Philadelphia-based art-rock duo Tulipomania has teamed up with the legendary Martyn Ware and Charles Stooke on a new remix, along with an intriguing animated music video, featuring lip sync, original footage and vintage found footage – some vibrantly tinted in pastel – all collaged on sheets of black paper, shot frame by frame.
Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 and The Human League fame is otherwise renowned for lifetime achievements in innovative musicianship, including as a record producer for artists such as Tina Turner, Terence Trent D’Arby, Chaka Khan, Erasure and Marc Almond. On this remix, Ware is joined by Charles Stooke, co-composer for the Illustrious Company, which Ware founded with Vince Clark in 2001. Apart from being released digitally, the ‘You Had to Be There (Martyn Ware & Charles Stooke Remix)’ is also be featured on WIRE Magazine’s cover-mounted Wiretapper CD compilation for October.
The animated music video is an official selection at the CutOut Fest International festival of animation and digital art taking place November 16-19 in Querétaro, Mexico.
Alternately categorized as cult synth punks, glam-leaning, post-punk, art-rock and muscular chamber pop, Tulipomania is made up of Tom Murray (lead vocals, synthesizer, electronic percussion) and Cheryl Gelover (synthesizer, background vocals), who first began their collaboration through projects for experimental film and animation classes. The duo now known as Tulipomania has evolved from those experiences.
Cheryl Gelover notes, “We reached out to Martyn and Charles and were so glad they were interested in remixing the track – they kept the original mood but added additional orchestration – especially in the intro and outro – and took the song’s groove in a totally different direction – which we really love.”
‘You Had to Be There’ is the first taste of Tulipomania’s album ‘Dreaming of Sleep’ (out November 17 via Sursumcorda Records). Establishing the conceptual viewpoint of this record – that embracing contradiction invites accountability – the Dada-esque stance channels a hopeful innervating energy. When navigating the morass – trust the teller – or the tale? You had to be there… maybe. Exploring varied states of disintegration and recombination, the accompanying video involves the painstaking assembly of thousands of individual images.
On ‘Dreaming of Sleep’ – their fifth album – Tulipomania immerses themselves fully in electronic means of creation – the exception being a sole accent played on electric guitar. Featuring cover artwork by Michael Speed, senior designer at Beggars Group London, this record involves Executive Producer Howard Thompson, renowned for his contributions as a record industry executive (Elektra, Island, Almo Sounds), having discovered and/or worked with such artists as Adam and the Ants, Billy Bragg, MC5, Mötorhead, PiL, Psychedelic Furs, Robyn Hitchcock, The Sugarcubes, Suicide, among others.
“There has been an overwhelming sense of dread and mistrust obviously brewing for a long time. In the post-Trump post-pandemic now – if it is or ever will be possible to be post either of those cataclysmic events – I wonder what the future will ask about it all,” says Tom Murray.
“I wonder what the future will not understand and want to clarify about the self-serving lies, liars and grifters, and the foolishness of many who were here but not present in any real sense – unable or unwilling to see what was and is happening as everything rolls up to the very well placed few. I don’t know what we can tell the future that can make this recent history any clearer. Maybe it is and has always been – and will always be this way. Maybe, you had to be there.”
Described as ‘artistic and inventive’ and ‘gorgeous’, Tulipomania’s animated music videos have been featured in film festivals worldwide. Numerous such festivals have already showcased this new video as an official selection, including the Leeds International Film Festival (UK), StopTrik (Croatia, Poland), AniFilm (Czech Republic), Insomnia (Russia) and Malatesta (Italy) with the Montreal International Animation Film Festival – Animaze awarding it an Honorable Mention.
The pair also recently created two animated music videos – ‘Hush’ and ‘Shock To The Body’ – for Cabaret Voltaire co-founder and frontman Stephen Mallinder in support of his solo album ‘tick, tick, tick’, released last year on Dais Records.
On October 6, ‘You Had To Be There (Martyn Ware & Charles Stooke Remix)’ is available everywhere, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. On November 17, the full ‘Dreaming of Sleep’ album will be released on CD, vinyl and digitally. It can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.