Tim Kinsella is a Chicago, IL-based musician, author and film director, who’s best known for stints in a number of bands, including Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc, Make Believe, Owls, Friend/Enemy, Everyoned and others, and for an extensive solo career, releasing material under the name Tim Kinsella(s). Jenny Pulse is an electronic music producer and artist, who has released two full-length albums — 2017’s Spa Moans/Obedient Vibrations and Marmalade, which was released earlier this year. Kinsella and Pulse have managed to consummate their love musically with their collaborative project Good Fuck, a self-described exploration of experimental literary techniques and adventurous electronic production and beats.
Seeking an intimate creative environment to develop their aesthetic and sound, the duo decided that they needed to be in total isolation. “We packed the car and drove 13 hours to The Millay Colony in upstate New York: an artist’s colony in The Berkshires, miles down a private road, next to 100,000 acres of national forest,” Kinsella says in press notes. As soon as they arrived, the couple devised a unique artistic process to work from. Described by Kinsella as a “collaborative conscious alignment,” lyric writing was centered around 12 books, including Don Quixote, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and others that the couple felt were relevant. Then they came up with various systems to collapse and collage them into each other in different combinations. The result was a sort of literary mash up in which content and structure were scrambled into a totally new product. “We might take the form of an Eskimo genesis myth, but use words from Anaïs Nin,” Kinsella explains.
Sonically speaking, the project draws from Kinsella’s extensive background in genre-pushing rock and Pulse’s ear for minimalist electronic sounds — and interestingly enough, they managed such an artistic symbiosis together that “To a large degree we don’t even know who programmed what beat, and who programmed what synth line,” Kinsella reflects. According to Kinsella, he and Pulse were “stunned” by what they had created, the entire process was far from perfect. “Of course there were snags, technological and psychological. And of course we threw a good amount away. But what was left was not the result of trying to write songs, but the effortless evidence of what emerged when we got clear in our intentions and then just let it out,” Kinsella says.
The album’s latest single “Secret Meetings” is a perfect example of the duo’s unique, boundary pushing sound as it’s centered around a minimalist, electronic production featuring whirring, buzzing and industrial clang and clatter, brief blasts of arpeggiated synths and chanted lyrics. And with this single the result is a track that’s esoteric and cryptic, wildly adventurous and yet accessible, as the duo have paired this with a sensual, sweaty groove.
Directed by Lin Hixson, the video was co-conceived with Matthew Goulish and stars the duo, walking on a treadmill passing objects made by Caroline Dahlberg to each other. It’s a decidedly fitting minimalist approach.