Tuesday, May 09, 2006

First Thought Best Thought

Arthur Russell was a kid from Iowa who played the cello and traveled around the US eventually winding up in NYC in the late '70s. He began to associate with a lot of the post-punk luminaries of the era, and began to record as Dinosaur, Dinosaur L and Loose Joints. The music was leftfield disco with some serious art school attitude. It is great stuff that has groove and creativity and sensitivity all rolled up. There have been several key reissues over the last few years (click on the link above for a discography), the latest of which is First Thought Best Thought. A 2 disc set, it is made up of instrumental modern classical music as played by orchestra and semi rock band. Disc 1 is music composed to accompany color slides of Arthur's Buddhist teacher, and is selected bits of what was meant to be 48 hours of continuous music. Disc 2 is the composition Tower Of Meaning, previously available in a run of only 320 LPs in 1983, and Sketch For The Face Of Helen which is previously unreleased. The music is very different from his disco stuff, and is lovely and plaintive. It is deceptively simple - it took a few listens for the complexities to appear. Initially I didn't think I would like it but I've found it to be a grower with some pretty melodies. Here is a nice example for you...

Arthur Russell - Instrumentals 1974 Volume 1 Track 1

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