Get a First Listen to David Lynch & Angelo Badalamenti’s Long-Lost Album, Thought Gang

All of David Lynch’s movies, tele­vi­sion shows, music videos, and com­mer­cials — and also his paint­ings, pho­tographs, and com­ic strips — express a con­sis­tent, and con­sis­tent­ly Lynchi­an, vision. But that vision depends on more than just the visu­al: the son­ic has also played a vital part in its devel­op­ment at least since the night­mar­ish­ly intri­cate sound design of Lynch’s 1977 debut fea­ture Eraser­head. And just imag­ine how much impact lat­er Lynch projects like Blue Vel­vet, Twin Peaks, The Straight Sto­ry, and Mul­hol­land Dri­ve would have lost with­out the rich and often haunt­ing scores of Ange­lo Badala­men­ti, a com­pos­er with whom Lynch has worked at seem­ing­ly every oppor­tu­ni­ty.

Lynch made his own offi­cial debut as a record­ing artist sev­en years ago with Crazy Clown Time, and this Novem­ber he and Badala­men­ti will release their first col­lab­o­ra­tive album Thought Gang. Accord­ing to its Band­camp page, this “eso­teric jazz side­ project of David Lynch and Ange­lo Badala­men­ti evolved from the seeds of Twin Peaks’ trade­mark slow cool jazz and blos­somed into more exper­i­men­tal pas­tures: hori­zon­less vis­tas of acid­-soaked free­jazz, laced with spo­ken word nar­ra­tives and sprawl­ing nois­escapes.” If that sounds good to you, you can get a first taste of the album from the track “Wood­cut­ters From Fiery Ships” above.

The Thought Gang ses­sions hap­pened 25 years ago, between the end of Twin Peaks’ sec­ond sea­son and the pro­duc­tion of the Twin Peaks movie Fire Walk with Me. Out of those ses­sions came a quan­ti­ty of music that Lynch describes as “sort of like jet-­fu­eled jazz in a weird way… but it’s all based on sto­ries.” Two of those tracks, “A Real Indi­ca­tion” and “The Black Dog Runs at Night,” appeared on the sound­track of the movie, and two oth­ers, “Frank 2000” and “Sum­mer Night Noise,” (as well as the instru­men­tal mix of anoth­er, “Log­ic and Com­mon Sense”) fea­ture in Twin Peaks: The Return, which aired on Show­time last year. More con­nec­tions to Lynch’s oth­er work sur­face in “Wood­cut­ters From Fiery Ships,” begin­ning with its title, which adorned a Lynch-themed, seem­ing­ly nev­er-devel­oped CD-ROM game twen­ty years ago.

Much of the Lynchi­an imagery that fills the song — talk-sung by Badala­men­ti him­self, who, says the Band­camp page, sum­moned “such a vio­lent laugh­ter­-fueled excite­ment from Lynch that he lit­er­al­ly induced a her­nia” — may also sound famil­iar. A char­ac­ter called Pete “saw the girl next door take off her clothes last night and walk through her house nude.” At a din­er, “he heard a man say that the doc­tors had cut him down his neck and into his chest.” A “grey man with big ears lit a big cig­ar” and “smoke drift­ed over Pete’s apple pie.” Badala­men­ti at one point declares that “things aren’t mak­ing sense. For instance, why is that boy bleed­ing from the mouth?” True fans will rec­og­nize that line as the title of one of Lynch’s paint­ings. And so the grand Lynchi­an project con­tin­ues, some­how get­ting both weird­er and more coher­ent all the time.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ange­lo Badala­men­ti Reveals How He and David Lynch Com­posed the Twin Peaks‘ “Love Theme”

Hear the Music of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Played by the Dan­ish Nation­al Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra

Hear the Music of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Played by the Exper­i­men­tal Band, Xiu Xiu: A Free Stream of Their New Album

David Lynch’s Music Videos: Nine Inch Nails, Moby, Chris Isaak & More

David Lynch’s New ‘Crazy Clown Time’ Video: Intense Psy­chot­ic Back­yard Crazi­ness (NSFW)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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