November 1st, 2008

operesque

Stuff that caught my eye whilst bookshopping

Here's a quick roundup of things that caught my eye whilst bookshopping in Berlin yesterday. First, Auguststr. has a new magazine shop, an extremely arty place called Do You Read Me?. It's at Auguststr. 28, just round the corner from Cocolo Ramen.



Secondly, when I was in ProQM they were playing the Ursula Bogner record. If you haven't heard of this, it purports to be rediscovered minimalist radiophonic masterpieces by a Delia Derbyshire-like lady who recorded them between 1969 and 1988. You can hear the pleasant results here. In fact, it seems to be the work of Viennese glitchster-prankster Jan Jelinek, and the photo of Bogner inside the sleeve looks suspiciously like him in drag. Anyway, bippity-boppity hats off to him.



I enjoyed an obscure little booklet, also in ProQM, of the photos of Taisuke Koyama. He takes photography into realms of abstraction only Wolfgang Tillmans has really dared recently.



There's also a nice book by the ever-groovy Die Gestalten Verlag focusing on the strangeness of classical album sleeves in the vinyl age. There've been endless collections of pop album sleeves, but very few of classical releases, and this handsome volume, entitled Classique, fills the gap with admirable completeness.

Something else that caught my eye in the bookstore was Bill Drummond's book The 17. It seems to be a good mixture of grand conceptual stunts and very direct, personal grappling with the way music has changed its status in culture, and I think Drummond is an interesting man.

Another rock-related -- yet elegant (because "rock-related" usually means super-naff) -- book is Fotoreportage23 by Katja Ruge, a series of photos in which Ruge tries to locate the spirit and the face of the disappeared rock star in various living people, and visits places significant in Curtis' story. It's the acceptable face of Retro Necro.

I leave you with the two books my 15 year-old nephew Robbie -- who's staying with us just now, and performing with me at the Bridge Art Fair -- found most interesting on our book-browsing trawl. He's into cartoons and animation and character design and computer games, and this stuff floats his boat.