Sea Urchin has just published two slim chapbooks that have been put together from a fine pick of papers and have been cut, folded, watercoloured and stitched by hand in limited editions of 15 copies. One is the expressionist poem The Bog (‘Das Moor’, 1913-1914) by German author Gustav Sack and the other the A Wilderness of Dreams, an opiate passage from ‘Hans Phaall – A Tale’ (1835) by Edgar Allan Poe. Illustrations for both editions: Ben Schot. Only 15 copies of each available! See our catalogue for more information.
Sea Urchin is thrilled to join forces with Jan van Toorn‘s great SLOWSCAN label.
Dissatisfied with the limited availability on vinyl or tape of good artists’ recordings, Jan van Toorn founded his own cassette label Slowscan in 1983 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. In the first 10 years of its existence Slowscan produced 10 important releases, the highlight of which was an 8-cassette Fluxus Anthology box set that met with international acclaim. After having been dormant for a number of years Slowscan made a restart as a vinyl label in 2000. Since then the label has released important and rare recordings of artists and electronic music, such as Liam O’Gallagher, Le Forte Four, Richard Maxfield and John Perreault.
Liam O’Gallagher (1917-2007) was a painter, sound artist, writer, art teacher and spiritual seeker who was influenced by people as varied as Aldous Huxley, Hans Hofmann, Marcel Duchamp and Krishnamurti. O’Gallagher was a free-spirited and socially engaged artist, as much interested in crossing the borders between various art disciplines and art and life as in mystical experience and bringing about social change. He played an important part in the creation of foundations and centres for human growth, such as Feathered Pipe Ranch, The Ojai Foundation and the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts. In the mid-1950s the studio that he shared with his life partner Robert Rheem in San Francisco’s Chinatown became a meeting place for writers and poets like Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. O’Gallagher experimented with LSD in Mexico and psilocybin in San Francisco, where the experiment was filmed by Michael McLure. O’Gallagher’s collaboration with choreographer Anna Halprin resulted in ‘Ceremony of Us’ (1969), an encounter between African-American dancers from the Watts district of Los Angeles and Halprin’s own – primarily white – San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop. That same year his collection of concrete poetry ‘Planet Noise’ was published by Jan Herman’s Nova Broadcast Press. In 1970 and 1971 O’Gallagher conceived several experimental audio works involving the use of telephones, transistor radios, a found LP, cut-ups and traditional musical instruments, several of which were composed and broadcast live on radio. His ‘People’s Opera aka Aerosol / or the Computer That Couldn’t Hear: An Inter-Media Opera (1970)’ was released on LP by Jan van Toorn’s Slowscan label in 2014. You can order it now!
John Chick (1944-2013) was one of the members of the original Bardo Matrix crew, who started out as a psychedelic lightshow or ‘experimental cine’ group in Boulder, Colorado. After moving to San Francisco in 1967, Chick helped set up light shows at the Avalon Ballroom with The Family Dog, with whom he was staying that summer. Doing so, Chick found himself at the heart of San Francisco’s Summer of Love. Once that summer had been spent he moved back to Colorado where he helped The Family Dog set up The Denver Dog – the Avalon Ballroom’s Colorado branch – and helped distribute The Avalon’s psychedelic posters in Denver. At The Denver Dog Chick worked with Blue Cheer, Jim Morrison, Chuck Berry, Janis Joplin and many other musicians and bands. The next year, in 1969, Chick decided to follow the hippie trail to Kathmandu, where he opened the Spirit Catcher bookstore with Angus MacLise and continued the Bardo Matrix imprint. The bookstore became a meeting place for expat poets and musicians and it was under the Bardo Matrix imprint that Ira Cohen and Angus MacLise published their famous Starstreams poetry series on local rice paper. John Chick had many an inside story to tell in his lifetime and Sloow Tapes did a great job releasing some of them on cassette. Order now → Hippie Histories
Now available: Ira Cohen – The Subliminal Cassette (2015). Counter Culture Chronicles is an independent label run from The Hague, The Netherlands by René van der Voort and Manuel Padding. In the past they have released on vinyl and cassette rare recordings of Angus MacLise, Jack Kerouac, Timothy Leary and others. In their cassette series they have now released as Counter Culture Chronicles #6 selected poetry readings and an interview of artist, poet and publisher Ira Cohen. The interview of Cohen was conducted in 1992 by writer and musician Cor Gout for Radio Mondain, The Hague. Only several copies of this exquisite release are available from Sea Urchin.