Pop your funk
May 3, 2007 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Weird, I am listening to Instrumentals Vol. 1 - 6 by Russell from First Thought Best Thought as we speak. It is one of my favorite compositions by him, as it seems elegiac and bouncy at the same time and about 1:40 into the song there is some cloppity clop noise that makes my think of Ennio Morricone. That track is a perfect storm of my own idiosyncratic likes and mental connections.
posted by Falconetti at 12:24 PM on May 3, 2007

I found a tape of his music in a pile that had been left to me by a former coworker, so I started scooting around on the internet and found some neat stuff. But I've often thought that no matter what I'm listening to, it's likely that someone else is doing so at the same time, and that, depending on the distribution of said music, it's likely that it's a MeFite.
posted by klangklangston at 12:26 PM on May 3, 2007

Dang, I was hoping this meant there was some new news on the movie. NEED TO SEE MOVIE SOON PLZ.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:32 PM on May 3, 2007

Pop your funk

Funk your pop.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:45 PM on May 3, 2007

Like many, I really feel that Russell is one of those under-appreciated musical geniuses that was very much ahead of his time.

His insanely-prolific output over a several year period is even more incredible to behold when you look at all the different styles of music that he was creating.

Falconetti above mentioned his Instrumentals work, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. He was probably most known for his disco production (even the tracks he did in that genre were pretty extraordinary, though), but he did melancholy cello and voice work that's stunning on "World Of Echo" as well as super creative pop music that's on a par with everyone from Talking Heads to yes, Nick Drake (you can hear similarities to each of them on his "Another Thought" release alone).

Anyway, I'm super excited about this documentary. He's definitely an artist that deserves another listen.
posted by almostcool at 1:46 PM on May 3, 2007

I really feel bad that no one knows who this guy is. I saw the one chick from the Spinanes open for the Decemberists once, and she played a very nice solo version of A Little Lost. No one cared.

I'm glad to hear that there will be a documentary, I would be interested to see it.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:33 PM on May 3, 2007

"Nick Drake (you can hear similarities to each of them on his "Another Thought" release alone)."

He actually reminds me more of John Martyn's later folk-fusion stuff.
posted by klangklangston at 3:38 PM on May 3, 2007

I love his World of Echo album. Probably every musician has self indulgent moments where they put lots of reverb and delay all over everything. But Arthur Russell made it work as satisfying music, not just wank. I feel like he won one for all of us there.
posted by fleetmouse at 4:22 PM on May 3, 2007

Plus a Red House Painters track! Score!
posted by Scoo at 6:58 PM on May 3, 2007

I really feel bad that no one knows who this guy is.

Isn't he getting pretty well-known nowadays, at long last? Certainly the flood of reissues over the last couple of years, complete with gushing press attention makes it seem like the secret is out, so to speak. (And that bloody mobile 'phone advert with This Is How We Walk On The Moon being on constant rotation means everyone in the UK has heard him at least once!)

I have fond memories of the first time I heard him - a Glasgow club called Optimo billed him as a 'special guest', which, since he was dead, meant playing as much Russell music as they could get their hands on. Never having heard of him, I assumed this unknown guest DJ had failed to show up, and so the residents had pulled out all the stops playing amazing music! (Which says a lot about the sheer breadth of Russel's output, but the odd thing is that once you're familiar with his work, Russell is strangely consistent, whether he's bashing out Go Bang disco, or all introspective as on the cello pieces almostcool mentions above.)

Anyway, can't wait for the doc., and can definitely recommend Zummo with an X by trombonist Peter Zummo for those after a further fix of Russell - his vocal and cello work on that album is amazing, and some tracks would be quite at home on Calling Out Of Context.
posted by jack_mo at 7:30 AM on May 4, 2007

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