• Standard edition
£30, inc. UK p&p (EU £35, ROW £40).
• Clothbound, numbered and debossed edition of 300 £40 inc. p&p (£45 EU/ £50 ROW). SOLD OUT
Payment via Paypal or £UK cheque made out to Strange Attractor Press and sent to BM SAP, London WC1N 3XX.
Please note that Lost Envoy will only be available direct from the publisher, and a very select number of bookshops.
In the Spring of 2013 a 78-card, hand-painted tarot deck created c.1906 by the mystic and artist Austin Osman Spare, was identified within the collections of The Magic Circle Museum in London.
Austin Spare’s life-long interest in cartomancy is well documented, yet very few of his own fortune-telling cards were thought to have survived. This compelling new example of the artist’s early work demonstrates his precocious involvement with the currents that shaped the British Occult Revival at the beginning of 20th century, and his interactions with some of the period’s lesser-known protagonists.
Magic Circle Museum curator and artist Jonathan Allen immediately recognised that Spare’s cards were not only art-historically significant, but also entirely unknown outside of The Magic Circle’s collections, and set about tracing the deck’s provenance, its place in the artist’s oeuvre and within the wider histories of cartomancy.
Lost Envoy reproduces Austin Spare’s tarot deck in its entirety for the first time, alongside new written and visual contributions from Jonathan Allen, Phil Baker, Helen Farley, Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, Sally O’Reilly and Gavin Semple.
Published by Strange Attractor Press in association with The Magic Circle, and supported by Arts Council England. Designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studios, London.
Expected publication date: Winter 2015.
The Strange Story of Soviet Music on the Bone
Ed. Stephen Coates
Hardback , full colour
220pp, 220mm x 235mm
£20 / £25
Also available in a Special Edition of 500 copies with flexidisc insert containing original Bone music.
Available November 2015
Many older people in Russia remember seeing and hearing mysterious vinyl flexi-discs when they were young. They had partial images of skeletons on them, could be played like gramophone records and were called ‘bones’ or ‘ribs’. They contained forbidden music.
In the cold war era, the Soviet recording industry and permissible musical repertoire were ruthlessly controlled by the State. But a secret and risky subculture of bootleg recordings arose. Incredibly, bootleggers built homemade recording machines and found an extraordinary way to copy banned gramophone records – they used X-Rays clandestinely obtained from hospitals
X-Ray Audio: The Strange Story of Soviet Music on the Bone tells the secret history of these ghostly records and of the people who made, bought and sold them. Lavishly illustrated with images of discs collected in Russia, it is a unique story of forbidden culture, bootleg technology and human endeavour. Contributions from Russian musical commentators and interviews, including one with the last bootlegger standing, set the scene for the intersection of ideological, technological and historical events that created this brief Samizdat musical culture.
In a time when songs can be copied in an instant and when streaming services provide virtually infinite choice and access, X-Ray Audio provides a poignant reminder of the immense cultural value of music and the extraordinary lengths people to which people will go to listen to what they love.
Stephen Coates is a music producer, and director of the arts company Antique Beat.
Paul Heartfield is a music and portrait photographer.
Aleksander Kolkowski is a composer, violinist, sound artist and researcher.
Maksim Kravchinsky is a Russian broadcaster and writer
Sukhdev Sandhu is a writer and lecturer on contemporary culture.
Artyemi Troistsky is a Russian music journalist, broadcaster and academic.
Published with assistance from Arts Council England.
|Choose your edition|
THE ROT OF THE STARS
25 – 31 May 2015
At ICA Studio
Opening Monday 25 May
6 – 8pm
Installation open all week, with live performances
Monday 6.45 – 7.05 pm
Tuesday – Saturday 1 – 1.20 pm
with Thursday 7 – 7.20 pm
THE ROT OF THE STARS
The Rot of the Stars (ROTS) initiates communications with the isolated unicellular microbes that inhabit the plastisphere, an ecosystem inhabited by more than 1,000 species of bacteria and algae that have evolved to live on microplastic debris. ROTS, composed of visual and performance artist Jo Fisher Roberts and experimental musician and writer Mark O Pilkington, will construct a sympathetic environment charged with images, sounds, smells and light in order to open up a channel between our world and that of the microbial plastisphere. The mise-en-scène is amplified and the visual presentation complemented by daily live performances occurring at lunch time throughout the week. Please book your tickets for the daily live performances here.
ABOUT THE ROT OF THE STARS
“The Starres eat… Those falling Starres, which are found on the earth in the form of a trembling jelly, are their excrement.” (Henry More, 1656). Pwrdre Ser, or the Rot of the Stars is a pale, foul-smelling jelly traditionally associated with meteorite falls.
Formed in November 2014, ROTS is a collaboration between Jo Fisher Roberts and Mark O Pilkington. Jo is an artist with an interest in natural history and the Grotesque, currently working primarily in live art and installation. Trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, Jo exhibits internationally and teaches Natural History Illustration. Mark is a writer and experimental musician; he also founded and runs Strange Attractor Press.
“For the entire month of May I’m undertaking a 31 date reading tour of England called An English Trip. I’m going with my good pal Kjetil Nernes – the brains & brawn behind Årabrot – who is creating music for me to read over while we do shows in high security prisons, schools, libraries, record shops, bars, churches, village halls, book stores, cinemas, theatres and gig venues.
This ill advised, poorly thought out, risible adventure is, as you have almost certainly realised in quicker time than I did, part of a burgeoning mid-life crisis (triggered by a common or garden case of bi-polar disorder).
However, despite how anxious I’ve become about it now that I’m less mad and I’ve had some time to think it over, I’ve got to say, it’s been quite exciting to plan. I bought a large fold-out road map of the UK from a petrol station to lay out on my living room floor. And as I started placing small star stickers (stolen from one of my son’s Thomas The Tank Engine magazines) over various towns and cities, I tried to pin down where this idea had originated as I marked Salford, Eastbourne, Plymouth, Manchester, Bristol, Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, Sunderland, Sheffield, Taunton, Liverpool, Rochester, Cambridge, Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham, Totnes, Nottingham, Northampton, Worcester, Brighton and other destinations.
Each of the small, colourful circles of paper had been placed over the site of a gig location. Every marker stood for an opportunity I was taking to collaborate with various artists, poets, musicians, writers and filmmakers along the route.”
More, including an extract from Jolly Lad, can be found here
DATES FOR MAY
Fri 1: The Coach House, BRIGHTON – featuring Verity Spott and Kemper Norton £4 on the door.
Sat 2: Star & Garter, MANCHESTER – featuring Ten Mouth Electron & ILL. £5 door/adv. TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE.
Mon 4: The Vinyl Frontier, EASTBOURNE FREE ENTRY
Tue 5: The Book Hive, NORWICH FREE ENTRY
Wed 6: Pop Recs Ltd. SUNDERLAND – with King Ink FREE ENTRY
Thu 7: Sound It Out Records, STOCKTON ON TEES – with Rick Holland FREE ENTRY
Mon 11: NN Cafe, NORTHAMPTON – with Roger Robinson, Falling From Cloud 9 & Alistair Fruish. £3 on the door.
Tue 12: Broadway Cinema, NOTTINGHAM – with Nik Void & The Quietus At Leisure Films. £5 adv/door.
Wed 13: Drift Records, TOTNES – with The Undertakers ENTRY BY DONATION
Fri 15: The Adelphi, HULL – with Andy Kirkpatrick & The Patron Saints
Sat 16: Black Cat Records, TAUNTON – with Henry Blacker – FREE ENTRY
Sun 17 DAYTIME: Rise Records, BRISTOL FREE ENTRY
Wed 20: The Exchange, LEICESTER – with Lone Taxidermist. £5 adv/door.
Sat 23: The Old Police House, GATESHEAD – featuring Chrononautz
Thu May 28: CSV MEDIA CLUBHOUSE, IPSWICH IP1 2DX, IPSWICH 7pm, £3 Details
Fri 29: Underground, PLYMOUTH – with Sly And The Family Drone, Knifed Out Of Existence, Steve Strong & Richard Thomas. Full line up TBA
Sat 30: South Records, SOUTHEND – with Martin Newell FREE ENTRY
Four new titles arriving between mid October and mid November 2014.
We’ll have more details and ordering information available here shortly.
Watch this space.
[click on each image for a better view]
FORBIDDEN SOVIET MUSIC ‘ON THE BONE’
8 October, 7pm
£6 Advance / £8 on the door (book here)
The Horse Hospital, 1 Colonnade, LONDON WC1N 1JD
Composer STEPHEN COATES tells an extraordinary story of forbidden music, cold war culture and Soviet bootleg technology.
Many older people in Russia remember seeing and hearing strange vinyl flexi-discs when they were young. The discs had partial images of skeletons on them and were called ‘Bones’ or ‘Ribs’.
In the post war period, both the Soviet recording industry and its permissable musical repertoire were ruthlessly controlled by the State. But a vibrant, secret and risky trade grew up in bootleg records containing forbidden music. These were made on used X-Rays obtained from hospitals, cut into discs and engraved with the grooves of copied gramophone records.
Stephen will present ‘X-Ray Audio’, an Arts Council England sponsored project and 2015 publication by Strange Attractor Press, which will illustrate this incredible tale through photographs, essays, sound and film with testimonies from surviving Russians of the period.
Sound artist and researcher ALEKS KOLKOWSKI will be providing a live demonstration of recording onto X-Ray plates using vintage analogue record-cutting lathes and a commentary on groove-based recording techniques.
ELECTRIC SHEEP, STRANGE ATTRACTOR AND SCALARAMA PRESENT
ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK
Dir Sergio Martino Italy/Spain 1972 88 mins
The Horse Hospital, 1 Colonnade, LONDON WC1N 1JD
7PM £7 ON THE DOOR/£5 ADVANCE CLICK HERE
Hallucinatory satanists infest swinging London in this hard-to-find psychedelic Giallo from one of its boldest proponents, Sergio Martino (The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh, Torso, Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I have the Key). All the necessary ingredients are here, including giallo queen Edwige Fenech as the troubled victim of a psychopathic stalker, exotic West London locations and a psyched-out sitar heavy theme from Bruno Nicolai.
The Carpenters: Your favourite horror film themes played live by Filmbar 70′s Justin Harries and friend.
Cover design by Mark Titchner.
Coming early 2015.
River Peck with Tom Bolton
Sat 6 Sept , 11am – 2pm
Tom Bolton, author of London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s Guide, leads a walk along the full length of the River Peck, from Honor Oak Park to the Thames at South Dock. The lost River Peck is Peckham’s river, buried under south east London. It sweeps from One Tree Hill across Peckham Rye and the industrial backlands to the Surrey Docks. On the way it takes in parts of London few ever visit, well off any tourist trail.
Meeting point: Honor Oak Park, SE23 1DY
Nearest tube: Honor Oak Park
River Peck at Totally Thames
River Tyburn with Tom Bolton
Sun 7 Sept, 11am – 1.30pm
Tom Bolton, author of London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s Guide, leads a walk tracing part of the buried River Tyburn, from Baker Street to Vauxhall Bridge. The Tyburn is one of London’s lost rivers, buried to accommodate the sprawling city and West End – but still flowing beneath the streets. This river traces and shapes the history of the West End, including the institutions of monarchy, church and department store. On this walk you will uncover layers of social history and cultural curiosity, and find out about the controversies along its route.
Meeting point: Baker Street Station, Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LA
Nearest tube: Baker Street
Tyburn at Totally Thames
£10 – cash on the day only. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
PLUS – THE GEEK OFF!
Sat 20 Sept, 11am – 12:30pm
HMS President, Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0HJ
Book tickets here
London’s Lost Rivers author Tom Bolton will be leading a new series of walking tours in July and August, details below. We strongly advise advance booking as they are sure to be popular.
Meanwhile you can still buy copies of his book from us, and we’ll have news of his follow up, The Vanished City, soon.
London’s Lost Rivers – walks with Tom Bolton
Sat 19 July – Tyburn river walk
Sat 19 July – Fleet river walk
Sun 3 August – Neckinger river walk
Sun 3 August – Walbrook river walk
Walk the lost Tyburn river
Baker Street station to Vauxhall Bridge, 3.5 miles, 2.5 hours
10.30am, Saturday 19th July
The Tyburn is one of London’s lost rivers, infamous for the gallows named after it. It traces a route through Marylebone and Mayfair, cutting behind formal streets, hidden in London’s busy West End and under London’s most famous building. Follow the lower Tyburn with Tom Bolton, author of London’s Lost Rivers, and see the underside of the London tourists know.
Meet by the Sherlock Holmes statue outside Baker Street tube station at 10am on Sunday 3rd August. Bring an umbrella if it looks like rain – we’ll go ahead, whatever the weather. End point: Vauxhall Bridge. The walk costs £10. Pay on arrival (cash only). Emailteabolton@hotmail.com to book.
Walk the lost Fleet river
King’s Cross to Blackfriars, 3.5 miles, 2.5 hours
2pm, Saturday 19th July
Under the London pavements are the city’s lost rivers, hidden in tunnels and sewers. The most famous, the Fleet, runs just below the surface of central London. Follow the lower Fleet from St. Pancras to Blackfriars with Tom Bolton, author of London’s Lost Rivers, and hear how the river ran with blood, cured the sick, shaped the city and became London myth. End point: the Thames at Blackfriars Bridge
Meet outside the Pancras Road exit from St. Pancras Station – the one opposite the German Gymnasium and King’s Boulevard – at 2pm on Saturday 19th July. Bring an umbrella if it looks like rain – we’ll go ahead, whatever the weather. End point: the Thames at Blackfriars Bridge. The walk costs £10 – pay on arrival (cash only). Email email@example.com to book.
Walk the lost Neckinger river
South Bank to the Design Museum, 3.5 miles, 2.5 hours
10.30am, Sunday 3rd August
Cutting through the South Bank and Bermondsey, this walk along the buried route of the River Neckinger reveals South London’s visionaries, dissidents, madmen and women and a selection of well-known household brands.
Meet by the Thames at Bernie Spain Gardens, the open space between Coin Street and the Oxo Tower Wharf, at 10.30am on Sunday 3rd August. Bring an umbrella if it looks like rain – we’ll go ahead, whatever the weather. End point: St. Saviour’s Dock, near the Design Museum. The walk costs £10 – pay on arrival (cash only). Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Walk the lost Walbrook river
Shoreditch High Street to Cannon Street, 1.75 miles, 2 hours
2pm, Sunday 3rd August
The Walbrook is buried deep under the City of London, providing not only the most direct route into the vaults of the Bank of England, but guarding London’s Roman heart. Follow the route of the Walbrook with Tom Bolton, author of London’s Lost Rivers, and uncover the ancient secrets lurking under alleys and back streets.
Meet outside the exit from Shoreditch High Street Overground station at 2pm on Sunday 3rd August. Bring an umbrella if it looks like rain – we’ll go ahead, whatever the weather. End point: the Thames beside Cannon Street Station. The walk costs £10 – pay on arrival (cash only). Email email@example.com to book.