William S. Burroughs was an American novelist and a prominent figure in the Beat Generation. His writings were groundbreaking, filled with unique styles and literary experimentation. Though he passed away in the late 1990s, he left behind a great amount of work.
Just before his death, he recorded an audiobook of his novel Naked Lunch. The novel was incredibly unique, and described as being nonlinear and a series of sentences strung together. Equally as unique was the recording of the audiobook, where Burroughs ragged voice can be heard reciting his book.
King Khan, of King Khan & the Shrines and King Khan & BBQ Show, along with a team of producers who worked on the audiobook, have created an album using the audiobook recording. The album, Let Me Hang You, uses Burroughs’ voice and the instrumentation of King Khan and others to create a truly unique project.
Newly released is the recording for “Clem Snide The Private Ass Hole,” an excerpt found midway through Naked Lunch. Though it may seem odd to use a simple vocal recording, it actually works very well.
The track uses a bluesy, psychedelic rock sound to carry Burroughs’ words. It definitely holds some of King Khan’s sound, but he states that he inspired by other musicians as well. In particular, King Khan says that during the process of writing the song, he was “mainly inspired by the black-and-white photography of Miron Zownir and the storytelling songs of the Velvet Underground.” Furthermore, he adds that he wanted it to be a sort of nod to Lou Reed.
The album, Let Me Hang You, will be released later this year on July 15th, 2016. The album can already be pre-ordered here, but in the meantime “Clem Snide The Private Ass Hole” is available for streaming, so check out the song below.