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Dream English Kid 1964-1999AD


Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey (b. 1964 in Birkenhead, England) presents the soundtrack to his 2015 autobiographical film installation Dream English Kid 1964-1999AD on The Death of Rave, the label he inaugurated in 2012 with the first vinyl edition of the soundtrack to his 1999 video installation Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (which has since been extensively sampled by a range of contemporary musicians including Jamie xx). Presented in its entirety but cleft to fit two sides of wax, the 30-minute soundtrack draws from an extensive archive to form a personalized mixtape of memories that speak to Leckey's formative experiences in his 35 years before becoming a mainstream-recognized artist. As he explains, "Dream English Kid began when I found on YouTube an audio recording of Joy Division playing at a small club in Liverpool. A gig I'd been present at but could barely remember. As I listened I wondered if, through enhancing the audio, I could actually find my fifteen-year-old self in the recording. That led me to think would it be possible; at this point, with so much imagery available in the digital archives, to reconstruct my memoirs through all the DVD re-releases, eBay ephemera, YouTube uploads and above all the resource of the internet itself; the way it can actualize half-forgotten memories and produce a niche for seemingly every remembrance." The work segues chronologically from Leckey's birth during the epoch of the moon landings and The Beatles through the awakening of a libido, the experience of witnessing Joy Division as a teenager in Liverpool, the dread/ecstasy/surreality of 'ardcore rave with warped samples of Bay B Kane's "Hello Darkness" and an MC chatting license plate numbers, and the pre-millenial, pre-digital tension of '99 with news stories and a lick from Azzido Da Bass's "Dooms Night" -- before it all comes flooding back in reverse before the dead wax. When separated from the visual content and considered in its own right, the soundtrack takes on an oneiric and deeply topographical quality of its own, highlighting the psychedelic, sensual, and hauntological in/tangibility of memory through an evocative web of plasmic references with a mercurial detachment that seems ever more relevant to modernity's sense of flattened time and up-cycled culture. Artwork designed by Mark Leckey from film stills. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Vinyl-only edition of 500.