Procuded : Dead Man Ray
Year : 2000
Record co. : Virgin
Dead Man Ray is the band of Rudy Trouvé (ex-dEUS, but
now with Kiss My Jazz, Lionell Horowitz & His
Combo, Cinthia Appleby ...), Daan Stuyven (graphic designer, ex-Citizen Kane,
ex-Running Cow, ex-Volt), Herman Houbrechts (of Nemo)
and Elko Blyweert (Kiss My Jazz). Their debut album
is entitled "Berchem", and was released in March of 1998.
Daan Stuyven recalls the first time he teamed up with Rudy Trouvé : "We
met at a wedding party, in a rather drunken state of mind. I knew his name was
Rudy, but I didn't know he was Rudy Trouvé, so that came as quite a shock later.
We began talking about four-track cassettes and from one thing came another."
"Chemical" was the very first song the two members played together.
Rudy came to Daan's house and started jamming, without saying a word. Rudy played
a few notes, Daan started drumming, and half an hour later the song "chemical"
Daan doesn't fear that Dead Man Ray will stand in the shadow of the other Rudy
Trouvé and dEUS-projects. "Each of Rudy's groups has a sound of his own
and this one is rather different from the others. Moreover, Rudy doesn't sing
himself in this group.
And even if it did, I wouldn't really mind. I didn't leave my house for five years,
and now I have sort of an umbrella to step outside, so that's OK for me."
In following the example of Zita Swoon, the group's
second project will be the accompaniment of a film. For this, they have chosen
"At the Drop Of A Head", the english version of the movie "De Ordonnans"
of 1962. The main actor and reason for that film was the figure of Bobbejaan
Schoepen, who goes, cowboysuit and guitar under the arm, to the big city in
search of wealth and fame. "That's what makes it so funny", said
Daan Stuyven in De Morgen. "The film is a sort of parody on a lot of things
that are very much relevant today : the artist who has to go and peddle his music,
has to sell his soul for a record deal. The intention of the film surely was to
make a lighthearted, popular movie, but still there are a lot of layers in it.
And the dialogues are fantastic : all these english expressions in the different
Flemish dialects of Nand Buyl, Yvonne Lex ... truly surreal".
The group will adopt the existing soundtrack (with the orchestra "Les Cousins",
also known as The Cousins), but will also thicken it,
or contradict it. On some moments there will be completely new stuff, which could
serve as the basis for a new Dead Man Ray-album.
filmposter for the dutch version of "At the drop of a head"
Daan Stuyven released a solo album in March 1999 called "Profools",
with songs stemming from the inactive period between Word & Dead Man Ray.
In the spring of 2000 the second album of Dead Man Ray finally appeared : "Trap"
(now on the Virgin label, to get a better distribution), was darker and less accessible
than "Berchem", but built from the same principles : first they recorded
a number of jams, and then they cut them up by computer & protools into songs.
The result was not by accident rather "soundtrack"-ish, as most songs
were inspired from filmprojects and video-installations they did some music for
("At the drop of a Hat", "Transatlantic" en "The Hamlet
Singles from the album were a bit less obvious than those from the first CD, but
they released "Toothpaste", Brenner" and "Woods" nonetheless.
Immediately after the release Herman Houberechts (previously with Nemo
and other bands) announced that he was leaving to head for a new band Mauro
Pawlowski of the ex-Evil Superstars was forming.
He was replaced by a friend of Elko, "jazzdrummer" Karel De Backer,
while Wouter Van Belle was also incorporated in the bands as a "full member"
(he is best-known as producer for e.g. Axelle Red,
Gorki, Flip Kowlier ...). The
band wanted to do only a limited amount of gigs to promote the album (about 20),
but amidst those there were some very large venues such as Werchter en Lowlands,
and a free gig in the subway of Brussels at 8 o'clock in the morning.
In May 2001, Dead Man Ray released an EP, although with a bit of goodwill
and eagerness, this could just as easily have been called a new CD : no
less than 23 tracks are on it, a total playing time over over 45 minutes. The
cd carries a trashcan on the cover, and "Marginal" as title.
The band members had been announcing this EP with "leftovers" already
at the time of the release of the "Trap"
CD. Among the tracks, there are outtakes from the Trap-sessions, some early demo's,
tracks that didn't make the "At the drop of a hat" album, a few live-tracks
and even a cover of The Cousins-hit "Kili Watch".
Later on in the year, when they were playing at the German PopKomm music fair,
news came out that they are about
ready to go and record a third album, and that they've even agreed to get a producer
in the studio with them: no other than Steve Albini (Big Black, and producer
for acts such as The Breeders, Nirvana, Bush) is said to have agreed to do the
- Rudy Trouvé (guitars)
- Daan Stuyven (guitars, keyboards, vocals, programming)
- Elko Blyweert (guitars)
- Wouter Van Belle (keyboards etcetera)
- Karel De Backer / Herman Houbrechts (drums & percussion)
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