Re-Releases Continued: Jouissance

We continue our series of re-releases of Dumbass albums that were only ever available on physical CDs with 2005’s Jouissance:

d27jouissance2005 – Jouissance

The original idea for Jouissance was to use sex as a metaphor for discussing art and creativity more broadly. I wanted to explore all aspects of this topic, from the frenetic energy of the flash of inspiration, to the ways in which art/sex has been commodified; a key theme was cliches and the ways they tend to present paths of automatic expression. And yet, as the writing process progressed an unexpected element crept in; amongst the songs on the planned topics, I also began to write a lot of straight-ahead non-metaphorical love songs. This was totally unplanned and it took us into uncharted territory. It put 010us out of our usual comfort zone, which is always a good thing, so we pushed it further. The result is an album that covers the planned territory, but has an added breadth and depth, and far more complexity. People who were familiar with our past work were surprised by the resulting album. I remember a friend remarking: “I would never have thought you two would have made an album like this.” …always a good reaction for us.

005Sonically we were pushing into new territory as well. Every Dumbass album tends to sound different because the music is always written to express the ideas we are exploring within the confines of each album’s guiding concept or subject matter. The idea comes first and the music serves the idea.

With Jouissance, we wanted the album to have a very organic and unpolished feel. We wanted it to sound like a band playing in a barn. It had never come out in our music before this, but both Fixer and myself have always been fans of artists like Neil Young and The Band, and we 027channeled a lot of that with this album. Though it’s just the two of us playing the music we wanted it to feel as live as possible, so there are no edits at all, just long takes. There is also very little processing (a bit of reverb and some very light eq here and there). We sculpted the sonic palette outside of the box while recording (with mic-placement, and so on) and used the computer as a simple recorder.

026The vast majority of the songs were also written on a guitar, rather than on a keyboard, which wasn’t something I’d done since the late 90s. I think this album has some of my favourite guitar-based dumbass songs we’ve ever done. Fixer played a lot of organ on this album (he is a genius on it), along with guitar, saxophone, bass and violin. My one regret with this album is that we didn’t 045record more saxophone, but then it might not have fit into more songs. Fixer always seems to know when a song has enough elements better than I; the various songs for which he is credited for “abstinence” — besides being a bit of word-play in regard to the album’s theme — attest to this.

Each disc of the album has a different feel and flow. We really wanted each to feel like a distinctive side of the album. Fixer, as usual, was instrumental here (he generally 024plays the main role in sequencing our albums). The first disc opens with a suite of bombastic love-songs and then takes the listener on a journey through all manner of roots-y rock and even folky moments, while the second disc takes the listener into more experimental territory, stretching the sonic framework and vocabulary we’ve established into more abstract directions.

It was an album where we pushed ourselves into very unfamiliar musical territory, which is generally a good thing for us.




05flowers-303x600Disc 1:

01 Everything
ZM: vocals, guitars, drums, percussion, bass, hand claps, piano
Fixer: organ, hand claps

02 It’s time
ZM: vocals, guitars, drums, harmonica, bass
Fixer: organ

03 Pheromones
ZM: vocals, guitars, drums, bass, harmonica
Fixer: abstinence

04 Summer evening rain
ZM: vocals, guitar, hand claps
Fixer: abstinence

05 She
ZM: vocals, guitars, drums, bass
Fixer: organ

06 Deep eyes
ZM: vocals, drums, piano, bass, guitars, slide guitar
Fixer: slide guitar

07 Some kind of dream
ZM: vocals, drums, piano, bass
Fixer: Guitars
08 Minds made up in time
ZM: vocals, guitar
Fixer: abstinence

09 These things I wonder not
ZM: vocals, guitars, drums, percussion
Fixer, guitars, saxophone

back_inner_3-250x18710 Tonight
ZM: vocals, guitars, drums, bass, firework
Fixer: wah-organ

11 Give & take in the extreme
ZM: vocals, guitars, drums, bass
Fixer: Saxophone

12 Miss captivating
ZM: vocals, piano, drums, guitars, bass
Fixer: organ

13 In the deep dark night
ZM: vocals, drums, recorder, bass
Fixer: guitars, electric motor

be_in_2-250x18714 All the things you are
ZM: vocals, bass, drums
Fixer: abstinence

15 Proximity
ZM: vocals, chord organ
Fixer: abstinence

16 Breathing
ZM: vocals, piano, percussion, camera, bass
Fixer: abstinence

17 Placere
ZM: Vocals, guitars, drums, book, percussion
Fixer: bass

back_inner_1-250x18718 Sex is a commodity
ZM: vocals, guitars, drums, bass
Fixer: abstinence

19 Afterglow
ZM: vocals, guitar, harmonica
Fixer: abstinence

Disc 2

01 Holistic being
ZM: vocals, drums, piano
Fixer: guitars

back_inner_4-250x18702 Halt mich fest
ZM: vocals, drums, organ
Fixer: guitars

03 Holding hands
ZM: vocals, drums, bass
Fixer: bass, guitars, violin

04 Du bist du
ZM: vocals, guitar, percussion
Fixer: abstinence

05 5am (falling for you)
ZM: vocals, guitar, harmonica
Fixer: abstinence

b_in-250x18706 A fortiori
ZM: vocals, chord organ, guitar
Fixer: abstience

07 1,2,3,4…
ZM: vocals, guitar, percussion
Fixer: abstinence

08 Frenzy & flashbulbs
ZM: vocals, percussion, guitar
Fixer: guitars

09 What do we want?
ZM: vocals, guitars, voltage, organ, percussion
Fixer: abstinence

back_cover-250x18710: That’s right
ZM: vocals, guitar, percussion, book
Fixer: abstinence

11 Now
ZM: vocals, percussion, bass
Fixer: guitars

12 Sex in words
ZM: vocals, guitar
Fixer: abstinence



There were no singles from this album at the time we put it out. Later on we made a sort of Promo Single of Everything and Miss Captivating, with a couple of B-sides from the Lumina collection:

1 Everything (from the album: Jouissance)
2 Kiss/Muse (from the album: Lumina 1)
3 Miss Captivating (from the album: Jouissance)
4 No Matter (from the album: Lumina 2)
5 What is (from the album: Lumina 2)
6 The Me Generations [Apathy] (from the album: Lumina 2)


And Fixer made a wonderful video for the song Deep Eyes:


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