April stuff

Antye Greie/AGF/Craig Armstrong – Orlando – really enjoyed seeing Orlando in performance at the Traverse Theatre in September last year, and Antye’s earlier performance in a small room at the university a few months before that, so was looking forward to this soundtrack making its way onto CD. Given the Orlando show’s stunning visuals it’s a shame there’s not an accompanying DVD, but this’ll do nicely.

BURNT FRIEDMAN & JAKI LIEBEZEIT – Secret Rhythms 4OK, I’m tiring of the relative lack of variety across this occasional series now, this is probably the last I’ll buy.

TIED & TICKLED TRIO/BILLY HART – La Place Demon – too JAZZ for me I’m afraid. An almost immediate sell-on.

BRIAN ENO 1971-1977 The Man Who Fell To Earth DVD – Almost three hours of hagiographic (deservedly imho) documentary following Eno’s extraordinarily fertile period from Roxy Music to Before And After Science. Predominantly talking-head material, a broad and knowledgeable range of interviewees have been assembled, including bassists Percy Jones and Brian Turrington (of The Winkies, oddly a tad reminiscent of John Lydon in vocal inflections and mannerisms).

There are only a couple of brief snippets of the man himself in interview (probably not commissioned for this project), and sadly nothing at all from Bowie, Fripp, Ferry, Cale, Nico, Manzanera, Bryars etc.. or even anyone from Island Records. Was the documentarian being kept at arms length, I wonder? A shame if so. Plus points for persuading Roedelius to shed some light on the Harmonia/Cluster collaborations, though there’s little those already familiar with the circumstances surrounding these works won’t already know.

So, no great visual shakes, but there is sympathetic use of (unrelated) archive material to accompany the brief representative snippets of tracks being discussed.

Overall it’s a decent job and certainly worth a look, even for already committed and knowledgeable fans. Be warned though – the box misleadingly claims that the disc ‘contains many extra features’ – but there’s only one sliver of video of marginal interest (imho) in which Lloyd Watson discusses the shortlived 801 project, and text biographies of the contributors. Boo!

SEUN KUTI & EGYPT 80 – From Africa With Fury: Rise – Afrobeat set with a more spacious sound than his previous album – but it’s mostly too rhythmically fast for me, preferring the groove prowl of his dad. Enjoyable live show at the Usher Hall early in the month though, and I was amused to discover that I’d been bopping away oblivious to being a few feet away from the album’s producer, Brian Eno.

Hmmm  – bit of an Eno-dominated month this month.  I also bought the second edition of the 77 Million Paintings software. I haven’t figured it out yet, but surely there’s a way to set this up as a screensaver rather than a piece of software that has to be fired up and quit. Anyone?

Related, I chanced on the Lumen London website here, with some beautiful – and uncomfortably expensive – limited screenprints of grabs from Eno’s 77 million paintings work. Still plenty left, but the prices will have to drop a couple of hundred quid before I’d be tempted.

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