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Future Room Records is the official depository of the conceptual musical works of Stavo Mustang Craft. It all began with the writing of a short story.. “The Future Room” .. ~ a fairytale for adults ~ about the Self as a Space or room, comprised of Hallways Without End.. with your Future Evolution in an interaction with your confined-consciousness. “Firstly, music was ever-present on The Futurist’s planet,” the story goes.. “For, in actually, I learned, he was a song. And so was I, and everything else.”
A period of 4-track demo song writing follows. Over 150 songs. Lyrics of inner-space & planetary transformation .. written with the idea of being songs that were not necessarily meant for ‘now’ – but which were odes for a Future Culture; each placed into the Crypt of Eternity to be discovered as artifacts at a later time, and yet serve as communications FROM the future.
Then, more short stories with oil crayon & pencil illustrations, to expand on themes and context. “The Future Room” … “The Beauty Bomb” … “A World of Aliens” .. Not aliens from ‘outer’ spaces & little green men, per se; but how alien we’ve become to ourselves, as we live under social constructions that conspire to control our tastes, our impulses, and what we think are our desires.
And the cosmic antenna kept receiving and transmitting.. culminating in 8 CDs of these cassette-recorded demo songs, each with a promissory note in the sleeve: “Written & Recorded in the Bedroom ~ As musical sketches & blueprints for ideas to be completed in the future.”
As a sweet cherry on top of an already rewarding creative spell, an indie label, Disques de Lapin, releases a CD/DVD compendium, “BE OTHER” with selected tracks from all the demo projects, as well as videos of different artists using Craft’s homespun recordings as soundtracks for various performance art, modern dance, and video installation productions. NYC. Colombia. Australia. Amsterdam. Taiwan. Five continents. Purely by word of mouth and personal interaction, these home-recorded tracks were having a quiet impact.
Then another step in the evolution of this life-long art project arrives.. perhaps that ‘future time’ to build upon those early musical sketches. As with so many things, it springs from a random unanticipated moment of inspiration. Stavo’s good friend, painter Timothy Cummings, is visiting. He says, “The only thing that can save the world now is Galactic Witchcraft.” “What did you say?” Stavo replied. Tim repeated the idea. “I think you’ve just come up with the name for my music project,” Stavo said. And the next phase materializes with compelling dimensions.
The concept was not about Wiccan ceremonies, but about art itself.. art as an answer ~ yet also about how art IS a form of witchcraft; taking intent & feeling & expression, and uniting that into something that transforms how we see & experience our reality. And produces change, and brings shifts… with no small degree of magic.
The recordings of Galactic Witchcraft were the first time that Stavo expanded the scope & scale of the production from cassettes (which suffer from various degrees of sound degrading & offer few layers) to a higher-integrity digital format with access to 8-tracks & beyond, to bring sonic ideas to fruition. But the production approach stays true to the original creative spirit, and entirely retains the DIY “homemade” B-movie approach of Outsider Art. Whether on cassette, or 8-track digital, or 24-tracks, the creating of “Low Budget / High Impact” art remains a guiding force:
Like Godard’s assertion that the new challenge of art is to create “a unity of politics and art, the unity of revolutionary content and artistic form,” these Do-It-Yourself ‘Homemade’ recordings are made with very rudimentary equipment, with reliance on mind, hands & mouth on the stylishly pimp budget of a new used shoe, to provide these musical messages with form and strength of conviction; reflecting a personal process of living with soul, grace, and freedom in a complex material world, like a sonic notebook of ideas and experiences.
While this brand of sonic magic relies on traditional form – in this case classic rock & new wave electro “pop music” – there are hand-tailored elements throughout, using synthesizers to create unique sounds that we’ve not heard before, to match the lyrical content with the mood of the songs. A bit of sound painting. And while it’s officially “electronic” music, it is very human and primitive. All instrumentation is played live in the recording, not looped or assigned, & not played by a computer.
An additional & quite unexpected development in the galactic story-telling arc is that illustrated stories are replaced with a new talent, with broader communicative power: B-movie “music video” making. Here, Stavo’s fascination with out of print or barely-ever released cult films comes into play with rewarding results; instead of embellishing song meaning with parallel short stories, he transmits meaning in bigger & more explicit form by assigning video images to expand on the lyrics. Providing a new context of meaning for short clips of previously released creations falls into ‘fair use’ – and the videos make inventive re-use of underground largely-ignored works, & show them off as brilliantly enjoyable, while also providing satisfying new connections in song interpretation and expression.
So despite the media’s assertion that there is no more underground, there are -everywhere – people making art for their love of creation, outside the dealings of industry, of profound beauty. The underground is indeed far larger than the Popular Culture, and the stories of millions of lives far outweighing the few discussed & applauded in popular magazines. The joyous are the free; the makers of the cult film, the experimentation to play with loose elements & tinker with possibilities, those in cafes scribbling away in journals.. These things that comprise the galactic witchcraft between all people; of heartfelt investigation & creation, that leads to a True Future.
STAVO SPEAKS!! Interviews From “BE OTHER: 11 Minutes in Space”11 Minutes In Space... with Stavo Craft! (pt 1 of 2)11 Minutes in Space... with Stavo Craft! (pt 2 of 2)