Sacred Bones Records will release Alan Vega’s “lost” album Mutator on April 23. Vega had first recorded the album from 1996 to 1998, keeping it in his vault after completing the work. He recorded the album alongside his wife, Liz Lamere, with Lamere finding the album once again in 2019 alongside Jared Artaud. Both Lamere and Artaud began to mix and produce each track, with the final result becoming the upcoming Mutator.
“Working on this album, I was blown away by the sheer insanity and raw power of Alan’s ability to transform sound and deliver inimitable one-take vocal performances,” Artaud said in a press statement. “‘Nike Soldier’ is a supreme example of Alan’s unparalleled instincts.”
Sacred Bones plans to release a series of archives created by Vega, with Matador arriving as the first in the collection. In addition to the album announcement and new single, a music video for “Nike Soldier” had also been released. The video had been directed by Jacqueline Castel, and channels themes of death and resurrection.
“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,” Lamere said in a press statement. “If we asked him to give us a quote about ‘Nike Soldier’ he’d say “Do it Just.'”
The track starts off with eclectic synths and deep vocals, Vega stating “You destroy generations.” the song incorporates funk-filled industrial synths and steady drums, the instruments whining as Vega spits out the lyrics where he questions consumerism.
“Performer Kris Esfandiari 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 cloves and beret,” Castel said in a press statement.
The video features Esfandiari standing in front of a cross decorated with shining lightbulbs, flashing pink and purple lights pointing towards the stage. Footage of Vega performing onstage is projected behind her, Esfandiari embodying Vega while standing in front of him.
Mutator is currently available for pre-order via Sacred Bones.
6. “Nike Soldier”
7. “Psalm 68”