What happens when AMENRA, extreme music's most guarded and secretive unit, relinquish control? Top fashion photographer Willy Vanderperre and director of photography Nicolas Karakatsanisare are behind the reins of a video which features the band stripped of all that we know of them, and you can watch it first at Nowness...
Vanderperre has worked with a startling array of individuals, from Kate Moss to Kanye West, but his encounter with AMENRA sees both parties break formation to form a hesitant, powerful and revealing union. The video, set to À Mon Âme from their most recent album, MASS V, may not be what you have come to expect from the cult crafters of discordance - but what are AMENRA if not masters of defying expectation?
Says CHVE of the collaboration; "It is not at all like the sort of visuals we usually present, it is more a case study, or a visual interpretation of the band, a little piece of concept art, if you will. The idea they [Willy Vanderperre and director of photography Nicolas Karakatsanisare] had was stripping us of everything we had – ‘what if we took it all away from them?’, ‘what if we took them from their comfort zone?’. No shadows or darkness to hide in, dark imagery, props or metaphors or symbols to use."...
He continues..."Compare it to what we sometimes or mostly do with our music - stick to the mere necessary, take a minimalistic approach of a whole. What do we really need? To create a certain 'feeling' of emotion. For us, it was an extremely interesting cooperation. We normally keep our guard extremely high, never give something out of our hands, to keep it as close to our skin as humanly possible - that's exactly what they did as well, literally...It was awkward, uneasy, and very confronting for us to see, yet one of the most interesting things we did lately, and an honour for us to be working with such talented and inspiring people. ‘Under a watchtower of punishing light.’”
AMENRA will be hitting the road again, beginning next month and including plenty of festivals; including Bristol's Temples and London's Beyond the Redshift festivals in the UK. Watch the trailer for the Church of Ra European tour here.
FRI 11/04: 106 CLUB, ROUEN FR
SAT 12/04: JUBEZ, KARLSRUHE DE
SUN 13/04: LA MAROQUINERIE, PARIS FR
MON 14/04: CONFORT MODERNE, POITIERS FR
TUE 15/04: LA DYNAMO, TOULOUSE FR
WED 16/04: SONORA, BILBAO ES
THU 17/04: HARD CLUB, PORTO PT
FRI 18/04: SHOKO, MADRID ES
SAT 19/04: RAZZ3, BARCELONA ES
SUN 20/04: IMPETUS FEST, BELFORT FR
MON 21/04: P.M.K., INNSBRUCK AT
TUE 22/04: POSTHOF, LINZ AT
WED 23/04: LIDO, BERLIN DE
THU 24/04: PROXIMA, WARSAW PL
FRI 25/04: UT CONNEWITZ, LEIPZIG DE
SAT 26/04: YOUNG TEAM FEST, METZ FR
SAT 3/05: TEMPLES FESTIVAL, BRISTOL UK w/ Neurosis
SAT 10/05: BTR FESTIVAL, LONDON UK w/ Cult of luna
SUN 8/06: VOORUIT, GENT BE w/ COR
THU 19/06: EKKO, UTRECHT NL
FRI 20/06: NIEUWE NOR, HEERLEN NL
SAT 21/06: NEUDEGG ALM, ABTENAU AT
SUN 22/06: FEIERWERK, MUNCHEN DE
SAT 28/06: GRASPOP, DESSEL BE
SAT 27/09: AB, BRUSSELS BE - AFTERLIFE ACOUSTIC
AMENRA are also gearing up for two split releases on Consouling Sound, due for release in summer of this year. Each of the split albums will present an incarnation of AMENRA, together with a sometimes surprising, but always compelling counterpart band - for the split 10" album with Eleanora, AMENRA is offering À mon Âme (live) and for the split 10" album with Treha Sektori, AMENRA decided to re-interpret À mon Âme and create an atmospheric ambient piece called Trahn.
The Eleanora track introduces an eager young Belgian sludge/doom outfit with a truly captivating sound that'll surely keep the audience yearning for their debut EP to be released later on in 2014. Treha Sektori's French master soundscaper Dehn Sora surely is no stranger to fan of dark ambient music and drones.
In other AMENRA release news, My Proud Mountain are gearing up to release LIVE II, their second live cd, and first live 2xLP - the recording is the live audio from their MASS V release show of last year, mixed and mastered by Billy Anderson.
Meanwhile, MASS V can be ordered at the following link:
More news from AMENRA shall emerge in the coming months so do stay tuned.