The Residents — The 12 Days of Brumalia
(Ralph RA17, 2004, CD)
The Residents — WB:RMX
(Ralph CD 033, 2003, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01
If you need a Christmas album to scare your family and friends, look no further. The 12 Days of Brumalia was released as a downloadable album on the Residents web site in December of 2004, and is now available as a limited edition CD (unless it’s sold out already). As such, it might not be regarded as a proper Residents album, but what the heck, here it is, and I’m going to tell you about it. To a certain extent, it could be regarded as second-rate Residents. Bits of traditional holiday tunes are warped into this mostly electronic stew, along with other memory joggers (I swear I heard some Partridge Family in there, as well as previous Residents tunes). Electric keyboards and drum machines are given the obligatory Residents treatment, with a combination of reverb, echoes, and phasing applied to most of the sounds. You also get the typical bizarre narration and odd singing. The Residents are sounding more and more like a one person project with occasional guests. Brumalia is probably only of interest to hard-core Residents fans, who probably already have it.
WB:RMX is a different animal. It has long been part of this band’s story that they made a tape in 1971 and sent it to Warner Brothers Records. The label rejected the tape and returned it addressed to “Resident” thus giving the band their name. After all these years, that demo tape has been released... sort of. Today’s Residents have “remixed” the original Residents recordings, turning them into something very similar to Brumalia: keyboards and drum machines with samples of other stuff added. The curiosity fans have had for years remains unsatisfied, as there’s no way to tell from this release what the demos may have sounded like. From their days as the wild-card of American avant-garde, the Residents have become a slightly experimental electronic outfit with a warped sense of humor, a change that is not likely to maintain the dedication of their fans, or gain them new ones, for that matter.
Related artist(s): The Residents
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
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