UK producer and Kanye West collaborator Evian Christ with his take on the Young Thug track “Stoner”.
Pop music, even at its most pedestrian, is an escape from reality and mortality through the super-natural and the super-heroic, like 3-4 minute long capsules of the mythical and the psychedelic. The question is, escape where? Elizabeth opens the wormhole, what lies beyond?
Mainstream pop often provides a stylized and simplified version of reality, where episodes of the day-to-day, in particular romance and our struggle against the tyranny of time are hyper-saturated and magnified, providing an icon for nostalgia and community. No problem with that.
This blog prefers the uncanny, the macabre and the extreme – darker versions of our reality where the bad things that people do are embodied into evil agencies, creatures and conspiracies, which I guess makes us optimists about the nature of mankind, as if evil was something that could be extricated from us, and placed, say in that naughty corner at the centre of infinity (impossible geometries, natch) where Azathoth gnaws in his post-angled chambers to the tune of an invisible piper.
Shadow Shadow weave these two warps together. When we wrote about their Fleetwood Mac vs. Lucio Fulci hit ‘Riviera’ , which also provides the title track for their debut album, we described them as pop icons in a gothic version of our world where people live, go to the launderette, fall in love, and die (in droves, and very stylishly) as if they were characters in the setting of a Dario Argento film.
The rest of the album sees them exploring other aspects of this other reality and the emotions of its people – including politics (Skull Drums), memory (Treasure Island), holidays (Sunset Bending) physics (A Thousand Lost Golf Balls) or memory (1000001). Their approach is a wall of sound where the exact position of each melody, beat and sigh cannot be determined exactly, their lyrics hermetic but hinting at a wider lore (say, unlike the gazing into the fathomless abyss of a weird id which is The Knife’s music), their structure and crescendos those of an Eurovision contest candidate in a world better suited to our inclinations.
As we look for meaning, we fall down the rabbit-hole.
Glasgow producer/dj Nightwave is the latest in line with an exclusive mix for us in Discobelle, celebrating her booming new single “Hit It” (that features DJ Deeon) she takes us on a thrilling bassfilled ride of bootyshaking, partyinducing and general debauchery with a mix that features some serious tracks from the likes of Rod Lee, DJ Funk, Machinedrum, Ruff Sqwad, DJ Paypal, Danny Brown etc. Get ready!
Hang on to yer dancing shoes, ladies and mental-men… we got a scorcher on our hands! Up-start imprint, Hedonism Music have a fine slab of house music coming your way, May 9th from a man that is poised to have a stellar year.
Simion has been on my radar for a short while due to a pair of neck-breaking releases for OFF Recordings plus an amazing remix done for one Ben Pearce. His latest offering, ‘U+I’ is a chunky stepper with some beautiful vox and a slinky, melodic bassline. Wrap it up with some delightful remixes from Betoko, Darius Syrossian and Paul C & Paolo Martini and you have yourself one serious package.
Keep your eyes peeled to Beatport for the release.
We’ve been waiting on more Kazey edits, the Parisian producer/dj doesn’t disappoint with his booming edit of Atlanta rapper Young Thug and the track “Treasure”. Thug goes in like a mad man and the grand yet ominous beat is the perfect background.
Weekend soundtrack from the always stellar DJ Slow.
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Berliner Daniel Haaksman updates a great Brazilian carimbó (a hybrid of carimba, forró merengue, calypso, cumbia and pop music formed in the late 70′s) anthem known as “Vamos Farrear” originally performed by artist Pinduca.
“Vamos Farrear” (basically translates to “Let´s roam”) and the track is essentially an ode to the joy of drinking cachaça – this Daniel Haaksman edit is a club friendly, shuffling beat based smasher.
“To celebrate and thank my now 100.000 followers I feel lucky I have, here’s something that’s been a fixture of mys sets. A proper re-edit of my favorite bits from both the LP and DP’s official remix versions. While I’d love you to have it, it is unofficial, so I can only have it streaming here as a showcase of my editing work. Original remix is linked It still great music so hope you’ll enjoy it nonetheless :)”
I’ve seen Lynch’s Dune more times than I can remember. On VHS (standard and widescreen). As clips embedded in the CD-Rom version of Cryo Interactive’s classic (at least it was to me when I was a kid) videogame. On innumerable DVDs (TV cuts included but not that Japanese DVD edition I held in my hands then saw the £100 price tag in the Cinema Store circa 1999) and finally on one of the three different Blu-Rays I’ve imported from all over the world.
It’s an obsession.
That it’s a complete disaster of a film is pretty much accepted by this point (a perception egged on by Lynch). The second and third acts are truncated to the point of parody, doubly so if you luxuriated in the Freeman sequences from the novels, here reduced to a few brief scenes. And then there was a massive, planet-wide uprising that stopped all Spice production…in a montage…for five minutes.
But it’s worth every oblique glimpse into the film it could have been. If you place the screen in your peripheral vision you can sometimes catch the true film underneath. So scarred by the experience was Lynch that he barely speaks of it, only rejecting that there was a 4 hour cut and talking extensively about the Mexican wood used in the sets. It’s a folly then, a gigantic $50m folly and it’s so glorious and transcendent and perfect at being just that. It manages to be both a fantastic evocation of the novel and completely apart from it.
And then there was Toto.
Given Lynch’s hatred of the 70s and pretty much everything Toto represent I’ve never been able to understand their involvement. What’s even more baffling is that what came out is this weird, operatic, digital new age music that’s not anything like the plains down in Africa. Not universally, of course, there’s still some questionable stuff on there.
There’s a simple theme that runs throughout that Lynch seems to have locked onto as it acts as a bed to the vast majority of the film, no doubt pushing out some of the other pieces Toto wrote. The best of several realisation of this being ‘Paul Meets Chani’. Full on digital pan pipes from the off the Vienna Symphony Orchestra soon gets in on the act, creating this rolling, multifaceted look at the same simple theme over and over again. Perfectly grandiose and mystical and operatic in all the ways the film tried (and eventually failed*) to be.
What seemed to make vastly more sense was getting early 80s Eno involved. Straight off the back of the Apollo documentary Soundtrack (later re-edited and released as For All Mankind) Eno was deep in the planetary scale Ambient. His Dune is the Dune of the desert night. Of spiritual forces flooding up from beneath the sand and into the stars. Of a God’s eye view of the dunes and a psychic sense of the worms that move below them. It’s called the Prophecy Theme and it perfectly compliments Lynch’s symbolic interpretation of Pauls precognition. Apparently Lynch shot far more of these symbolic montages than made the film. It’s also rumoured that Eno had produced an entire Dune score and that this was just an excerpt. That I’ll never experience either of these things is deep and unremitting sadness.
There are several versions of the soundtrack out there. One from 1984, then a different version from 1997 with all sorts of technical problem, then finally a 2001 version with the technical issues fixed but which only got a tiny release. Filmtracks has loads of good info here.
Lynch’s Dune is 30 this year and I love it more than ever. And that, not its anniversary, is why I wrote this post.
Bonus Lynch interview from back when he seemed quite optimistic about the film.
*it “tried and died”.
The secret agents of Texas based duo, Night Drive, are back on another mission with their latest remix package for ‘After Dark.’ Accompanied by some wicked remixes from The Penelopes, Orthy, Bagheera and a super creepy video (view that HERE), it’s safe to say that these futuristic beat maker’s have been rather successful at their task.
More free goodies from our pals over at Exposure Music. This time, the title cut from Little Dragon’s third album, “Ritual Union” get’s a fab re-touching from Tuscany/Berlin duo, Black Loops. With previous releases on Gruuv Recordings, Toytonics and Gomma; Black Loops are no stranger to quality imprints and it’s only fitting that they should offer this fantastic remix via the Hamburg label.