Gil De Ray normallly makes his own videos – as he has for Little Barrie, Magic Magic, DesertShips, The Gentle Cycle –
“I started making my own videos in 2012 when I had my band Blak Magick Society because people were charging a fortune to make videos, and I couldn’t afford to do that, so like everything else, you have to teach yourself.”
He’s now made over 30 films, which accompany not only his own work as Gil De Ray, but friends and collaborators.
In 2018, he and music journalist and performer, Kirsty Allison travelled to New Orleans, and made a film called DoublePlay which premiered in New York City at the Secrets festival aside Jeffrey Wengrofsky’s short film The Forgiveness of Judith Malina with music by Bad Seed, Jim Sclavunos, and Anywhere Out Of This World by the Mary Chain’s Douglas Hart. Doubleplay later showed at Sean McLusky’s Gallery 46 in London’s Whitechapel, and kickstarted their own collaboration of Kirsty doing spoken word with Gil making the music (their debut album, Love Is Analogue as Vagrant Lovers is being completed currently).
Rather than Gil filming his own video on his iPhone, and sourcing found footage, it was natural for Kirsty to film Gil’s vision of having projections for the single Burning Flag, performed on a Saturday at Brixton’s Beyond Time Pictures studio. It’s a live performance with Mikey Buckley on guitar, who also mixed this album, with Joes Watts on bass, and Kirsty on keys.
After filming most of it, Kirsty wanted to edit it: her own poetry films have shown in the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, and her first was about Faris Rotter for Dazed. The only pop video she’s made before was for Kelli Ali (the former Sneaker Pimp) featuring the burgeoning star of Munroe Bergdorf in 2013. Using techniques used for her own performances of poetry, when making her own projections, in Burning Flag, she layers words to screen.
The film is taken from Gil’s In The Shadow Of The Drone album, which is released as a cassette and book of lyrical propaganda on Cold Lips which began as a magazine which Kirsty founded in 2016, and has now published “London’s most notorious book” Dark Entries, the novella by Richard Cabut who used to write for NME as Richard North, and more recently, a limited edition autobiographical photo book about the pre-Criminal Justice Act Britain, by renowned rock photographer, Martyn Goodacre. Cold Lips also recently published a 14K word zine on Marianne Faithfull by one of the world’s best living biographers, Kris Needs, who first interviewed Faithfull in 1979. It features interviews with Warren Ellis and Rob Ellis.
Burning Flag begs for a borderless world, and stands as a warning against nationalism.
Gil is a strong and opinionated voice in a sea of indie-pop liberalism. Born in Glasgow, being thrown out of his brother’s band at 14 (the writer Mark Gilroy, who tragically passed away a year ago, their reuniting as recording partners have recently been released via the lost album of Giant Minds and Sniper Strikes, which will fund the publication of Mark Gilroy’s book called The Doorals). He and Kirsty met at a reading for the writer, and former keyboardist for Kenickie, Marc Almond and Kelli Ali, Tony O’Neill in London’s Piccadilly Waterstones. Gil was recording the reading, as part of a series of recordings he’s made with writers including the late Dan Fante. Many of these aired on Soho Radio, on a show he did with Welfare’s Pat Whelan, and are archived on GilDeRay.com
Gil is a stand-alone musician – writing alone, producing, filmming, making all the artwork – as DIY as an artist has to be to make the music they want to hear. Some of his music is fast and loud, some quieter like the ‘mycelium mixtapes’ he’s begun releasing in isolation – The Ego Death Listening Party – as Terence McKenna soaked ambient soundtracks.
That range of Balearic to dystopian punk is described as ““Dreamy, dubbed-out UK psych-rock that mixes aesthetics from across the decades for something strikingly contemporary” by Bandcamp – who are the exclusive digital hosts for his music – he stands vehemently against the corporate greed of Spotify.
No compromise, no kertowing, just good music.