14 May 2017

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Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

Here in the States, we who are in a fight for the very "notion of our nation" applaud the French election and their resistance against Russian influence. We are simultaneously horrified by reports of Russia's inhumanly homophobic crimes against its people. Russia's escalating aggression toward its LGBT communities is among reasons why this very blog was forced to move from LiveJournal (where the Terms of Service of the site based in Russia became unwelcoming to portions of my content) here to Dreamwidth. As a point of subversive irony, this week, our Second Sunday Slowly feature highlights a downtempo darkwave cover of a French artist who was influenced by the works of a Russian dancer noted for his controversial choreography and sexuality:

Torso - Nijinski [Nijinsky] (Daniel Darc)
(It's possible some details found here may have been translated imprecisely from their French and Russian sources, but I've done what I could to be as accurate as possible.)

Daniel Darc, formerly of the New Romantic era French new-wave band Taxi Girl, released his second solo album in 1994. Nijinsky was the title track, inspired by a book about Russian ballet dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky. According to one account, Darc was just out of jail and in a subway where he'd picked up the book. While reading it, someone pointed out to him his nose was bleeding. It was as he saw his blood mixed with the pages that he decided he would devote this album to the dancer.
Nijinsky was regarded as the preeminent male dancer of the early 20th century. He became a founding member of the Ballets Russes in 1909, with which he had performed Scheherazade (which featured a multi-racial orgy) and had choreographed L'après-midi d'un faune (depicting erotic mythological creatures masturbating). Nijinsky, who was homosexual, found himself fired from the company shortly after his marriage to the daughter of a Hungarian politician. When the first World War began his Russian citizenship rendered him an enemy of Hungary and he was placed under house arrest until a prisoner exchange allowed him to come to the U.S.. He performed and toured again for a time but due to injury and stress, his skill deteriorated. His later years were plagued by mental illness and asylum stays. His diaries were published, though his wife had altered the original editions to exclude many details of his homosexuality and any unflattering remarks about her. The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky was fully restored in 1999.
It is not entirely clear what book had inspired Darc but his thus-inspired album was received favorably. It was, however, considered an unfortunate "commercial failure," presumably because of generally low sales due to poor marketing.

But that isn't to say it touched no one.

According to Vincent Fallacara of Strasbourg, at the time lead singer of A Sordid Poppy, he was suffering another night of insomnia when he was struck by the song as it aired on TV sometime in 1994 or 1995. He felt as if he'd "just found an old friend who had been long lost." Years later after he and his brother Marco formed their French dark-wave/new wave project Torso, they recorded a cover of Nijinsky. It was the first track on their self-titled E.P. in 2004 which they appear to have only made available for download from their website (no longer functional.) Their cover went on to be included on a 15-track 2005 tribute to Daniel Darc & Taxi Girl titled, Quelqu'un Comme Nous.

When Daniel Darc died in February 2013, Unknown Pleasures Records collaborated with various French artists to produce the 17-track Tribute To Daniel Darc & Taxi Girl which was released in November that year. Torso's cover was included on the compilation, along with another more uptempo version of the track by Follow Me Not.

Torso, inspired additionally by The Cure, Joy Division, and Massive Attack, drop the tempo of Darc's generally poppy new wave rock track, which itself has more in common with Echo & the Bunnyman or The Church. While both adopt an almost western style riff, Torso's approach is more of a dark bassy saunter in stark contrast to Darc's more lively guitar gait. Torso also perform the vocals in a sort of spoken/sung echo or canon. At near twice the duration of the original, Torso have definitely expressed something unique and loving about their "old long lost friend."

The Cover:

The Original:

Next week:
Where this entry was about inspiration derived from a "mother" of sorts, the next will be about a track from the 60's covered in the 80's by some goth rock "sisters" for our Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I'll spin next in West Mass on the last Friday of May. Check my schedule for details if you'd like to join. ^_^

Explore the darkness,

Previous DisCOVERies

May 07 - Faderhead - SexyBack (Justin Timberlake)
Apr 30 - Forevel - It's No Good (Depeche Mode)
Apr 23 - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross w/ Karen O - Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
Apr 16 - Type O Negative - Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse)
Apr 09 - PreCog - Pepper (Butthole Surfers)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies


seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
DJ Xero, Operative of SeeDarkly™

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