Your favorite DJ’s favorite DJ – Robert Bergman, known for his solid selections and contribution to labels such as Dog In The Night, The Trilogy Tapes and his new Brew project – stayed over at my new place in London the other night.
George Hysteric, founder of the “strange music from beyond” group on Facebook, gives us his personal top 10 from the group’s music collection and speaks about how it all began.
“The group was created on the night of New Years Eve 2013. In terms of listening taste 2013 was a strange year for me. Because of my general feeling at that time I was listening less to Italo-disco and music alike that had previously made up a significant portion of my musical diet. Instead, I was venturing into much darker and less ‘structured’ territories, the most influential having been the now defunct French artist Les Joyaux De la Princesse (“The Jewels of the Princess”).
“Each of this artist’s albums is rather less a piece of music and more an audio document of a particular period in time. Some are beautiful to listen to (Absinthe: La Folie Verte), yet others very challenging (Douche France); but if there’s a common thread throughout his work, it’s that the attention to detail is remarkable.
“I wasn’t ambitious about the group when I started it. I would’ve been happy with 100-200 members. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure what happened between then and now as somehow group membership has surpassed 4000.
“An important aspect of the group is that it’s kept free from spam and self-promotion. I’ve personally witnessed other music groups suffer from self-promotional posts.
Some may view our policy against these types of posts as harsh, but I personally believe it’s one of the main reasons why this group is still alive and active.
“A group celebrating eccentric music can’t be without a suitable mascot. So, as a tongue-in-cheek warning we have the ridiculous, terrifying yet somehow lovable figure of Boyd Rice to keep us all on our best behavior.”
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Gimme Pizza Song (Slowed Down)
An essential item in the top 10; something mundane and kitsch turned on its head and infinitely more enjoyable as a result.
Possibly the most popular song posted in the group (except for maybe the one by the Olsen twins), partly owing to YouTube’s recommendation algorithm.
Mind-boggling post-punk song from Japan with many incongruous and imaginative elements, yet also insanely funky.
Ba Ba Go, Go
I could have picked any one of them from a number of cat themed songs for this list, but this Italo-disco track with meowing effects has garnered a lot of love in the group.
Les Joyaux De La Princesse
Fee Verte, Vous Etes Jolie
This was the first-ever track posted in “strange music from beyond”, on December 31st, 2013. LJDLP was instrumental for me in starting this group.
Hyperactive pulsing madness from the prolific John Bender. What are these instruments I’m hearing?! My dream is that tracks like this will eventually be acceptable in a club environment.
This one (or at least the discussion of it) dates back to the CBS forum days, which was in many ways a predecessor to the “strange music from beyond” group. The A.T.R.O.X. albums (especially Water Tales) defy genre and are amongst my favorite records of all time.
What's There Left
It’s always interesting when an artist you admire joins a community you belong to. Unfortunately, sometimes they sign up solely to spam the group with their latest releases. Lidia Fiala (of Nine Circles) however, was absolutely cool and an honor to have on board.
Captures the essence of the group. Absolutely bizarre song but a listening pleasure. Produced in 1979 by Roberto Cacciapaglia, the whole album is essential listening.
Many of the early postings in the group were grounded in minimal synth/wave, including this dark and melancholic obscurity from Japan.