Daedelus makes “Love to Make Music To”

Eccentric Los Angeles dandy Alfred “Daedelus” Darlington has set a date for his ninth full-length album (not counting his work with Adventure Time, countless EPs, et cetera). Set for release on Ninja Tune, Love to Make Music To drops in the U.S. on July 15.

Love to Make Music To follows his excellent Live at Low End Theory, which came out this January. Special guests include Taz Arnold and Om’mas Keith from Sa-Ra and Laura Darlington, Daedelus Darling’s wife. Incidentally, the ever-prolific Daedelus has upcoming projects with both parties: he has a DJ crew with Taz and Shafiyq Hussein called FMB (Fire Magic Blood). They’ve been making Internet noise with “Obama,” a tribute song to the Illinois presidential candidate. Meanwhile, Daedelus and Laura have a project called the Long Lost, and their album is set to come out later this year on Ninja Tune.

But back to Love to Make Music To. Daedelus is an imaginative fellow, and it seems he’s devised a special backstory for this project. Here’s an excerpt from the press bio:

1893. Chicago. The World’s Fair to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America opens. In the entourage of one Nikola Tesla, the renegade pioneer of modern electricity travels Alfred Darlington, a young inventor from Los Angeles.

On only the second day of the fair, Darlington is electrocuted in a terrible accident, pronounced dead and taken to the morgue. Two days later, an attendant there hears knocking from one of the drawers where the corpses are kept. Armed with a shotgun and whisky he opens the drawer to find the young Alfred not only alive and well but babbling about a future worlds he has visited and asking that everyone now calls him “Daedelus.”

Tesla, both relieved that the boy has survived and embarassed by the accident, allows him the run of his workshops. Over the next six months of the Fair, he devotes his time to building strange electronic instruments and on the very last night of the Fair presents the Love To Make Music To Symphony, which, he claims, is the sound he heard in the future.

The events of the performance are shrouded in secrecy — widely believed to be a result of a cover-up by government and the vested commercial interests who had most to gain from the Fair’s success. The few reports which have filtered out say that people go mad as they listen to the strange, alien sounds the young composer describes as “music,” that they scream, laugh, pull off their clothes, have sex with each other and themselves, fall into reveries and shout of “the hills, the beautiful hills.” Daedelus himself is dragged from the stage and detained indefinitely in a mental hospital in Chicago and stays there until his mysterious disappearance on May 29th 1913, incidentally the night of the riots in Paris at the first performance of Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring.

But for another twist the story would have ended there. However, Dr John Thompsock of the Chicago Ultra-Arts & Science-head Institute and one of the greatest living Tesla-ologists is lucky enough to obtain a cache of Tesla’s papers from a shadowy Eastern European in 1999. In amongst them he finds a cylinder disk. On playing it, he discovers that it contains the only recording of Daedelus’ first and last performance.

Digitized and cleaned of crackle, pops, and shorn of 45 minutes of detuned primitive oscillator noise, this is the performance which you are holding now. Or listening to. Almost as strange as the day it was first performed and as liable to bring on what we can only describe as “sexual fever.”

Hmm…it seems like Love to Make Music To should be heard in a well air-conditioned place. And one more thing the bio clarifies: Daedelus’ visual inspiration isn’t the Edwardism period (1901-1910 England, but early Victorian (early-to-mid 1800s), New York Times trend pieces be damned.

  • 1. “Fair Weather Friends”
  • 2. “Make It So” (feat. Michael Johnson)
  • 3. “Twist the Kids” (feat. N’fa)
  • 4. “Get Off Your HiHats”
  • 5. “Hrs:Mins:Secs”
  • 6. “Touchtone” (feat. Paperboy & Taz from Sa-Ra)
  • 7. “I Car(ry) Us”
  • 8. “I Took Two”
  • 9. “My Beau” (feat. Erika Rose & Paperboy)
  • 10. “You’re the One” (feat. Om’mas Keith from Sa-Ra)
  • 11. “Assembly Lines”
  • 12. “Drummery Jam”
  • 13. “Only for the Heartstrings”
  • 14. “Bass In It” (feat. Taz from Sa-Ra)
  • 15. “If We Should” (feat. Laura Darlington)

June 9 update: The track listing has changed from the original promo sent out to journalists last spring. Here’s the new track listing that will reach stores next month. Which version is better? You decide.

  • 1. “Fair Weather Friends”
  • 2. “Touchtone” (feat. Paperboy & Taz from Sa-Ra)
  • 3. “Twist the Kids” (feat. N’fa)
  • 4. “Get Off Your HiHats”
  • 5. “My Beau” (feat. Erika Rose & Paperboy)
  • 6. “Make It So” (feat. Michael Johnson)
  • 7. “Only for the Heartstrings”
  • 8. “I Car(ry) Us”
  • 9. “I Took Two”
  • 10. “Assembly Lines”
  • 11. “Bass In It” (feat. Taz from Sa-Ra)
  • 12. “Hrs:Mins:Secs”
  • 13. “If We Should” (feat. Laura Darlington)
  • 14. “Drummery Jam”
  • 15. “You’re the One” (feat. Om’mas Keith from Sa-Ra)


Photo by Laura Darlington.

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