Musics in the Margin
Various Artists | Musics in the Margin

Sub Rosa | www.subrosa.net

When I first heard this collection of long-forgotten songs, it was raining outside. In fact, I laid in bed and watched my lawn being sprinkled from the skies above. One of those lazy mornings and a perfect one for the songs presented here. As the name implies, Musics in the Margin, is a compilation highlighting performers and songs left by the wayside of the music trade. For one reason or another — low pressing numbers, non-existent marketing, schizophrenia — these people never made it out of the doldrums and were simply left for dead.

Wesley Willis singing "suck on Kenny's cock" and "my Daddy smokes doobie" on "Selling a CD" is truly a demented vision, if I'd ever heard one. André Robillard's "Batterie" is an awkward glimpse of a percussive genius in the making. A couple of untitled pieces (one being a solo violin and one a guitar piece) from Martha Grunenwaldt make for a nice break from the seriousness. The closing 12 minute piece from Galaxia (aka Steve Wallis) takes us on an interpersonal, social journey into this folkie's mind.

Perhaps one of the utter stand-outs of this collection are two pieces from the demented (in a good way, of course) lo-fi, acid-folk singer Daniel Johnston. His "Premarital Sex" is a joyous rant that is filled with what sounds like a cheap organ, while "Fly Eye" is an obtuse song with a drum-machine and some familiar Johnston guitar picking. What could be better than Johnston?

My vote goes out to Dr. Konstantin Raudive from Latvia who provided "Radio Stimme + Microphone Stimme". He committed the last ten years of his life to Electronic Voice Phenomenon and this experiment claims to have captured voices of the dead. Truly creepy stuff indeed and only makes me wish someone would put out a greater chunk of this stuff in the future. All around, this is music that will hopefully gain more recognition and move towards the centre as time goes by.

Tom Sekowski – December 2006

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Tom Sekowski
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