Monday, May 28, 2007
The Lepore Extrusion
Brainwashed, true to form, has issued the material as part of its Handmade series, meaning that the disc is not only packaged within a letterpress-printed sleeve but, more importantly, comes with extras, in this case a video of the installation featuring narrative by McKernan and an accompanying essay (Is Evolution Evil?).
This is the score to an interactive video installation by New York-based visual artist Daniel McKernan titled Is Evolution Evil?, which featured the world's #1 transsexual, Amanda Lepore. Thighpaulsandra has been a member of Queen Elizabeth (with Julian Cope), Spiritualized, and Coil and has released four full-length albums on his own. Amanda Lepore has recorded music with the Fatal Art Syndicate, has been featured on TV shows like Entertainment Tonight, and has a Swatch watch, "Time Tranny," which was at one point the fastest selling limited edition Swatch! Daniel McKernan took photographs and video of Amanda and combined them with music from Thighpaulsandra to create the exhibition which opened in June of 2005 in New York. Included as enhanced content is a video of the installation with narrative by McKernan, an essay on Is Evolution Evil?, and schematic. The music is three movements mixed by Thighpaulsandra into one long piece which is just as eerie and precious as a superstar like Amanda Lepore is.
The spectral haze that opens The Lepore Extrusion is reminscent of Thighpaulsandra's work with Coil, a fluttering drone offset by slow-motion sound effects. It creates an eerie and dark presence, quite at odds with the hyper-glam persona of its subject, that gradually attracts a series of tones and timbres to pierce the shadowy cosmic glow. The second section of this single 45 minute track is more minimal with suspended tones, casting off gliding electronics into the stark alien terrain. Metallic clanging fashions a somewhat vague melody in the final section above a shimmering drone, before a series of random processed computerised sounds are unleashed. As those sounds gradually dissipate the space age synth music returns, culminating in a swirling vortex of pure black sound. The Lepore Extrusion disc is expanded with a behind the scenes peak at Mckernans' video installation which forces the viewer into the mindset of an exhibitionist, an essay entitled Is Evolution Evil? Surgical Transformations as the New Punk Aesthetic in the 21st Century focussing on gender, transgender, fame and celebrity with emphasis on the body modifications and gender transformations of Orlan, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Amanda Lepore. The work of Thighpaulsandra varies greatly from the electronic group improvisations of Rape Scene and Chamber Music to the colourful idiosyncracies of his I, Thighpaulsandra and Double Vulgar solo releases, The Lepore Extrusion is perhaps the most structured and restrained piece from this talented Welsh musician, whose impressive discography takes in Coil, Julian Cope, The Waterboys and Spiritualized. The Lepore Extrusion is part of Brainwashed's Handmade series released in an edition of 500 handmade letterpress sleeves. I picked up a signed edition from Thighpaulsandra.com and you shouldn't waste time here as The Lepore Extrusion is a darkly alluring electronic and synthesizer score. - Tony Dickie, Compulsion