Genetic (Eomac Remix)

Eomac is an extraordinarily talented musician/producer/DJ/bloody nice guy from Dublin. His debut album Spectre (Killekill) was one of the best releases of 2014 and, unsurprisingly, his music has gained plaudits and support from the likes of Thom Yorke and Aphex Twin. I’ve been a great admirer of his music for ages so I was delighted when, after only 4 days of captivity inside the boot of my Ford Focus, he happily agreed to remix not one, but two tracks from Practical. Genetic is the first of these remixes and, together with his remix of Practical Man, is bundled as a bonus track with a purchase of Practical from Bandcamp.

I’ve also made (or remade) a video for Eomac’s remix, itself a remix of the short film Necrology by the late Standish Lawder (1936-2014). The dark humour and simplicity of Lawder’s film really appeal to me.

The original film is below. It’s also on the National Film Preservation Foundation DVD: Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986, which is available here.

““Necrology” (1970) is still among the most haunting avant-garde films I’ve ever seen, even though it’s also one of the simplest (and at times the funniest). Just by taking grainy black-and-white footage of New Yorkers on an escalator, and running it backwards in slow motion —with melodramatic music playing in the background—Lawder created a striking record of people on the go, which doubles as an impressionistic vision of beaten-down souls ascending into heaven” – Paul Murray

Necrology from Mdf Doyle on Vimeo.

New Stuff – Sunken Foal Remix

I first saw Sunken Foal live in the Body and Soul Area at Electric Picnic in 2013. It was 3am, I was half cut, and my ears were still ringing from My Bloody Valentine on the Main Stage (Kevin, why SO loud?) but Sunken Foal’s set was one of the highlights of the festival. It was just so damn [insert superlative-heavy yet utterly insufficient description of his music here].

I’ve been a fan of Sunken Foal’s work since hearing his brilliant remix of RSAG’s ‘You Want More’ and thereafter, his ‘Friday Syndrome’ Albums. So I was delighted when he agreed to work his remix magic on ‘New Stuff’.

Sunken Foal’s remix of ‘New Stuff’ is bundled as a bonus track with a purchase of ‘Practical’ from Bandcamp (CD or Download). The album is available here.
‘Practical’ also comes with 2 great bonus remixes by Eomac.

The video, a big-budget affair featuring the life and times of a Renault 4 with 500,000 km on the clock, is here.

O how I love the new stuff/New stuff is so very new/I want to spend the rest of my life buying new stuff with you

‘Practical’ – which is available from Bandcamp – features a number of songs that could be described as work, protest or socially conscious songs (Note to self, copyright new genre: socially conscious-core). ‘New Stuff’ is an attempt at a critique of consumer culture done in the style of an ironic ode – I know, I can’t believe it hasn’t charted either!

New Stuff (original track)

Whilst working on the album I was really inspired by the work of Tim Jackson, Juliet Schor and Alain de Botton amongst others. In his TED talk Jackson analyses the “story” of consumer culture and its effect on economic and personal well being:

“This is people expanding debt, drawing down their savings, just to stay in the game. This is a strange, rather perverse, story,…it’s a story about us, people, being persuaded to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to create impressions that won’t last on people we don’t care about” – Tim Jackson

To paraphrase Juliet Schor, Why do we want so much more than we need? What is wrong with a Renault 4 with 500,000 kilometres on the clock? On the evidence of the remix video, absolutely nothing. ‘New Stuff’ is, in essence, an exploration of this.

Genetic – now with added moving images

Genetic is the 3rd single from ‘Practical’. It took every ounce of my meagre piano-playing ability to record it. Ken McHugh did a great job shaping the song, especially the percussion. We were very inspired by the work of the late, great, Mark Bell, particularly his work on Bjork’s Homogenic and Vespertine.

In what can only be described as a “flurry” of activity, I recently “made” a video to accompany Genetic. The video is basically a remix of a short clip taken from Ron Fricke’s wonderful film Samsara. Apologies Ron. 

New Stuff

‘New Stuff’ is the second single from ‘Practical‘. The album, which is available from Bandcamp, features a number of songs that could be described as work, protest or socially conscious songs. ‘New Stuff’ is my attempt at a critique of consumer culture done in the style of an ironic ode. Whilst working on the album I was really inspired by the works of Tim Jackson, Juliet Schor and Alain de Botton amongst others.

The video to accompany the song is made from a few short clips taken from two wonderful Ron Fricke films – Baraka and Samsara. Baraka and Samara are available in DVD, Blu-Ray and on-demand from http://barakasamsara.com/.

Update: Sunken Foal has done a great remix of New Stuff. It’s available as a bonus track on the Bandcamp version of ‘Practical’. Details are here.

New album – Practical

The new Mail Order Messiahs album, Practical, is now available to order as a Limited Edition CD from Bandcamp, and also available to download/stream via BandcampiTunes, Google Play, Spotify and all the usual places. *The Bandcamp version features bonus remixes by Eomac (Practical Man and Genetic) and Sunken Foal (New Stuff).

‘Practical’ was recorded in Dublin by Ken McHugh, Jimmy Eadie and Mail Order Messiahs. It was mixed and mastered by Ken Mc Hugh and features the talents of 2 great drummers – Matthew Jacobson and Steve Hogan.

The track listing for the album is:

Practical Man

Practical Man is the first single taken from Practical. I made this video from assorted clips purchased from various stock footage sites. It’s hard to imagine the circumstances in which these clips are ordinarily used. Perhaps they get an airing in presentations by high-trousered motivational speakers at business conferences. I have no idea.  I find them more disturbing than Saw IV.

Becoming Deluded

“I was the 5th interstellar man
No ticker tape
Just space dust” – Becoming Deluded

The new video for ‘Becoming Deluded’ (the final song on the album Plain) features footage from the various Apollo space missions. The video is directly inspired by the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon (2007), particularly the comments of Jim Lovell, commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13. Lovell noted that during the early part of the mission – i.e. before the oxygen tank exploded – there was relatively little media interest. The American public had become used to successful lunar missions and it was difficult to get television networks to take the live feed from mission control.

A fall off in interest in the space program is best illustrated by the fact that everyone knows Armstrong and Aldrin – the first two men to walk on the moon 45 years ago – but few can name the ten other guys who did the same thing between 1969-72.

The lack of public interest gave the astronauts of Apollo 14-17 a curious anonymity, even during the actual missions. This sense of anonymity, combined with the rather prosaic nature of their tasks (lots and lots of rock collecting) gives the lunar footage a noticeably mundane quality. Despite their extraordinary location, the astronauts look like normal guys putting in a shift – albeit on the surface of the moon.

Plain on Bandcamp

Plain is now available to purchase as a limited edition CD and as a download on Bandcamp: