Over the last few months, Melbourne composer, songwriter and documentary film maker Ben deHoedt has been tantalising listeners with a selection of tracks from his forthcoming album City Lights Shimmer.
‘Divided Souls’ and ‘This Call May Be Recorded’ showed that deHoedt has created an exotic and evocative world of moody synths and melancholic guitars set in hi-res atmospheric soundscapes. A kind of neon noir with dark streets and shadowy heartfelt emotions.
Previously I said of ‘Divided Souls’… “In a parallel universe it’s like Green Gartside (Scritti Politti), David Sylvian and Prince cruising Sunset Boulevard late at night in a red Porsche 944 convertible.”
I’ve been spending time with an advance copy of the album and it’s quite a wonderful and immersive listen. It creates its own sonic worlds – somewhere at the nexus of soundtracks to imagined films and a kind of dark 80s gothic electronic art-pop, with songs that explore themes of duality and paranoia. There’s both a sublime beauty and unsettling tone that permeates the album. Mysterious, alluring and ripe for repeat listens.
Now on the new track ‘Dianne’s Leaving‘, deHoedt takes an instrumental approach with primitive drum machines providing a metronomic futurism to the adjacent discordancy of the synthesisers – churning and squelching via their bruised melodies. It’s hypnotic stuff, perfectly accompanied buy the video clip that collates imagery from auteurs such as Argento, Fulci and Carpenter.
deHoedt has also announced that he is working on a live film and album around the recent Bluebottle Kiss reunion tour, is currently editing his Glide documentary Disappear Here and will screen All Noises by The Police, his documentary on the Police on YouTube for one weekend only on June 17-18 (AEST) to coincide with the 40th anniversary of their album Synchronicity.