Stepwise

Stepwise
Stepwise

RPM Orchestra describe themselves as Proto-Industrial Americana music with a dash of old-fashioned hiss and scratch, done in the spirit of free Jazz.


The orchestra composes and performs original scores to accompany films of the Silent Era, provides musical scores in collaborative multidisciplinary performances, records soundtrack music for contemporary films and regularly performs at various music venues.

The concept of “Proto-Industrial Americana music” intrigued me, so it was with some excitement that I started listening to Stepwise. Continue reading “Stepwise”

Berlin Germany skyline

Hitler’s Nightmare Capital of the World

When you look at the projects that the Nazi government tackled, you cannot rid yourself of the feeling that they had a grandiosity fetish.

To put it in more direct terms: Megalomania was an intrinsic feature of the system. World domination, tank-battleships like the Landkreuzer Ratte and the drastic redesign of Berlin into the capital of the world — Germania. Continue reading “Hitler’s Nightmare Capital of the World”

Skeleton Coast

Skeleton Coast
Skeleton Coast

Ghostfire is one of my two favorite Steampunk bands, along with Victor Sierra, so I was eagerly awaiting their next release after The Tydburn Jig.

Strictly speaking, Skeleton Coast is not steampunk. As you can guess from the title, it is pirate-themed. This did not dim my enjoyment of the EP in the slightest. Skeleton Coast delivers four very atmospheric songs, ranging in style from shanties, “Fire In The Hole”, to classic Ghostfire style like we have heard on The Tydburn Jig, “Griminsky’s Soul”. Continue reading “Skeleton Coast”

Airlords of Airia

Airlords of Airia
Airlords of Airia

Airlords of Airia is a crowdfunded short film coming out of Germany, just over twelve minutes long. The little gem is meant to be a teaser to an upcoming feature-length movie, set in the same universe. How far the plans and planning concerning the feature film are, I cannot say, but I certainly hope the plans will eventually bear fruit.

The story of Airlords of Airia is rather simple: A transformed version of Earth, some 3,000 years after an apocalyptic event brought about by technology. Mankind has recovered and taken to the sky once more, in massive airships this time. Continue reading “Airlords of Airia”

Dirigible Days: Steampunk and Cthulhu in One Web Series

Dirigible Days
Dirigible Days

The first steampunk-themed web series I came across, and I guess the first one in general, was Riese. Since then, a fair number of such productions have been attempted, with varying budgets and even more varying rates of success. The strangest one I came across was a story completely told through the medium of dance. I cannot remember the name and I found it extremely odd. It was on YouTube, should somebody desire to go looking for it.

Really good productions are comparatively rare, but there are some jewels and about one such jewel I want to talk today. Continue reading “Dirigible Days: Steampunk and Cthulhu in One Web Series”

Nazi eagle in Berlin

Dieselpunk and the Shadow of Nazi Aesthetics

If you hang around the dieselpunk crowd long enough, sooner or later you will hear someone retelling an experience about them being called a fascist or Nazi sympathizer because of the way they dress.

Granted, it seems if you are into dieselpunk, you can only go one of two ways: Either you use the Jazz-era American style (civilian and military) or you play with German Interbellum designs, in which case there seems to be no nonuniform option whatsoever (which does not make sense in itself, mind you). Continue reading “Dieselpunk and the Shadow of Nazi Aesthetics”

A Prince of Mars

A Prince of Mars
A Prince of Mars

The next installment of the Space 1889 & Beyond series and I can say only one thing: The dive that was Vandals on Venus was used to build up momentum and now it is going full steam ahead. Abattoir in the Aether was already one great novella and A Prince of Mars by Frank Chadwick is, well, I tell you what it is, just bear with me.

A Prince of Mars starts with intrigue and mystery, setting the stage for a more political adventure. Next, we get introduced to Kak’hamish, an old, experienced Martian also with an air of mystery about him. Than the story shifts back to our beloved main protagonists, Annabelle and Nathanael, who once again seem a bit different from the last installment of the Space 1889 & Beyond series. Continue reading “A Prince of Mars”

Iron Sky

Iron Sky
Iron Sky

It was a long time in the making, but now it is finally out: Iron Sky. It was released in Germany on April 5 and this was the day I went to see it.

The whole movie is just as absurd as the story promises: Space Nazis who escaped to the Moon in 1945 now want to come back to conquer the Earth.

The scouting mission of the Fourth Reich gets an unexpected ally who leads them to an even more unexpected ally. Both allies are rather temporary, obviously, but what they achieve and who picks up on and uses their slogans… Continue reading “Iron Sky”

Three Cheers for International Steampunk

It has been a while since I contributed to this blog, a shame, really. I have been occupied elsewhere and there is this annoying thing called the day job.

What has occupied most of my leisure time is the planning of the European Steampunk Convention. Which brings me to today’s topic. When I started planning I had thought we would get steampunks from the usual places. You know, the countries who have been part of the European Community longer than all the others. France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, you get the idea.

What I did not expect was the feedback from Croatia, Russia, Belarus, Scandinavia, Slovenia. What I expected even less was people from Mexico and Argentina showing an interest in this.

I have since looked into how the scene manifests from Terra de Fuego to Trondheim and from Mexico City to Moscow.

The only thing I can say: The next person who tries to nail down what the steampunk scene is all about will be forced to wear a hollowed out, six-day-old watermelon over the head for a day.

The more you look around, the more you see there is a lot of difference from country to country, region to region, sometimes even city to city. Continue reading “Three Cheers for International Steampunk”