Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Cllct.com Artists: 21 Love Songs: A Tribute to The Magnetic Fields (March 10th, 2008)

I have decided that when listening to a tribute album it is better to not know a great deal about the source material. Personally, (I am ashamed to admit) I have never given a good listen to The Magnetic Fields, so when I picked up a handmade, photocopied, cd-r version of cllct.com's tribute I knew more about the artists on the disc (i.e. Tinyfolk, James Eric, redbear., Secret Owl Society, Porches) then I did about Magnetic Fields. Which may make my opinion a little unique in reviewing this album.

Overall, the tone of the album is somber, but the eclectic feel of the 21 different musicians involved keeps thing moving. This album speaks for not only the ever growing folk movement, but also the hard working independent musician involved in cllct.com. Founded by a man that goes by Secret Owl Society, cllct is home to hundreds (174 to be exact) of independent musicians sharing their music and ideas. Together they have released 259 albums to date, and they are all available to be downloaded for free, including this one.

Back to 21 Love Songs, there is everything from tiny folk song (not to be confused with Tinyfolk's song) to electronic infused to rock to ghetto rap (ok, maybe not ghetto rap) to James Eric (the main man behind this project) pumping up the reverb and twisting a few knobs. The highlight for me comes in the middle of the album, tracks 8 through 15, with the gentle glitch of Manipulator Alligator being the pinnacle.

Listen to: Living in an Abandoned Firehouse With You by Manipulator Alligator (mp3)

To download 21 Love Song visit cllct.com, and while you are there check out all of the other quality releases.

Adrian Manning: Wide Asleep, Fast Awake (Kendra Steiner Editions #98, May 2008)

"I'm a vacation in winter/cold and brooding/meet me somewhere/give me a ride/we surely can't fail"

05:40... the alarm sounds in this distance, I tell myself it is a school bell or maybe broken laughter... I dance and fall, arms heavy, reaching for the magically button that will make it all stop. 05:50... children play in doorways, falling and fawning, petals and scrapped knees. 06:00... I smell the stream and feel the slow release of pure black liquid into a collecting pool in glass pot. Finally, the dream is over.

For me, Wide Asleep, Fast Awake, takes place in the space between initial waking and the official end of intermittent dreams. Starting at 05:32 and ending at 09:30, the collection follows the life of the sounds you hear when trying to sleep, specifically a girl walkng outside an open window. When the dream ends... reality is always hard to handle, abrupt and unforgiving.

This is Volume 33 in the Sound Library Series from Kendra Steiner Editions, and it was inspired by Sonic Youth. The cover photo was taken by Aleathia Drehmer. There were only 73 copies printed and I am holding #18, so order yours today!

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