Rings-Around-The-World

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Super Furry Animals - “Juxtaposed With U”

It’s kind of hard to put into words; lately I’ve just been really digging the surreal ambiance this song gives off. A bubbly pop ballad on the surface, except there are multiple things that sound and feel subtly “off”…some Kuma Uta or Tomodachi Life vocoder/autotune voices here, some comically artificial drum machine touches elsewhere, and somehow “tolerate” is part of an insanely earworm-y chorus.

(Drawing) Rings Around The Wolrd
  • (Drawing) Rings Around The Wolrd
  • Super Furry Animals
  • (Drawing) Rings Around The World
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Just one more Super Furry Animals track from me before I round off the Ss tomorrow.  (Drawing) Rings Around The World gets my choice 1) because it’s a great CD single but also 2) because it name-checks one of my favourite films, Tetsuo II: Body Hammer.

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“Rings Around The World” - Super Furry Animals on Conan O'Brien

It’s a very loved up song. I wanted to add duets to my songwriting canon you know, and we approached Bobby Brown and Brian Harvey but they turned us down, so I sung it myself; a very schizophrenic thing to do. I used a vocoder to replicate a different person. I wanted to do something like Ebony And Ivory. It’s about house prices going up, and people being left behind by the super rich. It’s about social injustice [laughs] - loved up social justice. ‘Non-phobic word aerobic’.

For me it’s a shocking song, because you can’t shock with loud guitars any more. That macho thing’s been done so that kind of shocking isn’t shocking. For me it’s fairly subversive, because it’s a polished and clean and tidy, uplifting pop song. For me there is a reason to put it out as a first single, to make sure people don’t become complacent with a particular idea of what we are as a band. I like the idea that we can shock people a bit and test people a little test people’s concept of taste. I think there’s a lot of macho music going around which has become a bit tiresome, and it’s a statement almost, it’s like a jingle stuck on the album.

Fukme 99 did the film for it. I think it’s about the outsider. There’s a lonely, crappy looking cardboard camera walking around Hammersmith getting chucked out of Halfords, and he meets up with a lonely clapperboard. In turn they find a downtrodden microphone and they get together and make films, and it ends up in a big dance routine with all these other cardboard outsiders. I write songs that bring people together!

—  Gruff Rhys on Super Furry Animals song, Juxtaposed With U
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Super Furry Animals - Juxtapozed With U

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I’m not in love with you, But I won’t hold that against you…

Toazted -- Rings Around The World Interview (Part I)

An interviewer from Toazted (music interview database based in Amsterdam) interviews Gruff and Bunf following SFA’s release of Rings Around The World.

Interviewer: Could you please introduce yourself?

Gruff: My name is Gruff, and I’m from Super Furry Animals.

Bunf: My name is Bunf, and I’m also from the Super Furry Animals.

Interviewer: And you are from? England? Wales?

Gruff: I’m from Wales.

Interviewer: You’re from Wales – the band?

Gruff: Yes.

Interviewer: And you’ve got a new album, Rings Around The World…can you explain the album title?

Gruff: The title refers to all the lines of communication that you can’t see that surrounds the world. And if you could see them, they would look like a messed up, Saturn-style planet. If you could see all the radioactive waves going from, you know, radio stations to peoples’ houses via satellites and phone calls going from one person up to space and down to someone else’s house, if you could see all these words going round and round the Earth, basically.

Interviewer: Sort of a cosmic feeling to it.

Gruff: Well, no, it’s…something real… I think. But it’s invisible.

Interviewer: The rings around the world, you mean?

Bunf: Yeah the actual – I mean, you can’t touch it, you can’t smell it, but it’s there.

Interviewer: You can’t see it.

Bunf: You can’t see it.

Interviewer: Even if you’re in outer space and watch the world with some filters or something?

Gruff: Ah! I dunno—

Bunf: Oh, oh yeah…well [laughter] you’ve got me thinking, now.

Interviewer: You came in in the English charts at number 3 I heard.

Gruff: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Well, congratulations.

Gruff: Thank you very much.

Interviewer: And what about the former albums, has it ever been before?

Gruff: We’ve had one at 6, one at 10, one at 11 and one at 23.

Interviewer: So this is the first one in the top 3?

Gruff: In the top 5, yeah.

Interviewer: You must be proud then.

Bunf: Aye, very proud.

Gruff: And in a way it’s good it’s not higher because it means we have something left to achieve.

Interviewer: I heard the album yesterday, I got it and I played it all day. I really like the album because there are a lot of styles in it and from classic, it goes to pop, it goes to rock, to Beatleesque music – why do you have so much styles on it?

Gruff: I don’t know – [to Bunf] do you have a theory on that? I think …there’s five members in the band, and five of us produce, and we’re all into different things, you know? And there’s a chemistry in the band that takes the music to all kinds of places.

Bunf: And we have a significantly different record collection, all five of us. So, if you put all those factors together, you’re gonna get quite a diverse influence.

Interviewer: [to Bunf] What do you listen to, for instance?

Bunf: Brandy and Monica…and Marla, and some techno stuff like Plastic Man…

Interviewer: Right now you’re listening to it, you got it with you for the road?

Bunf: KLF – Chill Out, which is another good one.

Interviewer: That’s a lot of different styles. (to Gruff) For you?

Gruff: I’m listening to Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – the new album – How I Long To Feel That Summer In My Heart. Uh…what else? This week I’ve been listening to DJ Vadim and Killa Kela and….I think I’ve got some Glen Campbell CDs as well [laughs] in my bag.

Interviewer: Okay, you recorded twelve songs, thirteen on the album, on the DVD there’s twelve songs—

Gruff: No—

Interviewer: Also in a movie style –

Gruff: I’ve seen that on the Sony poster in Holland but there’s actually—they obviously haven’t looked at the DVD because there’s eighteen films and eighteen songs.

Interview: Oh the bio said there were something like twelve. Twelve different films for twelve different songs –

Gruff: That’s what is says on the poster as well. But there’s eighteen. And the sixteen remixes. And there’s thirty pages of interface and we had to write thirty pieces of ambient music for every page. You can go around it like a platform game , you can find the extra six songs maybe a week after you got the DVD, you’ll learn how to navigate around the DVD. It’s connected by thirty wormholes. So it’s a completely different medium to a conventional album …we have picture galleries in there and all kinds of things, really. It’s an interactive album.

Bunf: Remixes as well. Every single song is…we gave a song each to be remixed. But they only had two weeks to do it so it was a very short time which is obviously frustrating for these kinds of things.

Gruff: We realized about a month before we released the DVD, “Hold on we’ve got more space!”, we found some more space on the DVD, so we phoned up all these people and went, “Do you fancy doing a remix for our album?” and they went, “Yeah, sure. By when?” “Oh, you’ve got two weeks”, and they’re going “Oh, sorry, we’re on tour” or “We’re recording an album”. But we managed to get people like…Brave Captain and… Sean O’Hagan from High Llamas… Goem, from Holland –

Interviewer: What’s the band name?

Gruff: Goem. G-o-e-m – I don’t know how to pronounce it.

Interviewer: Oh okay, yeah. Yeah.

Gruff: Yeah, they remixed a track over the internet. It’s“Miniature”, it’s about twenty seconds long?

Interviewer: Thirty-six.

Gruff: Thirty-six, oh right. They remixed that one.

Interviewer: Can you tell us about the movies on the DVD?

Gruff: Okay. We gave every song to a different director, and none of the directors had ever made a video before, so they came to it with fresh ideas. And most of them made it at home, on a home computer with DVD cameras –

Interviewer: Were they filmmakers?

Gruff: Some of them were filmmakers… there were t-shirt designers, illustrators, hair-dressers –

Interviewer: Oh, all kinds of people.

Bunf: …Graphic designers, uh –

Gruff: Um, lunatics, cults – pornographic cult worshipers.

Bunf: Documentary filmmakers.

Interviewer: How did you find them? Friends or something?

Gruff: Friends, friends of friends, and crazy people we saw on the internet.

Interviewer: You gave them a camera and…make your movie?

Gruff: Well, we gave them some money. We had a budget of one promo video to make the whole DVD, so they were all done really cheap. But everyone was keen, you know? There was lots of enthusiasm, and everybody had interesting ideas. And I think only two films were made on thirty-five mil. There’s two films that look like proper films.

Interviewer: Yeah, which one?

Gruff: “No Sympathy”. And that’s got…Uma Thurman’s brother stars in “No Sympathy” as a kind of Jesus figure. We couldn’t afford Uma – it’s like a B movie—we got her brother instead.

Interviewer: Will those movies also be released as a single?

Bunf: No, because… we possibly might have to…let’s see, it would be nice to be able to show some of the visuals, but it’s always difficult with…we can see that it doesn’t look slick, and that’s the whole reason, you know…

Interviewer: It looks really pure, you think?

Bunf: Well, it looks pretty, sort of, scruffy. But that’s not taking away from the fact that there’s good ideas in there.

Gruff: I think with “Juxtaposed”, we’re gonna have to change the video because the promo video is of a helicopter flying into a skyscraper in New York.

Interviewer: Really?

Gruff: Yeah, really fucking scary.

Interviewer: When was that recorded?

Gruff: The video was made a few months ago. It came out in the UK over the summer, and it was being released in Europe, you know, the video has been playlisted in various parts of Europe, about two weeks ago, and it’s a bit scary. So we’re gonna have to scrap that obviously.

Interviewer: It’s a coincidence –

Gruff: Yeah, it’s horrible. And there’s a different film on the DVD.

Interviewer: That also had that aspect in it?

Gruff: No, no, that’s completely different, so we’ll probably use that from now on.

Interviewer: That’s pretty shitty for you then.

Gruff: Well, who cares, you know, in the scheme of things…who cares, do you know what I mean? It’s not important. Who cares about music videos when there’s serious things going on?

Interviewer: I heard this album is gonna be your break-through album, heard a couple of people talking about it and they’re pretty positive.

Bunf: We always get that. Every single album we’ve ever done it’s like, this is our “break-through” album [laughter].

Interviewer: Ah, okay. That may be right but I really think this album is gonna –

Bunf: I’m waiting for the one where they say, this is our one that is absolutely shit and it’s not gonna sell and then I’m.. just gonna be so happy.

Interviewer: In the end, they’re pretty positive about your albums, I think.

Gruff: Yeah, aye.

Interviewer: How do you do in England?

Gruff: England? Okay Wales and Scotland as well, we’re doing pretty good. You know, we can play big venues now. But I suppose we’ve been going round and round the UK for six years, touring, and it gets a bit claustrophobic after a while. It would be nice to play more on mainland Europe, or we’ll go crazy going round and round this little island. But we’ve also toured in Japan about five times, and the USA.

Interviewer: How was that?

Gruff: It’s a very uplifting environment when you play. A lot of people smiling. And, you know, you end up smiling, yourself.

Interviewer: Because they’re happy, you’re gonna be happy also?

Gruff: Yeah, yeah. So it’s always nice to play there.

robopuppup  asked:

Laying on some dewy grass while a little more than tipsy, breath puffing visibly in the cold night air, the stars are twinklin and fallin. The moon is bright, laughter rings around, rationality faded. Cheeks stained with dry tears, a crooked smile, the world is upside down but the alcohol, half eaten pizza box and good company make it all that much better

stands on a roof nd screams at th sky !! ty this is lovly 

@robopuppup