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Orpheus the Lowdown

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Weatherbox Ltd
  • ASIN: B0000CDL4D
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 341,769 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Savannah
  2. Brown-Out On Olympus
  3. The Blimp Poet
  4. Night Of The Comet
  5. Necessary Shadows
  6. Galveston
  7. Beetle
  8. Heartcall
  9. Noun Verbs
  10. Eurydice (After Rilke)
  11. Divine Blood
  12. Steel Bed

Product description

Peter BLEGVAD & Andy PARTRIDGE Orpheus - The Lowdown CD

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've always liked Blegvad's cartoons and writing however his music never seemed to quite live up to the promise for me at least. Enter Andy Partridge maker of sun baked pop music with hidden knives although you wont find that kind of thing here.
This collaboration works superbly - Blegvads take on the Orpheus myth owes more to the great American novel and the imagery of Svanmajker and the Brothers Quay than anything the greeks ever wrote. The music is impressionistic and fits perfectly - Partridges orchestration and production raises the whole thing to another level. There are echos of Laurie Anderson and some of David Byrnes work here and it would be easy to imagine this being staged by Robert Wilson.
Superb
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Format: Audio CD
Every so often, two elements come together to produce something both unique and highly satisfying e.g. Lennon & McCartney, toast & Marmite, etc. 'Orpheus the Lowdown.' is essentially such a collaboration.
Cooked, cobbled and crafted within a shed in deepest, darkest Swindon during the spaces between two busy lives. Andy Partridge (founding member of XTC & The Dukes of Stratosphere) with Peter Blegvad (creator of Leviathan, solo artist and ex-member of Slap Happy) have put together an important body of work that has taken over a decade to complete.
The album follows Orpheus who, as we meet him, is the only living soul upon the planet. Tasked by the gods of Olympus to build a city in a day, our hero's story expands outwards in a spiral of invention as the tale threads its way through a multitude of themes both familiar and fantastic.
In Blegvad, you can hear the strains of Ken Nordine circa 'Ageing Young Rebel' or (in places) even Allen Ginsberg. Peter's talent is that he can be both humorous and profound in equal measures, an ability few contemporary writers possess. It pleases me no end that he shuts out self indulgence in favour of such wit and intelligence (no mean feat for such a bold album).
Similarly, Partridge's 'tight but loose' style is all over these tracks and his unique touch is released into a garden that many writers seldom look to explore. His endeavours reap tremendous rewards and sit at the very heart of this recording, breathing like soft, leathery lungs.
The entire album (with its equally evocative cover art) is a wonderful pushme-pullyou like beast. This is the sound of two artists at the very height of their creative powers and largely without parallel in the contemporary market. It could be said that only Tom Waits or Robyn Hitchcock can still punch with this much creative confidence and with such sublime skill.
Buy it; you have to.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IMAGINE THIS 13 Jun. 2004
By Hank Napkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There seem to be some several things missing from music these days, one of which must surely be imagination. Given the sharp upturn in control and flexibility offered by the recording equipment and studios of the early 21st century, anyone working in music should be literally dumbfounded by the range of possibilities before them. Instead and more often than not, listeners get ever more of the same.
Except here. "Orpheus the Lowdown" is a carefully realized and intricate combination of words, sounds and images that offers no shortage of imagination or ideas. Here we have an ideal pairing: the respective backgrounds and output of Peter Blegvad and Andy Partridge couldn't be better suited to this project.
Blegvad's words, (refer to his body of solo work and, of course, Slapp Happy) are mostly presented in the form of a poetry reading and are wonderfully inventive, playful and always beautiful: "Orpheus washes his hands in tears and thus anointed calls it a day though it is night". And, as remarkable as that sentence is, the sounds which support it bring the words to a better life.
The aural quality is not unlike Partridge's work with Harold Budd on "Through the hill", but instead of approaching these pieces as "songs" they are instead set in sound. Ranging from the overt (bowling percussion) to the subtle ( the ambience of a Savannah) the overall effect becomes something akin to musique concrete with an important distinction: these are not found sounds, they are clearly originated and composed to suit the language, just as the supporting images were assembled.
The visual and aural pieces are both realized by taking seemingly unrelated elements and arranging them into a new, single whole. In both cases, the music and the photo-assemblages (which have a feel not unlike Man Ray's Ray-O-Grams) create a sense of strangeness, surprise and the discovery of something new out of the ordinary.
What is represented here is on a completely different scale of thinking and effort when compared to your typical CD. If you've followed Blegvad or Partridge, you probably already have this: if you haven't, start now.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IMAGINE THAT 13 Jun. 2004
By Hank Napkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There seem to be some several things missing from music these days, one of which must surely be imagination. Given the sharp upturn in control and flexibility offered by the recording equipment and studios of the early 21st century, anyone working in music should be literally dumbfounded by the range of possibilities before them. Instead and more often than not, listeners get ever more of the same.
Except here. "Orpheus the Lowdown" is a carefully realized and intricate combination of words, sounds and images that offers no shortage of imagination or ideas. Here we have an ideal pairing: the respective backgrounds and output of Peter Blegvad and Andy Partridge couldn't be better suited to this project.
Blegvad's words, (refer to his body of solo work and, of course, Slapp Happy) are mostly presented in the form of a poetry reading and are wonderfully inventive, playful and always beautiful: "Orpheus washes his hands in tears and thus anointed calls it a day though it is night". And, as remarkable as that sentence is, the sounds which support it bring the words to a better life.
The aural quality is not unlike Partridge's work with Harold Budd on "Through the hill", but instead of approaching these pieces as "songs" they are instead set in sound. Ranging from the overt (bowling percussion) to the subtle ( the ambience of a Savannah) the overall effect becomes something akin to musique concrete with an important distinction: these are not found sounds, they are clearly originated and composed to suit the language, just as the supporting images were assembled.
The visual and aural pieces are both realized by taking seemingly unrelated elements and arranging them into a new, single whole. In both cases, the music and the photo-assemblages (which have a feel not unlike Man Ray's Ray-O-Grams) create a sense of strangeness, surprise and the discovery of something new out of the ordinary.
What is represented here is on a completely different scale of thinking and effort when compared to your typical CD. If you've followed Blegvad or Partridge, you probably already have this: if you haven't, start now.
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