Archive for the ‘Films and Documentaries’ Category

Vocalist Launches Crowdfunder To Raise Funds For “The Guiding Light”

Former Akarusa Yami vocalist Tom Brumpton has announced his latest project; “The Guiding Light”, a short film that’s been described as “La La Land if directed by David Cronenberg”.

Brumpton, who co-founded Akarusa Yami in 2011 with Guitarist Tom Clarke, parted ways with the band in 2015 after releasing two EPs (2011’s “Ouroboros” & 2012’s “Trace Element Rebirth”) and an album (2015’s “Heavy Climb”), states he hasn’t performed live since leaving the band. “I had a lot of fun in Akarusa Yami. I got to do things I’d always dreamed of with people who to this day are among my best friends and made music I’m still very proud of. However, by the end I’d lost my passion for performing live and that was a big contributing factor as to why I left.”

Having been an actor for many years outside of music, Brumpton spent the next two years appearing in various films and co-directed and produced a handful of projects with writer and best friend Adam Luff. This included 2016’s “Nurture of the Beast”, which was nominated for a number of awards, including Best Actor for Brumpton, and was screened at various film festivals around the world. In mid-2017 the pair began working on “The Guiding Light”, a sprawling surreal film that in Brumpton’s own words “Is a celebration of life, those we share it with and the idea of legacy”.

The inspiration for “The Guiding Light” comes from a particularly difficult period in Brumpton’s life. He lost his Aunt Pat in April 2016 and later his Aunt Kath in late June 2017. “My aunts were wonderful people. I was very close to them and losing them felt like losing a family home.” As the pair began working on “The Guiding Light”, Brumpton aimed to create something life affirming. “I didn’t want my last memory of these women to be death and misery. I wanted to turn that grief into something positive”.

The film follows Barbara, a world champion dancer who after years of struggling with autoimmune disease is forced to retire. Shortly after, she contracts pneumonia and becomes critically ill. Minutes from death, she’s visited by the mysterious Angela. The two embark on a journey through Barbara’s happiest memories before she’s forced to face her pending mortality. The film is set to be filmed in the East Midlands in late Summer/early Autumn 2018.

Asked on his inspiration for the film, Brumpton stated “Whatever happens, blame Nicolas Winding Refn!” he jokes “I discovered him in 2009 when I saw “Bronson”, and fell in love with his work. His use of music and lighting is a massive inspiration. As Adam and I worked on the “The Guiding Light” we agreed we wanted to push our boundaries as film makers and sought to draw in a wide array of influences, specifically body horror and musicals.”

Despite the bleak sounding subject matter, Brumpton thinks of the film as a celebration of love and life. “To me, “The Guiding Light” is a celebration of life and the people we share it with. It’s about looking back on the things you achieved with a sense of pride and completion, and the role the people closest to us play in the value of those memories. Adam also wanted to tackle the idea of legacy; what do we leave behind and how will we be remembered by those close to us and the wider world. I liked that idea a lot, and it’s been fun melding these different ideas into something expansive.”

You can see a teaser for the film here:

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The pair are running a crowdfunder via Indiegogo which can be found here.

Brumpton states that while he hasn’t been performing since 2015, he has recently recorded vocals for a new project that former band mate Tom Clarke is working on. “Its one of the best things he’s ever done. Easily. I don’t want to say too much, but I remember him sending me the tracks and loving them. I’m only on one track, but the other vocalist has done a killer job. I really hope they take it on the road.”

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Cold Spring Records – 23rd January 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

Never mind the cat, listen to the whale! There’s a rather trippy, dubby crossover feel to the trilling new-age rhythmic bass-led groove of ‘Thee Whale’, one of the three tracks on the second disc of this two CD plus DVD extravaganza of a release, which includes the film Dead Cat, which was released in 1989, and shown only at a handful of cinemas that year, including once at the infamous Scala Cinema in London. According to the accompanying blurb, ‘it was never issued on general release and has only recently been uncovered by David Lewis (writer & director).’ This release finally presents the full film, re-authored from the original source. The film itself features unique starring roles from cult film director Derek Jarman (who also worked with TG on In the Shadow of the Sun back in 1980), Andrew Tiernan (The Pianist, 300, The Bunker, and Derek Jarman’s Edward II) and Genesis P-Orridge. The film features the music of Psychic TV, included here on CD1, in its complete form.

On the one hand, it’s classic Psychic TV. On the other, I’m reminded why I parted ways with Psychic TV and much of the industrial movement, when, post-TG, everyone seemed to disappear up their own arses, otherwise ceased making music that felt either challenging or essential. It’s not that none of the members of Throbbing Gristle made any decent music after the initial split, because they clearly did, and early PTV and Chris and Cosey releases are proof of this. But at what point is enough enough? At what point does it all become so much indulgence?

That the material here is lifted from the archive provides only so much justification or defence. There’s very much a sense that all of the early groundbreakers have been surpassed, and that the myriad artists they’ve influenced have advanced far beyond the parameters their forebears pushed to new places. And they were already pushing on in 1989. Listening now, in 2017… ‘Dead Cat’ is a gnarly mess of humping and pumping, grind and drone, a seemingly formless throb of grating dissonance, and it sits well enough as a soundtrack. As a musical piece, the short (23-minute) version which closes CD2 is preferable: the plaintive mewlings stretched across the shuddering scrapes, punctuated by obliterative detonations, are challenging to the ears, but in some respects it feels all rather predictable. Whereas Throbbing Gristle still sound dangerous and deranged, ‘Dead Cat’ sounds like a safe assimilation of the template.

‘Thee Whale’, recorded on 23rd January 1988, is the soundtrack to the film Kondole, which was never made, although if it had been, it would have been 23 minutes long. ‘Thee Shadow Creatures’, the track which sits between ‘Thee Whale’ and the short ‘Dead Cat’ is also 23 minutes in duration. It’s dank and ominous, muffled rumblings and disembodied voices buried amidst swampy echoes. And way off in the distance, low in the mix and submerged by the distorted tribal rhythms, tortured jazz horns honk their anguish into the subterranean depths. While recorded some years later than the other tracks – in 1993 – it’s arguably the most successful, not least of all by virtue of being the most menacing, sustaining its atmosphere to the end.

As a whole, it is a nice set. As unsettling and noisy dark ambient works go, it delivers precisely what you would expect. And, regardless of my opinions as to whether or not it’s essential on any level, it is, unquestionably, a valuable and intriguing archive document. And on that basis, it’s very much worthwhile as an addition to the PTV catalogue.

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PTV - Kondole