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Thursday, 13 August 2009

Alan Moore's Hip Hop Collaboration

Watchmen and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen writer and co-creator Alan Moore is collaborating on a new graphic novel project with art rap musician Doseone.

Partly inspired by Radiohead's deluxe version of In Rainbows, the Moore project, tentatively titled Unearthing, tries to hit all senses at once. Music site Pitchfork reports the autobiographical work is due to include a "photographic novel," a two-hour audiobook already recorded by Moore, art prints, and a vinyl soundtrack featuring Doseone and Fog and will be released next year by UK indie label Lex Records.

"It has a score by some artists and the visual side of it is amazing," Tom Brown, founder of London-based Lex, told Billboard.biz.

"It's full of recurring themes, and all this recurring writing breaks and reconstructs its phrasings over and over again throughout," he continued. "So we kinda found those motifs, brought them all in and out, and then made holes in it, where we made things recur and then patched the holes."

While the full line up of artists has yet to be confirmed, Billboard reports the score that accompanies the book is being worked on by Andrew Broder of alternative act Fog and spoken word artist Adam Drucker. Brown says musicians in the frame to provide key elements of the soundtrack include Mike Patton of Faith No More and Justin Broadrick, formerly of industrial metal band Godflesh.

"It started as a collaboration between [Alan] and Mitch Jenkins, an old compatriot of his who is a photographer and who does really brilliant work," Doesone, who holds Moore in high regard told Pitchfork. "They wanted to do a graphic novel that is photo-art and novel. And this is more novel than graphic at this point.

"It's actually more a novel. Mitch did all the photos, and so it will be more like a giant coffee table book than anything else. But the writing itself is extremely dense," Doseone told Pitchfork.

"It's a prose-based novel, and it's too confusing for me to try and correctly encapsulate. But it is about, uh, a co-worker of Alan's and somehow seemingly about Alan himself. And it's about the comic industry, the world of magic, the world we live in, the world we don't live in. Really fantastic writing."

The project is not, the musician says, being done 'comic style'.

"'Graphic novel', in this case, is completely misleading. Like 'rap record' with Themselves. It's actually more a novel. Mitch did all the photos, and so it will be more like a giant coffee table book than anything else. But the writing itself is extremely dense. It's a prose-based novel, and it's too confusing for me to try and correctly encapsulate. But it is about, uh, a co-worker of Alan's and somehow seemingly about Alan himself. And it's about the comic industry, the world of magic, the world we live in, the world we don't live in. Really fantastic writing."

During the recording of the audiobook in Northampton, where Moore lives, the process was filmed for possible inclusion in the box set.

Unearthing will be released in 2010. Read the interview with Doseone on Pitchfork here.

Lex Records Official Web Site

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