If you've never heard of ZBS, they're a small company that produces audio adventures with rich soundscapes. They started in the early '70s and are stiIf you've never heard of ZBS, they're a small company that produces audio adventures with rich soundscapes. They started in the early '70s and are still at it.
When I was a kid, I listened to my local NPR affiliate and heard parts of the first few ZBS adventure shows about the character Jack Flanders.
Moon Over Morocco is the second Jack Flanders adventure. It's similar in some ways to the first, The Fourth Tower of Inverness, but Moon Over Morocco is a more "grown-up" adventure. It features transcendent, powerful background sounds that were actually recorded in Morocco by author Paul Bowles. There are heavy references to the movie Casablanca -- the character Kasbah Kelly is a lot like Rick, and Mojo is a lot like Sam. But like every other Jack Flanders adventure I've heard, journeys to other dimensions are a must, and the doppelgangers and head trips come right and left.
I listened to the 50 episodes that make up Moon Over Morocco over the course of 10 weeks, one episode per weekday. In total, it's almost 12 hours, but taken in such small doses, it was a mind-altering little part of my day that I really looked forward to.
Oh, and it contains plenty of Arabic platitudes like "The dogs may bark, but the caravan passes on."...more
After finally listening to the 12-hour Moon Over Morocco in its entirety, I dipped back into this one-hour Jack Flanders adventure from ZBS productionAfter finally listening to the 12-hour Moon Over Morocco in its entirety, I dipped back into this one-hour Jack Flanders adventure from ZBS productions, which I first listened to almost 20 years ago.
The Ah-Ha Phenomenon was originally broadcast in 1977 as one episode of the sci-fi radio anthology program Stars and Stuff (which also featured the first appearance of ZBS's other most famous creation; Ruby, the Intergalactic Gumshoe).
In The Ah-Ha Phenomenon, Jack Flanders is summoned to "The Institute" by his uncle, Sir Seymour Jowls. Sir Seymour explains to Jack the coincidence of identical major scientific discoveries being made in two separate locations on the planet at the same time. This is known as the "Ah-Ha!" phenomenon. Sir Seymour's theory is that there is some outside power that allows humanity to make great leaps forward, and all he wants Jack to do is to travel to the forbidden City of Ah-Ha and steal one of the ah-has. Which one? Oh, only the grand unified field theory of matter and energy.
Equipped with a dervish robe, Jack Flanders travels to the mountains of New Mexico like Carlos Castaneda in search of Don Juan, and with the help of the "Indian" mystic Chief Wampum (the joke is that he's really an Indian from India, not an American Indian), Jack travels to another dimension.
The Ah-Ha Phenomenon doesn't contain the gorgeous, recorded-on-location soundscapes of Moon Over Morocco, and it's not as wild and all-over-the-place as The Fourth Tower of Inverness, but it's a lot of fun, and a great place to start if you'd like to discover the magic of the Jack Flanders adventures and only want to spend an hour....more
Hey, Rivetheads, have you ever wondered where those samples in Skinny Puppy's "Stairs and Flowers" came from? Download Sticks from [www.zbs.org] and yHey, Rivetheads, have you ever wondered where those samples in Skinny Puppy's "Stairs and Flowers" came from? Download Sticks from [www.zbs.org] and you'll find out. It's an adaptation of Karl Edward Wagner's short story of the same name. This radio-play adaptation isn't very faithful to its source material (all the Cthulhu Mythos stuff has been jettisoned in favor of more traditional shocks), but that doesn't really matter, because the main reason to listen to this is for the phenomenally recorded three-dimensional sound, which--when listened to with headphones in the dark--will send chills up your spine like nothing else. This tape also contains two adaptations of stories by the Cherokee science fiction/horror writer Craig Strete. Both were pretty disturbing and strange. One of them, "Saturday Night at the White Woman Watching Hole," isn't available on CD or as an mp3 download, which is a shame, because it had some really cool music and special effects....more
There's a special place in my heart for this seven and a half hour-long radio drama that originally ran in 65 parts for 13 weeks in 1972. The acting iThere's a special place in my heart for this seven and a half hour-long radio drama that originally ran in 65 parts for 13 weeks in 1972. The acting is hammy, the plot is all over the place (with very few plot threads ever actually being tied up or even explored for longer than five or 10 minutes), and often the whole thing just seems like a convenient forum for the producers to occasionally replay the recorded lectures of Ram Dass. Not to mention the fact that it was written by a crazy hippy who also plays the part of an Indian mystic with the worst fake Indian accent you will ever hear. But still, it really captured my imagination when I was 10 or 11 and first heard various episodes on NPR (my mom let me listen to it even though she hated it). Later, I listened to it in its entirety, on cassette, my senior year of high school, and still found it kind of magical. I think you can achieve something with audio dramas that you just can't do in film or television, namely, make the listener feel completely enveloped in a different world....more