Marc Heal - The Hum

by Marc Heal

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    Issued to celebrate the release of 'The Hum', these are the last remaining shirts in the Armalyte warehouse.
    Effortlessly stylish, the back print proudly declares "CONFORMITY IS FASCISM".

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1.
Tiananmen 04:21
Tiananmen I looked at the face of a lost boy in a photograph It was to be given to me by the hands of a dissident man Drank spirits from a quart in an anonymous apartment Somewhere on a fourth floor above Tiananmen He was making a film about government corruption Smoked cheap cigarettes until his teeth turned yellow He said don’t shiver in the cold air The shroud that hangs above the square The temperature is always zero there There’s a laser beam in the sky tonight Does a figure of 8 from the left to the right Looks like it’s searching for you Why do you always wear black Sunny? In my country it is the colour of death I can almost feel the truncheons on your pale skin You say you left it too late to get married You would have made a good wife you could have had a quiet life In a village somewhere a long way from Tiananmen That boy in the photograph I don’t think he ever existed I don’t think you want to remember do you, Sunny? Because you know that there’s something worse Do you belong to the Christian church? If you think it would help then I will pray for you Hey Sunny Why do you always wear black? In my country it is the colour of death
2.
Katarina’s House Once this was a mansion that was filled with light And elegant couples came from the city to stay for the night Now Katarina stands tall against the window frame Staring out on the garden The frosts are coming Soon it will be winter again All the rooms are empty in Katarina’s house Behind the granite walls of Katarina’s house All the rooms are empty in Katarina’s house Now the horses go unfed and the dogs howl the dogs howl And here is the bedroom where they once made love The floorboards creak and shafts of light catch the dust Disturbed by Katarina’s pacing Once she had a child, a clever blonde haired girl In the garden they built a rope and wooden swing No one plays there now It rattles in the wind I once tried to reach her but her sadness was too much Sterner hands than mine have failed before they gave up Now the children of the village won’t trespass in that place of sorrow And the dogs they howl All the rooms are empty in Katarina’s house There is no shelter in Katarina’s house There stands the mistress silent of Katarina’s house There is no mercy in Katarina’s house And the dogs they howl
3.
Adult Fiction She turns the pages of the manuscript Recites her catalogue of fear Sits on a cushion in her kaftan and her jewellery I sit and criticise never going near Her husband is some kind of financier But he’s never home to listen to her tales of desolation She’s all alone But for the two of us On every other Thursday night She writes me fiction She sees the future she sees the children dying She has a savage vision Of one woman left alive to save us all from ruin And I’m choked by all these silks and leathers marble lions ostrich feathers This is how the wealthy live in tax free havens out of reach And her maids and gardeners flank us politely Nodding at the story of some hideous disease unleashed In the aftermath of war society has crumbled Humanity has been revealed for the animals we really are Clawing at each others faces for survival Just like the two of us On every other Thursday night Tell me tell me How will it be? I believe she sees the future I believe she sees Cassandra on the gates of Troy destined to be disbelieved Our greed will destroy us all
4.
Model Citizen It’s so difficult outside these days I need the temperature controlled So I go from home by car to shopping mall And the deeper into debt I get the more I am congratulated And everything still seems unobtainable I‘ll do whatever it takes To be a model citizen I’ll do whatever you want me to When the herd senses danger it turns upon the unfamiliar I want to hide behind my gated walls I want to block you out With entertainment merchandised infantilised My food to be delivered to my door I want to be isolated I want to be insulated I want you all to be invisible I‘ll do whatever it takes To be a model citizen I’ll do whatever you want me to I’d like to fall in love with another model citizen But everybody seems so scared to meet I send pictures of myself to another model citizen We swap messages but she never seems to want to speak And when I try to reassure her and reach out I only seem to bore her she tunes out I feel obsolete All that money’s been manufactured All that news has been created All these pictures of girls have been selected just for me And I’m happy that way Don’t want it any other way I‘ll do whatever it takes To be a model citizen I’ll do whatever you want me to And I’m happy
5.
Show Homes For Luxury Living All these promises of perfection Condominiums in the clouds Look around at the chrome and velvet furnishings No dissension is allowed Show homes for luxury living Show homes but the lives are just for show Show homes for luxury living Show homes now there’s nowhere left to go And in our brochures perfect husbands stare at perfect wives In their castles in the skies Immaculate in our conception There is no ugliness in showroom lives You will pay Mr Jones You will pay for our show homes
6.
The Abandoned Junkshop At the back of the racecourse watching the scenery I came on an abandoned shop I heard the throbbing of faint machinery The door opened when I tried the lock Inside my mind someone was scanning it I felt his presence within The trap sprang shut He must have been planning it I felt resistance give in I feel the eye of an ancient god sitting on a cloud of incense I feel the eye of an ancient god feeding on the souls of children Down in the basement in 1945 they tortured Captain Pengelley For three days and nights they kept him alive Before the end came And now his presence lives on in the walls He’s the controller of the gang of mannequins Animated by the energy of evil That lurks within I feel the eye of an ancient god sitting on a cloud of incense I feel the eye of an ancient god feeding on the souls of children I see Baal and Bhudda and a Ba Jiao Gui gazing down upon me I feel the eye of the ancient god in the bricks of the basement of the abandoned junk shop And nothing’s going to be the same ever again Time is distorting… time is distorting…. In the bricks of the basement of the abandoned junk shop
7.
Wounded Dog 03:54
Wounded Dog Came across a dog in the final throes After the rain His coat was wet and his eyes half-closed They spoke of too many whips and curses Too much pain I thought that I would stay awhile Lie with him in the sewer To be there at the end Just stroke his fur and whisper kind things Not much that I could do except be a friend We’re just lying side by side Under the burning sun We’re just old comrades killing time Waiting for the end to come Then he seemed to speak my name One last time A dying soldier Last breath in a storm drain We’ve got some scars to show and we got some tales to tell Once we walked tall, we had superpowers Now our only ambition is a lick of water and a flicker of shade To cool the the brow To ease these dying hours
8.
Johnny Was An Oilman Station Inspector Lee of the Singapore Police Force (Division E) Was hoping for a homicide for professional advancement so he Was disappointed at the suicide at the side of the Tanglin rugby pitch Cause they found no trace of a struggle just a pistol But something didn’t fit If the cause of death was suicide then Ask yourself why? Johnny was an oilman Johnny always toed the line Johnny made sure that he always kept his eyes shut But he knew too much he knew too much this time Inspector Lee was a diligent fellow He interviewed friends of the deceased Until political pressure from the very top insisted that his investigation cease I told you Johnny but you wouldn’t listen This city doesn’t welcome questions Forget about the drive and the drilling plans Get on a plane get out while you can Johnny was an oilman Johnny always toed the line And Johnny was a corporate fool Johnny made sure that he always kept his eyes shut But still Johnny was a friend of mine
9.
Monoxide 05:40
Monoxide Somewhere down in the valleys between the high-rise blocks Rubber is burning steel is scorching You can hear the shots of Police Brigade 379 firing CS gas I want to protect you from all this blood and broken glass I don’t want you breathing in the monoxide I don’t like it getting under your skin I don’t want you breathing in the monoxide I don’t want to let the poison get in And up on the hoardings is a tourist poster saying “fly with me” A futile exhortation of sex and popularity This is a system meltdown this is a glitch Don’t choke on the firestorm from the temples of the rich And if your refusal means they call you a fascist Well conformity is a fascism too And I don’t want you breathing in the monoxide I don’t want to let the poison get in
10.
Faithful Machinery There’s nothing more I can do now except wish you no pain It seems it falls to me to sing this requiem You’re so much more than circuitry and wires You have heard jazz and propaganda Spoken word and gospel choirs Thank you faithful machinery Thank you my loyal friends Oh there were better times when he laid his hands upon you And you responded like heroes like acrobats like marksmen A life well led now you’re dying far from England Faithful machines One last time I raise my hand And you lived and you breathed and you spoke to us Thank you faithful machinery Thank you my loyal friends

credits

released November 11, 2016

Vocals – Marc Heal
Guitar – Benny Ong
All other instruments – Marc Heal

All songs written by Marc Heal (Copyright control)
Produced by Marc Heal at Lion Studios Singapore
Photography by Kym Bernabe
Mastering and post-production – Julian Seifert at Epic Audio

I used Native Instruments, Spectrasonics, KV331, Moog, Roland and Access synthesizers.

Thanks: To the magnificent ruin that is Lion Studios. To David Tan and Rufus Varghese for their support. To Giles Moorhouse and Juilan Seifert for round the clock administration and morale maintenance. To everyone online that supported me with a word of encouragement. Most of all, to my wife Sarah for bearing with me. It was a lonely process. I did the best I could.

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