Saturday, October 18, 2014

V/A - Sounds Of Silence, The Most Intriguing Silences In Recording History! - #183

V/A - Sounds Of Silence, The Most Intriguing Silences In Recording History!

This is the one to test the limits of your stereo set-up at midnight. Go all the way to thirteen and enjoy this recording of, well, two sides of nothing. Not a sound ... which is not quite true, there's the background noise of any LP, even when the vinyl is clean as can be. But the concept is a fascinating one, with John Cage's 4:33 being the forerunner (and I'm not talking about his 4:33 second version). There's never real silence. And if you're sitting in a soundproof room, playing 4:33 (first version) in a digital copy, you're still going to hear your breathing and you also listen to your own heartbeat and movements.

John Cage is not even the inventor of performed or recorded silence, but he's the one most associated with it. And if you're like me, kneedeep in Noise, Avantgarde, Industrial and the like, you appreciate a live performance as well (as I did a few years back, John Cages 4:33 first version on piano - dead silence, except the audience beginning to get nervous and restless).

What I didn't know until I bought this record just recently, is, that so many recording artists have jumped on board. Of the 30+ tracks on offer here, you'll find some big names like Andy Warhol, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Sly & The Familiy Stone (that one really surprised me), Crass, John Denver (another surprise), Soulfly, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Robert Wyatt and Afrika Bambaataa & Family.

But to put matters straight, this is actually serious stuff with a lot of these tracks making a statement of sorts. The LP has apparently been issued as a double set with a 250 copies limited run (not sure about this claim - wether it actually exists and the 250 bit) and a single LP issue, limited to 500 copies. I almost missed this one in one of my favourite shops, because I'm not in the biz to buy Simon & Garfunkel LPs.



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