The writing below used to be a synopsis for a some kind of vlog progress report about how the Turns Me On video was made. To be honest, I recorded the talk but didn’t like it, but since it actually detailed in a brief way the process I converted it into a blog post.
The idea of this post is to give a peek at the behind the scenes ideas and mechanics that lead to the way the Turns Me On video turned out.
At the initial brainstorming the basic problem in that early stage seemed to be this question: does a video for a track about sexual excitement really needs hypersexualized images of women in any way? I really wanted to turn this stereotype on its head somehow and first had the idea to go to clothes shops with a friend, a young male actor, and take skirts, high heels, sexy tights and other women’s clothes, go to changing rooms and have another friend shoot him trying things on. But I was already getting late with finishing the main track, not to mention I wanted to make remixes and so on. So the video was on hold all this time as I was working on music and I felt I need a more flexible plan. And, you know, the need for flexibilty usually translates into kinda do-it-yourself quick guerilla work. At least with me.
The intro does not leave you hanging: here comes an electro beat, lined with a relentless bassline and supported by a mix-up of samples from a well-known house track and a rhythmic litany by a male voice.
The title track has no refrain, no breakdown, just two long verses that keep on going and going. At first, the lyrics seem to be about those almost “stereotypically sexy” female adornments. The assumption that they are exclaimed with possible sexual aims is soon affirmed, but the lyrics of the second part of the track subverts the arousing into other daily phenomena not so typical of sexual hints.
My desire to talk about a fairly contemporary state of male sexuality – some kind of media programming of a “reptilian” part of the male brain to be sexually triggered with an image – is not so new. Subjective history takes me back to the solo performance called “fiberoptikal” where I wrote a song with verses: “frozen little images / are blocking my sight / making me uptight / they’re like bondage rope”, referring to the sexualized images of female body, including arousing erotic lingerie, specific body parts and their shapes, nail polish, makeup, high heels, specific body poses and movements etc. It was further developed in the performance “Frozen Images” by Wanda & Nova deViator (with Maja Delak), but didn’t make it onto our debut album “Pacification”, so only those that attended the “Frozen Images” concert performance(s) might know about it.
On the other hand, Emanat institute started to develop a new type of feminist and movement-centered burlesque performance. Informed by remix+edit appropriations via electronic dance music and contemporary technological development it was called “Image Snatchers”, a techno-burlesque. In autumn 2014 a workshop with the great performer Ursula Martinez took place, thanks to collaboration with the Ljubljana’s festival City of Women, where the seeds of another take on ‘programming of the male mind’ were planted: a burlesque number called “Turns Me On”. While researching for that piece I subjectively gravitated to a bit of personal history, a popular early house track with a moaning female voice, in my current view another example of voiced embodiment of hyper-sexualized desire, sonic enactment of submission and objectification, in a retrospect a metaphor of manipulation for profit and greed by white male capitalist.
While risking consequences of copyright infringement and a fall to a bootleg obscurity the reference to French Kiss by legendary Lil’ Louis is kept in the clear ear-view – on purpose. It should come as obvious within the context explained above, that this is a quotation, a reference to ponder about and critically reflect the contemporary exploitation of our bodies via frozen, arrested two-dimensional (sound-)images which make us turned on, to which we masturbate, to which we may climax.
Dedicated to all who suffer from erectile dysfunction.
stream/download at Bandcamp:
released August 15, 2016
written, produced and mixed by Nova deViator
vocals by Crucial Pink
mastering by Fred Miller
media & technical support: Radio Študent, Ljubljana
Today I continue to work on the “original mix” (the title track of the EP, as distingished from planned ‘extended club dub’ remix and perhaps an alternative version). I’m working in Renoise and partly enjoying it, partly it is tedious. My task today is to ’embelish’ the vocal with different small announcements, reverberations, and echos. During a work process this feels like a curious mix of creative inspiration and tediousness. I’m going in and falling out of “the flow”. I’m using timeboxing (pomodoro technique). Here’s what I have at 10:58:
I hope to finish these details in a few hours, perhaps improve the intro and ‘climax’/conclusion of the track so I can move on to alternative version and, of course, the video (deadline is 1.may, but that’s a bit unrealistic).
Luka Prinčič / Nova deViator: a musician, sound & media artist, engineer and dj. My sound goes from broken bass to noise, drone and sonic experiments. I'm one half of Wanda & Nova deViator, I run Kamizdat label and work at Emanat institute. I'm passionate about critical art expressions, free software, social awareness, cyberpunk, and peculiarity of contemporary human condition.
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