Sunday, April 17, 2011
Southern MQ/LP 46 Folk, Pastoral, Small Group (Recorder).
A group mysteriously named Michelangelo gets credit in the liner notes, but don't let that fool you; this record is British through and through. Listening to these shiny plastic tunes you are whisked away to the pedestrian walkways and municipal fountains of some imaginary New Town circa 1971. You are peering into the crystal ball of a window-dressed display of new modern products designed to improve your life. Or you are an extra in the background of a karaoke video, cooing words nobody will ever hear into the ear of the actress hired to play your girlfriend. These are neutral incidentals for light activity. Twinkly, saccharine, prefab mood music for some concrete city in the sky. But like the similar-ish music at the beginning of The Stepford Wives there is something very dark lurking beneath the surface, as if the new leisure centre were built on a Romano-British burial ground. I love this record and its twinkly celeste and harp, its mournful woodwinds and proto-Stereolab suburban funkiness. Enjoy. And while I'm on the subject I wanted to mention Jonny Trunk's fantastic Radio 4 piece about library music. If you have been wondering just what all these austere, generic record sleeves that I post are all about, download here and listen to somebody who really knows what he's talking about (mp3 courtesy of some nice person on the Broadcast bbs). Composer Barbara Moore starts free-associating about the Amazon and it's pure poetry.