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Spring Heel Jack Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £18.28 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rough Trade Records
  • ASIN: B00004TRF3
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,246 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rachel Point
2. Mit Wut
3. Disappeared 1
4. Bane
5. Galina
6. Trouble & Luck
7. I Undid Myself
8. Lester
9. To Die A Little
10. Disappeared 2
11. Wolfing

Product Description

On Disappeared Spring Heel Jack forge an energising alliance between the populist and the avant garde, splicing together dance floor rhythms with free jazz dynamics. The title track "Disappeared 1" even opens with a blast of discordant and distorted bass clarinet whose circular squall hangs in the air like an avian predator. What follows sounds like electric-era Miles Davis stapled to a subliminal wash of therapeutic synths, by turns contemplative and extremely agitating. "Disappeared 2" uses the bass clarinet to underpin a meandering melody with an insistent hoochy-coochy rhythm. On "I Undid Myself", Wales and Coxon translate a psychedelic rock stomp through a four-pole filter. "Mit Wut" is a mesh of steady slave-driving rhythm and bombastic "Ride Of The Valkyrie" chords, while on "Wolfing" they assume the guise of a grindhouse combo, churning out sleazy hip-swivelling syncopation. This is dance music with a spring in its step as it fast-forwards to the future. --Chris Campion

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Tetlee
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For me the last great SHJ album, as with Treader they were already moving away from their established drum & bass sound, but it's still very present in this album and it's very much a continuation from the Treader release.

I was surprised this album never seemed to receive any press at time of release, and never really has done since, one of the last great albums from the mighty SHJ before they moved into the free-jazz style of music(which personally I'm not keen on).

I imagine there are a fair few fans that became confused with SHJs new free-jazz direction and possibly remained in doubt over what they were buying with the later releases, if you liked their old style of dreamy/dark/classical/drum & bass sound then get this while you can, before it does as it's title suggests and disappears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-blowing 5 July 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Spring Heel Jack project was launched in 1994 by the duo of John Coxon, ex guitarist for Spiritualized and Ashley Wales, ex collaborator of Shock Headed Peters. The first track on this amazing album, 'Rachel Point', opens with pounding drums, Miles Davis-style trumpet licks and looping keyboard wails.

The mind-blowing 'Galina', is characterized by tribal pow-pow beats, heavy basslines, organ drones and minimilist piano patterns set against a symphonic backdrop. The sound is sonically extreme and thrilling. But this isn't the entire story. The duo also emphasize the romantic in the epic trumpet crescendo of 'Trouble And Luck' and the Bacharach-tinged orchestral aria of the reggaefied 'To Die A Little'.

Coxon and Wales rank amongst the greatest musicians and composers of their generation, and this is groundbreaking and challenging music of the highest calibre.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Number five, still alive 8 Sep 2000
By FlangeMechanism - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I've thought, on more than one occasion, that if I were only allowed to listen to the works of two bands for the rest of my life, those two bands would be Orbital and Spring Heel Jack. I just wish that, whatever it is they've been feeding Coxon and Wales at the Strongroom lately, they'd slip some into the Hartnoll bros.' chow as well. Because, while it looks like Orbital's going to make us wait a full two years between albums, SHJ has graced us with back-to-back LPs just five months apart, both of them powerhouses.
Despite the proximity of their release dates, however, Disappeared and Treader are extremely dissimilar, much moreso than Treader was to its own prequel, Busy Curious Thirsty. For one thing, SHJ, much to my dismay, seems to be experimenting with random drum effects, a la DJ Shadow and Aphex Twin, and for that reason alone I very nearly pegged Disappeared with a negative review. At first listen, I admit, many of the tracks seem to have all the elaborate subtlety of a Cuisinart, with all the effects dumped in and ground up to sift and lodge where they may. But despite three tracks of jumpy, ghostly, arhythmic ambience--"Disappeared 1," "Lester," and "Disappeared 2"--the album as a whole rocks. A lot of it's hard to like at first, even for a diehard fan like yours truly, but I could say the same thing about Treader, and I've been listening to "Is," "Blackwater," "Winter," and "Pipe" almost once a day since March. Disappeared is very different from SHJ's previous work on the surface, but at the bottom there's still the same soul, the same je ne sais quoi that makes Spring Heel Jack so indefatigable and so inimitable. Notice the similar progressions in "Bells" and "Rachel Point," and the stark atmospherics in both "Winter" and "Galina." "Mit Wut," "Bane," "I Undid Myself," "To Die a Little," and "Wolfing" are likewise quintessential, if not classic, SHJ.
Disappeared sports some of the atonal treble effects of BCT and some of the giddy abandon of Treader, but for the most part our boys have completely reinvented themselves here, much as they did in the hiatus between Versions and BCT, adopting a sound reminiscent of DJ Shadow's Preemptive Strike. Gone is the booming, foundation-cracking bass, in favor of a softer, kickier feel that is whimsically retro in some places, almost lounge-like in others, complete with cellos, mournful trumpets, clarinets, cymbal washes, fuzz-tone guitars, even calliope organ. The best example of this new sound is "I Undid Myself," which sounds like it belongs to a chase scene from some campy superspy movie from the sixties. The opening track, "Rachel Point," is a jaunty march, and the rest of the album follows its peppy lead for the most part. But Spring Heel Jack is nothing if not dark, and these, like all their songs, are best envisioned as a David Lynch nightmare, originating somewhere deep in the heart of a pine forest at night, eerie and still and shrouded in shadow yet crawling with mystery.
(On the subject of "Rachel Point," I almost have to wonder if Coxon and Wales happened to read my panning of the feedback effects in "Blackwater" and decided to retort in musical form. The opening track starts out with explosions of grainy, amorphous feedback--annoying, yes, but over the course of a 90 seconds it wends itself into the song and reshapes into a catchy, foot-stomping breakbeat, as if to say, "I gotcher blinkin 'avalanche of feedback' rawt here, ya wanker!")
Perhaps the best example of SHJ's skill on this album is the adroit "Wolfing," which comes at you like the Mohammed Ali of dub tracks, setting you up with a light, teasing rope-a-dope before flashing out of nowhere with a devastating bass hook, sending you straight to the mat, only not in pain but in blissful rapture. More please!
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