“If chills and thrills are what you seek, then look no further.” Let Me Hang You is a reissue and reworking of spoken word recordings from one the literary worlds most avant-garde and vulgar beat-novelists, William S. Burroughs. Described as “a collection of depraved genius straight from the godfather of punk’s very own mouth”, Let Me Hang You seeks to destroy any preconceived notion of literature and music that you might have.
Let Me Hang You is a new release, and reworking to music, of legendary beat-novelist, satirist and spoken word performer William S. Burroughs’ readings from his controversial 1959 novel The Naked Lunch. Burroughs was one of the leading figures of the post World War II American literature, beat generation movement, who wrote in a genre known as paranoid fiction and whose works were often criticized and banned for its vulgarity.
The Naked Lunch is a series of loosely connected, semi-autobiographical vignettes, or as Burroughs called them “routines”, that is narrated by its central character, Burroughs’ alter ego, William Lee or “Lee The Agent”. According to Burroughs, the chapters are intended to be read in any order as each “routine” takes on a non-linear narrative.
Let Me Hang You is a series of spoken word excerpts from The Naked Lunch narrated by William S. Burroughs and recorded in 1995 with producer Hal Willmer, two years before Burroughs’ death. Willmer organized a project where Burroughs could recite excerpts from The Naked Lunch with musical accompaniment from musicians Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, and Eyvind Kang. The initial release of Let Me Hang You was dropped by the label, who were puzzled by the “psychedelic spoken word”, and for over 20 years Let Me Hang You fell into obscurity until Hal Willmer joined forces with avant-garde, Berlin based, garage rocker King Khan, and several other musicians including the Australian 60’s inspired garage punk band from Melbourne, The Frowning Clouds.
“King Khan recruited M Lamar, the creator of the “Negrogothic” movement and the identical twin brother of transgender actress Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), and The Frowning Clouds, a band of young Australian boys who have mastered the sixties garage punk sound — and that perhaps WSB would have also enjoyed for other purposes a long time ago.” – King Khan
Let Me Hang You is self described as the “bible of freakdom, recited by the pope of the underground”. This is certainly an album not for the faint of heart, nor those who prefer their delicate sensibilities not to be challenged. Come at this with open ears, an open mind and a willingness to go somewhere new.
You can download Let Me Hang You and other titles off King Khan’s catalogue here – Khannibalism