John Cale: M:FANS / Music For A New Society

January 22nd 2016 | Double Six / Domino | Albums

Photo: David Reich

A radical new reworking of one of John Cale’s most unique and lauded solo records - the 1982 masterpiece Music For A New Society - M:FANS explores the relationship between old and new, in terms of the sound and vision, and Cale’s memories of the experience, in terms of his life and the recording.  Back and forth M:FANS goes, sampling the original, while creating brand new soundscapes, giving Cale the opportunity for closure on one of the most testing eras of his life, and a way to keep moving forward.

“Making any form of art is always personal to my mind. During the making of M:FANS, I found myself loathing each and every character written about in those original recording sessions of Music For... ,” says Cale of the reworking. “Unearthing those tapes reopened those wounds. It was time to decimate the despair from 1981 and breathe new energy, re-write the story. Then, the unthinkable happened. What had informed so much over lost and twisted relationships in 1981 had now come full circle. Losing Lou [too painful to understand] forced me to upend the entire recording process and begin again...a different perspective - a new sense of urgency to tell a story from a completely opposite point of view - what was once sorrow, was now a form of rage. A fertile ground for exorcism of things gone wrong and the realization they are
unchangeable. From sadness came the strength of fire!!!”

With Cale’s current band (which had featured on his last studio album Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood) again involved, the new versions that constitute M:FANS are more fleshed-out, heavier concoctions, in line with his current electronic/chopped-up configurations.

In 1982, Music For A New Society sounded exactly like its title: something futuristic, a new kind of songwriting exercise. In 2015, M:FANS is exactly that too, full of electrical crackle and disturbed frequencies, a different kind of dystopian future awaits. John Cale forages on; it’s the only way he knows how.

M:FANS and a fully re-mastered version of Music For A New Society (including 3 previously unreleased bonus tracks from the original multi-track recordings) will be released on 22nd January 2016. Both albums will also be released as a 2xCD package with both albums also packaged together on digital stores. Both albums will also be available on 12” vinyl, with M:FANS arriving on 2xLP.

The video for album track ‘Close Watch’ - featuring Dirty Projectors’  Amber Coffman and directed by Abby Portner is below. 

M:FANS Tracklisting:

1. Prelude
2. If You Were Still Around
3. Taking Your Life In Your Hands
4. Thoughtless Kind
5. Sanctus (Sanities Mix)
6. Broken Bird
7. Chinese Envoy
8. Changes Made
9. Library Of Force (feat. Man In The Book excerpt)
10. Close Watch
11. If You Were Still Around (Choir Reprise)
12. Back To The End

Music For A New Society (re-mastered) Tracklisting:
1. Taking Your Life In Your Hands
2. Thoughtless Kind
3. Sanctus (Sanities)
4. If You Were Still Around
5. Close Watch
6. Broken Bird
7. Chinese Envoy
8. Changes Made
9. Damn Life
10. Risé, Sam And Rimsky Korsakov
11. Library Of Force (Unreleased)
12. Chinese Envoy (Outtakes)
13. Thoughtless kind (Outtakes)

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