CITATION CITY

Update (2018) :
The soundtrack is now available for sale as a digital download:
https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com/album/citation-city-ost

citation city banner

Citation City is a 42 minute audiovisual performance work which sources, collages and edits 300 major feature films where content is either filmed or set in London – creating a story within a story, of the film world, living its life, through extraordinary times of change, to see what happens when these multiple narratives are combined… what will the story tell us that one story alone could never tell?

“The result is a sweeping panorama of London, a London as represented through cinema – not the real city at all, but one that exists in the collective imagination of moviegoers throughout the decades.” Filmmaker Magazine

Please note: this is now retired.  However, we occasionally make edits available as stand-alone movies for cinema screening.

A time-travelling voyage through one city, assembled from hundreds of movie clips and inspired by the wanderings of Walter Benjamin. A patchwork of over 300 features either filmed or set in London, Citation City combines multiple narratives to create the story of one city in a period of enormous change. Pieced together by audiovisual artist Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us), this beguiling, labyrinthine work takes its cue from Benjamin’s Arcades Project, an ambitious attempt to map out Paris in fragments which was cut short by the author’s death in 1940. Flatpack Film Festival

Interview with Kenneth Goldsmith in Found Footage magazine about Citation City

Interview with Peter Jaeger in filling Station Issue 63 featuring Citation City

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Recording of Off The Page 2012 – Collateral Damage

collateral-damage

Vicki Bennett, Chris Cutler, Scanner, Blackest Ever Black label head Kiran Sande and The Wire‘s Tony Herrington discuss the impact of digital technology on music making and consumption.

Download or listen here 1:07:36
Vicki Bennett’s Essay in The Wire

In recent years, the internet and a raft of new technologies have transformed the ways in which we produce, perceive and consume music. And as the reality of music’s new digital economy starts to bite, musicians and labels are having to rethink both philosophy and practice, addressing the issue of how they create and disseminate work – while some decry the free movement of music across file sharing networks and the collapse of traditional record industry models, others look to exploit the new possibilities offered by crowd sourcing and social networking.For this panel discussion chaired by The Wire‘s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Tony Herrington, Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), Chris Cutler (ReR Records), Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) and Kiran Sande (FACT, Blackest Ever Black) discussed possible responses to the challenges posed by music’s changing eco-system.

The Wire and Sound And Music‘s Off The Page festival took place 24–26 February at The Playhouse Theatre in Whitstable.

The Wire article and audio file

People Like Us interview in The Wire about radio

The collage artist also known as People Like Us talks about her beginnings in experimental radio broadcasting in the second instalment of The Wire’s oral histories series.

Vicki Bennett’s People Like Us began life as a three hour radio show on Brighton’s Festival Radio in 1990 called Gobstopper. She went on to release around 20 solo albums based on her radio sound collages, but after a decade working primarily with sound, has increasingly worked with film and images. She has recently produced collage and split screen work, including 2013’s touring film and performance piece Notations, a film used as a score for improvising musicians.

An advocate of open digital distribution, Bennett’s entire back catalogue is available for download via UbuWeb, and she is also the host of long-running radio show DO or DIY on WFMU. She has collaborated extensively with Ergo Phizmiz, Negativland’s Don Joyce, Wobbly and Kenneth Goldsmith, and many others.

Listen to the interview here:
http://www.thewire.co.uk/audio/in-conversation/oral-histories_vicki-bennett

Or download the file as an mp3:
http://www.thewire.co.uk/download//2014/05/02/The_Wire_Oral_Histories_-_Vicki_Bennett_aka_People_Like_Us_.mp3

GWILLY EDMONDEZ Sings Chart Sweep on WFMU

GWILLY EDMONDEZ Sings Chart Sweep Part 1 and 2 
Monday 20 January 2014 @7pm-8pm NY Time (that’s midnight on Monday evening UK)
Listen http://wfmu.org 
& broadcasting at 91.1 fm New York, at 90.1 fm in Hudson Valley
Update: Download it here:
Listeners to DO or DIY and WFMU will be familiar with the cut up of two decades of Number 1 hits “Chart Sweep” and also the noise blatherer Gwilly Edmondez.  Well now, oh joy, these two wonderful projects combine for one hour, and we bring you Gwilly singing Chart Sweep, in full on WFMU!


Gwilly Edmondez
performs solo and in small groups using voice, guitar, pocket samplers, turntables and dictaphones. Music is mostly made up on the spot and usually seeks to align itself with idiomatic contexts rather than avoiding them. Gwilly has spent a lot of time resisting coherence and continuity, to the point where a wilful anti-professionalism can be regarded as his music’s defining characteristic.
http://ubu.com/sound/edmondez.html

Chart Sweep
http://ubu.com/sound/chartsweep.html
http://www.djfood.org/djfood/chart-sweep-time-sweep

Playlists and archives for DO or DIY on WFMU
http://wfmu.org/peoplelikeus

Radio Web MACBA – Cumulative Tails

Radio Web MACBA have published a new radio mix and pdf from Vicki Bennett: INTERRUPTIONS #15. Cumulative Tails

Read the pdf and listen/download the mp3 here:
http://rwm.macba.cat/en/curatorial/vicki-bennett-cumulative-tails-/capsula

Cumulative Tails is a pun upon the ‘cumulative tale’, where each part of a story relates to that which just preceded and followed it. This radio mix, curated by Vicki Bennett, has been created using that process – a succession of audio tracks picked in conceptual relation only to that which was previously played.

Music For Films radio show on basicfm

RADIO SHOW
Music For Films with People Like Us
5pm-9pm (UK time), Thursday 5th September 2013
Online at basic.fm
http://www.basic.fm/radio/

If you missed the show you can download it here afterwards.
Here is the playlist as a pdf.

music for films

Music for Films radio show online Thursday 5th Sept from 5-9pm UK http://www.basic.fm/music-for-films-with-people-like-us

Music For The Fire now online at UbuWeb

The 2010 collaboration between People Like Us & Wobbly which became the CD “Music For The Fire” is now available for mp3 download at UbuWeb.

The fruit of many years of work, this album began as People Like Us & Wobbly collected and collaged their way through various depictions of misfired communications and heartbreak sourced from popular culture for a series of live improvisations. Music For The Fire is a plunderphonic concept album depicting the lifespan of a relationship, as told through samples of hundreds of different songs and voices who had no idea they were all telling the same story until they were all spliced together.

http://www.ubu.com/sound/plu_fire.html

It is still available for purchase in CD and FLAC form at Illegal Art.

The Keystone Cut Ups now digital audio download

The audio from our new DVD “The Keystone Cut Ups” is now available in audio form as an album, in digital audio form!  You can download at our label Illegal Art’s site, and good news is they have a “pay what you want” policy – from 0$ to XXXXXX$$$$$$!

Download now:  http://illegal-art.net/shop#release131

Simply add to basket, scroll to the mp3 option and then select the amount you’d like to pay.  There is also the option of getting the higher quality FLAC file.

3 New Releases! DVD! 7 inch! Digital Download!

PEOPLE LIKE US & ERGO PHIZMIZ BRING YOU…
THE KEYSTONE CUT UPS DVD / MOON MAGIC 7″ / THE KEYSTONE CUT UPS DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
DVD and Digital Download Release Date: 31 October 2012
7 inch Release Date: 13 November 2012
Label: Illegal Art IA131 illegalart.net

We’re very pleased to announce the release on Illegal Art of a DVD, 7″ single and digital audio album!

When People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz premiered The Keystone Cut Ups at the Berwick Film and Media Art Festival in 2010, it was met with praise and wonder. Invoking a dreamlike atmosphere from the pairing of surrealist avant-garde cinema and silent-era comedy films with the quirky, yet emotionally resonating soundtrack carved out a unique sector of musical entertainment. This project stands tall as a statement against an industry that often flounders in its own creative bankruptcy.

Until now, this experience has only been available to those fortunate enough to see it performed live. But this October, people all over the world can see what all the hype is about for themselves when Illegal Art releases The Keystone Cut Ups on DVD, as well as just the musical portion as a digital download and as a 7′ single.

The festival commissioned the project in July of 2010 as an attempt to achieve something that would excite audiences in ways they were never expecting. People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz composed forty-five minutes of music that is simultaneously whimsical and poignant. Once the soundtrack was in place, visuals were assembled around the audio in order to create a stimulating assault on the mind that evokes a sense of the surreal and fantastical.

PROMOTIONAL TRAILER

PEOPLE LIKE US & ERGO PHIZMIZ : The Keystone Cut Ups & Moon Magic 7″ – PROMO.

BUY THE KEYSTONE CUT UPS DVD NOW
All prices below INCLUDE shipping within stated price.

Tracklist:
1. Orchestra 2. Hats 3. Statues 4. Thelma Todd 5. Machines
6. Aquopalypse 7. Chess 8. Magic 9. Spinning 10. Moon

UK – price including P&P: $13.00
Buy in UK

EUROPE – price including P&P: $14.00
Buy in rest of Europe

ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $16.00
Buy in rest of world

The Keystone Cut Ups will play all regions, worldwide.

MOON MAGIC 7″ SINGLE by People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz
Available to purchase from 25 October 2012

http://peoplelikeus.org/2012/buy-moon-magic-7-inch-single/

Actual release date: 13 November 2012
Illegal Art IA702 http://www.illegalart.net

“Moon” and “Magic” is a AA side 7 inch single, also on the Illegal Art label. Both tracks are taken from The Keystone Cut Ups DVD.

DOWNLOAD THE KEYSTONE CUT UPS AUDIO IN MP3 OR FLAC FORM
From the Illegal Art Shop
http://illegal-art.net/shop#release131

 With this release, Illegal Art continues to embrace a pay-what-you-want business model for high-quality downloads. All label releases over the last five years have been issued (or reissued) under a the flexible payment system. People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz also have a history of offering free downloads of entire projects, both new and old.

REVIEWS so far

The Wire
Feature in WIRED
God Is In The TV 

 

“Welcome Abroad” – People Like Us (Illegal Art 2011)

“Welcome Abroad” by People Like Us
Release date: 24 May 2011
Illegal Art IA124 http://www.illegalart.net

UK – price including P&P: $11.00
Buy in UK

EUROPE – price including P&P: $12.00

Buy in rest of Europe

ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $13.00
Buy in rest of world

“Welcome Abroad is the soundtrack to a dream – overlaying a cabaret with the circus, a music hall with the radio, a nightclub with the movies. Finely tuned sounds from the collective unconscious, fitted together with care and clarity and skill, producing a hallucinatory landscape that shifts and slides, shimmering with each new sample. Julie Andrews duets with Jim Morrison? Damn.” –Steinski

Vicki Bennett, under the People Like Us moniker, returns from several collaborations for her first solo album in several years. Stranded in the United States for an extended period after the Icelandic volcano eruption blocked her British homeland’s airspace, Bennett derived thematic material of displacement, travel, and a longing for elsewhere, from the natural disaster that caused her own predicament. Volcanically marooned in Baltimore and NYC, Bennett utilized some of her “free” time to work on the album and even gained audio contributions from fellow experimental musicians Jason Willett (of Half Japanese) and M.C. Schmidt (of Matmos) via her extended stay.

Taking a glance at just a few tracks from Welcome Abroad, songs from The Beatles, Ennio Morricone, Danny Kaye, Bob Dylan, Rod McKuen, Elton John, Gene Pitney, Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, John Denver, Julie London, and Queen are all amalgamated.  While recent mashup culture often centers on the instant gratification of seamlessly juxtaposing hooks, People Like Us tracks transform the source material into collages that are equal parts dissonance and pleasure, making artful commentaries on our culture and Bennett’s own existential amusement within such a wondrous world.

With the release of Welcome Abroad, lllegal Art continues to embrace a pay-what-you-want business model for high-quality downloads. All label releases over the last five years have been issued (or reissued) under a the flexible payment system. People Like Us also have a history of offering free downloads of entire projects, both new and old. Vicki Bennett is such a firm endorser of the gift economy that she is the top downloaded audio artist on UbuWeb.

Welcome Abroad by People Like Us

“Welcome Abroad” by People Like Us
Release date: 24 May 2011
Illegal Art IA124 http://www.illegalart.net

UK – price including P&P: $11.00
Buy in UK

EUROPE – price including P&P: $12.00

Buy in rest of Europe

ELSEWHERE – price including P&P: $13.00
Buy in rest of world

Download as mp3s, FLAC, plus some video downloads
“Welcome Abroad is the soundtrack to a dream – overlaying a cabaret with the circus, a music hall with the radio, a nightclub with the movies. Finely tuned sounds from the collective unconscious, fitted together with care and clarity and skill, producing a hallucinatory landscape that shifts and slides, shimmering with each new sample. Julie Andrews duets with Jim Morrison? Damn.” –Steinski

Vicki Bennett, under the People Like Us moniker, returns from several collaborations for her first solo album in several years. Stranded in the United States for an extended period after the Icelandic volcano eruption blocked her British homeland’s airspace, Bennett derived thematic material of displacement, travel, and a longing for elsewhere, from the natural disaster that caused her own predicament. Volcanically marooned in Baltimore and NYC, Bennett utilized some of her “free” time to work on the album and even gained audio contributions from fellow experimental musicians Jason Willett (of Half Japanese) and M.C. Schmidt (of Matmos) via her extended stay.

Taking a glance at just a few tracks from Welcome Abroad, songs from The Beatles, Ennio Morricone, Danny Kaye, Bob Dylan, Rod McKuen, Elton John, Gene Pitney, Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, John Denver, Julie London, and Queen are all amalgamated.  While recent mashup culture often centers on the instant gratification of seamlessly juxtaposing hooks, People Like Us tracks transform the source material into collages that are equal parts dissonance and pleasure, making artful commentaries on our culture and Bennett’s own existential amusement within such a wondrous world.

Since 1991 British artist Vicki Bennett has been an influential figure in the field of audiovisual collage, through her innovative sampling, appropriating and cutting up of found footage and archives. Using collage as her main form of expression, she creates audio recordings, films and radio shows that communicate a humorous, dark and often surreal view on life. These collages mix, manipulate and rework original sources from both the experimental and popular worlds of music, film, television and radio.

People Like Us believe in open access to archives for creative use, and have made work using footage from the Prelinger Archives, The Internet Archive, and A/V Geeks. In 2006 she was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. People Like Us have previously shown work at Tate Modern, Sydney Opera House, Pompidou Centre and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. The ongoing sound art radio show ‘DO or DIY’ on WFMU has had over three quarters of a million hits since 2003. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.

With the release of Welcome Abroad, Illegal Art continues to embrace a pay-what-you-want business model for high-quality downloads. All label releases over the last five years have been issued (or reissued) under a the flexible payment system. People Like Us also have a history of offering free downloads of entire projects, both new and old. Vicki Bennett is such a firm endorser of the gift economy that she is the top downloaded audio artist on UbuWeb.

Press Quotes:
“… a freeform, unfolding imaginary landscape that is liberally peppered with slapstick.” – Phil England, The Wire
“Bennett has continued to impress us with her technical ability and her wonderful sense of the ridiculous.” – Olli Siebelt, BBC
“… beautiful, compelling, funny, crazy stuff. I listen to [People Like Us] while sitting at my drawing board.” – Matt Groening
“… it is that delirious adventure to tune in Disney cartoons while we administered a strong dose of amphetamines, LSD, and any other lysergic cocktail.” – J. Carlos Vellamueva, Rolling Stone (Mexico)
“… after prolonged exposure to the alchemical work of Vicki Bennett, we see and hear our own everyday world as one big joke which is already cut to pieces. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.” – Drew Daniel, Matmos
“… warped-out easy easy-listening goddess and sample abuser extraordinaire.” – Ben Willmott, NME
“Bennett has taken Eisenstein’s montage collisions and refashioned them as bumper cars at a seaside carnival.” – Jim Supanick, Film Society of Lincoln Center

right click on thumbnails to download large images

Is This Light Music? Essay by Vicki Bennett

Is This Light Music?

While creating a picture disc record for Edinburgh Printmakers‘ Prints of Darkness exhibition, I’ve been reflecting upon the theme of “darkness” and it’s sister “light”. My work has been described as having “dark” and “sinister” undertones. Although I don’t think it dark in the negative sense of the word, the act of mixing several musical elements at once, sometimes with discordant harmonies and incongruous structure, can bring subversive results. This is because the expectation of music, at least if it’s going to be popular, is that it should be clear and simple, adhering to a conventional melodic rhythmical structure.

The term “light music” generally refers to the kind of orchestral music that is put together with the intention of being played in the background to add more than ambience but not be intrusive to the point that it would stop a conversation at dinner. As time has progressed, not to say one cannot still appreciate it for the pure thing it may be, a new sense of irony has subverted light music. In the same way that one cannot watch a current affairs programme like “Newsnight” without thinking of Chris Morris’ “Brass Eye”, this music without turbulence can result in the active listener visualising cartoon-like scenarios of destruction and mayhem – “Tea For Two” being played out while the building is being bombed and a pack of coyotes being let loose on the ballroom floor. It is no wonder that when we grow up on a diet of cartoon music, full of depictions of violence, we are unable to keep a straight face on hearing Roger Whittaker’s maniacal “Mexican Whistler” – do we really think it 100% full of joy or do we start to imagine that he is a lunatic? Am I the only person who finds it funny when the audience claps in time to the orchestra on “Friday Night Is Music Night” on BBC Radio? Is it that when all are clapping at once, often rhythmically out of step, people sound like morons? Or is it a recollection of the embarrassment felt when realising that no one told us when and how to gracefully stop?

How do we even categorise shades of music? For this we might want to look at the definition of the word “music”. It comes from the Greek “muse”, the gods and goddesses that inspire the arts and literature. Just as Edgard Varèse defined music as “organized sound”, online dictionaries define it as “the art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre”, and “an aesthetically pleasing or harmonious sound or combination of sounds.” So if music is to be agreeable it should be intrinsically harmonious and ordered, and the opposite of music is disagreeable noise. However, musicologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez said: “music, often an art/entertainment, is a total social fact whose definitions vary according to era and culture,” which reflects where we are at today. The decision on what is light, dark, popular and avant-garde depends as much on what year it is as how it may sound. It is an artist’s job to dissect, question, celebrate, criticise, and rearrange content to challenge and form such decisions.

Light music has often celebrated resurgence during or just after periods of economic slump, injecting a certain air of longing for a time that never was. Pioneers of the Industrial Music scene of the early 1980’s were fascinated with the Exotica genre. Both Throbbing Gristle and Boyd Rice referenced Martin Denny, coupling this with darker lyrics and more difficult music, and an often-missed sense of humour. The bright, sometimes other worldly atmosphere elevates the listener from drudgery. It takes us to an innocent place of Hawaiian music and sandy beaches, to the end of a pier where the Wurlitzer whirls and the ice cream never melts. Leaving no stone unturned in choice of subject matter, light music sanitises well known popular songs for popular appeal. “Blowin’ in the Wind” by the Mystic Moods Orchestra takes us far away from Bob Dylan’s world. With each new generation of protest song comes the sanitised version. Perhaps this, and the reminiscence of being stuck on hold or in a lift can make one cynical or suspicious of the “happy happy” themes. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be and we don’t want to be sent to Hawaii.

Perhaps this is all coming over as a little too critical of the intentions of Light Music, when in fact it is the Dark Listener that is spoiling a perfectly good opportunity to be entertained. Light music to me, is lovely, it is nice. It’s not going to go away, so I surrender to all things light so long as I can keep my dark sense of humour. While humming the tune of Ronald Binge’s “Sailing By” preceding the late night shipping forecast, People Like Us wish you a cheery, whistle-free experience while enjoying “This is Light Music”. – Vicki Bennett July 2010

People Like Us “This Is Light Music” LP Pic Disc 2010

01 – Lavender White – 8:11
02 – Happy – 2:25
03 – You’ve Got To Know – 1:40
04 – Oh Dear – 1:18
05 – Ever – 2:34
06 – Seven Degrees – 4:01
07 – Silly – 1:28
08 – Chanson Da Moo – 3:25
09 – Let It Be Free – 3:51
10 – Timber – 0:27

Credits/Background

Edinburgh Printmakers presented its world premiere exhibition “Prints of Darkness” exploring record cover art, curated by Sarah-Manning Cordwell, Norman Shaw, and Edward Summerton and published by Edinburgh Printmakers. This exhibition included original prints by eleven Scottish artists and a new LP of music by People Like Us.

Celebrating the vinyl record as an abiding audio-visual artefact, this project recalls the golden age of the record cover in the thick of post-psychedelia’s goth-surrealistic art-nouveau apocalyptic landscape explosion, now being revived in a current resurgence of collectable limited-edition records with original artwork.

People Like Us illuminates this dark visual ride with ‘This Is Light Music’, an exclusive full-length picture-disc album in a limited edition of only 250. This record is available as part of a lavish limited edition boxed-set publication which houses the record and a pull-out poster in a gatefold sleeve, and includes essays by People Like Us and co-curator Norman Shaw.

www.edinburgh-printmakers.co.uk