Morthem Vlade ArtPhotography In Things

Label:Pandaimonium Records – PAN 24, Antonn Records – PAN 24
CD, Album
Genre:Electronic, Rock
Style:New Wave, Modern Classical, Experimental


Written-By [Sample From "Solaris"]Andreï Tarkovski*
2My Ear At Night3:45
3Tireless Summer4:10
4The Slope
Synthesizer [Moog]J-P Moron
5Print IV2:26
6Rooms For Tourists4:03
7On The Bank
DrumsHarris (13)
11A Dish Of Malicious Gossip5:43
12Against The Current6:14

Companies, etc.



Released in clear jewel case with 2 sided back tray and 16 page booklet.

Recorded and mixed May to July 2002 at Doppelgänger & Institut LVS Studios, Paris.

Track 1 "Extension" contains sample from [the movie] "Solaris" by Andrei Tarkovsky, misspelled "Andreï Tarkovski" in booklet.
Tracks 5 "Print IV" and 11 "A Dish Of Malicious Gossip" are subtitled "(instrumental)" in the booklet tracklist.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 7 18751 52842 0
  • Rights Society: GEMA
  • Rights Society: SACEM
  • Label Code: LC 00894
  • Matrix / Runout: STRE0301080

Other Versions (1)

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Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Photography In Things (CD, Album, Promo)Pandaimonium RecordsPan-24Germany2002



  • evaburin's avatar
    Once upon a time pop stars were grown in art school rather than fame academies, writes Stuart Moses. And while I don't know what Morthem Vlade Art's academic achievements are their precise, melancholy, electronic sound means they won't ever be mistaken for pop idols. It's a shame, because until the mid-80s you could be a quirky synthesiser pop genius, and it didn't matter how bleak your songs, you could still have chart success. Morthem Vlade Art are a band dislocated in time and can now only look forward to inhabiting the fringes of pop music, which is fine because things are always more interesting there. Photography In Things is best listened to alone, especially after dark.
    My Ear At Night is the sound of Depeche Mode fronted by David Sylvian. The experimental electronics add to the mood rather than detract. On The Bank sounds like a more bleepy The Blue Nile, a band so unprolific that fans must be looking for a substitute this perfect. Elsewhere there are shades of Bowie and Talk Talk.
    This album may be firmly rooted in pre-1985 pop music, but it never sounds like an exercise in nostalgia. There's a school of thought that says that chart music lost its way around this time. Maybe Photography In Things is the first step on the way back.
    THE GUARDIAN (UK) Five stars (out of 5)
    • evaburin's avatar
      Du sombre passé de Morthem Vlade Art, il reste bien peu de traces sur les ambiances de leur quatrième album. " Photography in things " confirme le virage opéré par " Antechamber ", à l'abordage de nouvelles tentations, au carrefour de textures inédites. Si les guitares ont disparu, les ossatures électroniques du duo français font un pas définitif vers l'essentiel. Le minimalisme est leur dernier privilège ; la voix trouble de Gregg Anthe s'y love, au cœur d'une tourmente qui ne dit pas son nom : les mécaniques déployées, au-delà de leur assurance, masquent à peine l'anxiété qui les ordonne. " Photography in things " est une brume : empreint de questions, d'inquiétudes aussi, le disque choisit la voie détournée. Il n'est plus de clameur ni de plainte à l'ordre du jour. Il faut puiser à la source, l'intérieur (" My ear at night "). Les choses s'emballent parfois, laissant le champ ouvert : " Rooms for tourists " pourrait presque entraîner les corps à la valdingue, mais l'apathie vocale réfrène encore les pulsions. Sur " On the bank ", la batterie insuffle temporairement la vibration corporelle, mais les lumières de l'esprit fonderont finalement leur propre vindicte.
      " Photography in things " a peut-être pris nos âmes en otages, comme le firent un jour " Heroes " ou " Violator ". Il a en tout cas et pour un temps capturé l'indicible, parvenant au calque de l'esprit géniteur. Et dans l'ombre, Emmanuell. D et G. Anthe se terrent. Ils y resteront jusqu'à ce qu'enfin, l'obsession se matérialise et qu'avec elle, certaines réponses jaillissent. Grâce à eux, nous les trouverons peut-être.
      ROCK & FOLK (France, Emmanuel Hennequin)
      • evaburin's avatar
        Morthem Vlade Art’s latest work, Photography In Things, challenges and attempts to changed the notion about electronic music and introspection. Although there is a definite beat and rhythm interwoven throughout this disc, it isn’t your average heavy BPM oontz-groove to insert during the midnight hour in a club setting. On the whole, the music is down tempo electronic, incorporating lyrics which combine pensive reflection with subtle stream of consciousness touches. The thematic approach was to depict a desire for freedom while understanding the imprisonment of the material. While that may be a bit too cerebral for some to grasp, like all art, listeners will come away with a variety of interpretations. The cover of the CD shows the artists sitting near at the edge of an empty beach. Their backs are facing the camera, yet they are close enough for us to realize the essence of a close knit bond which exists between them. The day is gray and overcast, as though a chilly day in the Fall season. Two fishing poles are standing upright in the sand, cast into the gentle ocean tide. For those who have ever gone walking on an empty beach during the Fall season, it is understandable how such an experience can provide an amazing bit of insight, introspection and clarity during even the most emotionally troubling time. The cover gives us the essence that the contents will also ask the listener to reflect just a bit more than some may be accustomed to doing. In the same vein of obtaining introspection after a long, lone walk on the beach during off-season, so too does this CD provide a bit of comfort and clarity in the confusion. We are prompted to notice that there is an essence of something photographic in all things, no matter how mundane or simplistic it may first appear to our rational mind. The artists request that we not read the lyrics while listening to music, which arer written more like bits of prosaic poetry as opposed to the typical measures of lyric writing. Throughout the booklet, photographs accompany the tracks, though the small size of some may negate comprehension of the intent. “Extension” brings us to that point some would call the “great a-ha!” The place and time in one’s life where realization creeps into our psyche to make us aware that change is inevitable and unstoppable. Even more, we are faced with the understanding that we must desire more in order to avoid personal stagnation. “My Ear At Night” is an odd love song. Here, the ear is depicted with sonic clarity that can hear skin stretching and the heartbeat of the beloved at night . There is acceptance to travel to the good and bad places of someone just so long as even the simplest parts of them are never lost. There are quite a number of electronic squeaks and blips providing a mechanized “photograph” of the ear embracing everything from this special person. “Tireless Summer” borders on Zen sensibility coupled with traces of existentialism . The lyrical protagonist is depicted as “a veil between tomorrow and yesterday, a changing image” that does not exist. While thoughts are conveyed about foreseeing the things lost or never obtained, it is seen that in the passing of time, we carry death with us from the moment of our birth. This track has a bit of 80’s new wave sentiment to it which could cross over with clubs that start their nights off with a bit of slower synthpop. “The Slope” opens with subtle elements of a funereal type dirge with gentle percussion percolating around the bass notes with bits of surrealistic lyrics. On one level, it explores the sentiment that our life will bring us to a point where we cannot stand, and it may not only be due to old age. At the same time, words will “glide over smooth bodies,” incomprehensible to the generation behind us. Ultimately, we find ourselves less inclined to immerse ourselves in crowds who are lost in modernism. Nothing will effect us, neither beauty nor love, because the ability to love will have been lost. “Print IV” is an electronic instrumental track that starts off with elements that are modern, yet provincial and Mediterranean. It provides such a decidedly French feeling, that it is uncanny. This impression then gives way to an even more modern twist of electronic pulsations that strip away all essences of regional feeling. “Rooms For Tourists” could be called the great grandchild of Kraftwerk. The intro resorts to blips and electronic effects and then segues in flowing notes during the chorus. The song may have some thinking of a divorce lawyers office or a funeral parlor. Basically this is “a neutral place, without shared memories….the floor is polished, the curtains flowing. The question is put forth which asks “how many stories have finished this way?” “On The Bank” has lyrics that prod us to just let go and drift into a sea of tranquility. The old self is meant to die while the new life ahead will come back refreshed from respite at the waters edge. “Transcontinental” takes a personal inventory of the self. One cannot forget what they are and must embark upon a transitional journey during the dream state. This particular track has a bit more of an uptempo beat that may find some rotation in a few clubs. A couple of remixes as an EP would be ideal! The vocals are delivered with a bit more intensity and conviction while the electronics pulsate like blood cells through the veins. “Echo” once again provides the imagery of surrealism along with being and nothingness. A love that was lost is once again there upon waking, yet nothing is really there. The intro weaves a child’s crib chime with distant spoken voices, whispers and sounds of moving objects. The “waking” moment draws the sounds together in a culmination of beats and bittersweet somber notes. “Traces” veers into electronic and noise effects that seem to take sound and create it into random shapes. There is a need presented that wants to feel “that all is not lost.” It explores the desire to experience something good from the past while not having to relive it again. Ultimately there are no answers. “A Dish Of Malicious Gossip” is another instrumental track. Electronic sounds fuse together as though being welded and crafted from various forms of colored metal. There is an odd sense of texture that seems to expand, inflate, reduce and bend in a myriad of components. “Against The Current” brings about a pop sensibility that was once evident during the 80’s. The lyrics explore the need for motivation, yet also intrinsically understand that everything is fleeting. Yesterday’s triumphs can and often will lead to tomorrows feeling of failure during those moments of our solitude. Photography In Things is a testament to modern day electronic music fused as art. Rather than being artistically condescending, it simply exists as a creative statement of being a cog in a very large wheel that can never be fully viewed. Sentiments of a bittersweet nature weave between the verses, hoping to bring the listener towards a sense of inner knowing of the finiteness of all things. Overall, this work is best for solitary listening on a headset when one needs a bit of escape from the world for a bit of time.
        STARVOX (USA, Mike Ventarola)
        • evaburin's avatar
          Il y a des albums qui exhalent un fort parfum de label tel ce " Photography in Things " sur lequel on s'attend à voir écrit les mythiques lettres M.U.T.E. au verso, en bas à droite. En effet, l'alchimie acoustique-électronique fonctionne si bien chez le couple français que l'on ne peut s'empêcher de penser aux signatures du label anglais. Morthem Vlade Art fait montre une fois de plus d'un talent de composition hors normes, mêlant expérimentations sonores et mélodies : " My Ear at Night " est renversante de beauté calme et mélancolique au même titre que l'instrumental " Print IV ", "The Slope " rappelle les plus belles années new-wave, " Rooms for Tourists " pourrait être le remix d'un titre de Bowie par Autechre et que dire du tectonique et imparable " Transcontinental " … Bref, "Photography in Things" donne les mêmes frissons qu'une photo d'un être cher, jaunie par le temps ou la contemplation de l'océan un dimanche sous la pluie…
          D-SIDE (France, Yannick Blay)
          • evaburin's avatar
            Das französische Ausnahmeduo Morthem Vlade Art liefert mit "Photography In Things" sein nunmehr viertes Fulltime-Album ab, welches wieder einmal kaum mit seinem Vorgänger "Antechamber" verglichen werden kann. Die einzige Konstante im Sound des Duos scheint die beharrliche Veränderung zu sein.Emmanuell D und Gregg Anthe, so die Namen der beiden sich hinter Morthem Vlade Art verbergenden Musiker, fanden 1995 zusammen und starteten ihre Karriere bei Pandaimonium Records mit der Veröffentlichung des Albums "Herbo Dou Diable" 1998. Das Werk klang ähnlich einem finster apokalyptischen Soundtrack mit Einflüssen aus Deathrock, Industrial-Percussions und neoklassischen Elementen. Eine Kombination von elektronischen Elementen, Gitarrensounds und düsteren Nuancen prägte also von Beginn an die Musik der beiden. Der Nachfolger "Organic But Not Mental" aus dem Jahr 2000 zeigte sich jedoch bereits in einem deutlich veränderten Gewand. Die Deathrock-Elemente waren stark in den Hintergrund getreten, stattdessen dominierten zahlreiche atmosphärische Songs, in denen oftmals erstaunliche Wechsel zwischen beschaulicher Stille und wütenden Ausbrüchen auffielen, das Album. Die Gitarren waren stellenweise immernoch deutlich hörbar vorhanden - klangen jedoch mehr nach Industrial-Rock als nach Gothic.2001 leutete das Werk "Antechamber" den Prozeß, der in logischer Vollendung wohl zum aktuellen Werk "Photography In Things" führen mußte, ein. Die Gitarren traten vermehrt in den Hintergrund und Morthem Vlade Art zeigten sich vermehrt mit minimalistisch anmutenden Elektronik-Elementen. Eben diese sind es auch, die das Groß des vierten Albums ausmachen. "Photography In Things" klingt nicht etwa dünn und lieblos, sondern steckt trotz aller Beschränkungen auf überwiegend simple Elektronik-Elemente voller Liebe zum Detail bis ins kleinste. Stilistisch sind Morthem Vlade Art hier ebenso schwer einzuordnen wie auf allen bisherigen Werken auch. In den Köpfen von Emmanuell und Greg scheinen ganz eigenwillige Bilder musikalischer Ausdrucksformen zu herrschen. Pop, Ambient und stellenweise an die Wave-Heroen der 80er angelehnte Klänge treffen hier auf zerhackt wirkende Rhythmusgerüste, hinter denen immer ein warmer Teppich aus Synthesizer-Sounds zu schweben scheint. Der Gesang von Gregg wirkt meist warm und vertäumt, aber auch zerbrechlich und stellenweise scheint eine deprimierende Hoffnungslosigkeit aufzukeimen, die Dank der schönen Kompositionen jedoch nicht nur erträglich, sondern fast wohltuend wird.Titel wie "Extension", "Rooms For Tourists" oder "On The Bank" sind Werke äußerst ungewöhnlicher und ausgeprägt experimenteller Natur, "Tireless Summer", "The Slope" oder "Transcontinental" hingegen wirken eingängiger und zählen neben der schräg bedrohlich wirkenden Klangcollage "A Dish Of Malicious Gossip" zu meinen Favouriten auf diesem Album. Die volle Wirkung entfaltet das Werk jedoch sowieso nur beim Genuß in voller Spiellänge am Stück. Man vermag sich als Hörer in den Stücken zu verlieren und eben dieser Umstand macht "Photography In Things" trotz all der Befremdlichkeit zu einem erneut eindrucksvollen Morthem Vlade Art-Album. Clubtauglichkeit und Chartaussichten sind zwar absolut nicht vorhanden, aber wer hätte das auch erwartet?
            Blacklight Magazine. (Germany, Marco Schwiers).
            • evaburin's avatar
              From the outset, when the little pulses twinkle, and fly from ear to ear, as a steady bass exudes control, and intellectual lyrics stretch their legs to perambulate through airy musical rooms, you know you are in the company of a band that have ideas which work, and work well. When the song starts to add another layer in its chorus with double-tracked vocals slipping in behind you may also get tempted to think it’s electronic music rooted in the same mould that spawned those early Human League records, although the rich bravura of the vocals seems a little more Heaven 17 if anything. I wouldn’t blame you, but that isn’t the complete picture. The music, despite being kept fairly simple and well mannered, seems plush, and if you think that is boring, you are wrong. There are subtle changes occurring so that by half way through the album you feel as though you have grown with the songs and it’s a harder, wearier mindset emerging, with cooler edges to what is essentially melodious music stretched out for that city-noir flavour. Often romantic in mood, but resigned in lyrical tone, and slightly eccentric musically, you might as well try stabbing a ghost as getting an easy grip on what they are going for. It’s commercial in its way, yet also serious, without being either boring, eclectic or experimental. Electronic, not Electro. They don’t go for outright poppy. The nearest they come might be the fact ‘The Slope’ could almost be some early Depeche Mode, slowed down a few rpm, and the instrumental ‘Print IV’ set me thinking. It has a French twist to what Portishead do with the deadened, thumping dub loop thing, and suddenly it’s not sci-fi music but spy music. You can almost see a disconsolate figure, coat collar turned up, crossing a river by bridge, trudging along, while lovers skip past, unaware of the sacrifices this man has made. A darker lift to the music suggests a sleek car pulling up opposite, the viciously red haired woman who steps out holding a rocket launcher as green as her eyes. She calls his name. ‘Start’, which follows it, is a mess, so they’re not perfect. It’s a clever exercise, I guess, with a cut up and drag technique where the pace becomes irritating. Although little keyboard gnats flying around its indolent face were momentarily quite cute, it seems a weird thing to do, and it isn’t their last unpleasant surprise. On a touch tougher ground with ‘Rooms For Tourists’ they have a slippery feel while sticking with their somewhat one-dimensional rhythmic approach, managing to make the song seem much shorter than it actually is. We’re back to Human League similarities with ‘Echo’, but in a less kitsch manner, as this is moody in a peculiar way. A certain sense of mystery rather than misery pervades many songs. They may be immediately attractive, but it’s like the musical accompaniment to a diary by someone cruelly remote. Between the silly and sedate ‘Traces’ and the bewitchingly drowsy ‘Against The Current’ with its daft ending, they really drop themselves in it, as ‘a Dish Of Malicious Gossip’ is vile. This is the sort of things bands should only ever consider as EP bonuses, because it disrupts what is really beautifully flowing album, and has all the charm of a Chirac/Mugabe handshake. I guarantee most people who buy the album will simply learn to avoid it once they’ve heard it once. It ruins the modern stylish attractions of an album which is oddly comfortable without ever being comforting. Having graciously complied with their request, ‘please do not read the lyrics while listening to the recordings’ I can safely say that what you have here is an album which makes for superb background atmospherics, or a perfect walkman companion as you patrol your cities at night. ‘Dish’ aides, this is exquisite.
              (UK, Mick Mercer).
              • evaburin's avatar
                One might assume that David Bowie/David Sylvian-esque vocals alongside a distinctive '80s sequenced Yamaha DX7 synth sound would solely make for musical nostalgia. But French band Morthem Vlade Art succeed not merely on that count but also on a more contemporary level. They've created a carefully thought out a unique hybrid of old and new. Their music has evolved from epic orchestral gothic pieces with strong guitar presence on earlier albums to the refined, subtle yet detailed sound of Photography In Things. Their '80s art school keyboard band influences have become more prevalent with each new album, yet Morthem Vlade Art don't feel like a retro synth band. Two reasons might be that the song arrangements are more complex and the lyrics more genuine and thought provoking than those of many of their predecessors. The English-spoken words on Photography In Thing are melancholic and wax lyrical. Instead of the lyrics highlighting the music, the opposite is true. This fact is reinstated by the band's own request that listeners "not read the lyrics whilst listening to the recordings." Perhaps they wish for us to create our own 'audio' visual before allowing them to lock the words into their own illustration? Yet the music and lyrics compliment each other perfectly and the end result is something quite exceptional.
                FIEND MAGAZINE (USA, Ron Sawyer)
                • evaburin's avatar
                  A swiatlo przedzierajace sie przez zakrwawiona tafle wolalo o pomoc. Nie byla to jednak prawdziwa, kolezenska pomoc, a jedynie perwersyjne otumanienie... Jeden impuls, jeden blysk, klasyczna zagrywka prowadzaca slabego na skraj przepasci... Morthem Vlade Art uraczyl nas kolejnym nowatorskim produktem, i jesli chocby przez chwile ktos watpil w ich twórcza moc, niech zostanie potepiony.Krajobraz dzwieków zarejestrowany na "Photography In Things" to kwintesencja dobrego smaku, polotu, misternie utkanej opowiesci... A wszystko to uzmyslawia nam, sluchaczom, iz jest to produkt wymagajacy ogromnego skupienia, gdyz chwila nieuwagi moze zranic uczucia twórców. Przyznam, ze naprawde ciezko opisac atmosfere tej plyty, poniewaz jej odbiór staje sie przezyciem bardzo subiektywnym. Muzyka przywodzi mi na mysl morskie fale, zachmurzone niebo czy pusta, wrecz idealna plaze, jaka pamietamy z dziecinstwa. A wszystko to staje sie jadrem, które otaczaja wysublimowane techniczne obszary.Poza poezja towarzyszaca tym przepieknym scenom, odnajdujemy tu ducha cybernetyki. Tak, "Photography..." jest niczym jezyk Stanislawa Lema zapisany w nutach umieszczonych na pieciolinii, poukladany i, ponad wszystko, rzeczowy. Z calego serca polecam ten lek na dzisiejszy krwawiacy, ponury swiat.
                  Najtvolk. (Poland, Carl)
                  • evaburin's avatar
                    La vita è un film che proietta immagini prive di ogni emozione.
                    “Photography In Things” è un album difficile; difficile da recensire e da ascoltare. Per poterlo penetrare e comprendere ha bisogno di molti ascolti; richiede un’attenzione sempre elevata, esige una lettura attenta, sia dei testi sia dei suoni che mescolano insieme e sovrappongono ricerca elettronica e strutture melodiche. Le influenze più evidenti vanno verso la classe di Bowie, il resto, però, è qualcosa costruito solo da loro, che appartiene ai MVA e alla loro musica carica di concetti esistenzialisti. Avrebbero potuto riproporre sempre gli stessi album. Il successo dei loro primi due lavori glielo avrebbe permesso, il pubblico avrebbe gradito e i MVA avrebbero continuato a godere dello status di band interessante. Invece hanno voluto cambiare, hanno avuto il coraggio di mettersi in gioco e di proporre, dopo “Antechamber”, questo nuovo lavoro tutto chiuso in se stesso, ostico, a volte anche sbagliato, ma carico di soluzioni e sentimenti profondi. “Extension” è con “Against The Current” il brano che piace subito, quasi semplice messo a confronto con le altre canzoni; “My Ear At Night” e “Echo” sono due malinconici canti d’amore verso qualcosa che sfugge, una creatura che nasce dai nostri sogni per sfuggire alla realtà, così come “Transcontinental” è il rendersi conto che quella fuga dalla vita è difficile, e la tensione che sale in uno dei pochi brani “industriali” non porterà a fare il salto voluto. “Tireless Summer” inizia con una linea di basso con slap che non mi ha convinto molto, ma poi prosegue e dimostra ancora una volta come i MVA siano maestri nel realizzare linee melodiche su basi spezzate o su tempi in ¾. Stesso discorso anche per “Rooms For Tourists” (omaggio a E. Hopper), che inizia senza clamore e poi cresce verso il finale. “The Slope” è un manifesto in cui si dichiara che ben presto non ci sarà più nulla a suscitare emozioni perché dentro di noi non ci sarà amore. Restano, oltre a “Traces”, il brano che mi ha convinto di meno, le due strumentali: “Print IV” spezzata in una prima parte melodica e nostalgica, e una seconda parte industriale, così come lo è, aggressiva e rumorista, “A Dish Of Malicious Gossip”.
                    “Photography In Things” verrà criticato, lo so, ma io resto dalla parte di chi ha il coraggio di provare a cambiare, di chi ha voglia di crescere e mostrare quello che prova. Intanto il film ricomincia, stupido e vuoto come tutte le volte.
                    KRONIC. (Italy, Frederico Tozzi)
                    • evaburin's avatar
                      Le nouvel album de Morthem Vlade Art affirme haut et fort ce que Antechamber suggérait et murmurait: Gregg et Emmanuell. laissent de côté leurs premières amours organiques et pactisent pour de bon avec le synthétique. Le cap est franchi. Là où nombre de groupes contemporains ayant une démarche similaire se sont plantés, pulvérisant leur personnalité et leur sensibilité à coup de machines mal utilisées, le duo français, bien au contraire, s'épanouit comme une fleur de nuit sous un rayon de lune. Non pas que leurs travaux précédents soient à rejeter, pas du tout, mais plutôt que cette évolution était si logique, si inévitable, que l'on ne peut imaginer Morthem Vlade Art autrement. Le duo a fait les bons choix, définitivement. L'inoubliable voix de Gregg porte les paroles d'Emmanuell. aux nues sur fond de paysages dépouillés et eighties à souhait; celle d'Emmanuell., moins présente qu'auparavant, se pose avec autant de délectation sur le riche évantail de sonorités décalées qui composent cet album. Photgraphy In Things est un album superbement travaillé, un album cérébral et sensible qui jette au panier les références, étiquettes et autres influences que l'on pourrait lui coller, et vient confirmer ce que l'on savait déjà: Morthem Vlade Art est un groupe hors du commun, un groupe au parcours sans faute, un duo d'artistes exceptionnels.
                      ELEGY. (France, Alyz Tale)


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