In What's Missing, Is Where Love Has Gone mangles audio from Nicholas Roeg’s film and other projects by Petit
A new album by Chris Petit and regular collaborator Mordant Music reworks the soundtrack to Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell To Earth to mark the third anniversary of David Bowie’s death. In What's Missing, Is Where Love Has Gone is the first vinyl release on the long-running ‘anti-record label’ purge.xxx.
The 12" is inspired by an image of the back of Bowie’s head, a freeze frame accidentally rendered from Petit’s late night viewing of Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell To Earth. “I find myself thinking about an image of an entertainer, dead now, but with perfect hair,” the novelist and film maker says in the notes accompanying the album. “This man with perfect hair, turning his back on the world, face to the wall… And maybe also the fact that the image is not original but a copy of a copy of a copy, and though it is obviously him (or pretty obviously), there is always a chance it is not.” The record follows a 2017 exhibition of the same name by Petit held in Berlin. Bowie’s particular style of that era, with the haircut he rocked on both the cover of Low and in his part as Thomas Jerome Newton in Roeg’s 1976 film, is as Petit sees it, a “combination of a tarty dye and taking huge amounts of cocaine.”
The music meanwhile was cooked up by esoteric audio engineers Mordant Music, incorporating aspects of The Man Who Fell To Earth alongside detritus from Petit’s 1979 film Radio On, which David Bowie contributed to, and Petit’s LP Museum Of Loneliness.
purge.xxx has previously released cassettes by Frans Zwartjes, Shit & Shine, Iain Sinclair, and many more. The label promises an upcoming launch event for the record with “a Bowie impersonator performing all of the hits with his back to the crowd”. You can read more details about the release on their website.