blow up (iamaphotograph cut by CoH)
drag & drop
Somewhere out in space drifts the haunted voice of a lost image. “I am a photograph”, intones Kid Congo Powers of the Cramps, the Gun Club, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, with just a hint of malice in his voice: “I am in colour and softly lit, overexposed and well blown-up”. IO SOUND transmits to you a new echo from outer space: an industrialist retouch of haunted techno and darkwave house.
For IO SOUND’s first digital ep we introduce Pinkcourtesyphone, the industrialist / ambient face of microsound composer and LINE label director Richard Chartier, with a neo-spacewave remix from Russia’s CoH (Mego, Raster-Noton). This be but a prelude to a forthcoming LP of Pinkcourtesyphone reworks with Kid Congo Powers. // Open your ears to embrace haunting experimentalism on the dancefloor with tracks designed as space probes for the most alien and spaced-out of posthumanity. “because photographs do not complain… Or cry… Or love… Or suffer”.
Richard Chartier’s darkly seductive Pinkcourtesyphone project unites with Kid Congo Powers — guitarist founder of The Gun Club also know for work with The Cramps, and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — on two serpentine post-techno grooves packed alongside an excellent CoH remix. The duo’s two original pieces build of the sanguine pleasures of Pinkcourtesyphone’s amazing ‘Foley Folly Folio’ album and its followup, ‘Elegant & Detached’ with the addition of svelte, writhing minimal techno rhythms. ‘Iamaphotograph (slowsleazemix)’ integrates Kid Congo Powers’ suggestive vocal to a sleek chassis of oily bass purrs and sub-industrial atmospheres – music for the nether regions of the dark room – and ‘Drag & Drop’ manifests a dubbed and viscous post-glitch rhythm settling into a rolling, minimal tech-house pattern. CoH’s ‘Blow Up’ cut of ‘Iamaphotograph’ reduces the original to a queasy, greasy halfstep with the kind of arcane, prurient effect last heard in his Soisong outings with Peter Christopherson. Recommended.
TJ Norris (US)
Pinkcourtesyphone, sound sculpting minimalist Richard Chartier’s alter-ego combines forces with the legendary Kid Congo Powers on a new EP called ‘Phototrashed’ (IO Sound). Congo’s sinister vocal bellows in the dark “I am a photograph” to a churning, frayed beat in and out of focus. Playing on the mechanics of its source the phased, minimal static and gray areas grow more punctuated and metric on ‘blow up’ (expertly mixed by CoH). Here spatial tonalities are more cryptic and dissonant, the void captured in an alluring staccato vocal cut-up and a light distant keyboard plays on, gasping and almost bodiless, caught by surprise.
Aphrodite Lion (UK)
One of my most curious musical experiences this week so far was listening to ‘iamaphotograph’ which a collboration between Pinkcourtesyphone and Kid Congo Powers. Pinkcourtesyphone is an alias for Richard Chartier, a forty-something reductionist electronic sound artist. Kid Congo Powers is the stage name for for Brian Tristan, who has been a stalwart of alternative music since the late seventies and counts The Cramps, The Gun Club, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds amongst his past bands, not forgetting his current project: Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds.
‘iamaphotograph’ is actually a cover / reinterpretation of ‘I Am A Photograph’ from 70s Eurodisco diva Amanda Lear. You can listen to the original version here — but I warn you it is fucking awful. I do however recommend checking out the ‘slowsleazemix’ below which as the name suggest adds an extra layer of dark sleazy electronica to proceedings. The CoH remix and the extra track ‘Drag & Drop’ are also worth your attention.
WORDS & PLAYS
“I am, as always, slightly frightened by Richard Chartier’s diabolical alter ego and his unique take on post-industrial minimalist camp. And the decision to enlist Ivan Pavlov / CoH for remix duties is perfect! A killer EP all around.”
— Ben Parris
“While Drag and Drop is the one I’d play in DJ sets, the CoH remix is truly the winner.”
— Andrew Duke, In The Mix