• Denholm Hewlett

[Music/Film] Metal Preyers: THE CALLER

Psychic Garden presents the original music video for"The Caller"

The second single from Teeth Agency's Metal Preyers album - A surrealist dystopian African Horror soundtrack. This transatlantic audiovisual project was created by London-based musician Jesse Hackett, Acholitronix singing legend Otim Alpha, Chicago artist Mariano Chavez, UK sound-system producer Lord Tusk and East-African music label Nyege Nyege Tapes.

"The Caller" - Artwork designed by Alex Messer
"A lonely Acholi warrior, searches for solace and sanctuary in the dead of night, amidst the buzzing moonlit junk of a burning war. An ancient reptilian ghost, the snake demon mistress, haunts the Acholi warrior from beyond the shadow realm, invading his weary mind with disturbing hallucinations and intensifying inferno nightmares as she attempts to suffocate and steal his soul and drag him deep into the underworld."

The Caller video is a hypnotic Ugandan low-fi horror, filmed in the buzzing nighttime jungles and burned ruins of Gulu, Northern Uganda. The video was shot in the ruins of Otim Alpha's former home, which he built back in 2003, only for it to be destroyed in 2013 by a gang of unknown arsonists.

Otim Alpha as "The Caller" / Gulu Easy Rider

For this macabre short film, Otim embodied the role of the lone Acholi warrior, a motorcycle riding vagabond who discovers his home has been burned down and destroyed by a malevolent supernatural snake demoness who tries to corrupt his damaged soul with disturbing hallucinations. Otim's character suffers through hellish inferno nightmares but ultimately survives the demonic onslaught and rises victorious at sunrise, his life and soul still intact.

The video was filmed and edited by resident creative Denholm Hewlett and stars Otim Alpha. The footage of the Snakeskin "Ghost" was captured by Jesse Hackett and Nyege Nyege founder Derek Debru. The 6 foot "ghost" costume made of translucent snake shed was constructed and designed by Mariano Chavez over several years and was the main visual aid and companion whilst Hackett recorded the LP in Kampala, Uganda last year.

The idea was to create a unique African psychedelic horror experience in tandem with Metal Preyer's surrealist audiovisual aesthetic; something supernatural and mystical but tangibly auto-biographical, a version of events from a parallel universe that could encapsulate the intense emotional weight of Otim's inner pain without being too direct. The song that Otim Alpha sings is a hypnotic acholi blues song with profoundly personal lyrics about the hardships of human existence and the struggles of being poor and alienated in a harsh modern world with no home, no family, no money and no peace.

The Metal Preyers project was six epic weeks of musical creation, art making, directing night shoots, and gin fuelled hell rides into the Kampala night world, all based around the Nyege Nyege Tapes HQ and artist residency. Jesse Hackett had always dreamt of making an industrial / ambient themed film sound track to accompany Mariano’s collection of striking visuals and paired it together with Lord Tusk's tough and ingenious sound system sensibilities to create something truly electrifying and hypnotising.

The final Metal Preyers album features an all-star cast of Ugandan musicians including Electro Acholi star Otim Alpha, multi instrumentalist Lawrence Okello and drummer Omutaba. The mood fluctuates between slow chopped screwed slabs of sound, fast paced to oozing sludge. The Metal Preyers soundtrack travels between syncopation's with a cut and paste feel that nods to DIY African cassette tape post punk-ism era and machine-esqe drone ambience, the sounds of ‘Snake spit defenders, slither drippers, screwed metallic preyers, helicopter drums, pulsing incinerator sounds.’

Check the link below to hear the entire Metal Preyers record.