And in the final days of Great Butane, the country pulled itself asunder. Brother turned on brother, friend on friend, mother on child. In sweltering squash courts, high achievers dashed their racquets against the bright walls, grasping the graphite splinters and driving them, remorseless, into their opponent's heartless cavities. In airless, air conditioned studios, televisual presenters frothed and roared. Their eye balls foamed and their teeth melted, the viscous gloop rolling down their quivering chins like the tears of a chastised child. The poor plodded on, selling trinkets to strangers, and gossiping bollocks, barely noticing the hordes of ravenous aristocrats that circled, blue blood thrumming with the desire for cheap flesh.
As the asphalt blazed and the tides of techwaste rose, SMAGGHE & CROSS were prepared. They went to the special shed and untethered the special boat. They hoisted the mainsail and set the controls for the heart of Tir Na Nog. They performed the navigation rituals that had been passed from initiate to initiate. They observed the stations of the cross, they consulted the oracle GLOWING PALMS, they gathered knowledge of the dark arts of sea-faring and piracy from DAVID of THE JUNTO CLUB*, and they dashed caution to the wind.
A burning world at their backs, a universe at their feet, they set sail. They set sail into the night, through the day and beyond. They passed through sleep and dream, then through the crack found at the break of the day. They found themselves in the land that had been foretold. They were on their way ………… they were on their way ………… to PARADISO.
*Fun Fact! this is true dear reader. David is completing a PhD on 17th Century pirates...
Support from: Optimo, Solar, Cosmo Vitelli, Jonny Rock, Kris Baha, Tim Paris
Andrew Weatherall: “With the sweat and condensation on this record you bottle the smell of eau de Smagghe”
Sean Johnston: “Folks are going to be hard pressed to make a better record this year. Massive at ALFOS!”
Severino 'Horse Meat Disco': “They are soo good, crazy, love the voice and vibe”
ALEX FROM TOKYO: “I am diggin’ a lot “Paradiso” here!”
Dave Harvey 'Love International/Love Saves The Day: “Loving the Smagghe / Cross - original is great and the GP remix is ace, wonky!”
Bawrut: “Paradiso Dub and Talking to Katz Glowing Palms Dub for me! Great EP! R$N ON FIRE!!!”
Ivan Smagghe has been a DJ for a (far too) long time, he has made music over the years from "dark prince of electroclash" to whatever, Blackstrobe to It's A Fine Line and still runs his label Les Disques de La Mort. Rupert Cross is a London composer who has studied with the likes of renowned composers Michael Finnissy and Julian Anderson. Cross also writes for theatre and the screen.
Images and Words are as much part of S&C as music is. More than the personas, it's the collaboration (S&C focuses on the "and") that matters here, a one-off that mutated into a project very dear to both, an ever evolving musical creature, always hard-to-pin.