Le Matos’ new Ninja Eliminator Trilogy score is currently on vinyl pre-order via MONDO/Death Waltz and today you can snag it in digital form now, too. Check it out below, along with an excerpt from the liner notes I wrote for the vinyl release. Le Matos fans, today is a good day.
Longtime Vehlinggoland denizens will recognize “Rage of Honor” from the 5 Years compilation, but the rest of the cuts have never gotten a proper release. The three Ninja Eliminator trailers are no obscure media, though. These shorts, directed by RKSS of Turbo Kid and Summer of 84 fame, were part of the trio’s early years in filmmaking that earned them — along with their entire Les Enfants Terrible collective that includes Le Matos — a global stable of fans and ample praise at Fantasia and other fests. Chances are if you were into genre flicks in the late 2000s/early 2010s, you caught these trailers with their Le Matos scores somehow.
Notably, the first Ninja Eliminator trailer was the first time Le Matos provided music to an RKSS film. Naturally, they’d follow suit with music for more trailers and, of course, Turbo Kid and Summer of 84. But diving into the Trilogy release you experience viscerally the bliss of Le Matos’ early years, as they grew into their own wistfulwave sound.
As established, there are three Ninja Eliminator trailers. Today, to help celebrate the digital release of the EP, the Les Enfants Terrible crew remastered the first, which was made in 2008 for Fantasia Film Festival.
Long before Summer of 84 or Turbo Kid, there was the Montreal summer of 2008, when the Cannon-inspired logo for creative collective Les Enfants Terribles first emblazoned screens. It was accompanied by a synth theme created by the then-trio Le Matos. When the logo disappeared, what followed was a Godfrey Ho-homage helmed by RKSS, itself a trio. It had a score by the band with members doing double duty behind the camera, along with sound design and voice-overs. Most of LET were on screen or lending their voices. The first of three Ninja Eliminator trailers was born.
LET embodied a spirit of unencumbered youthful fun and creative audacity. They would go on to create a subculture of original films, compelling electronic music from Le Matos’ Jean-Philippe Bernier, Jean-Nicolas Leupi, and Maxime Dumesnil, propulsive DJ sets, and off-the-wall killer parties. They brought together people from all of the local scenes — electronic, metal, hip-hop, and beyond. And they did it in that DIY way innovative young people do when they don’t have much money.
The films were a key part. This is where LET let loose their creatively bombastic action and gore sequences, and wicked sense of humor. Their film shorts, homages to Ho and to grindhouse pictures, were as they say in the second Ninja Eliminator trailer, tales of “bloodshed, terror, and breathtaking violence.” Some LET-hosted events had Le Matos and Shot By JFK (Johnny F. Kim) on the decks and RKSS VJing. As with their short films, it all came together perfectly.
It’s hard for them to remember exactly what the early days were like, though. It’s a blur, because LET was inevitable.
“It just came together so naturally,” said Anouk Whissell, a member of RKSS along with her brother Yoann-Karl Whissell and partner François Simard. “We had the same inspiration, the same kind of passion, and the same kind of feel” in their respective crafts, she added.
For the full story by yours truly, and for an exclusive poster by Montreal-based artist Maurice Roy, pick up the vinyl from MONDO/Death Waltz.
Feature Photo: Ninja Eliminator Trilogy cover art by Donald Caron.