#PHANTASYMIX 33: Yr Lovely Dead Moon

Yr Lovely Dead Moon does not do things as one might expect. The performance and production project of Rachel Margetts travelled alongside it’s creator to far flung corners of Europe, from the North-East of England to the DIY art scene of Armenia, before landing in Berlin, where this engrossing and occasionally head-spinning contribution to #PHANTASYMIX was recorded.

The debut, self-titled Yr Lovely Dead Moon LP was released last year on Hot Concept, the label run by Phantasy’s creative lead, John Loveless (who also remixed lead single ‘Physical Corpses’, alongside Gramrcy). YLDM has played alongside outsider music luminaries such as Lydia Lunch, Charles Haywood and Giant Swan, and their own music recalls the vocals of Anne Clark or the “gender “hypnotics of Jenny Hval, influenced by post-punk, musique concrete and prickling electro. Brimming with acid-tinged feminist satire, ‘Yr Lovely Dead Moon’ portrays a world between the mundane and the fantastical. It’s a palette best portrayed in the recent video for album centrepiece ‘Le Tempestaire’, directed alongside Joseph Campbell and recently premiered via FACT.

Their #PHANTASYMIX trip spans music from Fatima Al Qadiri, Chris Clark, Soft Machine and Altin Gün, recorded in the midsts of a resurgent, midwinter obsession with Alejandro Jodorowsky, the French-Chilean filmmaker, poet, novelist, puppeteer and spiritual guru. Jodorowsky often preferred to undertake interviews with answers first, questions later, a format we’ve replicated to spice up this occasion even further (“like on the TV show, Jeopardy”, as Erol Alkan observed).

Hello YLDM, what have you been up to?

Hiya John, I’ve just been cleaning my room and now I’m sat writing this with a glass of cheap wine.

We’re not far into 2021, but what or who has been inspiring you thus far?

Jodorowsky, because he drifted into my life again this year like a wind that blows inwards from opposite directions.

I feel like we could have all done with a figure like Jodorowsky back in 2020...

The future arrived in 2020 stinking of corruption, nationalism and division. Artists like SIKSA (first track of the mix) are both observing and retaliating to this new world-cum-old world collapse, both parody and pastiche. I love it.

We encounter unlimited web space, but limited patience amid an overload of music, or if we dare, ‘content’... This mix covers a lot of ground. How do you get to be so comfortable feeling so diverse?

As every art catalogue of the last 10 years will tell you, we are multiple, and who wouldn't agree? We shouldn’t forget that we are allowed to have many faces though- or rather- we are involuntarily moving between them regardless. In fact, perhaps successful anti-facist and anti-capitalist action requires us to recognise and utilise this knowledge. A guerrilla warfare of identity. Nomadic war machines.

In which case, are we not to expect to know the “real you”? Or even the real me?

I’ve sometimes wondered if I use characters in my music and writing to avoid exposing a ‘truer version of myself’ to the world. But I’m coming to think that’s that it doesn't really work like that - as if characters (or subjectivities) are somehow just laid down upon an a-priori self. No, reality has no double. When we start to believe that our daily lives become haunted and paranoid, or at the best carnivalesque. But that’s not to say that it’s as simple as 'we are multiple'…

At the time of writing, we have seen that art, the natural pursuit and the associated industry, is struggling to flourish in Europe in the wake of the recent pandemic. This is something to be resisted, both in the face of governments who fail to acknowledge its positive and economic impact, citizens who feel more ground down and uncertain than ever to commit to creativity, and the inevitable corporate-capitalist drive to ‘consciously’ fill the gap. But, for most, the repercussions of our collective situation will define our lives for the foreseeable future. So, I suppose what I’m asking is...

How do we incorporate our lives into our art? I don't know yet, not something I’ve always done so readily like. But for sure unconsciously…the new Yr Lovely Dead Moon video for 'Le Tempestaire‘ features a whole array of characters who over time came to resemble both celebratory and outright seedy phases of my life. Memories and experiences returned to me in the most unexpected ways…soaking wet and without any trousers in the rain holding a plastic bag (like one of those dreams)…secret hair, consumption and crusty wisdom…vomiting, lots of vomiting. Of course, this is also all made possible when you've got a  brilliant team of artists working together (as we did)!

With that answer to a question I didn’t quite ask in mind, is there any track in this mix that we should pay particularly close attention to?

Your Hidden Dreams - White Noise (track number 8 in the mix)

Why do you let it hold you?
Life must be lived in full view
In every sin there must be pride
Your hidden dreams can't be denied.

Very Jodorowsky, don’t ya think?!

John Loveless, January 2021.

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