Last year James Mathe aka Barbarossa decamped to the Analogue Catalogue studio in the hills outside Manchester to record the follow-up to 2007′s “Chemical Campfires“. Exclusively using analogue kit (Casio keyboards, vintage synths and old drum machines) and with Adem of “Homesongs” fame at the production helm we’re now seeing the first fruits of that labour.
“Butterfly Plague” arrives on June 12th as part of Fence Records Chart Ruse series (preorder).
The video marks the directorial debut of actor, film-maker and James’ partner, Montserrat Lombard. To compliment the analogue origins of the song they filmed on Super 8 and then packed the footage off to the Isle of Wight for transfer. The resulting work perfectly compliments the track with an otherwordly ghostly feel and really effective use of Zawe Ashton from Channel 4′s Fresh Meat expressive face centre frame throughout.
“I wanted to capture the headiness of the track in a simple way. We are all so used to being inundated with slick, fast images that i wanted to go back to the old school way and shoot on Super 8. I love the beauty and simplicity of William Eggleston’s Stranded In Canton so we used that as a template for the kind of feel we wanted to create. The treatment came from listening to the song and writing down the images I saw as it played. Wonderful Zawe Ashton loved the track and as a good friend of mine was brave enough to let the director in me loose and come and play with us.”
The EP is being launched at a special show on 12th June 2012, at The Shacklewell Arms, in Clerkenwell, London. Barbarossa will be performing, with support from fellow Fence Collective member Rozi Plain. Tickets are available from the Fence Records website.
The EP comes as a rather lovely limited 7″ with sumptuous artwork – held up by Mr Mathe in the picture to the left.
James has also re-recorded ‘Stones’ which dates back to 2006 but since featuring on the US sitcom How I Met Your Mother has racked up a gazillion Youtube views. Listen to Jon Hopkins remix below (not the new Ep version).
The Atlas Mountains remix of the title track completes the EP giving the whole song a more gritty R’n’B touch (or so Ive copied form the press release!).
For more Barbarossa take a listen to the Music Like Dirt session he recorded at the PureEvil Gallery last year.
Rozi Plain who’ll be supporting James at the EP launch recently made the Buddy Peace remix of “Humans” available as a free download.
On first listen I briefly thought it was an incredible reworking of The Kings Of Leon (which i dont mean as an insult!) that is until Rozi floats in with her instantly recognisable voice. There are shades of the old 1992 Shut Up and Dance produced Now Is Early Lp from Nicolette in here somewhere but Rozi’s voice is if anything even better live than on record.
While we’re on the subject of Fence Records, Pictish Trail also return with “Of Course You Exist”