Many will be familiar with late night surfing, trawling for new music ‘til the early hours of the day when unearthing unexpected discoveries seems most congenial. And so it was that, following some loose thread on Last FM about ten years ago, my ears suddenly pricked up when an obscure musician called Cadillac Face started playing. The lo-fi sound appealed to me in all its rawness and with the bare bones of a fragile voice, a guitar, and basic DIY electronics. Sure, there were flaws and false notes, but the lyrics were fresh and spoke of an inquisitive mind not averse to risk taking, but above all Cadillac Face’s music was honest, this guy was sincere. I was intrigued.
There was virtually zero information on Cadillac Face out there, but I discovered a website, nicely curated and frills free. I downloaded the music. To find out more I visited the forum area, thinking I’d drop him a line, but there were only a handful of messages in a language I did not understand. It didn’t occur to me to do a google translate search. There was one word, or rather, one acronym I did understand all too well, R.I.P. 14th October 2009. So that seemed the end of that.
I moved on, got more into experimental stuff, ambient and drone, but for some reason the music of Cadillac Face stuck with me, and every so often I would find myself playing his albums wondering what had happened to this Cadillac guy.
Then, back in 2013, a new compilation appeared on Bandcamp, Noizy Days. Cadillac Face. Bratislava Slovakia. Finally, I had a lead. I could join dots. I researched the Slovak scene and got in touch with the musicians that contributed to the Noize Konspiracy compilations from which the Bandcamp release was gleaned. As a fuller picture emerged, the idea of doing a short film or documentary formed in my head. I was going to travel to Bratislava with my Super8 camera to film what was supposed to be a 5-10 minute short.
As these things do, unexpected events and chance encounters meant that things took a different turn. The resulting film became a documentary about three different guys, Cadillac Face, VooDooMan and ?Duro Durcek, and by default about a whole scene caught in a moment in time, a generation that came of age with the fall of Communism. The whole project was self-financed and made as a one-man band labour of love. All failings are mine. If there are any merits to this film, they are to be credited to a bunch of generous people who helped me along the way, above all Imre and Cecília Szász, Jakub, and Dana, and all the incredible musicians and friends who donated their time and expertise. Special thanks are also due to Pascal Savy and Sue Giovanni who lent a hand with post-production. And heartfelt gratitude goes to Andrej Chudý.