Thursday, 12 February 2009

LINGVA PRAVORVM PERIBIT - Tong of depraved people will perish!

A behind the scene reported story about cat number FSK007. We cannot guarantee that the following information is either relevant or accurate.

"A friend came to my house and we talked on my roof for ever enjoying wine and sunset, he told me he knew an old geezer living in the mountains of France he was making a film about. The geezer was a leader in the situationist movement (also prominent memeber of post-dadaïsm, surrealism, Cobra, Oulipo, Satrape, Collège de Pataphysique, OU-X-Po, Psychogeography), and has loads of unreleased material about French lettrists. We said lets get some recordings of this if we can, six months of difficult but pleasurable bartering and bargaining later, here is the result, co-produced by agent FSK007 and Videoconference". This is the only info we could collect from the internet...

It has been said and heard around that the two original cassettes have been collected in Brussels, shipped to Berlin, cut by a fantome engineer on an unattended session, shipped again to France? for duplication before being spread around mostly undercover. It is remarkable that all the reference numbers have been scratched out of the vinyl, the cover bringing no additional info. Though some Ubuweb people received a virgin untouched copy... Here is what they say:


Tracks 1-6:





DATE: ???


A) FSK 007 A.45
B) FSK 007 B.45
D) FSK 007 D.33


One of UbuWeb's viewers, an astute Debord scholar who would rather remain anonymous disputes the authenticity of SITUATIONISTEN. We are enclosing his comments. We'll leave the MP3s up and leave it to you to decide for yourself:

"As for the Situationisten double LP, I have to say, I'm pretty sceptical that Debord had anything to do with any of this. It sounds more like the Lettrists, or possibly the Danish/German breakaway faction of the Situationists, but more likely the lettrists because the accents seem to be French. I don't recognize any voice which sounds like Debord's voice, which is pretty distinctive. All of this is to say, it's not impossible, because the world is full of wierd surprises, but my gut reaction is that this is either a bad gag or some repackaged Lettrists recordings and someone has called them "Situationist" for their own purposes, or because they lump the two together and don't know any better. By the time the Situs had formed, I think Debord had totally abandoned working in this mode and I have never seen any evidence that he worked in this mode even when he was part of the Lettrists or the Lettrist International. It's more characteristic of the early work of Gil Wollman and others.

I don't get any links from the FSK things so I'm not sure what they are. I can't hear them and don't know about them. I thought they were some kind of notations for the "Situationisten" lp. If so, then my comments above would apply.

I don't have the Greil Marcus cd, but he seems to have known Debord or at least had some access, so I don't think he'd put stuff out that was too questionable. However, the Hurlements track reads like a bad joke: since actually a 35mm print with optical sound would have lots of clicks and pops however silent. At best, it is a conceptual recreation of Part of the Track of Hurlements. Hurlements, as you probably know, did have plenty of voices as well as a preponderance of silence. Or perhaps the clicks and pops were cut out by whoever mastered the cd, or by whoever created the mp3s.

Critique of separation is possibly authentic, though its source is questionable. For the most part Debord worked with voice over and music separated. Having the music in the background and the short length of the sample suggests to me it may have come from a French Radio show about Debord and the situationists that was produced several years ago. It has copious extracts from the sound tracks of Debord's films and it's sometimes hard to tell where their transitions are superimposed on the original material. The voice however is unmistakeably Debord's, whereever it comes from.

A second follow-up: A friend who saw a screening of Hurlements last year in France reports to me that during the "silent" parts of the film, there were "creaking sounds" and "strange glitches." So, my guess would be that the bit of track on the cd is a hypothetical reconstruction of the "silent" part of the track rather than an actual "quotation" of the track. Silent passages in analog sound films are never effectively "silent" the way a digital track can be and Hurlements almost certainly had a 35mm optical sound track. Other possibilities are extremely remote."

Listen to the stuff on Ubuweb.

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