Collapsing Scenery have shared the remix of I Never Knew by Brian Degraw of Gang Gang Dance. About the remix, Collapsing Scenery’s Reggie Debris said, “I Never Knew was a bit of a departure for us, in that it’s the only apolitical song on the record, and a love song at that. I wanted it to open the record as a kind of acknowledgement that political struggle is meaningless if it’s not underpinned by love. We have always been fans of Gang Gang Dance and Brian DeGraw. They have been a consistent force in NYC, always impossible to categorize, always pushing themselves and their listeners into new zones, and carrying a torch for a fading and rapidly disappearing New York. DeGraw’s take on the song discovered a gently lilting dub epic hiding in the spaces. It’s a really lovely, considered piece of work.” Listen to the remix via Soundcloud below.
Earlier this month the band revealed the official video for Queen Of Proofs featuring Jammz. The video was directed by Abby Portner and can also be shared via YouTube. About the video Collapsing Scenery’s Reggie Debris said, “The term ‘the queen of proofs’ is an old colloquialism for a criminal confession. The lyric here tackles the unreliability of confession and eyewitness testimony, knowing what we know now about coercion, suggestion, and the fallibility of memory..Director Abby Portner, best known for her live visuals for Panda Bear and John Cale, took these ideas and filtered them through a psychedelic, kaleidoscopic lens. As icing on the cake, UK MC Jammz nimbly and defiantly describes a typically browbeating police interrogation.”
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. Together they straddle 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. 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 forwarding 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 being 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.
‘Stress Positions’ track list
1. I Never Knew
2. New World Borders (feat. DAM)
3. All The Way Alive
4. Years Of Lead (Are Back Again)
5. Sisyphus Of The Negev
6. The Grey Cardinal
7. Queen Of Proofs (feat. Jammz)
8. Forbidding Forbidding
10. Of Two Minds
11. Bush Mama Blues
12. St. Seraphim Redux
13. The Blue And The Black
14. Kill The Indian Save The Man (feat. Tamaryn)
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 travelling 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 is also a curator for Brooklyn arts space Trans Pecos. Joining him on vocals is debuting vocalist and lyrical collaborator Reggie Debris, a veritable human riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
While some bands claim to be exponents of the DIY ethic, Collapsing Scenery are entirely self-sufficient, sonic buccaneers sailing the seas with piratical intent. “Playing in a traditional rock venue in any given city is my idea of hell,” says Debris. “We want to play in basements, warehouses, garages – and travelling with our own sound-system, power supply and visuals, that’s exactly what we do. Not being beholden to club, promoters or the existing way of doing things is important. 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-planning events, expressions, exhibitions, albums, installations, journeys, adventures and parties, all operating outside of the confines of the tired traditional industry.
Collapsing Scenery have announced fall tour dates with Ceremony. The tour kicks off next week in Ottawa and will include shows in Los Angeles, New York City, Montreal and more.
Collapsing Scenery tour dates
10.01 Ottawa, ON @ Club SAW *
10.02 Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola *
10.03 Toronto, ON – Velvet Underground *
10.04 Syracuse, NY – Lost Horizon *
10.05 – Queens, NY @ Knockdown Center – Thrasher “Death Match”
11.30 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Lodge Room
* with Ceremony