Movement artist Holly Blakey reunites with dancer and actor Nandi Bhebhe for a visceral response to the writing of Alan Moore, adapted by producer and musician Andrew Broder alongside serpentwithfeet and Kazu Makino.
Back in 2020 the Minneapolis producer and multi-talented musician Andrew Broder was tapped for the soundtrack for The Show, a fantasy neo-noir film written by legendary comic book writer and national treasure Alan Moore. Having previously worked with Moore on the score for the authors semi-autobiographical, audio novella Unearthing, Broder jumped at the chance, crafting a suite of evocative compositions channelled from the dreamscapes of Moore’s script, which follows a detective searching for a mysterious artefact around Moore’s birthplace of Northampton. The Show Original Soundtrack sees Broder revisiting the score, remixing and re-contextualising his own sounds with the help of a stellar cast of collaborators, including Moor Mother, Billy Woods, Denzel Curry and Haleek Maul. For ‘These Seas,’ Broder enlisted the talents of serpentwithfeet and Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead to spin the surging instrumental into an urgent anthem for dreamers, weaving an interpolation of Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’ together with hiccuping samples, synthetic squelches and propulsive percussion. “It was a cool opportunity and challenge to make a track around Alan Moore’s lyrics, to hit his reference points and underlying thematic narrative,” explains Broder. “Serpent and Kazu both have such unique and different approaches to singing, so transportive and perfect for a song about living and dying in dreamworld. This is a track for the scary and exciting club in one’s dreams.” For the track’s surreal visual movement artist Holly Blakey reunites with dancer and actor Nandi Bhebhe, who Blakey captured in the “gum chewing, colour changing portrait” Wrath – presented by Fact as part of Holly Blakey’s stunning Fact Residency. Translating Broder’s pulsating synth swarms into visceral, instinctive movement, Blakey and Bhebhe draw the dream in close to the body, spinning between sexual tension and violent release.
Opting for eerie monochrome and low resolution infrared, Blakey plays with the internal spectacle of dream space, bleaching the colour from much of the visual, drawing attention away from aesthetic detail and pulling focus on the brutal simplicity of her stage and the rawness of Bhebhe’s movements. When Blakey does introduce colour into the frame it is as an obscuring gesture, rather than adding more detail she takes it away, with pixellated, high-contrast footage invoking the visual language of surveillance, a dancer trapped in a dream, as opposed to moving freely through it. With the introduction of another dancer the scene strays further from our initial understanding, leaving us questioning whether what we have witnessed was a dance or a possession, the prelude to a demonstration of intense physical intimacy or a violent exchange. This ambiguity is central to the project, both in Broder’s music and in Alan Moore’s wider writing practice. “Alan Moore is such an inspiring writer, thinker and social critic – uncompromising in his artistic vision,” concludes Broder. “I wanted this record to pay tribute to those qualities and step out of my own character a bit, work with some new friends and make something dark and mysterious but also confidently physical, with a lot of momentum. I am moving into more focused exploration of electronic music now, away from my time as a songwriter. I want to approach music with little adherence to genre, and a universal outlook, dwelling less on the self and more about painting with sound. Like Moore, trying to find some threads to weave together the cosmic, psychedelic realm with the more human and vulnerable melodic sense, something that still aches.”
You can find Andrew Broder on Instagram.
‘These Seas’ Credits:
Director – Holly Blakey
Choreography – Holly Blakey & Nandi Bhebhe
Hero – Nandi Bhebhe
Set Sculpture – Joe Sweeney
Costumes – Jivomir Domoustchiev
DOP – Joseph Edwards
Editor – Barry Jarman
Exec Producer – Ben Totty for Box Artist Management
Location – The Place Studios