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Review of Two CD Edition,
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This review is from: No Pussyfooting (2 Cd) (Audio CD)
I have to admit that, when I first came across this on Amazon, I thought someone was taking the mick. But, no, it really is 'No Pussyfooting' played at different speeds and backwards.
The track listing is not very clear, so let's try and clarify it a bit.
CD 1 has got:
1 The Heavenly Music Corporation (20.52)
2 Swastika Girls (18.58)
3 The Heavenly Music Corporation (reversed) (20.52)
And CD 2:
1 The Heavenly Music Corporation (half speed) (41.49)
2 Swastika Girls (reversed) (18.54)
So, does messing about with these two classic electronica tracks work? Does it add anything?
I have to say that I first heard 'No Pussyfooting' when it came out in 1973 and I have been listening to it ever since, so I do know both pieces very well.
'Swastika Girls' backwards (CD2, track 2) is very similar to Swastika Girls forwards. The differences are mainly subtle, being the reversal of the attack and decay (obviously). In one or two places, where the original attack was pronounced, it's quite scary, almost animalistic. But, overall, it doesn't really add very much.
'The Heavenly Music Corporation' at half speed (CD2, track 1) is more interesting. Again, it does get quite scary and I'm sure there are loads of sub-sonics there. Certainly, I could feel the vibrations through the floor. It becomes much more solid, like sonic icebergs, or sound volcanoes. Fripp's guitar still slides over the top, but kind of comes across as, well, elephantine. Elegantly elephantine. It definitely feels like there is an aural elephant in the room. After listening to it, the original (CD1, track 1) sounds positively skittish.
'The Heavenly Music Corporation' reversed (CD1, track 3) starts out sounding remarkably like the morphing monster from John Carpenter's 'The Thing'. But, after a while, it settles down and sounds quite affective. It reminded me a bit of Phil Manzanera's 'Lagrima', from his 'Diamond Head' album. Overall it does sound pretty much the same as played forward. But there are enough little differences to make me keep listening. It's kind of a subtle re-interpretation of the original.
So, overall, the most 'interesting' track is 'The Heavenly Music Corporation' (half speed). But it's hard work. And, honestly, I don't think any of these versions improve on the originals sufficiently to really make it worth it.
If you do not already have the original two tracks, buy this as it contains the originals plus these 're-interpretations'. If you already have the originals, well, it's up to you. I mean, they're interesting but I'm not sure how often they'll get played. The originals get five stars.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Mar 2009 09:16:32 GMT
Seemingly the two reversed tracks are on there because John Peel once mistakenly played the entire album backwards on his radio show (he must have had it on a reel-to-reel). And playing "Heavenly" at half speed was a suggestion of Sid Smith, who presumably used to get off playing his album at 16rpm. Yes, we're now at the level of "DJ mistakes and fan fetishists". Ho hum. And besides, nobody who isn't shelling out for this new album is missing a thing. There is not ONE SECOND of new music here. Just rip your old CD into Audacity or some other free audio manipulator and you can recreate all these bonus tracks for yourself.
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2009 19:56:58 GMT
Saying that, I always had a soft spot for NEU! 2 where side 2 is just side 1 at different speeds, 'cos they ran out of money. And Abba's 'Take a Chance' sounds remarkable at 33rpm (assuming you've got the 45).
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2009 05:16:49 BDT
I am currently playing Take A Chance at 33rpm, from memory, in my head. It sounds like death metal. Wow. All albums should come with a bonus disk of manipulations! (Before anybody mentions, wasn't it Klaus Schulze's Irrlicht that had one whole side on backwards, possibly by mistake?)
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2009 07:15:39 BDT
More sort of Welsh Male Voice Choir Death Metal, actually.
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