Although here we know him as a member of Raster-Noton and a video artist interested in charting the territory where abstract digitalism and pop sensibilities meet, the Frenchman David Letellier, alias Kangding Ray, wanted for a while to devote himself to the art of projecting and constructing buildings. His experiences as an architect served as inspiration for his forthcoming album for Raster-Noton, “Pruitt Igoe”. According to the press release, the EP’s title “is taken from a gigantic social housing project, completed in 1955 in the U.S. City of St Louis, Missouri, often regarded as a symbol of modernist architecture failure. Designed according to the principles of modernism, and by the same architect who would later build the World Trade Center, the project saw a disastrous and violent decline after only a few years, plagued by vandalism and massive criminality, leading to its complete destruction from 1972 onwards.”For Letellier, the Pruitt Iggoe project is a metaphor for our era, a period “where the feeling of imbalance and doubt has replaced the certainty of eternal progress and endless economical growth.”.
The tension between hope and disillusionment the Frenchman has found in the history of this housing project, considered an icon of modern architecture back in the days, has become the conceptual force of “Pruitt Igoe”, a 12” (each side understood as one of the phases of project’s history, the A side being the planning and building and the B side the destruction and demolition process) featuring two tracks by Kangding Ray and two remakes by Alva Noto and Ben Frost. The album is out on 25th October.
Kangding Ray - “Pruitt Igoe” A1. Pruitt Igoe (Rise) A2. Pruitt Igoe (Alva Noto Remodel) B1. Pruitt Igoe (Fall) B2. Pruitt Igoe (Ben Frost Demolition)
Kangding Ray - A Protest Song