Collapsing Scenery release Cleaners From Venus + The Blue Nile Covers

Collapsing Scenery press photo
Photo credit: Kate Bowman

Collapsing Scenery have covered Cleaners From Venus’ classic single Drowning Butterflies and The Blue Nile’s The Downtown Lights.

The songs are streaming on DSP here:

On Drowning Butterflies, Collapsing Scenery’s Don De Vore says: “Drowning Butterflies is my favorite song by Martin Newell, who is among my favorite songwriters. It’s a perfect illustration of how to make political music through personal lyrics. The storytelling is flawless. The sense of resignation and exhaustion in the lyric is belied by the gorgeous, aching melody and production. It’s a masterpiece. I hope we did it justice.”

On The Blue Nile’s The Downtown Lights, he adds: “The Downtown Lights is a masterpiece, an eccentric, yearning, bizarre, impressionistic wander through a gaslit, haunted cityscape. You can almost see the puddles reflecting neon lights. It was a pleasure to learn this song, as it never goes where you expect it to, and the lyrics are a Byzantine maze of idiosyncratic free association” 

More about Collapsing Scenery

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. Collapsing Scenery straddles the gap 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.

A conversation with them recalls stories of recently recording a ‘goth-dancehall’ track in Jamaica, sailing their sound system into Britain for a series of shows, visiting occupied territories in Palestine on fact-finding missions, recording their debut album on a remote ranch in Texas and soaking up rays in Corsica – and that’s in the first five minutes.

The band’s debut album Stress Positions is 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 politicised 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 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-planning events, expressions, exhibitions, albums, installations, journeys, adventures and parties, all operating outside of the confines of the tired traditional industry.

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