LEE RANALDO & RAÜL REFREE have shared the video for the latest track to be taken from their forthcoming collaboration, Names of North End Women, out on Mute on 21 February 2020 on vinyl, CD and digitally.
Watch the video for ‘Words out of the Haze’ here:
The video was assembled using sequences from Oscar Fischinger’s 1938 animation, ‘An Optical Poem’. A groundbreaking work of early abstract animation, Fischinger’s film was made using paper cut outs and (mostly invisible) fishing line. He later went on to direct one of the sequences for Disney’s Fantasia (1940) but left the production due to artistic differences, his work uncredited.
Ranaldo explains, “The images are astounding in their rhythm and color, and we are happy to re-present them in a new context for this video. Continuing the theme of re-purposing images from earlier experimental film (as also seen in the Names of North End Women video), the intent was to find interesting visual images to compliment, without illustrating, the song.”
The new track is one of three lyric collaborations on the album between Ranaldo, Refree and colleague and co-conspirator Jonathan Lethem. Ranaldo expands, “the words speak, in similar abstract fashion to the images, to the complexity of interpersonal relationships – the difficulties and imperfections of communication – and the mysteries to be found in the night sky.”
Names of North End Women’s release will be followed by a European tour that includes a performance at the Milton Court Concert Hall on 7 April, as part of the Barbican’s music programme (full details below).
Ranaldo and Refree worked together Ranaldo’s last solo album, Electric Trim (Mute, 2017), and soon after the pair returned to the studio to record the follow up they realised that Names of North End Women would become what Ranaldo describes as “the beginning of a new partnership, a new configuration’”.
For one of the greatest guitarists, ranked by both Rolling Stone and Spin, of his generation (Ranaldo co-founded Sonic Youth in 1981) and an artist reinventing traditional flamenco guitar (Refree’s album with Rosalía continues to grow internationally), this is an album that features tracks with little or no guitar. Instead the duo composed using marimba and vibraphone, using samplers, a vintage 2-inch Studer tape recorder and a modified cassette machine Ranaldo had previously used in performances 25 years earlier.
“This record began as playing with samplers and cassette players,” says Refree, “as experimental music, musique concrete, poly-rhythms.” As the process wore on, however, their abstractions materialised into songs, their elemental rhythms, ambient hums and sampler damage revealing hidden melodies and patterns upon deep listening. Ranaldo and Refree traded melodic ideas and added vocals to the tracks, singing in addition to the spoken word pieces they’d always planned these pieces to feature.
The result is an album alive with the electric crackle of experimentalism, yet satisfying as a collection of songs.
NAMES OF NORTH END WOMEN TRACKLISTING
Words out of the Haze
New Brain Trajectory
Humps (Espiru Mix)
Names of North End Women
Light Years Out
The Art of Losing, featuring Hayley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux)
At The Forks
LEE RANALDO & RAÜL REFREE LIVE
5 April – Bruges (BE), Chamber Music Room – Concertgebouw
6 April – Utrecht (NL), De Heiling
7 April – London (UK), Milton Court Concert Hall, Barbican
9 April – Paris (FR), LE CENTQUATRE
10 April – Clermont-Ferrand (FR), Cooperative De Mai
11 April – Nantes (FR), Stereolux
22 April – Pordeone (IT), Capitol
23 April – Civitanova Alta (IT) – Theater
25 April – Lausanne (CH), Theatre de Vidy
26 April – Bern (CH), Dachstock
27 April – Nuremberg (DE), Z-bau
28 April – Berlin (DE), Roter Salon – Volksbühne
29 April – Prague (CZ), Palác Akropolis
30 April – Krems (AT), Donau Festival
Watch the video for ‘Names of North End Women’, a free edit of Austrian avant-garde filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky’s 1999 film Outer Space, itself an appropriation of The Entity (1982, Sidney J. Furie):
Pre-order Names of North End Women – https://mute.ffm.to/nonew
LEE RANALDO RECENT DISCOGRAPHY:
Ranaldo/Jarmusch/Urselli/Pandi [Trost, 2019]
In Doubt, Shadow Him! • Hifiklub & Lee Ranaldo [Joyful Noise, 2018]
Electric Trim • Lee Ranaldo [Mute, 2017]
Acoustic Dust • Lee Ranaldo & The Dust [El Segell, 2014]
RAÜL REFREE RECENT DISCOGRAPHY:
All Hands Around the Moment • Richard Youngs & Raül Refree [Dec. 6, 2019; Soft-Abuse]
La Otra Mitad • Refree [Glitterbeat/tak:til, 2018]
Los Ángeles • Rosalía (Rosalía Vila & Raül Refree) [Universal Music Spain, 2017]
Lina_Raül Refree [Glitterbeat, 2020]