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ARTHUR RUSSELL

Richard King

Travels Over Feeling: Arthur Russell, A Life

    The music of Arthur Russell defies classification. Across a twenty-year career he created a body of work which ranged from his pioneering compositions as part of the New York avant-garde alongside artists including Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg, to his genre-expanding disco and art pop productions, to his posthumously released folk songs. Travels Over Feeling is the result of extensive research by author Richard King, curating the ephemera and documentation found in both Arthur's and other private archives, and consists of hand-written scores, lyrics, photos, letters and drawings.

    Throughout, King has conducted wide-ranging original interviews with Arthur's collaborators, contemporaries, family and friends. The resulting book reveals a true picture of one of the most distinctive artists of the last fifty years.

    Peter Broderick & Ensemble 0

    Give It To The Sky: Arthur Russell’s Tower Of Meaning Expanded

      This autumn, Erased Tapes are set to release ‘Give It to the Sky: Arthur Russell’s Tower of Meaning Expanded’ by composer and producer Peter Broderick and French 12-piece group Ensemble 0; a complete re-recording of Russell’s epic minimalist orchestral composition originally released in 1983. Released 6th October, ‘Give It to the Sky’ also includes unreleased tracks by Russell which have been restored and re-recorded, resulting in an 80-minute reanimation that threads several lost songs into a meticulous and gorgeous rendering.

      Ensemble 0 weave in and out of Broderick’s additions. ‘Corky’, a poignant cowboy ballad that Russell never finished, appears, disappears, and reappears three times, the droning exhalations of ‘Tower of Meaning’ making it feel sweeter and sadder. Arriving just after the triumphant halfway mark, the title track is a sublime meditation on mere existence, about staring at some simple rural scene and marcelling at the miracle of being anywhere at all. It is an apt encapsulation of how this entire project feels – a glorious way to hear something that might have seemed familiar as if for the very first time.

      Russell was never much for definitive versions, of course. He was constantly rethinking the possibilities of a piece, of wondering what else it could do. ‘Give it to the Sky’ is a powerful affirmation of those principles, using Tower of Meaning’s framework to build outward and upward, to shape something that functions within Russell’s wondrous, paradoxical world. And ‘Give it to the Sky’ is also not intended to be some definitive last word. Broderick and Ensemble 0 speak already of the ways it may shift on stage, of where else it might lead.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1.Tower Of Meaning I
      A2. Tower Of Meaning II
      A3. Tower Of Meaning III
      A4. Tower Of Meaning IV
      A5. Corky I / White Jet Set Smoke Trail I
      A6. Consideration
      B1. Tower Of Meaning V
      B2. Tower Of Meaning VI
      B3. Tower Of Meaning VII
      B4. Tower Of Meaning VIII
      B5. Tower Of Meaning IX / Corky II
      C1. Tower Of Meaning X
      C2. Give It To The Sky
      D1. Tower Of Meaning XI
      D2. Tower Of Meaning XII
      D3. Corky III
      D4. White Jet Smoke Trail II

      Arthur Russell

      Picture Of Bunny Rabbit

        Rough Trade Records in partnership with Audika Records are excited to announce ‘Picture of Bunny Rabbit’ a new album of previously unreleased World Of Echo era material by Arthur Russell recorded in 1985/86.

        ‘Picture of Bunny Rabbit’ features nine previously unreleased performances from this era compiled from completed masters culled from two unique test pressings, including one, dated 9/15/85 by Arthur, provided by his mother and sister. A further four tracks were discovered in his tape archive. The track listing includes an exceptional and dramatic solo recording of “In The Light of a Miracle” and the enigmatic title instrumental “Picture of Bunny Rabbit”, written especially for a friends pet rabbit. The bulk of the material was recorded with engineer Eric Liljestrand at Battery Sound Studios, New York, which was located directly opposite the World Trade Center and at Arthur’s apartment studio in the East Village.

        In 1986 Arthur Russell was diagnosed with HIV, that same year he released his career-defining masterpiece ‘World of Echo’, the first and only solo album issued during his lifetime. Arthur had found his voice and a fresh direction with a set of new, transformative material, unlike anything he or anyone else had previously released. His illness ensured that the artistic growth and sense of exploration encapsulated in ‘World of Echo’ would be tragically curtailed. Within six short years Arthur was gone.

        Arthur’s final years were filled with a renewed commitment to creativity and unceasing live and recording work. He regularly performed the ‘World of Echo’ material and incorporated several of its compositions in collaborations with choreographers active in New York’s innovative dance community. Arthur worked closely with Diane Madden, Allison Salzinger, Stephanie Woodard and John Bernd, usually playing his cello and effects boxes off stage as the choreographers’ pieces were performed. In 1993 Arthur posthumously received a prestigious Bessie Composer Award for his work in the dance world.

        This release is the latest in a series in partnership with Audika Records, the exclusive label and home for the Arthur Russell archive and estate, who since 2004 have compiled and published the exceptionally varied, long sought-after music of Arthur Russell, and who in the process have helped the beloved, late artist find the broader audience he always believed he would reach. A new generation of listeners and critics has come to appreciate Russell as a visionary and an influence upon a broad range of today’s most compelling musical artists.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Some premium unearthed material here from the late, great Arthur Russell. Having come from the World Of Echo sessions, you know that there's some superb material here, including nine previously unreleased performances including some salvaged from tape provided by his mother and sister.

        TRACK LISTING

        Side A:
        Fuzzbuster 10
        Not Checking Up
        Telling No One
        Fuzzbuster 06
        The Boy With A Smile
        Side B:
        Fuzzbuster 09
        Very Reason
        Picture Of Bunny Rabbit
        In The Light Of A Miracle

        Arthur Russell

        Love Is Overtaking Me - 2022 Reissue

          ‘Love Is Overtaking Me’, originally released in 2008 comprises 21 demos and home recordings of unreleased pop, folk and country songs from Arthur’s vast catalogue. While much critical and popular affection for Russell’s music has come about well after his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, many fellow artists believed in his genius and were drawn to collaborate with him during his lifetime. The legendary producer John Hammond (Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen) recorded Russell on several occasions; a number of these recordings can be heard on ‘Love Is Overtaking Me’. Alongside songs recorded with various incarnations of The Flying Hearts, a group formed by Russell with Ernie Brooks whose shifting line up included, by turns, Jerry Harrison, Rhys Chatham, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon and Peter Zummo as well as Larry Saltzman and David Van Tieghem. Several other Russell projects are represented on Love Is Overtaking Me, including The Sailboats, Turbo Sporty and Bright & Early.

          Compiled from over eight hours of material, ‘Love Is Overtaking Me’ reaches back further to Russell’s first compositions from the early `70s and spans forward to his very last recordings, made at home in 1991. Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear contributed mixing, restoration and editing to the album, whose tracks were selected by Audika’s Steve Knutson, Ernie Brooks and Russell’s companion, Tom Lee. Several songs feature prominently in Matt Wolf’s film ‘Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell’.

          Extensive ‘Love Is Overtaking Me’ liner notes by Tom Lee provide an intimate perspective on Russell’s diverse catalogue, which spanned an extraordinary diversity of styles and won the love of artistic communities that would seem utterly disparate, from Philip Glass, John Cage and Allen Ginsberg to rock bands like The Talking Heads and The Modern Lovers; the pre-Studio 54 disco-party scene of Nicky Siano’s Gallery and David Mancuso’s Loft; and DJ-producers like Francois Kevorkian and Larry Levan, among others.

          TRACK LISTING

          Side A
          Close My Eyes
          Goodbye Old Paint
          Maybe She
          Oh Fernanda Why
          Time Away
          Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart

          Side B
          I Couldn't Say It To Your Face
          This Time Dad You're Wrong
          What It's Like
          Eli
          Hey! How Does Everybody Know

          Side C
          I Forget And I Can't Tell (Ballad Of The Lights Pt. 1)
          Habit Of You
          Janine
          Big Moon
          Your Motion Says
          The Letter

          Side D
          Don't Forget About Me
          Love Is Overtaking Me
          Planted A Thought
          Love Comes Back

          Arthur Russell

          Corn - 2022 Reissue

            Corn, originally released in 2015, features nine tracks Russell recorded in 1982 and 1983. In collaboration with Russell’s partner Tom Lee, Audika’s Steve Knutson compiled Corn from Arthur’s original, completed 1/4” tape masters. Russell himself compiled this material on three separate test pressings—labelled El Dinosaur, Indian Ocean, and Untitled, respectively— in 1985.

            Russell fans know something of the Corn sound from Audika’s debut release, ‘Calling Out of Context’ (2004), which included four songs from these sessions: ‘The Deer In The Forest Part 1,’ ‘The Platform on the Ocean,’ ‘Calling Out Of Context,’ and ‘I Like You!’

            This new collection includes rhythmic alternate versions of ‘Lucky Cloud,’ ‘Keeping Up,’ ‘See My Brother, He’s Jumping Out (Let’s Go Swimming #2),’ ‘This Is How We Walk on the Moon,’ and ‘Hiding Your Present From You,’ along with ‘Corn,’ ‘Corn (Continued),’ ‘They and Their Friends,’ and the closing instrumental ‘Ocean Movie,’ one of the most beautiful and curious Russell tracks ever to see the light of day.

            TRACK LISTING

            Lucky Cloud
            Corn
            Keeping Up
            See My Brother, He's Jumping Out (Let's Go Swimming #2)
            This Is How We Walk On The Moon
            Corn (Continued)
            Hiding Your Present From You
            They And Their Friends
            Ocean Movie

            Arthur Russell

            Calling Out Of Context - 2022 Reissue

              The now classic album that started the renaissance, available via Rough Trade on double vinyl with four page insert.

              Calling Out Of Context features 12 previously unreleased tracks of Buddhist Bubblegum Disco Electro Pop including the anthemic "That's Us/Wild Combination", "The Platform On The Ocean", “Make 1, 2” and "Arm Around You", all recorded during Arthur's prime years 1985-90. Collaborators include Mustafa Ahmed, Walter Gibbons, Steven Hall, Jennifer Warnes, and Peter Zummo.

              30 years have passed since Arthur Russell left us, in relative obscurity, from AIDS complications in 1992. Yet his work—as composer, songwriter and dance music innovator—is better known now than ever before. Since Audika Records and Arthur’s partner Tom Lee began excavating and curating Arthur’s vast archive beginning in 2003, critics worldwide have hailed Russell as a visionary. Countless younger artists cite him as an influence. There has been an internationally acclaimed documentary film (Matt Wolf’s Wild Combination) and biography (Tim Lawrence’s Hold onto Your Dreams), a critical study (Matt Marble’s Buddhist Bubblegum) along with various tribute albums, concerts and events. In 2016 Arthur Russell’s archive was acquired by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center as part of their American Music Collection.

              If Arthur Russell isn’t quite the pop star he imagined he would be, he is at least widely considered one of the most significant figures in late 20th century American music.

              The majority of the material selected for “Calling Out Of Context” comes from two sources. The first was a completed album which dates from 1985, entitled “Corn” of which three very different test pressings remain (complied and reissued in 2015). The second source was material earmarked for Rough Trade recorded between 1986 -1990.

              Both “Make 1,2” and “Hop On Down” (originally titled “Hop On Down To Petland”) are two songs that Arthur wrote specifically with the plan of releasing as singles. Sadly, Arthur was faced with an unsympathetic market which viewed his material as uncommercial or too eccentric. In the case of the abandoned Rough Trade recordings, Arthur had become ill due to complications from HIV. He simply could not let go of his material. Nonetheless, he worked and reworked songs into an infinite labyrinth of possibilities, working incessantly with confidence and optimism until the last years of his life.

              As a cellist, songwriter, composer, and disco visionary Arthur Russell consistently blurred the lines of our expectations of what pop music could be. Contrary by nature, Arthur’s spontaneous reaction to and altered perception of his environment produced music that remains challenging and contemporary. Arthur’s open hearted attitude to music was far ahead of its time, and now that time is ours.

              TRACK LISTING

              The Deer In The Forest Part 1
              The Platform On The Ocean
              You And Me Both
              Calling Out Of Context
              Arm Around You
              That's Us/Wild Combination
              Make 1,2
              Hop On Down
              Get Around You
               I Like You!
              You Can Make Me Feel Bad
              Calling All Kids

              Arthur Russell

              Instrumentals - 2022 Remastered Edition

                Remastered double LP with 12 page booklet including liner notes by Tim Lawrence, Ernie Brooks and Arthur Russell.

                Before Disco, and before the transcendent echoes, Arthur studied to be a composer.

                His journey began in 1972, running away from his home in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

                Heading west to Northern California, Arthur studied Indian classical composition at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music followed by western orchestral music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, before ending two years later in New York at the Manhattan School of Music.

                Traversing the popular and the serious, Arthur composed “Instrumentals” in 1974, inspired by the photography of his Buddhist teacher, Yuko Nonomura, as Arthur described, “I was awakened, or re-awakened to the bright-sound and magical qualities of the bubblegum and easy-listening currents in American popular music”.

                Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, “Instrumentals” was in fact only performed a handful of times as a work in progress.

                The legendary performances captured live in New York at The Kitchen (1975 and 1978) and Franklin St. Arts Center (1977) feature the cream of that eras downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Julius Eastman, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Bill Ruyle, Dave Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo.

                Pitchfork lauded “Instrumentals” Vol. 1 as a masterpiece and one of Arthur’s “greatest achievements”. Americana touching on Copeland, Ives, and maybe even Brian Wilson. “Instrumentals” Vol. 2 is a moving, deeply pastoral work performed by the CETA Orchestra and conducted by Julius Eastman. Also included are two of Arthur’s most elusive compositions, Reach One, and Sketch For “Face Of Helen”. Recorded live in 1975 at Phill Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia Foundation, Reach One is a minimal, hypnotic ambient soundscape written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos. Sketch For “Face Of Helen” was inspired by Arthur’s work with friend and composer Arnold Dreyblatt, recorded with an electronic tone generator, keyboard and ambient recordings of a rumbling tugboat from the Hudson River.

                TRACK LISTING

                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 1
                "Instrumentals" Volume 2
                "Instrumentals" Volume 2
                "Instrumentals" Volume 2
                "Instrumentals" Volume 2
                "Instrumentals" Volume 2
                Sketch For The Face Of Helen
                Reach One

                Originally released on LP in 1986, “World Of Echo” is a deeply intimate and meditative work of awe-inspiring grace and remains a timeless work of sublime beauty. Arthur’s aim was to achieve what he calls 'the most vivid rhythmic reality', with just cello, voice, and echoes. Arthur achieved all of this and more on one of the most amazing albums you will ever hear.

                Often listed in the various 'most important albums you'll ever hear' type of fair; its innovative and maverick approach to the whole production process (even famously recording the album on a full moon) would go on to inspire countless future generations of creatives; especially across lo-fi and DIY scenes. His mix of classical training, frankly punk attitude and love of experimentation forged a sound that was unequivocally his own; a rare and epochal force of nature that will never be copied again.

                If you don't own a copy of this album, I urge you to reconsider! It's a must-have for any serious music lover. Copies always fly out too, so take advantage now as when its out of press it always commands big bucks.






                TRACK LISTING

                Tone Bone Kone 0:57
                Soon-To-Be Innocent Fun / Let's See 9:19
                Answers Me 2:04
                Being It 5:23
                Place I Know / Kid Like You 3:20
                She's The Star / I Take This Time 4:46
                Tree House 2:09
                See-Through 2:08
                Hiding Your Present From You 4:06
                Wax The Van 2:05
                All-Boy All-Girl 3:34
                Lucky Cloud 2:46
                Tower Of Meaning / Rabbit's Ear / Home Away From Home 4:20
                Let's Go Swimming

                At once kaleidoscopic and intimate, "Iowa Dream" bears some of Russell’s most personal work, including several recently discovered folk songs he wrote during his time in Northern California in the early 1970s. For Russell, Iowa was never very far away. “I see, I see it all,” sings Russell on the title track: red houses, fields, the town mayor (his father) streaming by as he dream-bicycles through his hometown. Russell’s childhood home and family echo, too, through “Just Regular People,” “I Wish I Had a Brother,” “Wonder Boy,” “The Dogs Outside are Barking,” “Sharper Eyes,” and “I Felt.” Meanwhile, songs like “I Kissed the Girl From Outer Space,” “I Still Love You,” “List of Boys,” and “Barefoot in New York” fizz with pop and dance grooves, gesturing at Russell’s devotion to New York’s avant-garde and disco scenes. Finally, the long-awaited “You Did it Yourself,” until now heard only in a brief heart-stopping black-and-white clip in Matt Wolf’s documentary Wild Combination, awards us a new take with a driving funk rhythm and Russell’s extraordinary voice soaring at the height of its powers. On "Iowa Dream", you can hear a country kid meeting the rest of the world - and with this record, the world continues to meet a totally singular artist.




                TRACK LISTING

                Side 1
                1. Wonder Boy
                2. I Never Get Lonesome
                3. Everybody Everybody
                4. You Did It Yourself
                5. Come To Life
                6. Iowa Dream
                7. Words Of Love
                8. I Still Love You
                9. You Are My Love
                10. Barefoot In New York
                11. Just Regular People
                12. I Wish I Had A Brother
                13. I Felt
                14. The Dogs Outside Are Barking
                15. Sharper Eyes
                16. Follow You
                17. List Of Boys
                18. I Kissed The Girl From Outer Space
                19. In Love With You For The Last Time

                This new edition of Soul Jazz Records’ ‘The World Of Arthur Russell’, the seminal collection of Arthur Russell’s essential music, is released on heavy deluxe triple vinyl and deluxe tip-on Japanese style CD edition.
                This album brings together some of Russell’s best-loved and most accessible works including his wide-ranging music, both solo and in groups, including Dinosaur L (the essential ‘Go Bang’), Loose Joints (the equally classic ‘Is It All Over My Face’) as well as rarities such as the 7” only ‘Pop Your Funk’, Indian Ocean’s ‘Schoolbell / Treehouse’, Lola’s ‘Wax The Van’ and more.

                Arthur Russell’s music effortlessly crossed musical boundaries making it timeless. His dance music credentials are faultless and this collection features mixes from Larry Levan, Françcois Kevorkian and Walter Gibbons. Similarly, his songwriting, musicality and performance skills are equally cherished, as composer Philip Glass wrote, “this was a guy who could sit down with a cello and sing with it in a way that no one on earth has ever done before or will do again.”

                When Soul Jazz Records’ ‘The World Of Arthur Russell’ first came out in 2003, Russell’s music had slipped into near obscurity. Nearly 15 years later there are over a dozen releases of his music, reissues of his original albums and more. ‘The World Of Arthur Russell’ is the classic first collection of his work available once more.


                TRACK LISTING

                Dinosaur L - Go Bang (Francois Kevorkian Mix)
                Lola - Wax The Van
                Loose Joints - Is It All Over My Face (Larry Levan Mix)
                Arthur Russell - Keeping Up
                Arthur Russell - In The Light Of The Miracle
                Arthur Russell - A Little Lost
                Loose Joints - Pop Your Funk
                Arthur Russell - Let's Go Swimming (Walter Gibbons Mix)
                Dinosaur L - In The Cornbelt (Larry Levan Mix)
                Arthur Russell - Treehouse
                Indian Ocean - Schoolbell/Treehouse (Walter Gibbons Mix)


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