If you don't know who Divide and Dissolve are, it's time for that to change. Comprised of Takiaya Reed (saxophone, guitar, live effects) and Sylvie Nehill (drums, live effects), the incendiary duo draw on their personal heritages — Black and Tsalagi (Cherokee), and Māori, respectively — to make politically charged and classically informed drone-doom that's as weighty sonically as it is thematically. They use "the power of their performances to draw attention to the ongoing battle against systemic oppression," as it says succinctly on the band's website.
Divide and Dissolve's latest album, January's Gas Lit LP, released via Invada Records, is a stunning and expressive work, but now standout cut "Far From Ideal" has gotten an additional level of depth courtesy of the one and only Chelsea Wolfe. The goth-rock chantuese remixed the track, layering her captivating vocals atop the crushing instrumental. Packing in even more punch, the remix arrives with a striking music video created by noted indigenous director Amber Beaton. Today (June 16th) — ahead of Juneteenth — Divide and Dissolve have teamed with Revolver to premiere the visual. Watch above.
"I've been a fan of Divide and Dissolve for a while, keeping their name on a running list in my head of bands I'd love to tour with," Wolfe commented. "Over the pandemic, Takiaya and I became friends. She called me up one day and asked if I'd want to remix one of their new songs and the answer was a resounding yes. I felt drawn to the groove of 'Far From Ideal,' and with Takiaya's encouragement, I ended up singing over the remixed version of the music. I sent a note with the lyrics, explaining them a bit: that I envisioned Takiaya and Sylvie onstage as elemental forces that can't be denied, empowering others with their music and presence, and their message to destroy white supremacy. 'Scarlet threads' refers to biblical blood — 'entire nations built and forged in cruelty' acknowledges the horrors of colonization, genocide and forced Christianity on Indigenous peoples. The part after that is head held high, a 'fuck you' to those who feel that there is any semblance of that being OK. I was overjoyed with the powerful video Amber Beaton created for this."
Beaton added, "Chelsea Wolfe's remix of the already gargantuan Divide and Dissolve track 'Far From Ideal' was a dream to film a music video for. My main goal was to match the energy both artists brought but to also turn it into a love letter to indigenous women, particularly Māori women who are still feeling the effects of colonization and forced religion today. Our spirituality was made illegal and this video calls to summon back our own indigenous gods, many of whom were human like Hine Nui Te Po depicted in this film"
Divide and Dissolve concluded, "Chelsea Wolfe's remix resonates like a dream. We are fans of Chelsea Wolfe and became friends during the pandemic. This remix between Divide and Dissolve and Chelsea Wolfe envisions an Indigenous future. A decolonial future where Black, Indigenous people, people of colour experience freedom and liberation. This is a manifestation of our existence and an acknowledgement of the past present and future. A place where white supremacy does not exist. Experiencing Amber Beatons brilliant work on the music video transported us to a different plane of existence. We are forever grateful for this evocative connection."