CMU Approved

Approved: Trans Manna Ray

By | Published on Tuesday 10 July 2012

Trans Manna Ray

Right, so there’s a back story to all of this, albeit one that’s a bit dubious. But then again, as we’re about to discuss a song called ‘Woman Killed, Fetus Removed’, maybe a tale about the music being made by a former church caretaker won’t be the main thing that bothers you most.

Trans Manna Ray is, video director Philippe Grenade of Fortune Films told The Juke, a Belgian guy called Rasmus, and a friend of his cousin (who is also from Belgium, handily). He’s written “hundreds and hundreds” of dark downtempo tracks, but it was only Grenade who could convince him to make one public, in order to satisfy the director’s own desire to make a dark, unsettling video. The two seemed perfectly matched, as Rasmus is influenced by voices he heard when working over night as a caretaker in a seventeenth century church. Oh, and he never smiles.

That’s how the story goes, anyway. Whether any of it’s true is kind of irrelevant, except that it fits in with the overall tone the music and video created. Both have clear horror movie influences running through them. That said, while the video fairly overtly tells the story of a naked main imprisoned by underwear-clad women who occasionally crucify him, the darkness of the track’s lyrics is more hidden underneath the rapid manipulation of vocal pitch. Though there is that title, of course. That’s a bit less subtle.

Although the dark and slightly ridiculous elements of both song and video may make it difficult for some to look through to the piece of music at the centre of all this, those who do will be rewarded with some really good downtempo electronica. Piano and synths wind around each other over a skittering drum pattern. Adding the melodic hook are those vocals, and they do so surprisingly well considering that they are prone to having their pitch bent at any moment.

Check out the video below, or you can stream and download the track via SoundCloud here (which you may find a more appealing option if you’re in the sort of office that doesn’t like you watching videos of nude men being crucified).