Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

It’ll End in Tears – This Mortal Coil [#644]

Gloomy collaborative music by Evo Watts’ music project This Mortal Coil.

Like Mike Oldfield’s Islands this was also part of a x for £xx deal at the Virgin Megastore in Liverpool (now Claus Ohlson). I mourn the passing of record shops and their x for £xx deals, this is not an offer the likes of Amazon, iTunes and their ilk seem to foster. I was drawn to This Mortal Coil and their 1984 album It’ll End in Tears via the 4AD Uncut Compilation CD and David Lynch’s Lost Highway in which the band’s cover of Tim Buckley’s Song of the Siren featured and marked the beginning of me being a little more adventurous with my music choices. However I only became aware of them following the rerelease of the album in the nineties.

Of course, this was in the nineties so music downloading hadn’t really taken off in the UK due to the crapness of internet connectivity but it quickly became a prized item in my music library. Especially as it made me feel that I appeared cultured and with it to my Guardian reading, coffee table book owning friends at the time.

Hipster? moi? Nah my trousers are not corduroy and I don’t own a penny farthing.

Apologies for the break in posts last week, I’m still rebuilding my music library following an IT issue with my iMac, and have just returned from a holiday in Dorset so posts will be a little sporadic for a few weeks. However, please do not feel I’ve abandoned this project or stopped writing, I haven’t. Keep an eye out on my other blog, the Compostual Existentialist over the next few weeks for details of my recent holiday.

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Immortal Memory – Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy [#615]

Immortal_memory_-_gerrard_cassidy_-_front.jpgWhen she’s not wailing away hauntingly with Brendan Perry and the rest of Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard likes to loan her distinctive siren call to other atmospheric music makers like Irish composer Patrick Cassidy (Hannibal {2001} and Salem’s Lot {2004}).

This pretty much sounds no different to any other Lisa Gerrard work and will no doubt appear in cheaply produced tense, moody-broody television dramas and films set in rainy locations and involving despairing situations such as wearing raincoats in Washington DC or the protagonist not being able to tell people about something awful they’ve uncovered because “the man” won’t stand for it.

I think if I really want to feel depressed and out of luck, this is the album I’ll listen to.

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Gothic Spleens – Dead Can Dance [#544]

UnknownAs we finally come out of the (reduced) gothic compilation portion of the project, we see the peaks of “Greatest Hits” ahead of us but until then there are a few more albums we need to visit.

Gothic Spleens is another bootleg album for Neoclassical/Goth group Dead Can Dance. Recorded from a live radio broadcast from Hamburg’s  Musikhalle in 1990. It has a similar track listing to Golden Age but certainly doesn’t disappoint. Even if we’ve heard it all before.

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Golden Age – Dead Can Dance [#536]

goldenagegifMore neoclassical caterwauling from Brendan Perry with added woeful wailing from Lisa Gerrard in this compilation of bootlegged performances from across Dead Can Dance’s “Golden Age”.

I think the compiler chose anything prior to the world music influenced Into the Labyrinth as the band’s “golden age” to select songs from. Of course, they may have compiled it before that album was released. Who knows?

Tracks listed include In Power We Entrust the Love Advocated, Oman, Toward the Within and my favourite, Rakim amongst others. All lovingly performed by the gang in Paris 1988 and Hamburg in 1990.

 

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Gladiator: More Music from the Motion Picture – Lisa Gerrard & Hans Zimmer [#525]

Gladiatorsoundtrack2Lisa Gerrard lends her voice to another Zimmer soundtrack. Honestly, if it wasn’t for her work with Dead Can Dance I’d probably have given up on Ms Gerrard’s caterwauling, although maybe that is a little harsh.

In case you’ve been living in a cellar for the past sixteen years, Gladiator is a film about a Roman general (Russell Crowe) reduced into slavery, seeking revenge on the guy  (Joaquin Phoenix) who murdered his father (Richard Harris). I’ve only seen Gladiator once, and to be quite honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by it. I suppose this was because, at the time, my head was buzzing still from the story of Spartacus and I felt that the Spartacus story would have been a better choice to make into a movie (again).

The movie was a box office smash (just check out the rather lengthy Wikipedia page) and the soundtrack won awards and brought Gerrard’s voice to the masses. So much so, the Original Soundtrack spawned today’s entry, which didn’t sell as many copies. Indeed, Gladiator: More Music reeks so much of over-milked cash cow, I’m surprised heaps of unsellable follow up merchandise such as Gladiator cook books and Build your own Forum kits didn’t pollute the shops.

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Farscape – Klaus Schultz & Lisa Gerrard [#461]

Unknown-2Klaus and Lisa’s first get together.

As I go through my music collection I still find it remarkable how there is a lot of cross over, coincidence and collaboration amongst the artists therein.

Farscape is over two hours of Klaus’ sustained chord changes backed by Lisa’s improvised wailing which is fun if you’re a severe Dead Can Dance fan or you like a bit of wailing with your electronica.

Trufax: I downloaded this in error because I thought I was getting the Farscape soundtrack. Durr.

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European Tour 2005 – Dead Can Dance [#435]

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.51.27In 2005 an announcement was made to the effect that Dead Can Dance would tour again after several years of hiatus. Tickets for the few gigs that were to be played in the UK sold out like hot cakes.

I was unable to go.

What followed was months of people I knew saying how they were looking forward to going to the gig, followed by years of the same people saying how mind blowing the gig was. Yet all I have to remember the experience I never had is this “bootleg” featuring highlights of Dead Can Dance’s European tour in 2005.

Occasionally I listen to it from afar while sitting in an uncomfortable seat for full effect.

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Dziekuje Bardzo – Klaus Schulze & Lisa Gerrard [#405]

Dziekuje_BardzoIf you’re a regular reader, you might remember when Klaus first appeared on the music project with Peter Namlook in Dark Side of the Mooand how disappointing that album turned out to be. We now meet Klaus working with former Dead Can Dance stalwart Lisa Gerrard in what turns out to be their third collaboration.

Listening to Dziekuje Bardzo is sometimes like listening to a futuristic Dead Can Dance without Brendan Perry, a bit like listening to Lisa Gerrard’s solo work without Klaus Schulze (Does that make sense?) and sometimes like listening to some god awful German electronic bollocks created by an egotistical electronic musician who can’t accept that their music is tosh and are misguided enough to continue under the premise of “occasional good bits”.

Still if Lisa Gerrard like his music who am I to judge?

 

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Duality – Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke [#399]

Duality_Lisa_GerrardSomeone spoiled my enjoyment of Dead can Dance’s Lisa Gerard’s solo work. Simply, they told me to listen to her music and imagine her singing while pointing at something really disgusting. Like a plate with a dog poo covered fork, or perhaps a bowl of green olives, or that video on social media of someone having something fished out of their ear.

Yeah, that did it.

This is Gerrard’s second  album without Brendan Perry, her first being the Mirror Pool, and is a collaboration with occasional DCD session musician Pieter Bourke.

As a result the DCD sound is almost there. It’s not entirely there but it is almost. It’s like a cup of coffee that’s almost coffee but turns out to be something like coffee substitute. It does, however, feature some interesting tracks that featured in the film The Insider.

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Dead Can Dance (1981 – 1998) – Dead Can Dance [#348]

Dead_Can_Dance_(1981-1998)A four volume compilation of various works by the band Dead Can Dance.

Being a bit of a DCD nerd, I couldn’t turn my nose up at this. Sure I have most of the tracks already on other albums but there are some tracks on here that aren’t available on conventional releases.

Radio recordings and rare songs appear here along with the foetal essence of some well known DCD songs. It also came with a DVD of the live Toward the Within concert which will appear here on the music project in a few years time.

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Dead Can Dance – Dead Can Dance [#347]

Dead_Can_Dance_albumIf you’ve been following this project closely you’ll remember that I embarked on my musical journey via the dark forests of goth back in the drug fuelled 90s.

You might also recall how because of a gothic party held by Fields of Nephilim Cassette giver Chris, I went out and bought Dead Can Dance’s Aion. What you might not know is that this particular album was the cement in my goth music extension.

Dead Can Dance is Dead Can Dance’s first studio album. As first albums go, it’s marginally different from the style that they would adopt in later albums but the early shoots of their style can be detected in the last 5 or 6 tracks on the album.

On first listen I remember feeling suitably lacklustre and gloomy yet also quite pleased with my purchase. The pathways to darkness were beginning to open for me and the strange mumbling and incoherent lyrics surely meant something profound or at least mystical.

Then came the internet and with it lyric sites while at the same time, audio technology improved and so did the clarity through speakers as better systems were afforded. The mysticism of the mumbled incoherence disappeared and left wise observations and thought provoking words in its place. It remains a good album, but probably not a good place to start listening to Dead Can Dance unless you’re open to dramatic shifts in style.

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Music Project–Album #44–A Thousand Roads–Lisa Gerrard & Jeff Rona

imageA Thousand Roads by Lisa Gerrard & Jeff Rona

A Thousand Roads is a film by Chris Eyre released in 2005. This is the soundtrack for it.

I’m very fond of soundtracks and there are many in my collection. Mostly they are of films that I have seen but this is one of 2 film soundtracks of films I’ve not seen.

I’m also very fond of Lisa Gerrard’s music including Dead Can Dance (but more about them in a later post).

So there’s two things: Lisa Gerrard and Soundtracks. What more could I want? Well there is a third thing. World music. I first got into World Music as a teenager when I was taken on a school trip to see the Gamelan at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool. Initially I was resistant but an hour into the performance I began to recognise repetitions, subtleties and changes in rhythm which none of my classmates seemed to appreciate. On the back of that experience I embraced World Music and, over the years, have collected some interesting music (again, more of that in a later post).

A Thousand Roads is a lovely mix of etherical wailing, tribal chants and haunting synths. A rare treat for travellers and explorers of the musical soundscape.

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