Available Digitally On February 24th
Original Music by Toydrum
“PREVENGE benefits from a ’70s-throwback synth score by Toydrum (Pablo Clements and James Griffith) that evokes vintage Argento at his most lurid.” – Hollywood Reporter
“Our heroine’s raddled state, meanwhile, is aptly reflected in the deliberately unpolished nature of the filmmaking — of which with the icy, stabbing synths of Toydrum’s excellent score are the most expressive asset.” – Variety
PREVENGE is the brilliant and off-the-wall writing and directing debut feature by Alice Lowe (Sightseers). Lowe also leads a strong British cast including Jo Hartley (This Is England, Eddie the Eagle), Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones), Kate Dickie (Red Road), Kayvan Novak (Fonejacker), Tom Davis (Murder in Successville), Dan Skinner (High-Rise), Tom Meeten (The Ghoul) and Mike Wozniak (Man Down). PREVENGE is produced by Vaughan Sivell, Will Kane and Jen Handorf, a Western Edge production for the Gennaker group. The film, currently in theaters in the UK, will be released in the US by AMC’s Shudder service on March 24th after it screens at SXSW. The soundtrack is by Toydrum and will be released by Lakeshore Records in conjunction with Invada Records.
PREVENGE had it’s world premiere opening Critic’s Week at the Venice Film Festival, since then it has played at a number of key festivals around the world including Toronto, Dinard and London.
A pitch black, wryly British comedy, PREVENGE follows Ruth, a pregnant woman on a killing spree that’s as funny as it is vicious. It’s her misanthropic unborn baby dictating Ruth’s actions, holding society responsible for the absence of a father. The child speaks to Ruth from the womb, coaching her to lure and ultimately kill her unsuspecting victims. Struggling with her conscience, loneliness, and a strange strain of prepartum madness, Ruth must ultimately choose between redemption and destruction at the moment of motherhood. PREVENGE marks the directorial debut from Lowe, who is a true triple threat, writing, directing, and acting in the film during her own real-life pregnancy.
Known for her work as a UK television comedy actress, Alice Lowe made her move into film with her screenwriting debut Sightseers, directed by Ben Wheatley, in which she also starred as the hapless Tina. After premiering at Cannes, Sightseers went on to receive several accolades, Empire’s Best British Film, as well as acting and screenplay awards for Alice.
Alice’s other work includes three series of her sketch show Alice’s Wunderland for BBC Radio 4, several short films, TV and film appearances such as Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, Paddington, Hot Fuzz, Horrible Histories, etc. More recently she has starred in UK indie film hits such as Black Mountain Poets, Adult Life Skills and Locke. She often uses improvisation in her work.
PREVENGE is Alice’s directorial feature debut. She wrote, starred in, and directed it whilst 7-8 months pregnant with her first child, who also appears in the film. Alice was one of the BIFA nominees for ‘best debut director’.
Toydrum are a duo who sneak into the consciousness. Not for them the full frontal assault but, instead, a drip-feed of classy work that many may know without knowing. Their hugely acclaimed work with the late singer-songwriter Gavin Clark lit up Shane Meadows’ ‘This Is England ‘90’, their rework of John Lennon’s ‘How Do You Sleep’ led Noel Gallagher to have them remix his High Flying Birds hit ‘In The Heat of the Moment’ (which, in turn, soundtracked last year’s epic ad for the latest ‘Assassin’s Creed’ game), and their soundtracks for films such as the recent Tye Sheridan-starring thriller ‘Detour’ and Alice Lowe’s 2016 Venice Film Festival opener, ‘Prevenge’, have broadened their appeal further. Toydrum’s signing to Skint Records is now announced and celebrated by ‘My Eye on You (To Reinvision)’, a collective interpretation of their work thus far, running the gamut from Nick Cave’s balladry to Trentemøller’s drum & bass-tinted electronica.
“For ‘To Reinvision’ we let a lot of friends, peers and people we love to work with explore our songs,” explains James Griffith, one half of Toydrum.
“We often spoke to artists who don’t usually do remixes and gave them the option to do whatever they wanted,” adds Pablo Clements, the other Toydrummer, “Steve Mason, for instance, took an instrumental and, with Tom Gray from Gomez, turned it into a full song. Others took snippets and made whole new tracks from them. We also invited label mate’s Joel Wells and Abi Wade to cover a song of their choice .It was a green light to do what they wanted.
The Artwork and visual side of this project is also a big part of the Toy Drum story , With artwork and Boxset design by Kai and Sunny this Album came as ltd piece of Art with Kai and Sunnys art show My Eye On You at Colette in Paris France .
Other idea’s came when friends turned some of our songs into short films.” The most high profile of these films was ‘The Hope You Promised Love’, directed by Jack Weatherley and starring Jim Sturgess (of ‘Cloud Atlas/Feed The Beast fame) and Stacy Martin (from Lars Von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’). It was based on the 2014 song ‘I’ve Got A Future’ which Toydrum created with Gavin Clark. Toydrum followed it with another collaboration, the album ‘Evangelist’, a uniquely compelling set completed after the singer’s death, aged only 46, in February 2015.
Clark is a key figure in their history, a mesmeric but damaged musical maverick who they met when he was providing vocals for James Lavelle’s Unkle, an outfit Pablo and James were both part of. Clark went on to contribute to Toydrum’s debut mini-album, ‘Distant Focus Vol.1’, but it was the songs from ‘Evangelist’ that Shane Meadows placed at key moments during ‘This Is England ‘90’. Now some of them reappear on ‘To Reinvision’, taking fresh forms; Frank Wiedemann of Âme gives ‘God Song’ a house pulse that takes it to new places, while Richard Norris from Beyond the Wizards Sleeve reimagines ‘Know One Will Ever Know’ as choral electro (and, of course, there’s Nick Cave and Warren Ellis gently deconstructing ‘I’ve Got A Future’ too).
“It was a very hard decision to have ‘Evangelist’ involved in this,” says Pablo, “As keeping the Evangelist untouched was an argument we had with ourselves . But we wanted as many people as possible to hear Gavin’s songs and these new versions will introduce Gavin to a whole different Audience , His legacy needs to be strong and we feel these versions will help with that.
Clark, however, is only part of the Toydrum story. ‘To Reinvision’ acts a bridge between the group’s past and their heady plans for the future. The duo are named after a demo on which James played said instrument, after they’d become friends as members of UNKLE. Pablo had previously been in party-centric turntablists The Psychonauts and was in UNKLE for nearly a decade, while James grew up in New Hampshire, before moving to Baltimore where he was bassist in the well-liked band Lake Trout (signed to Chris Blackwell’s Palm Pictures imprint). He was involved with UNKLE for five years. The pair are now Based in their own studio in Brighton.
“Eventually we were just going in a different direction from where UNKLE was heading,” recalls James, “We left after doing the film ‘The Score’, an art film about Euro 2012, and a Band of Skulls remix that we won a remix of the year award – so we ended on a high!”
Their move forward together as Toydrum voyaged into eclectic new territory. They cut amazing mix albums with the likes of Tim Goldsworthy and Alex Maas of the Black Angels, and worked with graphic designers Kai and Sunny and don Shepard Fairey. They also created the soundtrack for the film as yet to be released ‘London Fields’, starring Johnny Depp, Billy Bob Thornton and Amber Heard.
Debut mini-album ‘Distant Focus Vol.1’ showed a band unwilling to be trapped by preconceptions, from the simple purity of ‘Void and Form’ to the heavier Krautrock flavours of cuts such as ‘It Came Without Warning’ and ‘Another Wave’ to the Eno-esque jazz ambience of ‘A Distant Focus’. Their remixes for Stereophonics, Trentemøller, Hybrid and Noel Gallagher, meanwhile, were equally wide-ranging in sonic scope.
“We turned Trentemøller into glam rock and Noel into Afrobeat,” laughs Pablo, “We don’t make it easy for ourselves. We always want to do what people don’t expect…”
And so it is with their new album, not so much a straight studio set as a collectively gathered statement of where they’ve been and where they’re at. Apart from those already mentioned, it contains contributions from rising names such as Berlin-based Balearic dude Alexander Palmestål, London synth whizz Rival Consoles, Pye Corner Audio and newcomer’s Samana, Correlations,M∃on and Mojib . But most of all it bubbles with the sense that Toydrum are at home, that they’ve located what they want to do and where they’re going. Their days of sneaking up on us may be over. Toydrum seem to have arrived.