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As necessary as it is long-awaited
on 7 May 2012
This is probably the most necessary item in the long-delayed My Bloody Valentine reissue campaign, picking up all four of their EP-length releases for Creation as well as various other stray tracks. The EP's are presented in chronological order with their original tracklistings fully intact. The remastering is clear and careful with each EP being allowed to sound like itself - thankfully, there has been no attempt to EQ or remix anything to create a cohesive overall listening experience. "You Made Me Realise" sees them transitioning from their more indie-friendly roots into something more potent, the lead track buzzing away, tense and agitated. "Slow", crucially, introduces the tremolo glide sound that would become their signature and the rest of the EP is as tuneful and accessible as it is seductive. The sound becomes heavier and more obtuse for "Feed Me With Your Kiss", which, as well as the magnificent, growling title track features the group experimenting with samples and loops for the first time on the superb "I Believe", an approach that would fully blossom on 1990`s "Glider" with the genuinely funky "Soon", still a highpoint of their catalogue. Elsewhere on "Glider", their desire to experiment hits a peak of sorts on the hypnotic swirl of its disorientating title track. By the time we reach "Tremolo", their sound is as sensual and immersive as you could hope for. It's definitely the strongest EP when taken as a whole and serves as a reminder of how potent this format could be in the right hands; from the endless falling dream of "To Here Knows When" to the snake charmer's soundtrack of "Swallow", the bendy Sonic Youthisms of "Honey Power" and finally the dense, exotic "Moon Song", this is all prime meat - no "b-sides" or knock offs here. It's a tremendous record and it's great to have this fantastic sequence back in print at last.
The extras begin with the two instrumental tracks taken from the bonus 7" offered with initial copies of "Isn't Anything". "Instrumental No. 2" samples a Public Enemy drum loop and then nips off to play in an echo chamber for a bit whilst "No. 1" is a Stooges-style blast-off dominated by some tremendous Colm O'Coisoig drumming. The full 10 minute version of "Glider", previously hidden away on a remix 12" is exhausting in the best way possible and flexi-disc promo "Sugar" finds a helicopter-imitating drum pattern and some distant, glittering flecks of guitar backing a wide-eyed Kevin Shields to charming effect. After that come three previously unreleased tracks. According to a fan site, 2 are from the "Isn't Anything" sessions, the other an abandoned single from `89. They're actually all pretty good and while they don't add much to the overall picture, they don't feel like "outtakes" either with "Good For You" in particular absolutely standing comparison with the released material of the time.
I like the fold-around card cover but it's a shame there are no sleevenotes - there is absolutely no explanation as to the origins of the non-EP tracks and only the reproduction images of the original covers in the booklet tell you what tracks belong to which original record. But then, the group were never particularly forthcoming in such matters in the first place so this is well within the normal parameters. Basically, this is a totally necessary release - no mere offcuts collection, this is some of their strongest material, all of which thoroughly deserves to be heard again.