Death and Vanilla – From Above 45

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I have almost certainly mentioned my love for Death and Vanilla  so I won’t go on about it again now. I just wanted to quickly mention a 7″ single that arrived the other day. I really like the graphic design of their covers and I’m also a sucker for coloured vinyl, so I had to have this really, there it is on my record player, on the left there.

I have a renewed interest in 7″ singles of late and they can be found quite cheaply if your prepared to dig through them at used record stores, usually at the £0.50 each sort of level or a bit more if they are considered popular or rare, but most people still don’t bother that much with them. Before I go any further, here is the A Side from this single, give it a spin:

Back to 7″ singles, I was digging through a rack of them a couple of weeks ago and picked up the following:

Beats International – Burundi Beats
Carmel – It’s all in the game
The Style Council – Speak Like A Child, Walls Come Tumbling Down, Shout to the Top
Soul II Soul – Get a Life
Black Uhuru – The Great Train Robbery~
Public Image – Rise
Bomb The Bass – Say a Little Prayer

Nine singles, £5, bargain really and they aren’t just to go on a shelf and be forgotten about, every couple of weeks I have a little 45’s session, it’s a break from whole albums, like your own mix tape in vinyl form.

So don’t ignore those rows of used 45’s in the record store, have a flick through, you will probably find something interesting.

Here is the B-Side of the Death and Vanilla single, Lux:

 

 

 

Death & Vanilla – The Tennant

I pre-ordered this album from Bandcamp and it arrived today, as far as I can tell it is already sold out and is for sale for £50 on Discogs. I ordered it a while ago and I think it was £16.99. It’s the soundtrack for Roman Polanski’s ‘film ‘The Tennant’ which was originally scored by Philippe Sarde, this release sees Death And Vanilla reimagine the film’s soundtrack four decades on for a new audience.

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The albums blurb says: The haunting instrumental is a foreboding piece of dark and cinematic avant-garde music that’s alienated, lonely and melancholic. Moments of hallucination and delusion mirror the lead character Trelovsky. 

Recorded in 2015 at Cinemascore festival in Spain alongside a two-hour performance and screening of psychological thriller ‘The Tenant’ (1976). With the band at their most minimal, the accomplished musicians once again bring the dark narrative to life with their expansive and ethereal noir sound. The recording features them as a trio – Marleen Nilsson (Farfisa Compact), Anders Hansson (Hagstrom Kent, Roland SP-404 and Technics SL-1200) and Magnus Bodin (Moog Prodigy and Musser M55). 

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The album was recorded live, the music played as the film was shown to an audience. It’s not the first re-imagined soundtrack they’ve performed live, ‘Vampyr’ was and it is really good, as is this, It really is very dark, brooding and rather claustrophobic at times, which is appropriate for the film I believe, although I’ve never seen it. The original soundtrack was not really well thought of so this is presumably and upgrade. I suppose I should watch the film.
In Paris, the shy bureaucrat Trelkovsky rents an old apartment without bathroom where the previous tenant, the Egyptologist Simone Choule, committed suicide. The unfriendly concierge (Shelley Winters) and the tough landlord Mr. Zy establish stringent rules of behaviour and Trelkovsky feels ridden by his neighbours. Meanwhile he visits Simone in the hospital and befriends her girlfriend Stella. After the death of Simone, Trelkovsky feels obsessed for her and believes his landlord and neighbours are plotting a scheme to force him to also commit suicide.

Tracklist

A1 Le Locataire – Intro
A2 Zy And Choule
A3 Church Music
A4 Walls Have Teeth
A5 Labyrinthe
A6 Mouvement Panique
A7 Free Design Kung-Fu
B1 “Do You Have Any Trouble With Your Neighbors?”
B2 “If You Cut Off My Head, What Do I Say? Me And My Head Or Me And My Body?”
B3 Dioz Delirium
B4 Everything Is Always Happening
B5 Solitaire
B6 The Bouncing Head
B7 Music Box – Outro
I am completely biased to be truthful as I love all of Death And Vanilla’s output, and own pretty much every vinyl record they have released and this one very much has they’re sound, although lacking vocals, and it is their sound that I like, the atmospheres and moods they create, it’s there still, perhaps more so than Vampyr.
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I appreciate that this won’t be for everyone but for me – Rating: 9.1

Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 33)

Death & Vanilla – Vampyr

There are certain things that make me interested in a record which are often related to a good back story, amongst other things. ‘Vampyr’ by Death and Vanilla has things that interest me in abundance. I have their eponymous 2012 album and like it very much, not least because I paid very little for it, but also because I liked the aesthetic of the music, this is what first drew me to this album. Here in list form are the reasons why I was so interested in it.

  1. I knew the band already, which is always a plus
  2. It’s a soundtrack, and I like soundtracks.
  3. It’s a soundtrack to a 1932 film by Danish director Carl Theodor, which In itself means not a lot to me but I do like a silent film.
  4. It was recorded live as the film played.
  5. The packaging is lovely as is the grey marbled vinyl. image004
  6. It has moogs and mellotrons.
  7. The entire original film along with the original soundtrack is available on youtube
  8. I plan to see if I can overlay the Death and Vanilla over the actual film and see what happens.

It is a really interesting soundtrack that I’ve already listened to several times just as a piece of music, in 4 parts, and really enjoyed.

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If you’d like to know more about the band then here it is, taken directly from http://www.firerecords.com/death-and-vanilla/

Formed in Malmö, Sweden by Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson, Death and Vanilla utilise vintage musical equipment such as vibraphone, organ, mellotron, tremolo guitar and moog, to emulate the sounds of 60s/70s soundtracks, library music, German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psych. They revel in the warmth of older analogue instruments to create a more organic sound, each loose wire and off-kilter noise adding to the rich atmosphere.

After a handful of successful releases including a debut EP in 2010, their self-titled LP in 2012 – which sold out on pre-order – and a beautifully designed 7” single, the experimental pop duo were invited to compose a live soundtrack for the classic horror film, Vampyr (1932), for the Lund Fantastisk Film festival in Lund. In 2015, newly signed to Fire, the band returned with a new, full length album ‘To Where The Wild Things Are.’ Named after the Maurice Sendak children’s book, the album is comprised of pop music with a wild, dreamy and experimental edge, celebrating imagination and the ability to travel to stranger recesses of the mind.

Next came the ‘California Owls’ 12″ coloured EP. Opulent and timeless, ‘California Owls’ is a reverb soaked spectral-pop song drenched in 60s-psych while the dark and swirling melodies of ‘Follow The Light’ has a ‘Walk Away Renee pace’ (Guardian). Creating deliciously enticing soundscapes, full of moody moogs and breathless vocals, their influences are as diverse as their music.

Following a run of UK successful live dates in Spring 2015 including Rough Trade East, Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, Levitation Psych Fest (France) and Incubate (Netherlands), Watch this space for more live date announcements from the formidable trio.