Music Reviews

Artist: Dennis Young (@)
Title: Reel To Real
Format: CD
Label: Staubgold (@)
Rated: *****
Have you ever experienced those kind of fits of nostalga that let you go through a hundred dusted boxes full of artifacts of your more or less glorious past? You could find something really interesting in piles of yellowed love letters, old comics or stickerbooks, playthings, postcards and funny snapshots - during one of my last explorations I found interesting and somehow mysterious relics like an old vinyl of Visage's "Fade To Grey" on a scratched 7"...I remembered I labelled them as "the witches" when I first saw them on Italian television while I got the measles at the age of 4 or 5! -. During his cleanup day, Dennis Young, former marimba player and percussionist of the legendary NYC-based 80ies band Liquid Liquid - their hit "Cavern", which was included in the first volume "Disco Not Disco" of the newborn Strut Records in the beginning of the new millenium, got famous for having been sampled by Grandmaster Melle Mel for another hit, "White Lines (Don't Do It)", a song with clear references to cocaine, whose clip reaches its idyllic peak in the moment when some dancers keep on sniffing nearby a box of Frosted Flakes... an unauthorized sampling which caused the bankruptcy of 99 and Sugar Hill labels -, found a box of tapes he recorded by means of a 2-track Teac reel-to-reel recorded between 1982 and 1983, when he was just 24 as well as a member of Liquid Liquid yet. According to Dennis own words, "in early 1984 I bought my first 4 track cassette machine which ended my live reel-to-rell recording phase. The tapes were boxed up and put into storage for the ext 30 years. About six months ago I was going thru some old boxes and happened to find the tapes again. I was curious to hear what I had on those tapes so I purchased another Teac reel-to-rel tape-recorder. To my surprise there was a lot of music to choose from these recording, so after hours of listening I came up with a set of songs that I thought was the best representation of my work from this period". Many of them are really surprising: the bizarre chord strikes on guitar-driven songs such as "Little Girl" or the funny "Tape Interface for Guitar", the acidulous sci-fi nuance of tracks like "Panic in the Air", "Contortions" "Unknown Origins" or "Forbidden Planet" - a somewhat paranoid obsession for sci-fi themes is even clearer on the song "Aliens"! - and above all, the tracks when the skills on percussions splashes - the opening "Big Boom", the catchy "Overdub Dub", "Drum Solo" or the amazing "More is Less" -. Thanks to Staubgold, those recordings won't be just memories to get endangered by dust and oblivion.

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