Johnny YesNo – Redux box set (1982, 2008) DVD5 + DVD9

Original version:
DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 00:23:30 | 2.81 Gb + 3% rec
DVD9 | NTSC 16:9 | 00:16:51 | 6.30 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English (Dolby AC3, 2 ch) | Subtitles: none
Genre: Short, Music, Experimental

Director: Peter Care
Country: UK

Mute announce the eagerly awaited release of the Johnny YesNo – Redux box set, out 14 November 2011. Featuring the original 1982 classic slice of Sheffield Film Noir, Johnny YesNo alongside a new re-imagining of the film plus 140 minutes of bonus material and 2 CDs including exclusive Cabaret Voltaire tracks and new Cabaret Voltaire mixes for the film by Richard H. Kirk.

Directed by fledgling director Peter Care with a cast of unknown actors, Johnny YesNo, originally released on Cabaret Voltaire’s video label, Double Vision, became an instant cult hit on the independent film circuit helped in no small part by its hallucinatory soundtrack by electronic pioneers Cabaret Voltaire.

Johnny YesNo – Redux reunites Cabaret Voltaire and Peter Care almost 30 years later with a completely new cast, a relocation to LA and an entirely new soundtrack remixed by Richard H. Kirk, the film has lost none of its hallucinatory power.

Peter Care and Cabaret Voltaire worked together again with the video for Sensoria (1984), which became the most requested independent music video on MTV. Care also directed music videos for Clock DVA, Depeche Mode, R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen. More recently, in 2005, Care received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his music videos from the Music Video Production Association and also directed an episode of the HBO Series, Six Feet Under.

Cabaret Voltaire, alongside Human League, Throbbing Gristle, Fad Gadget and The Normal, were at the forefront of the UK Electronic Movement of the late ’70s and were, without a doubt, one of the most influential acts of the last thirty years. Way ahead of their time, Cabaret Voltaire were prolific with blending dance music, techno, dub, house and experimental.

The band began working with Rough Trade in 1978, producing a string of brilliant singles and the now seminal triumvirate of albums “Mix Up” (1979), “Voice of America” (1980) and their most prophetic album “Red Mecca” (1981). Their recordings throughout the eighties had a huge influence on the developing House and Techno scenes in both America and Europe and Cabaret Voltaire continue to be a major inspiration to this day.

As Cabaret Voltaire continued to pare down their sound, taking out all the random interference, jammed signals and media clutter that characterised their earlier ‘industrial’ sound, these same elements began to resurface in the band’s use of visuals instead. Riots and TV commercials, porn stars and televangelists were cut together in random streams. The image had started to make itself heard above the noise.

An independent band that gradually transformed itself into a functioning media partnership, Cabaret Voltaire used the recording studio, graphic design, typography and performance to highlight the crosscuts and contradictions in modern mass communication, forcing information into revealing its own inner workings. Masters of the double-take, it was only a matter of time before they started experimenting with film and video.

Their love/hate relationship with pop music that had led to the punk rebellion had by then extended itself to broadcast television, except that this time the independently produced single would be replaced by the independently produced videotape.

Johnny YesNo – Redux goes deep into the structure of Peter Care’s original film and the Cabaret Voltaire tracks used in connection with it. What emerges is as much a juxtaposition of times and places as sights and sounds. The tale changes in the retelling, but that change now seems to be taking place on a molecular level. Richard H Kirk has reconfigured the film’s soundtrack, giving the proceedings an ominous sense of something slowly sliding into view from afar, glimpsed out of the corner of the eye.

Johnny YesNo film represents a split reality: a moment of transition that simultaneously reaches into the past while at the same time hinting at what might be to come.

Cabaret Voltaire knew that the way to handle this audiovisual divide was simply to embrace it: allow the senses to become caught up in the seemingly random connections between what is seen and what is heard. The resultant scrambling of impressions was often hallucinatory in effect.

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