Cinema Eyes Revisited

4 December 2020

“Cinema Eyes” came out mid-2013 on the album Fiction Prediction, almost eight years ago. There’s a number of versions of that track that exist so here’s a retrospective.

Soft Riot | Fiction Prediction - Cover
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At the very start of 2013, Soft Riot and 0.5 made their first contact via Soundcloud – thanks to our dear friend Michael Giebl from the Vienna underground music circuit (Future Echo / TRANSFORMER) who introduced 0.5 to [JJD]’s amazing cinematic music world.

With six albums under his belt so far, Soft Riot’s body of work deserves nothing but superlative praise. 0.5 was truly honoured to have got a very special version of one of Soft Riot’s many many ace pieces – “Cinema Eyes”, issued in 2013, exclusively for the “Small Doses” 5th issue.

— Ivan Antunovic (0.5, Iv/An)

“Cinema Eyes” came out mid-2013 on the album Fiction Prediction, released in Europe on Other Voices and in North America on Volar Records. I think that in my whole timespan of creating music, it is a track that has the most versions that are available for public consumption; there being three in total. There’s the standard album version, and extended version,then a special version that was arranged for an exclusive release in Small Doses and finallly, an updated, reworked version released in December 2020. There’s also a fifth “demo” version of this that sounds somewhat different, as “Cinema Eyes” was one of those Frankenstein-style compositions that had some hiccups in the writing and production process. But then, like most other song writers, there’s a breakthrough moment when some new ideas and new ways of viewing a track that come to one’s mind and that’s when things start to click.

Cinema Eyes – Album Version

This is the original, finished version of the track, released on Fiction Prediction.

And the promotional video for the track, done on almost £0.00 money in a creaky ground floor flat in Walthamstow, London UK. There’s a lot of characters in this video. Can you spot them all?

Cinema Eyes – Extended Version

The idea for this version was to go back to the “classic” idea of the remix, which back in the day was basically an edit of the original, often elongating and isolating parts of the composition into something that was more suited for dancefloors and for a longer listening duration. Such was the case for this extended version, with the inclusion of a more straightforward drumbeat. This was released on the CD version of Fiction Prediction.

Cinema Eyes – Small Doses Version

A more drastically modified version of the track. I seem to remember thinking “Detroit Techno” when I started doing this one, although of course it came out sounding absolutely nothing like that.

Cinema Eyes – Version IV

After almost a seven year gap, the track was revisited again in 2020 with this version, included on the Forbidden Figures compilation released in December 2020 to assist in raising funds for legal fees for fellow musician Nao Katafuchi. This version updates the track to better reflect how it evolved after years of playing it live. With the production of this version starting in the summer of 2020, the original idea was to re-visit a number of tracks from older albums that still carried some weight and update them with new instrumentation and vocals and then put those out on a limited release. However, the idea of that release sort of got abandoned as I just got interested in working on new tracks instead and thus this track was completed for the Forbidden Figures compilation.

And to promote this version, a similar approach was done for its promotional video, which basically took the old video and reprocessed it with added energy and layers, visually reflecting the nature of this “re-mixed” version:

Cinema Eyes – Young Version (Demo 2012)

And finally, here’s a very early, demo version of the track in the start of the production phase. Rough around the edges with a sketch vocal track for the chorus, some of the familiar elements are there but with a noticeably different bass line and chord progression for the verses — the original arpeggiating synth in the verses was tooled for this version, which when retained for the first, original version on Fiction Prediction, adds some strange but intriguing notes to revised chord progression: