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Silver Apples of the Moon [CASSETTE]

Laika Audio Cassette
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (20 Nov 1995)
  • Label: Wea/Warner Brothers
  • ASIN: B000002M8Z
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
At times tinged by the industrial, beat-ridden, post-funk of 23 Skidoo, with shades of eclectic Krautrock, hues of the dubby trip-hop of Portishead, Massive Attack and UNKLE, and even brush strokes from the glorious grooves of the electric-era jazz of Miles Davis, Laika's distinctive music seamlessly utilises a broad palette of sounds and influences evinced over the course of four albums. Named after the famous canine cosmonaut, this is an outfit that deserves a cult significance I don't believe they ever accrued. Of course, in the vicissitudes of art this is far from unusual, even if it seems like a criminal case of neglect. `Silver Apples of The Moon' was pretty much where it began in 1994 (after the initial `Breather' EP), and if you're wondering if Laika have anything more in store for us, well all I know is that the last I heard from them was a superb compilation called `Lost In Space' in 2003, which includes a wonderful rendition of `German Shepherds' by Wire, those fine art-school pioneers of post-punk innovation.
Laika defy easy categorisation, and although this is their strength, it may account for their lack of market penetration, for as we all know, it's easier to sell something that conforms to the manufactured parameters of expectation. They're identifiable neither as a rock act nor an electronic one, existing instead in a liminal space somewhere between the two, with their music additionally inflected by influences from jazz, lounge, and world musics. What really commends Laika though, is the combination of musicianship and production savvy, so that we are treated to songs that are expertly executed, finely arranged and recorded with technical finesse.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome in the space... 4 July 2000
Format:Audio CD
With this first album, LAIKA shows how it is difficult to do a music simple and various. All the tracks of are like candys, mellow and hypnotic.IF you are a fan of MOONSHAKE or STEREOLAB, you will enjoy the travel. The rythmic are inspirated by greats german bands like CAN or FAUST, with a sound coming from nowhere. Silver Apples of the Moon is the best album of this band. Welcome in the space...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange percussive atmospherics 26 Oct 2003
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Innovative percussion rules on Silver Apples Of The Moon, a brave experiment from a remarkable band. Sugar Daddy opens the album in rhythmic style and sets the mood with its sensual breathy vocals and trippy ambience and is lifted towards the end by some soaring synth lines. Marimba Song bubbles on merrily, enhanced by samples to give it an eerie feel at times, whilst Let Me Sleep is harder edged with a fuller atmospheric sound. Coming Down Glass is particularly quirky and hypnotic with its strange synth patterns and whispered vocals over the skittering beat patterns. If You Miss has a more flowing, symphonic feel and lilting beat as if it were to serve as soundtrack to some art movie. Red River has a harder mix again with a nervous beat and some discordant passages. There are echoes here of various forms of electro and also the late 1970s UK band Flying Lizards. But overall Silver Apples is a very unique musical vision and a brave path to pursue. It is certainly an acquired taste though, and takes some time to appreciate the subtler nuances of the music. Real rating: Three and a half stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTER SPACE, INNER CITY 23 Mar 2000
By elisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
From Moonshake came Laika. It was a natural birth, Moonshake splitting into two camps; David Callahan pursuing Moonshake's darker, noirish jazzy-pop vision; Margaret Fiedler taking Laika downtown on a rocket ship bound for the stars.
"Silver Apples of the Moon" blows into the room from your stereo speakers with "Sugar Daddy," a rushy, sticky, swoony collision of outer space and inner city atmospheres, and continues with the spazzy, jazzy "Marimba Song" and its sexy hook: "butter and honey and milk and water, milk and water...". Flutes glissando, marimbas rattle, guitars skronk, bongos shake. "Red River" fumes and boils. "Spider Happy Hour" lounges playfully. "If You Miss" cools down the tempo a little and floats you on gently percolating clouds of organic electronica.
Sandwiched in between, like glue on an Erector Set, is Margaret Fiedler's sexy, spooky whisper making nursery rhymes out of often scary subjects: domestic violence ("Let Me Sleep"), stalkers ("Coming Down Glass"), and female sexuality ("I'm Honey in heat with nothing to do, 'cept wait around for mutts like you..."). Margaret has a way of giving things her own spin, though. She gets inside the stalker's head on "Glass" ("Them trashy types just outta milk teeth keep bluffing me with their big girly eyes..."), and "44 Robbers" is a jokey female-empowerment rap ("I'm just happy here on my own; don't need Hulk Hogan to bring me home").
Laika will get into your memorybank and stick there like gum in a zipdrive. If you dig this stuff, check out Moonshake's first two albums ("Eva Luna" and "Big Good Angel")--just a little more of this'n'that and this'n'that.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A band of the finest pedigree peddling strangely mongrel musical hybridity 11 July 2008
By Piers Moktan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
At times tinged by the industrial, beat-ridden, post-funk of 23 Skidoo, with shades of eclectic Krautrock, hues of the dubby trip-hop of Portishead, Massive Attack and UNKLE, and even brush strokes from the glorious grooves of the electric-era jazz of Miles Davis, Laika's distinctive music seamlessly utilises a broad palette of sounds and influences evinced over the course of four albums. Named after the famous canine cosmonaut, this is an outfit that deserves a cult significance I don't believe they ever accrued. Of course, in the vicissitudes of art this is far from unusual, even if it seems like a criminal case of neglect. `Silver Apples of The Moon' was pretty much where it began in 1994 (after the initial `Breather' EP), and if you're wondering if Laika have anything more in store for us, well all I know is that the last I heard from them was a superb compilation called `Lost In Space' in 2003, which includes a wonderful rendition of `German Shepherds' by Wire, those fine art-school pioneers of post-punk innovation.
Laika defy easy categorisation, and although this is their strength, it may account for their lack of market penetration, for as we all know, it's easier to sell something that conforms to the manufactured parameters of expectation. They're identifiable neither as a rock act nor an electronic one, existing instead in a liminal space somewhere between the two, with their music additionally inflected by influences from jazz, lounge, and world musics. What really commends Laika though, is the combination of musicianship and production savvy, so that we are treated to songs that are expertly executed, finely arranged and recorded with technical finesse. Whilst the music of Laika is always percussively exciting, Margaret Fiedler also provides wonderful vocals that are whispered in alluring breaths, and tell intriguing tales woven through enigmatic phrases. It all adds up to a rather addictive exploration of both sonic texture and song-smithing. I guess then, that this is less a review of `Silver Apples of The Moon' than it is an endorsement for the entire output of the Laika project. This might just be the enervating musical discovery you need!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful eclectic, yet so strange and fiery 20 Feb 2004
By mianfei - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Having bought this album primarily on a recommendation from a fellow customer, "Silver Apples Of The Moon" stands as one of the most remarkable revelations I have had.

The sound of "Silver Apples Of The Moon" is almost indescribable. Built largely on the keyboards and guitar of Guy Fixsen and the intense drumming of Lou Ciccotelli, the songs on "Silver Apples Of The Moon" do have generally recognisable verses and chorus, but, like on so many great records, these are made incredibly moody. Unlike on previous hyperfeminine masterpieces like Laura Nyro's New York Tendaberry or Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love, the mood shifts on "Silver Apples Of The Moon" can be traced directly to the dense funky rhythms (which at times recall a more sloppy Stevie Wonder) which are able to move from dreamy lullabies to ferocious rock, far harder than early 1980s post-funk.

The dramatic character of this album is best seen on the amazing, psychedelic "44 Robbers" on which Margaret Fielder's assertive tone and Lou Ciccotelli's amazing playing (better than Stuart Elliott on Hounds) builds a tale of domestic violence that is just so frightening, yet so immediate one will never turn away after a single listen. "Red River" is strange yet sensual at the beginning due to the sound effects, yet becomes trance-like when Fielder's untrained, yet expressive voice comes in. Fielder sounds fearsome here, yet on "Marimba Song" and "Sugar Daddy" she is softer and sweeter than any singer before her could be. "Thomas," the second-last track, was even stranger let still immediate in character even when Louise Elliott comes in with an explosive saxophone solo that actually sounds like an echo.

The mainly instrumental "If You Miss" sums up the strangely beautiful character of "Silver Apples Of The Moon": dissonant synthesisers managing somehow to blend perfectly with sweet marimbas/vibraphones and jazzy textures to create something soft in texture yet burning with true incandescence. "Let Me Sleep" was as dense as a drum orchestra, yet still managed to be remarkably memorable because of the upfront sound.

One of the truly outstanding albums of the 1990s, even if almost impossible to find in my native Australia.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stone Roses + My Bloody Valentine + Garbage - guitars 20 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
That's a shallow but - to the layman - fair breakdown of Laika's deep, dark, groovy, fuzzy, jazzy sonic moonscape. Complex, driving rhythms take center stage here, with exotic percussion and flute combined with soulful electronica (if there is such a thing) adding a great manic texture. Vocalist Margaret Fielder's sexy whisper of a voice is reminiscent of Shirley Manson in a spooky mood.
Great music to work to, great to drive to, great to tune out to. But listen to the samples and make up your own mind!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange percussive atmospherics 26 Oct 2003
By Pieter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Innovative percussion rules on Silver Apples Of The Moon, a brave experiment from a remarkable band. Sugar Daddy opens the album in rhythmic style and sets the mood with its sensual breathy vocals and trippy ambience and is lifted towards the end by some soaring synth lines. Marimba Song bubbles on merrily, enhanced by samples to give it an eerie feel at times, whilst Let Me Sleep is harder edged with a fuller atmospheric sound. Coming Down Glass is particularly quirky and hypnotic with its strange synth patterns and whispered vocals over the skittering beat patterns. If You Miss has a more flowing, symphonic feel and lilting beat as if it were to serve as soundtrack to some art movie. Red River has a harder mix again with a nervous beat and some discordant passages. There are echoes here of various forms of electro and also the late 1970s UK band Flying Lizards. But overall Silver Apples is a very unique musical vision and a brave path to pursue. It is certainly an acquired taste though, and takes some time to appreciate the subtler nuances of the music. Real rating: Three and a half stars.
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