps the overall tone far removed from histrionic social commentary. It’s also the ideal counterpoint to his metaphysical, phantasmagorical, and frequently savage flights of derangement. In High-Rise, all these vectors converge in ringing, horrific harmony.

Next steps: High-Rise’s immediate predecessor, 1974’s Concrete Island, is almost as good a gateway. Being a transitional novel, however, it’s a bit atypical of much of Ballard’s work. It’s a stark, compact, dreamlike tale of a philandering architect stranded via car crash—yes, another car crash, a pet motif of Ballard’s, along with camcorders, gated communities, geometry, and ejaculation—on a patch of land under a freeway exit. What sets it apart is the overt magic realism of this surrogate gulag and the strange inhabitants discovered there. That air of vividly rendered impossibility first surfaced in 1966’s The Crystal World, another novel perfect for the intermediate Ballardian. Patterned after (yet neatly inverting) one of Ballard’s major influences, Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness, the novel follows an expedition up a jungle river, along which all matter—vegetable, animal, and mineral—is spontaneously morphing into crystal. Not only is The Crystal World Ballard’s first mature work, it’s a dizzying, brain-imploding parable of colonialism on a quantum level.

As highly regarded, especially in England, as Ballard’s novels are, his short fiction is downright exquisite. Starting with the publication of his first pulp stories in the late ’50s, he penned densely allegorical, gemlike tales that encompassed everything from spaceships to urban claustrophobia to postmodern tomfoolery. In fact, long after he jettisoned science fiction from his longer work, he still found time to pump out the occasional amazingly bizarre story of a damaged astronaut or a messianic biologist. (That is, when he wasn’t creating a puckish tale told wholly in footnotes, or a Stanislaw Lem-like index to an apocryphal biography.) There are numerous collections of Ballard’s short stories—some of which overlap or are long out of print—so your best bet is to pony up and take the plunge with The Complete Short Stories. More consistently imaginative and engaging than his post-’70s novels, the massive yet accessible collection is a treasure chest of literary science fiction of the highest order.

Where not to start: Ballard first made waves in the early ’60s with a trio of post-apocalyptic novels: The Wind From Nowhere, The Drowned World, and The Burning World (also issued as The Drought). Of the three, The Drowned World is the best; not only does its premise of a band of survivors trapped in a partially submerged skyscraper presage High-Rise, it’s the first real hint of the genius Ballard would become. None of these early books serves as the best introduction to his work, though. And, honestly, neither does the notorious Crash. There’s a reason Crash is the only Ballard book many people have ever attempted; gratuitous and redundant (which, in all fairness, are charges that could be leveled at Ballard’s whole oeuvre), it seems almost like a parody of Ballard rather than the real thing. Give it props, though, for being the work of literature that surely bears the most instances of the word “semen.” Likewise, 1969’s The Atrocity Exhibition—a proto-Crash fugue of stunning, experimental vignettes, including the legendary “Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan”—is Ballard at his most lurid and demanding. There’s greatness here, but you have to work for it.


I definitely agree with these recommendations - the short stories are also a great introduction. My first exposure to Ballard was the short story collection The Terminal Beach at age 13 or 14. I didn't know quite what was going on, but I knew I liked it....
ltmurnau: (Default)
It's been ten months since J. G. Ballard's death and the Gagosian Gallery is doing a tribute exhibition to show his influence on contemporary artists. Here is a piece by Ian Sinclair about his meetings with Ballard shortly before he died, from The Guardian:

Crash: JG Ballard's artistic legacy

Shortly before JG Ballard's death last year, Iain Sinclair made a pilgrimage to the author's Shepperton semi, a shrine to his surreal tastes and happy family life. A new exhibition of his favourite paintings and of art work he has inspired honours this distinctive vision
Read more... )

Slide show of paintings at the exhibition:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2010/feb/17/art-j-g-ballard-gagosian?picture=359437748

Going to be Acting Boss at work for the next three weeks.
Not looking forward to it.

"Will you enforce me to a a world of cares?"
(Richard III, Act 3 Scene 7)
ltmurnau: (Default)
Over the weekend, J. G. Ballard succumbed to illness caused by prostate cancer. He was 78. He had been ill for several years, as he revealed at the end of his very last book, Miracles of Life.

JGB was a brilliant writer, a highly original thinker, my favourite author and an interesting man in his own right. No one saw the world just as he did, and he became, without most of the rest of that world knowing it, its unacknowledged prophet and psychic chronicler.

I read my first Ballard at age 13 - I saw a Penguin edition of The Terminal Beach, a collection of short stories, on a shelf in a dusty used bookstore in Sidney. I read them without completely understanding them at first, but there was this quality to the writing and the ideas that kept me coming back.

Since then, I have read everything that he wrote, with the exception of uncollected pieces that he did for newspapers and magazines. It's sad to think that there will be no more books or thoughts from him, ever.


THE site for things Ballardian: http://www.ballardian.com/ has a very moving personal tribute by Simon Sellars, and a collection of remembrances etc. by other authors. Here it is, I could not say it any better:

Goodbye, Jim…

As publisher of this site, my goal has always been to take J.G. Ballard as a philosopher, rather than simply a ‘novelist’. Sometimes this has truly angered fans and champions of his work, more often it has brought me into brilliant and inspiring contact with writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers and theorists who all see the world through that same Ballardian lens — and with Jim Ballard himself, who, along with his partner Claire Walsh, always remained supportive of the site.

Ballard articulates clearly to me the implications of living in an age of total consumerism, of blanket surveillance, of enslavement designed as mass entertainment. But he also speaks to me of resistance through irony, immersion, ambivalence, imagination — of remixing, recycling, remaking, remodelling.

Ballard embraces dystopian scenarios, including the archetypal non-space often characterised as a deadening feature of late capitalism. But this is not simply a call for nihilism. Ballard’s characters are not disengaged from their world. Rather, they embody a sense of resistance that derives from full immersion, a therapeutic confrontation with the powers of darkness, whereby merging with dystopian alienation negates its power.

This is predicated on concurrency: Ballard’s writing turns objectivity into subjectivity, opens up gaps where there is room for new subjects. His scenarios are what I term ‘affirmative dystopias’, neither straight utopia nor straight dystopia, but an occupant of the interstitial space between them, perpetual oscillation between the poles – the ‘yes or no of the borderzone’, to use a phrase from his work.

Here, dystopia becomes the real utopia, and utopian ideals, typically represented as a stifling of the imagination, the true dystopia. He reinhabits the frame to present a clearinghouse in which corporate and national governance is overthrown and regoverned as a ’state of mind’.

To read and to understand Ballard, then, is to be gloriously, finally liberated.

To James Graham Ballard: thank you.


Links, etc. - there are hundreds of Ballard sites out there but here are a couple I stuck in, for want of anything better or having to look harder:

CBC's rather superficial obit, apparently cribbed from Wikipedia_: http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2009/04/19/ballard-obit.html
[EDIT: a much better written appreciation of Ballard replaced this shortly afterwards: http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2009/04/20/j-g-ballard-obituary.html]

Guardian article on JGB and pop music: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8008277.stm

And another reminiscence from V. Vale, co-founder of Re/Search of San Francisco which published a lot of Ballard miscellany (http://www.researchpubs.com/Blog/?p=163):

I particularly hate it when “rebels” die — there are already so few of them/us. Sometimes it seems like virtually everyone you meet these days in the world is a slave to the profit motive/capitalist imperative: “What’s the meaning of life?” “To make money!” J.G. Ballard, and another of my relatively recently deceased role models, W.S. Burroughs, both refused to prostitute their writing, and they both refused to shmooze and “network” merely to further their “careers.” Both had a hatred of bourgeois hypocrisy and phony politeness, while at the same time being deeply polite and courteous, almost to a fault …

But for now, let us think of ways to publicly mourn one of the greatest thinkers and poets of the past century. By some irony, “The Complete Short Stories of J.G. Ballard” is reportedly soon to be published in the United States, complete with two additional stories not included in the U.K. edition. Short stories, more than novels, may appropriately suit the trend of the increasingly shorter attention span of the human populace, who demand more flash ads, tiny videos and music quotations as they read their two-minute, two-page articles on the Internet. I suggest that for the next month (or year), readers shut out everything else and read ONLY J.G. Ballard novels, short stories, essays, interviews and reviews. Your mind, language, and outlook are guaranteed to be permanently altered…

“Death always presents the face of surprised recognition,” wrote William S. Burroughs. He also advised all of us to “Stay out of hospitals,” and “Avoid Doctors.” Well, even though I had been concerned about J.G. Ballard’s health after hearing two years ago that he had been diagnosed with “advanced” prostate cancer, I still felt a kind of unthinking complacency mixed with my concern: “Almost every humane male has prostate cancer when he dies; it acts very slowly and can take decades to kill a man.” To be honest, having seen him recently in October 2008, I really didn’t think he would die THIS SOON. And when I found out he had died — I had arrived home from a 9-hour bus trip today to hear the news on our answering machine — well, my first thought was, “There’s no thinker left alive that I can totally trust. They’re all dead.”

For the past two or more years Ballard had been undergoing state-of-the-art, high-tech treatment from a young doctor who reportedly was trying every new medical breakthrough remedy or procedure which promised “hope” for Ballard’s condition. Recently, however, Ballard had been rushed to a hospital, and after sustained care there had returned to the home to his longtime (40-plus years) companion, Claire Walsh. The latest word was that he had recently required around-the-clock care by visiting professional nurses, which sounded somewhat alarming. Still, I maintained calm. Now I wish I had tried to telephone him and talk one last time, even if just for a minute. I think I expected Ballard to live at least as long as Burroughs, who reached the age of 83, even after having been “a junkie” for years of his life. By a strange logic, I felt that since Ballard hadn’t been a junkie, he should live even longer than 83. Well, I was wrong. And now the world will miss his unique, witty, and sometimes acerbic commentaries on itself. We miss him and are grateful for his dark sense of humor and generous output.

– V. Vale, RE/Search founder back in 1977, San Francisco


I have that UK edition of his complete short stories and will start working through it. And I'm going to have a prostate exam. Let's all bend over for Uncle Jim! (well, the men, anyway)

One thing relatively few remembrances/comments I have read so far mention is his sense of humour and grim wit. I liked that in him; he was actually very funny, in his way.
ltmurnau: (Default)
More from the Guardian, in case it gets lost:

Strange fiction
'I embraced surrealism - like a lover - and psychoanalysis, which closely abutted surrealism. Together, they represented what I wanted to do'.
JG Ballard talks to James Campbell


The Guardian, Saturday 14 June 2008

Read more... )
ltmurnau: (Default)
Ballard's Room:



Writers' rooms: JG Ballard

guardian.co.uk, Friday 9 March 2007 10.03 GMT

Photograph: Eamonn McCabe

My room is dominated by the huge painting, which is a copy of The Violation by the Belgian surrealist Paul Delvaux. The original was destroyed during the Blitz in 1940, and I commissioned an artist I know, Brigid Marlin, to make a copy from a photograph. I never stop looking at this painting and its mysterious and beautiful women. Sometimes I think I have gone to live inside it and each morning I emerge refreshed. It's a male dream.

There are photos of my four grandchildren (one, along with a picture of my girlfriend Claire, is just out of shot). The postcard is Dali's Persistence of Memory, the greatest painting of the 20th century, and next to it is a painting by my daughter, which is the greatest painting of the 21st century. On the desk is my old manual typewriter, which I recently found in my stair cupboard. I was inspired by a letter from Will Self, who wrote to me on his manual typewriter. So far I have just stared at the old machine, without daring to touch it, but who knows? The first drafts of my novels have all been written in longhand and then I type them up on my old electric. I have resisted getting a computer because I distrust the whole PC thing. I don't think a great book has yet been written on computer.

I have worked at this desk for the past 47 years. All my novels have been written on it, and old papers of every kind have accumulated like a great reef. The chair is an old dining-room chair that my mother brought back from China and probably one I sat on as a child, so it has known me for a very long time. A Paolozzi screen-print is resting against the door, which now serves as a cat barrier during the summer months. My neighbour's cats are enormously affectionate, and in the summer leap up on to my desk and then churn up all my papers into a huge whirlwind. They are my fiercest critics.

I work for three or four hours a day, in the late morning and early afternoon. Then I go out for a walk and come back in time for a large gin and tonic.

My Room:

Well, I don't have a picture of it, though in the new house I actually do have a sort of office/ writing room. On the floorplan of the house, it is referred to as "Area 10'10" x 10'2"", and it is adjacent to "Area 10'10" x 9'4"" which I will use as a studio for casting, printmaking, and general arty almost-outside stuff. There is no door, which I may change in time, but there is space for my books and my desk.

I was interested in Ballard's comment on how he does his writing, as I have long thought that the method in some part determines the composition itself. I spent much of my Christmas holiday writing what amounted to 9,300 words on the Spanish Civil War (got to get cracking on something on the Sino-Japanese War Real Soon Now) and I used the method I always have: first draft is longhand, make revisions on the fly as I am typing it into the computer, and there is my second draft. I normally find I do not have to make a third beyond a few revisions made after I let it sit for a few days.

But then again I am not a fiction writer. No gin and tonics either.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Simon Reynolds wrote Rip It Up And Start Again, the best book I've ever read on my favourite period of pop music: the post-punk era, 1978-84. I've been meaning to post something about the book but haven't gotten around to re-reading it, which I would like to do.

Meanwhile, here is an interview with the author, on the connection with one of my favourite writers:

"MAGISTERIAL, PRECISE, UNSETTLING"
Simon Reynolds on the Ballard Connection

Interview by Simon Sellars for the website Ballardian.

Simon Reynolds is one of the most recognisable music critics around — or at least his style is, not least for its willingness to tackle pop music as an art form worthy of sustained intellectual discourse rather than as a fleeting moment of adolescent flash. Reynolds breaks new ground, melding unbridled enthusiasm with a robust theoretical framework in a body of work that is thrilling for its eclecticism alone: he’s never less than compelling writing about hip hop, Britney or rave, as he is about grunge, prog or grime.

Reynolds reached a peak of sorts with the publication of Rip It Up and Start Again, a deliriously good excavation of the postpunk era, the generation of musicians that broke immediately after punk: Cabaret Voltaire, PiL, Magazine and so on. What’s more, J.G. Ballard was a thread throughout the book, as Reynolds charted the influence of JGB — and The Atrocity Exhibition, especially — on this particular era.

Read more... )
Original site with pictures: http://www.ballardian.com/simon-reynolds-on-the-ballard-connection/

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