Remember Zenith City? (THE LIQUIDATER HAS COME TO TOWN) It was passed around the sixth form college on a timesinfinity-generation long-form VHS with a bunch of other shit that teetered on the brink of being mythical. Not Animal Farm-mythical (the much-debated-by-schoolboys porn film, not the George Orwell communism allegory, that’s definitely not mythical), but at least kind of Video Macumba-mythical.
It was kind of bad, cheesy even, but something about the opening titles – night-time waves practically rendered into an ocean of static by the white noise eating up the too-many-times-copied tape, dashed over with the legend ZENITH CITY (SHE’S NOT AFRAID TO DIE) in fearless white script – struck us with a weird, hard-to-define mood. That mood was also there in the TV series Wild Palms (also – objectively, speaking – bad), and, more famously perhaps, in the sick-making, delirious use of colour in Argento films.
Later, in our 20s, in our experiments with chemistry, we might remember these things and be surprised at the correlation between our newfound states and the feelings we had when we watched those heroic audiovisual experiments and failures. We might call that feeling psychedelic.
It’s not quite psychedelic though, too tinged with abstract sadness, but in this fuzzy cinematic garbage that the rest of the culturally-discriminating world flushed away we found totems; little bits of things that described somehow feelings we didn’t get from other places. And we called these things ‘cool’, and built shrines to them. XXJFG is a shrine that became so stacked with idols that it became a skyscraper.
The rumoured long-overdue reissue of Zenith City has flushed out some archival evidence of other z-movies from the Silk Nights production stable. There are tattered video sleeves to Abysscothque (SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR HIM) and The Echo People (DAX WILLIAMS IS A HUNTED MAN). Tattered video sleeves, and now, courtesy of composer Yves Malone, soundtracks.
These synth-scores are available now from Bandcamp and they are hard and analogue enough to make Zombi and Zombie Zombie (but not Zomby) weep. So we’ve never seen The Echo People (ALIEN CONTAMINATION) or Abysscoteque (“There is a killer stalking the streets of Columbus tonight, and he’s wearing his deathing shoes!”), but we can watch them crystal-clear in our mind when listening to these albums: cityscapes, beautiful Japanese models on shopping networks that disguise dark agendas, chunky greenscreen monitors dispassionately detailing secrets in futuristic visions of a 1995 that never happened.
We know these movies. They’ve always been in us.
Standing On The Ruins is the epic closing theme for Zenith City, a movie which rivals that classic Logan’s Sanctuary for sheer synaesthetic soundtrack-on-cinematography synchronicity, and we don’t care what you say about ‘hey, but we can’t find anything about these films on IMDB’, because we’re listening to those grids of synths and every single scene is right there in our minds, and if we can think it – hold this concept in our mind that another person put there – then it must exist. And that, my friend, is an IMDB of the soul.