Nettle’s newest album, El Resplandor: The Shining in Dubai, released last month by Sub Rosa, comes with an awesome premise: it is a speculative soundtrack for an unmade remake of Stanley Kubrick’s film, The Shining, set in a mothballed luxury hotel in Dubai. It is sonic architecture fiction.
Less a horror film, however, than its predecessor, Nettle’s version seems instead to offer a melancholy audio glimpse of a world in decline: the album’s family lost in circumstances far too large—and too alienating, too foreign—to comprehend fully, unraveling alone in the hotel’s empty rooms and hallways.
El Resplandor‘s liner notes feature these photographs by Lamya Gargash, depicting extravagantly furnished rooms in afternoon darkness, empty kitchens, halls, and ruined stairways in the UAE.
As the artist herself explains, many of the houses seen here “are recently vacant, whereas others have been deserted for a long time. There were some houses that still had people living in them when I started my project; the families residing there were preparing to move to newer homes.” Many more images from the series can be found here.
Stop by if you’re in the area, not only to learn more about the concept behind the album—after all, there’s something highly compelling about the idea of a speculative soundtrack for an unmade remake (perhaps this could be the first soundtrack optioned by Hollywood for a film it later serves to score)—but also about the technical set-up used by the band during studio production and live sets. Nettle’s more sonically aggressive earlier work, Build a Fort, Set that On Fire, is also worth a listen in the meantime.