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Baker's Dozen

Parallel Worlds: Peter Strickland's Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , June 3rd, 2014 13:03

On the occasion of the Berberian Sound Studio and Katalin Varga director releasing Wasp Boutique, a collaboration between Art-Errorist and Zsolt Sőrés, on his record label, and with a new feature film on the way, he sits down with Colm McAuliffe to talk 13 formative favourites


Patrick Cowley - School Daze
This is a recent reissue of Cowley's gay porno soundtracks for Schooldaze and Muscle Up. Cowley was a little hit and miss for me. I love stuff like Menergy and the work he did with Sylvester, but sometimes his sound could get a little too busy for my liking. I recently asked Mark Moore if he could play me some obscure Hi-NRG tracks and he put on Cowley's Tantra remix, which is 13 heady minutes of propulsive overload. It's one of the best things I've ever heard and then a year or so later this gay porno double album came out, which has some of his best work on there. Tracks like 'Mockingbird Dream' wouldn't sound out of place on Kraftwerk's Man-Machine. The whole thing is very moody, cold and electronic with some great drum programming in there. He even makes a didgeridoo sound acceptable on 'Journey Home'. I wouldn't say this is a favourite favourite, but the more exposure Cowley gets the better. He was so ahead of his time and it's tragic that he died so young, allegedly not even knowing it was AIDS that killed him.

The context of the soundtracks definitely adds something, mainly as my first ever 'proper' job in the film industry was as an assistant on a gay porno film by Bruce LaBruce called Skin Flick in 1998. I heard he was in London making a film with the working title, Gang Of Four Skins and I quickly signed up to help out. He made an arthouse version for the NFT and ICA, but also a hardcore, brown paper bag version. I'm a big Bruce LaBruce fan, but that wasn't his best film.