Robert Fripp – ‘1999 (Soundscapes – Live In Argentina)’ UK CD (Discipline Global Mobile, DGM 9402 2, 1994)

‘1999 (Soundscapes – Live In Argentina)’ is a selection of recordings documenting Robert Fripp’s return to active service (after an 11 year gap) of performing live, improvisational, sonically challenging yet ultimately rewarding instrumental pieces that evolve and build over the construction of initial loops. This technique of Fripp’s that had been used and documented on earlier live performances (and releases) went by the name of ‘Frippertronics’. From this release onwards, they would use the new description of ‘Soundscapes’, acknowledging the advance in the sonic capabilities that the new technical set up these pieces were structured with would afford.

Robert Fripp '1999 (Soundscapes - Live In Argentina)' UK CD front cover design
^ Robert Fripp ‘1999 (Soundscapes – Live In Argentina)’ UK CD front cover design

When I say sonically challenging, I mean it. Over the next few years and beyond, a steady series of ‘soundscapes’ releases would appear, some are gentler and contemplative mood, some foreboding, unsettling, bleak, some veering off into digital signal processing dial twiddling randomness. ‘1999’ (both the album as a whole and title track in particular) started off in an abrasive and dark a manner as any of those to follow – pieces may begin in an almost silent, minimal fashion but gradually build and loop into a towering aural embodiment of turmoil brought to life. Continue reading “Robert Fripp – ‘1999 (Soundscapes – Live In Argentina)’ UK CD (Discipline Global Mobile, DGM 9402 2, 1994)”

Year by Year: Cocteau Twins – 1986 – The back catalogue CD releases

1986 CD re-issue series

Released in early July 1986 (mostly?), 4AD issued all of the Cocteau Twins albums to date on CD format, in some cases compiling and enhancing or combining some of the releases along the way in the same way that some of the cassette editions had been released before.

CD: ‘Garlands’ (4AD, CAD 211 CD)

Released in early July 1986, this initial CD version ran with the enhanced track listing that the 1983 cassette release introduced, by way of including the band’s second John Peel session of January 1983 as bonus tracks – and then went a step beyond the cassette by also including a further two tracks. These were the tracks intended to be the band’s very first single release, ‘See No Evil’ and ‘Perhaps Some Other Aeon’, which until that point were only ever released on i) a giveaway flexidisc with ‘Vinyl’ magazine in Holland for ‘See No Evil’, and ii) the ‘An Hour Of Eloquent Sounds’ compilation cassette, respectively, although in a very different recording – the version of ‘Perhaps Some Other Aeon’ on this CD is quite different by comparison to that earlier cassette release version.

The main image on the front cover is retained from the vinyl version, but the rest of the design is different and incorporates the additional photographic image that was first used on the 1983 cassette edition.

Cocteau Twins 'Garlands' UK 1986 CD front insert design
^ Cocteau Twins ‘Garlands’ UK 1986 CD front insert design

Continue reading “Year by Year: Cocteau Twins – 1986 – The back catalogue CD releases”

Year by Year: Cocteau Twins – 1986

Much like 1985 had been, 1986 was another productive yet non-standard year, with  the band shying well away from the traditional album and accompanying singles music business way of doing things. This year saw a stripped-down duo version of the band release a unique, subsequently well-loved minimal sounding album, one full-band, full-blooded EP and a collaborative album that didn’t even mention the band by name… plus a few more compilation releases yielding different versions or exclusive tracks once more…

CD: ‘The Pink Opaque’ (4AD CAD CD513 / Relativity EMCD 8040)

Cocteau Twins - 'The Pink Opaque' UK/US CD - front
^ Cocteau Twins – ‘The Pink Opaque’ UK/US CD – front

1986 got off to a start with the first ever CD release by 4AD (apparently), in the form of the compilation album ‘The Pink Opaque’ – this CD version was issued in the UK with a release date of 17th January 1986 and I’m unsure of the US release date – the significance being that this was a joint pressing between 4AD in the UK and Relativity in the US. The CD has an identical track listing to the vinyl/cassette release of this compilation from the previous year. So, it is primarily of interest as far as versions go of containing the remixed/re-recorded ‘Wax and Wane’ and the non-album previously cassette-only ‘Millimillenary’. It’s worth noting too that the version of ‘Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops’ is the 7″ version. Continue reading “Year by Year: Cocteau Twins – 1986”

Kraftwerk – ‘The Robots’ Brazilian 7″ EP (Capitol Records, 31C 016 85870, 1979)

From 1979, and an era where releases could be weird and wonderful depending on the region of the globe they hail from and how that region liked to do things, a unique picture sleeve four track 7” EP from Kraftwerk. This is the kind of release that, from roughly 1986 onwards, became something of a rare occasion for Kraftwerk, the more that they standardised releases across the world with the ‘Musique Non Stop’ single and ‘Electric Cafe’ album.

Kraftwerk - 'The Robots' Brazilian 7" EP front cover design
^ Kraftwerk – ‘The Robots’ Brazilian 7″ EP front cover design

Continue reading “Kraftwerk – ‘The Robots’ Brazilian 7″ EP (Capitol Records, 31C 016 85870, 1979)”