Secret Circuit - "Nebula Sphynx"/Parascopic Rope"
Eddie Ruscha is internationally recognized for his visual art and the equally noteworthy music he creates under various monikers including Secret Circuit and E Rushca V. As comforatable navigating the domain of the eye as he is that of the ear, Ruscha’s body of work effectively displays a fluid visual-aural continuum, freely utilizing the concrete and the ephemeral in equal measure.
Secret Circuit’s “Nebula Sphynx” /“Parascopic Rope” 12-inch (released 2012 via Beats in Space Records) routinely spends time on our turntable here at WMF, revealing new details with each listen. Curious about the background to the tracks and the delightful accompanying videos, we touched base with the multi-disciplinary artist in 2019 for first-hand background info on this classic Secret Circuit gem.
Steve Hanft and Ashley Dunn co-directed both the “Nebula Sphynx” and “Parascopic Rope” videos with Eddie Ruscha, filming them at Elysian Park on the same day. The “Nebula Sphynx” video also includes ample sudsy car wash footage, and Eddie provided insight into both the car wash itself and the filming process:
“It’s the [car wash] over on Glendale, by Fletcher. Some of the [car washes] you go into stop and the things go over the car, but this one just goes really slow. I had a rent-a-car, and I don’t remember why. It was a sporty looking car, and I thought we should use it in a video. I went to get it washed and realized how much I loved going through the car wash. It’s almost like a cheap amusement park ride and also brought back feelings of being a kid going through those and staring at the patterns. The slipping cosmic water galaxies seemed to work with them music. The idea for the video just appeared to me and we shot it.
It was kind early with the GoPro. [It was] the very first one, so people were just getting them. We had to go through about twelve times just to make sure we had it, and to try different things. A couple times the camera knocked over.”
Regarding the music-making behind “Nebula Sphynx”, Eddie recalled in 2019 that it “started off with Cole MGN and myself messing with some synths and I just built it off of that.”
The “Parascopic Rope” video is a dizzying delight that provides the perfect visual accompaniment to the flip side of the 12-inch. Recalling the video, Eddie offered the following background:
“When we started messing with the GoPro, the idea came to me to attach it to a long rope and swing it around. We made some tests, and it took a while to make it work, believe it or not. We looked at the results and thought, ‘Woah – this is cool, but this is intense.’ But it seemed to reflect this idea of how planets work, or something like that. I really like the way it came out, but it’s not for the weak at heart.”