Arthur Russell, the avant-garde composer and musician who produced some of the world's most important and wonderful music in the late 70s and 80s, collaborated with the likes of Talking Heads' David Byrne, Bob Dylan, Robert Wilson, Allen Ginsberg, to house legends Larry Levan and Francois K. Despite having had his disco records first played out in the likes of the famous Paradise Garage and Loft parties in New York, Russell's untimely death due to AIDS related illness in the 90s meant his work was largely unknown in his own time.
In homage to Russell, Circoloco during Detroit's Movement Festival will be presenting ‘Go Bang - a celebration of Arthur Russell’ with DJ sets from Detroit’s own king-pin Carl Craig, System Of Survival, Ryan Crosson and Lee Curtiss held at the unique space of TV Bar Detroit. The team have also curated art installations, live performances and dancers from local Detroit artists for a conceptual immersive experience.
For the exhibition, Go Bang will present a number of never heard before and unreleased songs which include an alternate recording of 'Psycho Killer' by the Talking Heads featuring Russell on cello as premiered here above, alternate Japanese takes of some of his classic dance tracks, and demo recordings with Ernie Brooks of the Modern Lovers, as well as unseen photography from Russell during his lifetime. John Connell, one of the organisers, an award-winning writer and producer who has curated a number of international art shows says: “Arthur Russell is an artist that continually begs to be re-examined, a visionary who never received true recognition in his own lifetime. To us he represents all that is good in dance music, the early days where dance and art met, and what mattered was not the money, or the fame, but the party.”
A portion of the proceeds of the takings from the night will go to two Detroit based charities: Youthville Detroit as well as the Detroit Techno Foundation as per the wishes of Tom Lee, Arthur Russell’s partner.
Celebrated on Saturday 25th May, in the Motor city of Detroit.
Meanwhile, London fans can head to Go Bang! at Whirled Cinema on Sat 18th May as Dazed Digital's editor Charlie Robin Jones hosts a screening of Matt Wolf's "Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell".