Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I’m stating the obvious here, but releases on Information—home to, and run by, Studio—are very short of it. Information, that is. They don’t even take the approach of most CDs with minimal design (OK, most CDs fullstop now) and glob a sticker on the front with a blurb and some desultory crit quotes.
Information’s releases are for the Google era; there’s certainly no way I’d have been able to untangle what the deal is with the awkwardly titled CD by Frak—“88-92 Ext. Tempo Mix by Parlour”—without the internet, as along with the Information logo the title is literally all the, er, info given. It turns out to be a sixty-minute mix (all as a single track on the CD) of tracks by a Swedish band that churned out a mountain of cassettes and 12”s of beatbox grot and wobbly end-of-the-pier organ between the late-80s and late-90s. Aside from a wow-and-fluttering synth-pop cover of “It Never Rains in Southern California” the mix is at its best when loopy and hypnotic like a Swedish take on a John Carpenter soundtrack (Escape from Göteborg?) but how much of that is Frak and how much Parlour I can’t say.
In the case of the short new album by D Lissvik the lack of details doesn’t really matter. All you need to know is that Lissvik is one half of the amazing Studio and that the album sounds like one half of a duo stre-e-etching out without the other half stepping in the way and derailing the flow with, y’know, suggestions of chord changes, or harmonic development, or vocals, or songwriting, or any of that stuff. This is Studio with the baggy dance music moves removed. Still—yes—Balearic but more hermetic and gnomic; the type of beach party that grizzled Kraut-rock veterans like Klaus Schulze and Ashra ended up at in the late-seventies when being new-age started to seem a better bet than being space-age.
"Track 03" (coz they are all untitled) sets reverb-engulfed percussion against bass plucks and an echoed-out guitar jam that goes on, and on. And on, and on beyond the point of excess. Being honest, it isn’t all that long ago that I would have hated music like this, and hated some of the words used to describe it (jam—yuck! Balearic—turn-off!) but as of right now—everyone needs to hear this shit:
D Lissvik – Track 03
Oh, and the other day we posted a jazzy version of Steely Dan’s “Peg” (yeah, I know the original is pretty jassy anyway). To make bookends here’s a very ripe vibes-go-disco version of a pivotal Christopher Cross yacht-rock track:
Montana Orchestra – Ride Like the Wind