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Rare DM

NIGHT OF THE TILBERI, a short film by Lisa Saeboe and Kate Jones, score by Rare DM

Composed by Brooklyn-based producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Rare DM, using all analog synths. "Night of the Tilberi” was filmed and directed by Lisa Saeboe and Kate Jones in Skagaströnd, Iceland.

Inspired by the occult lore surrounding the fishing village’s founder, an arcane prophetess named Þórdís, the film is a tale of the local legend of the Tilberi, an enchanted milk-stealing worm created by witches. It depicts the sacrifice and trickery it takes to spawn the Tilberi, and how it meets a tragic end when a close-minded townsperson discovers the witch's secret. “Night of the Tilberi” is the absurdist visual retelling of a local folktale that subdues themes of the sacrilegious in an uncanny artifact.

Lisa and Kate are visual artists and filmmakers based in New York and Los Angeles.

The original score was composed by Brooklyn-based producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Rare DM, using all analog synths. It was mixed in Montreal by Margo Wildman.

Dance music, dark matter, direct message, dungeon master, distant memory—people have tried to decipher the meaning behind the name Rare DM, but really it’s the singular Brooklyn-based singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erin Hoagg.

Rare DM is Hoagg at her most vulnerable and visceral, as she mines dates, breakups and other adventures to make revealing, romantic darkwave dance-pop music.

With a collection of vintage analog synths she’s gathered over several years, Hoagg transforms the mundane into the magical, transposing real DMs she’s sent and received into songs that reflect on the fractured nature of modern communication and online dating. Her songs are dark and deeply intimate, rendering in raw detail the search for that special connection we all crave, but rarely find.

Rare DM’s 2019 debut album, Vanta Black, tackles subjects of longing and loneliness, moods that match its namesake—the darkest pigment ever created by man. In a feature interview, PAPER praised its “stream-of-consciousness” lyrics about “love without resolution,” and likened its “retro electronic sound” to “a black cloud that never quite lifts.”

Despite the depths it plumbs, Vanta Black is also lauded for its light. VICE commended its “vibrant chromatics,” saying Hoagg’s “synth programming shimmers, [and] her drum machines burst with vintage warmth.” The flatness found in “Vantablack” the color is not apparent in Vanta Black the album. As the VICE writer points out, “there’s color even in the deepest darkness.”

Hoagg’s new work continues to explore the dark side of modern life, but with more of a sexy wink than a slow mourn. Her new single “Send Nudes” details a romance that unraveled in the DMs. “I’m not subtle, I’m not trying to be,” Hoagg purrs over a somber synth melody and a pulsing beat. “I can send my nudes to someone else.” Its cinematic music video depicts her biking through New York City in a variety of eclectic outfits, her disaffected monotone occasionally breaking into a Billie Holiday-esque lilt.

Rare DM lives up to its name in live performance by utilizing a DAW-less setup. This replaces the now-familiar image of someone standing behind a laptop with the striking spectacle of Hoagg dancing between an Octatrack, a Machinedrum and other analog gear. This also throws out any notions of there being anyone other than Hoagg creating the music. A flex, sure, but also a reflex against music industry misogyny.

Hoagg has hauled her gear to stages across the US and Canada, and played alongside artists including Jimmy Whoo, SPELLLING and Pixel Grip.


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