‘Hollywood Under The Knife’
Release date: 21 October 2011
Label: Disco Activisto Records
Distribution : Cargo UK
Images: Wolfgang Tillmans
Style : dark electronic pop
The Opiates is the latest project from the "queen of electronic soul" Billie Ray Martin, together with Norwegian musician Robert Solheim. Already dubbed by the press as ‘The Carpenters of Electro’, their album ‘Hollywood Under The Knife’ explores paths pioneered by the Chicago house and Detroit techno heroes, (not least Electribe 101), with the aim of taking things forward a step or two. Although Kraftwerk and Yazoo have been mentioned as influences, The Opiates’ unique brand of electronic music is not readily categorised. Theirs is a pursuit without compromise; a rare match of songwriting and cutting-edge beats and bleeps.
RAINY DAYS AND REMIXES : EP
Prior to the release of the album comes the digital release of the "Rainy Days and Remixes“ EP on 19 September. The EP includes exclusive remixes of three of the album’s songs by Kim Ann Foxman (Hercules and Love Affair), the legendary Chris and Cosey (Throbbing Gristle) and XHK, plus the single "Rainy Days and Saturdays“.
HOLLYWOOD UNDER THE KNIFE : CD & DIGITAL ALBUM
"Hollywood Under The Knife" is an album of real substance, both musically and visually. Artist Wolfgang Tillmans supplies nine previously unseen and unpublished images for the album cover and booklet. Each song on the album portrays another social 'misfit'. Characters who, trying to change their outer appearance or tweak their behaviour, believe they might just fit and ultimately face the consequences:
• The woman who employs strange sexual fantasies involving the TV series CSI, to keep the boredom of life at bay. (Candy Coated Crime)
• The transvestite (Candy Darling) who, although leading the wild life and preparing for a sex change, dreams of married life and a house in the suburbs. (Rainy Days and Saturdays)
• The young wannabe actress in L.A. who reflects on her facial surgery that has left her scarred and punctured with holes inside and out. (Anatomy of a Plastic Girl)
• The fifteen year old girl who wanted to be herself, but gets voted off the reality TV show 'Make Me A Supermodel' and who is so destroyed that she believes her life is over at the age of fifteen, because they told her it was. (Reality TV)
• The aging formerly rich daughter of a formerly famous actress who reminisces about her mother feeding her tranquilizers as a kid to keep her out of the way and who later goes through a path of plastic surgery, health foods, porn movie making...all to find out who she is. (Oprah's Book of the Month Club)
• The same woman who suffers from insomnia and tells the story how the demons of her soul and the demons of the night keep her awake. (Silent Comes the Nighttime)
• The man who dresses up in women's clothes (Roman Polanski in 'The Tenant') trying to fight the people he believes want to kill him by convincing him that he is Simone Choule, a woman who committed suicide in the apartment that he now rents. (I'm not Simone Choule)
An EP entitled ‘Anatomy of a Plastic Girl’ was released in March 2008, accompanied by a much celebrated gig at London’s Rough Trade store, resulting in rave press reviews for both the gig and the EP. In Germany, the song ‘Anatomy of a Plastic Girl’ made it into the Top 20 listeners choice charts when added to the playlist at Radio One.
Plans are afoot to stage a performance/play entitled ‘Anatomy of a Plastic Girl’, a multimedia piece using Wolfgang’s images as well as multimedia elements, in the near future.
COVER AND BOOKLET :
Turner Prize winner Wolfgang Tillmans (famed for his sleeve design & videos for Pet Shop Boys, REM, Goldfrapp ...) is a long-time fan of Billie’s work. He has photographed her twice and chose her as ‘most influential woman’ as part of i-D Magazine’s 25th birthday issue and celebrations. For ‘Hollywood Under The Knife’, Wolfgang opened his entire archive and gave The Opiates unprecedented access to choose their favourite images.
- Dark Electronic POP