MANNA FROM HEAVEN
Like every other breakout act this decade, Trans Manna Ray operates under the vogueish cover of information darkness. Unlike other buzz bros, the veil doesn’t drop like freshman knickers in Cancun the moment you Google the guy.
No website. No faceyB. No ironically-titled tumblr. Nothing. Just a solitary track with a title that sums up the neurotic -ok – more like sociopathically dark - aesthetic: Woman Killed, Foetus Removed. It first appeared on Soundcloud under a fortnight ago, and it wasn’t long before it got a slick neo-noir makeover from NY’s fledgling Fortune Films…
Directed by Philippe Grenade (and seemingly, filmed inside a student flat), it’s pretty depraved. If you’re at work: hold tight till you’re somewhere else. If you’re yearning to quit and make an appearance on Bumfights, have a peek at the leg-tuck sex change (now available on the NHS).
We spoke to Phillippe about the creative experience to find out a little more about our elusive unicorn. And we found out his name and everything (it’s Rasmus). Phillippe says,
“Fortune Films is me, Philippe Grenade (writer/director) and Jarret Egan (producer/cinematographer). At the moment we specialize in narrative style music videos, the most known being MANICANPARTY’s Rebels in the Light. Our goal/future is in feature films, and these music videos are a tool for us to practice the art, tailor our style, and most importantly, build a portfolio of work to show investors for our first feature film, Jack Rabbit.
The Trans Manna Ray video was conceived due to the fact that I was having a moment of inner turmoil. We spent the first few months of 2012 creating MANICANPARTY’s music video which has a strongly uplifting essence to accompany the poppy music. Seeing as I’m far more inspired and obsessed with darker subject matters, I needed to manifest the evil “yin” to the lighthearted “yang” of the MANICANPARTY video. We were looking for musicians that might want a grim video, and my Belgian cousin told me about his weird acquaintance named Rasmus who lived in Liege (Belgium). Rasmus has hundreds and hundreds of unreleased downtempo electronic songs under the name of Trans Manna Ray (no clue what the name means). He had never shown a single song to anyone other than my cousin and I requested he send me one. It was quite the task to get in contact with him, but when I finally heard a song, I loved it, and next thing you knew, I offered to fund the video, and my cousin brought him to New York for the first time.
Upon arrival, I learned how strange Rasmus was, saying almost nothing (his English is surprisingly good), and sleeping all day. The night before our shoot, I got him to open up a little, and he told me about his childhood as an orphan in a small Belgian town called Stoumont. Supposedly, he spent his adolescence working as the night janitor in an old 17th century church where he often complained of voices telling him odd esoteric messages. The video shoot the next day was rather strange, but I did see him smile once…at the very end, when I showed him a clip on the playback monitor. O, all the mangina stuff was his idea. My story was just the sinister brothel and the captive on the cross.”
Anyways, Rasmus/Trans Manna Ray inspired me. And if this first video goes well, we want to do two more (even more shocking) ones to his other songs he claims he is compiling for an EP.” STEADY…