Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi’s latest album, Rome, is on its way to the cinema. Music video director Chris Milk is to make a film inspired by the Jack White-assisted album, and based on a science-fiction novel by Alden Bell.
Danger Mouse and Luppi conceived of Rome as a film soundtrack, according to Variety. But its spaghetti-western sound is still an unlikely anchor for what is presumably a bonanza of special effects. Milk’s film is reportedly an adaptation of Bell’s 2010 novel, The Reapers Are the Angels, which was nominated for the Philip K Dick award. It is the story of a girl “born into a post-apocalyptic world who must survive by her wits while finding moments of simple joy”. But producers claim this is more than a movie: they are planning an “interactive narrative” across “multiple media platforms”.
I’m a big fan of Dangermouse. I love the fact that an artist who started from the bootleg scene could progress to such creative heights. The bootleg scene was an early noughties phenomenon that encompassed some great music. It’s raison d’etre was to combine two old tracks in creative, surprising ways rather than produce tracks from scratch. There were some great artists, Girls On Top (Richard X) being one of them, with their brilliant Whitney / Kraftwerk cut-up, Dance With Numbers, and even better, Human League versus TLC, Being Scrubbed – and some not so great. Like with many great ideas, once every chancer has jumped on board that particular bandwagon, you get some pure silliness, fit only for the most ironic of Shoreditch dancefloors. Dangermouse however brought a kind of long form bootleg sensibility to his work, turning the source materials into something new and wondrous, like his inspired refit of The Beatles “White Album” and Jay Z’s “Black Album” – together forming – what else? The Grey Album. Interestingly, bootlegs do fall into a grey area between original composition, sampling and cover versions.
This is one of my favourite tracks from The Grey Album, a headmashing, intoxicating clash of Helter Skelter, a song already imbued with bad vibes and pure pyschotic energy, and Jay Z’s 99 problems.
Also, loved this unusual track from the Dark Night Of The Soul album – bizarrely it’s a collaboration with David Lynch, the film director of Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, and many other troublingly nightmarish films. Had no idea Lynch was doing music these days. What I like about this track is that it references the same depression era blues that Moby’s excreable album Play mined to such great commercial success… but this is properly dark and not like the attempted cynical facsimile of the past that Moby managed.