The first track on this CD has Willem De Ridder fantasizing about an alleged video of the Sharon Tate murder. Snuff just narrates this quest, though, when finally showed the film, De Ridder realizes he’s the one about to be tortured in the movie. This story in itself implies a twist of mind I find hard to follow, if we remember De Ridder left the United States in 1979 after death threats from Charles Manson, who sent an audio cassette to TV stations threatening members of the Family would kill De Ridder for spreading pornography in the country. The FBI got involved and De Ridder was questioned about the sex magazines and journals he published in the US (Finger and GOD). The ‘Manson Family’ is held responsible of the Sharon Tate murder, according to Wikipedia, but the story is all the more sinister when one remembers Sharon Tate was about to have a baby from Roman Polanski at the time of her death. In any case, it seems the Charles Manson fascination was stronger than the end of his American Dream for De Ridder, since many of De Ridder’s projects from the 1980s were aimed at the American public: the Hate and Love magazines, the Spiral cassettes, the All Chemix Radio plays, etc, were all written or performed in English, and sent to a wide network of correspondents in the US.
The Isle of the Dead monologue was recorded in Italy, on the terrace of Prince Lobckowicz’s villa, when De Ridder was living there with Annie Sprinkle in 1979. From there De Ridder produced TV and radio programs in Dutch and English. The surrounding landscape is noticeable in the recording (birds, cocks, engines) and is a nice counterpoint to a gloomy story about speaking-in-tongue and étrangeté. The Hafler Trio contributes an appropriate interlude of deep, rich synth drone.
01 Willem De Ridder Snuff (19:37)
02 The Hafler Trio Projection (7:07)
03 Willem De Ridder Isle of the Dead (45:22)
Total time 72:00
CD released by Touch, ref. SPL.2, UK, 1992
Download (32-pp booklet included)