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James Leyland Kirby's Electronic Dirge Will Crush Your Soul

An experimental synth-and-Christ-laden video from the guy who once released a record filled with sounds of pigs eating.

by Zach Sokol
Sep 10 2013, 3:24pm

The last time I spoke with James Leyland Kirby, he told me he wanted to remake the film Mrs. Doubtfire with David Lynch behind the camera and himself on soundtrack duty. In other words, you're not likely to find him at Electric Zoo

Yesterday, the electronic musician and all-around experimental weirdo announced a new album, Watching Dead Empires In Decay, that he recorded under the moniker The Stranger. It's the follow-up to his 2011 cult classic, An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, a concept album wherein he edited samples from pre-war 78rpm records in a way that was meant to emulate a faltering memory brought on by Alzheimer's Disease. 

Kirby is known to push the limits of what counts as "music"—he produced one album that was just the sounds of pigs feeding. This first preview of Watching Dead Empires in Decay is a little more straightforward, though not much. The video for "Where Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends?" was just released; it features footage from early 60s experimental film Fuego En Castillo by Spanish artist Jose Val De Omar.

The "song" has ominous synths and a churning drum beat, all of which inspire feelings of existential dread, or at least some serious discomfort. Best take a listen for yourself. Meanwhile, we're keeping our fingers crossed that the Kirby/Lynch Mrs. Doubtfire remake comes closer to fruition. 

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