Collapsing Scenery Shares Heartbreaking Video For SISYPHUS OF THE NEGEV
LA / NYC electro duo Collapsing Scenery (Don De Vore and Reggie Debris) have shared new single "Sisyphus Of The Negev" and its accompanying video from their anticipated debut album Stress Positions (out June 28, 2019 via Metropolitan Indian). Hear the track HERE, and watch the videoHERE. The video, which was filmed when the duo visited the Israeli village of Al-Arakib and tells the heartbreaking story of some of its residents, debuted via New Noise Magazine, who said that "the song matches this story with a reflective tone, melodically moving through the scenery with a sense of belonging."
Collapsing Scenery has also announced June tour dates with kindred spirits Death Bells, which culminate in an album release show at the Los Angeles multidisciplinary arts space Chewing Foil onJune 29. See below for the full list of announced tour dates.
WATCH THE "SISYPHUS OF THE NEGEV" VIDEO:
The band's Reggie Debris shared his thoughts on their experience in Al-Arakib, which is central to the subject matter of both the song and video:
"Don and I had the privilege of traveling to Israel and Palestine in 2012. Among the many remarkable people we met and stories we heard, the villagers of Al-Arakib and their quiet resistance stand out. They are Bedouin Arab citizens of Israel, who live in the Negev, on land they settled over a century ago, long before the establishment of Israel. They raise livestock and farm olives. The Israeli State refuses the claims of the townspeople to their home, despite documentation of Bedouin residency dating back to Mandate days, and has been engaged in a long campaign of intimidation and destruction in an attempt to clear the land for a forestation project.
Among many absurd ironies, this has frequently entailed ripping up groves of old olive trees to make room for new plantings. The goal is to relocate the villagers to a modern township, in a place they've never lived, away from their home, their work, and their way of life. Every so often, the State will roll in with bulldozers and raze the village. Each time, the villagers simply refuse to leave, instead building increasingly makeshift shelters that last until the next inevitable round of demolition.
At a certain point, the villagers were forced to camp in their cemetery, on the graves of their ancestors, the only area of the village the bulldozers wouldn't dare go. This process of destruction and rebuilding has happened over 100 times now. This refusal to bow to intimidation, and the dignity and simplicity in the act of merely staying, is one of the most inspiring acts of rebellion we've ever witnessed. Tragically, this cycle continues ad nauseum. Just last December, Sheikh Sayah, the village elder, was imprisoned for refusing to leave the only home he's ever known."
WATCH THE "BUSH MAMA BLUES" VIDEO:
Collapsing Scenery is the meeting of two fertile and febrile minds, Don De Vore (Ink & Dagger, Lilys, The Icarus Line, Amazing Baby) and Reggie Debris. Together they straddle the gap between music, art, film and politics, seamlessly moving between each with the same ease at which they traverse the globe, soaking up experiences and immersing themselves in different cultures.
Since they formed in 2013 "under a pall of paranoia and disgust" they haven't stopped moving. They've recently collaborated with Jamaican dancehall legend Ninjaman, Beastie Boys producer/collaboratorMoney Mark, and no-wave pioneer James Chance. The band also has remixes out or on the way from Genesis P-Orridge (Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle), Jennifer Herrema (Royal Trux), Uniform,Youth Code, Brian DeGraw (Gang Gang Dance), Oliver, and more.
A conversation with them recalls stories of recently recording a 'goth-dancehall' track in Jamaica, sailing their soundsystem into Britain for a series of shows, visiting occupied territories in Palestine on fact-finding missions, recording their debut album on a remote ranch in Texas and soaking up rays in Corsica - and that's in the first five minutes.
Their forthcoming debut debut album Stress Positions is a glorious collision of futurist electro, glacial goth tones, techno, post-punk and chillwave recorded using analogue electronics: samplers, step sequencers, synths and drum machines. Aesthetically it initially recalls the early pioneering synth-punk of bands such as Human League, Screamers and The Normal, when the most forwarding thinking punks looked to the twenty-first century. Dig deeper however and it reveals an articulate and highly politicised collection that's far from mired being in nostalgia for the recent past. Quite the opposite: Stress Positions is a forward-looking album with strong state-of-the-world lyrical content. In the tradition of so many defining electro duos - whether Suicide, Pet Shop Boys or Underworld - Collapsing Scenery's architecture is entirely of their own creation. They've built their own world and live in it. All are welcome.
Collapsing Scenery's inception can be traced back several years when New York-based artist/musicianDon De Vore and musician friend and LA resident Reggie Debris collaborated in programming events with D'agostino and Fiore gallery on the Lower East Side, beginning with a video installation which lead to a month of music and visual programming called 'Rebuild Babylon' which in turn evolved into a travelling residency series.
Out of this came Collapsing Scenery, the musical wing of their collaboration. Don De Vore is a mainstay of some of the US's most exciting and important contemporary bands, having played in Ink & Dagger, The Icarus Line, Amazing Baby, Giant Drag, Sick Feeling, Souls She Said and Lilys. He is also a curator for Brooklyn arts space Trans Pecos. Joining him on vocals is debuting vocalist and lyrical collaborator Reggie Debris, a veritable human riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
The pair exist to challenge and subvert perceptions in the worlds of outsider art and political protest. And have a great time while doing it. A more recent 2016 artistic residency in New York saw Collapsing Scenery create a psychedelic immersive art installation that incorporated projections, layers of colourful plexi-glass, a reading from Genesis P-Orridge and a performances from De Vore and Debris (meanwhile in a clash of the old and new the gallery upstairs hosted a Picasso exhibition).
While some bands claim to be exponents of the DIY ethic, Collapsing Scenery are entirely self-sufficient, sonic buccaneers sailing the seas with piratical intent. "Playing in a traditional rock venue in any given city is my idea of hell," says Debris. "We want to play in basements, warehouses, garages - and travelling with our own sound-system, power supply and visuals, that's exactly what we do. Not being beholden to club, promoters or the existing way of doing things is important. We're 100% self-contained."
Collapsing Scenery offer a new vision for how a modern band can be. They're not even a band - they're curators of a series of planet-planning events, expressions, exhibitions, albums, installations, journeys, adventures and parties, all operating outside of the confines of the tired traditional industry.
Collapsing Scenery are artistic explorers pushing into bold new futures, then. Join them.