The score to the duo's multimedia project comes out next month on vinyl and cassette through the RVNG Intl.-adjacent Commend See outlet.
Blending performance, installation, soundtrack and video, Phantom Kino Ballett is described by the label as an "audiovisual drama" that "whirrs, reels, and metamorphoses as a film playing in the deepest crevice of one's mind." It depicts costumed "Phantoms," who we're told guide the audience "through a well-worn labyrinth of Warhol glamor avatars, bel canto icons and sensory fragments that converge within black boxes or simulated enclosed environs."
Willikens and Szczesny, an artist who studied at Düsseldorf's Academy of Fine Arts, have brought Phantom Kino Ballett to a handful of cities around the world over the past couple years. (Szczesny also used to design visuals for records on Cómeme, including Willikens' 2015 12-inch Phantom Delia, a sort of precursor to this current collaboration.) The New York record shop and community space Commend, run by RVNG's Matt Werth, hosted a performance back in 2016. Now, its Commend See series will issue the score in an artist edition limited to 15 vinyl copies and a run of 300 tapes next month.
Each release will feature two alternate takes on the soundtrack, and the tape's B-side will include an extra piece, "Passage Transkript," that Willikens and Szczesny created with inspiration from the time they spent in Kyoto, Japan last year. All proceeds from sales will be donated to agisra e.V., a Cologne-based non-profit that advocates for the rights of migrant and refugee women.
The soundtrack will be released on September 19th, and that night will see Willikens and Szczesny present a Phantom Kino Ballett performance at Brooklyn's Issue Project Room. Shows in Montreal (on September 13th) and Los Angeles (September 20th) and San Francisco (on September 23rd) have also been comfirmed.
Watch a trailer for Phantom Kino Ballett.
RVNG Intl. will release Phantom Kino Ballett on September 19th, 2018.
Photo credit: Thomas Venker