Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dion - Born to Be with You (1975)

A work of strange beauty and accidental (or, at least, incidental) genius from a usually pretty mediocre folk rock singer. The product of a contentious collaboration with Phil Spector, Born to Be with You is both loved and hated for its murky yet widescreen production, which provides a funereal backdrop for Dion's turn towards hipness. It's honestly difficult to tell whether or not they were trying to make a hit album -- if they were, they failed -- but as a piece of outsider pop art, from the jarringly plainspoken heroin references of "Your Own Backyard" to the baffling cover of "(He's Got) The Whole World in His Hands)", it's a 10/10.

Track listing:
1. Born to Be with You
2. Make the Woman Love Me
3. Your Own Back Yard
4. (He's Got) The Whole World in His Hands
5. Only You Know
6. New York City Song
7. In and Out of the Shadows
8. Good Lovin' Man

I can do anything that I wanna do
I do it straight, I do it better, too

You might also enjoy:
Colin Blunstone - One Year (1971)
Ennismore (1972) Journey (1974)
+ Planes (1976)
Graeme Edge Band
featuring Adrian Gurvitz -
Paradise Ballroom (1977)

Sunday, March 8, 2020

DJ Spooky - Optometry (2002)

Optometry is a full-length collaboration between trip-hop great DJ Spooky and a whole bunch of very talented jazz musicians, and it's a remarkably even split between the two sonic worlds. Probably my favorite DJ Spooky record, and definitely one of my favorite trip-hop records, if it counts as one.

Track listing:
1. Ibid, Desmarches, Ibid
2. Reactive Switching Strategies for the Control of Uninhabited Air
3. Variation Cybernetique: Rhythmic Pataphysic
4. Asphalt (Tome II)
5. Optometry
6. Sequentia Absentia (Dialectical Triangulation I)
7. Rosemary
8. Dementia Absentia (Dialectical Triangulation II)
9. Parachutes
10. Absentia Absentia (Dialectical Triangulation III)
11. Variation Cybernetique: Rhythmic Pataphysic (Part II)
12. Periphique
13. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World

Across the morphic fields

Also listen to:
Richard Thomas -
Shoes and Radios Attract Paint (1998)
Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit -
Secret Rhythms (2002)

Friday, March 6, 2020

Vampillia - Alchemic Heart (2011)

Skin - Shame, Humility, Revenge (1988)
Boredoms - Super Roots 7 (1998)
Mono & World's End Girlfriend - Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain (2005)
Vampillia - Rule the World / Deathtiny Land (2011)

Transcendent debut album from this self-described "brutal orchestra." Two expansive compositions encompassing beautiful, shimmering drone; vocals that range from death metal growls to haunting operatic singing; massive walls of tremolo-picked guitars and strings; devastating poetry courtesy of Jarboe; and Merzbow doing that thing that he does. Absolutely brilliant stuff.

Track listing:
1. Sea
2. Land

I breathe in the darkness
To breathe out light
To breathe out fire

Also listen to:
Asva -
What You Don't Know Is Frontier
Locrian & Mammifer -
Bless Them That Curse You

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Bobby Callender - Rainbow (1968)

A low-key masterpiece of mystical psychedelia and baroque pop from the relatively unsung Bobby Callender. Weightless clouds of sitar, tabla, harpsichord, strings, and more gather and hover like angels over Callender's hazy vocals.

Track listing:
1. Rainbow
2. Nature
3. Sade Masoch
4. Purple
5. Mother Superior
6. Autumn
7. A Man
8. I'm Just High on Life
9. Symphonic Pictures
10. Raga Man [bonus]
11. The Story of Rahsa & D'ahra [bonus]

The two of us have just
Climbed the highest mountain

You might also like:
Annette Peacock & Paul Bley -
Dual Unity (1972)
Clivage -
Mixtus Orbis (1979)