[Cover photo credit to Kate Bowman]
Brooklyn/LA Synthwave duo Collapsing Scenery is the meeting of minds belonging to Don De Vore (Ink & Dagger, Lilys, The Icarus Line, Amazing Baby) and Reggie Debris. The band has recently released their new album A Desert Called Peace via Metropolitian Indian.
A Desert Called Peace follows the band’s album Stress Positions and the Acid Casual EP which was released last year. The new album is a collection of songs written and recorded over the last three unsettled years. The songs encompass “crises both global and personal.”
The title of the album is adapted from Tacitus’ account of the Caledonian chieftain Calgacus and his critique of Roman conquest: “To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire, and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”
The album features appearances from Avalon, L’espiral, RugiRugz, and the Reggae artist Tippa Lee. Its sound encompasses Dancehall, Techno, Post-Punk, Brit-Pop, Darkwave, Industrial, Free Jazz and Funk/Soul.
On “The Right To Life” Reggie Debris says:
‘”The Right to Life’ was written after a couple years of observing various unhinged responses to the pandemic and its societal impact, in particular an essay by RR Reno which contemptuously accused the liberal left of being consumed by a pathetic, Godless fear of death, manifested in support for lockdowns, social distancing and masks. This argument (screed, really) was all the more head-spinning coming from a conservative Catholic, who otherwise drones on endlessly about fostering a ‘culture of life.’ To quote another Catholic, the great GK Chesterton, ‘When a man believes that any stick will do, he at once picks up a boomerang.
The lyric attempts to address the various, obvious hypocrisies of the ‘culture of life’ crowd, and the ways in which its critique of our supposedly atomized, alienated, secular culture was undercut by its radical, nihilistic individualism when asked to make some concrete sacrifices for the common good.”
Collapsing Scenery’s inception can be traced back several years when New York-based artist/musician Don De Vore and musician friend and LA resident Reggie Debris collaborated in programming events with D’agostino and Fiore gallery on the Lower East Side, beginning with a video installation which lead to a month of music and visual programming called “Rebuild Babylon” which in turn evolved into a traveling residency series.
Exponents of the DIY ethic, Collapsing Scenery are entirely self-sufficient and operate outside of traditional avenues.
We’ve tried to mostly play in spaces outside of the usual club circuits. We generally play in basements, warehouses, garages, parks, galleries, living rooms – and traveling with our own sound-system, power supply and visuals has enabled that. We’re 100% self-contained.