Monday, July 25, 2016

Lovecraftian Thing a Day No.207: Hypnogoria Podcast


Others before me have noted that there is something quite personal and intimate about podcasts. I also consider the podcast to be a very social medium; I live on my own, and listening to podcasts is one of my favourite pastimes - insofar as many podcasters are very active on social media and have built up significant online communities around their shows, I have certainly had the opportunity to interact online with some of my favourite podcasters, and in some instances have been able to meet and socialize with them (and the commnities that exist around them) face-to-face. I've twice met Mr. Jim Moon - who produces the Hypnogoria stable of podcasts, the focus of today's post - in person (both times as part of the notorious Black Dog Podcast social gathering - for which read 'massive piss-up' - which occurs every September in London).

I discovered both the Hypnogoria and Black Dog podcasts (which Mr. Jim also co-hosts) around 4 years ago. They represented a break from tradition in terms of what was my staple diet of podcasts back then (namely those which were gaming-oriented): at the time I was on a huge nostalgia trip - in part because of many radically life-changing events that were hugely and depressingly disrupting my life, leading me to naively seek solace in what seemed to be the more simpler, more innocent time of 60s and 70s cult tv. This led me to what was then the Hypnobobs podcast, which in turn led me to the Black Dog podcast (which isn't so much about cult tv, but is rather a weekly retrospective film review programme, often (though not exclusively) with a sci-fi focus). Without going into too much personal detail, binge listening to these podcasts got me through a very, very dark week in my life (indeed, the very title of the Black Dog podcast - as well as the reasons for its inception - were relevant to this). In any case, going back to the intimacy and the sociality of the podcasting medium, at that particular time shows like Hypnobobs and the Black Dog gave me (and still do) the sense of participating in a shared discussion and exploration of some of the geeky things that were and still are important to me.

Sob story aside, the later re-named Hypnogoria pidcast, recorded from the Great Library of Dreams, is without doubt one of the best podcasts out there if you have an interest in the weird and the wonderful in both literary and televisual endeavours. Whilst not Lovecaft-focused, the connosieur of weird literature will find much of interest in the hundreds of hours of podcasting goodness available from (or iTunes). Nonetheless, Lovecraft is well represented (a recent episode is dedicated to Lovecaft's Fungi from Yuggoth sonnet cycle), as are many other doyens of the weird, inclding: Machen, Poe, Ligotti and William Hope Hodgson (Mr. Jim Moon has, in fact, recently comletedvaudio readings of all the Carnacki tales) to name but a few. Hpnogoria also includes a number of ongoing series on folklore, Batman, Zombi movies, Egyptian mummies, as well as retrospectives on key weird writers, filmmakers and screen stars associated with genre film and tv. A particular favourite two-parter of mine looks at the occult roots of rock music; in another memorable three-episode mini-series, Mr. Jim even manages to turn his holiday to Florida into a wonderfully evocative and spooky sequel to Lovecraft's The Statement of Randolph Carter!  In any case, I absolutely cannot recommend the work of Mr. Jim Moon enough: make yourself a cup of cocoa, put your feet up, and prepare to be immersed into the strange and fantastic world that is the Great Library of Dreams...

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