CULT: 5 hard edge magazines of the alternative culture

Everybody loves selection and top n posts, so here's one for you at the end of the year about alternative culture and underground magazines you could either download freely or get very, very cheap. Treat yourself because they contain great content, we approve of them and think about them dearly. Others approve of our magazine as well and think about it dearly. But we recommend you the others just as well. Come on now, click away!
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damage: in the year 2011 (in retrospective)


The compulsory closure blog post a.k.a. what happened in 2011? A whole lot of good stuff and you've read the public ones in the August diary post. Still, no word about Skyrim? And all the best music finds? (Because you don't read my monthly music rants in Mondo?) How is that even possible? Worry not. This is the time. Friends, fans, stalkers and haters - this was the year 2011!

  • Can't push this well enough: start with the August diary to sum stuff up from January till the end of July!

  • Earned the name Damage Von Rock from Zoog after assisting Angelspit during their Budapest gig and helping them through hardship and devilry! Meeting Valerie Gentile, Matt James and Amelia Arsenic was amazing and motivating - we've got a coproduction idea to show you in early 2012!
  • Which has nothing to do with my cyberpunk tourism mag The Dose (that would be your first bet which is so off the mark) - but I've made the Paris issue free to download near Xmas.
  • As for work, my debut gonzo non-fiction book manuscript is gaining more weight and form. I know I've promised to wrap it up this year BUT THIS IS A HYDRA. I'm at around 220 letter pages now (which actually means nothing, it's just to reflect a relative length to think about) and I'm really planning to finish this early January.
  • When I wasn't working on the book, I was busy writing for Mondo or doing a load of other freelance jobs like HVG's spec Extra issue on "the future" or two chapters in the Steve Jobs memorial book.
  • And one of the weirdest jobs I've done for Mondo (the J-culture magazine I've been affiliated with for years now) is testing Deus Ex: Human Revolution. In a factory plant. (Like a real cyberpunk boss, baby!)
  • Another autumn term of social & locative media, tech and future trends for finance/business studies BA students at International Business School Hungary! They might be a bit troubled and paranoid now when they look at their smartphones, but hey, noone said The Damage would make you feel safe.
  • Rocking out at my second Giger exhibition in Vienna! Although the 2011 showcase was concentrating on his movie contributions, there was a lot of earlier works - most notably connected to early influences, The Birth Machine and Li. Amazing. (And while I was at it, had to get to Aurin for Public Beta clothes. More neon bikewear!)
  • Managed to hack my brain, body and metabolism. Those of you being around me during the last months of the year, you've seen and experienced the proof. You can really recode the fabric and reach the medically improbable!
  • With the above mentioned greatness comes an equally great amount of trouble, hassle and shit, that's just how life is. I'd really love to thank my friends and everyone around me for coping with it and helping me whenever. You ROCK!


Click here to get a dauntingly detailed playlist stat done with Extra Stats

2011 was clearly a year of change in musical interest: out went hardstyle (although Budapest shuddered in dread when we went for zoneruns listening to Headhunterz's Hard With Style podcast) and back came deathrock/Goth/pop noir, space ambient and dark ambient/ritual music. And I managed to form a heartfelt devotion to Annie Mac's Friday night shows on BBC Radio 1. Clearly fell in love with the pop noir of The Good Natured, flirted with the likes of King Midas Sound and Shackleton, found out that the most interesting things this year were released on Tympanik Audio and most of the great music I've found I also channeled into the Razor Coated Candies video compilations.

The Good Natured - Wolves by The Good Natured



I'd love to send out extra flying kudos and thankyous to my faithful blog readers who've sent me ideas and links and whatnot to keep this blog alive when attention was elsewhere: Dawe_, Honeymooncroon, Jenny Quantum, Kolosthemanwithoutfacebook, Riplakoidase, Tobal and Miss Toyclouds, the DAKINI OF ROCK.

I'm wishing you all a Happy New Year and whatnot. There will be great and amazing things (all of them black and neon and having wheels!) happening in 2012. And I will be responsible for quite a lot of them.



NEUROMANCER: Cast list ideas? (Massive cyberpunk collaboration!)

With the promise of Neuromancer closest to the movie screens (and the eyes of vengeful afficionados) since its inception in 1984, we've taken the liberty of doing a little wishful Gedankenexperiment on the actors and actresses likely to find their to the Neuromancer castlist. Technoccult! Machete Girl! Access to Arasaka!! Quiet Earth! And more!
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NEUROMANCER: more details unveiled (games, changes, prequel)

Underground cinema movie gangsters at Quiet Earth have just, no pun intended, unearthed a CD-length TIFF Nexus panel discussion with Vincenzo Natali (writer/director of Neuromancer), Jay Firestone (producer), Francesca Accinelli (director for Canada Media Fund's English Market) and Trevor Fencott (president/CEO of Bedlam Games) about Neuromancer as a film and a game project. If you're interested in the whole discussion, head over to Quiet Earth for all the seventy-something minutes of goodness, if you're short on time, come on in to read the most important facts we've gathered.
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NEW LOOT: the SVK comic (by ellis, d'israeli & berg)

SVK reinvented comics, nice first sentence, quite dramatic, though. Take a step back, reiterate.

SVK is a healthy transfusion of Cherenkov light and battery acid blood into the heart of the comics industry turned a tad uncogged and shambling. Warren Ellis, misanthropic PCP godhead of the hard-edge counterculture, Matt D'Israeli Brooker (with art and inkery dipped into Judge Dredd, Future Shocks, Sandman or Kill Your Boyfriend) and London-based design agency BERG stands behind this shoulder-mounted package of sheer ROCK and a whole lot of Easter Eggs, turned into something of a cheeky prodigal bastard child.

Ellis calls SVK a Kafkaesque Bourne Identity and he has truth, revealing emerging issues of data clouds, information leakage, surveillance and active lens technology through an object called SVK (quite similar to the prototype in Gibson's Virtual Light) and the eyes and actions of Thomas Woodwind, an Ellisesque protagonist of a troubled professional background, a blood-spangled mercenary mindset and a hacker sidekick to make a contemporary spy story look straight enough.

The greatness? The issues breathing down on your neck and those same cards played out in the narrative to get the creative cells going. The idea of multiple layers of narrative -reading the comic is one thing, then reading it again with the SVK (strategic vigilance key) object - a branded one-shot blacklight - will reveal extra facets of visual and contextual elements to combine back into the big picture. The foreword praise by William Gibson. The extra know-how ramblings by Jamais Cascio and Paul Gravett. The hilariously brilliant ads from breeding pygmy elephants to DNA-altering trousers, 4D printers and cerebellum plugins that will teach you Japanese in just 30 years? This is just like reading your first mind- and brain-altering comics under the blanket with a flashlight. Only this is the futurepast and only blacklights will do.

Get your copy of SVK and its designated weird little reader card before it's too late.

megint írtam két fejezetet (jobs: a digitális kor látnoka)

Reggelt. Megint megjelenik egy könyv, amibe írtam fejezetet, a Szalay Könyveknél holnap polcrólhúzható Steve Jobs: a digitális kor látnoka címűbe rögtön kettőt is, holnap még bemutató is lesz hozzá, ahol kóválygunk egy sort és zavaros szemekkel nézzük egymást a bemutatókra-sajtótájékoztatókra kötelező érvénnyel bal hátsó vagy jobb első sarokba belőtt terüljterüljasztalkámon keresztül, a könyvbe szintén bedolgozó @dawe_ dorsetnaga-injekciókat szúr majd a tér véletlenszerű pontjaira, akár van ott ember, akár nincs, aztán ti megveszitek és fikázni fogjátok vagy a konyhakövön csúszva-karmolászva zokogtok azért, hogy elhunyt Steve, akit annyira közel éreztetek magatokhoz, hogy már majdnem egy osztályba jártatok vele, de aztán persze mégsem. Mi meg asszimiláljuk az összes elfogyasztható kávét, aztán még aznap elhúzunk Pozsonyba Ryoji Ikeda livera a biopunk hazai helytartójával. Majd kaptok belőle sorvezetős-japános videót. Kellemes hetet előre.

hvg extra, jövő edition

Shameless self-promotion, jövőkutató-néző tematikust dobott a standokra a HVG, én meg benne vagyok, káosz és kihívás felütéssel (sötét és zavaros, tudom). A barátaim ne vegyék meg, ne csak azért, mert megmutatom nekik vagy átküldöm a levonót, hanem mert gyakorlatilag ezt beszéljük hónapok óta a kávé meg a beazonosíthatlan és csípős ázsiai ételek felett, hogy hol rúgjuk rá az internetre, mint kopasz, dagadt, izzadó, hunyorgó főnökre az asztalt, hogy elég volt.

Amúgy meg vegyék csak meg, a többi cikk miatt meg amúgy az egész product miatt, merthogy egy pillanatig elgondolkodtam azon, hogy leírom dícséretként, hogy na ilyen lenne a magyar Wired, persze nem ilyen lenne, de itthon annyi szánalmas, erőlködős, izzadós projektet lát az ember, hogy inkább elveszíti a reményt meg a hitet a hazai összefogott munkában (az összefogotton, a strukturálton, a támogatotton, a top-to-bottomon a hangsúly), aztán szembejön az ilyen, neked meg cuppanós pre-duckfacere vált az arcod, hogy óbazmeg, ez jó, a legyezőről elővették az összes témát, jól körül van írva, a heti HVG-designhoz képest ez végre előremutató, jó megfogni, átlapozni, barcodeolvasni, két asztalszélivel faszamunka. A tartalomra sok helyen persze horkantok (nem én lennék, ha), nem elég transzhumán, nem elég bevállalós, nem elég angolszász szintet ütő, de ezt nem részletezem, egyfelől azért, mert kurvára elegem van a szakmai és egyébirányú trollokból, másfelől azért, mert amennyiben kidobod az angolszászt a mondatból, esik az egész érv. Hazai vonalon ez most mérceemelő. Kimész. Megveszed. Asszimilálod. Elindulsz. Építesz.

THE DAMAGE REPORT inspiration board (paper pills against writers' block)

oh writers write best when they suffer or starve, this is ground zero in the east european writing guide or so they tell you but it's never really that simple and if i snapshot my life right now, i should be writing like salman rushdie possessed on acid, which is so not the case. focus or flow. so, following on the blueprint f words of creation, i reached back to interior designer land and covered my floor with books and magazines that are jackhammers of inspiration. above: neuromancer, the book that started it all, data flow, a design/concept work on infographics and a previous issue of wonder alt mag coilhouse. more after the break.
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The pros and cons of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I'm a cyberpunk and proud of it, even though I've always been the outsider in every single subculture I've managed to disrupt. I've grown up with Neuromancer, wrote my MA diploma in postmodern cyberpunk SF and I've always worked along the neon-coloured cultural gridlines that made people aware of biotech, the fusion of man and machine and all that stuff. I'm sinking my teeth into anything cyberpunkish with sweet agony and pulsing organs. Deus Ex: Human Revolution left me with broken canines and burst tear ducts with seeping coolant the color of Cherenkov sadness.

I've spent long days playing the press copy I've gotten from PlayOn Hungary to see the game others heralded as the best game of 2011 and the latest and greatest in cyberpunk. Verdict, it's tragically mediocre, a one-night stand gone stale, an equivalent of a fuck turned so boring you decided to watch TV and set up shopping lists inside your head while getting something of a blowjob simile. Don't get me wrong, it's got great aspects to it. In fact, it's got amazing aspects to it. But at the end of the day, it's just another game in the long line of high concept low realization shooters by cyberpunk wannabes. Or maybe it was all very different in the design documents at first. Trust me, I don't bulge with glee when I write this. (Watch out, a thousand spoilers inside!)
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the damage diary: 2011 so far

Dearest readers of doom, rock, popcultural occultism and flesh flowers, is back.

Life here at the moment is nothing less than a bubbling cauldron of possibilities and all the time not spent blogging and hunting for stuff was well spent with ladies and lads of ROCK. I had to realize that although I made a promise a few years ago about hiding my personal life (my what? mind you, that's something you'll do sooner or later if your online tulpa is fleshed out well enough), I've also been silent about things I should have posted, said or shown earlier. Or at all. The bubbling cauldron (and the chairleg of truth) will henceforth bring you amazing stuff I've been working on (or thinking about) during these long months. Or in other words: It is time to write. Again. To motivate. And to find like-minded zeitgeist runners. (Great motivation also comes from the blog of Amelia Arsenic, I've been using inspiration boards ever since she posted a few of those. Among others.)

So here's a list of things that happened to me this year (without breaking NDAs or incriminating multiple entities of ROCK, which unfortunately makes this otherwise lengthy list quite short):

  • 2011 began with the wonderful black skull mala gift from Mette of 109jewellery for which I am eternally grateful - both its luscious looks and its peculiar effects are amazing. Go and check out more of the team 109 jewellery here.

  • Joined forces with mixtape maker startup Dragontape for a few months. Ended up with a vatful of conclusions about life, goals, workflow, hierarchies and the whole startup bubble thing and as an experiment, I launched Damage's Razor Coated Candies, an alternative/underground music video compilation series.

  • Mondo, the J-culture magazine I'm working for published its 50th issue, quite a feat in Hungary for a subcultural magazine of high quality. This also marks the 16th Damage Report, my monthly column about music, cuisine and popcultural trends.

  • Learned how to ride a bike on an original Sinred. We had some crazy rides where we lost complete back wheels, back axles and even complete people, managed to crash frontal and almost died twice. As Amelia put it before me, "feels like I've been missing out my whole life!"

  • "So what does a supervisor really do at the final exam apart from asking stuff from students about their dissertations?" "Who was your supervisor, son?" "I'm afraid you got it wrong, professor, I AM their supervisor." Whereas in the autumn term I taught social media at IBS, the spring term was spent consulting and marking social media dissertations. And Facebook will tell you that the previous night turned into a Platipus oldschool psytrance - Christian talk radio mashup. Things usually go wrong with that configuration, we survived this time!

  • My HQ is now in a flat that was previously occupied by a much-debated group of Hungarian Freemasons.

  • Found the music I've made fifteen years ago with FastTracker and uploaded a bunch of the better ones to SoundCloud.

  • Flew a glider sailplane. One of the most electrifying moments of this year was when the pilot turns to me at 2400 feet and says Hey, you wanna fly this thing, like, now? And I did. This (and a whole lot more this year) was all made real by the lovely Miss Toyclouds, my partner in crime and an amazing DAKINI OF ROCK.

  • Moreover, a list of awesome things to happen in the near future:

  • Working on my book about fringe culture, pop culture, cyberpunk and how inadequately we cope with the concept of, well, basically anything and it's all coming together nicely!

  • Soon to land: half a dozen print-quality Damage Reports straight from the Mondo mag - that's something like sixty pages about music, comics and pop culture. Carefully tailored for teenagers, so don't expect the usual damagery. And in Hungarian only.

  • Also working on the photoshoot we've been planning with my long-time friend Balazs Kassai and the gears are already in motion!

  • Half a dozen projects already out of the drawers, complete with paperwork, ready to be realized to make MORE ROCK happen! Yes, will drop info when things clear up.

  • Thanks to all of you who kept me young and alive. Now we can go break reality one more time.

    The Damage