'Funhausen': Killer, plunderphonic Stooges tribute

Aug 4, 2016 at 8:59 am

Yesterday, our brains got full-on melted when WFMU program director Brian Turner posted a link on his personal Facebook page to a musician from Atlanta's stylized, experimental reworking of what most people consider to be the greatest single album of the rock and roll era, Fun House by the Stooges.

As you might guess by the name, the Funhausen project cheekily combines composer Karlheinz Stockhausen's aggressive approach to modern music (oh wait, maybe not) with the music of Fun House. This is a manipulated work, created using samples of the record. It is available entirely for free both streaming and as a download right here.

Because this is a plunderphonic and unauthorized remix, interested parties are encouraged to grab it right away before some lawyer cease-and-desists it all to hell.

All the artist's comments and descriptions that follow are well worth your time.

Description of the project on the page it was housed:
Rock & roll bands can shelter, save, scar, and ruin. Mercifully, Funhausen is not a rock & roll band, though the seven tracks showcased here are an unrestrained celebration of volume, transgression, stomp, pleasure-pain, and the lust for transcendence. Being true or real is of no concern to Funhausen, though if its hide was torn open and its insides spilled onto the dirt, stray and infected traces of some of the greatest rock & roll ever committed might be spied by the purified eye. Know this: Funhausen chooses irrationality over logic, understands the value of failure, and was over before it even started.  

Posted under "rules of engagement" on the Funhausen.com website

The following restrictions applied to the realization of Funhausen:

My Fun House CD was the only instrument, a type of phallic piano with psilocybin wings.

While absolutely all audio was sourced from the CD, the transformation and editing of that audio was unrestrained.

The tracks were done in the sequential order of the original record, and only the particular track that was being "covered" was sourced for its bastard Funhausen cousin. The track titles correspond in various ways to the original titles, and the original track lengths have been observed.

Reinterpretation coexisted with re-imagination. There was no attempt to religiously adhere to The Truth of The Stooges, though one of the drugs that kept me from abandoning the project was my love of the original record, which led to the spirit of transgression prevailing.

On a final note, I decided early on that Iggy’s cauterized vocals would not be featured until the final track, primarily because they are so iconic that my rearrangements of the original songs would have been relegated to support systems for his voice. I already had enough limitations to deal with. So, "LA Blooze" is the only Funhausen track to be dominated by jumpcuts and snapshots of Iggy's voice, and the only one to basically retain its Fun House title. For me, this lent poetic justice to the collection's finale.

Posted under "conception" on the Funhausen.com website

Funhausen is the result of my good friend Tony Emmons' unintentionally sadistic suggestion that I remix The Stooges’ Fun House as an alternative to covering the album live in its entirety. When confronted with my dismay after being unable to attract any like-minded, lapsed miscreants to performing the record live a few times in my quaint little hamlet of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, he innocently threw out a proposition he knew I was capable of executing, though not even he could have known I would take it this far.

Simply put, the idea would probably never have occurred to me, and I will be forever grateful to Tony for providing the genesis of this project.

That was a few years ago, and despite competing responsibilities, repeated interruptions, other musical projects, and numerous attacks of "what the fuck am I doing? This is crazy and it'll never be over," the seven tracks that comprise Funhausen have finally been externalized and now exist as free downloads, though how long that will be the case is anybody's guess. This was undoubtedly a kamikaze project, which adds a bit of deflation to my celebration of actually finishing the goddamn thing.

Beyond my suspicion that no one has ever gone so sonically off the rails to tribute one of the greatest rock ‘n roll records of all time, my only defense to the authorities is that this one-off wipe-out was considered with full knowledge that any notions of profit were entirely out of the question, and that all my efforts could be erased without my consent from their current distribution platforms. Which makes the only cost deeply personal, and the only dependable return the fact that I put a shitload of work into Funhausen with full knowledge of the probable consequences.

So, if you happen to be one those who finds these redesigns even faintly intriguing (frankly, "remix" is conspicuously inadequate when applied to these tracks; "recomposed" is more apt), I humbly suggest that you download them while you can and spread 'em around. Enforced obsolescence abounds.

Postscript: This immaterial spot on this incorporeal page is as good a place as any to admit that the "I" mentioned throughout is in fact me, Sean Moore. I'm old enough to remember pay-phones, life without the internet, and to have had several musical epiphanies, each one revealing a new set of touchstones. I've been a stoner, prog-rock obsessed high school kid playing in a disco band in Miami; a coke-addled drummer for the impotent sea snakes doing a 2:00 a.m. set at CBGBs while Hilly Kristal's afghan took a pungent dump in front of the stage; an incongruous accompanist for my professional lounge singer mother-in-law during a New Years Eve gig at a VFW Hall that had a Jane Fonda "urinal target" in the men's room; and too many other personas and approaches that few would care to hear about. One of my most heart-felt and now defunct projects was Lid Emba, and I'm currently doing a bass-drums-electronics duo called Bold Ashes.

Darts can be thrown at funhausen at gmail dot com.