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)”

Vangelis – ‘The Collection’ compilation CD (Rhino, 2564658108, 2012)

So, farewell Vangelis – in a long life, we have been richly rewarded with his music for so long and the grace of how he went about his art. He may now be gone, but there remains so much of his music to explore and be thankful for now.

Vangelis - 'The Collection' compilation front slipcase design
^ Vangelis – ‘The Collection’ compilation front slipcase design

I feature this CD since – well, it is VersionCrazy after all and its always about the obscure details of versions and variations – so, why not… ‘The Collection‘ on the face of it is yet another compilation CD of the man’s work – and there is no shortage of them to choose from over the years. But I’ll focus on this one today as it is the one official outing on CD for a version of the opening titles theme for ‘Blade Runner’ that has remained strangely elusive from the multiple variations of the main soundtrack release over the years. Continue reading “Vangelis – ‘The Collection’ compilation CD (Rhino, 2564658108, 2012)”

The Human Condition – Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981, UK cassette (The Human Condition, THC 1, 1981)

The Human Condition was a short-lived band featuring reunited PiL band-mates Jah Wobble on bass and Jim Walker on drums, the line-up rounded out with Animal (aka Dave Maltby) on guitar and also occasionally augmented by Annie Whitehead on saxophone. This ‘rush release’ is one of two live recordings released on limited run cassettes that were issued back in the day and document their fine instrumental workouts. The packaging was stripped down and minimal on both, having the air of bootleg issues, perhaps, despite being official output. As far as I am aware they have never been re-issued in any form. One of the tracks on here would appear in studio form on 1983’s ‘Snakecharmer’ release by Wobble, Czukay and The Edge. I’ve selected my favourite track from the cassette to sample via a YouTube upload, Neon – see what you reckon for yourself… if you like it, plenty more from the same account to check out.

The Human Condition - Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981 UK cassette front cover
^ The Human Condition – Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981 UK cassette front cover

Continue reading “The Human Condition – Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981, UK cassette (The Human Condition, THC 1, 1981)”

The Golden Hour of The Future – Recordings by The Future and The Human League

Released in 2002, this CD finally shone official light of day on to early material by The Human League and immediate forerunners The Future that had been circulating in bootleg form for 20+ years. Hurrah!!! A compilation of this type had been mooted for official release long before – back in late 1981, Heaven 17’s ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ album inner sleeve advertised ‘The Future Tapes’ as a forthcoming release, for example.

The background story is even more involved than I was aware of and adds to the enjoyment of listening to this release now, albeit in some cases that is a pretty lo-fi experience, to be fair.

The Golden Hour of the Future - front cover design
^ The Golden Hour of the Future – front cover design

Continue reading “The Golden Hour of The Future – Recordings by The Future and The Human League”

The Passions – ‘Sanctuary’ US CD (Rubellan Remasters, RUBY08CD, 2019)

The wonderful ongoing series of releases from Rubellan Remasters continues in fine style with a long hoped for first time to CD edition of the third and final album from The Passions, ‘Sanctuary’. Truth be told, I had long given up hope of this extremely fine album by the band ever seeing light of day again – so, I was well pleased when I heard the news it was to be released at long last. And being a Rubellan Remaster, quality is a given, from the audio remastering by Scott Davies, through to the selection of tracks the release includes.

The Passions - Sanctuary CD front cover design
^ The Passions – Sanctuary CD front cover design

Continue reading “The Passions – ‘Sanctuary’ US CD (Rubellan Remasters, RUBY08CD, 2019)”