David Borden — Places, Times & People
(Cuneiform Rune 58, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-03-01It's so easy to hang labels on things, but in the end the true value of a piece of music is a fairly subjective thing — except maybe for those consumed with dissecting every detail ad nauseum. I'm a bit of a skeptic when it comes to electronic music, it always seemed to me like an easy way out to push a lot of buttons and program sequencers, and then go take a twenty minute coffee break while your next album records itself. Basically all one needed was good ideas and technical skill — real chops not required — but in the end the results often seemed lifeless and left me cold. Of late, though, I'm finding more of this music I can warm up to — maybe it's that much of this music is now more interesting, or maybe it's just me growing into it. Case in point. I first heard of David Borden in the mid-70s when a friend played me a record by his all-synth group Mother Mallard. Initially unimpressed, I was in no hurry to listen to his stuff when he 'came back' in the early 80s. Places, Times & People is my first exposure to Borden in nearly two decades, and it's clear I've missed a lot of growth. Despite being primarily produced with electronics and samples, this is far more energized and fluid, offering a variety of moods and styles, bridging the cold dark corners of this angular world through corridors of light and color. Tracks like "For Bob Haskins," "Enfield in Summer," and "Esty Point" are rich with emotion, depth and subtlety, painting warm flashes of gentle color over shimmering electronic soundscapes. Others, like "Droneland" and "Her Inner Lock" take more of a contemporary approach, a bit more distant and surreal. In all, this is certainly one worth checking out.
Related artist(s): David Borden
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more