Goldfrapp: Electromysticism | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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May 19, 2017 Photography by Goldfrapp Goldfrapp
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With their supernatural aura playing out in everything they do (music, videos, photography), it’s little wonder that Goldfrapp‘s Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory describe their creative process as “magical.” When asked if there were any alchemical moments when making their new record, Silver Eye, both immediately reply in unison, “All of it.”

“Music is magic,” Goldfrapp states. “It’s a synergy. Things happen that you don’t expect. Photography is magic in that way too. Capturing a moment that can never be repeated and not quite knowing how it happened.” Gregory agrees: “It seems to happen in spite of you, not because of you. I do think it’s magic that something is there that wasn’t there five minutes ago. That’s very exciting. I don’t understand it and maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t.” Both laugh at this last statement, showing the openness they have towards letting these forces flow.

In keeping with the mystical nature of things, the title Silver Eye is a reference to the moon, a heavenly body that appears in half of the record’s 10 songs. Perhaps it is no surprise that in their astrological charts both Gregory and Goldfrapp have a lot of water, an element closely associated with the moon. Tracks such as “Faux Suede Drifter,” “Zodiac Black,” and “Ocean” not only mention water but also give the sensation of floating in it. “I love water,” says Goldfrapp. “I’m obsessed with swimming in lakes and rivers and I often fantasize about being in water. I find it extremely therapeutic, comforting, meditative, liberating, adventurous, cleansing, sensual, magical. And all the elements are metaphors for emotions and states of being.”

In stark contrast, the video for Silver Eye‘s first single, “Anymore,” takes us to the desert of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. “It’s a quite austere landscape,” describes Goldfrapp. “Beautiful but brutal. Very exhilarating, quite mystical and raw.” The video features a nod to filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 cult classic The Holy Mountain, a film the band are big fans of. “It’s actually quite hard to watch because it’s so bonkers but aesthetically I just love it,” says Goldfrapp.

A strong visual presence has always been important for the band. Goldfrapp shot Silver Eye‘s album and press photos herself. And sonically, Silver Eye is a hybrid of everything else the duo have done thus far. “Themes culminated,” Goldfrapp puts it. The soft watery songs flow in and out of otherworldly electro à la “Anymore,” “Systemagic,” and “Everything Is Never Enough.” The latter is a particular highlight, an insistent Krautrock pulse taking its own time to open up and reveal enormous ambition. “We were really interested in using a rhythm as a mantra, in the same way that if you say a word over and over again it starts to morph into something else,” says Goldfrapp. “I like that idea, visually and musically.”

Gregory takes up the theme: “We’ve really enjoyed trying to do that with a song so it doesn’t have to be filled with a lot of stuff, changing left and right, going up and down harmonically and melodically. Just letting it stay on a path and gradually get more intense.” Goldfrapp concludes: “I like the idea that you can do that with a state of mind as well. Ritual, prayer, entering some other state, it becomes a dance to that. That’s what I want from music anyway.”

[Note: This article originally appeared in Under the Radar’s Spring 2017 Issue (April/May/June 2017), which is out now. This is its debut online.]


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