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Budget-price reissue of first two Silver Apples albums....
on 1 May 2005
This wonderful budget-priced c.d from the late 1990's collects the first two albums from cult-act Silver Apples, taking in their eponymous debut from 1968 and follow-up 'Contact' from the following year. I never really heard of Silver Apples until I read about them in an interview in the booklet of a reissue of Suicide's first LP. They have also been namechecked by people such as Spacemen 3, Stereolab & Sonic Youth...
Silver Apples were absolute pioneers- the band itself was reduced to just two members, so had to drop the conventional element to their band and think of something new. The something new was an experimental use of oscillators and proto-sampling that puts Silver Apples at the forefront of avant-garde and proto-electronica. It's true that without the oscillators etc, Silver Apples have a vocal-style not unlike many bands of the era (e.g. Love, Chocolate Watch Band, Moby Grape), the lyrics are mostly written by a poet or two (making them very much of their time) & part of their sound does feel dated...(part of their sound could be related to any band on 'Nuggets'- some of it may even remind you of Jim Morrison's poetic musings. 'Dust' may even remind you of 'Little Britain' !).
As part of their sound still sounds like a future waiting to happen - Taylor (who has recently died, sadly) offering rythms around the array of oscillating-sounds offered up by the Simeon. The songs as such rely more on being drones and rhythms with added vocals- musically it predicts not only the aforementioned Suicide, but also Spacemen 3, Radiohead (The National Anthem), Led Zeppelin (there is a song called Misty Mountain, go figure!), die motorik of Neu!,and Eno/Byrne's 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts' - 'Program' samples a radio as a dial is turned and so feels like a major precursor of that classic 1981-album! Heck, the more interesting side of drum'n'bass (Omni Trio, LTJ Bukem) and later-electronica (Cabaret Voltaire, Autechre, Squarepusher) could be traced back here...
It's great these significant, pioneering works are available again- releases that no-one with adventerous musical taste should be without. There are plenty of classics here, despite some of my misgivings above - A Pox on You, single Oscillations, Velvet Cave, Water, I Have Known Love...and so on. Absolute stone cold cult classics then and a snap at their current price!
Silver Apples were:
Simeon - the simeon, vocals
Dan Taylor - percussion, vocals