- Paul "Strangefruit" Nyhus, Knut Sævik, Jamine Tonto, Katzenjammer, Patricia Brown, Izzy Pizzy, Xerox Juanipa Fabrizzi, Tore Brevik, Slough, Bob Chords, Dominique Leone, and Hans Peter Lindstrøm. That's how many people it officially took to make ‘Clairevoyage - A Medley Performed By the 16th Rebels of Mung.’ Six months, twelve contributors, one song. One gloriously fucked-up, three-part, twelve-minute prog disco behemoth that, if the mood is right, will annihilate a dancefloor all by itself.
Goodness knows how Lindstrøm found Leone – perhaps via his writings on Pitchfork – or what he found in his music – perhaps a mutual love of "out" music – but the results of their collaboration are a perfect triangulation of their particular milieus. Leone, whose other non-dancey tracks on this EP resemble something close to Todd Rundgren doing Beach Boys covers produced by Eye of the Boredoms, can't help but obscure the pop in each of his compositions. It's brainy pop that rarely reveals its true charms on a first or casual listen. Lindstrøm, on the other hand, can't help his penchant for smoothness from adding a significant layer of cheese to nearly everything he does. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
With a little help from Nyhus and Sævik of Mungolian Jetset, who are credited with production, direction, and arrangement, though, each aesthetic is honored in equal measure. The messy, live drumming is kept on beat by a pounding bass drum; the unhurried synth progressions are replaced by wordless, all-too-human vocals establishing one of the tracks main melodic themes; once you're transported to the climactic movement, you're met with clean, Nordic synths and a gaggle of voices led by a Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears impersonator.
Sounds terrible, right? Most prog rock does when explained, piece by agonizing piece. But what Leone, Lindstrøm, and Mungolian have achieved here isn't to be sneezed at either. In a recent interview with the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Leone talked about how DJs are bringing prog, fusion, and Balearic to the dancefloor, recontextualizing many of them for the first time as dancefloor fillers. He notes, however, that "Lindstrøm is one of the few guys who are actually trying to make original songs incorporating those influences." Count ‘Clairevoyage’ as its first honest-to-god masterpiece.
A Clairevoyage - A Medley Performed By The 16th Rebels Of Mung