Black Lung + Xingu Hill - The Andronechron Incident
While slipping the semi-familiar looking The Andronechron Incident into my CD player, I have a startling flashback. It was about two years ago, I was over at a friend's house just hanging around and doing a bunch of mushrooms, when his girlfriend comes home from picking up her father at the airport. The two of us had totally forgotten that today was that day, and were now startled by the realization that we were about to meet him in an all too obvious fucked up state.
"Good," said the father in his heavily Italian accented English, "You're already high. Then we can begin" (These are the only words of English he spoke the whole time. The rest of the time, I had to depend on my friends for translation). Apparently this fatherly figure was different from what I was used to growing up. Not only was our drug use of no concern to him, but he himself had smuggled a tiny ball of hashish in his mouth through airport security. He now was breaking it up and preparing to smoke it. "Mo' soccia, mo mi faccio una bella fumata con del gusto!" He said, which apparently translates to, "Now I'll smoke this with a lot of pleasure!"
He had something he wanted us to watch, a movie, but one that was, in his opinion, more fact than fiction. It was an underground Italian avant-garde sci-fi movie called The Andronechron Incident, that had been bootlegged. It may, he claimed, be the only copy of the movie left in the world. It had been made by smuggling a video camera into a small Italian theatre, and so was of extremely poor quality and affected by comments made by the other patrons in the theatre (for example, one critical moment was entirely ruined by some old crusty Italian repeating "Se non ci sono i laser, non puo' essere Fantascienza!", which translates to, "If it doesn't have lasers, it can't be Science fiction!" For about two minutes until he was finally silenced by the "shhh"s of the rest of the audience).
The hashish just accentuated the mushrooms and the subsequent viewing of the movie was one of an intensity that I have never been able to match. At the time I didn't even know that Black Lung and Xingu Hill were the artists behind the soundtrack, but I do remember being completely enthralled with the way the visuals (to be sure, more than normal) were intertwining with the musical score.
The movie itself remains to me now somewhat of a blur, especially since a great deal of the Italian dialogue (it switched back and forth between that and English) had to be translated for me as I watched. We spent the rest of the night discussing it, with my friend's father often going into long, quickly spoken rants that my friend refused to translate because, in her opinion, "he was just talking crazy" or "he's really high right now". They would then speak in Italian to each other for a couple of minutes.
I had meant to watch the movie again, when I was in a more sober state, but the opportunity never arose. Within a week, the father returned to Italy, where he became reclusive, cutting off his phone and speaking to no one. A trip to visit him last summer by my friends proved to be one huge waste of time. He only met them once and for a short period of time. Whether or not it was the movie, The Andronechron Incident, that so affected him, is to be questioned. True, the man had been quite eccentric for years (perhaps forever), but his focus on this strange Italian cinematic production is very intense.
I'm still amazed that Black Lung and Xingu Hill were behind the musical score, which is a brilliant and twisted blend of these two artists sounds. How they got involved in it, I have no idea. The movie is a complete mystery, more so since incidents have caused it to literally disappear (financial difficulties that led to bankruptcy on the part of the producers), with only the soundtrack remaining as proof of its existence.
Without a doubt, if you ever get a chance to see The Andronechron Incident, then you must do so! Experiencing it through the soundtrack, however, may be your only option.
Squid @ May 2002