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Low Culture Podcast 15: Mark Fell On Walkabout

This month for Low Culture and Sound + Vision subscribers, electronic music producer and artist Mark Fell talks to Jennifer Lucy Allan and John Doran about the impact he felt on watching Nic Roeg's debut film as a kid

Mark Fell

Now that John Doran and Luke Turner are never seen in the same room at the same time, speculation on the dark web is reaching fever pitch that they are actually the same person – simply with costume changes and a variety of prosthetic body suits – like Jekyll and Hyde in Coil T-shirts or a really effete and cheese-obsessed version of Fight Club.

Or, to take the official line: this month we wish Godspeed to "Luke Turner" who is away, penning furiously at his bureau, a future best seller springing majestically from his glowing red hot word processor, so "John Doran" is stepping in to the vocal booth to speak to this month’s guest.

Luckily for Doran he is joined by none other than fog horn-ophile and Rum Music expert Jennifer Lucy Allan (speaking live from Stornaway), so the pair can interrogate techno producer, artist and author, Mark Fell about his cultural artefact for this month’s podcast.

Mark has picked the astonishing tour de force of Walkabout, Nic Roeg’s 1971 directorial debut proper, which concerns two white children lost in the harsh Australian outback – specifically the beautiful and sacred landscape of Uluru-Kata Tjuta – before being led to safety by an indigenous boy. (Don’t @ us badly researched social media pedants – Performance from 1970, although it has all the hallmarks of a Roeg classic, was a double-hander with Donald Cammell.)

Mark eschews any of the standard readings usually imposed on this weird cinema classic… coming of age as rite, how characters react when stranded outside of their usual environment, the impossibility of returning to an Edenic past, the treachery of communication, Western civilisation out of balance with the natural environment and so on. Instead he gives us a deeper, more personal reaction that centres on the joy of art that causes confusion and how we can perceive time in a non-linear fashion.

Talk soon turns to what it would take for him to embark upon making his long planned sci-fi film and his outrageous (but quite tempting sounding) practice of "method listening".

And there’s just enough time left over for Jennifer Lucy Allan to talk about an excellent new book on Wendy Carlos, called Incantation, Wendy by Frances Scott, while John’s album of the month is Im Hole by Aya.

This responsibly produced and socially distanced podcast was recorded remotely in accordance with the latest COVID-19 guidelines.

To listen to The Quietus’ new Low Culture podcast, you’ll need to become a subscriber and sign up to the Low Culture or Sound & Vision tiers. You can find out more about why we’re introducing the subs and all the amazing perks you can get here and join via the checkout below.

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