HOW FAR AHEAD of the musical curve was musician Kevin Shields’ revolutionary production for legendary My Bloody Valentine albums Isn’t Anything and Loveless? Let’s just say that words at the time couldn’t do the trick.
“In an interview when Loveless came out [in 1991], I said it will be years before anyone is talking about this record on the level that I’m hearing it,” the visionary Shields explained in a four-hour interview for Hypnagogia Films’ so-called shoegaze documentary Beautiful Noise, now nearing the end of its Kickstarter campaign for crowdsourced funding. “Everyone was like, ‘That’s really arrogant!’ And yet in retrospective, it wasn’t that I was right, but I wasn’t wrong either.”
Directed by Eric Green, Beautiful Noise explores the singular, influential sonics of immersive yet disorienting bands like My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins and The Jesus and Mary Chain, as well as newer but similarly inspired experimenters like Autolux. With interviews with Shields, The Cure’s Robert Smith, Trent Reznor and many more in the can and over half of its hoped-for $75,000 funding on the books, Green is crossing his fingers that Kickstarter comes through before Beautiful Noise‘s Dec. 15 deadline, so that he and his hypnagogic crew can finally deliver their musical labor of love.
That could be just in time for My Bloody Valentine’s long-awaited follow-up to Loveless, which Shields plans to independently release before the end of the year on MBV’s official site.
Because now is the time that foundational full-lengths like Loveless are more fully appreciated. Back then, the best the music press could offer to describe its spiraling sonics was the dismissive catch-all shoegaze, which has since widened to include disparate bands once left outside of that condescending terminology.
“Funnily enough, we’re written about in a much more accurate way now than at the time, when it was just underwater guitar, millions of overdubs and mumbled vocals,” Shields said.