20 Years of Ladytron’s Light & Magic

20 Years of Ladytron’s <em>Light & Magic</em>

Having begun their official Light & Magic 20th anniversary celebrations as an online-only affair last month with an unreleased video for the record’s title track, Ladytron have spent the past few weeks sharing more era rarities via various outlets, culminating in a Twitter listening party via Tim’s Twitter Listening Party this past Saturday, the record’s official birthday.

For completeness sake, I’ll start with the official Light & Magic videos that were released back in 2002 and 2003 and repost that new “Light & Magic” clip, and then run through the rest of the goodies that came out of their archives.

BrooklynVegan shared the next artifact, a new video (of sorts) for “Black Plastic”, made up of images of the band during the record’s recording. Said Daniel Hunt of the clip:

Making our second album in Los Angeles seemed counterintuitive at the time, at least amongst our peers, but it made perfect sense for us: our label Emperor Norton was there, and there was this group of wildly talented people in LA who wanted to work with us on it. While we were recording what was a very different sounding record to what else was around, this huge electro thing kicked off, and we were positioned as if leaders of it. It was a strange moment, as we were cut off in this creative bubble, and not communicating with the press, yet they were talking like we were the future of rock and roll. Perhaps we were.

When going through the archives for the anniversary of Light & Magic we found photos and video we had literally never seen. CD-Rs, a mountain of cuttings, MiniDV, VHS and Betacam tapes, and years’ worth of tour footage. All this documentation that our label sent us and we didn’t even look at. We wanted to use the found material to convey not just how it looked and sounded, but how that moment felt. It is just one of many untold stories.

Daniel Hunt, Ladytron
Ladytron celebrating ‘Light & Magic’ 20th Anniversary with new videos (watch “Black Plastic”) @ BrooklynVegan

Post-Punk.com debuted a third clip, this one for “True Mathematics” made up of live footage from the Light & Magic touring cycle. Said Mira Aroyoa of the choice to include lyrics in her native Bulgarian in their sound:

We first started experimenting with Bulgarian on Commodore Rock off 604, because the language has such a different rhythm. We hadn’t planned on writing more songs in Bulgarian, but the instrumental for True Maths screamed out for something hard and staccato – kind of like The Normal’s Warm Leatherette. We pushed the sound of the language to be as percussive and metallic as possible, beyond the way it naturally is. Live, the song took on a life of its own – it became even harder, almost heavy metal. Also not many bands open their sets with a song in a foreign language, so it felt like a statement of intent.

Mira Aroyo, Ladytron
Ladytron Celebrate 20th Anniversary of “Light & Magic” with New Visual for “True Mathematics” @ Post-Punk.com

Adds Hunt about assembling the visuals from the era just before everything everywhere would be documented for all time:

We realised was there was little record of how the band was in the flesh at that moment, late 2002. Nobody had phones with cameras, let alone video. It was Ladytron at its most punk. There was a still a lot of confusion about what we were. Still is. Going through the archives we found these tapes that our UK label had shot in the first days of the tour, and had been long forgotten about. They capture a unique group when it was just hitting its stride, at the very beginning of a world tour for Light & Magic that would last a whole year.

Daniel Hunt, Ladytron
Ladytron Celebrate 20th Anniversary of “Light & Magic” with New Visual for “True Mathematics” @ Post-Punk.com

The Listening Party was also full of insights and additional clips and images from the band and, like most listening parties, is a treasure trove of goodies about wonderful records.

Ladytron / Light & Magic @ Tim’s Twitter Listening Party

It would have been better the cap the celebrations with news of a vinyl reissue for the record, but considering the rights are wrapped in a maze of failed labels and acquisitions, it’s probably unlikely to happen anytime soon. And so, Discogs. But for those who have been holding out for a Light & Magic throw pillow, their new online store has you covered.

And let’s not overlook a couple more notable tweets… this one from last year:

And this one from Saturday:

Not waiting seven years between new records? Yes, please.

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