Legendary producer John Fryer has unveiled the latest offering from his Black Needle Noise project – ‘What a Wonderful World’ featuring Tom Berger on vocals. This is the second offering from BNN’s covers-based album ‘These Mortal Covers’, to be released in late autumn via Cleopatra Records. This beautiful and dramatically dark redux takes us far from the original recorded by Louis Armstrong, animated in a stunning video, directed by Christoph Vitt and Alex Makarov and starring model Dori Darkmoon with Tom Berger.
As one of the most innovative sonic architects in our age, “John Fryer has practically soundtracked your entire life” (Impose Magazine). His musical imprint is massive, having shaped the sound of bands from Nine Inch Nails and Cocteau Twins to HIM and Depeche Mode. He is also one of just two masterminds behind This Mortal Coil (along with Ivo Watts-Russell – not only producing, but also keyboards, strings and synthesizer sequencing).
“I have always loved the Louis Armstrong version of ‘Wonderful World’ from when I heard it as a child and it has stayed with me ever since. So I wanted to make a very different cinematic version, a very depressingly apocalyptic version with an uplifting feel. I thought of Tom Berger my friend for many a year to sing it and I think he has done an amazing job to convey those haunting sentiments,” says John Fryer.
Tom Berger and John Fryer have collaborated and been good friends for many years, beginning their long-term friendship in the 90s when Fryer signed Berger’s band Sundealers to his Something To Listen To label. Berger also contributed guitar on recordings and live performances for Fryer’s project DarkDriveClinic. Most recently, Fryer executive produced, mixed and co-0wrote tracks for the new album from his band Jonny Tupolev.
About this new rendition of the classic, Tom Berger notes, “For me it was a real challenge to sing the vocals of a classical piece of music. After John sent me the instrumental version, I thought it’s not possible – How can I transform such a fragile and innocent melody into such a massive wall of sound? And that was the thing: I sang it like I‘d never heard the 1967 original. The result is not just a cover – it’s something new – and I’m very proud of the final result”.
The album’s first single ‘She Talks To Angels’ features vocalist Anjela Piccard, whose powerful rendition of this Black Crowes track brings their own unique twist and stylistic trademark. Earlier, Black Needle Noise released ‘Seed of Evil’ with PIG, an unholy collaboration between Fryer and industrial music legend Raymond Watts (KMFDM).
John Fryer started his career in 1979 at London’s Blackwing Studios (London) and soon began working with seminal bands on the 4AD, Mute, Rough Trade and Beggars Banquet record labels, including Depeche Mode, The Wolfgang Press and Cocteau Twins. His achievement in helping develop the latter’s pioneering ethereal and ambient sound ultimately led Watts-Russell to recruit Fryer as his partner for This Mortal Coil.
A sense of expectation about his music has never left him – expectations he often exceeds from release to release, having produced many iconic artists, including Love and Rockets, Swans, HIM, Cradle of Filth, Clan of Xymox, Nitzer Ebb, Dead Can Dance, Yaz (Yazoo), Xmal Deutschland, Fields of the Nephilim, De/Vision, Stabbing Westward and many others. Fryer has also produced many film soundtracks, such as Seven, Clerks, Johnny Mnemonic, Mortal Kombat, Faust and Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
The ‘Before The Tears Came’ LP can be pre-ordered on CD. This was the first album from Black Needle Noise, previously issued only digitally and on vinyl.
‘What a Wonderful World’ is out now, available digitally across online stores, such as Apple Music, and streaming platforms such as Spotify. It is also available directly from Black Needle Noise via Bandcamp, along with their debut album ‘Before The Tears Came’ (CD, vinyl, digital) and following ‘Lost In Reflections’ LP (vinyl, digital).
Vocals by Tom Berger
All other noises by John Fryer
Video produced by GatesandSensors.com and Makarov Media
Directed by Christoph Vitt & Alex Makarov
Director of Photography: Christoph Vitt
Model: Dori Darkmoon
SFX Makeup: Ericka Vitt
Car: 1970 Plymouth ´Cuda 440, Owner: Marc Lipken
Cover photos by Martha Schuster with super modeElle
John Fryer photos by Martha Schuster. Tom Berger photos by Christoph Vitt