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Quiet Village interviews Jigoku

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We asked Joel Martin, of Quiet Village and Moscovitch Music, to pose a few questions and try and get into the minds of fellow psychotronic film aficionados, Lovely Jon and DJ Cherrystones, upon the release of their rather superb, hallucinogenic ‘visual mix-tape’, Jigoku.

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Joel Martin – What is your personal interpretation of ‘Jigoku’? I know that this translates as ‘Hell’ in Japanese and is also the title of Nobuo Nakagawa’s cinematic vision of Hades, also titled ‘Jigoku’ (1960)?

Lovely Jon – Nakagawa’s classic is a major influence but the name kinda brings up everything we’re about – that intense visual hit you experience when seeing a crazy ‘out there’ movie in the middle of the night where all the rules are broken and cohesion is thrown out of the window: you’re left with this suffocating beast you can’t escape from.

Cherrystones – Jigoku is a simple audio visual non utopian conduit we channel our culled versions and perceptions of heaven and hell(ish) visions through – whilst obviously more seated in the more obscure and darker and heavier side of both mediums, it is there to provoke thought, reactions and distractions.


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JM – At what point did your passion for celluloid become an obsession that lead to the decision to re-edit and re-score other artists work in a live performance?

LJ – Before I met Gareth (Cherrystones) I was dj’ing in ambient rooms and although I loved the music the vibe was far too smug (people walking around in daft hats watching moon landing footage). I dropped a Fistful of Dollars one night just to change the vibe and people got really angry – I thought ‘I’m on to something here’ and the idea of playing soundtracks with crazy film footage edits flowed from there really. I loved freaking out the ravers – especially with the Zombie and Cannibal footage – it really pissed people off which made me want to push it further.

CS – After seeing ‘The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies’, directed by Ray Dennis Steckler – this was pure evidence of the power of the edit and free-form direction.


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JM – Music and sound play just as important a role in your shows. How do you decide what tracks go with each movie scene?

LJ - We just go with the vibe – usually we hear things and instinctively know what will work. We’ve been doing this shit for so long it’s become ‘second nature’. All I know is thank god I have Gareth to balance things out – if it wasn’t for him I’d just go crazy – pushing everything to the extreme (which doesn’t always work to a performances best advantage).

CS - We always look for sympathetic juxtaposition between audio and scenes. Sound and image are like canvas and brush and vice versa – hence you create your picture which is personally subjective to each individual person viewing as much as the segments snapshots and now reset narrative.


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JM – The whole aesthetic of ‘Jigoku’ seems to be deeply rooted in the punk attitude. Were you affected by that movement and if so, how?

LJ - Most definitely – we’re both heavily influenced by the whole punk aesthetic in music and ‘attitude’. From the garage punk thing right down to snotty ‘fuck you’ thrash – but really we’re outsiders – we never joined any scene and have always been ourselves – keeping Jigoku underground and free from branding has kept us away from ‘popularity’ but we’re proud to keep it that way I guess.

CS - The aesthetic elements were semi derived and maybe affected by punk in the same way as boredom was used as a medium to transcend limited resources, budgets and over bearing self appraisal. I would say DIY, but even that seems cliché now, we were initially moved in the concept of creation through ideas and exciting each other contextually as opposed to strict regimes of yawn infested half edgy rubbish whilst pushing things as far as we felt applied to each others following mood and internal tempo. Punk means little nowadays and used to suggest and air of arrogant grace and abandon,I think ‘Celluloid Templars’ would be a title I would be happy to endorse.



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JM – Can you recommend some personal film favourites for the uninitiated viewer that fully capture the essence of ‘Jigoku’?

LJ - Christ – have you got a year?! Jose Marins (Coffin Joe): Brazil’s king of horror is a huge influence – his movies are unique in that he made these celluloid paintings from hell for peanuts but his vision usurped the impoverished budgets he had to work with. We’re also huge old school kung fu fans and love Asian vampires: The Dragon Lives Again is an insane Bruce Lee rip where the king goes to hell and encounters Dracula; The Mummy; Emmanuelle; The Man with no Name; James Bond and Popeye (!) – that’s one totally fucked up movie, Rasta!

CS – Try these: I Drink Your Blood (D E Durston); Prey (Norman J Warren); The Boogeyman (Ulli Lommel); Death Laid An Egg (Giulio Questi); Blue Eyes Of The Broken Doll (Carlos Aured); The Thrill Killers (Ray Dennis Steckler); Blindman (Ferdinando Baldi); House With Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati) and Seven Commandments Of Kung Fu (Shih Hao Ko).

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