RVNG Intl. to release anthology of material from Michele Mercure, vanguard of early electronic music

RVNG Intl. to release anthology of material from Michele Mercure, vanguard of early electronic music

Some of the greatest and most magnificent victories of contemporary feminist efforts in electronic music have taken place in the exhumation of archives. Semi-silently, several labels dedicated to the effort have gradually sifted the sands of underrepresented early music in order to highlight unrecognized women who wrote blueprints for music to come with Rolands and hissing tapes.

Brooklyn’s RVNG Intl. has played no small part in this project. Just a fragment of their work is exemplified in last year’s Trans-Millenia Music and Breadwoman & Other Tales. Now, along with sister label Freedom to Spend (whose own audio history projects have accomplished much in little time), RVNG is releasing a new anthology of music from the remarkable Michele Mercure, an under-recognized vanguard of early electronic recordings.

Beside Herself will be released November 9 as a part of RVNG’s “ReRVNG” reissue series. It features rarely-heard cassette recordings from Mercure, whose one and only LP, Eye Chant was re-released by Freedom to Spend last year. This new anthology, spanning 1983-1990, aims to “restore the canon of Mercure’s arresting dream-music, revisiting this anomalous creator’s breakthrough material.” Many of the recordings, ranging from ambient to techno to Vangellis-style movie scores, were originally attributed to “Michele Musser,” the name Mercure used before her divorce in 1987.

Mercure was a nomadic, existentialist, and highly collaborative artist, whose bedroom electronic recording were heavily inspired by the preceding kosmiche scene. Much of her musical awakening occurred after she was asked to score an unorthodox performance of Waiting for Godot, which inspired her to take on scores of projects (get it?) scoring film, video, and theater for the years to come. The European prog-rock-electronic magazine Eurock featured Mercure in an article titled “Women Synthesists” in 1986, alongside Lauri Paisley and Pauline Anna Strom.

Beside Herself will include 19 tracks available on LP, CD, and digital, with the LP set including “liner notes by Emily Pothast and an incredible array of unseen photography and ephemera of the era.” Watch the video for “An Accident Waiting to Happen,” directed by Meredith Lawder, down below, which reflects almost exactly the aesthetic promises of contemporary techno labels such as L.I.E.S. and BANK records. And of course, pre-order this singular anthology over at RVNG’s store.


Beside Herself tracklisting:

01. A Little Piece
02. Ghosts Before Breakfast
03. Dreamplay 2
04. Beside Myself
05. Liberation Day
06. The Sky Is Falling
07. Beginning
08. No More Law In Gotham City
09. Time Piece
10. A Void Dance
11. Mother
12. Beside Herself
13. Dinosaur Dancing
14. An Accident Waiting To Happen
15. Reverie
16. De Dunk
17. Night Music
18. Antigone
19. Antarctica

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