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Super-sexy-mini-flower-pop: The surreal & futuristic Afri-Cola ads of the late ‘60s
12.20.2016
10:09 am
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In the 1960s, German soft drink Afri-Cola (which first hit the shelves in 1931) was quickly losing to its competitors Coca-Cola and Pepsi. In 1968, the brand started searching for a new marketing campaign in an attempt to regain their image. They hired prolific commercial designer and photographer Charles Wilp from Düsseldorf. The wildly eccentric 36-year-old was rarely seen not wearing his trademark canary yellow jumpsuit and his provocative ideas that knew no creative limits would soon elevate him to a pop star level. 
 
While visiting the Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Wilp looked into the “Cryo Chamber,” (a tent where rockets are inspected at below zero temperatures), and through various iced plastic films saw a folding door with the image of a pin-up girl. He began envisioning the playmate floating around the room as if she were a ghost, and this gave birth to his groundbreaking ad concept.
 

 
Approximately 20 deliberately taboo TV spots and print ads with surreal-futuristic images began running all over Germany. These bizarre visuals included attractive nuns wearing makeup and eyeliner, lascivious stewardesses administering transfusions with cola instead of blood, an American soldier with a dove of peace, and a nude mustachioed male (the very first nudity in advertising history) weightlifting a soft drink bottle. Wilp’s risque ads, aimed to make viewers feel intoxicated without the use of drugs, were met with furious protest from ecclesiastical moralists who unintentionally helped the brand achieve exactly what they wanted: Afri-Cola became the cult drink of the flower power generation overnight and sales increased by a remarkable 30 percent.
 
Charles Wilp achieved this success by rejecting ad agency tools such as market research and media planning. Instead, he moved forward with his own strategy based on reversing visual perception. “If, for example, the market researchers say Afri-Cola is for young people, smiling young people should appear on the display. And if the media planners say Afri-Cola is a drink for hot days, then the ad should be in the magazines in the summer. I do the opposite: I photograph Afri-Cola with nuns and connect that with intoxication. I do not take a man with two girls, which would be common, but a girl with two men.” The breakthrough ads featured representatives of all different races, sexes, and levels of social strata.
 

 
Originally, Charles Wilp hired German-based American garage rock band The Monks to record a jingle, he thought their experimental sound and blasphemous image that mimicked the Catholic church would be a perfect fit for the controversial advertising campaign. Unfortunately, his plan didn’t work out. “The musicologists and the CEO couldn’t agree with me and the whole thing failed.” Charles Wilp explained in the 2008 Monks documentary The Transatlanic Feedback. “I performed my Afri-Cola music with 48 strings, 2 oboes, 2 harps, 4 timpani, classical instruments. And I created this ‘unreal’ sound which I always wanted to do and which I could have achieved faster with The Monks. Then I didn’t have to deal with the burden of conventions.” Wilp’s orchestrated Afri-Cola score was released on vinyl as a “super single.”
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Doug Jones
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12.20.2016
10:09 am
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The hallucinogenic Pop artwork of Japanese master Keiichi Tanaami
09.15.2016
12:28 pm
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Album artwork for The Monkees by Keiichi Tanaami.
 
Keiichi Tanaami was a part of the Neo-Dada movement that was born in Tokyo, a force in art spurned forward by the vitriolic anger that was postwar Japan at the beginning of the 1960s. The goal of the painters and other creative artists that were a part of the Neo-Dada Organization (as they were called) was to create works that were “suspended between art and guerrilla warfare.” Tanaami himself was a survivor of the U.S air raids during WWII that targeted Tokyo starting in 1942 which took the lives of more than 100,000 civilians (although some estimates place the number closer to 200,000) and had been deeply affected by the war. One of the horrors that Tanaami recalls during the air raids is the vision of his father’s pet goldfish deformed body still swimming around it its bowl when his family returned from a bomb shelter after his neighborhood had been destroyed. It was this and other unspeakable sights that according to Tanaami robbed him of his childhood.
 

‘No More War,’ 1967.
 
Thankfully Tanaami would find a way to channel his grief, anger and loss into a remarkable career as one of the Japan’s most loved “pop” artists despite the fact that his own mother and the vast majority of his family were emphatically opposed to his choice of professions after discovering his passion for art during high school. Tanaami quickly found work as an artist in print media and doing commissions while still in college which would lead to a gig with the pioneering group JAAC (Japan Advertising Artists Club). The pop art influence in Tanaami’s work is vividly aparent and much of his early work centers around pop-flavored eroticism. In 1975 he got another big break after becoming the first art director for the Japanese version of Playboy magazine, called Monthly Playboy. During a trip to Playboy’s New York offices (and according to Tanaami’s extensive bio on his website) the magazine’s editor (or Hugh Hefner I’m assuming) took Tanaami to Andy Warhol’s mythical studio, the Factory. As if this wasn’t transformative enough for Tanaami his path would also cross with underground comix icon R. Crumb along the way, yet another event that helped shape Tanaami’s ever evolving visionary style.

By the time the 80s rolled around Tanaami, though still working, had developed a penchant for boozing around the clock. A lifestyle that landed the artist in a hospital bed for four months where the combination of medication used to help aid his recovery caused intense hallucinations from which he recovered, armed with an arsenal of boundary-pushing subject matter on which to draw from.

Now a triumphant eighty years old, Tanaami’s compelling work is routinely shown at museums across the world and has been the subject of a few books that celebrate various eras in his life that have included collage work and impressive sculptural interpetations of his paintings such as Keiichi Tanaami: Spiral and Keiichi Tanaami: Killer Joe’s Early Times 1965-73. Some of our more astute, artistically-inclined Dangerous Minds readers may also recognize Tanaami’s artwork from the covers of albums by Super Furry Animals and Jefferson Airplane. I’ve included Tanaami’s album art as well as a large selection of his hyper-colorful psychedelic works some of which are slightly NSFW. 
 

 

 

‘Two Twiggy’s.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.15.2016
12:28 pm
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The Electric Kool-Aid Architects: Astounding, lysergic Iranian temple photography
07.07.2015
09:42 am
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Nasir al-mulk Mosque. All images © Mohammad Domiri
 
When one thinks of the home of psychedelic architecture, Iran probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind. But here it is. It’s undeniable. Northern Iranian student Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji has recently documented the existence of these intricate structures in Iran with gorgeous HDR photographs, so incredible that the Western mind can barely grasp them.

Although these buildings seem to be tailor-made for the likes of Ken Kesey
or Timothy Leary, it’s probably best to keep in mind that any Western traveler who might suddenly decide to become one with the Universe while visiting these sites on LSD, will probably be executed immediately after it’s discovered that they’re using drugs in Iran.

So, just sit back and enjoy these rich hallucinogenic mandalas from the psychedelic Summer of Jihad in the comfort of your own home—and know that they’re out there…in Iran.

It’s hard to imagine what the intricate blueprints might have looked like for these buildings, but it’s fairly clear that the architects knew what to do with the windowpane.
 

Aligholi agha bath—Isfahan
 

Ceiling of Alighapu
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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07.07.2015
09:42 am
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Psychedelic ‘Sesame Street’: Grace Slick’s free-jazz counting songs & ‘The Tomato’
01.05.2015
11:33 am
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Years of evolution has all-but-erased Sesame Street‘s psychedelic foundations. It was conceived as a much, much weirder show than its current incarnation, which is so often merely a vehicle for that cloying furry menace, Elmo and whatever flavor-of-the-week celebrity is looking to expand their fanbase to the preschool demographic. This is not to say Sesame Street never trafficked in star power—from the very first season in 1969, the show boasted among its visitors Burt Lancaster, James Earl Jones, Carol Burnett and… Grace Slick.

Yes, the voice of Grace Slick, of Jefferson Airplane (and other, less noble projects) was featured in nearly every episode of Sesame Street‘s debut season in 1969, singing absolutely deranged counting songs over psychedelic free jazz and groovy animation. I’m not sure if it taught any kids their numbers, but it’s sure as hell hypnotic. Slick’s role in the show was preceded by her recent participation in the Jim Henson-produced documentary, Youth 68—a study on the exploding 60’s counterculture.
 

 
Something even weirder after the jump…

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Posted by Amber Frost
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01.05.2015
11:33 am
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A couple morsels of psychedelic TV news & sports graphics

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The Lovely Sorts of Degenerates at Everything is Terrible bring you a sweet collage of opening graphics and other detritus from local shows during everyone’s fave decade…
 

 
After the jump: “And now, sports…”

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Posted by Ron Nachmann
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05.28.2012
08:33 pm
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‘Ave Satanas’ - Satanic psyche rock and proto-black metal from 1967 - 1974


 
The second of this week’s seasonal mixtape treats, and this one is quite a departure from yesterday’s Disco Argento mix. Ave Satanas is (as the name would suggest) a compilation of Satanic rock from the late Sixties and early Seventies, that could be considered the roots of what we now know as black metal, though at the time it would have been classed as psychedelic. It was compiled by one DJ Goatface Killer, better known as Russell Elder from Glasgow’s Mono music emporium.

There are culty groups aplenty on Ave Statanas, like Germany’s Lucifer’s Friend, Chicago’s Coven (pictured above), Leicester’s Black Widow and the original Iron Maiden (not to be confused with Bruce Dickinson’s lot). The music represents a time when rock was getting heavier, drugs were getting harder and post-hippy culture was getting darker, hence the inclusion of extracts from both Anton LaVey’s “The Satanic Mass” and Bpbby Beausoleil’s score for Lucifer Rising. It’s also unlikely that you’ll hear the word “Satan” uttered so much in the course of around 80 minutes - below is the tracklist featuring the year and country of origin of each track:

01. ANTON SZANDOR LAVEY (USA) / THE SATANIC MASS (EDIT) (1968)
02. ANTONIUS REX (ITALY) / NON FIAT VOLUNTAS TUA (1974)
03. BLACK WIDOW (UK) / IN ANCIENT DAYS (1969)
04. COVEN (USA) / BLACK SABBATH (1969)
05. BULBOUS CREATION (UK) / SATAN (1969)
06. THE RATTLES (GERMANY) / THE WITCH (1968)
07. THE GHOST (UK) / NOW YOU’RE DEAD (1970)
08. THE GUN (UK) / RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1968)
09. THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN (UK) / FIRE (1968)
10. ROKY ERICKSON & THE ALIENS (USA) / WHITE FACES (1977)
11. LOLLIPOP SHOPPE (USA) / YOU MUST BE A WITCH (1967)
12. DUFFY (UK) / JUDGEMENT DAY (1971)
13. BEDEMON (USA) / CHILD OF DARKNESS (1973)
14. LUCIFER’S FRIEND (UK / GERMANY) / LUCIFER’S FRIEND (1970)
15. IRON MAIDEN (UK) / GOD OF DARKNESS (1969)
16. AFFINITY (UK) / THREE SISTERS (1970)
17. SAM GOPAL (UK) / THE DARK LORD (1969)
18. BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL (USA) / LUCIFER RISING PART II (1972)
 

 
Download DJ Goatface Killah pres Ave Satanas here.

BONUS! The original video for “The Witch” by The Rattles:
 

 
Yes, there is one rogue track from 1977 on the mix, care of Roky Erickson and The Aliens, but I’m sure we can all let that oversight slide. After the jump, audio clips of some of the tracks featured on Ave Satanas…

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Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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10.27.2011
06:57 pm
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Mixes From Manchester: Chips With Everything ‘Superbike Mix’

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Here are two posts in a row featuring mixes by Manchester acts to brighten up your Monday morning. The first is by the city’s long running Chips With Everything club night, whose music policy is as Catholic as their choice of side dish is conventional. This covers psyche-rock, bliss-pop, rays of West Coast sunshine, and various different shades of the kosmiche spectrum. It’s lurrrvley.
 

 
10cc - Worst Band in the World
Giorgio - Tears
David Earle Johnson / Jan Hammer - Juice Harp
Top Drawer - Song of a Sinner
Emperor Machine - Bodilizer Bodilizer
Pearl Harbor - Luv Goon
Eternity’s Children - Mr Bluebird
Dusty Springfield - I Just Can’t Wait to See my baby’s face
ELO - Showdown
The Time and Space Machine - River Theme
Rotary Connection - Amen
The Trees Community - Psalm 46
Von Spar - Collecting Natural Antimatter
Delphine - La Fermeture éclair
Rita Monico - Thrilling (Main Theme)

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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03.28.2011
09:15 am
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Microworld: William Shatner’s psychedelic short film about microprocessors and transistors (1976)
03.26.2011
12:14 pm
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It’s like watching an episode of The Twilight Zone.


(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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03.26.2011
12:14 pm
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The fundamentalist war on Santa the psychedelic shaman

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At first, Christian fundamentalist group Repent Amarillo’s recent charming video of their firing-squad execution of a Santa piñata in the name of putting the Savior back in to the holiday seems typical.

But after reading Canadian cannabis activist Dana Larsen’s 2003 article on the apparent psychotropic and shamanic origins of Santa Claus and many other Christmas traditions, it made some deeper sense to me.

Skip down to the explanatory vid…

According to Larsen, the Lapps of modern-day Finland and the Koyak tribes of the central Russian steppes had holy men in their ranks who regularly imbibed the hallucinogenic red & white amanita muscaria mushroom (also known as “fly agaric”). These ‘shrooming shamen proved to be the model of the figure we now know as Santa Claus.

Larsen also contends that the Christmas tree was originally seen as a “World Tree”, typically a fir or evergreen, species under which the amanita muscaria mushroom thrived:

The World Tree was seen as a kind of cosmic axis, onto which the planes of the universe are fixed. The roots of the World Tree stretch down into the underworld, its trunk is the “middle earth” of everyday existence, and its branches reach upwards into the heavenly realm.

So, of course, the North Star around which all stars seemed to revolve was always aligned with the top of the tree—thus the star on top of the modern Christmas tree. These ancients also saw the magic mushroom springing up as “virgin births” seeded by the morning dew, which is symbolized by the tinsel on the tree. Trippy, eh?

Also:

  • In the highly stoned eyes of these shamen, amanita muscara-eating reindeer appeared to, well, fly.
  • Santa wears the red-and-white outfit of the original mushroom gatherers, his ruddy glow is an effect of the ‘shrooms, and like most shamen, used the central smoke hole (chimney) of his animal-skin shelter as an entrance or exit.
  • Oh and those mostly red, bulbous ornaments on the tree? Those symbolize the ‘shrooms red caps, which the ancients used to dry on the trees.

Below is the least campy video I could find that draws a bunch of the connections between Santa and the ‘shroom. Enjoy!
 


 
Thanks to Lexie T. for the heads-up!

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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12.23.2010
12:09 am
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Flying Lotus’s “Mmmhmm” video and other Special Problems

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Hats off to the Special Problems crew for their work refining the artform of the extremely stoney music video.
 

 
If you liked that, check out their showreel, these guys do good stuff:
 

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Posted by Ron Nachmann
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07.13.2010
07:02 pm
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