Thursday, March 13, 2008

Listening today... not new and without lyrics.

I'm liking two albums very much at the moment. Neither is new, but to me they are as I've only got them this week. They are both largely without vocals but, aside from that, they are really very different indeed.

Re-released in 2007, and made by the Type Records supremo himself, it is just awesome. That said it is also important to realise that this is total electronica.

Rather different is this live CD, recorded and produced in Chicago by Steve Albini, released by sort-of-Brighton-based Electrelane. Absolutely revolutionary it may not be* but it is a fine release and only makes me want to see them play live even more than I already do!

Electrelane - Axes

* In both cases I've meddled vicariously with the album art-work a little (in part because neither album had the title or artist on the cover) but, while on the subject of altering things, The Partisan (Track 10 on Axes) is actually a rather remarkable cover of a cover! It started life not as French Resistance anthem Chant de Partisans but as an earlier (White Russian) one by Anna Marly, who had later adopted France as her homeland. It was then translated into French, but in England in 1943, and used as propaganda on BBC radio. Later still was an English translation (origin currently unknown to me) and it was made notable by Leonard Cohen (1969) and Joan Baez (1972), only to reappear here interpreted in a yet another different way! This one does have vocals but, as is very often the Electrelane way, those of Verity Susman are not prominent in the mix. It is certainly true here, and perhaps the exact intention is that they are almost indecipherable?
I'm delighted to say that, for the curious like me, versions of the lyric, in Russian, French, English and also Persian can be found here:

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