released June 21, 2011
PRETTY BEUYS is the pop/sound art collaboration of Robert Bolton aka Arowbe Arowbe Arowbe (vocals) and Andrew Zealley aka PSBEUYS (music). Each song on their debut album, WINNING, samples the stand-alone opening guitar chords from the David Bowie song “Win” (Young Americans, RCA Records, 1975). Along with Bowie, Pretty Beuys borrow from sonic wellsprings ranging from Fluxus artist Joseph Beuys, RUN DMC, advertising by furniture retailer The Brick, and a large palette of percussive sounds generated vocally by Canadian hybrid artist, Luis Jacob. Says Mr. Zealley, “The original recordings of Luis's vocal beats were made in my studio in March 2006. I recorded him singing along with two songs of his choice—him listening on headphones while I captured only his vocalizations—resulting in a strange and richly nuanced palette of sounds.”
Robert Bolton on writing PRETTY BEUYS: WINNING (June 2011):
The writing is not linear but in its cloud – open for rearrangement, mutation and variant paths. The flow is all paisley. Swung, weaving drops of meaning. I might write seven choruses, seven hooks and repeat or deviate from them at my own instinct. A single line or word becomes an interminable refrain at any moment. The song overlaps staccato-rap style vocals with layers of slow ethereal croons. The laminate vox allows simultaneous signifiers to figure acoustically, affecting each other in multiple rhythmic and hermeneutic interactions.
Through repetition, percussive language and performance, WINNING considers the possibilities of the rapper’s voice as an instrument, rather than a vehicle for precise textual meaning.
Writing is from the network, from the radiant glory of data in flight. To inspire is to catch transmissions in open air. The ephemeral glide encourages stylistic promiscuity. I’ve always thought it important to experiment, not just in the bedroom but also in the music studio and chemistry lab. Erotic and enigmatic, the WINNING tracks give the impression of something rather than state it outright.
About the artists:
Robert Bolton is engaged with the disciplinary meeting points of artistry + strategy and of image + text. A Content Strategist and Copywriter by profession, Robert produces for print, radio, video and digital media including interactive websites, mobile and tablet apps. Robert is an award-winning poet and songwriter who has performed his work across Canada, the US, Japan and Cuba. In June 2010, Robert completed a Masters of Arts in the Humanities from the University of Chicago. His graphic narrative-poem, Orpheus has been mounted at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2008) and TEDxToronto (2010). Robert enjoys sound art, magazines, beverages, homonyms, and too much American rap music.
Luis Jacob works in the conceptual hybrid of finding, collecting, and arranging images to form questions about existence, perspective, and social theory. Disco, house and techno music play integral roles in informing Luis’s work, which is imbued with a deep sense of humour and compassion for humankind. His large-scale exhibition, Pictures At An Exhibition, was on view at MOCCA in the spring of this year. The show featured Album X, the latest in a series of narrative sequences consisting of hundreds of images culled from a variety of published sources mounted together to form an “image bank”. He is currently working on a public art work designated for the Queen St West-Dufferin interchange in Toronto's west end district. Zealley first encountered Luis’ proclivity for beat-boxing while “spending time with him at raves in the early '90s, listening to him mimic the sounds of synths and beats with his mouth.”
Exploring the spatial as well as musical possibilities of sound, Andrew Zealley's work inhabits the liminal spaces between composition and audio art. In collaborative contexts, his audio inventions for artists like AA Bronson, Dara Gellman, Luis Jacob, Chrysanne Stathacos and Scott Treleaven blur the lines between contemporary art and shamanistic ritual. Zealley's audio installation, Nature: This Is A Recording (2006), is in the permanent collection of The National Gallery of Canada. His film and television credits include the Genie-nominated score for John Greyson's 2001 feature film, The Law of Enclosures, and "Spunk," the theme to the US television series Queer As Folk. As PSBEUYS, he has remixed tracks for Queen Lear, Black Sun Productions, Kids On TV, Times Neue Roman and Ultra-red. "Traditional rules of composition are handily smashed." —Still Single
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