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The Housebound Spirit

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 July 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: planet mu
  • ASIN: B00009WNV7
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,569 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Glitch. It happens to us all: things don't work properly, someone is late, something is missing. A few musicians have taken this concept and make it into a curious art form, but The Housebound Spirit represents a more personal glitch. The album was recorded at home by Leafcutter John while in the grip of a severe illness brought on after he was mugged. He was trapped at home for months, barely able to go out or even speak. The music he created while trapped seems to reflect his awful state; there are patches of noisy chaos, patterns of broken, irregular beats, empty spaces and morbidly themed songs ("if you have an enemy then I should have one", "show them no mercy"). The only light spots are "For Two", on which a clarinettist friend visits for a melodious duet, and "Escape from the Globus Playpen" which has a, um, playful air. This album, as a document of a (thankfully temporary) debilitating mental illness, stands apart from the what-does-this-button-do mentality that makes a lot of glitch techno and IDM curiously bland and soulless. Even in its depths, it is full of life. Give The Housebound Spirit a spin, but don't expect a joyride.
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Format: Audio CD
I was moved to listen to this after seeing Polar Bear play at the Mostly Jazz festival in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago. Leafcutter John, now a memeber of Polar Bear, provides the odd electronic sounds for them and while the whole band were pretty amazing, I could hardly take my eyes off him, tinkering about, sampling and looping using water bottles, paintbrushes and anything he could get his hands on.

I was aware of the circumstances (see previous review) under which this album was made but to be honest I think I would have worked it out just by listening to it. As the previous reviewer says, it is not a joyful album by any stretch but it captures beautifully a feeling of alienation and paranoia.

I'm glad to see that he is now up and about and I will be checking out his other work as soon as I get the chance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars if at first it does not succeed... 2 Sept. 2005
By metaoctave - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
okay here is my experience with this cd. i picked it up figuring it would be much like the planet-mu releases i was already familiar with -- namely venetian snares and mu-ziq. upon the initial spin of the disc, i was a bit turned off by the sound. it has some elements of the electronica i was looking for. upon further late night listens, the album opened up a bit for me. it is a mix of beats, textures, and voices that is playful at times and a little bit on the downer side of things as well (this is by no means a complaint). if you want an odd spin on your usual experimental electronica, one that blends organic tones with your computer beeps, give this a go. the mythology behind the album is alluring... apparently the composer suffered from agoraphobia and did not leave his house for a while. that is probably the hidden source of my interest in this album... enough!
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