LEE RANALDO & RAÜL REFREE have launched a new track from their forthcoming album, Names of North End Women, out on 21 February 2020 on vinyl, CD and digitally. Pre-order now: https://mute.ffm.to/nonew
The new track, ‘Light Years Out’ follows the release of the album’s title track and shows the experimental side of Ranaldo and Refree’s new album, incorporating both spoken word and singing, old cassette tapes and state-of-the-art digital machines.
Watch the accompanying video here, shot in São Paulo and New York City by Anna Bogaciovas and Fred Riedel, described by Ranaldo as “an adventure into the world of ancient analog video processing!”:
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.
“We were mixing in all these strange analogue sounds from old cassette tapes, dealing with tape hiss; using very new technology and very old technology and mixing them together,” remembers Ranaldo. Elements from a mysterious old tape Ranaldo found spooled on the Studer when he’d bought it years earlier – drum sounds, slamming doors, people talking – formed the backbone of tracks. The music, it seemed, could come from literally anywhere.
“This record began as playing with samplers and cassette players,” says Refree, “as experimental music, musique concrète, 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 words came in a process akin to the music, a collagist philosophy prevailing, as Ranaldo recomposed poems from his archives, wrote new pieces and incorporated lines sent in by Jonathan Lethem – who’d helped pen the songs of Electric Trim.
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 Brugge
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
17 April – Girona (SP), Festival Strenes – Teatro La Mercé
18 April – Avellino (IT), Cinema Teatro Partenio
19 April – Rome (IT) Monk Club
21 April – Ljubljana (SL), Cankarjev Dom
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
‘Light Years Out’ follows the release of the album’s title track, 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) :
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]
Granada · Sílvia Pérez Cruz & Raül Fernandez Miró [Universal Music Spain, 2014]