Savant — Artificial Dance
(RVNG Intl. ReRVNG07, 1984/2015, 2LP)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-08-30
Artificial Dance gives us the entire original Savant LP plus seven additional tracks from singles and so on. This welcome reissue brings to mind a number of thoughts. First is the fact that when The Neo-Realist (At Risk) was first released in 1983, it was at the cutting edge of music and music technology. Second is the fact that it still sounds as fresh in 2015 as it did 32 years ago. Third is the obvious similarity with My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Kerry Leimer’s work in Savant is more spare and abstract than Byrne and Eno’s, with less reliance on live percussion instruments, but the use of sampled voices is similar, as well as the funk feel of many of the rhythms. Fourth is the observation that in the early 80s, innovation wasn’t just happening in New York, London, and Berlin, it was going on in Seattle, and probably other places as well, though some of the music has been lost to us (so far). In listening to this music today, in an era when sampling is so common and simple as to be unremarkable, it’s easy to forget how hard it was to do 30 years ago, cutting bits of tape, splicing them into loops, physically arranging them into pieces of music. The fact that Leimer accomplished this with such musical results is nothing short of amazing, and the further fact that it stands up against anything produced in the digital cut-and-paste era is something like genius. Far from being a mere historical curiosity, Artificial Dance is a great listen, both intellectually stimulating and entertaining – what more could you ask for?
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more