Danny Elfman has released Bigger. Messier. – a brand new genre-defying album of remixed and reimagined versions of songs from his acclaimed 2021 record Big Mess via ANTI- / Epitaph Records. The 21-track project is comprised of collaborations and guest vocal features from a sprawling array of artists including Trent Reznor, Iggy Pop, HEALTH, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Zach Hill of Death Grips, Xiu Xiu, Squarepusher, Ghostemane and many more. With the help of his collaborators Stu Brooks and Berit Gwendolyn Gilma, Elfman enlisted a unique arsenal of artists to use the original Big Mess songs as their canvases and experiment in their own distinct voices.
“This record was all about the joy of experimentation. I really wanted to enjoy the experience of completely relinquishing control of my work, which is something that I’d never done before,” says Elfman about the project. “The only input I gave any of the artists was to be themselves and have no concerns about putting their own unique spins on the music, as every artist on this project were ones I already respected and whose music I enjoyed. Not only was I surprised at everyone who wanted to participate, but simply blown away by what they all contributed. There’s a tremendous amount of diversity represented throughout.”
The release of the album is ushered in by Blixa Bargeld’s reimagining of “In Time,” a brand new re-interpretation of the song by the lead singer and founding member of the iconic German band Einstürzende Neubauten. The track arrives today alongside a phantasmagoric accompanying video, which was brought to life through synthetic AI systems. Created by Lorem, the Italian audiovisual artist whom Elfman and Gilma collaborated with for the original “In Time” music video, designed the piece by feeding the lyrics of the song into a new artificial intelligence system. The result is both dreamlike and nightmarish at the same time, making for an unsettling fantasy realm that aptly compliments Blixa & Danny’s soundscape.
“Danny and Blixa are both true artistic souls. They both started with similar interests, and just due to their cultural contexts went very different journeys. By introducing them to each other, I thought something magical could happen – and it did,” adds Gilma, the co-executive producer, co-curator and creative director of Bigger. Messier. “I have worked with Lorem before and love his art. Both Blixa and Danny were excited about the idea to let an artificial intelligence “dream“ the video using the lyrics. The outcome is an endless moving pull through a dreamscape of an AI trying to make sense of what was given to it.”
“In Time (ft. Blixa Bargeld)” was preceded by a string of dynamic singles that have previously been released from the album, including Elfman’s momentous collaborations with Trent Reznor for “True” and “Native Intelligence”, as well as additional remixes from Kid606 (“Sorry”), Zach Hill of Death Grips (“Kick Me”), Squarepusher (“We Belong”)”, Xiu Xiu (“Serious Ground”) and most recently Ghostemane’s interpretation of “Native Intelligence (ft. Trent Reznor)”. Ghostemane’s version was released in tandem with a hypnotizing video filled with manga-inspired animation that channels the track’s electronic glitches and breakneck percussion. Executive produced by Stu Brooks and Elfman’s longtime manager Laura Engel, Bigger. Messier. is available now in vinyl, CD and digital formats, with two exclusive bonus tracks featured on the digital edition.