Today saw FYI Chris reveal plans for their debut album. Earmarked for a March release on Bristol label Black Acre, the news comes with the unveiling of a music video for their second single. Its predecessor, 2020’s Black Dragon Loop, announced this union of artist and label, but there was nothing to suggest it might bear more fruit, and so soon. Little did we know it was an amuse-bouche to the impending LP.
Inspired by their surroundings, Earth Scum joins dots between Northern roots and the adopted home of South London, while collaborations with close friends like MC Pinty lend a strong sense of community. Promising a tripped-out excursion that draws from “post-punk, jazz, techno, weirdo house” and more, it’s a demonstration of versatility as a duo best known for playful, feel-good iterations of dance music tread a darker path. Conjuring a sense of dread in places, FYI Chris have stayed true to the theme with a list of their favourite dystopian documentaries.
1. The Act Of Killing
A horrible tale from modern history told in a uniquely grim way. Director Josh Oppenheimer invites Anwar Cogo’s to recreate scenes of some of the atrocities using his first-hand experience as a member of a Sumatran death squad. Watch to the end and proceed to the foetal position, rocking back and forth for an hour or two. Not one for a comedown
What do you get if you drop a nuclear bomb on a kitchen sink northern soap opera? Almost two hours of people picking shards of glass out of their legs, a lot of dead sheep, and more rough looking people on the street than kickin out time at the Benjamin Huntsman. Easily as grim as the recent Cernobyl series, with excruciating detail given to fallout in many senses. It’s a Ken Loach disaster movie, Armageddon on the HS2. Less Aerosmith and a lot more radiation poisoning.
3. Radio Bikini
On a similar tip… A 1988 award winner that documents the nuclear tests that took place around Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. As part of the operation crossroads in 1954, the USA absolutely obliterated the islands with nuclear weapons in the name of science. It’s a haunting and informative documentary about 42,000 servicemen and 168 Bikinians who were observers for the two July detonations that were filmed and broadcast throughout the world.
4. Once Upon A Time In Iraq
A chilling documentary that pieces together archives from civilians who were caught up in the 9-year war. It’s a rare glimpse into the lives of those who lived under the realities of ISIS and an ongoing American coalition invasion. Little hope is offered throughout the collection of short films but the humanisation of such a grim conflict is something hard to achieve.
5. Net Café Refugees
A short one and only five years old but this one gets more and more relevant and it’s probably only going one way now. A gaze into the seeming endlessness of life as a temp salaryman. Set up is pretty good though, I must say. Can’t wait to pimp out my personal life cube with shagpile carpet and neon flamingo sign.
6. The Great Hack
Following the shenanigans of Cambridge Analytica as they helped all those on the fence during the Trump, Brexit, and any other political campaign that needed its shit stirred. Free and fair elections are out the window but if you’re ever feeling worthless you can remind yourself at least you have your data… right?
7. All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace: Part 3 ‘The Monkey in the Machine and the Machine in the Monkey’
The whole series from Adam Curtis (possibly the only guy to say everything is fucked, and everybody sucks more than Fred Durst) is especially gloomy. The colonial myths that caused Rwandan genocide is a heavy enough tale but the side slice of the selfish gene theory slowly sending George R Price to suicide really bleaks this one out proper with a nice fatalistic sense of everything is meaningless.
8. All Gas No Breaks – Border Security Expo
Top of the dystopian charts right now has to be just looking out the fucking window, followed closely by Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel. This channel has gone the extra mile to dip into some heinous echo chambers. The guy must have the devil’s Google calendar or something because the guy pops up at some real specific situations, each in a worse state than the last. Vox pops and much meth at end times meet ups.
9. My Octopus Teacher
Here’s the light hearted relief we all need after that list. A man at a low point in his life finds solace in a friendship with an octopus. Sometimes the best way to face your problems is to just get in the sea and make some pals. A mediative escape under the sea that will snap you out of the IRL.
Earth Scum is out now on Black Acre | Pre-order here