“Lost” Alan Vega album ‘Mutator’ coming out on Sacred Bones (stream “Nike Soldier”)
The late Alan Vega, co-founder of iconic NYC duo Suicide, was extremely prolific and recorded a lot of music that never saw the light of day. Many of those recordings, though, will now see the light of day via the Alan Vega Vault project. From that project comes new album Mutator, which will be released on April 23 via Sacred Bones.
Mutator stems from sessions recorded in 1996-1998 with his frequent collaborator and wife Liz Lamere, and the tapes were discovered in 2019 by Lamere and Vega's close friend, Jared Artaud of The Vacant Lots. Lamere and Artaud worked on the tracks further and mixed them into a finished album.
“Alan was driven to create, his focus always on looking ahead to discover new terrain by experimenting with sound and visuals. He rarely looked back at what he had done before, and as soon as he was moving in a new direction it became a relentless pursuit of the unknown" Lamere says. "Our primary purpose for going into the studio was to experiment with sound, not to ‘make records.' I was playing the machines with Alan manipulating sounds. I played riffs while Alan morphed the sounds being channeled through the machines.”
The single for Mutator is "Nike Soldier," a very cool, very Vega, dark, pulsating track. "Working on this album, I was blown away by the sheer intensity and raw power of Alan's ability to transform sound and deliver inimitable one-take vocal performances," says Artaud of the track. "‘Nike Soldier’ is a supreme example of Alan's unparalleled instincts." Lamere adds, "In all of his artistic expressions Alan had a unique ability to pull from an eclectic mix of cultural references and turn them on their head. If we asked him to to give us a quote about 'Nike Soldier' he'd say 'Do it Just'."
The video for "Nike Soldiers" stars Kris Esfandiari (King Woman, NGHTCRWLR etc.) who, in the words of director Jacqueline Castel, "mutates into punk iconoclast Alan Vega in a karaoke toe-to-toe, set against a reliquary of Vega's light sculptures and totems from his personal wardrobe, including his famed Champion gloves and beret.” Watch that, and check out Mutator's artowrk and tracklist, below.
6. Nike Soldier
7. Psalm 68