“General Deluxé” is the second deliciously mind-blowing, madcap single from brilliant experimentalists Pepe Deluxé, who undertook a massive archeological feat in order to create their forthcoming album, Phantom Cabinet Volume 1 (Out digitally on Oct 22 and on LP on Nov. 26 on Catskills).
Not ones to be outdone in the weird stakes, the duo (Finland-based James Spectrum and New York-dwelling Paul Malmström) have surpassed even themselves on this one. While the album’s first single “Big Fat Woodpecker” featured the Alexander Graham Bell recorded on his 1874 Human Ear Phonoautograph (Google it – it’s terrifying), “General Deluxe” boasts… (wait for it) …God’s own trumpet!
As James Spectrum expands:
“We wanted to have the Last Trumpet on the album, the one that signals Armageddon in the Book of Revelations. So, how do we record that? The ANS synthesiser, created in Soviet Russia in 1938, transforms images into sounds, named after the Russian composer and occultist Alexander Scriabin.”
The duo fed William Blake’s famous drawing of the Last Trumpet into it, so let’s credit Blake on the record too, not to mention the real life birth wail of Spectrum’s daughter, and the huge lead vocals of jazz artist Charlotta Kerbs, backed by classical bass singer Tuukka Haapaniemi, blues belter Chris Cote, and actor Sara Welling. Plus a stadium full of football fans (just because).
Pepe Deluxé have begun posting a series of videos to their YouTube channel that explain & highlight several of the rare and ancient instruments they tracked down and recorded for the record.
The ANS synthesizer at Glinka Music Museum, Moscow seen here being played by curator Olesya Rostovskaya
“General Deluxé” leads from the front, and through over five decades of music in one song. It explores lost worlds, seeks out exotic sounds and musical treasures, and goes boldly where no ears have gone before.
Late-90s dance kids will remember Pepe Deluxé as the Prodigy-sampled pop stars behind
the critically acclaimed album Super Sound (1999), the Top 20 hit “Before You Leave” (1999),
and the massive tune “Woman In Blue” from the iconic Levi’s TV ad. However, the last
decade-and-a-half has seen Pepe Deluxé evolve into the genre-defying adventurists and
wonderfully eccentric experimentalists we hear today. The playful underground hip hop DJ
attitude is still audible, but Pepe Deluxé are now as much an oddball professorial fusion of
Joe Meek, Phil Spector and a young DJ Shadow.
For the new album, Phantom Cabinet Vol. 1, the duo spent a decade trawling every corner of
the Earth to seek out the oldest, strangest instruments ever created to play on the new
record, coming October 22.
Phantom Cabinet Vol. 1
Digital Street Date: October 22, 2021
Physical Street Date: November 26, 2021
1. General Deluxé
2. Girl From Satanville ft. Demon Fuzz
3. A Morning Beautiful
4. 22nd Century Dandy
5. Big Fat Woodpecker
6. Halls of Kalevala
7. Fire Up The Crimson Lion
9. Placebo PCB-1
10. Tyger Boy, Rocket Boy