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Tuesday, 5 July 2005

John Cale - Five Tracks

Yes, I know that this is a 2 year old piece of music. Sometimes CDs sit in my collection for a while - I think they are good and enjoy them, but don't really rave about them because I haven't had the time to listen to them for long enough to draw out what is going on.

'Five tracks' was an EP released ahead of the 'Hobosapien' album - it contains the most beautiful music filled with contradictions. Each track has a menacing air to it, tinged with soft girl choruses. The lyrics meander around all sorts of things including September 11th New York, the reputation of Ezra Pound - one of the tracks ('Wilderness Approaching') is taken from a film. 'E is missing' has an eerie voice singing 'Nowhere .... was not here / nowhere's not there / nowhere is nowhere' to the tune of an almost Christmas carol. I love it!

Why did I put this CD on after a couple of years? I was watching 'Later with Jools Holland' at the end of last week. This is a fantastic music programme on the UK BBC. The series finished recently, and is now being supplemented with a few programmes taking best bits on different themes. It was 'loud music' last week. John Cale was on playing a version of the Velvet Underground track 'Venus in Furs' - it was an incredible performance, and has stayed with me over the last few days.

As a result, the EP has reached my play list. What now? Well I also have another album by Cale, which I haven't explored much - called 'The Academy of Peril' - a strange album with full orchestra.

I should have realised that John Cale takes time to understand. Years ago (about 30 years, I think!) I bought a second hand copy of 'Vintage Violence' on vinyl, listened to it and was bewildered. Over time it became one of my favourite records.

John Cale, a welsh viola playing genius, with one of those rock voices that waivers on the edge of tuning in an unnerving way.

1 comment:

Elden Lovelace said...

I have some great ideas :) But no time to explain right now. Nevermind. Next time.