Discovery - - ENTERTAINMENT - 1970 Omnion

Hercules and Love Affair’s Andy Butler lays his demons to rest on By TIM PRITCHARD 《 藉》清除心魔。撰文:


1970s The Warehouse club in Chicago became the focal point for an exciting new scene. This bold, experimental new genre, called ‘house’ music after the club that spawned it, mixed old disco classics and new beats emerging from Europe. It was bold and experimental for other reasons, too: unlike many clubs that were still divided along ethnic lines, The Warehouse welcomed patrons of all ethnicities – and sexualities. The music was all that mattered.

As the house music scene eventually spread, with it went its message of inclusiveness on the dancefloor. Years later, a young gay man struggling for acceptance named Andy Butler was also drawn to the underground dance scene’s exciting blend of sounds – and creed of openness. It became Butler’s salvation – but also his downfall as drug abuse took hold. Getting sober in his twenties, Butler was then inspired to write the tracks that became disco-house outfit Hercules and Love Affair’s self-titled 2008 debut.

It brought Butler success, which in turn brought other pressures leading to a series of relapses and recoveries over the following years. It’s these demons that Butler revisits for Hercules and Love Affair’s fourth album, Omnion.

Vulnerability is a key theme, as examined on the softly rousing opening title track featuring vocals from Sharon Van Etten. Butler also directly addresses his struggles on low-key confessional Fools Wear Crowns, singing over a reflective, minimalist electronic groove crackling with watery synths and stirring strings.

Are You Still Certain?, a collaboration with Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila, pits the lilting Arabic lyrics of frontman Hamed Sinno (a gay Muslim musician who’s also struggled for acceptance)

新碟 against a driving techno beat in one of the best dance tracks Butler has ever written. Not only are Controller (featuring a muscular techno beat and a submissive vocal from The Horrors’ Faris Badwan) and Rejoice (with its looped mechanical beat entwined with Rouge Mary’s euphoric vocals) absolute dancefloor destroyers, they capture Butler’s intoxicating and cathartic relationship with his music.

年代末,芝加哥的 The Warehouse

舞廳出現了一種大膽而富實驗性的嶄新音樂類型,名為「浩室」,迅即成為樂迷與舞迷注目的新焦點。這種音樂混合了的士高金曲與來自歐陸的新潮舞曲;但浩室音樂的大膽與實驗性並不止於此,它的發源地The Warehouse更打破了當時大部分夜店不會招待不同種族客人的陋習,成為首間中門大開的舞廳,歡迎不同種族以至不同性向的人前來,不分你我,音樂大同。

其後浩室音樂不斷發揚光大,更將容共融的信息帶到舞池中。多年後,一位渴望獲得接納的年輕男同志Andy Butler,

也被地下舞廳的多元音樂和開放平等的信念所吸引,浩室音樂成為他的救贖,可惜濫藥卻令他墮落沉淪。他在20多歲戒毒後,決定為的士高浩室樂隊Hercules and Love Affair作曲,這些歌曲後來收入樂隊2008


音樂為 Butler 帶來成功,但也帶來各種壓力,往後數年他在濫藥和戒毒之間反覆徘徊。然而正是這些不斷出現的心魔,令 Butler創作出Hercules and Love Affair的第四張大碟《Omnion》。

從 Sharon Van Etten 在打頭陣的主題曲中輕柔的呼喚,就可聽出心靈的脆弱是新碟的一大主題。〈Fools Wear Crowns〉是 Butler 一首低調的自白曲,道出內心的掙扎。歌曲以引人沉思、簡約抽象的電子節奏,夾雜行雲流水的合成音樂,以及扣人心弦的弦樂聲,娓娓唱出內心的呼喚。

與黎巴嫩樂隊 Mashrou’Leila 合作的〈Are You Still Certain?〉,由同樣在尋求接 Hercules and Love Affair’s Andy Butler (above) addresses his past on fourth album (below) Hercules and Love Affair Andy Butler( Omnion

納的同性戀穆斯林音樂人Hamed Sinno主唱,以輕快的旋律唱出阿拉伯語歌詞,與節奏急速的電子節拍擦出火花,是 Butler 寫過最出色的舞曲之一。此外,〈Controller〉雄渾剛勁的電子節拍配上The Horrors的主音Faris Badwan的柔順歌聲,以及〈Rejoice〉中循環不息的機械節拍與Rouge Mary 狂喜亢奮的歌聲交織,不但是舞池上的必殺武器,更捕捉了Butler既沉醉於音樂又藉音樂宣洩情感的複雜關係。

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