|2||Bull / A Drug That Never Works||8:58|
Starting off Otomatik Muziek in 2016 as a means to release music and working together with friends, S.U.V. aka Franz Joseph Kaputt went on a long journey since then. After the brutal no-input-noise of „New Dark Age“ and excursions in the realms of dark, psychedelic folk on 2018’s „Sterben/Shifting“, he began working with synthesizers, mostly because they…synthesize. With the pragmatic approach to replace a merzbau of pedals by using synths as multi-faceted tools for live shows, Kaputt started recording, and after some fondling around, these 5 new songs emerged from a convolute of over 30 recordings.
Musically, S.U.V. is centered around darker timbres, drones of different sources, distilling harsh aesthetics from genres folk to noise (for a beginner’s guide, check out the parallel release „Nullproblem. The Life And Struggles Of Franz Joseph Kaputt in His Pursuit Of Bread, Knowledge And Freedom“, a collection of unreleased songs 2013-2019 that will wash up parallel to this release as a self-released tape). And yet, there’s a commonality within all of S.U.V.‘s records – the approach to bring together disparate elements, working on a language of its own. One can hear the thread woven through his work especially on „F65.5“, a track first recorded around 2012, which was re-recorded for this release and which features no synths at all, but fits perfectly with the other songs.
Besides these technicalities, regarding the content, „Our Complex Pleasures“ has a clear main theme. All of the songs rotate around interpersonal relationships, sexuality, gender and the diversity within. It is as well a celebration of queerness, post-romanticism and widening hegemonial discourses, as it is a meditation on limitations, fatigue and letting go. „Warm Animals“ is based on an improvisational performance where two people face each other and try to hit the same note, over and over again – a practice involving a lot of laughter, passion and exhaustion. „Bull“ and „F65.5“ are clear allusions to kink culture, while „Emotional Yoga“ and the near side-long „Compersion“ deal with themes of polyamory – with struggling to live love in a non-toxic way. „A Drug That Never Works“? – read that one for yourself.
In comparison, „Our Complex Pleasures“ is a pop album with most of its harshness buried underneath the surface. But as it is also taking a clear political stand (look into the booklet!), there’s much more to discover. It’s a reckoning with masculinity, as well as coming to terms with the fact that there isn’t one way of living in a body and loving others. And it is a clear middlefinger to the toxic traditionalism of the alt right movement.
The tape is accompanied by a mini-book, yet again and of course designed by Dicey Studios, where the complex pleasures find a very physical transfer; in the fabric as well as in the lettering, there’s a sensitivity within that even amazed ourselves when it got back from copy factory.