For those of us soaked in endless rain showers, here's a quick reminder of clearer days. "Clear Day" was filmed on a bicycle by Jon Whitney in May of 2003. The song can be found on Ulrich's second full-length album, A Strangely Isolated Place, due for release next week on City Centre Offices in Germany.
Months of wrestling with a DVD player which didn't initially read this disc has finally paid off and the results were well worth all the fuss. The first DVD to surface from Cabaret Voltaire takes two aural/visual snapshots of only slightly different periods in their evolution, recorded live in Manchester's infamous club.
The biggest self-centered dirtbags always gain the most sympathy from an aduience when the story is narrative from their point of view. Such is the case of Hlynur, a young man around 30, living with mom in a tiny apartment, looking like an adult version of Max Fischer from 'Rushmore,' who rarely ventures outside the postal code of 101 Reykjavik and has absolutely no ambition to get a job and make something of himself. "We're dead after we die, we're dead before we're born, life is just a break from death," he claims, as the film centers around this young man's life who feels everybody dies every weekend after the parties are over. We often find Hylnur alone, falling asleep in the snow, almost longing for a death which never comes. Hylnur has a number of issues including pent-up aggression towards his family coupled with sexual/attachment issues that keeps him from sleeping next to a girl he's just fucked. All this changes when he seems to fall in love with his mom's new lover, a gorgeous Flamenco dance instructor from Spain. Basically while mom's dealing with the issues of coming out, Hlynur's dealing with issues of having sex with her new "lesbian" girlfriend. Toss in a psycho fling who's completely obsessed with Hlynar to the point of lying about a pregnancy and a bunch of drunken party scenes and you've got a marvelously entertaining comedy with a ton of really great, punchy lines from first time filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur Baltasarsson. My favorite scene has got to be the kids shooting fireworks at the Domino's delivery guy—easily one of the funniest scenes I've seen in a long while! Two years after its release, it's finally making some rounds in North America, best of luck trying to see it.
Tovey could very well possibly be one of the most important pioneers in post-punk electronic synth music. While he may have not sold as many units as label mates Depeche Mode or contemporaries like Human League or OMD who had to change their sound to top charts, he was demonstrating that synth music didn't always have to be happy pop anthems and love songs. Unlike Gary Numan or Kraftwerk, he didn't paranoiacally or idealistically fanticize a future world ruled by robots and computers, which has completely worked to his advantage, giving his songs an amazing timeless feel. While his tunes were undoubtedly catchy, futuristic pop anthems with sinister lyrics, his live performances were raw and vicious, often ending with large amounts of blood loss and paramedic assistance.In a time where Fischerspooner can sign a ?2M recording deal, Tovey was poised for a strong comeback—he had been recording new material and played a number of shows in the UK and Europe. Unfortunately, the exponentially growing scene of these modern groups may never truly understand how much they really owe to Tovey. There's a nice picture accompanying a short obituary at mute.com as well as some recent live pictures at the French web site, fadgadget.free.fr. He will be missed. -