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Themes and Atmospheres for Adam Curtis's Russia 1985​-​1999 TraumaZone

by Lawrence English

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Atmosphere I 01:04


My friend Adam Curtis has been a source of intense and prolonged inspiration for me. In the past decade especially, his work has helped provoke and unsettle ways of approaching a world that grows ceaselessly complex and opaque. His methods of visual edits, sound design and structure, as a film maker, is something I have also drawn greatly from.

It was a pleasure then to have the chance to work with him on Russia 1985-1999 TraumaZone. Whilst this is not the first collaboration we have had, it is by far the most direct and from my side at least the most satisfying. Another Ending is a piece that echoes forward from Adam’s film and the underlying, sometimes cloaked, influences that inform him and simultaneously inform me.

The drafts of the films I initially saw were yet to be finalised and only recently I learned the title of series, Russia 1985-1999 TraumaZone. This resonated strongly with me, as over the past three years I have been somewhat pre-occupied with The Zone - captured directly in albums like Field Recordings From The Zone and also my duet with Merzbow Eternal Stalker, not to mention Approach, which by default dwells in a very relational terrain.

The image on the cover of this edition I captured in St Petersburg. The shot was taken about a decade after the conclusion of Adam’s film, but to me it somehow displays part of the unsteady and empty promises that characterise this series of films.

The additional pieces are raw materials, atmospheres, that were created alongside the piece.


released October 28, 2022

Special thanks to Adam Curtis


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Lawrence English Brisbane, Australia

Lawrence English. Philosopher of listening. Room40 Honcho. Generally questioning living, dying and everything else in-between.

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