Thursday, 14 May 2020

Dome ‎– 3 + 4 (1992)

Style: New Wave, Experimental, Minimal, Ambient
Format: CD
Label: The Grey Area, Mute

Dome 3:
01.   Jasz
02.   Ar-Gu
03.   An-An-An-D-D-D
04.   Ba-Dr 4:04
05.   D-D-Bo
06.   Na-Drm
07.   Ur-Ur
08.   Danse
09.   Dasz
10.   Roos-An

Dome 4:
11.   To Speak
12.   To Walk, To Run
13.   To Duck, To Dive
14.   This
15.   Seven Year
16.   Atlas

Credits:
Voice – A.M.C.
Drums, Percussion – Peter Price
Instruments, Voice, Producer – B.C. Gilbert, Lewisn
Written-By – A.M.C., Gilbert, Drinkwater, Lewis

Dome ‎– 1 + 2 (1992)

Style: New Wave, Experimental, Minimal, Ambient
Format: CD
Label: The Grey Area

Dome 1:
01.   Cancel Your Order
02.   Cruel When Complete
03.   And Then…
04.   Here We Go
05.   Rolling Upon My Day
06.   Say Again
07.   Linasixup
08.   Airmail
09.   Ampnoise
10.   Madmen

Dome 2:
11.   The Red Tent 1 & 2
12.   Long Lost Life
13.   Breathsteps
14.   Reading Prof. B
15.   Ritual View
16.   Twist Up
17.   Keep It

Credits:
Instruments, Voice, Producer – B.C. Gilbert, G. Lewis
Voice, Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Tapes, Drums – G. Lewis
Voice, Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Tapes, Synthesizer – B.C. Gilbert
Written-By – Gilbert, Lewis
Producer – B.C. Gilbert, G. Lewis

Just as Colin Newman followed his hard-edged pop ideals once free of Wire, Graham Lewis and Bruce Gilbert also followed their own musical concepts, if one can call it music. Their passion for repetition, sound-loops and making a piece that can stand in isolation, were able to flourish, no longer stemmed by Colin Newman and Mike Thorne's more commercial leanings.

One had seen hints of what was to come with the Wire tracks Former Airline and The Other Window, both more-or-less made up of organised noise with narratives over the top, but little could have prepared the average listener for Dome.

Dome 1 was the first release and begins in a slightly mediocre fashion but at least highlights the duo's intentions in the narrative: 'Change the menu, a different revenue/A glorious change, refining the focus'. Things quickly pick up with the haunting and mesmerising Cruel when Complete and Rolling Upon my Day, a track that begins with busy rhythms and a wonderful guitar loop before mixing into a heavily echoed drum pattern and subtle vocals. Elsewhere, melodies and beats occasionally appear from under a barrage of mechanical noises and treated tapes.

Dome 2 continues experimentation with rhythm, noise and minimalism. It begins with the stunning Red Tent 1&2, which moves from quiet, soothing chords to a chaotic and harsh beat. An exhausted sounding Lewis vocal—'Quiet, the breath is crystal-clear/The red tent is our tomb'—adds to the claustrophobic feel. The narratives all seem to focus on the theme of exploration and loneliness, and the album seems more complete than Dome 1, ending with the chilling Keep it.

Dome certainly isn't easy listening but it was never meant to be. There is beauty within the noise and the harrowing narratives of Dome 2, along with the sheer variety of sound and noise in every piece, makes for an intriguing, interesting and disconcerting listening experience all at once.
Craig Grannell / wireviews

Bruce Gilbert ‎– The Shivering Man (1987)

Style: Abstract, Experimental 
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mute

Tracklist:
1.   Work For 'Do You Me? I Did' (Part 1)
2.   Work For 'Do You Me? I Did' (Part 2)
3.   Work For 'Do You Me? I Did' (Part 3)
4.   Hommage
5.   The Shivering Man
6.   Here Visit
7.   Epitaph For Henran Brenlar
8.   Angelfood

Credits:
Engineer – John Fryer
Written-By – Bruce Gilbert

Actually a compilation of tracks from two separate, earlier albums -- This Way and The Shivering Man -- This Way to the Shivering Man definitely ranks as some of the most extreme work any Wire member has ever created. Having already demonstrated his abilities on the edge with his work in Dome, Gilbert pushed things even further, with work that proved to be not merely avant-garde for its day but startling prescient of later musicians. Specifically, much of the combined emphasis on haunting, dark loops and lengthy, extended tones helps provide a bridge between classic minimalists like Philip Glass and Steve Reich and '90s young guns such as the Aphex Twin (in ambient mode) and especially Main. Little surprise that the latter's Robert Hampson would end up working with Gilbert in later years, especially after a listen to the chilling "Work for 'Do You Me? I Did,' Parts 1, 2, 3." Originally commissioned by noted experimental dancer Michael Clark in 1984, the three songs beautifully combine aggressive sheets of treated white noise with some calmer motifs and sections, with highlights including the unnerving scream sequence at the end of part one and the heavily echoed metallic rhythm in part two. While those songs are the unquestioned highlights, This Way To has plenty of others to offer. "The Shivering Man" is one of them, editing together a chopped-up bit of string orchestration which almost sounds like it's from a mid-century cartoon with any number of mechanistic noises and quite disturbing loops that sound like a factory ominously shutting down. The low volume but still intense dance beats of "Epitaph for Henran Brenlar," meanwhile, feature the elegant but threatened vocals of Gilbert's Dome partner Graham Lewis on the collection's one collaboration.
Ned Raggett / AllMusic

City Girl ‎– Somnolent Nova (2019)

Genre: Electronic, Pop
Format: CD, FLAC
Label: City Girl Records

Tracklist:
01.   Divine Rêverie
02.   Motionless (feat. tiffi)
03.   Gossamer Dress (feat. Ibrahim)
04.   From a Lonely Star
05.   Not Heartbroken (feat. Sarah Hemi)
06.   Somnolent Nova
07.   Into My Arms (feat. ellene)
08.   Phosphorus Kiss (feat. santpoort)
09.   Phantom Embrace
10.   Just a Shadow (feat. tiffi)
11.   Radiant & Voiceless
12.   Palliative (feat. tiffi)

Credits:
Acoustic/electric/bass guitar, ukulele, keys/piano/synth,
drum programming, producing/mixing/mastering by City Girl.

The loud streets and busy avenues drown in your thoughts. A silence from nowhere envelopes you like an angel swept down from heaven, whose soft wings bring you into a divine rêverie. The rain-soaked and moon-stained streets turn ethereal. Entire plazas become burnished mirrors where you see yourself reflected in thousands of colorless multitudes. 
Motionless, you stare into rivers of chrome that intertwine like silk into the seams of an omnipresent fabric – one from within whose creases you begin to see a goddess appear; floating in the stillness, her gossamer dress blooming slowly in the heavy air. She glares into the void as soft tears stream down her cheek like drops of mercury from a lonely star. She’s not heartbroken, but instead emotionless, lost in the feeling of numbness that comes and goes with the flux of her exquisite light. A somnolent nova whose fleeting luminosity gently caresses the city around you. 
Where avenues sing serenades to lost lovers with their soft concrete voices. 
Where searing alleyways birth embers of hope into abandoned hearts, and passing cars sound mellifluous whispers into the ears of idle romantics. 
The goddess, with a sudden change of expression (as if waking from a long dream) becomes incorporeal once again. Warm lights fall into your arms like amber wisps embracing your return into the glass abyss. Never lost and always returning; both dim and blinding, soft and fatal. 
The subtle, phosphorus kiss of a passing face in a taxi cab window. 
The dim, phantom embrace of a solitary street lamp.
And little by little the city encases you like a voice 
less jewel. Just a shadow, just an empty heart seeking oasis. Radiant and voiceless like a star exploding in the black-blue cold and depth of space... 
Are you that lonely goddess, City Girl? Are you the palliative for time's deep and loveless shadow?
bandcamp 

Duquesa ‎– Norte Litoral (2018)

Style: Folk, Psychedelic Rock, Indie Pop
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Lovers & Lollypops

Tracklist:
1.   Afinal
2.   Point Of No Return
3.   Better Men
4.   Shape And Size
5.   Closed On Sundays
6.   Myrna
7.   Norte Litoral

Credits:
Saxophone – Henrique Portovedo
Bass Guitar – André Simão
Drums, Percussion – Cláudio Tavares
Guitar – João Rafael Ferreira, Nuno Rodrigues
Keyboards, Piano, Music By – Nuno Rodrigues
Producer – João Brandão, Nuno Rodrigues

Um bravo aventureiro, Nuno Rodrigues, o homem que quando faz música por conta própria usa a assinatura Duquesa. Ainda é fevereiro, rapaziada, estamos no início do ano e com este disco tudo parece uma noite quente, sem planos, sem compromisso nem horas, nada de tretas. É um disco para deixar andar o tempo mas em bom. Nuno, um tipo trabalhador com bom gosto profissional, sabe o que quer, quando e onde. Sabe o que está a mais e o que faz mesmo falta. Pop delicada feita por um rufia, um rock’n’roller que meteu (mais uma) folga dos Glockenwise para provar que é sensível; e para provar também que é irónico — como se fizesse alguma diferença saber qual deles é o mais verdadeiro.

Seis canções no primeiro EP, sete neste Norte Litoral. Não vale a pena ir mais longe se com números pequenos se faz conta certa. Nuno tinha canções para gravar, não tinha contratos para cumprir. São sete porque não podiam ser mais nem menos. E não é que o raio do disco soa mesmo a satisfação pessoal? É uma graça dar de caras com uma gravação assim, quando se percebe em todas as notas que “era mesmo isto” que o artista queria, era ali que esperava chegar. 
Chegou de tal maneira que ficamos agora à espera que o verdadeiro Norte Litoral, o geográfico, junte toda a coolness portuguesa. Faria todo o sentido, depois de ouvir estas canções. Guitarras com notas estudadas à vez, canções em que os instrumentos pedem licença uns aos outros para entrar. Nuno Rodrigues canta em inglês e português, faz slacker rock que também é preguiça pop. E mais vale usar este último carimbo, só para lembrar que não precisamos ir mais longe para escolher o nosso herói favorito das coisas indies. Ele está no meio de nós e é uma sorte. Quando virmos o nome dele num cartaz, é correr como corremos com outros, combinado?

Nada de enganos, não estamos aqui com um messias cantor. Podíamos estudar em detalhe as letras de Nuno Rodrigues e tirar conclusões iluminadas sobre as dores de ser adulto e outros dilemas do mesmo género. Mas logo à primeira canção há um verso em destaque, é cantado na nota mais alta e parece chegar mais longe: “Eu sei lá”. Nuno não sabe, nós não sabemos, talvez uns se safem, a maioria nem por isso. É o que dá ser adulto ou ter que o ser, qualquer das hipóteses é complicada. E enquanto não chegamos a nenhuma sabedoria maior, Norte Litoral é dos melhores conjuntos de canções para ouvir enquanto nos preocupamos apenas em tentar não ter preocupações. É uma missão difícil, mas fazer um disco destes também o é e Nuno Rodrigues conseguiu. 
Ele fala-nos de amor e da falta dele, da idade e de como ela passa, das dúvidas e da ausência de soluções para as resolver. Parece apenas mais um, outro como nós, certo? Errado. Ele sabe cantar tudo isto para fazer da rotina algo mais entusiasmante. E no fim do disco faz uma tremenda dedicatória ao litoral do Norte, na canção que tem o título do disco. Um baladão para danças sem par, uma tristeza melancólica que é uma alegria. “O granito é melhor molhado, deixem-me aqui um bocado; deixem-me no meu lugar, sou da costa, quero ver o mar”. Vai ser bonito ver toda a gente a cantar isto nos concertos como se vivêssemos todos na mesma rua.
Tiago Teixeira / Observador

The Avalanches ‎– Wildflower (2016)

Style: Abstract, Experimental, Breaks, Disco
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Modular Recordings, EMI, Universal Music

Tracklist:
01.   The Leaves Were Falling
02.   Because I'm Me
03.   Frankie Sinatra
04.   Subways
05.   Going Home
06.   If I Was A Folkstar
07.   Colours
08.   Zap!
09.   The Noisy Eater
10.   Wildflower
11.   Harmony
12.   Live A Lifetime Love
13.   Park Music
14.   Livin' Underwater (Is Something Wild)
15.   The Wozard Of Iz
16.   Over The Turnstiles
17.   Sunshine
18.   Light Up
19.   Kaleidoscopic Lovers
20.   Stepkids
21.   Saturday Night Inside Out

Credits:
Mastered By – Joe LaPorta
Mixed By – Robbie Chater, Tony Espie
Written-By – Robbie Chater, Tony Di Blasi
Producer – Robbie Chater

When, 15 years ago, The Avalanches released their debut album Since I Left You, it seemed like the dawning of a new age of DJ sample-craft, its welcoming grooves sculpted from myriad overlaid orchestral moods and sonic fragments, creating an exotic swirl of sound within which strange sampled bedfellows – Mama Cass, The Swingle Singers, Kid Creole and Debbie Reynolds, for starters – found curious congruency. Since then, nothing: this landmark album came to seem like some abandoned artefact from the pre-9/11 era, a ghostly reminder of lighter times. 
So the appearance of the wonderful Wildflower is cause for celebration, its Zappa/Beasties-style collage of voices, samples, beats, sounds, and especially laughter offering a joyous affirmation of life, right from the Fifties R&B kid sampled on “Because I’m Me”, through to the concluding love poem of the exultant “Saturday Night Inside Out”. That opening voice sets the tone for the whole album, to which high, pitch-shifted vocals lend a childlike charm, showered with shimmering orchestral glissandi by arranger Jean-Michel Bernard. 
Further sampled children – 10-year-old Chandra Oppenheim on “Subways”, a Jerry Lewis children’s record on “The Noisy Eater” – extend the innocent mood, while the overall lightness of spirit is heightened by elements such as the dancing clarinet and tuba of the calypso single “Frankie Sinatra”, and the bright, optimistic themes of songs such as “Colours”, “Harmony” and “Kaleidoscopic Lovers”, all featuring vocals from Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue. Other contributors include rappers Biz Markie and MF Doom, and singers Toro y Moi, Jennifer Herrema and Father John Misty, each anchoring tracks that threaten to loose their moorings, the sound shifting in and out of focus like a radio being tuned, while voices chatter in the background, as if we’re at a beach party or earwigging the detritus of someone’s life. 
Other ambient recordings are woven into the songs: traffic noises are synced into “If I Was A Folkstar”, and at one point in “Live A Lifetime Love”, a traffic-cop pulls us over. But he can’t kill the buzz of an album that seethes with positive energy, a vacation for the weary soul. All we need now is the summer to match.
Andy Gill / The Independent

The Avalanches ‎– Since I Left You (2000)

Genre: Electronic, Hip Hop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Modular Recordings, Xl Recordings

Tracklist:
01.   Since I Left You
02.   Stay Another Season
03.   With My Baby
04.   Radio
05.   Two Hearts In 3/4 Time
06.   Avalanche Rock
07.   Flight Tonight
08.   Close To You
09.   Diners Only
10.   A Different Feeling
11.   Electricity
12.   Tonight
13.   Pablo's Cruise
14.   Frontier Psychiatrist
15.   Etoh
16.   Summer Crane
17.   Little Journey
18.   Live At Dominoes
19.   Extra Kings

Credits:
Halo's, Heartstrings – Tony Diblasi
Piano, Percussion – Gordon McQuilten
Sampler, Producer – Darren Seltmann, Robbie Chater

In June 1998, esteemed underground Melbourne label Au Go Go released a compilation of music from local bands. Called Wonder From A Quarter Acre, the album featured some of Australia’s most-cherished underground artists of the time, most of them indie-guitar outfits working in the simmering wake of post-rock. Interrupting the po-faced tracklisting awash with skeletal guitar fuzz and male longing, were two scatterbrain songs by The Avalanches. ‘Undersea Community’ and ‘Yamaha Superstar’ both featured Japanese rapping, squelched synths, vinyl-scratching, loping hip-hop drums, and a kaleidoscopic haze of vocal samples. Though playing the same pubs and haunting the same hang-outs as other bands on the bill, The Avalanches seemed beamed in from a community parallel to those around them. Even then they stood out.
The collective had released their debut EP, El Producto, the previous year. The EP’s seven songs bore all the traits of their scrappy, Beastie Boys-like live show, one laced with bratty rapping, thundering drums, and barely-working keyboards, held together with bursts of noise from turntablist DJ Dexter Fabay. EP standout ‘Rock City’ best reflected that live energy, even as the recorded track jerked wildly through metal guitar, psychedelic organs, cuts of trilling flutes, opera singing, country guitar, and all general manner of WTF-ery. It sounded like friends playing everything they could think of at once: a fascinating mess. It looked like it too.
Around this time the band allowed a documentary crew to spend several days filming them as they worked. The short but fascinating video focuses primarily on the band’s co-leaders, Darren Seltmann and Robbie Chater. The pair come across as polite, vinyl-obsessed music nerds, and between footage of the band rehearsing in a cramped sharehouse kitchen and interviews with their then-label head, Modular Recordings’ Steve “Pav” Pavlovic, the pair can be seen gingerly workshopping new music. We see them flipping through op-shop vinyl and returning to bedroom studios to needle-hop, fishing for moments of inspiration. In one chance moment, Seltmann lands on a vocal line from French pop singer Françoise Hardy’s 1962 single ‘Oh Oh Chéri’. “OK,” he says. “That sounds like a likely candidate for a sample.”
“People think it’s simple, sampling,” says Chater in the clip. “But you really have to listen to records in a whole different way. And while you’re listening to a song, detach yourself from it and imagine what it could be.”
History shows what the band were imagining was Since I Left You. Now considered, not just one of the best plunderphonic albums of all time, but one of the best albums of all time, the record is a unique masterpiece. Crafted from a dreamy tapestry of mostly obscure samples (the appearance of Madonna’s ‘Holiday’ on ‘Stay Another Season’ the most glaring exception to the rule; that Françoise Hardy line features on the dreamy ‘Summer Crane’,) the album is peculiar in that, unlike most sample-based albums, it wasn’t striving to reflect its creators’ personal politics – it wasn’t showing off. It sought to reflect something that didn’t previously exist.
Since I Left You was just an attempt to find our own little corner of the musical universe, a spot where we could just do our own thing rather than be in competition with anyone else,” Chater told triple J magazine in 2013. “A lot of dance music at that time was about big drums, big production: think of a record like [the Chemical Brothers] ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’, with those amazing drums, and how huge those records sounded. We thought, “We’re never gonna win a battle of beats with a record like that.” So instead we went, “Why don’t we try to make a record that was more ’60s influence, with less bass, inspired by Phil Spector and the Beach Boys — but using dance music techniques? A light, FM-pop record?”
Neither a fetishistically retro album, nor tethered to its era, Since I Left You wasn’t just an enormous creative leap forward from the band’s indie-rap beginnings, but a painstakingly realised repurposing of the dead. Forgotten albums, lost recordings, obsolete creative expressions – literally using thousands of voices and sounds made by people now dead – Since I Left You gleefully resurrects evidence of humanity from its original context, and uses it to vocalise something new. The Avalanches are the ventriloquist’s hand.
It’s hard not to hear this in the album’s dense collection of seemingly joyful characters. To hear the liberated voice of the title track, who found the world so new; the trilling flautists on ‘Two Hearts in ¾ Time’; the funky bassist of ‘Flight Tonight’; the drummer deep in the pocket of ‘Close To You’; the string players on ‘A Different Feeling’; the girls laughing at the start of ‘Electricity’; the madcap collective nattering through ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’; and that friend trying to get Susie’s attention on ‘Diner’s Only’ (Susie. Susie, he’s looking at you); as phantoms who never made it off the sinking ocean liner of the album’s gatefold. The thing borders on supernatural.
I think you can hear this.
Some of the enduring romanticism of Since I Left You is tied to the heroic physical task of creating it. According to folklore, more than 3,500 vinyl samples were used to make the record, the band laboriously capturing them with primitive Akai samplers. Even with today’s technology of instant digital recording, freely available enormous sample packs, and several lifetimes-worth of recorded music history streaming on demand – ie: all the elements that should make sampling-based albums run of the mill in 2016 – Since I Left You could not sound the way it does without the labour of its process.
By its very nature the record is laden with happy accidents, chance moments, and clashing sonic details borne from the specific human ritual of its manual curation. In this way it’s emblematic of how we use and respond to music – as music fans we repetitively design our own subjective experience according to taste and emotional responses. I suspect part of the reason Since I Left You endures for people who like music, is because it is a literal document of the precise moment the people making it liked music. It is lightning in a bottle, repeated.
After the release of Since I Left You the band played their still haphazard shows to support it, including a series of DJ sets that arguably came closest to touching on the heady experience of the album. But nothing did it justice. After the herculean task of stumbling on something timeless, trying to represent it in the present must have felt pointless.
Music obsessives like The Avalanches know more than most that an album like Since I Left You can’t be replicated. Perhaps that’s why sixteen years have passed since its release and the recent announcement of the band’s reactivation. Rumours of work on a follow-up have persisted for years. In the meantime Seltmann has moved on. Dexter has gone. Of the original members only Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi remain, though James Dela Cruz, who joined the band around the album’s release (he plays on ‘Electricity’), is back on board. How they represent a mythical record and what they come up with next is anyone’s guess. What can’t be denied is a group of friends made a love letter from found sound, that will itself go on to be discovered long after its creators are gone.
Amar Ediriwira / The Vinyl factory

Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio Featuring Pharoah Sanders ‎– Africa N'da Blues (2000)

Genre: Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Delmark Records, P-Vine Records

Tracklist:
1.   Ka-Real (Take 2)
2.   Africanos / Latinos
3.   Miles' Mode
4.   Autumn Leaves
5.   Africa N'da Blues
6.   Pharoah's Song
7.   Ka-Real (Take 1)

Credits:
Bass – Malachi Favors
Drums, Percussion – Kahil El'Zabar
Liner Notes – Neil Tesser
Piano, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Ari Brown
Tenor Saxophone – Pharoah Sanders
Vocals – Susana Sandoval
Producer – Kahil El'Zabar

The aptly titled Africa N'da Blues is the Ritual Trio's fourth outing on Delmark. Most of the record explores the uniquely Afro-American space between African percussion and the '60s free jazz revolution. El'Zabar's group appears equally at home playing straight-ahead standards like "Autumn Leaves" or post-Coltrane material like the title track, but it really seems to thrive during moments of exploration and discovery. A spoken word piece with a Latin feel, for example, explores ethnic diversity with a twist. As vocalist Susana Sandoval so aptly puts it, "soy Africana." During pieces like this, El'Zabar gets a chance to stretch out with Latin rhythms. 
Meanwhile, the group as a whole displays a relaxed cool which stands as a stark contrast to the otherwise passionate playing on the record. The addition of tenor saxophone titan Pharoah Sanders, of course, pulls Africa N'da Blues directly back into Coltrane territory. In a way, much of this material celebrates the liberation made possible by Coltrane and his contemporaries during the '60s. When in this mode, El'Zabar rumbles and crashes, obeying the emotional feel of the music instead of a specific swing or feel. Pianist Ari Brown, whether purposefully or not, sounds uncannily like McCoy Tyner at his fiery best. 
Even when the Ritual Trio occasionally swings into a more traditional sound (with a lot of swing, if you listen to the rhythm section), it conveys a sense of restrained energy. It's all a matter of twisting the emotional knob, and the Ritual Trio can go all the way.
All About Jazz

Brian Eno ‎– Music For Films (1976)

Style: Experimental, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Virgin, Editions EG, Polydor, EMI, Astralwerks


Tracklist:
01.   Aragon
02.   From The Same Hill
03.   Inland Sea
04.   Two Rapid Formations
05.   Slow Water
06.   Sparrowfall (1)
07.   Sparrowfall (2)
08.   Sparrowfall (3)
09.   Alternative 3
10.   Quartz
11.   Events In Dense Fog
12.   'There Is Nobody'
13.   Patrolling Wire Borders
14.   A Measured Room
15.   Task Force
16.   M386
17.   Strange Light
18.   Final Sunset

Credits:
Composed By, Producer – Brian Eno

The basic core of tracks making up Brian Eno's Music for Films was originally assembled in 1976 for inclusion in a promotional LP of prospective cues sent to film directors. In early 1978, a bit before Music for Airports, Editions EG released Music for Films with little more than Eno's cryptic comment: "some of it was made specifically for soundtrack material, (and) some of it was made for other reasons but found its way into films." As with most things Eno, this led to a good deal of speculation and controversy. One filmmaker long ago stated, "All of that is crap -- this music was never used in any films," and another film student who had tried out some of the cues: "this is the worst music for films ever. These cues don't synch to anything." However, the second filmmaker unintentionally discovered the essence of Music for Films -- the 18 pieces here are little films, stimulating the visual part of one's brain and thus fulfilling their promotional purpose. In that sense, Music for Films was revolutionary in 1978. 
Eno's analog music definitely benefits from presentation in the digital domain. The American LP of Music for Films was terrible, crackly sounding, and impossible to track properly. In this new Original Masters "Soundtracks Works" edition, this additional layer of sonic sludge is gone, revealing that the musical textures are simpler than they seemed on the vinyl, rendering details previously inaudible, such as the bass line in Two rapid formations. This CD offers only the same 40 minutes of music issued in 1978 -- "extras" are included on the newly compiled companion disc More Music for Films. The pieces are quite short; some, such as Sparrowfall (1) could have gone longer without wearing out their welcome. The upside is that Music for Films can function as "ambient music for people with short attention spans" -- somewhat oxymoronic, as ambient music is not designed to be paid attention to. 
The mid-'70s were still a rather angry period in electronic music at the academic level. Eno's approach differed significantly from both that, and from others, in that his music was not pop-oriented either. Music for Films is the unrecognized link between Discreet Music and Music for Airports -- it is essential Eno, and a landmark collection drawn from among his work.
Uncle Dave Lewis / AllMusic

VA ‎– The Wire 20 Years 1982-2002: Audio Issue (2002)

Genre: Electronic, Jazz, Reggae, Non-Music
Format: CD / Box Set
Label: Mute

DISC ONE
1-01.   Steve Lacy - The Wire
1-02.   Ennio Morricone With Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza - Seguita
1-03.   Coil - Wrong Eye
1-04.   Hands To - Egress (Excerpt)
1-05.   David Toop & Max Eastley - Buried Dreams
1-06.   King Tubby & Vivian Jackson - Tubby's Vengeance
1-07.   Fennesz - Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)
1-08.   Derek Bailey - M 5
1-09.   Bali Traditional Musicians - Cockfight / Trance In
1-10.   Einstürzende Neubauten - Pygmäen
1-11.   AMM - After Rapidly Circling The Plaza (Excerpt)
1-12.   Mars - 11,000 Volts
1-13.   Cabaret Voltaire - Breathe Deep
1-14.   Tony Conrad With Faust - The Death Of The Composer Was In
1-15.   Designer - Vandal
1-16.   Torture - Soaking Bodies In Dub
1-17.   Fela Kuti - Shenshema

DISC TWO
2-01.   The Art Ensemble Of Chicago - Illistrum
2-02.   Sonic Youth - Expressway To Yr Skull
2-03.   Spring Heel Jack & The Blue Series Continuum - Salt
2-04.   This Heat - Paper Hats
2-05.   Nurse With Wound & Stereolab - Simple Headphone Mind
2-06.   Jac Berrocal - Rock 'N' Roll Station
2-07.   Sun Ra & His Solar-Myth Arkestra - Ancient Ethiopia
2-08.   Christian Marclay - Jukebox Capriccio
2-09.   John Cage - Williams Mix
2-10.   Yoshihide Otomo - Cathode #4: Soundcheck Version
2-11.   Björk - Headphones
2-12.   Pauline Oliveros - I (Excerpt)

DISC THREE
3-01.   Keith Hudson - Satan Side
3-02.   Terry Riley - Music For The Gift (Part I)
3-03.   William S. Burroughs With Ian Sommerville - Silver Smoke Of
3-04.   Suicide - Rocket USA
3-05.   Supersilent - 4.2
3-06.   Pan Sonic - Vaihe (Fön)
3-07.   Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft - Kebabträume
3-08.   Larry Young - Khalid Of Space (Part 2 - Welcome)
3-09.   David Behrman With Gordon Mumma - Players With Circuits
3-10.   Fushitsusha - The Caution Appears (Part 5)
3-11.   John Coltrane With Alice Coltrane - Living Space
3-12.   John Fahey - Some Summer Day
3-13.   Diamanda Galás - 23 Minutes To Go

Credits:
Compiled By, Liner Notes – Tony Herrington
Mastered By – Tony Dixon

The epic scale and contrived angles of many archival box sets threaten to distort the narrative of the music itself 
The vinyl box set section of an otherwise well stocked Oakland record shop recently contained the following: titanic editions of Led Zeppelin’s first three LPs; a Record Store Day exclusive monument, several months hence, to The Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka; one of Numero Group’s tombstone-like archival tributes to Unwound; The Magnetic Fields’ leaden 50 Song Memoir; and, like a discrete package of smut in its plain cardboard outer casing, Radiohead’s undercover coronation of their own album A Moon Shaped Pool. 
This selection of boomer bombast and indie hagiography, writerly self-seriousness and punk rock completism seems pretty typical of box sets in 2017, which embody the cost, hubris and hyperbole of the reissue industry at its worst. In fairness, box sets also reflect and appeal to the best of music fandom in the age of availability: a desire for context and to redress historical injustices, and for record labels, like music critics, to not just disseminate and rate releases, but to plot them within a map of their respective subcultures. Still, shaped by market forces as much as fannish altruism, box sets also threaten to steer listeners awry by betraying the material they purport to elevate. 
The predecessors to today’s vinyl box sets are the retrospective CD collections that proliferated in the twilight of that format’s popularity, which boasted with suspicious frequency of remastering, and added bonus tracks of inconsistent merit. Adapting albums originally released on LPs to meet the expanded capacity of CDs moved from liberatory to gimmicky; it contributed, along with the cynically inflated price of single discs, to repelling consumers at the dawn of file-sharing. But while the overreach of yesteryear’s CD box sets can be credited largely to majors, today’s vinyl box sets are as common from seemingly discerning labels as from the music industry’s usual villains. 
The operators of archival record labels (including the one I’ve contracted for on and off, Superior Viaduct) know that the most attention-grabbing reissue campaigns involve shedding new light on their subject, or at least telegramming it to a new audience; that helps explain some labels’ apparent preference for collections which entail original branding instead of facsimile reissues. The trouble arises when box sets, like many of those collections, imply that an artist’s catalogue isn’t good enough, that it’s spotty, disordered, has the wrong artwork – or needs to be redefined instead of just revived. 
First wave UK punk group The Lurkers this year received a five disc box treatment from Beggars Banquet that contains their first two albums, all of their singles, and assorted demos and radio recordings – all of this for a group that was very much of a golden era for singles. A reproduction of their debut 7" appeared in tandem with the set like a promotional gambit, a loss leader, when it’s actually the more representative and enjoyable object. Why do these punk collections have the proportions of progressive rock opuses? There is, of course, an ever older, more moneyed punk demographic, but it’s sad and arguably economically nearsighted as well to see labels cater to them exclusively. 
Fire Records’ recent period-spanning box sets for long running groups Pere Ubu and Half Japanese, along with Numero Group’s campaign around posthardcore outfit Unwound, point to another trend: intervening so brazenly in groups’ catalogues that they’re rendered unrecognisable. Who’d gather from a box set the profound stylistic shifts Pere Ubu underwent in their first three years when even their pre-album EPs sound like different bands? Like other groups ill-suited to this treatment, Pere Ubu’s early singles and albums are best encountered as the discrete statements they are. 
None of this is to deny the growing irrelevance of physical formats to many contemporary genres (even hiphop’s tenuous grasp of a distinction between online albums and mixtapes has capitulated to the catch-all project); it’s wrong to cling too dearly to a narrow idea of an album, which, after all, emerged in pop and rock music for technological and commercial rather than creative reasons. Streaming services such as Spotify, which lists artists’ songs in order of popularity by default, are eroding listeners’ sense of the sequence and contour of older artists’ catalogues, and box sets threaten to similarly project today’s genre-fluidity onto the past, all to muddling effect. 
Though these collections are meant to retrospectively celebrate groups, they actually endanger longterm appreciation by virtue of their prohibitive retail prices, thus alienating potential fans in their eagerness to sell to super fans. They’re also just goliath, with some price marks seeming to reflect packaging more than content. A better model is, say, Secretly Canadian’s career-spanning Nikki Sudden reissues, each of which couple two sequential LPs without undermining the integrity of his solo catalogue. But tellingly, Sudden hasn’t received the feverish critical reappraisal visited on lesser artists with flashier collections. 
Of course, even some prominent artists are well suited to exhaustive excavation of unreleased or under-distributed work – perhaps because the stylistic prejudices or commercial incentives of their era privileged bland output and stifled the singular stuff. For instance, the alternative Jesus & Mary Chain discography, for years reserved for committed collectors of their spare demos and non-album whimsies, deserved recognition on the four disc 2008 set The Power Of Negative Thinking. Yet it’s still like some sort of giant, abstract sculpture; I don’t know how to approach it and I wouldn’t take it home even if I could. 
Box sets are the museum retrospectives of music, defanging art while deeming it significant. Demystification. Textbook recuperation. They usually coincide with the retirement of underground music from the shadowy marketplace of underground influence. I’ve only owned a handful (Neu!, Robyn Hitchcock, Numero’s It’s All Pop), and they’ve been the first things I offload to pay rent. 
In another essay about box sets (“Tombstone Raiders”, The Wire 359, available to subscribers online), Simon Reynolds wrote that they tend to signal the end of an artist’s culturally productive phase. Worse, though, is when they encourage and hasten that very terminus.
The Wire

Shirley Scott ‎– Superstition (1973)

Style: Soul-Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Soul Brother Records Cadet

Tracklist:
1.   Hanky's Panky
2.   Lady Madonna
3.   Last Tango In Paris
4.   Superstition
5.   People Make The World Go Round
6.   Liberation Song
7.   Rainy Days And Mondays Always Get Me Down

Credits:
Horns Arranged By – Richard Evans
Bass – Richard Evans, Ron Carter
Congas – Frederick "Derf" Walker
Drums – Grady Tate
Guitar – David Spinozza, Jimmy Ponder
Organ – Shirley Scott
Tenor Saxophone – Clifford Davis, Ramon Morris
Trumpet – Jimmy Owens
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Arthur Hoyle, Murray Watson
Producer – Esmond Edwards