When life gives you lemons – pet a fluffy animal. This is an outtake from a series of acoustic recordings I’m working on. It’s a cover of the haunting acapella piece by Jane from 1983 and lifts harmonies from the 1992 version by the progressive house outfit Opus III. The Opus III version made an impression on me at a time where my adolescent head was definitely somewhere else regarding taste in music, and Kirsty Hawkshaw’s voice stuck with me ever since. I’m quite happy with how this turned out. Video credit goes out to the animal lovers of the interwebz. Happy holidays to those of you who celebrate – regardless, I hope a good doggo or two will brighten your days to come 💗 – note: the video is embedded via Facebook – turn on the volume of the video manually by clicking the sound icon.
We play around with the semiotics of ceremonial magic and transcendence in this video: Lærke doesn’t have an actual third eye (2:04), she was however 8 months pregnant at the time of the shoot, and she and Asbjørn are now proud parents to a beautiful baby boy.
This was shot and edited in march, but the release has been held up for various reasons. The song was originally performed by Psychic TV, and this version is taken from the album sessions that make up a full length record, to be released somewhere in the (hopefully near) future. We’ll see where it lands, it would be nice to include the song in the final tracklist, I feel it does have a place in there. Soundcloud link:
The world is not sane. Or rather, the world is not beneficially insane – too many people mistook a black tar pit for Alice’s rabbit hole and got stuck. A year for the murderers, the liars, the fear mongers and demagogues. Where immense suffering is ready to leap at you, when all you wanted was to post that selfie or cat video, and you ended up scrolling through your daily feed of victims of war crimes, climate change and corporate greed. Or got sucked into a black hole of conspiracy mania that boils down to poorly disguised racism, sexism and fascism, and you ended up distrusting both your own judgement and media outlets in general even more. Which is exactly what the dark powers that be want you to. That, unfortunately, is not a far fetched conspiracy theory. Is it sane to make music under these circumstances, to commit to creative expression? I don’t know, it seems a rather trite question, but maybe that’s because the doubt and ambivalence in me are expressions of a rather trite inner conflict. Maybe it has always been like this. Maybe it’s important, exactly because it’s not important. Maybe it’s not a question of sanity.
This is true: an album is mixed. It will be out in 2017. I want to thank Lærke and Asbjørn for participating so far. This particular piece is an excerpt from the recording sessions that started back in 2014. I made an unfinished recording of it ten years ago that I abandoned, but this time we got it right. It’s a fun tune with a little pinch of melancholy added, nothing more, nothing less. Do share – this will not be included on the album. Check out the original by the Francis Lai Orchestre when you get the time. Much love and a happy New Year to you
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So, after about 15 years of cold war between me and Adobe Illustrator, I am finally on the verge of making friends with this piece of software. I am currently working on an illustration that I suspect will make it to the front cover of the record, and for once I seem to have found some sort of meditative flow in working with the vector tools, rather than brushing my way through Photoshop or smearing acrylic on canvas. Maybe I’ve grown more patient with age, or perhaps it just felt right this time – I knew it had to be executed as tight line art and I also suspect it has something to do with the fact, that this time I almost felt warped back to a childhood state of non-being, that is, totally immersed in the process like I used to be, when I drew as a kid. Which incidentally is also what the illustration symbolises to an extend; the strive for the egoless state. Regarding childhood, while working on this illustration I somehow rediscovered “Appetite For Destruction” by Guns N’ Roses, and blasted it loudly throughout most of the process. I have come to the conclusion that this particular album helped me regress to the aforementioned childhood state; call it nostalgia if you will, but there was more to it than that. Hearing that flamboyant guitar riff for Mr. Brownstone, quite simply fired up neurons in my brain that hadn’t been exercised for quite a while, and that elevated state prompted me to experiment with other sorts of cock rock and hair metal soundtracks while working; however, I never got into GNR’s later albums and they weren’t working for me now either, and the same went for Motley Crüe and a bunch of other similar bands. (Though I admittedly handled vocal duties on a “Kickstart My Heart” jam some years ago for a friends birthday bash, I don’t think I will ever appreciate Vince Neil’s voice and vocal performances. They’re just really…bad.) The Cult’s excellent “Sonic Temple” I know more or less by heart and I’ve often returned to it throughout my adult life, so that didn’t really strike any old nerves in me, however great that album is. In conclusion, Appetite For Destruction did the job for me. I wonder what other rediscoveries lie ahead. From a Guns N’ Roses wiki:
We’ve had our first couple of rehearsals. Figuring out the setup, outlining structures. Drinking tea and beer. We’re going somewhere.
It’s here. A first listen and look at the music I’m recording with backing band The Dead Selves at the moment (the wonderful Lærke and Asbjørn). More guitars, more etherial soundscapes and of course a lovely female vocal included as well. Video is a cut up of “L’éden et après” (Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1970) : A most beautiful movie I chose to molest for this specific project. Watch the real deal in full length and buy L’éden et après at shop.bfi.org.uk
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Oh look, a Swans poster just arrived – with a personal dedication, not a dry eye here. Look forward to the next record.
Red, Blue and Black EP from 2014 are now available as a single album in iTunes and Spotify:
Go to iTunes here
Or check out the album in Spotify below:
It’s been a while – but I’m working on a lot of projects that will all see the light of day this year. Creatively speaking, times are good.
Ephex Hartman just finished this track for his Truth Lies In Dust project, for which I provided lyrics/vocals and guitars. Check it out!