Review: Emotional Rescue again delves in the world of private pressings, with a reissue of British electronic pop meets proto-House duo 4AM. With copies of their self titled album now highly sought after, this timely reissue presents two of their songs as a stand alone 7".
Consisting of multi-instrumentalist Steve Kirby - piano, guitar, bass, programming - and vocalist Kevin Finch, 4AM came together after youths filled with a love of music. Following a string of band attempts, Steve dived in to the world of midi, allowing him to build a studio set up and play solo. A meeting with new work colleague Kevin quickly developed to joining forces to expand on his early demos.
Their melodic, dance-influenced pop draws on a love of Japan, OMD and The The, but also ECM jazz and a touch of "white boy soul". The TR-808 drum and hi-hats, string stabs and random acid squelches - although no TR-303 was used - highlights the influence the nascent House sounds emanating from the "second summer of love" of 1988 / 89 had in their music melting pot.
Over this, personal lyrics flow, full of honest emotions and a touch of youthful naivety thrown in - of relationships, love, sex and passions. Intended as a personal artifact, the original album was released in 1990 with no promotion or live shows and has taken until now, some 30 years, to find a cult audience. I want you with a Passion.
Review: Be With Records and Emotional Rescue team up to present a special release of US jazz vocal group Rare Silk and their cult song, Storm.
A diggers cut for many years, more recently it's become an algorithm "hit". Presented here as a stand-alone limited 10" release, the song is backed by a spellbinding echo-drenched remix by New York's exemplary electronic sonic explorer, Arp.
Originally formed when sisters MaryLynn and Gaile Gillaspie met Marquerite Juenemann in southern California in the late '70s, with the arrival of Todd Buffa the trio quickly expanded to a four-part harmony vocal group. Signed to Polydor, they rose to prominence over the ensuing decade with the release of three albums that gained them multiple Grammy nominations.
Taken from their 1985 album American Eyes, Storm is based on a Stanley Turrentine song of the same name, from his 1971 album Salt Song. With additional vocals written by MaryLynn, as with much of their music -underpinned as it is by an otherworldly exotica - the artisanal, crafted care of the instrumental and vocal arrangements, featuring lush, rich phrasing, is evident in their exquisite reading of the song.
When deciding how best of present the song it seemed right to ask a favourite of both labels. Having appeared on Emotional Response in 2017/18, Alexis Georgopoulos returned to his Arp project with last years' much-heralded Zebra album on Mexican Summer. Stripping out the vocals, the remaining instrumental is rearranged, rebuilt and then soaked in heavy tape echo. The result is a discerning dub to act as the perfect accompaniment.
Review: Emotional Rescue is delighted to present a collection of works by the founding father of the modern drum movement, Glen Velez. Collated from his first 3 solo albums from 1985 to 1989, Sweet Season is a snapshot in to the pioneering composing and performance of this four-time Grammy winner. Born in 1949, of Mexican American ancestry, Velez grew up in Texas before moving to New York in 1967. Playing jazz on the drums he soon gravitated to hand drums from around the world (frame drums in particular), seeking out teachers from many different musical traditions.
Among the many instruments Velez favours are the Irish bodhran, the Brazilian pandeiro, the Arabic riq, the North African bendir and the Azerbaijani ghaval. Although these instruments are similar in construction they have their own playing techniques that open new possibilities.
Sweet Season highlights this vocabulary, mixing and adapting techniques from various cultures to develop new ones. The music, often composed as cross-cultural ensembles, has a particular fondness for polyrhythms - superimposing different meters simultaneously - while incorporating Stepping Split-tone and Central Asian Overtone singing to complete the global horizons.
This new genre of contemporary drumming has been hugely influential and seen Velez work with the likes of John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as teaching his virtuosic combinations of hand movements and finger techniques to many emerging players.