Aagoo Records has announced they will release a 7″ single from producer/composer TheUse (real name Michael Durek). The lead track ‘On My Deathbed‘ is a dark but upbeat composition. Renowned artist Rachel Mason lends haunting vocals set to the English translation of poetry by Xu Lizhi, a young poet who committed suicide after working at an electronics factory in China. His powerful words are part of the global wake-up call about the hazards of the electronics industry and his story has made international news, underlined by TIME Magazine‘s infamous ‘The Poet Who Died For Your Phone‘.
This song features in the documentary ‘Who Pays The Price? The Human Cost of Electronics‘. Four years in the making with 1.2 million YouTube trailer views, this is about a Chinese activist with leukemia who helps young workers who have been poisoned on electronics assembly lines. Heather White, the film’s director, says “Xu Lizhi’s poems underline the alienation and despair felt by those trapped in a dead-end existence, where work is the only measure of one’s daily experience.”
“When Rachel brought Xu Lizhi’s words to my instrumental track, it just felt right, and the melody she wrote is gorgeous. I just wanted to cry right there in the studio when she tracked it. The poem by itself is really sad, but through this music, it becomes powerful and transcendent,” says Michael Durek.
Rachel Mason said: “Xu Lizhi’s poetry just really sung themselves to me, and miraculously matched the songs that Michael was crafting. Some poems just seem to have a melody built into them and you can hear it.” An adept lyricist herself, Mason has previously set the words of political dictators to music and collaborated with artists such as Josephine Foster, to imagine the minds of political leaders in her two albums ‘The Ambassadors‘.
The video for this focuses on the Occupy Wall Street protests, underlining the global disconnect between haves and have-nots. A dancing spirit-like character internalizes the protest sentiment, representing the restless human soul’s need to escape.
The flip side is ‘Journey to Truth feat. Black Saturn and Charvak R. Jagtap‘. Black Saturn provides lyrics that mention divine intervention, question historical facts, and are full of flowery imagery. A bright upbeat piano sound is surrounded by organic pulsing synths, shifting drum breaks, and a heavy 4/4 beat. Charvak R. Jagtap, a classical tabla player based in Thane, India, adds a psychedelic eastern percussion vibe to the mix. The music combines Black Saturn’s word-poetry and Charvak’s authentic tabla with the signature theremin, keyboards, and production of TheUse.
Michael Durek says: “Ned Jackson aka Black Saturn is a fountain of lyrical ideas, and you can tell he speaks of things he really thinks about on a personal level – he puts it all out there. I was moved to tears when I first heard his track ‘Minor Affliction’. He’s one of my favorite folks to work with. He has a special gift of being inspirational without being cheesy or cliche.”
Formats : 7″/Mp3
Catalog Number : AGO092
Barcode : 675595662669
Release Date : November 4 2016
1. Journey to Truth
2. On My Deathbed
7″ : $7.00 + Shipping Costs
Immediate Download : $2.99