Skip to main content

Most overlooked albums ever #3

Clock DVA:: Buried Dreams (WaxTrax, 1990)

There was a rumour going around for a while that this album was on the stereo when the police raided Jeffrey Dahmer’s home. I’ve always doubted this, because, even if it was on the stereo, who would have known what it was? Nonetheless, there’s a reason why that rumour started: because there is no album in recorded history that would have more appropriately captured the mix of the erotic, the macabre and the deviant that was Dahmer’s mind.

Clock DVA had started as an interesting but not particularly exceptional electronic band in the eighties, but had lain dormant for a few years prior to releasing this album on Chicago’s WaxTrax label. In the interim, their membership had changed (which it would again in their later career) and their sound had become moodier, darker, unsettling.

While most bands were using their newly purchased samplers to snag catchy spots from televangelists, Clock DVA turned their attention to assembling collages ripe with sensuality and fear, without ever moving beyond the realm of innuendo.

When it is remembered at all, this album is usually unfairly dismissed as being too light by “aficionados” of darker music, a judgment that could only result from a) not hearing the album and making an assessment based on the label that released it or b) giving the album only a cursory listen.

In addition to being one of the creepiest releases ever recorded, Buried Dreams is also surprisingly forward looking. The Hacker one of the singles from the album, dealt with the subject f CIA harassment (and murder) of young computer experts before most of us had heard of the internet.


qed said…
I heard that it was on his walkman when he was arrested. True or not, it can only add to the record's mystique.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…