Brooklyn/LA synthwave duo Collapsing Scenery’s new EP ‘Acid Casual’ is out now via Metropolitan Indian / Dune Altar (order). To celebrate the release, the EP is streaming in full now at CVLT Nation. The band also shared the official video for You Already Know from the EP. The video was directed by Kansas Bowling and you can watch it via YouTube below.
Collapsing Scenery is the meeting of two fertile and febrile minds, Don De Vore (Ink & Dagger, Lilys, The Icarus Line, Amazing Baby) and Reggie Debris. Their forthcoming ‘Acid Casual’ EP is the first batch of many hours of recordings made during the pandemic. It ranges from the druggy psychedelic electro of Feed My Head to the glitchy existential yearning of Body Snatched to the punk disco of True Levelers and beyond.
With this EP, the band continues to push further into sonic and genre experiments while finding beauty and even joy hiding in the cracks of the ambient existential dread of these anxious years.
Collapsing Scenery straddle the gaps between music, art, film and politics, seamlessly moving between each with the same ease at which they traverse the globe, soaking up experiences and immersing themselves in different cultures. Since they formed in 2013 “under a pall of paranoia and disgust” they haven’t stopped moving. Recent collaborations include Jamaican dancehall legend Ninjaman, Beastie Boys producer/collaborator Money Mark, and no-wave pioneer James Chance. The band also has remixes out or on the way from Genesis P-Orridge (Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle), Jennifer Herrema (Royal Trux), Uniform, Youth Code, Brian DeGraw (Gang Gang Dance) and more.
‘Acid Casual’ follows the band’s debut album ‘Stress Positions,’ a glorious collision of futurist electro, glacial goth tones, techno, post-punk and chillwave recorded using analogue electronics: samplers, step sequencers, synths and drum machines. Aesthetically it initially recalls the early pioneering synth-punk of bands such as Human League, Screamers and The Normal, when the most forward thinking punks looked to the twenty-first century. Dig deeper however and it reveals an articulate and highly politicized collection that’s far from mired in nostalgia for the recent past. Quite the opposite: ‘Stress Positions’ is a forward-looking album with strong state-of-the-world lyrical content. In the tradition of so many defining electro duos – whether Suicide, Pet Shop Boys or Underworld – Collapsing Scenery’s architecture is entirely of their own creation. They’ve built their own world and live in it. The album also features contributions from UK grime artist Jammz, award wining Palestinian hip hop group DAM, LA shoegazer Tamaryn and several other likeminded collaborators.
Collapsing Scenery’s inception can be traced back several years when New York-based artist/musician Don De Vore and musician friend and LA resident Reggie Debris collaborated in programming events with D’agostino and Fiore gallery on the Lower East Side, beginning with a video installation which lead to a month of music and visual programming called ‘Rebuild Babylon’ which in turn evolved into a traveling residency series.
Out of this came Collapsing Scenery, the musical wing of their collaboration. Don De Vore is a mainstay of some of the US’s most exciting and important contemporary bands, having played in Ink & Dagger, The Icarus Line, Amazing Baby, Giant Drag, Sick Feeling, and Lilys. He also had a stint as curator for Brooklyn arts space Trans Pecos. Joining him on vocals is vocalist Reggie Debris, an enigmatic, shamanic stage presence and hyper-literate lyricist of social and political anxiety.
While some bands claim to be exponents of the DIY ethic, Collapsing Scenery are entirely self-sufficient, operating outside of traditional avenues. “We’ve tried to mostly play in spaces outside of the usual club circuits,” says Debris. “We generally play in basements, warehouses, garages, parks, galleries, living rooms – and traveling with our own sound-system, power supply and visuals has enabled that. We’re 100% self-contained.”
Collapsing Scenery offer a new vision for how a modern band can be. They’re not even a band – they’re curators of a series of planet-spanning events, expressions, exhibitions, albums, installations, journeys, adventures and parties, all operating outside of the confines of the tired traditional industry.
‘Acid Casual’ track list
1. You Already Know
2. Body Snatched
3. Feed My Head (Til I’m Dead)
4. True Levelers