Friday, January 27, 2012

"The ghosts of repetition that haunt me with ever greater frequency"

For those who might have missed it, there is an interesting interview on the Guardian's music website  today with James/Leyland "The Caretaker" Kirby about his recent soundtrack to the Grant Gee's film Patience (after Sebald). The film is based on the book "The Rings of Saturn" by German writer WG Sebald, taking inspiration from a walk he made in Surrey, England in 1992 (Click for video).

The soundtrack was released two weeks ago on Kirby’s own History Always Favours The Winners label and features Kirby’s trademark ghostly and hazy reworkings of one of Sebald’s favourite composers, Austrian Franz Schubert. The original recordings used by Kirby to make the modern versions date to 1927.

One of the curious side stories to the interview is Kirby mentioning a night on the turps in Madrid with none other than Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas. The day after Kirby actually played in Barcelona as part of a new series of more experimental electronic music shows. I spoke to him after the performance and he confirmed the story, without mentioning Casillas. He had slept only a few hours and woken up virtually minutes before the show. He was happy to report that he had indeed convinced two girls to share the journey with him, and his video producing colleague, back to Berlin by road in order to make a film. The visuals to the Barcelona show may or may not have been done by Richard Cruz who directed one short video to accompany Kirby’s music.

Cruz’s prankster-ish style of humour likely works well with Kirby’s personality given by this video.

Rebecca Black - Fun Fun Fun from Richard Cruz on Vimeo.

One of Kirby’s signature tracks under his V/VM alias was a reinterpretation of Chris de Burgh’s “Lady in Red” that has become canonised in music history, forming the basis of essays in the Wire and is a key track in Simon Reynold’s “Retromania” argument.

Kirby's version is heralded alongside Oneohtrix Point Never’s equally disturbing and emblematic remix under the Sunset Corp name, repeating the line “There’s nobody here…” until infinity.

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